An increasing body of evidence is showing how important prevention is for self-care. According to a press release from Elsevier, which published this information in The American Journal of Medicine, the following five actions can lead to better health.

1. Consume fish to reduce the risk of colon cancer. People who live in countries with high levels of fish consumption are known to develop colon cancer less frequently those who consume less fish. Now, scientists from Xi’an, China, have reviewed the literature and find that eating fresh fish regularly reduces the risk of colorectal cancer by 12 percent.

2. Use hypnotherapy and acupuncture for smoking cessation. The use of unconventional smoking cessation aids, including acupuncture and hypnotherapy, results in substantial increases of smoking cessation. A meta-analysis of 14 trials found that smokers who underwent hypnotherapy were 4.55 times more likely, and those who underwent acupuncture were 3.53 times more likely, to abstain from smoking than those who did not.

3. Get your teeth cleaned regularly to improve cardiovascular health. Regular tooth scaling is associated with a decreased risk for future cardiovascular events. A study by H-B. Leu, MD, of Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan, and colleagues examined 10,887 subjects who had undergone tooth scaling, and 10,989 subjects who had not received tooth scaling. During an average follow-up period of seven years, the group that had undergone tooth scaling had a lower incidence of myocardial infarction, stroke, and total cardiovascular events.

4. Utilize your primary care physician for weight loss. A study by William C. Haas, M.D., of East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina,, and colleagues finds that physicians in primary care practices can be as effective as weight loss clinics in helping the moderately obese lose weight.

5. Use low-dose aspirin to reduce cancer risk. Low-dose aspirin, a common strategy for preventing cardiovascular disease, can also reduce nonvascular deaths, including cancer deaths. A meta-analysis of 23 randomized studies by Edward J. Mills, PhD, MSc, of the University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues offers conclusive evidence that low-dose aspirin offers cancer preventive effects, and showed significant treatment effects after approximately four years of follow up.