Lack of Exercise is as Risky for Dementia as Genetic Predisposition

By jeremyc | January 15, 2017

Older adults having a sedentary lifestyle have the same risk of developing dementia as older adults with a genetic predisposition to this neurodegenerative disorder.

It is estimated than no fewer than 47 million people in the world have dementia. In another thirteen years, the number is expected to increase to about 75 million.

The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which affects 60 to 80 percent of dementia patients. It is estimated that nearly 5 million people in the US alone are living with Alzheimer’s disease.

Scientists proclaim a particular gene, called APOE e4 gene, is a big risk factor for Alzheimer’s. Data suggests the risk of developing Alzheimer’s is three times more in people having one copy of this gene compared to people who don’t have this gene. In people whom two copies of APOE e4 gene are present, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease is 8 to 12 times greater.

The latest study, carried out by Canadian researchers, show that older adults who don’t exercise are just as likely to develop dementia as people who have APOE e4 gene.

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Is Biotin Beneficial Against Multiple Sclerosis

By jeremyc | January 14, 2017

Multiple sclerosis (MS for short) is an auto-immune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the central nervous system. Scientists have not been able to yet find the exact cause of this chronic disease. However, it is believed that many factors, genetic as well as environmental, affect this condition.

A diet rich in fiber, prebiotics, and probiotics can prove beneficial for multiple sclerosis patients. Vitamin B is also believed to be important for MS patients. Vitamin B plays a vital role in many functions, like converting food into energy, maintaining liver and eye health, and supporting the nervous system.

Biotin is a vitamin B complex and foods rich in it include brewer’s yeast, egg yolk, liver, nuts, and Swiss chard.

A substance called myelin protects our nerve cells. When this protective coating is damaged, multiple sclerosis occurs. Biotin helps increase the production of myelin and consequently provides relief from MS.

Some studies have found taking biotin in high dosages, up to ten times the daily intake, can provide relief from symptoms of progressive multiple sclerosis. These studies also show that taking biotin in high dosage didn’t result in any severe adverse reactions.

In one study, the patients experienced less pain and higher energy levels upon taking biotin in high dosages. One more study noted that patients who took high dosages of biotin reported improvement in their vision.

Benefits of biotin for progressive multiple sclerosis patients were noted in other studies as well. However, all of these are initial studies. Moreover, improvement varied from person to person. Therefore, you should consult your doctor before taking high doses of biotin.

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Healthy Diet Tips for People Suffering with Multiple Sclerosis

By jeremyc | January 13, 2017

In multiple sclerosis, the immune system perceives its own nervous system as a threat and starts attacking it.

Nerve fibres have a coating of myelin over them. This substance lends nerve fibers protection and facilitates the transfer of electrical signals. However, in case of multiple sclerosis patients, this protective coating is not robust at certain places. Wherever myelin is thin, signals from the brain reaches the target muscles late.

Many factors affect multiple sclerosis, with diet being one of them. A recent study has found that the risk of immune disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, is greater when the gut flora is not as healthy as it should be. Therefore, people suffering from multiple sclerosis benefit from a diet that promotes healthy gut flora.

Probiotics and prebiotics are useful for multiple sclerosis patients because both promote healthy gut flora, which in turn strengthens the immune system. Foods that are rich in prebiotics include leeks, garlic, onions, artichoke, chicory, and asparagus. Consuming 5-7 g of prebiotic fiber daily is recommended.

For healthy gut flora eating sufficient amount of fiber is necessary. Vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds are rich in fiber.

Apart from these foods, obtaining sufficient amount of vitamin D is helpful for multiple sclerosis patients. Recent studies hint that taking biotin (a type of vitamin B found naturally in yeast, eggs, kidney, and liver) supplements in high dose might also be beneficial. However, you are recommended to consult your doctor first.

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Exercise Lowers Inflammation

By jeremyc | January 12, 2017

Regular exercise improves health in many ways. Now latest research proves that even a 20-minute exercise session can help bring inflammation down. Inflammation is a natural response of the body to injury. However, too much of it is bad and can cause disease. Long-term, persistent inflammation is linked to several health conditions, like diabetes, arthritis, celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, and fibromyalgia.

