HEALTH: Health Line

Cancer linked to chicken, bacon

Eating bacon at least five times a week could increase a person’s chances of developing bladder cancer by 59 percent, according to a recent study. A similar result is apparent in individuals who eat skinless chicken; their risk is 52 percent greater.

Harvard scientists used 136,000 people for their study and followed them for 22 years. The study concluded that 808 people of the original sample developed bladder cancer. Chemicals called nitrosamines and heterocyclic amines are thought to be the cause.

Source: BBC News

Good posture could lead to a bad back

The familiar refrain “sit up straight” might be a severely damaging piece of advice. Scientists at the University of Alberta have found that the upright position associated with good posture is actually damaging to the back and spine. The common 90 degree position causes potentially harmful spinal disc movement as the spine strains against gravity.

Researchers found the least strenuous sitting position to be one where the back is arched at 135 degrees. It is possible that simply sitting at this angle is enough to prevent back pain.

Source: Reuters

Sleep loss paired with memory loss

Rats placed in stressful sleep deprivation situations were found to increase their production of corticosterone, a known stress hormone. After repeated deprivation sessions, the rats’ brains decreased their production of new brain cells in the hippocampus, which is associated with memory.

When placed in similar situations, rats who had their corticosterone-producing glands removed showed no change in brain cell growth. The results lead researchers to conclude that stressful sleep deprivation impairs brain function, primarily in the memory regions.

Source: Medline Plus