6 Habits You Didn't Know Were Keeping You Alive
We could all probably start making an effort to live more healthily, but most of us either can't find the time or are too busy eating Oreos to walk to the treadmill. Well, in a twist of fate so beautiful you want to make passionate love to it on the couch with the blinds open, science is now claiming that the most seemingly innocent things you do (or did) on a daily basis can be just as good for you as a lifetime of exercise and carrot juice.
Brushing Your Teeth Can Protect You From Heart Attacks
Scientists have long suspected that bad oral hygiene and heart problems were somehow connected, though they could never explain it beyond the widely popular "fangletoothed weirdos are the enemies of God" hypothesis. Dental specialists at Bristol University now believe that Streptococcus, a common bacterium responsible for tooth decay, might be the one to blame as they discovered that it also causes blood clots when it enters the human bloodstream.
Just look at this douche.
Streptococcus is most often restricted to the oral cavity, but all it takes is one bowl of Cap'n Crunch to shred up your mouth and let the bastard loose in the rest of your body. Once inside, it promptly encases itself in a cocoon that protects it from antibiotics and your immune system.
Sort of like the Batmobile.
With time, the armored bacteria start to lump together on the arteries and form clots, effectively cutting off the blood supply to your heart and killing you to death.
In case of cardiac arrest, try to squirt some in your left ventricle.
You really shouldn't need any extra reasons to brush your teeth, but even so, the Bristol discovery will probably still have a big impact on the entire world, from new treatments of cardiovascular diseases right down to exorbitant toothpaste prices as Procter & Gamble inevitably tries to market Crest as heart medication.
Using a Cell Phone Can Protect You From Alzheimer's
Over the last decade, cell phones have been subjected to more negative press than BP. No one today could imagine life without these devices, yet we keep hearing about the many forms of cancer they supposedly give you and the countless children they orphan each year because their parents were trying to call someone an asshat via text message while doing 70 on the interstate. In an effort to ratchet up the anti-cell phone hate speech, researchers at the University of South Florida decided to try to prove that prolonged use of mobile phones can actually give you Alzheimer's.
"Wait ... I forgot what we were doing."
They tested their theory by blasting a couple of laboratory mice with a hellstorm of electromagnetic waves -- the equivalent of talking two hours a day on a cell for seven to nine months. Contrary to everything we know about science, none of the mice transformed into superheroes.
Results not typical.
What did happen was that the mice seemingly developed an immunity to Alzheimer's.
The way it apparently works is that the electromagnetic waves from a cell phone penetrate the brain and proceed to erase buildup of a certain protein responsible for lesions and dementia. What this means is that extended use of a cell phone could not only vaccinate you against Alzheimer's, but also possibly help kill the disease even after its onset.
Annoying people will outlive us all.
So, in an effort to vilify cell phones even more, the scientists in Florida stumbled across arguably one of the most promising finds in the history of Alzheimer's research. And if you think about it, texting while driving also prevents Alzheimer's, because you almost certainly won't live long enough to develop the disease.
Attending Daycare May Have Protected You From Leukemia
Unlike cell phones, day care already has a pretty decent rap. It stimulates social growth, provides a healthy learning environment for children and gives parents a place to stash their kids while they're cleaning rat traps at Shoney's for $6 an hour. On top of all that, recent studies are showing that sending your kids to day care might actually help protect them from leukemia.
But hot glue guns can still cause trouble.
In 2008, cancer research specialists from Berkeley analyzed 14 separate studies on leukemia encompassing over 20,000 children worldwide and came to a surprising conclusion: Children who started day care at age 1 or 2 had a whopping 30 percent less chance of coming down with childhood leukemia compared with the ones who didn't. The reason? Kids are dirty little bastards.
Childhood cancer is most often triggered by an infection early in life. By exposing your kids to a day care filled with horrible frolicking stinkchildren, you also expose them to a torrent of infections, thereby stimulating and prepping their immune systems.
"Ready everyone? OK, swap bandaids!"
Although childhood leukemia is incredibly rare (it affects only 20 to 30 kids out of a million) we can all agree that parents should take all possible steps to protect their children from it. Especially if the solution proposed by science is dumping them off at an institution to be raised by someone else.
