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Health Bulletin


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  1. #621
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Carrots tipped as new sperm superfood

    A new study has found that eating orange and yellow fruits and vegetables may make sperm swim faster.

    According to researchers at Harvard University's School of Public Health, eating red vegetables may increase the production of healthy sperm, the New York Daily News reported.

    Carrots in particular were singled out for their sperm-boosting properties. These orange veggies, along with lettuce and spinach, are high in beta-carotene.

    Researchers found that this antioxidant improves sperm motility, or its ability to swim toward an egg, by 6.5 percent to 8 percent.
    Lutein, a carotenoid or antioxidant also found in spinach and lettuce, had a similar effect on sperm motility, researchers said.

    The participants with diets rich in lycopene, the chemical that gives tomatoes their red color, had lower levels of abnormally shaped sperm.
    The study is published in the journal Fertility and Sterility.


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  2. #622
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Brain can 'see' in the dark: study

    At least 50 per cent of people can see the movement of their own hand even when it is pitch dark, a new study, that used computerised eye-trackers, has found.

    Even in the absence of all light, the brain keeps track of the body, researchers said.

    Neuroscientists and psychologists discovered that the mind continues to perceive motion in complete darkness. Their findings suggest that 50 per cent of the population sees in the dark without realising it.

    "Seeing in total darkness? According to the current understanding of natural vision, that just doesn't happen," says Duje Tadin, a professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester who led the investigation.
    "But this research shows that our own movements transmit sensory signals that also can create real visual perceptions in the brain, even in the complete absence of optical input," said Tadin.

    Through five separate experiments involving 129 individuals, the authors found that this eerie ability to see our hand in the dark suggests that our brain combines information from different senses to create our perceptions.
    The ability also "underscores that what we normally perceive of as sight is really as much a function of our brains as our eyes," said first author Kevin Dieter, a post-doctoral fellow in psychology at Vanderbilt University.

    For most people, this ability to see self-motion in darkness probably is learned, the authors conclude.

    "We get such reliable exposure to the sight of our own hand moving that our brains learn to predict the expected moving image even without actual visual input," said Dieter.

    The study was published in journal Psychological Science.


  3. #623
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Sugar intake not directly linked with fatty liver disease

    A new study has claimed that sugar intake is not directly associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, as it was earlier believed.

    Rather, high-calorie diets promote the progression of this serious form of liver disease.

    Researchers conducted a double-blind study of healthy, but centrally overweight men to compare the effects of high intakes of two types of sugar, glucose and fructose, in two conditions - weight-maintaining (moderate-calorie diet) and weight-gaining ( high-calorie diet).

    In the weight-maintaining period, men on neither diet developed any significant changes to the liver.

    However, in the weight-gaining period, both diets produced equivalent features of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, including steatosis (fatty liver) and elevated serum transaminase and triglycerides.

    These findings indicate that fructose and glucose have comparable effects on one's liver, and calorie intake is the factor responsible for the progression of liver disease.

    "Based on the results of our study, recommending a low- fructose or low-glycemic diet to prevent nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is unjustified," Professor Ian A. Macdonald, study author and faculty of medicine and health sciences, University of Nottingham, UK, said.

    "The best advice to give a patient is to maintain a healthy lifestyle with diet and exercise. Our study serves as a warning that even short changes in lifestyle can have profound impacts on your liver," he said.

    The study is published in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association.


  4. #624
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Early sleep can help fight child obesity

    Putting your kids to bed early may be a simple way to keep their weight down, a new study has found.

    The study conducted by Chantelle Hart, from the Temple University's Center for Obesity Research and Education (CORE) is the first known study to examine the impact of sleep on children's eating behaviours by manipulating the amount of sleep that study participants were able to get.

    The study involved 37 children, ages 8 to 11; 27 per cent of whom were overweight or obese.

    For the first week of the study, children were asked to sleep their typical amount.

    During the second week, the group was randomised to either reduce or lengthen their sleep time; participants completed the opposite sleep schedule during the third and final week of the study.

    During the week that the children increased their sleep, they reported consuming an average of 134 fewer calories per day, weighed a half pound less, and had lower fasting levels of leptin, a hunger-regulating hormone that is also highly correlated with the amount of adipose tissue, when compared to the week of decreased sleep.

    "Findings from this study suggest that enhancing school-age children's sleep at night could have important implications for prevention and treatment of obesity," said Hart.

    "The potential role of sleep should be further explored," Hart, who conducted the study at the Miriam Hospital and Alpert Medical School of Brown University, said.

    While the study is still early in the testing, Hart hints that the intervention looks promising.

    "Given all of its documented benefits, in many ways, you can't lose in promoting a good night's sleep," said Hart.

    The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.


  5. #625
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Genes may be to blame for ageing brain

    The declining brain function that occurs during the normal ageing process is influenced by genes, a new study has found for the first time.


    "Identification of genes associated with brain ageing should improve our understanding of the biological processes that govern normal age-related decline," said John Blangero, a Texas Biomed geneticist and the senior author of the study.

    In large pedigrees including 1,129 people aged 18 to 83, the scientists documented profound ageing effects from young adulthood to old age, on neurocognitive ability and brain white matter measures.

    White matter actively affects how the brain learns and functions. Genetic material shared amongst biological relatives appears to predict the observed changes in brain function with age.

