Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute

The Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute is dedicated to reducing ill health and mortality caused by the effects of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. With a focus on diagnosis, prevention and treatment, Baker’s work also extends to wide-scale community studies. Baker IDI and its researchers interact with and obtain funding from a variety of external partners, including government, private donors and industry partners.

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Just getting off your chair regularly and moving around is enough to improve your health. Victor1558

Office workers – it’s time to beat the bulge and quit the sit

I’ve never been a smoker but lately I’ve started to take on some of the same zeal of reformed addicts. You see, a few years ago, I took a long, hard look at myself and decided to kick one of the most unnecessary…
Pharmaceutical companies are working in partnership with academia to bring drug candidates to clinical development. Spark/Flickr

New drug buddies: pharma turns to academia for medicines pipeline

The 2008 global financial crisis and an impending “patent cliff” have had a profound impact on the profitability of the pharmaceutical industry – they have made it change how it works. So, to maintain…
There’s no biological evidence to show that chocolate can affect your libido. Roxanne Cooke

Monday’s medical myth: chocolate is an aphrodisiac

There are many ways to a woman’s heart. But is a box of chocolates really one of them? What makes chocolate romantic is entirely contextual. Valentine’s Day is traditionally the time for couples to profess…
Successful weight losers have higher levels of nerve activity than those who struggle to lose weight. Flickr/the great

A weighty issue: biggest losers have greater nerve activity

If you put a group of people on a calorie-restricted diet, you’ll see that some seem to lose weight easily, while others struggle to shed each pound. This difference doesn’t just come down to how much…
Bad pine nuts can leave you with a metallic taste in your mouth for up to two weeks. Gemma Bou

Left with a bad taste? You could have ‘pine mouth’

Pine nuts are those crunchy, delectable seeds we scatter over summer salads, use to make pesto and that form the base of some favourite desserts, such as pignoli and baklava. They usually have a sweet…
You can use all kinds of iPhone apps to track and improve your health. chunghow33

Reviewing the top medical iPhone apps … what’s the diagnosis?

Want to quit smoking, lose weight, manage your diabetes or get a good night’s sleep? No worries. There’s an app for all of that. But it’s not always clear which medical apps are based on solid evidence…
If we’re to confront obesity and with any real impact, we need to examine the way modern lifestyles have dramatically altered our food intake and energy expenditure. Darwin Bell

National action needed to stop obesity becoming the norm

By 2025, it’s predicted that ⅔ of the Australian population aged over 25 will be overweight or obese if current trends continue. To paint the picture more crudely, it means that a person of normal weight…
90% of the glutamate in our diet comes from protein, not MSG. Kevin H

Monday’s medical myth: MSG is a dangerous toxin

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is widely viewed as a dangerous food toxin that is responsible for adverse reactions to Chinese food and other meals. But is it really the MSG that’s to blame? Glutamate is a…
While we try to come to terms with the number of obese people, the chance to reverse the growing trend could be lost. austinevan

Shock of numbers could hinder efforts to fight obesity epidemic

This is a shorter version of an article that appears in the latest issue of Perspectives, an opinion-led journal published by Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute. It’s predicted that two-thirds of the…
The links between coffee and better health aren’t strong enough to recommend another cup. Flickr/doug8888

Monday’s medical myth: coffee is a health drink

Many Australians begin their day with a cup of coffee. It’s widely viewed as a tonic with revitalising properties – each cup making us feel better. But this isn’t the same as being good for our health…
The browning of apples illustrates how natural sugars in foods modify proteins and amino acids. quinn.anya/Flickr

Open wide: are ‘healthy’ food choices making us sick?

Educated, wealthy and living longer than ever before – or are we? Have you noticed that despite people often making healthy food choices, we are developing chronic diseases at much higher rates? A number…
Water alone won’t kill germs – it’s the soap that counts. Flickr/CafeMama

Monday’s medical myth: you have to wash with hot water to kill bugs

Despite decades of medical breakthroughs and growing health budgets, the simple act of washing our hands remains one of the most important things we can do to protect ourselves from disease. The principle…
Bariatric surgery has a dramatic effect on diabetes and other heart disease risk factors. Bariatric Solutions/www.mybariatricsolutions.com

Bariatric surgery: new paradigm in type 2 diabetes management?

Type 2 diabetes is the fastest growing epidemic worldwide. By 2020, it is expected to be the number one disease in Australia in men and second only to breast cancer in women. Treating this illness has…
Excessive sitting increases your risk of chronic disease, even if you get enough exercise.

Sitting nine to five (and beyond): the perils of sedentary lifestyles

Whether it’s at work, in cars, watching TV or using the computer, there’s no denying many of us spend the majority of our days sitting. And while science is yet to prove conclusively that too much sitting…
It’s wise to rug up outdoors but it won’t stop you getting a cold. Flickr/foshydog

Monday’s medical myth: you can catch a cold by getting cold

Colds are more common in the cold winter months. But does the weather have anything to do with why we get sick? These days, we use other terms such as “virus” or “the flu” to describe our sniffles because…
Psammomys obesus or the Israeli sand rat provides an insight into how the thrifty gene hypothesis may work. Tino Strauss

Explainer: Diabetes and obesity – the biggest epidemic in human history

In the last few decades, the number of people with diabetes has more than doubled globally, making the combination of type 2 diabetes and obesity (known as diabesity) the largest epidemic the world has…
There’s no evidence to prove it works, but does that matter? Flickr/Akane86

Monday’s medical myth: chicken soup cures the common cold

Of all the homemade winter cure-alls, chicken soup is the best known and most loved. In fact the term “chicken soup” has become idiomatic for all things restorative; benefiting every possible problem from…
It’s more likely to be the accompanying potatoes or your natural post-lunch dip. tuchodi/flickr

Monday’s medical myth: eating turkey makes you sleepy

It has been long-rumoured that gobbling up turkey meat has a mysterious soporific effect, rendering its consumers progressively drowsier. Sounds like a good story, and certainly one that’s worth checking…
Some people benefit from salt restriction while others don’t.

Four seasons in one day: getting the right dose of salt

Ah, salt. We love its taste and yearn to use it liberally in our cooking. But we’re told to limit our salt consumption for the sake of our health. Much like a low cholesterol product, the low salt option…

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