If the finding of this study is any indication, people with chronic inflammation or high risk to chronic inflammation should exercise regularly. What’s more, they don’t have to exercise a lot. Even a 20-minute exercise session daily will reduce inflammation. They will benefit in other ways as well. Studies show that regular physical activity reduces blood pressure, lowers the risk of cancer and diabetes type 2.

Researchers hypothesised that physical activity will activate the sympathetic nervous system, which plays a vital role in increasing the heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure, and in turn lower inflammation. To test if this really is the case or not, the researchers enrolled 47 subjects, all of whom were asked to walk on the treadmill for a span of 20 minutes.

The researchers found that one exercise session of 20 minutes decreased the number of immune cells that produce TNF by 5 percent. TNF helps the body in its inflammatory response, so less number of cells producing TNF means less inflammation.

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Late-Development of High Blood Pressure Might Reduce Risk of Dementia

By jeremyc | January 11, 2017

Many believe the risk of developing dementia increases with the diagnoses of hypertension or high blood pressure. However, latest research has put forward a contrarian result. It suggests high blood pressure in older patients might in fact lower the risk of dementia.

Dementia is an umbrella term used for describing various symptoms of cognitive decline. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Nearly 5 million people in the US alone have Alzheimer’s.

More than one study in the past has hinted a link between the diagnoses of high blood pressure in midlife and increased risk of developing dementia in old age. A new study claims this is not so. In fact the researchers say the opposite might be true.

For this study, a team of US researchers analysed how high blood pressure and dementia are correlated. The researchers analysed data of 559 patients over 90 years.

The researchers noted that the incidence of dementia was considerably less in adults who developed high blood pressure in their 80s than elderly subjects who didn’t have hypertension. Moreover, participants who developed high blood pressure in their 90s were least likely to develop dementia.

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Red Meat Linked to Greater Risk of Diverticulitis

By jeremyc | January 9, 2017

Red meat increases the risk of Diverticulitis, according to new research.

Diverticula are small pouches form in the lining of the digestive tract. Usually these pouches form in the colon. Diverticula are fairly common, especially in people over 40. They rarely cause problems.

With that said, sometimes one of these small, bulging pouches become infected or inflamed. This condition is called diverticulitis and produces uncomfortable symptoms. The patient can experience severe abdominal pain and nausea, apart from a change in bowel habits.

A combination of dietary changes, antibiotics, and rest is recommended to patients with mild diverticulitis. When diverticulitis is severe or recurs again and again, surgery might be necessary. Every year, nearly 210,000 hospital admissions occur because of this condition in the U.S.

What’s more worrying is the fact that in recent years, more and more young people are getting affected by diverticulitis. Smoking, lack of exercise, and use of NSAIDs are some common risk factors.

Till now, the effect of diet on this inflammatory condition hadn’t been investigated in detail. For this study, the researchers focused on data of 46,500 men regarding their fish, poultry, and meat intake.

The researchers found that people with highest consumption of red meat had a 58 percent greater risk of diverticulitis than those with lowest red meat consumption.

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Antioxidant Present in Breast Milk Reduces Risk of Liver Disease

By jeremyc | January 8, 2017

Many believe antioxidants help prevent certain chronic conditions, like cancer and heart disease, as they have the ability to offer protection from cell damage. Latest research hints an antioxidant found in breast milk might also offer protection from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

The most common source of antioxidants is vegetables and fruits. Examples of antioxidants include carotenoids, selenium, and Vitamin C and E. More than one study has shown a diet containing lots of vegetables and fruits to be helpful against chronic diseases. What’s not clear, though, is what exactly offers protection against chronic diseases—antioxidants or other substances present in vegetables and fruits.

Latest research has linked one particular antioxidant with reduced risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD for short. This antioxidant occurs naturally in breast milk, besides foods like kiwi, celery, and soy. The name of the antioxidant is pyrroloquinoline quinine or PQQ.

In the study, the researchers administered PQQ prenatally to obese mice. They found that PQQ treatment lowered not only the liver fat but also body fat in obese offspring.

