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Does Stressing Out Cause Your Hair to Turn Grey?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Grey can be a dif­fi­cult color to pull off espe­cially when it’s on your head. So is the only way to avoid grey locks to live a life free of stress and strain?

Not so fast. Each of us have two chem­i­cals in our bod­ies: melanin, which is the pig­ment in our hair, and hydro­gen per­ox­ide. Early in life, it seems that melanin over­pow­ers the hydro­gen per­ox­ide, allow­ing us to have a col­or­ful head of hair.

Later in life, though, the hydro­gen per­ox­ide seems to over­take the melanin, caus­ing a loss of pig­men­ta­tion and a grey­ing of the hair.

But in terms of stress caus­ing grey hair, there is no sci­en­tific proof what­so­ever,” Dr. Michael Stern, an Emer­gency Med­i­cine Physi­cian at New York Pres­by­ter­ian Hos­pi­tal, says.

You may now resume your stress-filled lives with­out the added weight of wor­ry­ing about hair color.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Coroner Investigates Death of Girl Who Refused Chemotherapy

Bhakpong/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The death of an 11-year-old girl who sparked head­lines after her fam­ily agreed to let her stop chemother­apy will be inves­ti­gated by a local coroner.

Makayla Sault, a mem­ber of the First Nations tribe in Canada, died after suf­fer­ing a stroke on Sun­day, accord­ing to a fam­ily statement.

Makayla’s case grabbed head­lines after, at the girl’s request, she stopped chemother­apy treat­ment for her acute lym­phoblas­tic leukemia in May. The move led to the fam­ily being inves­ti­gated by a divi­sion of Canada’s Children’s Aid Soci­ety, which ulti­mately allowed the fam­ily to con­tinue to care for Makayla with­out requir­ing the chemother­apy treatments.

In a state­ment released this week, the girl’s fam­ily blamed her death on the 12 weeks of chemother­apy she had under­gone before she stopped treat­ment. The fam­ily said it was not the dis­ease that killed Makayla, but rather the effects of the chemotherapy.

Makayla was on her way to well­ness, bravely fight­ing toward holis­tic well-being after the harsh side effects that 12 weeks of chemother­apy inflicted on her body,” the fam­ily said in a state­ment. “Chemother­apy did irre­versible dam­age to her heart and major organs. This was the cause of the stroke.”

McMas­ter Children’s Hos­pi­tal in Hamil­ton, Ontario, where Makayla was treated, said it had no com­ment on the claims in the family’s state­ment. How­ever, the hos­pi­tal, part of the Hamil­ton Health Sci­ences fam­ily of hos­pi­tals, released its con­do­lences for Makayla’s family.

Every­one who knew Makayla was touched by this remark­able girl,” said the state­ment, signed by Peter Fitzger­ald, the hospital’s pres­i­dent. “Her loss is heart-breaking. Our deep­est sym­pa­thy is extended to Makayla’s family.”

Cheryl Mahyr, a spokes­woman for the office of the chief coro­ner in Ontario, told ABC News that there was an ongo­ing inves­ti­ga­tion into Makayla’s death, but that it was a rou­tine inves­ti­ga­tion sparked by the ear­lier Children’s Aid Soci­ety probe.

Brant Fam­ily and Children’s Ser­vices, the Children’s Aid Soci­ety divi­sion that inves­ti­gated the fam­ily, expressed its con­do­lences in a state­ment issued after Makayla’s death.

Makayla was a won­der­ful, lov­ing child who elo­quently exer­cised her indige­nous rights as a First Nations per­son and those legal rights pro­vided to her under Ontario’s Health Care Con­sent Act,” the group’s state­ment read, in part. “The par­ents are a car­ing cou­ple who loved their daugh­ter deeply.”

Chief Bryan LaForme, a spokesman for Makayla’s fam­ily, told ABC News that the girl did not have any signs of leukemia at the time of her death. He noted that it was Makayla, her­self, who asked to stop treat­ment and that her fam­ily sup­ported her decision.

Dr. John Let­te­rio, chief of pedi­atric hema­tol­ogy and oncol­ogy at Uni­ver­sity Hos­pi­tals Rain­bow Babies & Children’s Hos­pi­tal in Cleve­land, said it was unlikely that chemother­apy drugs could have caused a stroke months after Makayla stopped treatment.

