Been busy this week? In the Weekly Dose, MyHealthNewsDaily rounds up this week’s most important health news.
Why whole milk and butter may be good for you — Whole milk, 2 percent milk, cheese and butter are often shunned by dieters, but a new study suggests there may be a benefit to eating reasonable amounts of these dairy products. The results show those who consumed one to one-and-a-half servings of these foods per day had a 60-percent decreased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes compared with people who ate lower amounts of dairy, the researchers said. The study involved close to 4,000 participants followed for 20 years. The salubrious effects may be due to a compound present in dairy fat called trans-palmitoleic acid. Those with high amounts of trans-palmitoleic acid in their blood had healthier levels of cholesterol and insulin, and a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Universal screening for HIV can be cost-effective — Programs that boost screening of and treatment for HIV could significantly reduce new infections and still remain cost-effective, according to a new study. About 56,000 people are infected with HIV each year, while 21 percent of these individuals are not aware they carry the virus. The researchers suggest screening high-risk individuals (men who have sex with men and injection drug users) once a year and others once in their lifetime, in addition to boosting access to treatment so it reaches 75 percent of those with HIV. Those efforts could prevent around 212,000 infections in the United States over 20 years, the researchers said. If nothing is done, 1.23 million people in the U.S. will become infected over this time period. The effort will cost less than $23,000 for every “quality-adjusted life year” gained — an amount on par with other disease-prevention strategies, such as mammograms for breast cancer. Quality-adjusted life years are the number of years a particular intervention extends life, taking into account a person’s state of health.
Obesity increases risk of death in car crash — A little bit of belly fat may protect you in a car crash, but too much can increase your risk of death, according to a new study. The results show moderately and morbidly obese individuals have a 21- to 56-percent increased risk of death during a car accident compared with normal-weight individuals. But those who are merely overweight, with a body mass index, or BMI, between 25 and 29, had a decreased risk of death. The explanation? A little cushioning, provided by belly fat, will cushion you during the impact. But too much puts you too close to the steering wheel, meaning your body has less time to slow down before hitting it, the researchers say. Obese individuals are also more likely to have serious illnesses, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and are more likely to have complications during surgery, which may contribute to their higher risk of crash fatalities.
Follow MyHealthNewsDaily staff writer Rachael Rettner on Twitter @Rachael_MHND.