Posts Tagged "study"


More pregnant women are using cannabis despite its dangers: study – National

by BBG Hub

More pregnant women are using cannabis, research shows, despite warnings of its danger from health officials.

According to a recent U.S. study, the number of women who use cannabis while expecting has increased, and the number of women who use cannabis in the year before pregnancy has nearly doubled.

Researchers surveyed 276,991 expectant mothers in northern California and found the number of women who said they used cannabis in the year before their pregnancy grew from 6.8 per cent in 2009 to 12.5 per cent in 2017.

READ MORE: More Ontario women using cannabis while pregnant despite warnings

While the number of women who reported using the drug while pregnant was smaller, it still increased from 1.9 per cent to 3.4 per cent during the same time.

Story continues below advertisement

Among the women who reported using the drug while expecting, daily cannabis use increased from 15 per cent in 2009 to 21 per cent in 2017.

The findings, published in the medical journal JAMA Network Open, suggest that increased acceptance of cannabis use and a lack of awareness around fetal harm are factors in the uptick.

The researchers point out that evidence suggests heavier cannabis use might be “associated with worse neonatal health outcomes.”

“Despite this risk, however, U.S. data suggest that 71 per cent of pregnant women who used cannabis in the past year perceive no or slight risk in using cannabis once or twice a week,” the researchers wrote.

One year of legal cannabis

One year of legal cannabis

Another study by the U.S.’s National Institute on Drug Abuse yielded similar results.

Data collected from 467,100 pregnant women across the U.S. showed past-month cannabis use, daily cannabis use, and occurrence of cannabis use had all increased over the last 15 years.

Between 2002 to 2003 and 2016 to 2017, past-month cannabis use increased from 3.4 per cent to seven per cent among pregnant women overall.

During their first trimester, 12 per cent of women reported using the drug as of 2017, up from just under six per cent in 2003.

Story continues below advertisement

What are the risks of using cannabis while pregnant?

The FDA recently released a warning about women using cannabis while expecting or breastfeeding, saying that “marijuana use during pregnancy may affect fetal brain development.”

If a woman uses the drug while pregnant, THC — a cannabinoid found in cannabis — can enter the fetal brain from the mother’s bloodstream, the FDA says.

READ MORE: Cannabis during pregnancy linked to higher risk of pre-term birth

The government agency also said if a mother uses cannabis while breastfeeding, it can remain in breast milk. This exposure can affect a newborn’s brain development and “result in hyperactivity, poor cognitive function, and other long-term consequences.”

The U.S.’s National Institutes of Health also raised concern around expectant moms and cannabis.

“Cannabis use during pregnancy has been associated with effects on fetal growth, including low birth weight and length, and these outcomes may be more likely among women who consume marijuana frequently during pregnancy, especially in the first and second trimesters,” the NIH wrote.

A recent study out of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute found that cannabis use in pregnancy was associated with “significant increases in the rate of preterm birth.”

Story continues below advertisement

Why are women using cannabis while pregnant?

Canadian researchers say more women are using cannabis during pregnancy because they are not informed of its risks.

Study shows students driving after consuming cannabis

Study shows students driving after consuming cannabis

Research out of the University of British Columbia found that around one-third of pregnant women think it’s safe to use cannabis while expecting and are unaware of potential health risks to their child.

The findings, published earlier this year in the journal Preventive Medicine, looked at data from six U.S. studies and found that “more women seem to be using cannabis during pregnancy than ever before, even though evidence of its safety is limited and conflicting.”

The UBC researchers found that one of the main reasons women may think cannabis is safe is because there’s not enough communication between patients and doctors when it comes to the drug.

READ MORE: Study finds ‘scarce evidence’ to support cannabis as a treatment for mental health disorders

“We know that from other types of research that when there’s no communication and there is lots of uncertainty in literature — which is true for cannabis use — then it is very important that health-care providers … educate [patients] about risk,” Hamideh Bayrampour, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor at UBC’s Department of Family Practice, previously told Global News.

“When there’s no communication, women may feel like [cannabis use] is not significant or important.”

Bayrampour added that her findings also indicate that many women don’t consider cannabis to be a drug, or that it’s a harmful one.

Story continues below advertisement

[email protected]

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Source link


Not washing hands after pooping is spreading E. coli ‘superbug’: study – National

by BBG Hub

Not washing your hands after going to the bathroom helps the transmission of an E. coli superbug, even more than consuming undercooked meat or food, new U.K. research has found.

A study published Tuesday in the Lancet found the likeliest way for antibiotic-resistant E. coli to spread is directly from human to human with one person’s fecal particles reaching the mouth of another.

