The Top 6 Most Important Health Studies of 2018 (That Will Change Your Life!)
Rounding up the most important research of the year!
1. Reducing your risk of diabetes could be as simple as taking vitamin D and fish oil.
The number of Americans diagnosed with diabetes is expected to rise by 20% in the next 12 years, but consuming a diet rich in vitamin D and fish oil could reduce your risk by as much as a third. A new study from the journal Diabetes found that those who are susceptible to type 1 diabetes could drastically reduce their risk simply by upping their intake of vitamin D, known as the “sunshine vitamin,” which is also present in fatty fish, cheese, and egg yolks. Studies suggest that a daily intake of 1000IU per 50 pounds of body weight can help maintain optimal blood levels.
A separate study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal demonstrated that consuming a diet rich in both omega-3 and omega-6 fats could decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes by 35 percent. Their recommendation: get 2000-3000mg of fish oil daily.
2. The 16:8 fasting diet actually works (and helps lower blood pressure too!)
More and more people are turning to intermittent fasting as a fast and effective way to lose weight. There are dozens of incarnations of this diet, with different restrictions on when to “fast” or “feast.” In daily fasting, or the 16:8 diet, people eat whatever they like for 8 hours and fast for the remaining 16.
A new study published in the journal Nutrition and Healthy Aging evaluated its benefits for obese individuals and found that not only does the 16:8 diet work – to the tune of dropping an average of 3% bodyweight over 12 weeks – but it also helps to lower blood pressure. Intermittent fasting was also shown to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, reduce nerve cell damage, slow aging, and prevent age-related diseases.
3. Lifting weights can reduce or prevent depression.
According to an extensive 2018 review of dozens of studies looking at strength training and depression, lifting weights can also help lift your mood. The 2018 study, from JAMA Psychiatry, found that resistance exercise substantially reduced depressive symptoms for people of all ages, whether they were formally depressed at the start of the study or not. In other words, is participants were depressed before starting an exercise program, they usually felt better after taking up weight training. And if their mental health was good from the start, they were less likely to become depressed after the experiment concluded.
What’s more, the amount of weight training did not seem to matter. The benefits essentially were the same whether people went to the gym twice a week or five times a week and whether they were completing high or low-repetition workouts.
4. 150 minutes of exercise per week reverses heart damage caused by too much sitting.
If you’ve been sedentary your whole life and think starting exercise now is pointless, a new study from the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation throws that thinking out the window. The study looked at previously-sedentary middle-aged men that achieved at least 150 minutes of exercise over 5 days of the week, in segments of 30 minutes for each session. After two years, the men showed improvements in the amount of oxygen their bodies used during exercise, improved VO2max, and reduced heart muscle stiffness.
The researchers concluded that getting the recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week could prevent 1 in 12 deaths and 1 in 20 cases of cardiovascular disease.
5. Eating more fruits & vegetables significantly improves psychological well-being.
Fruits and veggies are an essential part of a healthy diet, but their benefits aren’t limited to just physical health. New research published in the journal PLOS One concluded that boosting your intake of fruits and vegetables can improve psychological well-being in just 2 weeks.
The study observed 171 participants aged 18 to 25, finding that those who upped their consumption of fruits and vegetables to 3.7 servings per day over the duration of 2 weeks experienced significant enhancements in “motivation, flourishing, and vitality”.
6. Chiropractic one of the most effective solutions for tension headaches and improves overall quality of life.
According to the World Health Organization, about half the general population has headaches during some point in any given year, and more than 90% report a headache at some point in their lifetimes.
That doesn’t mean you have to put up with them, though. A new study from The European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine observed 62 women aged 18-65 that suffered from tension headaches, finding that the individuals who received care from a chiropractor reported not only a significant reduction in head pain but a higher quality of life and social function as well.
Bonus: Want to sleep easier? Make a to-do list before bed.
If you lie awake at night because your mind won’t stop racing, taking five minutes before bed to write out a to-do list for the next day can help you get more shuteye. In a study from the Journal of Experimental Psychology, people who wrote down future tasks they wanted to accomplish fell asleep about 9 minutes faster. Additionally, the more specific the participants were with their to-do lists, the faster they subsequently fell asleep.
The Ascent Chiropractic Difference
The new year brings a chance for a fresh start when it comes to your health. While many of the changes that you make in your life this new year are dependent on you, some require the help of a professional. If you’re looking to regain control of your health this year, make an appointment at Ascent Chiropractic by calling 262-345-4166 or by using our online scheduling app.
- Gabel K, Hoddy KK, Haggerty N, Song J, Kroeger CM, Trepanowski JF, Panda S, Varady KA. Effects of 8-hour time restricted feeding on body weight and metabolic disease risk factors in obese adults: A pilot study. Nutr Healthy Aging. 2018 Jun 15;4(4):345-353. d
- Gordon BR, McDowell CP, Hallgren M, Meyer JD, Lyons M, Herring MP. Association of Efficacy of Resistance Exercise Training With Depressive Symptoms: Meta-analysis and Meta-regression Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. JAMA Psychiatry. 2018 Jun 1;75(6):566-576.
- Howden EJ, Sarma S, Lawley JS, Opondo M, Cornwell W, Stoller D, Urey MA, Adams-Huet B, Levine BD. Reversing the Cardiac Effects of Sedentary Aging in Middle Age-A Randomized Controlled Trial: Implications For Heart Failure Prevention. Circulation. 2018 Apr 10;137(15):1549-1560.
- Scullin MK, Krueger ML, Ballard HK, Pruett N, Bliwise DL. The effects of bedtime writing on difficulty falling asleep: A polysomnographic study comparing to-do lists and completed activity lists. J Exp Psychol Gen. 2018 Jan;147(1):139-146.
- Norris JM, et al. Plasma 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentration and Risk of Islet Autoimmunity. Diabetes. 2018 Jan;67(1):146-154.
- Wu JHY, et al. Omega-6 fatty acid biomarkers and incident type 2 diabetes: pooled analysis of individual-level data for 39 740 adults from 20 prospective cohort studies. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2017 Dec;5(12):965-974.
- Conner TS, Brookie KL, Carr AC, Mainvil LA, Vissers MC. Let them eat fruit! The effect of fruit and vegetable consumption on psychological well-being in young adults: A randomized controlled trial. PLoS One. 2018 Feb 3;12(2):e0171206.
- Espí-López GV, Rodríguez-Blanco C, Oliva-Pascual-Vaca A, Molina-Martínez F, Falla D. Do manual therapy techniques have a positive effect on quality of life in people with tension-type headache? A randomized controlled trial. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med. 2018 Aug;52(4):447-56.