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Rigorous cleaning will leave your house sparkling this spring, but it might not leave you with a clean bill of health. One in seven cases of adult asthma may have been caused by weekly use of common pump or aerosol cleaning sprays, including those for glass and furniture and for freshening the air, according to new research. "Because sprayed material goes straight into the air you breathe, you're more exposed to the irritating components in these products," says Rebecca S. Gruchalla, MD, PhD, of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. To spare your lungs, clean with disinfecting wipes or a cloth doused in a natural cleansing solution, such as vinegar and water. Avoid products with harsh chemicals.
-- Courtney De Wet
Prone to digestion trouble? Your system may be lacking probiotics, bacteria that help digest food. Try a supplement or the new probiotic dairy products, including yogurt and cheese. But eat the cheese cold, not melted -- heat may kill the helpful bacteria.
Next time there's a problem in your marriage, tell your husband how you feel instead of silently stewing. Women who stayed mum about their feelings during times of conflict had more than four times he risk of premature death, especially from heart disease, according to a recent study. "Holding back emotions causes women much worse stress if they feel they should be silent to preserve the relationship," says lead study author Elaine Eaker, ScD. If you feel safe in your relationship, give yourself time to think about your opinions and emotions next time, then calmly articulate how you feel.
-- Abigail Cuffey
Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, April 2008.