Dr. David Livermore, the study’s lead author and professor of medical microbiology at the University of East Anglia, said in a statement that E. coli bacteria normally live in the intestines of healthy people and animals and are often harmless or cause brief diarrhea.

“But E. coli is also the most common cause of blood poisoning, with over 40,000 cases each year in England alone. And around 10 per cent of these cases are caused by highly resistant strains with ESBLs,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement

Extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs) are enzymes produced by bacteria, including E. coli, the U.K.’s National Health Service says.

READ MORE: These are the most common food-borne illnesses and what foods carry them

E. coli strains with ESBLs break down commonly used antibiotics, like penicillin and cephalosporin, making them ineffective for treatment, a Canadian governmental health organization points out.

While these bacteria are normally found in human feces, they can cause serious illness if they enter another part of the body, including the urinary tract or mouth.

“Infections caused by ESBL-E. coli bacteria are difficult to treat,” Livermore said. “And they are becoming more common in both the community and hospitals. Mortality rates among people infected with these superbug strains are double those of people infected with strains that’re susceptible to treatment.”

Beef, veal recall announced in Ontario, B.C., Alberta

Beef, veal recall announced in Ontario, B.C., Alberta

Other research shows that ESBL-producing E. coli can cause complicated upper urinary tract infections.

The researchers analyzed more than 20,000 fecal samples and hundreds of blood samples. They discovered the E. coli strain ST131 dominated in human blood, feces and sewage samples.

What’s more, they found different E. coli strains were more common in animal meat and slurry.

Story continues below advertisement

“Resistant E. coli strains from meat, principally chicken, cattle and animal slurry, were largely different to those infecting humans,” the researchers wrote in a statement.

READ MORE: How climate change could make your food less safe to eat

“ST131 was scarcely seen. Instead, strains ST23, 117 and ST602 dominated. In short, there was little crossover of ESBL-E. coli from animals to humans.”

Livermore and his research team say that in order to prevent the transmission of treatment-resistant E. coli, it is important for people to practise proper hand-washing.

People should still engage in safe food handling and eating habits, too.

Foods to avoid when eating out so you don’t get sick!

Foods to avoid when eating out so you don’t get sick!

“We need to carry on cooking chicken well and never alternately handle raw meat and salad,” Livermore said.

“There are plenty of important food-poisoning bacteria, including other strains of E. coli, that do go down the food chain.

But here — in the case of ESBL-E. coli — it’s much more important to wash your hands after going to the toilet.”

[email protected]

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Source link


Episiotomies are on the decline, but for some women it can prevent further tearing: study – National

by BBG Hub

Episiotomies may be on the decline in Canada overall, but new research suggests these surgical cuts could protect a mother from being injured during childbirth.

According to a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal published on Monday, episiotomies reduced the risk of getting an injury by 42 per cent when doctors used vacuums or obstetrical forceps. These instruments are used during childbirth to grab the baby’s head.

An episiotomy is an incision that is performed in the perineum, the area between the vaginal opening and the anus, the Mayo Clinic noted. The incision is often made when doctors see the baby’s head.

READ MORE: Canadian mothers increasingly giving birth through c-section

The clinic added for years, the surgery was meant to prevent further vaginal tears during birth, and it is also believed these incisions heal better than natural tears. “The procedure was also thought to help preserve the muscular and connective tissue support of the pelvic floor.”

Story continues below advertisement

The clinic noted, however, other research suggests episiotomies may not prevent problems after all.

The site added doctors can perform the surgery, depending on the position of the baby.

Fitness trend sees expectant mothers dancing during labour

Fitness trend sees expectant mothers dancing during labour

For example, if the baby’s shoulder is stuck in your pelvic bone or your child has an abnormal heart rate, an episiotomy could help.

“Your health-care provider might recommend an episiotomy if your baby needs to be quickly delivered,” the site noted.

Breaking down the study

The study, which looked at 2.5 million childbirths in Canada over 13 years, found an increase in anal sphincter injuries when vacuums or obstetrical forceps were used.

“Our results show the pronounced decrease in the episiotomy rate among operative vaginal deliveries, suggesting that the recommendation to move away from routine episiotomy among spontaneous vaginal deliveries has been overgeneralized to apply to all vaginal deliveries, including operative vaginal delivery, where there may be a benefit,” Giulia Muraca, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia and study author, said in a statement. 

However, this doesn’t mean this should be a “blanket practice,” Muraca said.

READ MORE: Mom shares powerful message for anyone who thinks C-sections are ‘easy’

“Generalizing the episiotomy guidelines for spontaneous vaginal delivery to women with operative vaginal delivery can cause harm, particularly in women delivering their first child and in women having a vaginal birth after caesarean.”

