Nutrition and Lifestyle

Because of their high cholesterol content, eggs were seen as dietary villains by many, in spite of their being sources of high quality protein, low levels of total and saturated fats, and a number of other nutritional benefits (for more on eggs, read here ). More recently, however, research has demonstrated that dietary cholesterol is not an important precursor to levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol in the human body for most people. Thus nutritionists have been less likely to demonize egg consumption and admit that they do have substantial nutritional value.

According to a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, animal...

We've discussed the benefits of bariatric surgery (for different types, see here) for the obese with or without diabetes, and at this point it's been widely accepted that these surgeries can be very effective in providing substantial weight loss and, often, amelioration of type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Questions have arisen, however, about how long the effects last, and whether the surgeries are more effective than intensive medical interventions. Most of the studies that have found bariatric surgery to be more effective than medical treatment are observational in nature, and thus can't be claimed to describe a causal relationship. A recent ...

For the average person, dietary supplements are a waste of time and money. Assuming a person makes an effort toward maintaining a somewhat balanced diet, nutrients are provided in sufficient quantities from everyday food. Only people who have a metabolic deficiency or are at risk of developing a specific disease should supplement their diets with particular minerals or vitamins.

Still, many people take multivitamins "just to be safe." That may not be a good idea, as some research has suggested that taking supplements unnecessarily may lead to adverse health outcomes. Now, a new paper suggests that people who consume too much vitamin B3 (niacin) might be at higher risk of developing eczema.

Because a previous study showed that niacin supplements reduced water loss through...

A recent study on how olive oil affects HDL and LDL (good and bad cholesterol in your body) has us wondering.. Is all cholesterol created equal?

The PR sounds like, finally, we have a cure-all. No, it's not homeopathy or chiropractic manipulation, but a fermented tea product — kombucha. Kombucha was originally a Chinese product with about 2,000 years of history. The Chinese called it the "elixir of life." Unfortunately, they didn't collect any data on its benefits. However, that hasn't stopped enthusiasts from promoting it for, well, just about anything. Just a few of the claims include:

  • detoxifies the liver and helps prevent cancer
  • prevents and treats "all forms of arthritis"
  • aids digestion and gut health, which in turn helps with fibromyalgia and depression [?]
  • strengthens the immune system since it is loaded with antioxidants

So what is this miraculous elixir? It's ...

Want to decrease your risk of death? Try eating hot red chiles — or so you might think based on a recent paper in the journal PLOS One. Drs. Mustafa Chopan and Benjamin Littenberg from the University of Vermont School of Medicine analyzed data from the NHANES III survey, 1988-1994. They were particularly interested in possible associations between the use of spices and health, so they examined the data for consumption of red hot chili peppers and ascertained if there were any link between that consumption and risk of mortality from any cause.

Data on the frequency of hot red chili pepper consumption was derived for over 16,000 adults who took part in the NHANES surveys.  Participants were followed for a median of nearly 19 years, and the primary independent variable was...

It's a curious fact of life that the older we get, the more we become like babies. Indeed, many of us can look forward to a future in diapers without any hair or teeth. 

Being toothless, known more formally as "complete edentulism," is a lot more common than you may think. Dentures and permanent false teeth cover up the fact that many people are walking around with phony chompers. Just how many?

Recently, the CDC released data from a survey conducted from 2011-2014. They examined people aged 65 and over, and they categorized the data by age and race. 

The survey showed that nearly 15% of Americans aged 65-74 had lost all their natural teeth, while...

Probably the most widely used dietary supplements in the US are multivitamin/mineral (MVM) ones. According to the 2007-2010 NHANES survey, 49 percent of adults said they used some supplement, and MVMs were most frequently reported by about 32 percent of adults. Led by Dr. Karen W. Andrews, scientists from the USDA, NIH, and Purdue University collaborated in an investigation of the content of such products — specifically on the accuracy of label claims and chemical analyses of the labeled pills. The rationale for the study was to provide accurate information when assessing the contribution of such supplements to Americans' diets. In many cases, the authors state, manufacturers provide more than the labeled amounts of some nutrients to ensure that the appropriate amount will still be...

Young adulthood is supposed to be an exciting time. Getting a job, buying a home, and starting a family are on the agendas of many people in this age group. Unfortunately, this facet of the American dream has been snatched away prematurely from an increasing number of young people.

A new and disturbing report in The Lancet, based on data collected from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, shows an increase in the death rates from 1999 to 2014 for young Americans, driven substantially by a shocking increase in the mortality of white women aged 25 to 35.

The graph (on left) depicts the average annual change in death rate by age and sex for men (...

If you've been reading ACSH's writings for any time at all, you know that we're not on the "natural is better or safer" bandwagon. We've told you about many naturally-occurring potential health threats, such as arsenic in groundwater and solanine in potatoes. But now, a somewhat bizarre chain of events has uncovered a new, all natural health threat — lychee nuts.

Lychees, which are fruits, not nuts, originally came from China, but now are also grown in Vietnam, Bangladesh and India. They grow in clusters on trees as in the photo below.

The white, translucent lychee fruit is covered by a thin, bumpy skin that turns red when ripe. It contains a reasonable...