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​Here’s One Health Screening You Can Skip

Every day, an estimated 6,800 new peer-reviewed academic articles are published. That’s a whole lot of science to wade through—but don’t fret. We’ll do the legwork for you, each and every morning. Here’s your daily dose of the latest discoveries from journals, research institutions, and news outlets from around the world.

Skip This ScreeningGluten-free foods are everywhere, but you don’t actually need to eat them unless you have celiac disease, an autoimmune disease where your body reacts to a protein in gluten. And you don’t need to get screened for celiac unless you have symptoms, according to new guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Task Force. Symptoms include fatigue, anemia, or diarrhea. There’s just not enough evidence to recommend screening for everyone, they say.

Pet Your CatWhile his demeanor might say differently, your cat probably doesn’t hate you, new research published in the journal Behavioral Processes suggests. In the study cats preferred spending time with their humans more than they did getting food, a toy, or exposure to scents. In fact, 50 percent of the cats tested chose social interaction with people as their favorite stimulus, compared to just 37 percent who picked the food bowl, Time reports.

Re-Think Your Heartburn TreatmentWe’ve previously reported on the dangers of taking proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) like Prilosec and Nexium for heartburn. Now, a new study in JAMA Internal Medicine adds a new fear: drugs that suppress stomach acid—including PPIs and histamine 2 blockers like Zantac—may raise your risk of C difficile infection, which can cause diarrhea or even serious inflammation of the colon. More research needs to be done, by the authors say that stopping the meds in people who previously had the infection may be warranted.

Stop the Effects Of StressWhen you stress, your adrenaline surges, and your body transitions to a fight or flight mode—helpful if you’re trying to escape danger, but not so good if you’re just giving a speech. And chronically high levels can cause serious health problems. But now, an engineer from Washington University in St. Louis is working on creating a probiotic that would blunt the effects of adrenaline, by regulating the neurotransmitters in the brain and gut. It’s still in development, but the researcher hopes it can one day simply be mixed into yogurt or taken as a pill.

Understand the Risks Of RunningMarathon runners may face a surprising health risk: short-term kidney damage, a study out of Yale University suggests. In the study, 82 percent of runners showed stage 1 acute kidney injury (AKI)—a condition where your kidneys can’t filter waste from the blood—soon after their race. The injury resolved within two days, but it raises the question of repeated strenuous activity over time.

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Dr. Shirley

Dr. Shirley

Eat, sleep, create.

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