Welcome to your daily roundup of important health news.
We’ll do the legwork for you, each and every morning. Here’s your daily dose of the latest discoveries from journals, research institutions, and news outlets from around the world.
A sweet drink may bring sweet rewards at the gym: Drinking cocoa can improve athletic performance, a new study from Mexico found. When elite teen soccer players drank a solution made with cocoa powder for 7 days, they improved their performance on physical test by 4 percent. They also showed reduced markers of muscle damage and oxidative damage, suggesting it may improve in recovery, too.
We’ve been told time and time again to use deep breaths to calm down, but is there any science behind it? Turns out, there is—at least in mice. When scientists from Stanford inactivated certain neurons in mice in their respiratory control center, the mice took fewer faster active and sniffing breaths, and more slow breaths associated with chilling out. The mice became super calm, sitting around grooming themselves instead of sniffing around and exploring. This shows that the nerves that control breathing may affect brain activity overall. The scientists hope this discovery will pave the way for treatments for stress, depression, and other negative emotions.
Boost Cancer Treatment Success
Vitamin C might help improve conventional cancer treatment success, a new study from the University of Iowa suggests. Brain and lung cancer patients who received high doses of intravenous vitamin C along with their chemotherapy and radiation survived longer than those who just got the standard treatments, the study found. Delivering vitamin C by IV allows your body to receive high concentrations of it without metabolizing it, which may help kill cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unscathed.
Improve Your Mental Health
Depression is the leading cause of poor health and disability across the world, according to a new report by the World Health Organization. According to their latest estimates, depression cases increased more than 18 percent from 2005 to 2015. Treatment is vital, since the condition can lead to other disorders like substance abuse, diabetes, and heart disease.
Relax With Sounds
Yes, deep breathing can help you chill out, but listening to nature sounds like the gurgling of a brook or the wind in the trees can help you relax, too, researchers at Brighton and Sussex Medical School found. That’s because the sounds affect the parts of the body that control your flight-or-fright systems, they say.