The drugs we use, lit­er­ally thou­sands of patients have had these,” said Let­te­rio, who did not treat Makayla. “One of the chemother­apy agents we use has the risk for some heart prob­lems [but] it’s so very, very rare.”

Let­te­rio said the chance of com­pli­ca­tions would also be fur­ther reduced if Makayla was out of chemother­apy treat­ment for months.

How­ever, Let­te­rio said if Makayla did have active leukemia dis­ease, there’s a chance car­diac com­pli­ca­tions could occur.

Leukemia, in essence, goes every­where the blood stream goes. Those can­cer cells can accu­mu­late,” said Let­te­rio. “It could be a com­pli­ca­tion of her dis­ease if it began to march along. It’s hard to tell.”

Makayla’s death came a few months after an Ontario judge ruled on a sim­i­lar case in which an uniden­ti­fied girl, also part of the First Nations tribe, refused chemother­apy. In that case, the judge ruled the fam­ily of the girl would be allowed to pur­sue alter­na­tive treat­ment and stop chemother­apy in part because of their “abo­rig­i­nal right.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


'Six Pack' Mom Reacts to Uproar over Her Abs-Baring Photo

File photo. (Artem_Furman/iStock/Thinkstock)(NEW YORK) — When Abby Pell posted a photo on Insta­gram show­ing her slim belly and toned, defined abs, she never expected the uproar that would erupt.

In the photo, Pell, 33, a nutri­tion­ist and fit­ness com­peti­tor, posed next to her 6-year-old daugh­ter, who pointed to her mother’s bared abs with a shocked look on her face. The photo’s cap­tion read: “I have a kid, a six pack and no excuse.”

I just thought it would be funny,” the British woman said.

Not every­one laughed. In fact, many peo­ple accused her of fat sham­ing other moth­ers and set­ting a bad exam­ple for her daugh­ter, Bella.

One com­menter wrote: “She’s teach­ing her kid that any­one who doesn’t con­form has no excuse, they’re just lazy.”

But many oth­ers have defended Pell, includ­ing one who wrote: “U have inspired me to work harder at the gym.”

Now, Pell, of West Sus­sex, Eng­land, is explain­ing her­self. She said she sim­ply wanted to moti­vate other mothers.

My mes­sage was about hav­ing a choice, and show­ing peo­ple that it can be achieved if you want to achieve it, and just by lead­ing by exam­ple,” she told ABC News.

The reac­tion to Pell’s photo was sim­i­lar to the back­lash against Maria Kang in 2013, when she posted a photo of her slim and toned fig­ure with her three young sons. Her photo cap­tion was “What’s your excuse?”

Kang, too, said she wanted to encour­age other women. She said she was an exam­ple of a mother who was healthy and could be a pos­i­tive role model to other mothers.

Still, some say pho­tos like the ones Pell and Kang posted can send a far dif­fer­ent message.

Let’s give props to this per­son who obvi­ously is in great shape,” said ABC News’ Dr. Jen­nifer Ash­ton. “But let’s also rec­og­nize that sham­ing peo­ple is usu­ally not a pow­er­ful moti­va­tional tool. And I think that, cer­tainly, when you’re talk­ing about moms bounc­ing back from preg­nancy, we have enough pres­sure on us as mothers.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Women of Child-Bearing Age Should Avoid Taking Addictive Painkillers

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — Pre­scrip­tion painkillers con­tain­ing highly addic­tive opi­oids that can cause birth defects and other seri­ous prob­lems in early preg­nancy are taken by more than a quar­ter of U.S. women of child-bearing age.

The Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion released this infor­ma­tion Thurs­day as a warn­ing to women who are think­ing about hav­ing a child or might be in the early stages of being pregnant.

Although much has been reported about the dra­matic increase of over­doses from these med­ica­tions, this is the first time the CDC has focused on the dan­gers Vicodin, Oxy­con­tin and other drugs pose to women between the ages of 15 and 44.

While women might stop tak­ing opi­oid painkillers after becom­ing preg­nant, the prob­lem is that they might not know about their con­di­tion until after the first few weeks, espe­cially if their preg­nancy was unplanned as about half are in the U.S.

These drugs can affect the brain and spine of the fetus as well as a preg­nant woman’s heart and abdom­i­nal wall.

