Many things are unknown about the radioactive hot springs. We have not yet obtained the conclusive evidence of whether the low dose of radiation by radon in the hot springs is healthful or harmful for us. Thus, to grasp the present conditions of the radioactive hot springs scientifically, I reviewed them from the many-sided viewpoints in the following order. At first, some basic information on the radioactive hot springs was summarized to look around them all over. Next, based on the hot spring analysis tables obtained from three representative hot spring resorts in our country, the effective ingredients such as radon, metals, and several kinds of ions presented in the spring waters were evaluated for each hot spring. Then, radon as an element, the radon exposure, and the active oxygen species generated by the radiation of radon were explained to understand the fundamental action of radon. Furthermore, some reports related to the lung cancer risk by inhaling radon were introduced to take the cancer risk in the radioactive hot springs into consideration. Since the oxidative DNA damage induced by hydroxyl radical is considered to be a cause for cancers, it was discussed that the urinary concentrations of 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), a marker of the DNA damage, could be used as an index for evaluating the effects of the radioactive hot springs on human health.
The objective is to evaluate the tidal level’s relationships to the onset of labor and the premature rupture of the fetal membranes (PROMs) in pregnant women. This study is a retrospective analysis of 313 spontaneous full-term deliveries over a one-year period at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, T Hospital, Ibaraki, Japan. The average of the tidal level at onset of labor is significantly higher than the average tidal levels over the whole of 2010 (p=0.006). We did not find any significant relationship between the average of the tidal level at PROMs and the average tidal levels over the whole of 2010, between the number of the onset of labor and changes in the tide level, or between the number of PROMs and changes in the tide level. We concluded that when the tidal level is high, the onset of labor tends to occur more frequently. Therefore, we can presume that the gravitational pull of the Moon influences the onset of labor in pregnant women on the Earth.
Background & Objectives: Generally, food intake of athletes decrease under hot summer and, therefore, it would affect on their physiques and the athletic power (competition). The present study investigated the effect of decreased energy intake on athletes’ physique, energy expenditure and/or thyroid hormones. Methods: Forty two males of high school baseball team in Hokuriku area, Japan, participated in this study. The nutrition survey and physical measurements were performed, and total energy expenditure (TEE) from activity records were estimated in April, July, and December. Energy balance was determined from energy intake and TEE. Furthermore, the resting energy metabolism (REE) was measured by the expired gas analysis. Thyroid hormones were assayed respectively T3, FT3, and FT4. Results: Seventy percent of baseball players showed reduction of energy intake in summer. We, accurately, recognized that one can see two groups, i,e., a group that energy intake was decreased in summer (LA) and another was not decreased in the same summer (HA). Many subjects showed decrease of energy intake but their TEE was rather increased in summer. The energy balance of LA group was largely negative, but that of HA group was slightly negative. In LA group, body weight, BMI, and MAC (midarm circumference) were significantly decreased by 2∼4% in summer than that in spring, while the decrease of physical measurements is 1∼2% in HA group. Thus, a large negative energy balance affected the physique negatively. From energy composition of diet, it seems that LA group had high carbohydrate energy diet and HA group had high fat diet. There was a significant positive correlation between the energy intake and each of the nutrient intakes. The REE was significantly decreased in summer and thus it seems to be related with energy intake. FT3 and T3 were not changed in summer but were in winter, and it looks to be slightly related with REE. Conclusion: Decrease of energy intake in summer indicated a large negative effect on physique such as body weight, MAC. The decrease of energy intake in summer seems to be related with reduction of REE.
Purpose: In this study, we investigated the effects of combining the resistance of an elastic band with slow abdominal breathing on shoulder periarticular muscle activity during shoulder adduction-abduction. Methods: Subjects were eight healthy adult males. Abduction of the shoulder was performed from 0° to 90° (with adduction being defined as the movement from 90°to 0°) for a period of 8 s. The three conditions under which abduction-adduction were performed comprised the following: without an elastic band; with an elastic band; and with an elastic band during slow abdominal breathing. The activities of the biceps brachii, deltoid (anterior, middle, and posterior fibers), trapezius (upper, middle, and lower fibers), and the pectoralis major muscles were measured. Results: Muscle activity of the shoulder periarticular muscles was increased when the elastic band was used. When this was combined with slow abdominal breathing, muscle activity significantly increased in the middle fibers of the deltoid muscle and in the trapezius muscle during abduction while exhaling. Muscle activity significantly decreased in the biceps brachii muscle and the anterior fibers of the deltoid muscle during adduction while inhaling. Discussion: During shoulder abduction, fixation of the trunk occurred initially before the onset of abduction. At this point, exhalation resulted in contraction of the transversus abdominis muscle, a muscle that stabilizes the trunk, thereby enhancing trunk stability and raising the efficiency of deltoid muscle contraction. Conclusion: The results suggested that shoulder abduction performed in combination with slow abdominal breathing increased the efficiency of deltoid and trapezius muscle activities.
