forget the freshman 15. researchers found that first-year
college students gain only 3 pounds on average.
tHe freSHMaN 3
mind OVer matter
• Researchers found that people
who thought they were on an
antidepressant felt better, even
when they were actually taking a
placebo. the opposite was also true: those
taking sertraline (Zoloft) thinking it was a
placebo didn’t cheer up. After eight weeks
of real or simulated treatment, clinically
depressed participants were asked
to guess whether they’d been taking
real medication or a placebo.
Participants who guessed they were taking an
antidepressant reported an improvement in
symptoms, regardless of what they were really
taking. more research is needed to understand what
these results mean for treating depression.
Source: Journal of Clinical Psychology,
published online Oct. 4, 2011
and the Flu
• Resveratrol, a substance in red wine, seemed to
enhance the health of obese men when taken as a
supplement in a small study. the 11 participants took
a daily supplement containing 150 mg of resveratrol
(the amount in about 20 gallons of red wine) for
30 days. By the end of the study, the men showed
marked improvements in various health measures,
including lower blood pressure and blood glucose
levels. the authors note that these changes mimic
the effects of a reduced-calorie diet. Eating about
25 percent less than normal has been shown to
protect worms, rodents, and primates from age-
related disorders, such as type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Resveratrol supplements could offer an easier route
to better health. But first their safety and efficacy
will need to be tested in larger, longer studies.
Source: Cell Metabolism, nov. 2, 2011
the FlU AFFeCtS everyone, but a study found that overweight people are at greater isk. That’s because after getting a flu shot they have a quicker decline in antibodies, which protect against the flu virus, than do their normal-weight peers. Researchers studied how normal-weight, overweight, and obese participants responded both a month and a year after getting a flu vaccine. There wasn’t a significant difference among the three groups at the one-month point. But at the one-year mark more than half of the obese participants had more than a fourfold decrease in antibodies, compared with the normal-weight participants. (Overweight participants fell in the middle, indicating that the greater a person’s body mass index— a ratio of height to weight—the more antibodies decrease over time.) The study also found that the obese participants had fewer infection- fighting cells in their bodies. Source: International Journal of Obesity, published online Oct. 25, 2011