Tweet This

Story continues below advertisement

The research

Authors added the risk of “severe tearing” was the highest among deliveries using forceps and vacuum — with about 18 per cent of assisted deliveries resulting in injuries in 2017.

Episiotomies were performed for 43.2 per cent of assisted births in 2017, down from 53.1 per cent in 2004. For unassisted births, rates fell to 6.5 per cent in 2017 from 13.5 per cent in 2004.

READ MORE: C-sections — 5 things women need to know

Injuries increased 15 per cent in Canada — but researchers say that could be due to improved detection and reporting, as well as the increasing number of mothers giving birth for the first time.

— with files from the Canadian Press 

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Source link


Slow walkers are more likely to age faster: study – National

by BBG Hub

How fast you walk could have implications beyond how quickly you get to your destination. In fact, your “gait speed” could say a lot about how quickly you’re aging, a new study suggests.

The study out of Duke University found the walking speed of 45-year-olds can be used as a marker of their aging brains and bodies.

The lungs, teeth and immune systems of slow walkers were discovered to be in worse shape than people who walked faster. When compared to fast walkers, slow walkers were found to have “accelerated aging” on a 19-measure scale, researchers said.

READ MORE: Suicide attempts on the rise among black teenagers in the U.S. — study

The data comes from a longitudinal study of 904 people born in the same year in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Story continues below advertisement

The participants initially underwent neurocognitive testing at age three, but have been tested and surveyed at various points throughout their lives — most recently, at age 45.

Researchers estimated how fast they were aging by using 19 health markers, including body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, fitness level and other measures. They then compared those with the slowest average walking speeds to people with the highest average speeds.

Canadian kids spending too much time indoors and it’s bad for their health

Canadian kids spending too much time indoors and it’s bad for their health

Slower gait speed at age 45 was found to be associated with worse physical and cognitive function.

Researchers also found the participant scores on IQ, language comprehension, frustration tolerance, motor skills and emotional control at age three predicted their walking speed at age 45.

READ MORE: How dangerous is vaping? What we know about its health risks

These results are crucial because “doctors know that slow walkers in their 70s and 80s tend to die sooner than fast walkers their same age,” Terrie E. Moffitt, senior author of the study, told Science Daily.

“This study covered a period from the preschool years to midlife and found that a slow walk is a problem sign decades before old age.”

Tweet This

Story continues below advertisement

MRI exams conducted recently found that slower walkers, on average, had lower total brain volume, lower mean cortical thickness, less brain surface area and higher incidence of white matter “hyperintensities” — or small lesions associated with small vessel disease of the brain.

In effect, this study has found a sign in early life of who will become a slow walker and, consequently, who will experience poorer health later on in life.

New study says dog ownership helps heart health

New study says dog ownership helps heart health

“The interesting thing is walking seems like such a simple thing to do, but it requires the function and interplay of a lot of different organ systems,” lead researcher Line J.H. Rasmussen told

Walking is considered a good indicator of health because “you need your lungs to function, you need your brain to be well-functioning, your nervous system, your muscles, your aerobic capacity [and more].”

“We may have a chance here to see who’s going to do better health-wise in later life,” Rasmussen said in an interview with Science Daily.

READ MORE: ‘Some days it’s debilitating’ — When joint pain takes over your life

This isn’t the first time doctors have determined a link between walking speed and health.

In June, a study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that people who walk fast can add, on average, up to 15 to 20 years to their lives.

Story continues below advertisement

The large U.K.-based study collected data from almost 475,000 people with an average age of 52.

How to help take care of your mental health while in school

How to help take care of your mental health while in school

“Studies published so far have mainly shown the impact of body weight and physical fitness on mortality in terms of relative risk,” co-author Francesco Zaccardi, a clinical epidemiologist at the Leicester Diabetes Center, said in a statement.

“However, it is not always easy to interpret a ‘relative risk.’ Reporting in terms of life expectancy, conversely, is easier to interpret and gives a better idea of the separate and joint importance of body mass index and physical fitness.”

Lead author and professor Tom Yates with the University of Leicester added that the research indicated measuring exercise may be more beneficial to the body than BMI alone.

READ MORE: Long walks are a good form of exercise — but it’s not always enough

“In other words, the findings suggest that perhaps physical fitness is a better indicator of life expectancy than BMI and that encouraging the population to engage in brisk walking may add years to their lives,” Yates said.

The study found participants who reported taking brisk walks had a long life expectancy regardless of BMI. For women, this was a life expectancy of 86.7 to 87.8 years and for men, 85.2 to 86.8 years.

