UV light can kill airborne flu virus, study finds

first_imgScientists found 222 nanometer far-UVC light was just as effective as broad spectrum UV light at killing and deactivating the aerosolized influenza virus.Experiments prove low doses of far ultraviolet C light, or far-UVC light, can wipe out airborne flu virus without harming humans.Researchers at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center suggest far-UVC lamps should be installed in hospitals, doctors offices, schools, airports and other public places.Currently, ultraviolet light is used to decontaminate surgical equipment, but the light isn’t safe for human exposure.“Unfortunately, conventional germicidal UV light… can lead to skin cancer and cataracts, which prevents its use in public spaces,” David J. Brenner, a professor of radiation biophysics and director of the Center for Radiological Research at CUIMC, said in a news release.Traditional UV lamps feature a broad spectrum of light wavelengths between 200 to 400 nanometers. Such wavelengths can penetrate human skin and damage cells.“Far-UVC light has a very limited range and cannot penetrate through the outer dead-cell layer of human skin or the tear layer in the eye, so it’s not a human health hazard,” Brenner said. “But because viruses and bacteria are much smaller than human cells, far-UVC light can reach their DNA and kill them.”In previous studies, Brenner and his colleagues showed far-UVC light can kill MRSA bacteria without harming human and mice tissue. MRSA bacteria lives primarily on surfaces and is spread through direct contact.In the new study, published this week in the journal Scientific Reports, scientists wanted to find out if far-UVC light could combat the flu, which is spread through tiny airborne droplets. When infected parties cough or sneeze, the virus becomes aerosolized.In test chambers, scientists found 222 nanometer far-UVC light was just as effective as broad spectrum UV light at killing and deactivating the aerosolized influenza virus.“If our results are confirmed in other settings, it follows that the use of overhead low-level far-UVC light in public locations would be a safe and efficient method for limiting the transmission and spread of airborne-mediated microbial diseases, such as influenza and tuberculosis,” said Brenner.Sourcelast_img read more

7 non-dairy foods you didn’t know contain calcium

first_imgVeganuary may have come to an end, but the number of people choosing to cut all animal produce (including dairy) from their diets is on the up.Indeed, recent research suggests that the number of vegans in the UK jumped from 150,000 to 542,000 in just 10 years – an increase that shows no sign of slowing down. Simultaneously, sales of plant-based milks have also rocketed.But is there a downside to cutting dairy from your diet? Speaking to The Daily Star last month, Harley Street nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert said:‘Those who follow poorly planned plant-based diets are at risk of certain nutrient deficiencies. Vegans need to make a conscious effort to consume foods that will replace nutrients that will have been lost through cutting certain foods. For example, cutting out dairy may result in low calcium intake which will ultimately lead to increased risk of [conditions such as] osteoporosis.’However, there’s no reason you can’t maintain a diet that is low in diary but rich in calcium. Here, Frida Harju-Westman, nutritionist at the health app Lifesum, comments on the vegan-friendly foods you didn’t know contain calcium.OrangesUnbeknown to many, oranges contain high levels of calcium. Eating just one orange has over 70 milligrams of calcium, ensuring that you receive 6% of your calcium intake for the day, as well as a great boost of vitamin C, in just one snack.FigsFigs are another fruit which contain high levels of calcium. While also containing significant amounts of antioxidants and fibre, eating approximately five dried figs per day can provide you with around 135mg of calcium, which goes a long way in helping you to achieve the required daily intake.BroccoliBroccoli is a ‘super-veg’ if ever there was one; not only is it jam-packed with essential nutrients including vitamins A-K and minerals such as magnesium, zinc, and phosphorous, but it also contains exceptionally high levels of calcium, which is easily absorbed by the body.AlmondsNuts aren’t the first thing people think of when they think about calcium-rich foods, however many nuts contain a significant amount of calcium. Almonds in particular, are a great snack to help increase your calcium intake and are also one of the few proteins that are alkaline forming, which helps to give you better immune function and energy.White beansWhite beans are not only rich in protein, iron and fibre, they are a great source of calcium, containing on average, approximately 175mg of calcium per serving. If you don’t fancy having white beans or want to introduce some variety, you can try winged beans or navy beans, both of which also provide plenty of calcium.Leafy greensLeafy greens such as kale contain zero fat, are extremely low in calories, and have high levels of calcium. I recommend adding kale to your evening meal or making homemade kale chips for a healthy snack. Spinach is another great source of calcium, so try to add raw leaves to your salad or boil and have with scrambles eggs at breakfast.Sourcelast_img read more

