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Cardio and kids' cognition, daily walks, low-fat vegan diet and weight, carcinogens on the commute, coffee cuts heart failure risk
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Cardio and kids' cognition, daily walks, low-fat vegan diet and weight, carcinogens on the commute, coffee cuts heart failure risk

A lot of heart in kids' cognition 

A new study shows that preschools with a higher level of cardiorespiratory fitness perform better on cognitive tests.

Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaignreported that 4-6-year-old kids who walked farther than their peers in a timed test scored higher on brain function exams.

Research has found positive correlations between aerobic exercise and academic achievement, but this study suggests that cardiorespiratory fitness may improve cognitive health even in young children.

Source: Journal of Clinical Medicine

A walk a day keeps the heart doc away?

If starting an exercise regimen feels overwhelming, a new study offers good news.

According to a recent University of Oxford study, simply taking a walk every day can reduce a person’s heart disease risk by 30%.

A team of researchers examined biometric information from more than 90,000 men and women and found those who performed a little bit of activity, such as a walk each day, reduced their risk of heart disease compared to those who performed no physical activity.

Those who vigorously exercised were the least likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease, according to the study. Across the board, gender did not play a role in who suffered from cardiovascular disease and those who did not.

Source: PLOS Medicine

Low-fat vegan diet and weight loss

Mediterranean diets are known for their nutritional value, but a new study by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says a low-fat vegan diet may be better for weight loss.

Researchers advise those whose weight loss has stalled to try going vegan and eliminating all animal products.

The published study followed a group of people who tried both types of diet. When on the Mediterranean diet, they experienced no weight loss. However, when on the low-fat vegan diet, they lost an average of 13.2 pounds over a 16 weeks.

Source: Journal of the American College of Nutrition

Driving carcinogen exposure

If you have a long commute in which it’s common to get stuck in traffic, you may be exposed to more cancer-causing agents.

A study by researchers at the University of California, Riverside, found that drivers who spend more than 20 minutes in their cars are at a higher risk of being exposed to carcinogens such as formaldehyde and benzene.

While studies have found a link between taxi drivers’ prolonged time in a car, this is one of the first studies that look at the effect of long commutes.

Source: University of California, Riverside

Upbeat news for coffee fans

If you’re a coffee drinker, a new study shows you may be at a lower risk for heart failure.

An analysis of three studies that looked at those who drink caffeinated coffee versus those who drink decaf found that those who drink at least one cup of caffeinated coffee each day had a lower risk of heart failure.

While other factors such as smoking, age and high blood pressure can increase the risk for heart failure, researchers say several unidentified risk factors remain. According to the analysis, the risk of heart failure fell by 5-12% per cup per day, up to three cups per day.

Another study examined found that while the risk of heart failure did not change significantly among those who had no coffee or one cup per day, it was about 30% lower in those who drank at least two cups per day.

Source: Circulation: Heart Failure

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