Northwest Community Hospital

WIN 2015

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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2 8 S P I R I T O F W O M E N W I N T E R 2 015 w w w. s p i r i t o f w o m e n . c o m H E A L T H C E N T R A L D I E T SHUTTERSTOCK Walking the self-talk D for dementia? Best known for helping keep bones strong, vitamin D may exert similar positive effects on your brain. Being deficient in vitamin D could put you at increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease in your senior years, suggests a recent study that was published in the online issue of Neurology. The study, which looked at more than 1,600 adults age 65 and older who were healthy and free from dementia, followed participants for six years to chart their cogni- tive health. Those adults who were moderately deficient in vitamin D had a 53 percent increased risk of developing dementia, and the risk jumped to 125 percent for adults who were severely deficient. The risks for developing Alzheimer's disease were similar. But researchers aren't suggesting that vitamin D deficiency causes dementia. Instead, they recommend more studies to see whether eating foods rich in vitamin D, such as fatty fish, taking vitamin D supplements or spending more time in the sun could have a positive effect on brain power. • Kidney disease and Southern food Fried foods, processed meats and sugar-sweetened beverages will never be mistaken for the staples of a healthy diet. But now researchers say these foods, which they label as a "Southern-style" diet, could lead to a higher risk of death for people with chronic kidney disease. That's the conclusion of medical experts at the University of Alabama at Birmingham who analyzed the diet patterns of close to 4,000 adults with chronic kidney disease (but who had not started dialysis). Adults who ate primarily fried or processed meats and drank sug- ary beverages had a 50 percent increase in their risk of death in less than seven years, according to the study, published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases. The study also found that consum- ing more fruits and vegetables is linked to improved survival. • I f you approach your workout as a fun activity rather than a grueling ordeal, you won't compensate by packing on the calories when you're done, according to recent research from Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, published in Marketing Letters. In two different studies on exercise and eating habits, adults walked two kilometers. Half the participants were told the walk was exercise, while the other half were told they'd been on a scenic walk, and all were offered food afterwards. In the first study of 56 adults who were given lunch after their walk, the "exercisers" ate 35 percent more of their chocolate pudding for dessert than the "scenic walkers." In the second study of 46 adults who were offered after-walk snacks, the "exercisers" consumed 206 more calories than the volunteers who believed they were taking an enjoyable walk. • The heat is on Your daily dose of java just may become a little too hot to handle if you're going through menopause. There's an association between caffeine intake and more frequent night sweats and hot flashes, reports a study in the journal Menopause that surveyed more than 2,000 women about their personal habits and menopausal symptoms. Other studies don't show this link, however, so if hot flashes or night sweats are a problem, experiment with reducing your caffeine intake and see whether you benefit, suggest researchers. •

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