In Case You Missed It: New fertility research, heart-healthy foods, and more

Thanks for checking back in to In Case You Missed It. Take a quick break from all of the pre-holiday preparations for our weekly roundup of news you may have missed from last week.

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Focus on fertility

Researchers in Toronto have identified proteins that could form the basis of a male infertility test. Dr. Dolores Lamb, director and professor of urology at Baylor College of Medicine, commends the work and predicts it will result in tests that clinics can use when evaluating men for infertility. Read about the new research.

This week, Dr. Larry Lipshultz, chief of the division of male reproductive medicine and surgery and professor of urology at Baylor College of Medicine, debunks the top myths about male infertility. He says that although many believe infertility problems are always with the woman, that it’s not true: 50 percent of infertile couples have a male component. Discover other top myths about fertility and men.

Other facts about fertility – in light of singer Kelly Clarkson’s pregnancy announcement this week, Dr. William Gibbons, director of the division of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Baylor College of Medicine, said that weight is often an overlooked factor. Clarkson has recovered from a past battle with bulimia; keeping a healthy weight can help with conception, Gibbons says.

Heart-healthy foods – coffee, nuts

Love a cup of coffee in the morning? A new study shows that caffeinated coffee may help small blood vessels function. That doesn’t mean you should have an entire pot of coffee to yourself, and the study needs further investigation, but this research is among other studies that have shown that moderate coffee consumption may have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health.

If you enjoy peanuts, pistachios, almonds, walnuts or other tree nuts, you’re also in luck – another study shows that regular nut eaters are less likely to die of heart disease, cancer, or any other cause.

Researcher Dr. Ying Bao said in an AP News story that the idea that if you eat more nuts, you’re going to gain weight, is wrong. It’s unclear why exactly nuts have these kinds of benefits, but if you’re feeling guilty about enjoying a dish with nuts in it this holiday season, just remember their health benefits.

Want to know some other ways to reduce risks of cardiovascular disease? Dr. John Farmer, professor of medicine-cardiology at Baylor College of Medicine, provides tips for heart-healthy lifestyle changes.

Tips for helping picky kids

Do you feel like your child turns away new foods more often than trying them? Do they scoff at anything green but clamor for ice cream? Nervous about what they will consume this holiday season? Baylor College of Medicine Professor of Pediatrics Dr. Karen Cullen recommends that parents stay persistent with exposing kids to new foods, because it may take 15-20 exposures for a child to like a food. Research shows that parents typically give up after four. Get more tips on working with picky kids to try – and like – new foods.

-By Jordan Magaziner

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