WELLNESS AROUND THE WEB
Alcohol Is Killing More Americans Than Ever
More and more Americans are drinking themselves to death. A new study found there were around 72,000 alcohol-related deaths among people over the age of 16 in 2017—more than double the number of similar deaths recorded two decades earlier.
The study, published Wednesday in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, relies on death certificate data. It found there were almost 1 million alcohol-related deaths among people over age 16 documented in the U.S. between 1999 and 2017. In 1999, there were 35,914 such deaths, amounting to a rate of 16.9 deaths per every 100,000 people over 16 that year; in 2017, the number ballooned up to 72,558, or a rate of 25.5 deaths per 100,000 people.
While there’s no single cause behind the trend—or a surefire way to convince people to drink less—the authors do note that relatively few doctors even ask patients about their alcohol use, especially if they’re older. Among younger people, the problem is more about stopping them from binge drinking.
All of which is to say, here’s some added motivation for those participating in Dry January.
Does Diet Influence Mental Health?
Our brains need nutrients to function. Also, the food we eat directly influences other factors that can impact mood and cognition, such as gut bacteria, hormones, neuropeptides and neurotransmitters.
MedicalNewsToday.com says that one diet that receives a great deal of attention is the Mediterranean diet. According to the recent review, there is some relatively strong evidence to suggest that the Mediterranean diet can benefit mental health. The diet’s inclusion of healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals make for a well-rounded and appetizing catalogue of foods.
One vitamin in particular that has been associated with mood-boosting properties is B12. Those with vitamin B12 deficiencies often experience lethargy, fatigue and memory problems. These deficiencies are also linked with psychosis and mania. For these people, vitamin B-12 supplementation can significantly improve mental well-being.
However, as the authors point out, it is not at all clear if vitamin B-12 would make a significant difference to people who are not clinically defined as deficient.
U.S. Cancer Deaths Sees Largest-Ever Single-Year Drop
The rate of people dying from cancer in the United States has continued to decline for the 26th year in a row, according to a new American Cancer Society report.