July 17 – The coronavirus pandemic has dominated the headlines, and our daily lives, for most of this year. Medical News Today have covered this fast-moving, complex story with live updates on the latest news, interviews with experts, and an ongoing investigation into the deep racial disparities that COVID-19 has unmasked.
However, this has not stopped us from publishing hundreds of fascinating stories on a myriad of other topics.
Here are 10 recent stories that people may have missed amid all the COVID-19 fervor.
1. How much weight can you lose in a month? Safety and tips
Though only published on Monday this week, our new article on losing weight safely has already emerged as our most popular this month. How much weight a person can lose depends on their level of physical activity and dietary habits, but a safe amount is between 4 and 8 pounds in a month. The article looks at what to eat, how to exercise, and when rapid weight loss is concerning.
2. Swelling: Is it serious? Symptoms, causes, and treatment
Our next most popular article over the past week was our deep dive into swelling. We look at the symptoms at locations around the body, the tests your doctor may use to diagnose the cause of swelling, and what treatments are available. We also advise on when unexplained, long-lasting, or treatment-resistant swelling means you should seek medical help.
3. 5 foods to avoid with arthritis to reduce pain
Our guide to changing diet to alleviate arthritis symptoms also proved very popular this week. Certain fats may increase inflammation across the body, and people should limit them. We also identify vegetables from the nightshade family, including potatoes and tomatoes, that may trigger pain in some people with arthritis.
As well as advising readers on what not to eat, this article also recommends a range of healthful, anti-inflammatory foods and lifestyle changes that may help someone manage their arthritis symptoms.
4. Gut bacteria could help diagnose diabetes
MNT recently presented a wide range of articles for World Microbiome Day, and scientists are reporting discoveries almost daily.
This week, we reported on a new study that found gut bacteria populations fluctuate throughout the day and that this occurs to a lesser extent in people with type 2 diabetes. The researchers found that 13 types of bacteria did not follow the normal day-night rhythm in people with diabetes. Doctors could potentially use these patterns as a novel way to predict and diagnose the condition.
5. How to take apple cider vinegar: Dose, methods, and side effects
Research suggests that apple cider vinegar (ACV) may have potential health benefits when people consume it medicinally. But how much is safe, and what are the possible side effects of consuming too much or too often?
These questions are clearly on our readers’ minds as thousands of people visited MNT this week to learn about the science behind the claimed benefits for weight loss, blood glucose control, and other conditions. We look at how to take ACV, the possible side effects, drug interactions, and recommend a safe daily dosage.
6. Probiotics may reduce symptoms of depression
Nutrition stories feature strongly in this week’s round up. We reported on a new review of existing evidence that suggests that probiotic bacteria on their own or in combination with prebiotics, may relieve symptoms of depression. Yet more evidence on the relationship between the gut and the brain is likely to prove valuable.
Interestingly, prebiotics did not have a significant effect on depression on their own, and neither probiotics nor prebiotics improved anxiety symptoms, either on their own or in combination.
7. Mesomorph body type: Definition, diet, and working out
This popular article focuses on the strong, athletic mesomorph body type. It also offers background on the ectomorph and endomorph body types and how to identify them. Mesomorphs tend to gain weight easily, so we discuss the best diet and exercise routines for their fitness goals.
8. Raw milk may harbor antibiotic-resistant germs
Before you rush to your local farm shop to buy a carton of unpasteurized milk, consider this new research. A recent analysis of raw milk detected potentially dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which increased when left at room temperature.
It is important to weigh up the scant evidence that raw milk is beneficial for the immune system and digestion against the risk of exposing yourself to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. If you do decide to try raw milk, at the very least, store it in the fridge.
9. 6 natural antidepressants: What they are? Learn more here
Our article on natural antidepressants was one of the most popular stories that our readers spent the most time with this week.
We looked at SAM-e, St John’s Wort, omega-3 fatty acids, lavender, 5-HTP, and DHEA, and some unstudied herbal antidepressants. The main takeaway from this article is that people suffering from depression should speak to their doctor before trying any of these treatments, though they may offer some relief.
10. MNT investigates: What has science uncovered about the causes of MS and how to treat it?
Previous MNT investigations looked at the role of gut bacteria in ulcerative colitis and a new psoriasis treatment. Yesterday, we published an article taking a closer look at the causes and treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS).
What is it that causes the immune system to malfunction and attack the body’s nervous system? Are there lifestyle or environmental risk factors? What role do genes play? How do doctors decide which treatments to prescribe?
We hope that this has provided a taste of the range of stories that we cover at MNT. We will be back with a new selection next week.
Coming soon: A sneak preview of what’s in our drafts folder
We publish hundreds of new articles every month. Here are some upcoming articles that may pique our readers’ interest:
- Pickled capers contain a compound that’s important for heart and brain health
- Why your desk job may be good for cognition in later life
- How ‘friendly’ E. coli bacteria may protect the gut from their deadly cousin