Wake Up to Wellness: Issue #11

Health Newsletter

What’s new in the world of health and wellness this week?

We’ve got you covered:

  • Is there a connection between breakfast and diabetes?
  • CBD oil and drug testing
  • How pesticide exposure can be a risk factor for heart disease
  • Dark chocolate is delicious, but it’s not a health food
  • How a breathalyzer might be an early cancer detection tool in the future

Does No Breakfast Equal a Higher Risk of Diabetes?

Perhaps “calories in, calories out” isn’t the gold rule of nutrition.

A recent study showed that people who skip breakfast had a 22 percent increased risk for Type 2 diabetes. In the light of intermittent fasting, the study contradicts the popular belief that shortening your period of food consumption time per day actually increases weight loss and improves your sensitivity to insulin.

However, the study was an observational study, which only used data from six sources. In this particular trial, there was a non-linear response that reached a plateau after participants skipped breakfast for five days.

Further review of the trial showed that participants were more likely to be found snacking late at night — mostly on high carb foods. The only measures that were consistently recorded were that they should eat between noon and 6:00 p.m., and were able to eat whatever they wanted.

Further, more controlled studies may help to clear up this myth, or prove how important of a player breakfast really is.

Read the full story here.

Will Using CBD Oil Show Up on an Employment Drug Test?

As different forms of marijuana and CBD become legal and increase in popularity, drug testing has gotten more complicated. Medical marijuana is now approved in 33 states, and recreational marijuana use is legal in 10 states.

However, regardless of the laws, employers still have the risk to test for marijuana use, and can make hiring and firing decisions based on the results. CBD is a form of hemp or marijuana in an oil form. It doesn’t have any psychoactive effects, but studies have shown it can be helpful in treating anxiety, pain, and seizures.

CBD is legal, but it still have ramifications because of how it may show up in a drug test. Most organizations only test for THC, found in traditional weed. CBD oil contains less than 0.3 percent THC.

Sheri Kasper, RDN, LDN, says, “By law, you are allowed to ask the facility what cannabinoids they test for. If you are uncomfortable with that, you can call and ask anonymously.” These super-sensitive tests are rare, however. Most of the time, employers just want to know if you’re smoking weed all day, not if you’re taking CBD for your anxiety.”

It’s very unlikely using CBD oil will show up in a drug test. That being said, if you want to be extra careful, it might be best to abstain.

Read the full story here.

The Connection Between Pesticide Exposure and Heart Disease

A new study showed that Hispanic and Latino people who are exposed to pesticides at work may have an higher risk of developing heart disease.

The researchers studied 7,404 employed people between the ages of 18–74 who were part of the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of the Latinos. They answered questions about their exposure to working in areas with pesticides, lifestyle factors such as exercise, smoking and alcohol use, provided medical history, and were given medical tests.

About five to nine percent of the participants said they were exposed to certain pesticides at work. Those who were in regular contact with pesticides were two times more likely to experience cardiovascular disease.

Why? The researchers haven’t discovered the full causation yet, but there does seem to be a link between pesticide exposure and heart disease.

Michael Ghalchi, a cardiologist with Manhattan Cardiovascular Associates, said, “Pesticides cause the body to develop inflammation and oxidative stress, which are known to be risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease. Some chemicals can be directly toxic to the heart muscle, preventing it from contracting normally and disturbing the heart’s electrical system.”

Read the full story here.

Is Dark Chocolate Healthy or Not?

We’ve all heard that dark chocolate contains antioxidants that are good for you, and many of us use it as a reason to indulge in chocolatey goodness.

Dark chocolate isn’t evil. Harvard reports it has significant amounts of flavanols found in fruits and veggies, and heart-healthy antioxidants. It also has an ample amount of cocoa butter and sugar.

Flavanols have been shown to improve blood flow and improve blood pressure. However, they can also make you more sensitive to insulin — which is a risk factor for diabetes.

Eating a diet based around dark chocolate will never be the answer. When it comes to eating a healthy diet, don’t believe everything you hear. Practice moderation and enjoy the foods you love, while balancing your food groups.

Read the full story here.

Can a Breathalyzer Detect Cancer?

It’s common knowledge that early detection of cancer leads to earlier treatment, and better outcomes. In the U.K., a breathalyzer has been developed to detect several types of cancer.

How? Many illnesses can create smells that emanate from your body. Researchers have found that aromas in your breath can show you may have cancer. Cancer Research UK is launching a two-year clinical trial with their breathalyzer device, coined the Breath Biopsy.

Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald, lead trial investigator at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre, said, “We urgently need to develop new tools, like this breath test, which could help to detect and diagnose cancer earlier, giving patients the best chance of surviving their disease.”

They are recruiting up to 1,500 participants for the trial. If successful, early detection could save thousands of lives.

Read the full story here.

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