7 Things That Are Infinitely More Amazing When You Become a Mom

first_imgBeing a parent brings a lot of unexpected joys you never would have anticipated in your prechild life: the pride you feel when your child reaches a milestone, the overwhelming love you experience when your kids bond with your own parents, and the satisfaction you’ll encounter when you successfully complete any task with a baby and toddler in tow. But there’s another category of things you’ll think are utterly incredible after you become a mom that you probably never saw coming. If you’re an introvert, chances are these things already bring you some amount of happiness, but when you’re a mom, that nirvana reaches a whole new level.BEING HOME ALONE . . . EVEN FOR AN HOURMaybe you’ve always appreciated your alone time, but once you become a mom, never will you be as excited to be in your own home without another soul in sight. The quiet, the potential to bathe, primp, or just sit without interruption . . . it’s glorious.DOING YOUR OWN LAUNDRYLaundry before kids felt like a chore, even though you probably only did it once or twice a week. Laundry after kids is a daily task that literally does not end. Things only stay clean for maybe an hour, the loads are bigger than you thought humanly possible, and you spend the time you once used for books and TV shows folding all those clothes. But on those rare weekends when your kids are with their grandparents and you only have to do your laundry and absolutely no one else’s? The joy is hard to put into words.COOKING JUST 1 DINNERPat yourself on the back if you’ve trained your kids to consume the same dinner you and your partner also eat every night. The rest of us are dreaming about that day while we spend hours preparing separate meals for every picky eater in our family who all claim to be starving while also saying nothing sounds good. But what if you only had to worry about what you feel like and just make enough for one? Use those sleepover invitations to your advantage.BEING BOREDBoredom isn’t anyone’s desired state . . . until you become a mom and realize there’s not a second you’re not busy or overwhelmed. Those rare times when you do find yourself with some unexpected downtime with nothing on your to-do list are pretty wonderful.TAKING A LONG FLIGHT SOLOAfter you’ve experienced the hell that is flying with babies and toddlers, even sitting in the smallest coach seat on the longest flight ever sounds amazing – as long as you get to do it all by your lonesome. With nowhere to go and nothing to do but read that book you’ve been trying to get through for the last six months or watch movies that aren’t animated, a solo cross-country flight is a simple pleasure.COMMUTINGTraffic sucks, but doesn’t a moderate commute (let’s say 20 to 30 minutes) every day sound pretty awesome, assuming there are absolutely no kids in your car? You could catch up on podcasts, rock out to NSFW music, or just soak up the simple sounds of the morning rush around you.SLEEPING UNTIL 8 A.M.Before kids, I never woke up before 8 a.m., still managed to get to my desk before 9 every morning, and still acted like getting up so early was torture (I like to sleep). These days, I’m happy if the clock says 6-something when my kids get me up, and the thought of being able to stay in bed until 8 sounds like a version of heaven.Sourcelast_img read more

