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 and potential treatments, interviews with experts, and an ongoing investigation into the deep racial disparities that the disease has unmasked.

However, this has not stopped us from publishing hundreds of fascinating stories on a myriad of other topics.

This week, our readers have been captivated by subjects as diverse as the microbiome, what happens if a person drinks too much water, and which vegetables contain the most protein, as well as articles on perceptual disturbances and whether or not it is best to sleep on the left side after a heavy meal.

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

1. World Microbiome Day coverage

world microbiome dayShare on Pinterest
Use our dedicated hub to learn more about the microbiome and how it affects our health.

To mark World Microbiome Day on June 27, we present 24 articles that explain what the human microbiome is, how it interacts with the rest of the body, and which foods are beneficial for gut bacteria. We also explore the difference between probiotics and prebiotics and how microbes may control our thoughts and behavior. (Life at its smallest scale really is a huge topic.)

Learn more here.

2. Dogs will try to rescue their owners if they can

woman cuddling with her dog in the parkShare on Pinterest
New research finds that dogs will try to rescue their owners, as long as they understand what they need to do.

Today is Take Your Dog to Work Day. For people who have ever wondered what is going on in their canine’s mind, a new study confirms that dogs recognize distress and will try to rescue their owners if they can figure out a way to do so.

Learn more here.

3. 5 supplements to lower blood pressure

Share on Pinterest
Potassium, omega-3, probiotics, Hibiscus sabdariffa, and calcium supplements may all help lower blood pressure.

This month’s most popular article — clocking up over 42,000 readers since its publication last week — looks at five supplements that may help lower blood pressure.

Although it is important to understand that having a healthful lifestyle and nutritious diet are the best ways to lower blood pressure, these supplements may also be helpful for some people.

Learn more here.

4. What happens if you drink too much water?

Share on Pinterest
A person may experience water intoxication if they drink too much of it.

This article, which we published in May, has since climbed the rankings to become the third most-read after our articles on blood pressure supplements and the rarest and most common blood types.

Drinking water in excess can be fatal, but how much is too much, and what is the recommended amount to drink each day?

Learn more here.

5. What is Alice in Wonderland syndrome?

Share on Pinterest
A person with Alice in Wonderland syndrome may experience perceptual disturbances.

As someone who experienced some of the symptoms in my younger years, I was fascinated to learn that this class of perceptual disturbances has a name. Alice in Wonderland syndrome remains something of a mystery, and more research is necessary before doctors can recommend a direct treatment for symptoms such as micropsia and teleopsia.

Learn more here.

6. Human color awareness more limited than previously thought

Share on Pinterest
Neuroscience suggests that human awareness of colors is more limited than researchers previously believed.

Recent research has revealed that we probably do not perceive as much color as we believe, especially at the edges of our visual field. The brain works hard to invent much of the color we see and ensure that we remain oblivious to any lack of it in the visual field.

Researchers discovered this phenomenon by removing color from some of the images they presented to people in their study. Most did not notice any change.

Learn more here.

7. The 10 best vegetables for protein

Share on Pinterest
Watercress contains a significant amount of protein per calorie.

Our nutrition advice brings millions of people to MNT, and this comparison of the protein content in common vegetables easily made it into our top 10 most popular articles of the past week.

Learn more here.

8. Do all men die equally?

Share on Pinterest
Why do men die?

Published as part of our recent Men’s Health Week coverage, this story emerged as one of the most engaging posts on our Facebook page over the past week.

The most common cause of death in males is heart disease. When breaking down the data, however, this does not hold true for all males — and there are some startling differences between ethnicities.

Learn more here.

9. The best side to sleep on for digestion and other benefits

Share on Pinterest
Sleeping on the left side may be the optimal sleeping position for digestion.

Is there any more to the idea that it is best to sleep on the left side than hearsay and anecdote?

Thousands of readers spent an average of nearly 6 minutes each learning about the benefits of sleeping while lying on the left side, right side, back, or stomach.

Learn more here.

10. 8 of the best bathroom scales

Share on Pinterest
The features of a bathroom scale can vary by model.

Another article our readers spent a lot of time with (over 15 minutes each) was this comparison of eight bathroom scales.

We weighed up the pros and cons of digital and analog scales, including models that calculate body fat percentage and connect to smartphones.

Learn more here.

We hope that this has provided a taste of the range of stories we cover on 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:

  • Researchers develop a wearable patch for melanoma
  • Strong muscles may support the immune system
  • How an eye scan could detect your molecular age