The purpose of this study was to clarify the effects of ingesting chloridquellen and bicarbonate spring waters on electrogastrography and heart rate variability in humans. The subjects were ten young adults (average age 21.9 years old). Three and six cycles per minute (cpm) frequency of electrogastrography (EGG) were measured, as well as the high-frequency (HF: 0.15-0.40Hz) components, and the ratio of low-frequency (LF: 0.04-0.15Hz) components to HF components in heart rate variability (HRV) during 90 minutes. The taste of the water and pain or abnormalities in the stomach were also assessed by having the subjects answer a questionnaire. The subjects ingested the spa water or purified water and were asked to respond to the questionnaire after thirty minutes, and they also ingested no water on a different day and were questioned. The EGG-6 cpm frequency, presumably reflecting intestinal activity, did not change under any conditions. The EGG-3 cpm frequency, presumably reflecting stomach activity, significantly increased with bicarbonate spring waters immediately after ingestion and decreased after 30 min. Additionally, the 3 cpm frequency significantly increased with ingestion of purified water over the course of 30 min. The HF components in HRV, presumably reflecting cardiac parasympathetic activity, did not change under any conditions. The ratio of LF to HF components in HRV, presumably reflecting cardiac sympathetic activity, significantly increased with ingestion of purified water immediately and after 15 min, and bicarbonate spring waters after 30 min. There was a difference between ingestion of chloridquellen and purified water in the answers concerning the taste of the water in the questionnaire. These findings suggest that the constituent parts of chloridquellen water and other factors activate stomach and autonomic nervous activities in humans.
Background: Japan has an extremely large number of hot spring facilities, with more than 27,000 natural spring sources across the country. Despite the high usage of hot springs for leisure in Japan, almost no studies have investigated the general public’s utilization of hot springs at non-medical facilities as a form of alternative medicine. The aim of this study was therefore to elucidate the current status, including frequency and purpose, of hot spring utilization as an alternative medicine. Methods: In January 2011, we conducted an online self-administered questionnaire survey on balneotherapy utilization of 10,400 ordinary citizens (men and women, 5,200 each) aged 20 to 69 years who were registered as consumer reviewers with an Internet survey company. Results: Among 10,400 Internet consumer reviewers, 3,227 responded to the survey (response rate, 31.0%), of whom 3,212 provided unambiguous survey responses and were subsequently included in this study. The results revealed that 177 subjects (5.5%; 85 men, 5.3%; 92 women, 5.7%) had utilized balneotherapy (in the form of bathing, drinking, and/or inhalation) at a non-medical facility in the previous month. Among participants who had consulted a physician in the previous month, 51 (9.1%) had utilized balneotherapy, compared to 41 (3.9%) among those who had not, revealing significantly higher utilization of balneotherapy among those who had consulted a physician (p<0.001). Only 7 men (8.2%) and 1 woman (1.1%) consulted a physician prior to balneotherapy, and 8 men (9.4%) and 2 women (2.2%) received a physician referral. Conclusions: This online survey of balneotherapy utilization among the general public in Japan revealed that among those in the study population with recent experience of balneotherapy, few had consulted or obtained a referral from a physician prior to utilization.
Among lots of lifestyle factors thought to be related to the Japanese health status, bathing in hot water, utilizing onsen (hot spring) facilities, and drinking green tea are very special among the Japanese. In our previous study, we investigated the frequency of bathing, the utilization of onsen facilities, and the consumption of green tea among the Japanese and found that these activities improved subjective health to a similar degree as balanced diet, exercise, no tobacco use, and quality sleep. In the present study, to ascertain healthy activities that should be encouraged throughout the year, we included survey items about seasonal variations in taking baths, taking showers, and utilizing onsen facilities, as well as investigated the difference between consumption of brewed green tea and of canned and bottled green tea. A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted of 6,000 residents in Shizuoka prefecture aged ≥20 years in 2012. Using unconditional logistic models, odds ratios (ORs) and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for several factors that were considered to affect self-rated health (SRH; subjective health, sufficient sleep and rest, and subjective happiness). This time, in a more detailed investigation of bathing habits, onsen utilization, and green tea consumption, we found that daily bathing all year round (subjective health: OR=1.27, 95%CI 1.05-1.52; p=0.012, sufficient sleep and rest: OR=1.41, 95%CI 1.13-1.77; p=0.003, subjective happiness: OR=1.35, 95%CI=1.15-1.58; p0.021), and daily consumption of at least 500 mL of brewed green tea (subjective health: OR=1.24, 95%CI 1.01-1.53; p=0.039) are health-improving habits that should be proactively encouraged in daily living. We believe that the inclusion of a formal recommendation for daily green tea consumption and daily bathing and the establishment of reference values for these habits in the Health Promotion Policy will foster health and longevity in Japanese citizens.