A study recently published in the journal Arthritis suggests that a plant-based diet may reduce joint pain and improve functional status in osteoarthritis patients.  This six-week, prospective randomized open-label study (n=40) looked at the effects of a whole-foods, plant-based diet as compared with a control omnivorous diet on self-reported symptoms and measures of functional status in patients with osteoarthritis.  Participants in the intervention group were instructed to eliminate dairy, eggs, and meat from their diets, and were encouraged to eat whole, unrefined plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains.  Beneficial clinical results were seen in as little as two weeks after starting the intervention diets.   Clinton CM, O’Brien S, Law J, Renier CM, Wendt MR. Whole-foods, plant-based diet alleviates the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Arthritis. 2015;2015:708152. doi: 10.1155/2015/708152.

Depression and antidepressant use have each been hypothesized to increase breast cancer risk, yet previous studies have not considered these factors together.  A new prospective study, including data from a cohort of 77,482 women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study, looking at both factors together has found that use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) by women diagnosed with depression may be associated with a small (16%) borderline significant increase in breast cancer risk.  This association held for SSRIs but not for other classes of antidepressants.  The study authors report that while depression itself was not associated with breast cancer risk, a slight increase in risk of developing breast cancer association with SSRI use could not be excluded.   Reeves KW, Okereke O, Qian J, Hankinson SE. Depression and antidepressant use in relation to breast cancer risk in the Nurses Health Study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2015;24(4):761-2. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-15-0107 Please see previous recent posting about PREVENTING breast cancer.

According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society people over age 65 who drink diet soda daily are much more likely to gain abdominal fat