Story continues below advertisement

“Conversely, subjects reporting slow walking pace had shorter life expectancies,” the authors added, noting the life expectancy was 72.4 years for women and 64.8 years for men. This meant, on average, women who took brisk walks could live up to 15 years longer while men could live an additional 20 years.

Proper walking tips

Gareth Nock, national team training coach with GoodLife Fitness, suggests some helpful tips for brisk walkers here:

Wear the right shoes: Look for sneakers or walking shoes that are flexible and have a good level of support.

Watch your posture: “Stand tall with your eyes up and your shoulders back,” he said. “Many people tend to let their heads fall forward so focus on rolling your shoulders back and down and looking ahead. Focus on drawing your navel towards your spine (abdominals braced) to support your lower back and overall posture.”

Swing your arms: “Arms should swing naturally and loosely from the shoulders,” he said. Move the opposite arm to the leg that is stepping forward and keep your wrists straight, your hands unclenched and your elbows close to your sides.

READ MORE: Some health benefits of walkable neighbourhoods may be offset by higher air pollution

Take faster — not longer — steps to increase speed: Lengthening your stride can put a strain on your feet and legs.

“Walk lightly and allow your heel to touch the ground first,” Nock said.

Story continues below advertisement

Add interval training to improve your cardiovascular stamina: “For example, speed up for a minute or two every five minutes. Or alternate one fast mile with two slower miles,” he added.

Try hills to build strength and burn calories: If you’re going uphill, lean forward slightly to take the pressure off your leg muscles.

“Walking downhill can be harder on your knees and may leave you with sore muscles,” Nock explained. “Slow down, keep your knees bent to absorb impact and take shorter steps.”

Use poles to work your upper body: If you need to, invest in walking poles.

“When you step forward with the left foot, the right arm comes forward to plant the pole on the ground, about even with the heel of the left foot. This works the muscles of your upper body and reduces stress on your knees,” Nock said.

— With files from Arti Patel

[email protected]

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Source link


Alcohol may take the edge off, but giving it up is better for you: study – National

by BBG Hub

Some of us turn to alcohol to relax or take the edge off, but research suggests giving it up altogether may be better for our mental health.

The study, published in July in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), found that women who gave up drinking alcohol reported better mental well-being overall.

Speaking with, study co-author Herbert Pang of the University of Hong Kong said the research looked at how much moderate drinking impacted a person’s quality of life.

READ MORE: Women, young adults visiting the ER for alcohol-related issues in growing numbers

“The risks and benefits of moderate drinking are not clear,” he said.

The study looked at the self-reported mental health of more than 10,000 people in Hong Kong and more than 31,000 people in the U.S. “Heavy drinkers” were not included in the research.

Story continues below advertisement

Credit: Getty Images

“Our findings [found] that lifetime alcohol abstainers report the highest level of mental well-being,” authors said in the report.

Authors suggested people who quit drinking may have a similar quality of life to those who’ve never had alcohol.

“This may be analogous to smoking cessation, which results in the recovery of health outcomes to the level of lifetime nonsmokers,” the report read.

Co-author Michael Ni added that giving up drinking can even lead to a more peaceful and calm life.

Statistics on alcohol-related visits to ER

Statistics on alcohol-related visits to ER

Alcohol-related issues in Canada

Another study published in July found more and more young adults and women were making emergency room visits for alcohol-related problems.

The study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, looked at emergency room visits in Ontario between 2003 and 2016.

Story continues below advertisement

“We saw problems with people who were coming in who were intoxicated, people who were coming in in withdrawal, people coming in with liver disease, with all sorts of other organ damage that comes from that. And people who’ve had poisonings from drinking too much alcohol as well,” study co-author Dr. Daniel Myran, a researcher and resident at The Ottawa Hospital, previously told Global News.

READ MORE: Alcohol-related deaths remain a ‘silent epidemic’ in Canada — expert

Women were catching up to men’s drinking habits — a bit of a surprise for some researchers. Middle-aged men were still the most common patients.

How alcohol impacts our bodies

And while a social drink or two or even that evening glass of red wine may seem harmless, some experts say it can cause excessive drinking over time.

Previously speaking with Global News, registered dietitian Melissa Murray at St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto said the moderate alcohol consumption recommendation for women is two drinks per day with a maximum of 10 per week, and three for men a day with a maximum of 15 per week.

“This doesn’t mean you can save them up and have them at one time,” she added.

READ MORE: Canadian women increasingly drinking themselves to death

Excessive alcohol can lead to a number of changes in the body related to everything from skin to weight to digestion.

