Can Chocolate Help Prevent Heart Attacks?

Could eating chocolate actually help you to prevent a heart attack? The new research comes from the VA Boston HealthCare system’s analysis of 148,465 US veterans who were part of the Million Veteran Program. This program monitors their health over time. 90% of the participants were men, and the average age was 64. What they found was certainly surprising. Overweight people who eat chocolate at least five times a week are less likely to have a CAD (coronary artery disease) episode such as a heart attack. Those who never eat chocolate, in contrast, are more at risk for having a CAD-related episode.

The strangest part of the study is that they found that the positive effects don’t occur for people within a healthy BMI range or who are underweight. The US researchers hypothesized that this might be because the impact of eating this amount of chocolate is small so it only impacted those who have a higher risk of a CAD event.

The participants were followed for 2.5 years and were asked how many times a week they eat 28 grams of either milk or dark chocolate without extra flavorings added. The results showed that overweight people who had five or more servings of chocolate a week had the least amount of CAD related events.

This Town Will Pay You To Relocate

Here is one way to encourage people to come to your town – pay them to move there. The mayor of Candela, Nicola Gatta, is paying people who are willing to resettle. This little medieval town used to have more than 8000 people living in it. Today there are only 2700 residents.

As an incentive, Mayor Gatta is offering up to 200 euros to encourage people to come.

Stefano Bascianelli, the mayor’s right-hand man said,

“This is how it works: 800 euros for singles, 1,200 euros for couples, 1,500 to 1,800 euros for three-member families, and over 2,000 euros for families of four to five people.”

What do you have to do to get the money? You’ll need to become a resident of Candela, rent a house and have a job with a salary of at least 7500 euros a year.

As Bascianelli said, “We don’t want people flocking here thinking they get to live off the town hall’s revenues, all new residents must work and have an income.”

Can Pesticides Hurt Pregnancy Chances?

Here is a disturbing study for those who are trying to get pregnant. A new study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine has found that consuming fruits and vegetables high in pesticide residue is associated with a lower chance of pregnancy and a higher risk of pregnancy loss. Dr. Yu-Han Chiu, a research fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and first author of the study explains.

As she said,

“There have been concerns for some time that exposure to low doses of pesticides through diet, such as those that we observed in this study, may have adverse health effects, especially in susceptible populations such as pregnant women and their fetus, and on children. Our study provides evidence that this concern is not unwarranted.”
The study included 325 women between 18 and 45 who were under the care of a doctor for infertility treatment at the Massachusetts General Hospital. They found that women who ate 2.3 servings or more of high-pesticide-residue fruits and vegetables had 18% lower chance of getting pregnant and 26% lower chance of giving birth to a live baby.

As Dr. Chiu explained, “A reasonable choice based on these findings is to consume low-pesticide-residue fruits and vegetables instead of high-pesticide-residue ones. Another option is to go organic for the fruits and vegetables known to contain high pesticide residues. It is very important to keep in mind that, as far as we are aware, this is the first time that this association is reported, so it is extremely important that our findings are replicated in other studies.”

Certainly, there were limitations to the study and more investigative work is necessary.

Can Dolphins Get Alzheimer’s Disease?

In a fascinating new study, it appears that dolphins can actually develop Alzheimer’s disease. The study conducted by Oxford University has been published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia. Alzheimer’s in people is evidenced by amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles – which can be found on dolphins who died in the wild and washed up on the Spanish coast.


Another study in August of 2017 also showed evidence of Alzheimer’s disease in chimpanzees. Wild animals have typically not shown signs of Alzheimer’s because they die shortly after their fertility period is over, so they don’t always live long enough to show evidence of this disease.

A Glorious Design for our Futures

The Jikka is worth knowing about as a beautiful way to appreciate our population as it ages. These five hilltop teepees in Japan’s eastern Shizuoka prefecture is a private retirement home. The parents’ home belongs to Nobuko Suma and Sachiko Fujioka who were worried about how their futures would look.

They had one of their sons who is an architect build the home which started in 2014. There are no stairs and the spiral-shaped bath has a ramp for wheelchair access. There is a central dining room and they hope, in the future, to open the facility to others.

Take a look. Maybe this is what we should all be doing?


A Thoughtful Approach: The West Lake Landfill

It’s always important to keep our fingers on the pulse of how waste management is handled and how landfills are dealt with. The West Lake Landfill, for instance, has had a situation where the EPA is continually considering how best to clean up the site which has low-level radiologic material that was dumped there illegally in the 1970s. The West Lake Landfill is incredibly well monitored and over $200 million has already been invested to solve the problem here and at the Bridgeton Landfill.

The good news for the West Lake Landfill is that no one – none of the state, local or federal agencies – have found that the site poses a risk at all for the public’s health. This is not the case in other locations like at the Coldwater Creek site.

As recently explained by guest columnist state senator representing eastern St. Charles County Bill Eigel at the St. Louis Past-Dispatch, “It is important to note that the two sites are not the same, although some protesters and politicians have used photos, illnesses and data from the effects of Coldwater Creek and said they were from the West Lake Landfill. Again, no local, state or federal agencies have found that the landfill has had a negative effect on the health of area residents. In addition, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution when dealing with these types of sites containing our country’s legacy waste. Remediation at Coldwater Creek is occurring because of the type, location and intensity of the materials in that area. Disturbing the soil at West Lake Landfill is actually more dangerous to our local communities than leaving it where it is.”

He explains why a permanent cap is a much smarter and safer solution and it’s certainly worth paying attention to arguments of esteemed people such as Eigel.