The pros and cons of alcohol
This is an updated version of an article originally published in 2018 Even though alcohol has been a daily part of human existence for millennia, the substance is far from innocuous and in fact has very complex effects on health. This complexity is well illustrated by...
Gut microorganisms boost motivation to exercise
In mice, certain species of gut bacteria produce molecules that activate nerves that are connected to the brain, thereby stimulating reward circuits associated with exercise.
A diet rich in flavonols is associated with slower cognitive decline
A dietary intake rich in flavonols, mainly from fruits and vegetables, is associated with a slowing of the progression of cognitive and memory decline in the elderly, according to a US study.
Is exercising late in the morning associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease?
For the same amount, physical exercise performed in the late morning rather than at another time of day was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a study carried out among 86,657 participants from the UK-Biobank cohort.
Walking in the forest has positive impacts on the brain
A study reports that an hour of walking in the forest is associated with a significant decrease in the activity of the amygdala, the area of the brain involved in the stress response.
Yoga and other holistic practices improve blood sugar control in diabetics
According to a meta-analysis of 28 intervention studies, holistic practices (involving the body and mind), especially yoga, improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes.
Walking associated with reduced risk of dementia, cardiovascular disease and cancer
The amount (number of steps/day) and the intensity (number of steps/min) of walking are associated with a reduced risk of dementia, premature mortality, cardiovascular disease and cancer, according to a prospective study among a large cohort from the United Kingdom.
Replacing tobacco with e-cigarettes reduces the risk of cardiovascular events
People who exclusively use electronic cigarettes as a source of nicotine reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease by 33% compared to smokers.
Association between red meat consumption and the risk of cardiovascular disease: An important role of L-carnitine metabolites
A new American study shows an unfavourable association between red meat consumption and the incidence of cardiovascular disease, an association attributable in part to TMAO and other L-carnitine metabolites.
Ultra-processed foods associated with an increased risk of dementia
Consuming large amounts of ultra-processed foods increases the risk of developing dementia as you age, according to a recent study.
Time-restricted eating, a promising approach for chronic disease prevention
How can we explain that the simple fact of restricting caloric intake to a shorter window of time can lead to significant health benefits?
Vigorous exercise decreases appetite and promotes weight loss through the production of the metabolite Lac-Phe
A recent study shows that a metabolite, N-lactoyl-phenylalanine (Lac-Phe), produced during and after vigorous exercise, decreases appetite and promotes weight loss.
Harmful health effects of exposure to “Forever Chemicals”
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), nicknamed “Forever Chemicals” because of their very high stability, and which are used in everyday consumer products (e.g., cosmetics, packaging), can have harmful effects on human health.
Anti-aging supplements: A new fountain of youth?
Supplements can slow biological aging at the cellular level, but can they make us live longer and healthier?
Brisk walking associated with a slowing down of the aging process
Walking speed is associated with a genetic marker of biological age, according to a study carried out in the UK.
The cardiovascular benefits of avocado
A study reports that regular consumption of avocado is associated with a significant reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease.
The influence of oral health on the risk of cardiovascular disease
Many studies have reported that the incidence of periodontitis is strongly correlated with the presence of several other diseases whose development is influenced by chronic inflammation, including cardiovascular disease.
Smart wearable devices: Useful tools to monitor our health
“Smart” wearables that are worn around the wrist like a wristwatch (“smartwatch”) or on the torso are becoming increasingly popular for monitoring our health and tracking our progress during exercise sessions.
Sudden cardiac death in senior high-performance athletes
A very rare event most often caused by underlying coronary artery disease.
A pro-inflammatory diet increases the risk of dementia
According to a recent study, a diet that promotes systemic inflammation significantly increases the risk of developing dementia in older adults.
Phthalates: A component of certain plastics and cosmetic products harmful to human health
A recent study indicates that exposure to phthalates is associated with a significant increase in the risk of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.
Childhood obesity, a ticking time bomb for cardiometabolic diseases
Several recent studies confirm that being overweight during childhood is associated with disastrous health consequences, starting in early adulthood.
