The human body: An inspiring biological work of art? Or a meaty sack of germs and fluids? Either way, there’s still a lot we don’t know about what goes on in there — and scientists are constantly attempting to find out more. Here are the most interesting things we learned about our bodies in the last seven days…
Actually, Yoga Can Pull You Out of a Depression
When you’re depressed, being told to “try yoga” is among the most obnoxious pieces of advice you can receive. I mean, how can contorting yourself into a pretzel… Oh, shit: A recent study found that male veterans who practiced yoga over an eight-week period saw a significant decrease in their depressive symptoms. Another study of women between the ages 25 to 45 found similar results. And while the researchers did note that yoga is best used as a complement to other treatments, the military is still currently looking at creating its own yoga-based treatment programs.
Cheers to Always Drinking
Allegedly, teens are drinking less than ever before, and thanks to “mocktails” and sober bars, adults are following in their footsteps. Good thing I said “allegedly,” because the data doesn’t really support those assertions. In fact, according to a recent study, the U.S. comes in second for the country with the most alcohol consumption, right behind the U.K. and ahead of Canada and Australia. In fairness, the study didn’t measure the quantity of alcohol consumed, it just asked participants how many times they’d been drunk in the last year. (In the U.S., the average reported number was 50, or once every week or so.) In any case, alcohol consumption continues to rise globally — it’s projected that by 2030, 50 percent of the population will drink, up 5 percent from 1990.
Smoke Weed Instead If You Want Feel Less Pain — And Get in More Accidents
But enough about booze — the rise of medical marijuana has been incredibly helpful in pain and symptom management. That, however, hasn’t necessarily translated to fewer hospital visits overall. In a study of hospital visits in Colorado two years before and after full legalization, researchers found that while there were 5 percent fewer visits for pain, that loss was made up for by a 10-percent increase in car accidents. Colorado hospitals also saw a 5 percent increase in alcohol-related visits (please see above). The moral here: Don’t smoke and drive.
Diabetes with A Side of Genital Gangrene
An unfortunate few who have been treating their Type 2 Diabetes with SGLT2 inhibitors have developed Fournier gangrene, a “flesh-eating” genital infection. It’s very rare — only 55 people were diagnosed with Fournier gangrene between March 2013, when SGLT2 inhibitors were introduced, and January 2019. That’s super tiny odds considering an estimated 1.7 million people were prescribed a form of the drug in 2017. Still, Fournier gangrene sounds… horrific. The infection causes pain, redness and a “foul smell” in the genital or anal region. Plus, getting rid of it can involve multiple surgeries. Three people have even died from it. Nevertheless, since we’re talking odds here, untreated diabetes is far more detrimental to your health.
Men Have A Biological Clock, Too
Seriously — recent studies show that men have an age-limit on fertility, and that the older the father is, the more at-risk the child and mother will be. The list of possible complications from fathers over 45 is extensive, from gestational diabetes to preeclampsia to preterm birth. It’s worse for the children themselves, though. Per ScienceDaily, “Infants born to older fathers were found to be at higher risk of premature birth, late stillbirth, low Apgar scores, low birth weight, higher incidence of newborn seizures and birth defects such as congenital heart disease and cleft palate.” It doesn’t get better as they age either. Again, as reported by ScienceDaily, “As they matured, these children were found to have an increased likelihood of childhood cancers, psychiatric and cognitive disorders and autism.”
Tick tock, fellas.