Study: Cell Phones Bump Up Brain Activity
A 50-minute cell phone call causes temporary changes in the brain, researchers say, sparking new concerns about the way our beloved devices affect our health. The electromagnetic radiation emitted by cell phone antennas increases brain activity to unusually high levels, according to findings published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study, led by the National Institutes of Health, is among the first to show that cell phones alter brain metabolism. Researchers followed 47 healthy volunteers who underwent two brain scans. During one scan, a cell phone connected to a muted call was attached to participants' right ear; during the other, they were phone-free. When the phone was turned on, participants experienced a 7 percent increase in the rate of glucose metabolism—an indicator of brain activity—in the regions closest to the cell phone antenna. "This study shows that the human brain is sensitive to electromagnetic radiation coming out of cell phones," study author Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, told the Wall Street Journal. "Our finding does not tell us if this is harmful or not," she said. More research is needed to understand the potential health effects of cell phone use.
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What Causes Hair Loss? 9 Myths About Baldness
Nearly two out of every three men will begin balding by the time they're 60. Most don't part with their part willingly—American males collectively spend $1 billion a year trying to hang onto those locks. And while there's no cure for a shiny scalp, there are a lot of supposed causes that men worry about more than they need to, U.S. News reports.
Recent research suggests that the most common type of hair loss, male pattern baldness, can be triggered by faulty hair-making progenitor cells in the scalp. Researchers long believed that men whose hair progressively thins—starting with a receding hairline, and then stretching to the crown—lacked a sufficient number of these cells. Rather, it appears that the cells are merely unable to complete their normal development and mature to a fully-functioning state. That finding, published last month in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, could help researchers develop a treatment that reactivates and restores the malfunctioning cells.
Other potential contributors to hair loss include illness, age, genetics, and even primping habits. Meanwhile, a flurry of myths contribute to men's anxiety, if not to baldness itself. "I get athletes who think helmets caused their hair to fall out, and men who say it's because their mothers rubbed their heads with black tar soap," says dermatologist Gary Hitzig, author of Help and Hope for Hair Loss. Neither helmets nor soap are at fault, he says. And more blame may get heaped on mothers than they deserve. [Read more: What Causes Hair Loss? 9 Myths About Baldness.]
Use These 8 Foods to Help You Lose Weight
Sure, we all know the basic nutrition rules when it comes to safeguarding our health and losing weight. In the words of best-selling nutrition writer Michael Pollan, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Sounds simple, but if you're interested in maximizing the amount of nutrients you get, you may want to be a little choosy when selecting among various options in each food group. Some fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy products stand out as nutritional superstars, according to the latest research. And they're also easy on the calorie count to help you shed pounds, fitness blogger Ryan Sullivan writes for U.S. News. Consider incorporating these foods into your daily meal plan:
1. Watermelon. It's not only delicious, but packs a wallop of antioxidants like vitamins A and C. It also contains lycopene, a plant chemical found in studies to lower your risk of cancer, heart disease and age-related vision loss due to macular degeneration. Just as gratifying: One cup of cubed watermelon contains less than 50 calories, not too damaging for your waistline.
2. Avocado. This extremely versatile fruit can be used in salads, sandwiches, and guacamole. Filled with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, avocado is a healthful alternative to mayonnaise and can help lower "bad" LDL cholesterol levels. Just watch your portions. One-quarter of a medium-sized avocado contains 65 calories, so you don't want to overdo it. [Read more: Use These 8 Foods to Help You Lose Weight.]
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