Summary of “Using a Sauna May Reduce the Risk of Stroke”

A paper published in the journal Neurology found that regular sauna baths were associated with a significant reduction in a person’s risk of having a stroke.
“The findings are very strong,” said study co-author Setor Kunutsor, a research fellow at the University of Bristol in the UK, in an email to TIME. “Those who took a sauna four to seven times a week were about 60% less likely to have a stroke than people who took only one sauna per week.”
For about 15 years, researchers tracked 1,628 adults and asked them to fill out surveys about their sauna usage and other lifestyle habits.
The researchers used that data to calculate the rate of stroke per 1,000 people for three different groups: Those who used a sauna once per week, two to three times per week or four to seven times per week.
While overall stroke risk was still relatively low throughout the entire study group, that difference translates to a 60% lower chance for the heaviest sauna users.
Due to the popularity of saunas in Finland, most people in the study used one at least weekly, the authors note, so more research is needed to compare the outcomes of frequent users versus those who never use a sauna.
The results are likely related to drops in blood pressure associated with sauna use, since hypertension is a known risk factor for stroke, Kunutsor says.
Other recent research has linked using a sauna with a healthier heart and longer life, and another study found that a 30-minute sauna session was enough to lower blood pressure.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Don’t Study the Competition. Study Winners in Other Industries.”

When top-earning entrepreneurs need more creative inspiration, or we need to accelerate the growth of our businesses, here’s what we do instead: We study winners and losers in other industries.
I’ll explain why in a moment, but I need to fully debunk this myth that it’s smart to study the competition.
That’s why high-performing CEOs and entrepreneurs keep their thoughts completely focused on success, whether that means studying successful businesses in other industries or envisioning the success of their own businesses.
Studying winners in other industries makes you innovative.
The key to faster innovation is to study innovative leaders in other industries so you can borrow their strategies and be the first to implement them in your own industry.
The point is that Subway was the first fast food place to position itself as “Healthy” and because of that it became the fastest growing, most recognized sandwich company on the planet, all because it copied the winners in a different industry.
That’s because it’s just as important to study failures in other industries as it is to study successes.
Studying losers in other industries keeps you sharp.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Study: This is how long it takes adults to make new friends”

In a landmark study, a University of Kansas professor now believes he knows why making friends as an adult is just so difficult.
The study: Published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Associate Professor of Communications Studies, Jeffrey Hall, found that it takes about 50 hours to cement a friendship between two adults.
That is to say, going from mere acquaintance – that person you find yourself waxing poetic about the utility of avocados in the super market every week with – to a casual friend.
If you’re ready to kick it up a notch, it’ll take about another 40 hours to be actual friends – the type you might ask to water your plants while you’re on vacation, or to help you move.
For good friends, you’re looking at an investment of about 200 hours, at minimum.
These are the friends you communicate with using a series of shifty glances and grunts, and they just sort of understand what you mean.
Takeaway: As an adult, a common gripe I hear from other adults is how difficult it is to make new friends once you’re past the days of bonding over a shared hatred of trigonometry.
Study reveals number of hours it takes to make a friend.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Cure for Students Sleeping in Class”

Over half of the classes didn’t involve students except in the form of “Sporadic questions” from and to them despite “Ample evidence,” they go on, “For the limited impact of these practices and substantial interest on the part of institutions and national organizations in education reform.” Second, survey-based studies on faculty members has suggested that classroom layouts, like big amphitheaters with huge numbers of students, can be barriers to “Instructional innovation”-the unalterable structure of the room caters to the status quo.
The study found, when teachers have flexible layouts and less students they tend to fall back to lecturing.
Third, you’ve got to sit in on a teacher at least four times to accurately assess their teaching method-how frequently they lecture versus have students, for example, answer quiz questions using wireless clickers or work together on a group project.
“These results indicate that average examination scores improved by about 6% in active learning sections,” the researchers found, “And that students in classes with traditional lecturing were 1.5 times more likely to fail than were students in classes with active learning.”
“Specifically, institutions should revise their tenure, promotion, and merit-recognition policies to incentivize and reward” faculty, of “All academic ranks,” to implement ways of instructing students that have been shown to work.
Olin also avoids lecturing its students, engaging them in project-based learning instead. A criticism sometimes levied at Miller is that this only suits the brightest students.
“We’ve been working specifically with other universities that don’t have especially precocious students or very demanding entrance requirements to see if the principles that we’re using will still work.”
“This is not what you would call a school that’s restricted for highly precocious students.” Nevertheless, it’s one of the highest-producers of Hispanic-background engineers in the U.S, and “a good fraction of those students drive over the river from Mexico every day to take classes,” Miller said.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How much is an hour worth? The war over the minimum wage”