    Participants were enrolled in the Genetics of Brain Structure and Function Study and drawn from large Mexican Americans families in San Antonio.

    "The use of large human pedigrees provides a powerful resource for measuring how genetic factors change with age," Blangero said.

    By applying a sophisticated analysis, the scientists including David Glahn, an associate professor of psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine, demonstrated a heritable basis for neurocognitive deterioration with age that could be attributed to genetic factors.

    Similarly, decreasing white matter integrity with age was influenced by genes. The investigators further demonstrated that different sets of genes are responsible for these two biological ageing processes.

    The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


  6. #626
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    New BP guidelines to prevent heart attacks

    A new way of using blood pressure-lowering medications could prevent more than a fourth of heart attacks and strokes - up to 180,000 a year - while using less medication overall, a new study has found.

    Individualizing treatment recommendations using patients' risk of heart disease after considering multiple factors - such as age, gender and whether or not the patient smokes - is a more effective way to treat patients than current methods.

    According to authors, current medical guidelines use a one-size-fits-all treatment approach based on target blood pressure values that leads to some patients being on too many medications and others being on too little.

    Researchers found that a person's blood pressure level is often not the most important factor in determining if a blood pressure medication will prevent these diseases - but common practice is to base treatment strictly on blood pressure levels.

    Lead author Jeremy Sussman, M.D., M.Sc., assistant professor of internal medicine in the Division of General Medicine at the U-M Medical School and research scientist at the Center for Clinical Management Research at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, said that drugs that lower blood pressure are among the most effective and commonly used medications in the country, but we believe they can be used dramatically more effectively.

    He said that the purpose of these medications is not actually to avoid high blood pressure itself but to stop heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases.

    Sussman asserted that they should guide use of medications by a patient's risk of these diseases and how much adding a new medication decreases that risk - not solely on their blood pressure level.

    He found that people who have mildly high blood pressure but high cardiovascular risk receive a lot of benefit from treatment, but those with low overall cardiovascular risk do not.

    The study has been published in the medical journal, Circulation.


  7. #627
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Milk may protect us from pollution

    Scottish scientists are exploring the pollution-protecting powers of milk produced by cows in the 48 hours after giving birth. Researchers at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland want to find out whether drinking the milk produced by cows in the 48 hours after giving birth could protect athletes' lungs from the effects of air pollution. Known as bovine colostrum, the early-milk which is rich in antioxidants has already been found to aid gut problems like diarrhoea and boost athletic performance.

    Now, it is hoped it could be used to protect athletes in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio — a city known for its elevated levels of air pollution. Dr Elisa Gomes, who is leading the study, said, "We are testing competitive cyclists, who will be given bovine colostrum every day for 2 weeks. We will then monitor their performance as they cycle in a special environmental chamber which is able to replicate the hot, humid and ozone-polluted environment athletes will face in Rio."


  8. #628
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Milk may protect us from pollution

    Scottish scientists are exploring the pollution-protecting powers of milk produced by cows in the 48 hours after giving birth. Researchers at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland want to find out whether drinking the milk produced by cows in the 48 hours after giving birth could protect athletes' lungs from the effects of air pollution. Known as bovine colostrum, the early-milk which is rich in antioxidants has already been found to aid gut problems like diarrhoea and boost athletic performance.

    Now, it is hoped it could be used to protect athletes in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio a city known for its elevated levels of air pollution. Dr Elisa Gomes, who is leading the study, said, "We are testing competitive cyclists, who will be given bovine colostrum every day for 2 weeks. We will then monitor their performance as they cycle in a special environmental chamber which is able to replicate the hot, humid and ozone-polluted environment athletes will face in Rio."


  9. #629
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    A nagging boss can cripple your immune system

    A stressful workplace may dramatically change gene expression in your immune system and significantly impact your health, a new study suggests . The research shows that chronic stress changes gene activity in immune cells before they reach the bloodstream.

    With these changes, the cells are primed to fight an infection or trauma that doesn't actually exist , leading to an overabundance of the inflammation that is linked to many health problems.

    This is not just any stress, but repeated stress that triggers the sympathetic nervous system, commonly known as the fight-orflight response, and stimulates the production of new blood cells.

    While this response is important for survival, prolonged activation over an extended period of time can have negative effects on health. A study in animals showed that this type of chronic stress changes the activation, or expression, of genes in immune cells before they are released from the bone marrow.

    Genes that lead to inflammation are expressed at higher-thannormal levels, while the activation of genes that might suppress inflammation is diminished.

    Ohio State University scientists made this discovery in a study of mice.


  10. #630
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Discovered: New ligament in our knees

    Doctors have discovered a new body part — a ligament present in 97% of all human knees. The finding could explain why people with repaired knee injuries find the joint sometimes gives way during exercise. This ligament found by two knee surgeons at University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium appears to play an important role in patients with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears.

    Despite a successful ACL repair surgery and rehabilitation, some patients with ACLrepaired knees continue to experience so-called 'pivot shift', or episodes where the knee 'gives way' during activity. For the last four years, orthopedic surgeons Dr Steven Claes and professor Dr Johan Bellemans have been conducting research into serious ACL injuries in an effort to find out why.

    Their starting point: an 1879 article by a French surgeon that postulated the existence of an additional ligament on the anterior of the human knee. The Belgian doctors are the first to identify the ligament after a broad cadaver study using macroscopic dissection techniques.


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