wellness glossary (n) gut flora

  • The beneficial microorganisms living in healthy human intestines. An estimated 100 trillion of them per person assist with everything from digestion to preventing allergic reactions.

Over 700

Thats the number of over-the-counter (OTC) products that use ingredients or dosages available only by prescription 30 years ago. Before a prescription drug becomes available for over-the-counter use, the FDA does a full review to determine whether it is safe for use without being under a physicians care. The FDA is working toward making more OTC medications available, allowing a greater number of Americans access to needed medications without having to pay for a doctors visit.

People with diabetes should have eye examinations every year due to their elevated risk for eye disorders, including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts.

Get Moving, Ladies

According to a 2012 study in Preventive Medicine, women are less likely than men to get the 30 minutes of moderate daily exercise recommended for optimal health. Thats a problem, because if you’re not moving you’re probably sitting at a desk or in your car. Sitting increases your risk of diabetes and heart disease, warns the American College of Sports Medicine. The solution? Get moving. In the Nurses Health Study, which tracked 70,000 women ages 40 to 65 for eight years, women who walked briskly for several hours per week reduced their heart disease risk by one-third. Women in midlife who get regular exercise also lower their risks of osteoporosis, depression and metabolic syndrome.

The UVs so bright, they’ve gotta wear shades

When your kids walk to and from school or the bus stop, you’re probably not thinking about eye damage. You may want to think again. Research in Japan has shown that in autumn, kids eyes get twice as much potentially damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation during the early morning and late afternoon as they do at midday. The solution? Make sure they’re wearing UV-protective eyewear and hats to block the sun.