Story continues below advertisement

Murray explained that excessive alcohol over time can damage the intestines and lead to diarrhea. Alcohol consumption can also lead to the development of ulcers.

And while authors of the CAMJ study don’t believe alcohol consumption worldwide will slow down any time soon, it is important to keep in mind how much alcohol you actually consume during the week.

“Further studies are needed to establish clearly the impact of alcohol use on mental and physical well-being before alcohol is recommended as part of a healthy lifestyle.”

— with files from Leslie Young

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Source link


Vast majority of workers with mental health issues keep it secret from their boss: study – National

by BBG Hub

The majority of adults dealing with mental health issues do not tell people at work, a recent study has found.

According to a survey conducted by Ipsos Mori, 82 per cent of people with a diagnosed mental health issue said they do not tell management or co-workers, citing concern it would have a negative impact on their job.

The study, conducted on behalf of telemedicine company Teladoc Health, also found that more than one in four employees believed it was inappropriate to even talk about mental health in the workplace.

READ MORE: Canadian campuses desperately need better mental health services

The main reasons respondents said they did not talk about their mental health were because they feared the information would have a negative impact on their job (55 per cent), they were embarrassed (21 per cent), they worried that others’ professional opinion of them would be tarnished (21 per cent), and they believed their capability at work would be questioned (18 per cent).

Story continues below advertisement

Forty per cent of employees also said stigma about “poor mental health” still exists in their workplace.

Ipsos surveyed 3,974 participants online across the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Australia. All participants were between the ages of 18 and 65 and have full-time or part-time jobs.

Out of all the respondents, 27 per cent reported being diagnosed with a mental health condition, yet more than 25 per cent “experiencing multiple mental health episodes” do not seek help.

How to help take care of your mental health while in school

How to help take care of your mental health while in school

This data reflects other research on the topic, and the stigma that many people still believe is associated with mental health.

Recent research by the Movember Foundation found that men still struggle to talk about mental health — especially in the workplace.

Twenty-eight per cent of Canadian men surveyed said they believed their job could be at risk if they discuss mental health issues at work, and more than 33 per cent of men worry they could be overlooked for a promotion if they mention a problem.

More than four in 10 men also said they are worried about colleagues making negative comments behind their backs.

READ MORE: ‘It feels like failure’: Why Canadian workplaces should offer stress leave

According to Dr. Ashley Bender, an occupational psychiatrist and professor at the University of Toronto, silence on mental health in the workplace is often seen as “the safe route.”

Story continues below advertisement

“Anything that is a potential threat to the loss of work or… their work status is something that could contribute to [someone] not coming forward with mental health issues,” Bender previously told Global News.

To combat this, Bender says workplaces need to do a better job at creating safe environments and ending stigma.

“One of the ways is to launch anti-stigma campaigns… to impart knowledge and change attitudes about mental health,” he said.

“This is really quite impactful, but it’s work that has to be done continuously.”

[email protected]

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Source link


Not so ruff: Owning a dog can extend your life, study finds – National

by BBG Hub

Cats may have nine lives, but owning a dog may extend yours, a Toronto researcher says.

A study released Tuesday suggests dog owners live longer than their canine-less counterparts, experiencing nearly a one-third lower risk of dying from heart problems.

Dr. Caroline Kramer, an endocrinologist at Mount Sinai Hospital, led the systematic review published by an American Heart Association journal.

READ MORE: Emaciated dog rescued from hurricane Dorian ruins aptly named ‘Miracle’

Researchers analyzed data on more than 3.8 million people taken from 10 studies published between 1950 and 2019.

They found that dog ownership was associated with a 24 per cent risk reduction in death overall, and the risk of death due to cardiovascular-related issues dropped by 31 per cent. This gap was even more pronounced among dog owners who had survived a heart attack, whose risk of death was 65 per cent lower than non-owners.

Story continues below advertisement

The science behind puppy dog eyes

The science behind puppy dog eyes

Kramer says the results are promising, but more research is needed to prove there are health benefits to having a dog.

“It is an important paper to suggest (a link), but not to provide a definitive answer,” she said.

Tweet This

“Maybe it’s not the dog itself, it’s that people already have a healthier lifestyle before.”

The clinician scientist noted that her team’s analysis didn’t account for variables that may explain the difference in health outcomes between dog owners and the rest of the population.

READ MORE: What you should know before getting a second dog

It’s possible that dog owners are more likely to have higher incomes, or that furry companions fit into their already active lifestyles, she said.

While it’s difficult to disentangle cause and effect without a randomized clinical trial, Kramer said there is research to indicate that man’s best friend may be good for your health.

