July 31 — 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.

This week, our article on the best foods containing vitamin B12 proved to be very popular. Readers also flocked to our articles on how to lower diastolic blood pressure and how to fall asleep within minutes.

We also reported on how oxytocin, the “love hormone,” may play a role in preventing Alzheimer’s disease, and how having a job that involves sitting behind a desk may lower the risk of cognitive decline.

We also looked at the Mandela effect and shared the latest Letter from the Editor, which focused on racial disparities in mental healthcare.

Here are 10 recent stories that people may have missed amid all the COVID-19 fervor.

1. Best vitamin B12 foods: Supplements and RDA

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Vitamin B12 is available in a range of foods.

This article emerged not only as the most read this week, but also as the most read over the past 2 months, with over 160,000 views since its publication last Sunday.

In it, we look at how the body uses vitamin B12 and the symptoms of consuming too little. The article also lists the best foods containing vitamin B12, including plant-based alternatives, plus some foods and beverages that can interfere with vitamin B12 intake.

Learn more here.

2. What can people do to lower diastolic blood pressure?

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Making certain lifestyle changes, such as getting more exercise, can help a person manage their blood pressure.

Our second most read article over the past week looked at some steps people can take to lower their blood pressure.

In this article, we offer 17 natural and medical tips, including lifestyle and dietary changes. We also list the complications that may occur if a person does not seek treatment or try lifestyle changes for high blood pressure.

Learn more here.

3. Molecule in blood linked to cognitive decline in old age

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A recent study suggests that a molecule within the blood could be an early tell-tale sign of cognitive decline.

Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease is important. Although there is currently no cure, scientists are working on several treatments that aim to slow its progression, as MNT recently reported.

According to one new study, a molecule called asymmetric dimethylarginine may be a helpful early predictor of cognitive decline, sometimes years or even decades before symptoms appear.

However, further research is necessary to confirm this, as the recent study involved only 93 participants.

Learn more here.

4. How to fall asleep fast: Methods to try

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Several techniques can help people fall asleep faster.

Knowing how to fall asleep fast can help a person manage sleep quality. This article presents several methods and techniques that can help people fall asleep quickly (or within just 2 minutes, with the military method we look at first).

We noticed that our readers did spend less time than usual with this article, so presumably, it had the desired effect.

Learn more here.

5. All you need to know about melatonin

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A person may use melatonin supplements to promote restful sleep.

Sticking with the theme of sleep, we recently published this deep dive into every aspect of the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate daily body rhythms. It also has many other roles and boasts a wealth of potential medical uses.

Produced naturally by the pineal gland in the brain, it is also available as a supplement. Our recent article looks at the risks and possible side effects of taking it.

Learn more here.

6. Can the ‘love hormone’ oxytocin treat Alzheimer’s?

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New research suggests that oxytocin may give brain cells’ back their plasticity.

Oxytocin is best known as the hormone that helps facilitate romantic attachment and social bonding, earning it its reputation as the “love hormone.”

This week, we reported on new research that suggests that oxytocin can restore brain cells’ plasticity, which is key for memory and learning. Therefore, oxytocin may also help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Learn more here.

7. 6 pressure points that alleviate anxiety

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Several acupressure points for anxiety may offer relief, including areas on the hands and face.

MNT also published this article on acupressure techniques this week. Several thousand readers have already spent an average of more than 5 minutes learning about how to massage the six pressure points that may relieve anxiety.

The article also looks at the evidence that supports the use of this alternative therapy to treat this condition.

Learn more here.

8. A desk-based job may lower the risk of cognitive decline

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Could a desk job protect cognitive functioning? The answer might be ‘yes,’ according to a new study.

Given the warnings from experts about the potential dangers of a sedentary lifestyle, our report on this new research may seem surprising.

The study, from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, suggests that there is a link between sedentary, desk-based jobs and better cognitive functioning later in life. Make yourself comfortable and read why this might be the case.

Learn more here.

9. What is the Mandela effect?

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False memories, including the alleged death of Nelson Mandela in the 1980s, are known collectively as the Mandela effect.

“The Mandela effect” describes a situation in which a person or a group of people have a false memory of an event. Our new article on this phenomenon looks at the potential causes of false memories, including the possibility that they are interactions with parallel universes.

We look at some famous examples and suggest how to verify whether or not an event actually happened.

Learn more here.

10. Letter from the Editor: Highlighting racial disparities in mental healthcare

July is BIPOC Mental Health month, and in our latest Letter from the Editor, Editorial Director Honor Whiteman focuses on disparities in access to mental healthcare among Black, Indigenous, and people of color.

Honor’s Letter closes with a call to our readers of color for suggestions about health topics that we should cover on MNT. She writes, “We’re here for you, and we want to do more.”

Learn more here.

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:

  • The neuroscience of sleep
  • MicroRNA treatment may restore hair growth
  • How the second brain in your gut communicates