The Checkup: Stem Cells Show Promise for Heart Failure Treatment

Patients' own heart stem cells were used to repair and regrow damaged heart tissue.

• Doctors over on the TIME Healthland blog are calling this study “a landmark.” For the first time ever, researchers in Louisville have successfully utilized a patient’s own heart stem cells to improve heart function and reverse tissue damage in heart failure patients. The patients in the clinical trial showed much-improved heart function—and even regrowth of dead tissue—at subsequent appointments following their treatment. Some really neat stuff—read more here.

• Mom always told you to floss, but I’m betting she had no idea it might save you from a heart attack. New research presented at the American Heart Association’s annual meeting found that people who visit the dentist twice a year for cleanings have a 24 percent lower risk for heart attack and a 13 percent lower risk for stroke. That’s compared to people who never went to the dentist or who went only once in a year. So yes, you really should visit your dentist more regularly.

• Over at the American Cancer Society, we learn that adolescents with family histories of breast cancer can help lower their odds for the disease by staying away from alcohol. The study in question, though, looked at a small sample set, so the ACS cautions us not to take the study as gospel truth just yet.