Influenza vaccination reduces the risk of premature death in coronary patients
A recent clinical study shows that influenza vaccination of patients with myocardial infarction significantly reduces mortality.
Cycling: A particularly beneficial exercise for the health of diabetics
According to a study of 7,459 adults with diabetes, cycling is associated with a reduction of at least 22% in the risk of premature mortality, regardless of other physical activities and lifestyle factors.
Lignans: Compounds of plant origin that promote good cardiovascular health
A large recent study indicates that the consumption of lignans is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease.
Banning flavoured vaping liquids? A very bad idea.
It would be extremely unfortunate if the moral panic generated by the increase in the number of young vapers deprives individuals who have to deal with a very strong tobacco addiction of the best tool identified so far to quit smoking, namely vaping of flavours other than that of tobacco.
Will cultured meat soon be on our plates?
Lab-grown meat could one day replace meat from livestock farming, but there is still significant progress to be made before this becomes possible.
Environmental impacts associated with food production
All the studies unequivocally show that a reduction in environmental damage caused by food production necessarily requires a reduction in the consumption of animal products, in particular those from cattle farming.
The impact of forest fires on human health
From British Columbia to the island of Evia, wildfires are increasingly part of the global landscape. The health impacts of these blazes on global health are unequivocal. Here is an overview of a natural phenomenon exacerbated by climate change.
Choosing the right sources of carbohydrates is essential for preventing cardiovascular disease
The risk of cardiovascular events can be significantly reduced by replacing as much as possible the intake of foods rich in simple sugars and refined flour with plant-based foods containing complex carbohydrates.
Omega-3 fatty acid supplements are ineffective for the prevention of cardiovascular disease
Recent studies indicate that omega-3 fatty acid supplements are ineffective in preventing major cardiovascular events, in primary prevention and most likely also in secondary prevention.
Modulation of the gut microbiota by dietary interventions to prevent cardiometabolic diseases
The results of recent studies suggest that modulation of the gut microbiota by dietary interventions (Mediterranean diet, intermittent fasting) could be a new preventive and therapeutic approach for diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Gradual return to physical activity after recovering from COVID-19
Tips for returning to physical activity after recovery from a mild form of COVID-19, without complications or persistent symptoms.
Association between chronic stress and heart attacks
High concentrations of cortisol in the hair, a biomarker of chronic stress, have been associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction in middle-aged people.
The benefits of extra virgin olive oil on cardiovascular health
A large number of studies show that the phenolic compounds found in extra virgin olive oil play an important role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease associated with the Mediterranean diet.
Why do the Japanese have the highest life expectancy in the world?
The high life expectancy of the Japanese is largely due to a diet conducive to maintaining overall good health.
Reducing calorie intake by eating more plants
A low-fat, plant-only diet restricts caloric intake while improving cardiovascular health.
Electronic cigarettes cause much less inflammation than tobacco
Two recent studies show that the levels of inflammatory markers are drastically reduced in e-cigarette users compared to smokers of combustible cigarettes.
Effects of cold on cardiovascular health
Cold temperatures have marked effects on the cardiovascular system and are associated with an increase in cardiac symptoms, such as angina and arrhythmias, as well as an increased incidence of myocardial infarction.
Standing up is still doing a little exercise!
A study of a group of older people reports that simply spending more time standing, without necessarily moving, is associated with a reduced risk of premature death.
Control of inflammation through diet
Recent studies report that a diet that reduces chronic inflammation is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Do houseplants have beneficial effects on health?
Houseplants may provide mental and physiological health benefits based on research evidence.
The importance of properly controlling your blood pressure
A study reports that the onset of hypertension before the age of 45 doubles the risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death.
Insufficient dietary fibre intake harms the gut microbiota and the immune system’s balance
An insufficient intake of dietary fibre has a detrimental effect on the gut microbiota and promotes the development of allergies and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
Electronic cigarettes drastically reduce exposure to toxic substances from tobacco
A study by the Institut Pasteur shows that the vapour from e-cigarettes contains 99% fewer toxic compounds than cigarette smoke.
