Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Cutting Down On Drinking Can Help You Quit Smoking

Health and Wellness Associates


Cutting Down On Drinking Can Help You Quit Smoking




Research has revealed that heavy drinkers who’re attempting to quit smoking could find that limiting their alcohol consumption could also help them to quit smoking.  The nicotine metabolite ratio of study participants who consumed alcohol heavily reduced as their alcohol consumption was limited. Nicotine metabolite ratio is a biomarker which indicates how fast an individual’s body metabolizes nicotine, and is an index of nicotine metabolism.

Using alcohol together with cigarettes is common, with almost 1 in 5 individuals making use of both. Cigarette smoking is particularly common in heavy drinkers. Alcohol consumption is a proven risk factor for smoking, and smoking is proven risk factor for consuming alcohol. It requires a great deal of determination to quit smoking, usually taking quite a few attempts.

Previous studies have indicated that individuals having higher nicotine metabolism ratios will probably smoke a lot more and that individuals with higher rates have a more difficult time quitting. Slowing an individual’s nicotine metabolism rate by means of reduced alcohol consumption could provide an edge when attempting to quit smoking, which is proven to be a challenging undertaking.

The nicotine metabolite ratio was examined over a few weeks in a group of 22 individuals who smoked daily and had been looking for alcohol use disorder treatment, the medical term used for severe alcohol consumption.

This study indicates that the nicotine metabolism is changed by alcohol consumption as indexed by the nicotine metabolite ratio. The study also suggests that smoking and consuming alcohol on a daily basis should best be treated at the same time.

The nicotine metabolite ratio proved to be clinically useful. Individuals having a higher ratio have a more difficult time giving up smoking cold turkey. They’re also not as likely to successfully stop smoking by making use of nicotine replacement therapy products.

It was discovered that the nicotine metabolite rate of the male study participants decreased as they cut down on their alcohol consumption from an average of 29 drinks per week to 7 drinks per week.

The researchers’ results for men replicated those of previous research which discovered similar effects and provide more proof of the significance of the nicotine metabolite ratio biomarker for advising treatment for smokers attempting to quit.

Although the nicotine metabolite ratio is considered to be an index that is stable, it might not be as stable as previously thought. This is positive from a clinical point of view, because if an individual wants to quit smoking, they should be encouraged to cut down on alcohol consumption to assist with a smoking cessation plan.

The female study participants didn’t see reductions in the nicotine metabolite ratio, but it was found that they didn’t reduce their alcohol consumption very much for the duration of the study period. Their rate of alcohol consumption started low and remained low.


Nothing Will Work Unless You Do It!

Health and Wellness Associates



Lifestyle, Uncategorized

How One Drink A Day Can Affect Your Heart


How Drinking Alcohol Every Day Affects Your Health


Having one drink each day could put your heart at risk for abnormalities for the rest of your life.



Having an occasional happy hour drink or celebratory toast doesn’t typically increase your risk of disease. In fact, having a glass of wine throughout the week has been found to improve your heart health. But if having a drink turn into an everyday habit, a team of researchers at the American Heart Association warn it could drastically increase your risk of irregular heartbeats and blood flow.

For the study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers recruited 5,220 American participants of the average age of 56. For six years, each participant underwent electrocardiograms (EKG), which is a way to measure the electrical activity of the heart in order to reveal any abnormalities. In addition, researchers surveyed participants to find out how much alcohol they consumed on a regular basis. Those who drank habitually every day – even if it was just one drink – were at the highest risk for atrial fibrillation, a heart condition that causes irregular beats and failure to pump blood properly.


“Our study provides the first human evidence of why daily, long-term alcohol consumption may lead to the development of this very common heart rhythm disturbance,” said the study’s senior author Dr. Gregory Marcus, an associate professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, in a statement. “We were somewhat surprised that a relatively small amount of alcohol was associated with a larger left atrium and subsequent atrial fibrillation.”


For every one drink a person had each day, not only did it increase their risk of developing atrial fibrillation by 5 percent, it also meant they were up to 75 percent more likely to have a larger heart chamber (left atrium). Living with these heart abnormalities greatly increases the risk of other conditions, such as high blood pressure, stroke, and abnormal heartbeats. Ultimately, this doubles a person’s risk of succumbing to a heart-related death. While alcohol’s effect on the heart is still not completely clear, researchers plan to continue exploring the link in order to reduce the risk of heart abnormalities.


“It’s not one size fits all when it comes to the effects of alcohol and heart health,” Marcus said. “Our hope is that by understanding the mechanistic relationship between alcohol and atrial fibrillation we might learn something inherent to atrial fibrillation in general that could help identify new ways of understanding and treating the disease.”


Health and Wellness Associates

  1. Dillon




How to Tell if Your Guy is Depressed


How to Tell if Your Guy is Depressed

New research suggests depression is just as common in men as in women—but the signs look very different

You’ve probably heard it before: Women are way more likely to be depressed than men. Up until now, most of the research has confirmed this. But a new study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry points to a different explanation—men show different symptoms of depression than women do, and when these are factored into the equation, men are just as likely as women to meet the criteria for depression.

Closing the Gender Gap Using data from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (a large, nationally-representative sample), researchers found that depressed men were more likely to show signs of anger, substance use, and risk-taking behavior, while women were more likely to exhibit symptoms classically associated with depression—like sadness, depressed mood, social isolation, and sleep disturbances.

“It’s not that men totally don’t exhibit classic depression symptoms,” says lead study author Lisa Martin, Ph.D., assistant professor at the University of Michigan, Dearborn, who explains that the top symptom for men was also a depressed mood. “But they’re at odds with this strong sense of masculinity,” she says. So most depressed men are less likely to cry or lie around moping in bed. Instead, they’re more apt to lash out or turn to drugs and alcohol.

So the researchers expanded the criteria for depression to include both the usual symptoms and these typically male symptoms. When they did, the gender gap pretty much disappeared, with 30.6 percent of men and 33.3 percent of women meeting the criteria for depression.

Diagnosing Male Depression Based on this research, it’s possible that men are just as prone to depression as women are—but the stigma likely won’t disappear overnight. “We still know men are much less likely to seek help than women are, even men who will tell you that they’re feeling depressed,” says Martin.

So how can you spot the signs in your guy? Pay attention to major changes in mood (like being withdrawn, angry, or overly pessimistic about others—especially if it’s out of the ordinary) and changes in behavior (like suddenly taking up gambling, spending more time at the bar, or doing things solo that he used to do with others). Another sign could be compulsive behaviors like throwing himself into work or exercising nonstop. “If your mind or body is constantly occupied, you don’t have to deal with what’s going on inside,” says Martin.

When you’re ready to talk to a man in your life about their potential depression, be prepared for defensiveness. Don’t bring it up when he’s irritable or angry, and try to talk about it indirectly first, rather than accusing him outright of being depressed, says Martin. You can try asking about specific symptoms you’ve noticed, like that they’re drinking more than usual or seem to be more aggressive these days. “You may have to talk around the subject because it’s a touchy one,” says Martin. “Many people just think men don’t really get depression, so we have to be creative in the language and approaches we use.”

Health and Wellness Associates