In terms of pre­scrip­tion use by women, the rate were high­est in the South and low­est in the North­east. Also, white women are one-and-a-half times more likely to take opi­oids than black or His­panic women.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Coffee May Be Work's Only Saving Grace

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — For­get about pay raises, pro­mo­tions and more vaca­tion time. What really floats the boats of work­ers is a good cup of coffee.

Or so says cof­fee maker Keurig Green Moun­tain Inc., which polled 840 peo­ple about how cof­fee enhances their expe­ri­ence on the job.

For instance, nearly nine out 10 respon­dents con­tend that cof­fee just makes the entire work­day bet­ter while 85 per­cent say that shar­ing the bev­er­age with a client or col­league improves relationships.

Mean­while, 84 per­cent believe mak­ing good cof­fee avail­able is an impor­tant perk (no pun intended or maybe it was), although just over half com­plained that they wished their employer would sup­ply a bet­ter qual­ity brand, pre­sum­ably Keurig.

And then, there’s the down­side of miss­ing out on a daily cup of joe. More than a third say that with­out it they feel exhausted while oth­ers griped about feel­ing irri­ta­ble, unpro­duc­tive, dis­or­ga­nized and even forgetful.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Oranges vs. Orange Juice: Which Is Better for You?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Every­one knows that oranges are packed with vit­a­min C but some peo­ple pre­fer the con­ve­nience of drink­ing orange juice than hav­ing to peel through the fruit or cut up slices. This begs the ques­tion: is one bet­ter than the other?

Researchers at Hohen­heim Uni­ver­sity in Ger­many says both an orange and orange juice each has its advan­tages and dis­ad­van­tages. For instance, Ralf Schweig­gert, Julian Aschoff and their col­leagues point out that the draw­backs to juice is that it con­tains more sugar than a reg­u­lar orange and because of pas­teur­iza­tion, there are also lower lev­els of vit­a­min C and nutri­ents such as carotenoids.

So that makes eat­ing an orange the health­ier choice, right? Not nec­es­sar­ily, accord­ing to the researchers. It turns out that the juice greatly improves the body’s abil­ity to absorb vit­a­min C and the orange’s nutri­ents than by eat­ing the fruit.

Juic­ing oranges also has a plus and a minus side. While it does reduce the flavonoids, which can lower can­cer and car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease risks, the juice makes what remains eas­ier for the body to absorb than eat­ing slices.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Chewing Gum, the Cavity Fighter?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Those four out of five den­tists who rec­om­mended Tri­dent for their patients who chew gum knew what they were talk­ing about.

Actu­ally, any kind of sug­ar­less gum pro­motes bet­ter den­tal health, accord­ing to new research in the jour­nal PLos ONE.

Research showed that a stick of gum cap­tures about 10 per­cent of the micro­bial load in saliva or up to 100 mil­lion bac­te­ria that can lead to cavities.

The amount of bac­te­ria is about the same that’s removed through floss­ing although this method cleans out dif­fer­ent regions of the mouth.

The researchers also dis­cov­ered that gum cap­tures most of the bac­te­ria within 30 sec­onds because after that, it start los­ing its adhe­sive quality.

Bot­tom line: gum is good for your teeth. Just remem­ber though that the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., which has some­thing to gain from pos­i­tive results, funded the study.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Walnuts May Improve Cognitive Functions

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — Wal­nuts are not everyone’s cup of tea and that’s too bad because they may turn out to be a legit­i­mate brain-food.

UCLA researchers con­tend that peo­ple who eat wal­nuts improve their cog­ni­tive func­tions, that is, remem­ber­ing, con­cen­trat­ing and mak­ing decisions.

Led by Dr. Lenore Arab, the sci­en­tists did a meta-study of var­i­ous National Health and Nutri­tion Exam­i­na­tion sur­veys and dis­cov­ered that per­for­mances on six cog­ni­tive tests were bet­ter among those who ate higher amounts of walnuts.

What makes these nuts so spe­cial? Their con­tent of antiox­i­dants, vit­a­mins, min­er­als and an omega-3 fatty acid that ben­e­fits both the brain and the heart.

Arab said the find­ings are impor­tant as the Baby Boomer gen­er­a­tion ages and demen­tia becomes more preva­lent. Wal­nuts are one pos­si­ble way of slow­ing down degen­er­a­tive mem­ory diseases.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.