Time-restricted feeding: A tool to lose weight and improve cardiometabolic health
According to a study of obese people, time-restricted feeding, a type of intermittent fasting, can help to lose weight and improve metabolic health, both when eating is limited to a 6-hour as well as 4-hour period.
Chile, an example of aggressive state intervention to combat the obesity epidemic
In response to the skyrocketing rate of obesity in the Chilean population, the authorities have imposed a law that severely regulates the promotion and sale of ultra-processed industrial products, especially among young people.
Plant-based meat substitutes reduce certain cardiovascular risk factors
Replacing meat with plant-based meat substitutes significantly decreases certain cardiovascular risk factors according to a randomized, controlled study conducted at Stanford University.
Smoking continues to decline among young people
The increase in vaping observed in recent years in Canada is associated with a significant decrease in smoking among young people.
Can exercise protect against respiratory infections?
Regular exercise does not protect against acute respiratory infections according to a systematic review of studies published to date, but it is associated with a decrease in the severity of symptoms.
The social environment, essential for mental and physical health
The level of social integration is one of the main predictors of individuals’ health status and life expectancy.
The cardiovascular benefits of soy
A large study (over 200,000 participants) reports that regular soy consumption is associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease.
To prevent cardiovascular disease, medication should not be a substitute for improved lifestyle
Adopting a healthy lifestyle reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by 80%, a much better protection than that offered by medication.
COVID-19 is a disease that also affects blood vessels
Patients who develop severe complications from COVID-19 often have bleeding disorders leading to abnormal blood clot formation.
Hydroxychloroquine and COVID-19: A potentially harmful effect on the heart
The results obtained for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 with hydroxychloroquine do not support its use in the current context. This treatment increases the corrected QT interval on the electrocardiogram, a recognized marker of an increased risk of fatal arrhythmias.
Obesity and heart function
A study sheds light on a mechanism of adaptation for the decrease in cardiac energy capacity induced by obesity.
COVID-19 and cardiovascular disease
In addition to being an important risk factor for COVID-19, studies indicate that cardiovascular disease may also be a consequence of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection and that these cardiac conditions contribute to the mortality caused by severe forms of the disease.
Olive oil, the best source of fat for cooking
A new U.S. study confirms that regular consumption of olive oil is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease.
A new metabolite derived from the microbiota linked to cardiovascular disease
Researchers have identified a new metabolite derived from the gut microbiota, phenylacetylglutamine, which is associated with cardiovascular disease through a mechanism of hyperactivation of blood platelets.
Plant or animal proteins: An impact on health
According to recent studies, reducing the intake of animal proteins and replacing them with plant-based proteins seems beneficial for maintaining good health.
Optimism reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality
According to prospective studies, optimism is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular events and premature death.
Choosing dietary sources of unsaturated fats has many health benefits
It is now clearly established that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats (monounsaturated or polyunsaturated) is associated with a significant reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Effectiveness of exercise to prevent and mitigate diabetes: An important role of the gut microbiota
In overweight, prediabetic and sedentary men, exercise induced changes in the gut microbiota that are correlated with improvements in blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity.
Spicing up the prevention of cardiovascular disease with chili peppers
A study reports that people who regularly consume chili peppers have a reduced risk of dying prematurely from a heart attack or stroke.
Exercise reduces cardiovascular inflammation by modulating the immune system
Voluntary and regular exercise in mice decreases the number of inflammatory leukocytes (white blood cells) in the bloodstream. The underlying mechanism involves a decrease in the secretion of the hormone leptin by fat cells.
The importance of maintaining normal cholesterol levels, even at a young age
One study reports that young adults with high blood cholesterol levels are much more likely to be affected by cardiovascular disease later in life.
Exercise on an empty stomach to burn more fat
Exercising on an empty stomach, rather than after a meal, could burn twice as much fat according to a randomized controlled study.
