More than once, we've discussed mortality tables, those mysterious numbers on which life insurers base many of their assumptions (and your rates). Well, they've been revised again recently, and the news is encouraging:
"For the first time, U.S. life expectancy has surpassed 78 years, the government reported Wednesday."
Previously, that number was 77.6 years, so this represents a modest improvement. On the other hand, it seems to me that any improvement is a step in the right direction. According to the gummint, this increase is due primarily to "falling mortality rates for nine of the 15 leading causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, accidents and diabetes." Get that? Our health care system is so "broken" that we've actually reduced the number of folks dying from cancer and diabetes (not to mention heart disease).
And speaking of good news, there's more:
"A compound found in dehydrated tomatoes may help quash prostate cancer tumors, new animal research suggests."
Exactly two years ago, we noted that "tomatoes contain a naturally occuring antioxidant called "lycopene." The idea is that, in addition to giving the 'maters their beautiful red color, it may provide protection against certain cancers."
There's some controversy over the role which lycopene plays in this drama. One study failed to find a correlation between one's level of that substance and the risk of prostate cancer. So it may turn out that there's something else going on with those delicious red (or yellow, or variegated) orbs than the lycopene. Still, something to consider.
No word yet on what role salmonella will play in combatting cancer, though.