Going To Bed Early Can Protect You From Depression And Even Suicide
If you're like most of our readership, you were depressed in your teenage years. You might be in that exact position right now, in fact. And you probably could rattle off a hundred deep, philosophical reasons why you were down all the time. People don't get you! Society is a lie! Your parents are fascists!
Actually, as it turns out, you just weren't getting enough sleep.
Danzig just needed a nap.
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center conducted a huge study, covering 15,000 adolescents (of which over 2,000 were thinking about suicide). The ones who were forced to go to bed early (10 p.m. or sooner) were 20% less likely to consider suicide (and 100 percent less likely to watch a two-hour block of Night Court reruns).
If you're thinking that this is just correlation rather than causation -- that is, that kids with parents who make them go to bed early also are probably from stable homes with nuclear families and thus a happier home life -- the researchers accounted for that. Even when you strip away all the other factors and even up the results according to what the family/home situation is like, the kids who got more sleep were less depressed. It's as simple as that.
Then why are cats still such dicks?
The study's findings are supported by the National Sleep Foundation, which has linked getting less than nine hours of sleep to aggressive behavior and suicidal tendencies among teens. Then again, what else would the National Sleep Foundation say? Probably all just a front for the big pillow monopolies.
Housework Can Protect You From Breast Cancer
We completely realize this sounds like a fake study invented by some douchebags sitting around in a bar. That's not the case, as far as we can tell.
A link between physical activity and protection from all kinds of diseases has been known for years in the medical community, right alongside the mind-blowing connection between breathing and not being dead. But in a UK study destined to be quoted by every Cheeto-eating jackass misogynist in the world until the end of days, the type of activity that protected women the most from breast cancer wasn't sports or manual labor, but moderate housework.
Stress-induced ulcers are easier to deal with
The 2006 UK Cancer Research study on more than 200,000 women from nine European countries found that the women who spent 16 to 17 hours a week doing typical household chores like cooking or cleaning had a 20 percent reduced chance of developing breast cancer. And that's just with menopausal patients. The risk of breast cancer in women younger than 50 who also did a moderate amount of housework was 30 percent lower than in the women who didn't.
You're putting yourself at risk!
In fact, housework was found to be more beneficial toward the prevention of breast cancer than exercise or holding down a physical job.
See? He's not helping you clean the bathroom because he cares.
The research of course doesn't argue that housework has innate magical healing properties, nor does it suggest that you stop exercising or going to work. But combining those activities with the kind of sustained light exercise you get from daily chores is what did the trick. So keep that in mind the next time you spend 45 minutes shampooing beer out of the living room curtains.
Masturbation Can Protect You From Prostate Cancer
We're going to put this in the most dignified terms we can: According to science, men who slam the ham on a regular basis have a lower chance of developing prostate cancer.
This finding was the result of a study performed in Australia in 2003 in which over 2,300 men, some with prostate cancer and some without, were asked a series of questions about their sexual activity, specifically focusing on masturbation to eliminate the influence of STDs from the mix. The results indicated that the men who tickled their Elmo more than five times a week had a 30 percent reduced risk of developing prostate cancer, with the best effects showing on the subjects in their 20s.
Presented to BootyBarn.com
So, taking into account the widespread availability of online pornography, we estimate that prostate cancer will be eliminated as a disease sometime around next week or so.
The reason behind why dickwhittling might protect against the most predominant form of male cancer is still unclear, but scientists believe it might have something to do with flushing out your system and thereby preventing harmful components from amassing inside your prostate. And there's been some doubt cast on the study, primarily the argument that some of the men involved might have lied on the questionnaire. Though we submit that if given a series of questions about your masturbatory habits by some clean-cut doctors doing a national study, not a single one of us is going to answer with a higher number.
"Actually doctor, I'm masturbating right now."
Cezary Jan Strusiewicz is a freelance online journalist and Japanese-English-Polish translator. Contact him via firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out how else your disgustingess is keeping you alive, in 6 Slacker Behaviors That Science Says Are Good For You. Or learn about how Grandpa's cough medicine really can be medicinal, in The 6 Most Surprising Ways Alcohol Is Actually Good for You.
And stop by Linkstorm to discover what else masturbation is good for. (Hint: nothing really.)
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