New e-skin displays your vital signs on your hand

first_imgA team from the University of Tokyo led by Takao Someya has just announced the development of a new flexible film that can display animated graphics on your skin. Imagine a graphic heart rate monitor on the back of your hand or a display of a diabetic’s blood sugar. Various teams of scientists—including Someya’s—have been working for some time on wearable displays, but they keep coming up against a difficult challenge: all the films they’ve tried irritate and inflame the skin if worn for any length of time. What Someya’s team now brings to the table is something different: an ultra-thin, non-allergenic e-skin that can accommodate the needs of the wearers’ own skin while still being capable of displaying animated graphics. Their research was published in Nature Nanotechnology.The primary problem with previous e-skins is that the materials—including rubber and other elastic materials—aren’t gas-permeable. They block airflow and prevent a wearer’s skin from sweating. In a short time, the skin becomes irritated and inflamed and the material must be removed. The trick to the new e-skin is that it’s a not a solid substrate film, but a nanoscale mesh that allows gases in and out. The team tested it along with other commonly used materials, including thin rubber sheets and plastic foil, and found it out-performed everything else in permeability.Having tested it on 20 subjects, Someya’s new e-skin has shown it can be worn for a week without causing any inflammation. “We learned that devices that can be worn for a week or longer for continuous monitoring were needed for practical use in medical and sports applications,” says Someya.The e-skin contains a water-soluble polymer, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), that interacts as an electrode with a layer of gold. The device sticks to the wearer’s skin with a simple spray of water that dissolves the PVA. It has no trouble attaching to skin ridges, curves, or even the fingerprint area of an index finger.Embedded in Someya’s e-skin is a 24 by 16 array of micro-LEDs that display characters, digits, and animations. The e-skin is very sturdy, surviving 10,000 lab bend and stretch tests.And even after that, the e-skin’s reliability as an electrode for electromyogram recordings remained comparable to standard gel electrodes.Someya says that eventually, “It will become possible to monitor patients’ vital signs without causing any stress or discomfort.” He envisions doctors being able to track patients’ health remotely via embedded WiFi or other transmission electronics.Sourcelast_img read more

Drinking trendy fruit teas can ruin your smile

first_imgFashionable fruit teas have become increasingly popular in recent years, with a plethora of refreshing flavours and soothing caffeine-free ‘infusions’ on offer.But tea-lovers might be better off sticking to a traditional cuppa – for the sake of their smile.Dentists have warned that the acid in fruit teas can erode our teeth, wearing away enamel and raising the risk of needing a filling or crown.Even a mug of hot water with a slice of lemon is dangerous, with the fruit containing six times the citric acid concentration of lemonade.The warning comes from King’s College London’s Dental Institute, which found acidic drinks such as fruit tea consumed twice a day between meals made someone 11 times more likely to have moderate or severe tooth erosion.Fruit’s natural acids corrode teeth even faster when heated up with hot water, the scientists said. But a fashionable mug of rosehip or berry tea is safer if drunk with a meal – which halves the risk.Dr Saoirse O’Toole, who led the review in the British Dental Journal, said: ‘Our study found acidic drinks like fruit teas are very erosive and quite popular.‘Many of the 300 people with tooth wear we looked at drank lemon and ginger tea or berry teas. There also seems to be a growing trend for people to have hot water and lemon in the morning when they wake up.‘The problem with hot drinks is that the heat increases the rate of chemical interaction with the teeth, making them more likely to cause damage.’People who sipped their drinks slowly or swilled them around in their mouths were more at risk of eroding their teeth, the review found.Over years, this can reduce front teeth from 10mm in size to a fifth of that length, which can then cost up to £30,000 to correct.The review reported on a previous study at Guy’s Hospital in London which compared the diet of 300 people with severe erosive tooth wear and 300 people with good dental health.Researchers found people could reduce tooth erosion by spending less time eating fruit in one sitting and consuming acidic drinks quickly rather than holding them in their mouth.This prevents the acid eating into the calcium and phosphate ‘enamel’ coating on teeth which protects them.Surprisingly, the review stated sugar-free drinks were just as dangerous for tooth erosion as sugar-filled versions because of the citric acid flavourings which give the diet alternatives their ‘sharp’ taste.A warning was also given for fruit smoothies, fruit cordial and salt and vinegar crisps – which contain a small amount of vinegar flavouring that may be enough to erode the teeth.The review also stated people could be risking their teeth by changing ‘patterns of eating’, adding: ‘Fruits are available to us outside of season and both children and adults are increasing the number of snacks we have per day.‘In 2015, 13.3billion litres of soft drinks were consumed in the UK with an average intake of 203.6 litres per capita.’Professor Damien Walmsley, scientific adviser to the British Dental Association, said: ‘People should be wary of drinking so called “healthy” drinks, such as fruit tea, as many of these are highly acidic and can wear away tooth enamel.‘Sipping these drinks is worst of all because it increases the time that these acidic drinks are in contact with teeth.’Professor Graham MacGregor, chairman of Action on Sugar, said: ‘Acidic products do cause tooth erosion and people should think very carefully before consuming potentially harmful products.’last_img read more