In two papers, participants reported that their physical activity increased after adopting a dog. Another suggested that owning a dog helped older English adults stay fit during inclement weather.

Story continues below advertisement

How to prepare your dog for cold weather walks

How to prepare your dog for cold weather walks

Kramer also cited one study that found being around a cat or dog can reduce blood pressure as much as some medications, suggesting that proximity to pets can have an immediate impact on stress levels.

She said there’s evidence that dog ownership may have other benefits for emotional health, particularly among elderly people who live alone.

READ MORE: Becoming a dog walker helps Calgary woman cope with rare disease

Kramer has also personally experienced the positive side-effects of dog ownership in the form of her miniature schnauzer, Romeo, whom she credits with increasing her physical activity by 10,000 steps per day.

But she warned that people should consider what’s best for themselves and the dog before running to the adoption centre in the name of improving their heart health.

“If the joy of having a dog is not there, maybe the effect is not the same,” Kramer said.

Tweet This

“If they consider all that, and they have the proper lifestyle for that, I would say that maybe that it’s something that can change your life.”

© 2019 The Canadian Press

Source link


Water is key for hydration, but it may not be the best option: study – National

by BBG Hub

The next time you’re thirsty, you may want to reconsider reaching for a glass of water.

According to a new study out of St. Andrews University in Scotland, there might be better options for quickly hydrating your body — namely, beverages with more sugar, fat or protein.

For example, the study found milk to be more hydrating than water. Milk contains sugar lactose, protein and fat, and researchers believe these help to slow the emptying of fluid from the stomach, which allows hydration to happen over a longer period of time.

READ MORE: Put down the pop — Why ginger ale isn’t the cure for upset stomachs

Out of the 13 “common beverages” tested by researchers, still water was ranked the 10th most hydrating beverage over a four-hour period.

The most hydrating drink was skim milk, followed by “oral rehydration solutions” (like Pedialyte) and full-fat milk. Orange juice and cola were next on the list.

Sparkling water was ranked 11th, directly behind still water.

WATCH: Microplastics don’t currently pose health risks — WHO

While these findings are interesting, registered dietitian Stephanie Hnatiuk doesn’t recommend you stop drinking water altogether. In fact, it’s still the “recommended beverage of choice for keeping us hydrated throughout the day,” she said.

“We get other nutrients (like fats, sugars, proteins and electrolytes) from the foods we eat so there’s generally no need to choose beverages specifically for their hydration abilities if we’re eating regular meals.”

However, a dehydrated state — which can come on after a long endurance exercise or working outside on a very hot day, for example — occurs when water and electrolytes are lost in sweat.

READ MORE: Children get headaches — here’s what parents can do

“In this case, it is true that choosing a beverage with some electrolyte-replacement qualities (such as the ones used in the study) can be a good idea,” Hnatiuk said.

However, Hnatiuk warns that some of these results should be taken with a grain of salt. Specifically, she doesn’t recommend replacing water with drinks high in sugar.

“We should absolutely still be limiting the added sugars we get from beverages, and while milk is a great, nutritious option for providing us with protein, vitamins and minerals, we don’t need to drink more milk throughout the day than water,” she said.

WATCH: What is the difference between tap, bottled and filtered water?

Ultimately, Hnatiuk said this information applies more to athletes than it does to the general population.

“These findings would be more suited to an athletic population who are participating in regular, prolonged bouts of exercise (typically longer than 90 minutes),” she said.

Symptoms of dehydration

Staying hydrated is important because it “helps the heart pump more blood through the blood vessels to the muscles and it helps the muscles work efficiently,” said Ingrid Fan, registered dietitian at Loblaws Markham in Ontario.

Dehydration is caused by “not drinking enough fluid or by losing more fluid than you consume,” Fan said. This can happen through sweating, tears, vomit, urination or upset gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea.

“The severity of dehydration can depend on several factors, such as climate, level of physical activity and diet,” said Fan.

READ MORE: Your teabag could be releasing millions of microplastics in your mug — study

Symptoms of dehydration can include increased thirst, dry mouth, fatigue, decreased urine output, urine that is more yellow than normal, headache, dry skin and dizziness, according to Fan.

Fan agrees with Hnatiuk’s assessment of the study, adding: “That’s not to say we should all switch from drinking water to drinking milk, but depending on one’s food intake, physical activity level as well as variety of foods in the diet, one can consider milk to be a source for hydration in addition to water intake.”

“The study confirmed what we already know: beverages that contain electrolytes like sodium and potassium can contribute to better hydration,” Fan said. This is because the sodium in those beverages “act like sponges” that hold onto the water in our bodies, resulting in less urine in the body.

Water: sparkling or still?