Quitting smoking in favour of e-cigarettes leads to rapid improvement in cardiovascular health
A randomized clinical study shows that blood vessel function is significantly improved only 1 month after the transition from tobacco to electronic cigarettes.
Bedtime may be the best time for taking antihypertensive medication
Hypertensive people who take their antihypertensive medication at bedtime have better control of their blood pressure and a lower risk of cardiovascular events and mortality than people who take their medication in the morning, according to a new study.
How much exercise to live longer?
The most recent studies indicate that there is no limit to the amount of weekly exercise to obtain beneficial effects on longevity.
Even a small reduction in caloric intake improves cardiovascular health
A fairly modest reduction in caloric intake (300 calories per day) over a two-year period is associated with a significant improvement in several cardiovascular risk factors.
Aerobic fitness is associated with levels of blood metabolites that are good for your health
A Finnish study shows that good aerobic fitness is associated with levels of several metabolites (including LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and triglycerides) that are beneficial to health.
Edible cannabis: An effect of longer duration and less predictable than with inhalation
Edible cannabis does not produce exactly the same effects as a cannabis cigarette, especially with regard to the much slower absorption time and the prolonged duration of euphoric effects.
Eggs: To consume with moderation
A recent study found a significant, albeit modest, association between the consumption of eggs or dietary cholesterol and the incidence of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality.
Hypertension and hypercholesterolemia in young adults increase cardiovascular risk after the age of 40
Study finds strong association between having high blood pressure or LDL-cholesterol levels at a young age (18–39 years), and the development of cardiovascular disease (coronary heart disease and heart failure) later in life (≥40 years old).
Marked decline in youth smoking rates (contrary to what the headlines say)
Despite the sensationalist headlines of recent years, the rise in the number of vapers is not associated with a resurgence of youth smoking. On the contrary, the proportion of young smokers is steadily falling and has reached a historic low in 2018.
Pure fruit juices: sugary drinks like any other?
In small quantities, it is clearly exaggerated to say that pure fruit juices are as harmful to health as beverages containing added sugars. However, it should be moderated because a recent study reports that people who drink large amounts of sugary drinks, including fruit juice, are at higher risk of dying prematurely.
Beyond Burger, Impossible Burger and other products that mimic meat: are they good for health and the environment?
New products made from plants but designed to look, feel, and taste like meat have recently appeared on the market. These products do much less harm to the environment than meat production, but they are ultra-processed foods that contain significant amounts of salt and saturated fat.
The effects of climate change on health
The effects of global warming on health are already beginning to be felt and are likely to become very significant in the coming decades without concrete actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
To stay slim, avoid ultra-processed foods
A clinical study shows that people who are served meals with ultra-processed industrial foods eat more calories and gain weight quickly.
Overwork can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease
People who work a lot (more than 55 hours a week) are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, especially stroke.
Active transportation, a great way to balance work and health
People who go to work walking or cycling are in better physical shape and therefore at lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Can regular exercise compensate for long periods spent sitting?
It is well established that regular physical exercise improves lipid levels, glucose tolerance, and insulin sensitivity, all of which are cardiovascular risk factors. One question researchers have been asking in recent years is whether a single exercise session can,...
The electronic cigarette, a good tool to quit smoking
A randomized clinical trial reports that e-cigarettes are twice as effective as nicotine substitutes for quitting.
Anti-aging effect of a healthy lifestyle
Adopting a healthy lifestyle, i.e. eating well, exercising, managing stress and not smoking or consuming too much alcohol, has beneficial effects on the aging of our cells according to recent scientific literature.
Toward a consensus on the effects of dietary fat on health
It is not so much the total amount of sugar or fat in the diet that matters, but rather the type of sugar or fat that is consumed.
The Mediterranean diet for the prevention of cardiovascular disease (french)
Juul: The new electronic cigarette popular among young people
Updated November 13, 2018 Marketed in 2015, the Juul (pronounced “jewel”) quickly became the most popular electronic cigarette in the United States and currently accounts for 70% of market shares. The recent arrival of Juul in Canada (September 2018) is a good...
