Your life span may be as wide as your smile

General Health, Mental Health
A quirky new study looks at smiles in pictures of baseball players and compares death rates. What did they find? The bigger the smile, the longer the life! Past research shows that people who smile a lot are usually happier, have more stable personalities, more stable marriages, better cognitive skills and better interpersonal skills. Science has just uncovered another benefit of a happy face. People who have big smiles live longer. Researchers at Wayne State University used information from the Baseball Register to look at photos of 230 players who began their careers in professional baseball before 1950. The players' photos were enlarged, and a rating of their smile intensity was made (big smile, no smile, partial smile). The players' smile ratings were compared with data from deaths that occurred…
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Study fails to find evidence that bisphosphonates cause atypical femoral fractures

Woman's Health
ABC World News has been doing report after report on the possibility that the osteoporosis medications, called bisphosphonates (like Boniva, Fosamax, Actonel, Reclast, and Zometa) may be associated with atypical and severe fractures of the femur. No one knew for sure if this was a problem or not, but we sure had quite a number of patients call our office. They were very concerned. But now, a new study is giving reassurance to healthcare professionals and our patients. The study published in the New England Journal of Medicine "seems to give the reassurance that long-term use" of osteoporosis drugs "does not raise the risk of a thigh bone breaking." The New York Times reports that the study "fails to find clear evidence that bisphosphonates are causing" femoral fractures. In fact, the…
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A hot product on the Internet, but should you consider L-methylfolate instead of plain old folic acid?

Alternative Medicine, Nutritional Health
My favorite natural medicines website is the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. The NMCD has new information about L-methylfolate which is being heavily promoted, especially on the Internet, by some manufacturers as a more active form of folic acid. Are they telling the truth? Here's the information from NMCD: L-methylfolate is in many prenatal vitamins such as Optinate, Neevo DHA, Prenate Elite; and regular vitamin supplements including Optimized Folate, MegaFolinic, and others. It's also being used in medical foods for memory loss or depression, in products such as CerefolinNAC and Deplin. According to the NMCD, "folates" are a mixture of different forms of the vitamin that occur naturally in food. Most supplements contain folic acid, a synthetic form of the vitamin. In the body, all of these forms are converted to…
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