The number of cases of NAFLD is increasing. It is more common than any other chronic liver disease in the U.S. In fact, it accounts for 75 percent of cases of all chronic liver disease in the country.

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High Consumption of Grilled Meat Linked with Increased Risk of All-Cause Mortality for Breast Cancer Survivors

By jeremyc | January 7, 2017

Earlier studies have suggested a link between high intake of barbecued, smoked or grilled meat and a greater risk of developing breast cancer. A recent study, however, has found that breast cancer survivors who consume a lot of grilled meat might also have an increased risk of all-cause mortality.

Breast cancer is ranked as the second most common cancer in the women in the U.S. It is estimated that more than 250,000 new breast cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2017 in the country. Moreover, over 40,000 women will die because of breast cancer this year.

Troubling as these figures are, the incidence rate of breast cancer and the number of deaths from it are becoming less. This is because of two reasons: early detection of breast cancer and more effective treatments. Data suggests that over 2.8 million survivors of breast cancer are living in the U.S. at present.

Earlier studies have suggested a link between high intake of grilled meat and increased risk of breast cancer and certain other cancers. The reason for this is that when meat is cooked this way, the production of two chemicals, heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons increase. Both of them cause changes to the DNA and in turn increase the risk of cancer.

For this study, the researchers set out to find out how consumption of meat cooked at very high temperature affect the all-cause mortality risk of breast cancer survivors.

Women who consumed a lot of grilled, smoked or barbecued meat before the diagnoses of breast cancer carried a 23 percent increased risk of all-cause mortality than women who had a low intake of these meats.

Moreover, women who consumed a lot of grilled, smoked or barbecued meat before or after the diagnoses of breast cancer showed a 31 percent greater risk of all-cause mortality than women who had a low intake of these meats.

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A Small Increase in Zinc Intake Protects DNA

By jeremyc | January 6, 2017

Zinc is regarded as one of the most important mineral—and for good reasons. It is essential for a healthy immune system, as well as for growth and development. A new study reveals that increasing the daily intake of zinc by even a small amount helps in DNA protection.

Vital for promoting healthy growth during childhood as well as adolescence, Zinc is an essential trace element which helps stimulate activity of no fewer than hundred different enzymes. It also plays an important role protein and DNA synthesis, as well as healing of wounds. Zinc also offers protection against certain types of cancer and cardiovascular disease, thanks to its ability to limit oxidative stress and inflammation.

With ageing, DNA deteriorates. However, the human body can regenerate DNA until old age. With that said, the ability of the body to repair wear and tear of DNA becomes less if the intake of zinc is low. According to the National Institutes of Health, the recommended daily intake of zinc for men and women is 11mg and 8mg, respectively.

Foods rich in zinc include, among others, the following: spinach, beef, kidney beans, shrimp, flax seeds, oysters, watermelon seeds, pumpkin seeds, garlic, peanuts, lima beans, egg yolks, pork, dark chocolate, turkey, cashews, salmon, chickpeas, and lobsters.

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Mediterranean Diet Helps Preserve Brain Volume

By jeremyc | January 5, 2017

A lot of research has been done in recent past about health benefits of Mediterranean diet, and much of it has yielded positive results. While some studies have shown such a diet to be beneficial against diabetes and heart disease, others have claimed it helps preserve both mental and physical health in elderly. Now latest research suggests a Mediterranean diet is helpful in preserving brain volume in elderly.

The conventional Mediterranean diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, olive oil, and whole grains. It consists of moderate amounts of fish, wine, and diary. A limited amount of red meat is also included in such a diet.

Research on health benefits of Mediterranean diet ranges from randomised trials to observational studies. It shows the diet to lower the risk of obesity and diabetes type 2, as well as help prevent heart disease. Some studies, on the other hand, hints the diet has the ability to help maintain physical and mental health in elderly and lower the risk of premature death.

In this study, the researchers looked at how the Mediterranean diet affects brain health in older adults.

The researchers found that elderly adults who didn’t closely follow the Mediterranean diet recorded a 0.5 greater reduction in the brain volume in comparison to those who showed good adherence to this diet.

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