Fat-dissolving shot reduces double chin
If you’re seeing double beneath your jawline, a new FDA-approved injection may help. The agency recently approved the drug Kybella to reduce the fat that causes double chins. Kybella is a form of deoxycholic acid, a substance that helps the body absorb fats, potentially eliminating the need for liposuction surgery.
But as with all things pharmaceutical, the drug comes with a hefty disclaimer: Side effects could include trouble swallowing, nerve damage or muscle weakness in the face. FDA officials say Kybella should be administered only by a licensed health professional and shouldn’t be injected anywhere other than below the chin. The injections are expected to hit the market this summer.
TONE DOWN THE TEA: An Arkansas man went into kidney failure from drinking too much iced tea. Black tea contains the compound oxalate, which likely clogged the man’s liver. Tea is good for you—but not by the gallon!
Keeping the brain in shape
One out of nine adults age 65 or older has Alzheimer’s disease. Nearly 14 percent of adults age 71 and older have either Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Those are some scary figures. But you can protect yourself through exercise—both of the physical and mental types. Lee Memorial Health System’s Wellness Centers have introduced Brain Fitness classes to increase mind-body connections and help improve cognitive function as well as physical and mental endurance. Activities include a combination of stretches and exercises in conjunction with processing and retaining information that will be used throughout present and future classes. Brain Fitness meets once per week for eight sessions. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
SWEET SUCCESS: Women who drank sugar-sweetened beverages in a recent study had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those who sipped artificially sweetened drinks. Sugar as a stress reliever? That’s sweet.
Fitness feedback … from your clothes?
Who needs a sports watch when your shirt can give you biofeedback?
Ralph Lauren’s new Polo Tech shirt is expected to be on the market this month. The shirt knits sensors into the fabric to read biological and physiological information. The data is transmitted to the user’s smartphone, and interpreting it can help athletes adjust and maximize their movements.
Meanwhile, the fitness gear company Athos continues to appear on hot tech lists. Its shorts, shirts and capris are embedded with sensors that collect information on muscle activity, heart rate and breathing. This is the stuff of the world’s elite athletes now available to aspiring amateurs—and anyone who can no longer fathom an activity that’s not enhanced by a gadget.
Tylenol may deaden emotions along with pain
A study appearing in Psychological Science suggests that acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, blunts users’ emotional reactions. Researchers showed participants 40 images ranging from highly pleasant to neutral to extremely unpleasant. Participants had to rate their emotional reactions on a scale of 0 (little to no response) to 10 (extreme reaction). Those who had taken Tylenol were less likely to experience strong reactions to either pleasurable or unpleasant images. Researchers aren’t sure why, though they suspect Tylenol acts on the part of the brain that influences emotions. For now, it’s perhaps best to seek a different pain reliever on your wedding day or at your child’s graduation (unless, of course, you want to blunt your response to family drama).
More plastic surgery for men
Plastic surgery is no longer reserved for the ladies. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports a 273 percent increase in the number of procedures performed on men between 1997 and 2014.
“This is not a trend we expect to see wane anytime soon. Facing a challenging and sometimes ageist job market, men, like women, are starting to consider their options to maintain a youthful appearance,” explains Dr. James Grotting, president-elect of ASAPS.
Common surgical procedures for men are eyelid surgery, breast reduction and face-lifts. Popular nonsurgical procedures are Botox and hyaluronic acid injections, nonsurgical skin tightening and intense pulsed light.
Temper! Temper! Anger can kill you
Proof that words can kill—literally: New research from Duke University finds that people are eight times more likely to suffer from a heart attack shortly after an angry outburst. Anger can also lead to stroke, irregular heartbeat, sleep problems, excess eating and insulin resistance.
That’s because anger releases the hormones adrenaline and cortisol into the bloodstream, which can trigger an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and sugar metabolism. The emotion is particularly dangerous for people already at risk for heart disease. Alternatives to losing it: deep breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi—or simply taking a walk to remove yourself from your triggers.
SLEEP WELL: Night owls are more likely to suffer from diabetes, metabolic syndrome, excess body fat and elevated lipid levels than early risers. Time to reset those alarm clocks.