'Beer is good for you' plus more of your favorites in food and drink

By John Murphy, MDLinx
Published August 6, 2018

Key Takeaways

In the past year, MDLinx published a myriad of articles about how food and drink can affect your health. Here, we present the articles that you, our readers, viewed and enjoyed the most. Without any further ado, here's some food for thought (and thought for food).

Why beer is good for your health

Excess beer drinking is undoubtedly unhealthy. But moderate beer drinking (≤2 beers/day for men, ≤1/day for women) has been shown to reduce the risks for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even kidney stones. What's the secret ingredient? Is it the malted barley? The hops? The brewer's yeast? Or the ice-cold Rocky Mountain spring water? Find out here.

A single high-fat meal can lead to heart disease

Eating a diet that's high in fat and cholesterol predisposes consumers to heart disease over time. But could a single high-fat meal cause immediate and damaging cardiovascular effects? Researchers found changes in both red and white blood cells, and in the important enzyme myeloperoxidase. What do these changes mean for you and your patients? Chow down on this article to find out.

Cool response to 'hot tea and cancer' study

Earlier this year, a large study in China concluded that people who drink piping hot tea (and also drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes) may have a five-fold increased risk for esophageal cancer, compared with people who consumed none of these three. Consequently, TV news reports warned consumers about the cancer risks of drinking hot beverages. But was the study relevant to Western consumers? Several physician experts poured cold water on this hot topic. Read what they had to say.

Grilling may raise risk of high blood pressure

How do you like your steak? Preliminary research shows that regularly eating grilled or well-done meats (including chicken and fish) may raise the risk of developing high blood pressure. The risk was greater in people who preferred their food well-done and in people who had grilled, broiled, or roasted meats more than 15 times/month. But do the results of this observational study prove that grilled meats directly cause high blood pressure? The researchers offer some valuable insights and dietary advice. Read about it here.

3 cups a day keeps AFib away

Many people—many physicians included—believe that caffeine can be a trigger for arrhythmia, including atrial fibrillation (AFib). But when researchers reviewed studies on the question, they found that not only does caffeine not contribute to arrhythmia, it can actually have a protective effect. (About 3 cups of coffee a day will do the trick.) But can 75% of US physicians be wrong with their recommendation? Read all about it here.

Baking soda boosts cancer treatment?

Baking soda isn't exactly a tasty treat. Nevertheless, cancer researchers have found that consuming baking soda may help immunotherapy drugs fight difficult-to-treat tumors. This simple and inexpensive intervention may eventually improve current cancer treatments, researchers predict. But how exactly does baking soda (of all things) improve immunotherapy? Find out here.

Egg a day tied to lower risk of heart disease

Research on the link between eggs and heart disease has been inconclusive—some studies suggest that eggs have a protective effect, while other research indicates that the elevated level of cholesterol in eggs might raise the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Now, a new study has found that people who ate about 1 egg per day were less likely to develop or die from cardiovascular diseases. But is the study all it's cracked up to be, or is it shell game? Get the sizzling news here.

Dark chocolate sharpens vision, study finds

Eating dark chocolate results in improvements in vision—specifically visual acuity and contrast sensitivity—for at least 2 hours after consuming it, a recent study showed. But eating milk chocolate didn't provide the same improvement. Do the researchers recommend eating dark chocolate around the clock for the best and most consistent visual results? Unfortunately, no, they do not. But sink your teeth into this article to find out what they did say.

Is the MSG effect a menace—or a myth?

Have you ever eaten Chinese food and almost immediately felt your face flush, your hands tingle, or your heart race? Must be too much MSG in your moo goo gai pan, right? Probably not, researchers have found. MSG may not be the noxious ingredient it's been purported to be after all. So, what has changed? Find out in this quick, comprehensive review.

Does alcohol prevent CVD? Study called into question

Numerous objective studies have shown that people who drink moderate amounts of alcohol have less risk for cardiovascular disease compared with both heavy drinkers and nondrinkers. (See "Why beer is good for your health," above.) But objective studies can't prove causation—only a controlled clinical trial can do that. So, a large, government-sponsored clinical trial set out to investigate this question…but then the study was derailed by accusations that the investigators had solicited funding from alcohol companies. What really went down the hatch? Read the full story here.

Keep following MDLinx for more about all the food and drink that affect your and your patients' health.

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