"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Lotsa Lotsa 

Good dieting advice: drink water. California researchers found that dieters who replaced all their sugary drinks (soda, fruit juice) with water lost five pounds more than those that didn't, and that those who simply drank more than four cups of water a day lost an extra two pounds. No, "Vitamin Water" doesn't count.

For even more weight loss, try walking: brisk walking 30-60 minutes a day helped middle aged study participants lose more weight than others. Granted this is harder to do some places than others (I walk way less here in Atlanta than I did in DC), but you can probably find a way (I use the gym's bike machines, which is not walking, but close enough).

Need another excuse to exercise? It may help you quit smoking. An Austrian study suggests that quitters who work out are more likely to succeed than quitters who loaf. But if you're gonna quit, be careful of those nicotine patches: it seems that they may complicate your health. Mayo researchers found that giving the patch to smokers in the ICU (as opposed to just letting them go cold turkey) was associated with a higher death risk. This effect is likely indicative of a nicotine effect, regardless of how it's administered.

If you won't quit smoking, however, some researchers claim that taking statins may help reduce your risk of lung problems. Interesting, but I'd need to see the full study (not to mention who funded it!) to be convinced.
Speaking of drugs, it seems that HIV drugs are bringing latent leprosy infections to the fore, with as-yet-undetermined consequences. Weird. Another weird disease situation is that of "Mogellons Disease." Named by a South Carolina woman whose son was experiencing strange, undiagnosable symptoms, based on a 17th century French study describing a similar condition, the US medical and scientific community has no idea if it's a real disease, a psychosomatic one, or a manifestation of some known pathogen. Hopefully this will get the research attention it seems to deserve.

We're used to our DNA causing disease by containing faulty genes, but Japanese researchers are suggesting that DNA itself could be causing arthritis. They found that surplus DNA accumulates in some mice, causing an inflammatory response that looks a bit like arthritis. Funny.

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