Seattle’s $15 is the highest minimum wage in the US, and over double the federal minimum of $7.25.
Over on the left, a headline in the Nation declared: “No, Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage Is Not Hurting Workers.” Citing the Berkeley study, Michelle Chen wrote: “What happens when wages go up? Workers make more money.” The business magazine Forbes ran two opposing articles: one criticising the UW study, and another criticising liberals for ignoring the UW study in favour of the Berkeley study.
In the field of economics, the concern that a state-administered minimum wage – also known as a wage floor – could backfire by reducing jobs or hours had been around since John Stuart Mill at least.
At a 1937 Congressional hearing on the proposed Fair Labor Standards Act – which enacted the first federal minimum wage, the 40-hour work week and the ban on child labour – a representative of one of the US’s most powerful business lobby groups, the National Association of Manufacturers, testified that a minimum wage was the first step toward totalitarianism: “Call it Bolshevism or communism, if you will. Call it socialism, Nazism, fascism or what you will. Each says to the people that they must bow to the will of the state.”
In 1976, the prominent economist George Stigler, a longtime critic of the minimum wage on neoclassical grounds, boasted that “One evidence of the professional integrity of the economist is the fact that it is not possible to enlist good economists to defend protectionist programs or minimum wage laws”.
The Times ran an editorial titled “The Right Minimum Wage: $0.00”, informing its readers – not inaccurately, at the time – that “There’s a virtual consensus among economists that the minimum wage is an idea whose time has passed”.
Through the 1980s and into the 90s, many US states had responded to the stagnant federal minimum wage by passing laws that boosted their local minimum wages above what national law required.
The old economic consensus insisted that the only good minimum wage was no minimum wage; the new consensus recognises that this is not the case.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Are ‘Learning Styles’ Real?”

Experts aren’t sure how the concept spread, but it might have had something to do with the self-esteem movement of the late ’80s and early ’90s. Everyone was special-so everyone must have a special learning style, too.
“Teachers like to think that they can reach every student, even struggling students, just by tailoring their instruction to match each student’s preferred learning format,” said Central Michigan University’s Abby Knoll, a PhD student who has studied learning styles.
The survey then gave them some study strategies that seem like they would correlate with that learning style.
Students seemed to be interested in their learning styles, but not enough to actually change their studying behavior based on them.
Another study published last year in the British Journal of Psychology found that students who preferred learning visually thought they would remember pictures better, and those who preferred learning verbally thought they’d remember words better.
” “Educators may actually be doing a disservice to auditory learners by continually accommodating their auditory learning style,” they wrote, “rather than focusing on strengthening their visual word skills.
The “learning styles” idea has snowballed-as late as 2014, more than 90 percent of teachers in various countries believed it.
Strangely, most research on learning styles starts out with a positive portrayal of the theory-before showing it doesn’t work.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Bananas vs. Sports Drinks? Bananas Win in Study”

