11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. The 14th Dalai Lama thinks he should be the last. (Learn more at Agence France-Presse) 2. The Golden Gate Bridge isn’t just for humans. (Learn more at San Francisco Chronicle) Important situation with the deer: pic.twitter.com/BdFvTrr8RC — Alex Bowles (@alexqgb) September 6, 2014 3. Thought to be a casualty of climate change, the Aldabra banded snail has reappeared in the Indian Ocean.  (Learn more at Seychelles News Agency)  >> 9 Nasty Things to Throw Away Today …

Could Probiotics Lower High Blood Pressure?

If you’re trying to keep your blood pressure under control, having a daily carton of yogurt or other foods filled with probiotics could help, a new study finds. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria in fermented foods, like yogurt and some cheeses, that research has shown can improve digestive health, help the body fight off some infections, maybe even boost brain health. Studies have also indicated that these helpful microbes seem to lower blood pressure. Australian researchers, who looked at nine of …

Brain-Healthy Lifestyle Works to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease; U.S. Dementia Rates Drop

After just two years, older people who exercised, socialized and ate a healthy diet improved their memory, focus and other signs of brain health, according to a breakthrough study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, this week. In another piece of good news, researchers announced at the conference that dementia rates are dropping in the United States – quite possibly because people are getting the message that healthy living can protect brain health. “These findings show that prevention …

New Guidelines Aim to Reduce Women’s Stroke Risk

Older women have a higher risk of stroke than men and should strive to reduce that risk, say the first guidelines aimed specifically at preventing stroke in women. Women share many of the same risk factors for stroke with men, but their chances of having a stroke can be increased by hormones, pregnancy and childbirth, said Cheryl Bushnell, M.D., associate professor of neurology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., who led the team of experts who developed the …

Annoying? Unnecessary? Waking Patients for Vitals

Ask anyone who’s spent time in a hospital: One of the most annoying things is how the nurses wake you during the night to check your vital signs. Wouldn’t it be better for our health to let us sleep? Yes, says a new study, confirming what patients have groused about since 1893, when this practice first started. According to research published online Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, low-risk patients may heal faster and have a better attitude during …

The Healthiest Fast Food Oatmeals

Oatmeal is a hearty, healthy breakfast option, and now you can even find it at your favorite fast-food chain or take-out café. It’s a warm and wise choice for starting the day. Studies show that regularly eating oatmeal, which is low in fat and high in fiber, helps reduce cholesterol and decrease blood pressure, as well as lessen the risk for diabetes – assuming you’re not overloading your bowl with sugary toppings, of course. O-to-go probably got its biggest boost …