Grape seed polyphenols, a natural antioxidant, prevent the production of a substance in the brain known to cause neurotoxicity, which alters the normal activity of the nervous system, associated with Alzheimer's.
In Alzheimer's disease, brain cells degenerate and die, causing a steady decline in memory and mental function.
Researchers from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the University of Minnesota administered polyphenolic extracts in mice as part of their study published online in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease Friday, Xinhua reported.
Previous studies had suggested that increased consumption of grape-derived polyphenols, contained in red wine, may protect against cognitive decline in Alzheimer's. This new finding corroborates those theories.
'This new finding holds significant promise as a preventive method or treatment, and is being tested in translational studies in Alzheimer's patients,' said lead researcher Giulio Pasinetti.
Today, we live in a fast-paced world, constantly juggling with work, family responsibilities and social lives. A much-waited job promotion, a not-so-great appraisal, relationships that are breaking up, spouse-related conflicts, child's illnesses, bad grades or perhaps even the death of a dear one, are reasons enough to generate stress. As a result, you are constantly being victimised by stress, whether its mental, physical or emotional. Stress often has harmful repercussions on your health, state of mind, behaviour and attitude. You can't completely eliminate stress out of your life but you can help yourself to deal with it and minimise its harmful effects. Follow these easy relaxation techniques that will help ease your stress quotient...
You've been breathing continuously since the day you were born. However, proper breathing can not only be relaxing but also relieves stress and increase your energy levels. If yoga and meditation ain't your cup of tea, try deep breathing exercises. Taking deep breaths is one of the simplest and easiest ways to relieve stress.
Begin by either sitting or standing straight (your back should be straight, no hunching!). Place one of your palms on your stomach. Breathe in slowly taking deep breaths and exhale slowly. Now try holding your breath while inhaling and exhaling for about five seconds. With practice you can increase holding your breath for 10 seconds. After doing these breathing exercises, a sense of calm will prevail.
Yoga is one of the most efficient ways to curb stress. That is because yoga is a combination of meditation and exercise. It helps in strengthening the mind and body and relieves muscle tension. No wonder celebs are into yoga big time, whether it's Shilpa Shetty or Madonna. Padmasan or theLotus pose is a great way to unwind. Sit with your back straight, legs crossed and feet on your thighs (if this is difficult, sit with your legs crossed, the normal way). Keep your palms on your knees, with your arms straight (do not bend your elbows). Close your eyes, inhale and exhale deeply and slowly. Focus on your breathing. Begin by practising for three minutes and gradually increasing the the time. Shavasan or the Corpse pose includes lying flat on the ground on your back. Keep your hands and legs apart at 45-degree angles. Close your eyes, keep your body as loose as you can and stay still like a corpse. Inhale and exhale slowly. Begin by practising for five minutes and gradually increase your time.
Guided imagery is also known as diversion or in a layman's term, daydreaming. All you have to do is let your stressed out mind escape to calming scenery or situations. When you are stressed out, take a few minutes to sit back on your chair and close your eyes, and breathe slowly and deeply. Imagine yourself on a secluded beach with lush palm/coconut trees and the beautiful ocean or imagine yourself on a green and cool forest with fresh, fragrant, colourful flowers. You can choose to escape to any scenario, preferably where it is very quiet and not to some wild party. The trick is to magically transport yourself to a serene place/situation, thus, invoking relief from your stress.
By music we mean serenading music and not heavy metal. Listening to soothing music helps relieve stress and alleviate your mood. Sit back, close your eyes and listen to relaxing music for about 20 minutes. You can choose from a range of music like classic instrumental music (either desi or international), Gregorian chants, Buddha Bar, Yanni, Kenny G to even Chinese relaxation music.
Taking a luke warm bath after a long stressful day can be a rejuvenating experience. Burning some scented candles around and adding aromatic oils of flowers can soothe both your mind and body. Vanilla and cinnamon flavoured oils in particular are effective as stress relievers. Its no surprise that at spas, aroma therapy oils are often used for most types of massages.
Spending time with pets
Whether you have a dog, cat or a fish tank at home, they can function as effective stress busters. Petting your precious pup or kitty will not only make them feel loved but also make you feel better. Simply watching fish swimming is a calming experience.
Take a nap
Taking a short nap is known to be a great way to beat stress. Why do you think power naps are called so? Studies have shown that a short nap of 15 minutes can minimise stress and can make one feel energised. Make sure not to get tempted and sleep off!
Having a cup of coffee or tea is not only enjoyable but also quite relieving. Caffeine acts as a stress buster and helps improving the mood. However, one must be careful to consume tea and coffee in moderation as excess of it can be harmful. If you're not a tea or coffee drinker, try hot chocolate. A nice steaming cup of hot chocolate will definitely cheer you up!
English names: Night Blooming Cereus, Strawberry Pear, Belle of the Night, Conderella plant, Mood Flower.
The NGO's Pollution Monitoring Lab conducted a survey from May to June which picked energy drinks randomly from markets across the country and tested their caffeine levels.
'Forty-four percent of them breached the caffeine limit of 145 ppm (parts per million) prescribed by the government,' the study said.
The study also claimed that caffeine is a psycho-stimulant and it could be doing irreparable harm to the body, which could lead to seizures, strokes or even death.
CSE's deputy director Chandra Bhushan said: 'These so-called energy drinks are being confused with sports drinks, as most of them marketed and projected in a such way. Gyms, bars and clubs across the country are dishing out these drinks to their clients, claiming major health benefits. But studies show that these drinks are not made to rehydrate and replenish the body.'
'Consumed during intense physical activity, they can lead to dehydration,' Bhushan added.
The Harvard study for the first time details how much weight individual foods make people put on or keep off.