Aspirin for primary prevention of cardiovascular events?
The daily intake of low-dose aspirin is associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular events (nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, cardiovascular mortality), but also with an increased risk of major bleeding.
The dangers of heat stroke during a heat wave
Heat waves are sporadic events of high temperatures, which can have serious consequences on human life.
The effects of berries on cardiovascular health
Berries provide significant health benefits because of their high content of phenolic compounds, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Do “weekend warriors” have good cardiovascular health?
In modern societies where work and family responsibilities are very demanding, physical activity is increasingly practiced on weekends only. People who choose to do all their exercises in 1 or 2 days are known colloquially as “weekend warriors”.
Insulin resistance: A dangerous consequence of being overweight
Abdominal obesity (waist circumference greater than 102 cm for men and 88 cm for women) should be considered the first clinical sign of insulin resistance and an increased risk of developing diabetes 2.
The effects of nitrates and nitrites on the cardiovascular system
According to several studies, nitrates found in fruits and vegetables can be beneficial for cardiovascular health and sports performance.
Vitamin B12 supplements are essential for vegans
People who adopt a diet that completely excludes animal products are at high risk of vitamin B12 deficiency.
The positive effects of flaxseed on cardiovascular health
The addition of ground flaxseed to the diet causes a significant drop in blood pressure, a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
E-cigarettes as a tool to reduce smoking-related harm
It is high time to modernize tobacco control, taking into account the harm reduction that new non-combustible tobacco products, especially e-cigarettes, can bring.
Are low-carbohydrate diets really the best way to lose weight?
For most people, there does not seem to be any major benefit in restricting carbohydrate intake rather than fat for sustained weight loss.
Health risks of a sedentary lifestyle
Physical inactivity is associated with an increased risk of premature mortality and to develop or aggravate chronic diseases such as heart failure, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain cancers and osteoporosis.
The Blue Zones: Areas where people are living better and longer
Blue Zones are areas of the world where the longevity of the inhabitants is well above average. The inhabitants of these regions have a lifestyle that has several common characteristics that contribute to their longevity.
The effects of stress on the heart
Updated May 22, 2018 In animals, detecting a threat (smell of smoke, sight of a predator, sound of a gunshot) by the sensory organs (nose, eyes, ears) triggers a maximum alert in the brain that will initiate a series of extremely complex processes called the...
Saturated fats, coconut oil and cardiovascular disease
Even though it is of plant origin, coconut oil is a source of saturated fat and should only be used occasionally to avoid an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Intermittent fasting: A new approach to weight loss?
Instead of uniformly decreasing the amount of calories consumed each day, which seems almost impossible to do for most people, intermittent fasting involves alternating periods of normal food intake with periods of fasting more or less extended.
Moderate physical activity is sufficient to improve health
Not only are there many benefits of physical activity, the amount of exercise required to take advantage of these benefits is much lower than one might think.
The effects of coffee on cardiovascular disease
Coffee is a beverage that has several positive effects, not only for the prevention of cardiovascular disease, but also for general health.
Social isolation: An important risk factor for premature death
Social isolation and loneliness increase the risk of dying prematurely, an impact comparable to that of well-established risk factors such as obesity, sedentary lifestyle and even smoking.
Type 2 diabetes can be cured
A significant loss of weight can normalize blood sugar levels and completely eliminate diabetes without medication or medical intervention.
Dark chocolate is good for the heart!
The consumption of dark chocolate is associated with a reduction of the risk of cardiovascular disease, with a maximum effect around 45 g per week.
Electronic cigarettes are actually less harmful than tobacco
An article recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine confirms that users of nicotine substitutes such as electronic cigarettes are much less exposed to toxic and carcinogenic chemicals than regular smokers. By comparing saliva and urine samples from...
Coronary heart disease: A healthy lifestyle can overcome bad genes
It has been known for several years that there is a genetic predisposition to coronary heart disease.