Touro Infirmary

FALL 2013

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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H E A L T H C E N T R A L D I E T The right dose of D D espite all the much-heralded benefits of vitamin D—including protection against hypertension, hardening of the arteries and diabetes—increasing your intake to levels higher than what health professionals recommend offers no advantages and may be harmful. Those are among the findings of new research from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, published online in The American Journal of Medicine. People who have normal blood levels of vitamin D are at lower risk for stiffening of the blood vessels and cardiovascular problems than those who have high blood levels of the vitamin, according to Johns Hopkins researchers. To find out how much vitamin D you should be getting and the best sources for it, visit the National Institutes of Health website at • Grape expectations for heart health Empty stomach, empty wallet? Besides their juicy texture and sweet taste, grapes have the potential to reduce heart failure linked to hypertension, report researchers at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor. Grapes, which are high in antioxidants and other beneficial substances, act by increasing the activity of genes that are responsible for helping support heart tissue, according to the scientists, writing in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. The researchers also plan to study the effect of consuming the whole grape compared with consuming distilled plant nutrients from the grape, speculating that whole grapes will prove superior. • Grocery shopping when you're hungry may be a hazard to your health and your wallet: You're likely to purchase both more food and higher-calorie food, according to a new study from Gains for ex-smokers 28 SPI RIT O F WOM EN FA L L 2 013 w w w. s p i r i t o f w o m e n . c o m about six pounds over four years, but they maintained their lower risk of heart disease. • SHUTTERSTOCK If concerns about adding unhealthy pounds have kept you from quitting smoking, your argument doesn't carry much weight. Even if you gain a little, you'll still improve your heart health overall when you put out your last butt, according to a new study from the National Institutes of Health. Looking at information from more than 3,000 adults, researchers found that people without diabetes who quit smoking had about half the risk of cardiovascular problems as those who smoked. Recent quitters gained Cornell University, published online in JAMA Internal Medicine. In one experiment, 68 volunteers were either given crackers to curb their appetites or asked to abstain from eating for five hours. The participants then shopped in a simulated grocery store. Those who hadn't eaten bought almost 19 percent more food, including 31 percent more highcalorie snacks. In a second experiment, participants went to an actual grocery store either just after lunch, when they tended to be full, or just before dinner, when they were more likely to be hungry. The before-dinner shoppers purchased fewer low-calorie foods than the after-lunch crowd. •

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