So a few years ago, researchers at the North Carolina Research Campus of Appalachian State University in Kannapolis, began to wonder about fruits as a healthier alternative to sports drinks during exercise.
Most fruits, including bananas, are sugary and high in fructose; fructose, after all, means fruit sugar.
In a preliminary experiment, published in 2012, the scientists found that cyclists performed better during a strenuous bike ride if they had either a banana or a sports drink compared to only water.
Dole Foods, which sells bananas, partially funded both studies.
According to a statement in the study, the company did not have any involvement in “The study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript.”). The researchers asked 20 competitive cyclists, male and female, to complete a grueling 47-mile bike ride on several occasions at the campus performance lab.
In the others, they had water, but also eight ounces of a sports drink or about half of a banana every 30 minutes.
In particular, the scientists found that the riders’ blood cells produced less of a genetic precursor of an enzyme known as COX-2 if they had eaten bananas during their workout.
In the meantime, he says, for exercisers who might prefer a natural, inexpensive and neatly packaged alternative to sports drinks, “Bananas look pretty good.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Older Americans Are ‘Hooked’ on Vitamins”

The National Institutes of Health has spent more than $2.4 billion since 1999 studying vitamins and minerals.
In Search Of The Magic BulletA big part of the problem, Dr. Kramer said, could be that much nutrition research has been based on faulty assumptions, including the notion that people need more vitamins and minerals than a typical diet provides; that megadoses are always safe; and that scientists can boil down the benefits of vegetables like broccoli into a daily pill.
American food tends to be highly fortified – with vitamin D in milk, iodine in salt, B vitamins in flour, even calcium in some brands of orange juice.
Researchers may have trouble finding a true control group, with no exposure to supplemental vitamins.
If everyone in a study is consuming fortified food, vitamins may appear less effective.
The body naturally regulates the levels of many nutrients, such as vitamin C and many B vitamins, Dr. Kramer said, by excreting what it doesn’t need in urine.
People who take vitamins tend to be healthier, wealthier and better educated than those who don’t, Dr. Kramer said.
Too Much Of A Good ThingTaking megadoses of vitamins and minerals, using amounts that people could never consume through food alone, could be even more problematic.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Fresh Air: ‘Doing Harm’ By Maya Dusenbery”

Fresh Air: ‘Doing Harm’ By Maya Dusenbery : Shots – Health News Journalist Maya Dusenbery argues that medicine has a “Systemic and unconscious bias” against women that is rooted in “What doctors, regardless of their own gender, are learning in medical schools.”
We still don’t know that women are necessarily adequately represented in all areas of research, because the NIH looks at the aggregate numbers, and the outside analyses that have been done show that women are still a little bit underrepresented.
Even though women are usually included in most studies today, it’s still not the norm to really analyze results by gender to actually see if there are differences between men and women.
Women are included, but we’re still not getting the knowledge we need about ways that their symptoms or responses to treatment might differ from men.
On why some medicine affects men and women differently – and how that results in women receiving excessive doses of most drugs.
So there’s been a concerted effort to go back and compare women’s experiences to men’s, which has led to the knowledge that women are more likely to have what are considered to be atypical symptoms.
One study found it was younger women – so women under 55 – were seven times more likely than the average patient to be sent home mid-heart attack.
So conditions like autoimmune diseases that really are marked by these subjective symptoms of pain and fatigue, I think, are very easy to dismiss in women.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The DASH Diet Helps Depression Symptoms”

In a recently released abstract, researchers studying 964 elderly participants over six and a half years found those who followed the DASH diet, which emphasizes whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, had lower rates of depression, while those who ate a traditional Western diet were more prone to depression.
“Medications to treat depression are wonderful, but for many people, it’s going to be a combination of things.”
The study has not been published yet in a peer-reviewed journal, but other researchers have found similar antidepression benefits from the DASH diet, which was developed by the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Past research has found that following the DASH diet was associated with reduced depression in adolescent girls and with less physician-diagnosed depression among thousands of Spaniards.
The evidence suggests diet improves depression symptoms even when controlling for factors like income or education, says Felice Jacka, a professor of nutritional psychiatry at Australia’s Deakin University.
Jacka found in 2010 that women who ate a diet high in produce, meat, fish, and whole grains had lower odds of major depression and anxiety than others.
Jacka told me that at this point, the connection between diet and depression is so well-established that more studies like Cherian’s aren’t really necessary.
The DASH diet itself is nothing revolutionary-a typical dinner consists of a lean meat, baked potato, and lots of vegetables.

The orginal article.