The 7 Main Causes of Divorce

first_imgNobody, hopefully, enters into a marriage with a person thinking they are going to one day deal with a divorce. Even if there are problems in the relationship, a couple hope that after walking down the aisle, smooching hello to the promise of a life together, and getting down on the dance floor, their relationship with fall into place. But it doesn’t always happen like that.Life gets in the way and relationships get tangled, leaving between 40 to 50 percent of couples in the United States opting for divorce. So is there a way to see if your relationship is divorce-proof? Probably not. But there are signs to look for to see if your relationship might be heading down that path. Here are the most popular reasons married couples split up.1. Issues Regarding SexThings may have been stale, or nonexistent, in the bedroom for quite some time. But while both of you have turned a blind eye to that, there might be more destruction happening to your relationship than you think.“It’s no secret that couples begin to feel doomed and start talking about divorce when their sex lives change,” said Shannon Kalberg, LMFT, a marriage and family therapist and an adjunct clinical professor at Pepperdine University. “What many couples and individuals miss is that a couple’s sex life needs to be worked at over time and that desire can be fickle, especially since desire has the tendency to ebb and flow in a long-term marriage. However, a mismatch in libido, shaming the other partner for their sexual fantasies, and negative values about sex can lead to divorce.”2. Fighting DirtyAll couples have their arguments, and while that’s not always something to worry about, the way the couple argue might be a sign that divorce is imminent.“In a couple’s session, I encourage them to bring up an issue that they often have disagreements about,” Kalberg said. “I do this because it gives me a sense of how couples argue, communicate, and problem solve. If a couple does not attempt to regulate emotions or validate each other during arguments, then the escalation in anger and tension can ruin a marriage. This can look like blaming, name calling, and shaming. It will build resentment and create a power imbalance that loses sight of what really matters in a relationship: trust and safety in times of distress.”3. Trying to “Fix” Each OtherGrowing apart from the person you married or just no longer getting a kick out of their bad habits or frustrating ways is another main reason couples want to call it quits.“I can’t tell you how many times I have had an intake with a potential client who states that they want to begin couples therapy in order to ‘fix’ their partner,” Kalberg said. “This can be a huge predictor to divorce because what that person fails to understand is their own responsibility in the relationship. By placing the blame entirely on the other person and refusing to examine your own actions, it will cause a large emotional block between the two partners. If this continues, then over time they will begin to emotionally isolate themselves, which could lead to other issues, like infidelity.”4. Lack of CommitmentWhen life gets in the way of love and you feel like you’re growing apart from your spouse, it’s important to take a step back and prioritize. Dr. Wyatt Fisher, a licensed psychologist and marriage counselor in Boulder, CO, says that both spouses want to feel like they are equally working at the marriage. “Therefore, if one partner starts feeling like they are the main one working at the relationship, they’ll eventually get burned out and want out of the relationship,” Dr. Fisher said.5. InfidelityIf you find out your partner has strayed from the relationship and cheated on you, it may be really hard to salvage the relationship afterward. “Infidelity is one of the quickest ways to break trust in marriage cross-culturally, and many couples are unable to recover from it, especially if the betraying spouse doesn’t take true ownership for their behavior,” Dr. Fisher said.6. Lack of AppreciationA thank you goes a long way in a relationship, even if you have been with your partner for years. Without it, Robin Graine, a divorce mediator and former family law attorney, says the relationship can be at risk. “Everyone feels that they are working hard, contributing money, and doing their best to raise the children and keep the household running,” Graine said. “When the mom doesn’t appreciate the dad making the money and dad doesn’t appreciate the mom paying attention to all of the details, everyone is resentful.”7. No One Is Paying AttentionGood communication is always the best foundation for any relationship, but so is making sure you are listening to your spouse. “When married couples stop listening to one another and paying attention to each other’s needs and desires, they wind up in my office,” Graine said.Sourcelast_img read more

