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This state drinks the most wine in the US

With its ample sunshine, gorgeous beaches, and general laid back state of mind, California has acquired a bit of a party reputation over the decades. So it probably comes as no surprise that residents of the Golden State drink the most wine in the country. The National Institutes of Health’s examination of national drinking trends found that Californians drink more wine by volume than any other state. Of course, California is also home to world renown wine producing region, Napa Valley, and more wineries than any other state — by a long shot. In fact, 86 percent of the wineries in the country are located in California. California also boasts the largest population, with 39 million thirsty residents, so they have a leg up. Runners up include Florida, New York, Texas, and Illinois. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Wyoming drinks the least wine, followed by West Virginia, North…

Natural sunlight helps kill germs in your house, study shows

If you’re looking for easy, natural ways to combat cold and flu season, listen up. A new study published in the journal Microbiome says that letting natural light pour into your home helps kill germs. You may remember Grandma claiming something of this nature. You may even have had an intuition. But there had not been much research to explain how or why this is the case inside, until now. Researchers at the University of Oregon set up a study of 11 dust-ridden, doll-sized rooms and observed what happened when indoor rooms were exposed to daylight through regular glass, UV light, or when the rooms were kept dark, NPR reports. Dust was collected from actual homes in Portland then the miniature room were let to collect dust from outside, all while researchers kept them at a normal room temperature. Dust can sit around your house for 90 days (even if…

Ditch the bacon and booze to reduce your risk of cancer, study says

You already know that frequent bacon, greasy cheeseburgers and booze are the fast track to packing on the pounds, but unfortunately, that’s not the only risk. If you live by the diet plan of “everything in moderation,” you may want to reconsider. A new study shows that consuming these items, even occasionally, can increase your risk of cancer. According to new findings from the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), ditching booze and bacon entirely could reduce your risk of cancer up to 40 percent. The WCRF research surveyed 51 million people and focused more on making specific dietary recommendations than ever before, according to the Evening Standard. Researchers now urge people to limit consumption of soft drinks, processed foods — like bacon — and reduce drinking, while eating red meat only in moderation. Researchers also recommended staying away from sugar and ditching fast food entirely. As more countries adopt “Western”…

Tequila could help you lose weight, study claims

If you want to lose weight, any doctors or nutritionist will tell you to omit the alcohol from your diet, but a surprising study actually shows a link between drinking tequila and weight loss. This is huge news for anyone looking to shed some pounds in the New Year without totally suppressing their social life. According to the American Chemical Society, the effects of tequila on blood glucose levels and found that the sugars naturally occurring in the agave plant — the plant that gives us tequila —  can actually help lower blood sugar. These sugars — called agavins (not to be confused with agave syrup) — are not digestible and can act as dietary fiber, so they will not raise your blood sugar. According to Dr. Mercedes G. Lopez, agavins are the best sugars to support healthy growth of microbes in the mouth and intestines. The study looked at…

Study confirms, cold weather makes you drink more alcohol

Places like Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Michigan and pretty much all of Russia get a bad rap for drinking too much alcohol. But it turns out, it might not be their fault — it’s the weather that makes them do it. According to new research published in the journal Hematology, people in chilly parts of the planet actually do drink more alcohol. Of course, we kind of figured this one already. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that in the U.S., states that experience colder weather consume the most alcohol. “It’s something that everyone has assumed for decades, but no one has scientifically demonstrated it,” senior author Ramon Battler, M.D., Ph.D., chief of hematology at UPMC, and professor of medicine at Pitt, told Science Daily. “This is the first study that systematically demonstrates that worldwide and in America, in colder areas and areas with less sun, you have more…

Warning: You may not want to use the pepper shaker at restaurants

The next time you’re out to eat, you may want to consider whether you really need to add salt and pepper to your meal. It turns out, pepper shakers are one of the dirtiest items in a restaurant. According to a study from ABC News, pepper shakers harbor one of the highest bacteria counts at a public dining facility with counts reaching 11,600 — second only to restaurant menus. (And for your complete disgust, restaurant menus were found to carry the most — an average bacteria count of 185,000 — and have 100 times more bacteria than your typical toilet seat.) The study examined swab samples taken from common table items at 12 restaurants throughout New York, Ohio, and Arizona. The swabs were then examined for “total bacteria counts and coliform — a broad class of bacteria found in our environment. The presence of coliform can indicated fecal matter.” Dr.…

Yo-yo dieting can lead to early death, study suggests

You pack on some serious pounds, then work hard to drop the weight — but then put it all back on again. Aside from being incredibly frustrating for the individual, experts are now warning that these dramatic fluctuations in weight are linked to a slew of negative side effects — including an increased risk of death. The new study was published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Researchers investigated the health risks of yo-yo dieting by examining the results from the 3,600 men and women who participated in the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study. They found that dramatic weight swings was associated with higher risk of mortality. One exception to this study is for obese individuals who crash diet and experience weight loss. Those people were found to be less likely to develop type-2 diabetes over time. However, perfectly healthy people who quickly lose and gain…

Organic foods reduce your risk of certain cancers, study shows

If you’re still not a believer in organic food, consider a new study that suggests it can save you from some cancers. The study, published earlier this week in JAMA Internal medicine, found that those who frequently ate organic foods, had an overall lower risk of developing cancer. Specifically, those who primarily consumed organic foods where more likely to ward off postmenopausal breast cancer and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma than those who rarely or never ate organic. The study looked at the diets of 68,946 French adult volunteers. Researchers divided them into four groups depending on how often they said they ate organic foods including fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, ready-to-eat meals, vegetable oils and condiments, dietary supplements and other products. Participants were checked on, about four and a half years later. During that time, the volunteers developed 1,340 cancers. Breast cancer being the most common (459), followed by prostate cancer…

Nutrition or exercise: Which is better for your bones?

Which is better for your bones: a healthy diet or exercise? It’s a question that scientists would love to answer, and one that could greatly benefit humans as we undergo the aging process. A new study conducted by the University of Michigan and published in PLOS One aimed to answer this conundrum. Researchers looked at mineral supplementation and exercise in mice and  were surprised by the results. Nutrition, it appears, has a greater impact on bone mass and strength than exercise. Furthermore, even after the test mice stopped exercising, they retained the bone strength they gained, as long as they ate a healthy, mineral-supplemented diet. While the study was done on mice, it makes sense. David Kohn, a University of Michigan professor in the schools of dentistry and engineering and the study’s lead author, said, “If you think about the progression to humans, diet is easier for someone to carry on…

Airport security bins are dirtier than toilets, study shows

The dirtiest thing you’ll encounter at the airport isn’t the toilet seat. Nor is the tray tables or even your sniffling seat mate. According to a study from the University of Nottingham and the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare, it’s those plastic security trays that are the filled with the most infectious diseases. The research was published in BMC Infectious Diseases, which found 10 respiratory viruses including the flu and common cold lingering on various surfaces through the Helsinki-Vantaa airport in Finland. Scientists visited several times during the 2015-16 flu season and collected germ samples at various times of the day. As it turns out, the bins that hold your cell phone, shoes, purse, coat, and other belongings that need scanned for security, had more germs than any other area tested — including toilet, elevator buttons, and even the flight check-in kiosks. The virus found could easily cause you…