"The conventional wisdom is simply, 'Eat everything in moderation and just reduce total calories' without paying attention to what thosecalories are made of," the Washington Post quoted Dariush Mozaffarian of the Harvard School of Public Health, who led the study, as saying.
"All foods are not equal, and just eating in moderation is not enough," Mozaffarian explained.
From all the foods studied, potatoes stood out. It was found that every additional serving of potatoes people added to their regular diet each day made them gain about a pound over four years.
It was no surprise that french fries and potato chips are especially fattening.
But the study found that even mashed, baked or boiled potatoes were unexpectedly plumping, perhaps because of their effect on the hormone insulin.
Similarly, while it was no shock that every added serving of fruits and vegetables prevented between a quarter- and a half-pound gain, other foods were strikingly good at helping people stay slim.
Every extra serving of nuts, for example, prevented more than a half-pound of weight gain. And perhaps the biggest surprise was yoghurt, every serving of which kept off nearly a pound over four years.
The findings could have significant political, economic and policy implications, supporting, for example, growing pressure to levy taxes and take other steps to discourage certain menu options, such as sugary soda for kids.
For the study, Mozaffarian and his colleagues analysed data collected from a total of 120,877 healthy American men and women.
The study has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine .
Childhood Obesity Increasing at an Alarming Rate
Over the past three decades, childhood obesity has dramatically increased in the United States, putting the nation’s future leaders at a risk for several diseases such a metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, heart diseases and even death. The rate of obese children has more than tripled in this timeframe and remains high among both boys and girls and across all ages and racial and ethnic groups. “In light of these trends, childhood obesity continues to be viewed as a major public health problem in the United States,” the authors write.
Childhood Obesity Prevalence Study
To examine changes in obesity and overweight prevalence at the state level, Gopal K. Singh, Ph.D., and colleagues at the Health Resources and Services Administration, Rockville, Md., analyzed data from the National Survey of Children’s Health Data - a larger database that permits more detailed geographic analyses than other surveys used to estimate childhood obesity prevalence. A total of 46,707 children age 10 to 17 were surveyed in 2003 and 44,101 children participated in 2007.
Obesity Prevalence Varies Across the United States
While nationwide in 2007, 16.4 percent of children were obese and 31.6 percent were overweight, prevalence varied significantly across states.
Mississippi had the highest obesity rate (21.9 percent) and Oregon had the lowest (9.6 percent);
Mississippi also had the highest rate of children who were overweight (44.5 percent) and Utah had the lowest (23.1 percent). The magnitude of state variations was more significant for girls than for boys.
“Between 2003 and 2007, obesity prevalence increased by 10 percent for all U.S. children and by 18 percent for female children, declined by 32 percent for children in Oregon and doubled among female children in Arizona and Kansas,” according to the authors. “Children in Georgia, Illinois, Kansas Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia, Georgia had more than twice the adjusted odds of being obese than children in Oregon.”
Childhood Obesity Patterns Similar to Adult Obesity Patterns
The geographic patterns in childhood obesity are similar to those observed among adult populations, according to the researchers. Several Southern states—including Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee—were in the top one-fifth of both childhood and adult obesity rates in 2007. For both adults and children, obesity rates were highest in the Southern region and lowest in the Western region.
“Individual, household and neighborhood social and built environmental characteristics accounted for 45 percent and 42 percent of the state variance in childhood obesity and overweight, respectively,” the authors write. “Prevention programs for reducing disparities in childhood obesity should not only include behavioral interventions aimed at reducing children’s physical inactivity levels and limiting their television viewing and recreational screen time but should also include social policy measures aimed at improving the broader social and physical environments that create obesogenic conditions that put children at risk for poor diet, physical inactivity and other sedentary activities,” they conclude.
Source: Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2010;164:(doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.84)
A recent study suggests drinking diet soda may significantly increase the risk of having a stroke or other vascular system disorder.
Researchers at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine said in a statement that people who drank diet soda every day have a 61 percent higher risk of having a vascular event, compared to people who don’t drink any soda.
The researchers said their findings suggest switching from regular soda to diet soda is not an effective strategy in lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke.
The study included 2,564 participants who were asked about their soda consumption habits. During an average follow-up of 9.3 years, 559 vascular events occurred, including ischemic stroke, which is caused by the rupture of a weakened blood vessel.
The researchers said that the risk of this type of stroke remained high, even when accounting for other risk factors, including a patient’s metabolic syndrome, peripheral vascular disease and heart disease history.
The study was presented at the American Stroke Association’s annual conference in Los Angeles, Calif.
Helps the body absorb and utilize iron (copper)
Washington: Indirubin, a herbal compound used in traditional Chinese remedies might beat deadly brain tumours.
Indirubin is derived from the Indigo plant, an active ingredient in the Dang Gui Long Hui Wan formula that is used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia.
Researchers from the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Centre (OSUCCC) discovered indirubin, a compound that blocks migration of glioblastoma cells and endothelial cells, halting them from forming cancerous blood vessels.
(The endothelium is the thin layer of cells that line the interior surface of blood vessels).
Glioblastomas affect about 18,500 Americans annually and kill nearly 13,000 of them yearly. It is the most common and lethal form of the brain cancer malignancy, with an average survival of 15 months after diagnosis, the journal Cancer Research reports.
'We have pretty good methods to stop glioblastoma from growing in the human brain, but these therapies fail because tumour cells migrate from the original site and grow elsewhere in the brain,' says co-principal investigator E. Antonio Chiocca, professor in neurological surgery at Ohio.
'Our findings suggest that Indirubin offers a novel therapeutic strategy for these tumours that simultaneously targets tumour invasion and angiogenesis,' Chiocca says, according to an Ohio statement.
Angiogenesis is the process involving the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels.