Livin' on the MDedge

Cancer-battling breath, Zombie Bambi, and hops as health food


Does my breath smell like reduced cancer risk?

Cancer prevention just got a whole lot more ... fragrant. Allium vegetables – garlic, onions, leeks, chives, and shallots – have been found to decrease the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), according to a Chinese study published last year. Very good news for Italians, but it looks like the risk of CRC in the vampire population might continue to rise.

Onions Olga Guchek/iStock / Getty Images Plus

The study authors reported that high allium intake correlated with lower CRC risk in both men and women, in the northeast Chinese population sampled. Bioactive compounds in these vegetables have anticarcinogenic properties, and researchers found that eating at least 35 pounds of allium vegetables per year could reduce cancer risk.

Unclear if this study was secretly funded by Big Onion, but as fans of delicious and anticancer flavor, we here at LOTME support these findings. However, we strongly advise against going the Tony Abbott route of chomping into whole onions.

An IPA a day keeps the doctor away

After you’re finished eating your annual 35 pounds of garlic and onions (sure, do it all in 1 day if you want), you might be a little thirsty. And we’ve got good news for you – have a brewski, it’s good for ya! Turns out, hops might have some health benefits, so drink up.

People toasting with glasses of beer coldsnowstorm/iStock / Getty Images Plus

Hops contain a class of compound called isohumulones, which gives them that bitter taste. There have been multiple studies showing the metabolic effects of isohumulones, including cell inflammation suppression, reduced weight gain, reduced hyperglycemia, and increased glucose tolerance.

These isohumulones (try typing that 10 times in a row) interact with the bitter taste receptors in the gut, and researchers are hopeful that this could lead to isohumulone-esque drugs to treat metabolic disorders. In the meantime, maybe just chug a few IPAs a day.

My kingdom for a helmet

Most people like to root for the underdog. You know, the whole David vs. Goliath thing, the little guy who goes against overwhelming odds to take on some form of the Big Establishment.

Sculpture shows David holding Goliath's head Marcus Lindstrom/iStock /Getty Images Plus

But what if the little guy happens to be a fairly normal-sized lacrosse player with a very large head?

Alex Chu, a freshman at Division III Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., is just such a guy. “My head is wide,” he told WJAR TV. He wants to play goalie for the school’s lacrosse team, but he can’t because no current helmet will fit on the 25-inch-circumference head that sits atop his 6-foot-tall, 265-pound body.

He’s up against Big Sports Equipment in the form of Cascade-Maverik and Warrior, the two major manufacturers of lacrosse helmets, which won’t build him a custom helmet. It would be too expensive, they say – but the Boston Globe reported that there is a lacrosse player at a Division I school who wears a very large helmet “that was produced after [his] coaches and Cascade ‘huddled up.’ ”

We wish Mr. Chu well, and perhaps one day he will be mentioned with such large-skulled high achievers as Jay Leno, LeBron James, Jennifer Garner, Tyrannosaurus rex, Rihanna, Napoleon Bonaparte, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Simon Cowell.


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