Our team has looked throughout several expert health sites to find notable research and insights in integrative health. Here’s a snapshot of news that’s been trending on our favorite sites.

Dr. Andrew Weill: Before Reaching for a Sleeping Pill, Try Omega-3

The powers of omega-3 essential fatty acids have been lauded for numerous health benefits such as a healthy heart, glowing skin, and sharp intellect, but you can add a new one to the roster: sleep. A group of British schoolchildren given omega-3 supplements slept nearly 1 hour extra and had fewer awakenings than their placebo counterparts. Higher levels of DHA, one of two fatty acids composing the omega-3 chain, are associated with better sleep.

Scientific American: Sugar—Bad for Memory?

A new study in Neurology suggested that sugar can erode memory, and not only for people with diabetes. Specifically, higher glucose levels have been linked to a smaller hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory. Previous research had observed this change in patients with diabetes, but this study found the same structural changes from having high blood sugar in patients without diabetes.

 

Science Daily: New Study May Debunk Wine Heart Health Benefits

Many people drink wine, specifically the red varietals, for health benefits, as past research has shown it to protect the heart. New research calls into question whether wine plays a part in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease. Whatever your rationale for drinking wine, moderation is always advised.

 

Can Avoiding the Sun Increase Your Risk of Skin Cancer?  

A study that made ripples in the news this week found that women who avoided sun exposure had nearly double the risk of mortality from skin cancer. Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden studied a group of 30,000 women for over 20 years, theorize that staying out of the sun can cause a vitamin D deficiency, increasing the risk of aggressive skin cancers. These study findings have created a controversy, as they contradict previous schools of thought linking sun exposure to skin cancer. People with a family history of the disease and other risk factors such as fair skin and hair should interpret these findings cautiously and choose sunscreens free of potentially harmful chemicals. Vitamin D is important for our health and there is evidence it may play a role in melanoma prevention, but it can be obtained via other methods besides the sun, such as food and supplementation.


 

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