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Cholesterol drugs can also prevent cancer

A new study suggests that Statin-takers are less likely to die from cancer.
Enzyme-inhibiting drugs known as statins have been widely used to lower cholesterol for decades.

Now, the new study suggests that they may offer other benefits beyond their typical use, CBS News reported.

Currently, statins are primarily prescribed to control cholesterol, and are typically prescribed if your total cholesterol is 240 or above, or if your LDL (a.k.a. “bad” cholesterol) is over 130. Some commonly prescribed statins are Crestor, Lipitor and Zocor.

The new study indicates that the drugs were safer than originally thought.
Researchers who looked at data from more than 250,000 people found that the drugs are safe.

Statins not only lower cholesterol, but research has shown that they can also decrease inflammation throughout the body, which leads many physicians to argue that statins can be used to treat problems associated with it.

Statins’ heart benefits outweigh diabetes risk in pill-takers, study has shown.

In addition to lowering cholesterol, statins lower inflammation in the body, particularly in the blood vessels.

 Inflammation is linked to a number of other diseases: Alzheimer’s disease, a number of forms of cancer, strokes.

The drugs could also cause muscle pain or damage, nausea, headaches, or elevated liver enzymes.

The findings are published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

How microbes inside our bodies help us stay hearty

We owe our health to the vast city of microbes hidden inside our bodies.

Hundreds of species of them inhabit us, and the term “microbiome” refers to their collective genes. Even though scientists are just beginning to map it, many researchers believe the microbiome affects our health—and when it’s unbalanced it predisposes us to numerous autoimmune diseases.

Is our sterile Western environment—which has rid our bodies of many kinds of bacteria—to blame for this?  One person who has thought hard about this question is Karin Hehenberger.

At 16, she was a rising star on the international tennis circuit. Playing for the Swedish National team, she was competing almost professionally.

Then Type 1 diabetes came calling, derailing her tennis career and changing the course of her life. Today, armed with both PhD and MD degrees, a new kidney from her father and a transplanted pancreas, she is diabetes-free and determined to help others either cope with or avoid what she could not.

Now, Chief Medical Officer of Coronado Biosciences, Hehenberger believes the theory about microbiota is related to the “hygiene hypothesis”—the notion that there is a direct link between elevated rates of autoimmune diseases and Western society’s obsession to establish germ-free environments. Could repopulating our guts with microbes—and thereby re-establishing a healthy balance to our microbiome—help address this problem? Coronado believes that it can, and points to several ongoing clinical trials that have shown that such treatment may be safe and effective.

Internet use may help in dealing with depression

Mental health experts have analysed that the increased popularity of Internet use can be considered as helpful in easing depression.

According to Stuff.co.nz, mental health experts are now putting in more attention to what people suffering from depression say online in order to reach out for help. The New Zealand Mental Health Foundation has praised social media and has dubbed it the modern equivalent to picking up the phone.

Chief Executive Judi Clements said that people started to recognise in the 1950s that someone would be more likely to phone a friend to tell them they were depressed than visit them, however, now people don’t think of phone call, but think of Facebook.

Clements said that people would often find it easier to talk to strangers online, and it could be great therapy to allow them to talk without discomfort, embarrassment, or shame as they feel more liberated to talk to somebody that doesn't know them, doesn't know their history, doesn't know their baggage.

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