The big news this week is Stoptober – the national effort to quite smoking! Very exciting and we wish the best for all partaking in it. Aside from Stoptober, there has also been some interesting news investigating cardiovascular health, breakfasts (or lack of them) and breast cancer research.
Stoptober is here again! If you have ever thought to stopping smoking then this is the month to do it in! Have a look at the Stoptober site here. A national attempt to quite smoking is under way here in the UK, with hundreds of thousands taking part. In the unlikely event that you haven’t heard about it, and want to take part it isn’t too late! You can still join! Visit the link to the Stoptober site, and download the app. You will get daily info to help you stop smoking for good. Here are some interesting facts about the benefits of stopping smoking according to the NHS:
- Within 24 hours, all the carbon monoxide is eliminated from your body. This will allow your blood to deliver oxygen more efficiently to your body.
- Within 3 days, the passages in your lungs will open, and you will find breathing easier and you will have more energy.
- After 2 weeks your blood flow will increase, and cardiovascular system starts to recover and improve. This recovery can take up to 12 weeks.
- Between 3-9 months your lung function will improve by 10%, and you notice a dramatic decrease in wheezing and coughing. This can be further improved by partaking in cardiovascular exercise.
- Within 10 years, your risks of lung cancer is halved, and your risk of heart disease is the same as that of a non-smoker! Want this sooner? Do some exercise!
Benefits of quitting smoking are almost immediate, but to get the full benefits, you need to stick with it, and make it a permanent change to your lifestyle. If you are doing Stoptober good luck!
One in 20 teenage pupils goes to school on a can of energy drink instead of a good breakfast, a survey suggests… Read more here.
I think it is time we had a Stoptober equivalent for rubbish breakfasts… When I drive to work I have seen teens and children alike with energy drinks in their hands. Not only is this something which is unhealthy, it is increasing bad behaviour. These are not healthy habits for children to be having, and it is quite shocking to think that kids are having this as breakfast when there is such as big push on to educate children about health. Are all these messages falling on deaf ears, or is there another reason?
Exercise can be as good a medicine as pills for people with conditions such as heart disease, a study has found…Read more here.
This study recently published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) which involved over a third of a million people has shown that cardiovascular exercise is as (or in some circumstances more) effective as taking pills. The researches were quick to emphasise that people shouldn’t throw away their prescription just yet, but do recommend doing exercise as well as taking the pills.
This has come about at a time where prescription drugs for cardiovascular related diseases are on the rise. I think that perhaps patients and doctors are both too keen to take the easy option with cardiovascular disease and go for taking pills instead of diet/ lifestyle changes. Hopefully, this new research will begin to convince both doctors and patients that there is an effective and healthy alternative to pills!
A radical new approach to lowering cholesterol has been demonstrated using an advanced gene-silencing drug… Read more here.
This week has felt like the advances in cardiovascular health has taken one step forward, and two back. This ‘gene-silencing’ drug may well lower LDL, but this is only really treating the symptoms of cardiovascular disease, not the cause of high LDL in the first place. After the research (above) released in the BMJ I had thought that people may be looking towards healthier solutions to cardiovascular problems, but this study suggests otherwise. Although no side effects have been published for the ‘gene-silencing’ drug, I am very concerned about messing with our genetics. We know that genes do not work independently, and the complexity of the workings and genetic interactions of the human genome is largely unknown, we have no idea what silencing this gene will actually have on other genes. I fear many people will see this as a ‘quick fix’ to cardiovascular problems (as statins have been seen to be for so long), and people will avoid diet/ lifestyle changes.
Ireland’s health minister has outlined plans for a “tobacco-free” country by 2025… Read more here.
A very bold and radical statement, and something I am sure will be strongly opposed, but not by me. The article quite rightly points out that smoking is leading cause of preventable death in Ireland, and it probably is in most Western countries. I am sceptical that this will actually happen, it caused a big enough stir when smoking was banned indoors, but, Ireland was the first country to introduce a total ban on smoking in the work place, so if any country will be able to enforce this ban, it will be Ireland.
Post-menopausal women who walk for an hour a day can cut their chance of breast cancer significantly, a study has suggested… Read more here.
Another study showing exercise is good for your health! With the increased awareness of breast cancer there has been an increased amount of research on treatment and prevention, but I am glad that this research is not restricted to drug development. This study claims that it is the first time reduced risk of breast cancer was specifically linked to walking.
What do you think about this weeks health news? Leave your comments below!