Fan still recommends drinking water on a daily basis.

“Our body is 60 to 70 per cent water. We need water to help us digest food, carry nutrients, remove waste, cushion organs and maintain fluid and electrolyte balance,” she said.

However, there’s been some debate about whether carbonated water packs the same punch when it comes to hydration.

WATCH: Man ends up in hospital after drinking licorice tea

“There is no evidence that carbonated or sparkling water is bad for us,” Stephanie Dang, registered dietitian and co-founder of Vancouver Dietitians, previously told Global News.

“But you should always read the label to watch out for added sugar and salt. A common mistake people make is thinking that tonic water and soda water are the same.”

In fact, tonic water has 43 grams of sugar and 58 milligrams of sodium per 16-ounce bottle. Considering the average daily intake of sugar should be 37.5 grams for men and 25 grams for women, you could exceed your daily sugar allowance with just one bottle of tonic water.

With regards to hydration, “the only difference is the added carbonation,” Dang said.

— With files from Global News


[email protected]

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Source link


Your teabag could be releasing billions of microplastics in your mug: study – National

by BBG Hub

Your daily cup of tea may come with billions of microplastics, according to a new Canadian study.

Plastic teabags — the ones that commonly come in a pyramid shape and are made of “silken” material — release approximately 11.6 billion microplastics and 3.1 billion nanoplastics when steeped into a single cup of hot water, researchers out of Montreal’s McGill University found.

“We were very, very surprised,” Dr. Nathalie Tufenkji, a professor of chemical engineering at McGill University and co-author of the study, told Global News.

READ MORE: Here’s how much plastic you might be eating every day

“We thought [plastic teabags] maybe release a couple of hundred [plastic] particles, maybe a few thousand. So we were really shocked when we saw they’re releasing billions of particles into a cup of tea.”

Microplastics, which are tiny particles or fibres of plastic 5 mm or less in diameter, down to the microscopic level, have been detected in bottled water, drinking water, fish and sea salt in various studies.

Tufenkji said she decided to test silken tea bags after drinking a cup of tea one day and realized that boiling water may be breaking down the material in her cup.

She asked one of her PhD students if they would run some tests, and they agreed. The team then analyzed different brands of plastic teabags that they steeped in hot water for five minutes.

WATCH BELOW: Scientists find microplastics deep in Arctic ice

“We used a very powerful microscope to look at what could be in the water,” Tufenkji explained, “and we did this by taking a small sample of the water and drying it on a flat surface and looking at what was left after the water had dried.

“That’s where we could see all these particles that are left behind.”

Tufenkji said they discovered two different types of plastic from teabags: polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and nylon.

READ MORE: Microplastics are in our drinking water, but are of ‘low concern’ for human health: WHO report

The health effects of ingesting microplastics from teabags are not fully known, Tufenkji said, and more research is needed.

The World Health Organization recently released its first-ever report on microplastics in drinking water and concluded there’s not much evidence that ingesting these particles is harmful to human health.

But from an environmental perspective, single-use teabags are not great.

“In Canada, we’re trying to phase out the use of single use plastics,” she said.

“So just in that respect, my personal recommendation is to avoid using plastic teabags.”

— With a file from Leslie Young

[email protected]

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Source link


28 per cent of men believe they could lose their job if they discuss mental health at work: study – National

by BBG Hub

Suicide remains the biggest cause of death for Canadian men under the age of 44, but new research by the Movember Foundation found that men still struggle to talk about mental health — especially in the workplace.

Researchers at Ipsos MORI surveyed 1,000 Canadian men between the ages of 18 and 75, and the results are astounding.

Twenty-eight per cent of Canadian men said they believed their job could be at risk if they discuss mental health issues at work, and more than 33 per cent of men worry they could be overlooked for a promotion if they mention a problem.

READ MORE: ‘Depression meals’: How diets connect to mental health

As well, 42 per cent of men surveyed said they are also worried about colleagues making negative comments behind their backs.

For men like Peter, these results are completely unsurprising. (Global News has agreed to use a pseudonym to protect his identity.)

The 29-year-old marketing manager struggles with anxiety and panic attacks. “I’ve dealt with anxiety and panic my entire life, but I only began to acknowledge and treat it when I was 26,” he told Global News.

WATCH (Sept. 5, 2019): Prioritizing mental health as students head back to school

Earlier this year, Peter started a new job — a change that made his anxiety difficult to control.

“Starting a new job is one of the most stressful things you can do… What was supposed to be a career-shifting move turned into a never-ending episode of panic, stress, worry and fear,” he said.

Peter lived with this intense anxiety about his career and his job for three months, and the whole time, he felt like he was “walking on eggshells.”