How your morning coffee could be making you FAT: From a flat white to a latte – dietitian reveals the unhealthiest orders, but which is the worst?

first_imgA freshly made coffee crafted by your local barista has to be one of life’s small but true pleasures.However, while everyone has their own particular order – and generally there’s not much that will sway a person – your coffee may not be as healthy for you as you think.Dietitian Geraldine Georgeou said a daily coffee isn’t bad for you per se, more there could be problems with the type you order, especially if it’s one which may be a source of hidden sugar or fat.Here, FEMAIL ranks a series of caffeinated beverages from cappuccinos through to long blacks and reveals which are best for those keeping a close watch on their health.WORST: Mocha or coffees that come with flavoured shotsMochas or coffees that are flavoured with shots are up there as the ‘worst offenders’ said Ms Georgeou.‘The problem with coffees that come with added caramel, vanilla or hazelnut flavoured syrups is these tend to be high in sugar.’‘If these coffees are also made with full cream milk what you are ending up with is a full-fat product that comes loaded with sugar and before you know it your calorie intake has increased,’ she explained. For those that are fans of these sort of coffees, Ms Georgeou suggested ordering a smaller size but she cautions: ‘It’s better not to have these as your regular coffee choice.’A regular-sized flavoured shot coffee or mocha contains 220 calories, 27 grams of sugar and nine grams of fat.NOT AS BAD: Chai LatteThose who enjoy a chai latte, particularly if it’s made from scratch don’t have to worry too much about it as it’s generally a healthier option, said Ms Georgeou.However, if this wasn’t the case, and beverages were being made from chai-flavoured syrups, or powders, the product may well contain extra sugar. ‘It has less caffeine which can be good, however, it can have hidden sugars, and depending on what milk is used to make it, it could have extra fat.’Instead of dispensing with the drink entirely, Ms Georgeou said there was always the option of ordering a smaller size or one that was made with a lower fat milk. A regular-sized chai latte contains 190 calories, 20 grams of sugar and 9 grams of fat.BETTER: CappuccinoCappuccinos fall into the category of being neither good nor bad, said the dietitian.‘They contain less sugar because there is only a sprinkle of chocolate on top and you can switch out the milk its made from too.’Ms Georgeou said for those looking to transition from flavoured coffee shots, the cappuccino was ideal.A regular-sized cappuccino contains 120 calories, 10 grams of sugar and six grams of fat.GOOD: Long blackThe dietitian said long blacks rate well in terms sugar, fat and calorie content, largely because there’s not much to them, aside from water and coffee.‘The coffees do tend to be quite bitter because they are served without milk or sugar.‘To counter this people will likely add sugar for taste, which will in turn increase your sugar uptake,’ she continued.While this could be a problem the coffee still ranked as a great choice for those wanting maximum caffeine with zero calories.GREAT: Flat whiteFlat whites are a great option because the smaller size means it contains less calories overall and you can make it a flexible choice, said Ms Georgeou.‘You can choose different kinds of milk including unsweetened nut milks or you can make it into a skim latte to reduce the fat.’A regular skim latte while contains 60 calories, five grams of fat and one gram of sugar while a flat white contains 120 calories, 10 grams of sugar and six grams of fat.BEST: A Piccolo LatteThe size of the coffee you order will make a difference, said Ms Georgeou.She said that it isn’t necessarily the coffee you drink, but the volume.She explained a cup of milk, in general, was the same as having a piece of bread.‘So even if you were to have a skim latte or a flat white they would be the same type of carbohydrate with a variation in the fat.‘If you want the taste, a little hit of caffeine and you are watching volume, I would choose a piccolo latte,’ she concluded. A piccolo contains 60 calories, five grams of sugar and three grams of fat. Sourcelast_img read more

