10 Biggest Health Breakthroughs Of 2012

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From Your Health Journal…..”For my regulars, you know I love articles from the Toronto Star, including this one for today’s review. Please visit The Star’s web site (listed below) to read some great articles. This article discusses the ten biggest health breakthroughs of the year. For me, it is nice to read good news in the field of health. Over the last couple days, we have talked about the decline of childhood obesity in some demographics, now other good news. The one that touched me personally was the possible advancements in peanut allergy relief. For many, this is deadly, so to read there is promise on the horizon makes me happy. One U.K. study published in May found that if you give very small amounts of an allergen to a child with peanut allergies – under clinical supervision – it could desensitize them, reducing the risk of a severe allergic reaction. Anyway, enjoy this article, and go to The Star’s web page to read the complete manuscript.”

From the article…..

Discoveries that will help combat cancer. Diagnoses of rare children’s disorders. And the secret to living a longer, happier life.

Those were among the inspired findings and blockbuster breakthroughs made in medicine this year.

To help us whittle down the list to the top 10, the Toronto Star asked leading doctors to share what they thought were the biggest breakthroughs in their fields this year.


Dr. Samir Sinha, director of geriatrics at Mount Sinai and the University Health Network Hospitals and provincial lead of Ontario’s Seniors Strategy


A healthy lifestyle, rich social life and regular exercise are all key to living longer – even if you’re already a senior. That’s according to one of Sinha’s favourite studies, which was published in the British Medical Journal in August.

To pinpoint what affected life expectancy, Swedish researchers followed about 1,800 adults, aged 75 and older, for 18 years. Those who didn’t smoke, had fulfilling social lives and engaged in regular physical activity such as swimming or walking lived up to 5.4 years longer than those who were inactive, had a poor social network, and had an unhealthy lifestyle.

“What was really, really cool about the study is it’s one of the first ever done in a really, really old population to show that physical exercise – even starting physical exercise when you’re older – maintaining those social connections and good lifestyle habits can actually buy you extra years of life,” says Sinha.


“There’s always a lot of excitement around the magical pill or the magic vitamin, and I like to think this is another year for vitamin D,” says Sinha.

Studies this year connected higher vitamin D levels with improved cognitive function, and a lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

But Sinha says one study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in May stands out: U.S. researchers followed about 1,000 participants for 11 years. They found that those with low vitamin D levels had a 24 per cent increased risk of hip fractures, heart attacks, cancer and death.

“Vitamin D is really essential to building strong, healthy bones and decreasing your risk of osteoporosis and risk fractures,” says Sinha, who recommends that people older than 65 take 1,000 IU of vitamin D every day. He cautions against taking more than that, saying taking too much can be dangerous.

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