Strawberries and Blueberries May Stave Off Cognitive Decline
Are berries the new brain food? A study published today in the Annals of Neurology suggests blueberries and strawberries slow the mental decline of aging, based on an analysis of more than 16,000 women participating in the Nurses' Health Study. Women who ate berries more frequently over two decades showed slower decline in brain functions like memory and attention as they got older than those who had the fruits less often. Women who ate berries at least once a week slowed their cognitive decline by about 1.5 to 2.5 years, Time reports. To see the effect, women had to consume about a half cup of blueberries or a cup of strawberries each week. The benefit is likely explained by a type of flavonoid called anthocyanidins, which are thought to help mitigate the effects of stress and inflammation that could play a role in cognitive decline.
G-Spot, Schmee-Spot. Will the New Discovery Affect Your Sex Life?
Nothing wrong with a little mystery. But when it comes to women's sexuality, it wouldn't hurt to lift the shroud of confusion about the mechanics of stimulation and orgasm. Yes, those words are a little awkward to write. But squeamishness is part of the problem. So try to get over it. Quickly.
Consider the endless magazine articles, adolescent sleepovers, and sexual exercises devoted to cracking the code of female arousal. And still many women can't achieve an orgasm from intercourse alone or on a regular basis. In light of that bleak picture comes a study published yesterday in the Journal of Sexual Medicine claiming to find, for the first time, the anatomic existence of the elusive G-spot, a storied area of sensitivity in the front vaginal wall reported by many women as the key to sexual Shangri-la, and named for the German gynecologist Ernst Grafenberg.
The latest discovery sounds like a big deal. But what does it mean? How will or won't it translate to women's sexual health?
"The study opens the door for more research," and ultimately clinical and commercial applications, such as redesign of sex toys and cosmetic procedures to restore feelings of sexual pleasure, says Adam Ostrzenski, who authored the study (and who performs such procedures). In an 83-year-old female cadaver, Ostrzenski, of the Florida-based Institute of Gynecology, identified erectile tissue between the sixth and final layer of a sac in the front vaginal wall, which he pegged as the G-spot. [Read more: G-Spot, Schmee-Spot. Will the New Discovery Affect Your Sex Life?]
Don't Get Sick at the Gym: 7 Ways to Prevent Infection
Dumbbells. Bike seats. Yoga mats. Hot tubs. Sweaty bodies. Shower floors. You go to the gym to get fit, not to get sick. But you could be exposing yourself to infection while you exercise—if you're not careful.
Upper respiratory tract infections are the likeliest threat, says Amesh Adalja, a board-certified physician specializing in infectious diseases and clinical assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. This risk for a cold or flu at gyms is similar to what you'd face in other public settings, says Adalja, but going to the gym can boost your odds of contracting MRSA (short for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)—particularly if you participate in contact sports or share equipment. And while "staph" usually doesn't cause health problems—about 1 in 3 people carries it harmlessly—MRSA is scary, since it's immune to certain antibiotics, Adalja says.
Now, this isn't an excuse to cancel your gym membership: The benefits of exercise "clearly outweigh" the risks for infections, says Adalja. Just follow these tips to safeguard your health.
1. Wash your hands—often. Common sense and good hygiene are especially important when dealing with bodily fluids like sweat, says Aaron Glatt, spokesperson for the Infectious Diseases Society of America and chief administrative officer at Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre, N.Y. After exercise, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap, particularly before touching your face or eating (yes, even that wrapper-protected energy bar). [Read more: Don't Get Sick at the Gym: 7 Ways to Prevent Infection]