1. Clearing your mind can change your genes.
A new study by scientists at Harvard showed that people who meditated regularly for eight weeks displayed changes in the expression of 172 genes. These genes regulate critical functions of the body like inflammation, glucose metabolism, and circadian systems. (PubMed)
2. New study finds that having more muscle mass is linked to a greater chance of surviving breast cancer.
Here's a reason to start lifting weights: According to new research conducted on 3,241 women, those who had more fat and less muscle were less likely to survive stage 2 or stage 3 breast cancer than those who had greater muscle mass. "To our knowledge, this is the largest study to date of patients with non-metastatic breast cancer, and we demonstrate that sarcopenia is under-recognized, highly prevalent, and is associated with a (significantly) increased risk of death," the researchers said. (JAMA Oncology)
3. The reason Nordic men report higher rates of happiness is surprising—and exciting.
According to a new study, spending time with family makes Nordic men happier than it makes men in other countries, and this is likely because gender equality is prioritized more than in Southern and Eastern European countries. Plus, it doesn't hurt that Nordic countries are typically happier ones. (ScienceNordic)
4. Most people still prefer pills over lifestyle change.
The American Heart Association recently conducted a survey asking people if they'd rather drink a daily cup of tea, take a pill, or exercise to treat their high blood pressure. The results showed that out of all the options, exercise came last. (Science Daily)
5. There's no such thing as good fat, says science.
According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the less fat you have, the healthier your heart is. Why? Because losing any kind of fat has proved beneficial in lowering the risk of heart disease. The study’s findings contradict previously held beliefs and research that indicated certain types of fat might, in fact, protect the heart. (Medical News Today)
6. It's becoming difficult for patients to quit taking their antidepressants.
The New York Times conducted a new analysis of federal data on long-term use of antidepressants in the United States. The reports found that there has been a surge in the last two decades, in which the number of Americans taking medications has almost doubled. In a handful of studies, patients who tried to stop taking the drugs reported difficulties in quitting because of symptoms like withdrawal. (NYT)