Emma Steppe

A Gene for Smelling Asparagus in Urine?

November 26, 2013

Throughout this semester, I have enjoyed delving deeper into the science behind important health research and blogging about it. Most of the time, research provides insight and implications for improving health in the real world. However, sometimes science findings are just, for lack of a better word, weird. For example, in the past several years, […]

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Unpacking the FDA’s New Trans Fat Ban

November 19, 2013

Trans fat has been a buzz word for the past decade or so. Most people have probably heard that trans fat is bad for their health and some may have heard of efforts by the FDA to curb trans fat consumption. Most recently, on November 7th, the FDA issued a preliminary ruling that it will […]

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Can Viagra Enhance Athletic Performance?

November 12, 2013

About a year ago, Chicago Bears receiver Brandon Marshall set off a firestorm of speculation, expert opinions, and laughs when he told a reporter, “I know guys, it’s such a competitive league, and guys try anything just to get that edge. I’ve heard of guys using Viagra, seriously, because the blood, it’s supposed to thin.. […]

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Does Having an Imaginary Friend Improve Critical Thinking?

November 5, 2013

Her name was Nilly. I can’t remember much about her appearance, but I think she was around my age and had wispy blond hair. We didn’t play together but she and I would converse while I rode in my stroller and she was a constant companion on car trips (but she always rode right outside […]

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Do Facemasks Protect Against the Flu? It’s Hard to Tell.

October 29, 2013

The flu is a popular topic of conversation this time of year, as indicated by the fact that both my fellow blogger, Liz, and I chose to address important flu issues this week . While this post explores a potential preventive measure, check out her blog post about influenza deaths among children. When I was […]

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Social Rejection: It Really Hurts

October 22, 2013

Ask anyone who lacked athletic skills or popularity as a child how they felt when it came time to pick teams in gym class, and they’ll tell you it hurt to be picked last. But what exactly “hurts” in this situation? It’s not a pain that resonates from a single area of the body, like […]

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Treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder – Longer Lasting Results with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

October 15, 2013

Fall is upon us. As we continue into mid- October,  the temperatures are dropping and the days are getting shorter. While some people revel in the changing fall colors, apple picking, and pumpkin carving, others experience a shift in mood consistent with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of depression experienced during the […]

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Mindfulness Running

October 8, 2013

I have a hard time quieting my mind enough to  meditate. I have a million thoughts coursing through my head that seem to intensify the moment I sit down, close my eyes, and try to banish them. But as a long-time competitive runner, I often experience mental peace during a long run. It used to […]

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Diet Soda and Weight

October 1, 2013

Recent studies have looked at the effects of diet beverages on weight, with varied results. The seemingly counterintuitive studies are the ones that indicate weight gain associated with drinking diet beverages, since the name “diet” in and of itself suggests losing weight. Most of the studies on the topic have examined patterns over time in […]

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Your Heart on Sodium – How important is it to lower sodium consumption?

September 24, 2013

A recent study looked at the effects of sodium consumption among people who are at a high risk of 4 main heart problems: heart attacks, stroke, congestive heart failure, and death from heart-related problems. The researchers found that moderate levels of dietary sodium may actually be safer than the low levels recommended by health officials. Sodium […]

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