READ MORE: Becoming a father can negatively impact men’s mental health: survey

The workplace culture didn’t help. According to Peter, it was “fear-based with top-down leadership.”

“The primary motivator was fear of losing your job. Because this leadership style came from the top down, it wasn’t a collaborative environment. It was every person for themselves,” he said.

Peter felt like he was stuck in a vicious cycle with no one to talk to about his mental health.

WATCH (Sept. 9, 2019): Suicide kills one person every 40 seconds, says World Health Organization

“(I felt that) if I said the wrong thing, I would lose my job and never be able to find a new one, and not be able to pay rent, and never be able to afford a down-payment on a house and I would spend the rest of my life on my parents’ couch,” he said.

“I’m a very healthy individual. I run marathons, eat vegan and meditate daily… but when employers are the cause of stress, anxiety, fear and uncertainty, short of leaving your job, I don’t think there’s much you can do.”

Ultimately, a particularly bad week forced Peter to confront his illness and see a doctor. At that point, he thought it would be appropriate to make his employer aware of his mental health — and ask for some leniency as he underwent treatment.

READ MORE: Doctor-prescribed addiction: How these Canadians got hooked on opioids

“All I needed was their support, understanding and patience,” Peter said, but that’s not what he was given.

“Things went on as normal. In fact, it was reiterated to me that I was in a performance-driven position and no accommodations could be made,” he said. “If I had broken my foot, accommodations would’ve been made. If I had pneumonia, accommodations would’ve been made.”

Four weeks later, Peter was terminated. His employer cited “performance issues,” and during his exit interview, he was made to feel ashamed about his illness. “They alluded to me lying about the illness to (explain my) poor performance,” Peter said.

The misconception that men aren’t affected by mental illness

Peter firmly believes that there is a lasting stigma around men who have a mental illness.

“We’ve come a long way with the stigma around mental health, but we clearly have so much further to go,” he said.

Movember spokesperson Alexandra Wise lost her father to suicide just three weeks after her mother died from ovarian cancer. In her opinion, stigma played a huge role in his battle with mental illness.

WATCH (Aug. 28, 2019): Back to school⁠ — UBC president’s personal mental health struggle

“He struggled with his mental health for most of my childhood, and as I got older, his mental health seemed to decline and things got worse,” she said.

“It was something that my family and I really didn’t understand. We didn’t understand the extent of what he was dealing with, and we weren’t really sure how to help him.”

Wise said her father lost his job when she was just a baby, and that the loss really affected him.

“He didn’t have any social connections and spent a lot of time inside the house, alone. He isolated himself more and more,” she said.

READ MORE: ‘I couldn’t believe it’ — why disability claims for mental health are often a struggle

At first, Wise struggled to understand why he would do such a thing. “It was really difficult to understand why he would do that,” she said. “My mom had no choice. My dad seemingly had the choice to live, or that’s what I thought.”

Since then, Wise has made an effort to learn more about mental health. Now she knows that her father didn’t feel like he had a choice.

“I think, really, in his mind, he felt like that was the only solution to end his pain and his suffering,” she said.

Employers need to do more

The workplace is commonly regarded as a space crucial to forming one’s identity. “It creates purpose,” said Dr. Ashley Bender, occupational psychiatrist and professor at the University of Toronto.

“Anything that is a potential threat to the loss of work or… their work status is something that could contribute to (someone) not coming forward with mental health issues.”

According to Bender, silence is seen as “the safe route” even though it puts people at risk by leaving their illness untreated.

WATCH (July 25, 2019): Doctor who termed “selfie dysmorphia” explains condition

This pressure could be compounded by the stereotype that men should always be working and that they shouldn’t talk about their feelings.

“Traditionally, a man’s role has been centered around employment and being productive and having work as a core source of their life and purpose,” said Bender.

To better support men with mental illness, Bender has three recommendations for workplaces.

“One of the ways is to launch anti-stigma campaigns… to impart knowledge and change attitudes about mental health,” he said. “This is really quite impactful, but it’s work that has to be done continuously.”

Manager training is also a big component so that “when it’s time to have those critical conversations, the individual who’s coming forward doesn’t feel stigmatized,” said Bender.

Finally, confidentiality is key. “Is there a workplace culture that respects confidentiality, particularly around (mental health issues)?” Bender said.

Ultimately, actions need to follow words.

“Attempts to change attitudes by creating awareness but then providing inadequate resources (like low coverage for psychological treatments) says, ‘we’re acknowledging that we have a problem, but we don’t care.’ That drives people into silence, because what’s the point?”

[email protected]


© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Source link