6 Things You Need To Know Today (October 3, 2018)

Photo by Mark Lewis

1. No surprise here: Climate change played a role in 2017's devastating hurricane season.

After reviewing hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, scientists have concluded that these storms built up strength partially because Atlantic Ocean waters were so warm. “We show the increase in the 2017 major hurricanes was not primarily caused by La Niña conditions in the Pacific Ocean, but mainly by pronounced warm sea surface conditions in the tropical North Atlantic,” the study reads. The team also modeled what future storms might look like if warming trends continue, and they are only expected to get worse. (The Washington Post)

2. Pssst...Artificial sweeteners are ruining your gut microbiome.

A new study found that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, saccharine, and neotame can become toxic to gut bacteria in extremely low doses. As little as one milligram/ milliliter of the sweeteners (much less than you'd find in a sugary beverage) caused a reaction. "This is further evidence that consumption of artificial sweeteners adversely affects gut microbial activity which can cause a wide range of health issues," said the study's author. (EurekAlert)

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3. More proof that getting “hangry” is a real thing.

And we have sudden dips in blood sugar levels to thank for it. A new study published in the Journal of Pharmacology observed the behavior of rats who were injected with water or a glucose blocker to cause low blood sugar. “I was skeptical when people would tell me that they get grouchy if they don’t eat—but now I believe it,” the study’s lead author said. “We found evidence a change in glucose level can have a lasting effect on mood.” (WKRN)

4. Wanna have great eye health? Eat this.

A new study published in the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that following a Mediterranean diet lowered people’s risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and benefitted those already living with the disease. A more nutrient-rich diet consisting of fish, legumes, fruits decreased the risk of developing AMD by 41 percent. Emily Chew, M.D., calls poor dietary habits a “public health issue” citing links to chronic illnesses such as dementia and diabetes. (Science Daily)

5. Guzzling water can help prevent UTIs.

A new study has found that increasing water by 1.5 liters a day led to a 50% reduction in UTIs over the course of a year. While drinking water is a commonly recommended solution for UTI prevention, this is the first study to confirm it. One caveat: The study was funded by Danone, a bottle water company, although it was published in JAMA, and the deputy editor of JAMA said any water—bottled or tap—would work. (CNN)

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