9 Effective Daily Exercises for Women After 40

first_imgThe start of the middle age is a critical point in life. According to Ken Fox, Professor of Exercise and Health Science at Bristol University, it is in the mid-40s when muscle mass begins to decrease and fat deposits begin to build up. This can lead to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, stroke, and some forms of cancer.Here are several exercises you can do every day to reduce those risks.1. Don’t let your metabolism slow down — do BURPEES.High-intensity cardio stimulates our metabolism, which is more than necessary to motivate after a certain age. So to prevent metabolism deceleration we should do this exercise once or twice per week. Start with one set of 3 reps and add another repetition each time. Don’t stress yourself too much.2. Keep it firm — do SQUATS.Every woman wants to have a round backside but even the luckiest ones who had it naturally without any training will start to lose it after the age of 40 thanks to the decrease of muscle mass. Properly done squats (with a straight back and knees right above the feet) can tone your whole body and prevent injury by improving your flexibility.3. To fight and prevent back pain — do a PLANK.Doing this exercise for 90 seconds 3 times a week is a great way to tone all the core muscles of our bodies. It strengths our abs, the muscles of the chest, and the ones surrounding the spine. Our entire midsection tightens and supports our lower back.4. Protect yourself from arthritis — push DUMBBELLS.Chronic joint pain can attack adults of all ages, so it’s never too soon to start preventing it and one of the best ways to do it is strength training. You don’t have to spend hours lifting big weights. Doing deadlifts or overhead presses with 1-3 kg in each hand 2-3 times a week can do miracles for your body.5. Let your glutes rest — do a GLUTE BRIDGE.Sitting all day in an office can deactivate our glutes which slows down the rate at which our body burns calories — the metabolism. The hip extension in the glute bridge exercise makes the butt work and it can also open up any tightness from long days of sitting. Leave your arms along your sides, squeeze your butt muscles to lift your hips up, and squeeze them once more at the top, then slowly lower your hips back down.6. Don’t let sarcopenia take your muscles away — do Y-TO-T RAISES.Sarcopenia is a degenerative loss of skeletal muscle associated with aging. So if you’d like to prevent bad posture and back and shoulder aches, it is very important to strengthen the muscles of your back and shoulders.7. Protect your heart — train on an ELLIPTICAL MACHINE.Low-impact cardio is a great way for women over 40 to maintain a healthy heart. But if you really want your heart health to benefit, you need to exercise at 80% of your maximum heart rate for at least 30 minutes, 3 to 4 times a week. If 10 is as hard as you can do on a scale of one to 10, then you should work at the level of 8.8. Live actively — WALK.Walking is the simplest and the best exercise that anyone can do. While it burns calories, tones our body, and improves our mood, it also doesn’t wear down our fragile joints, which is very important after a certain age.9. Relax — do YOGA.Middle-aged women are more prone to becoming depressed, according to John Hopkins Medicine, one of the leading healthcare systems in the United States. Yoga increases a mood-regulating neurotransmitter, which is necessary to fight depression. It also decreases stress and anxiety levels.Sourcelast_img read more

Women’s weight gain linked to anxiety

first_imgWomen who pile on the kilograms after the menopause are also likely to become more anxious, research suggests. Their lack of oestrogen is believed to disrupt the body’s ability to control weight.The study said those worst affected had a higher chance of being nervous.Researchers measured the waistlines of 5,580 women aged between 40 and 59, of whom more than half were post-menopausal. They were asked questions to gauge their anxiety levels.Women with the most abdominal weight for their height were 13 % more likely to be anxious than those with the lowest ratio.The study, published in the journal Menopause, looked at Latin-American women and suggested that oestrogen may protect against anxiety. The hormone is produced when a woman produces an egg every month. The researchers at the Peruvian University of Applied Sciences said women might also feel ashamed about weight gain: ‘Feelings of sadness, shame and frustration would lead to a health concern that could generate more anxiety.’Anxiety, which is linked to heart disease, diabetes and respiratory disorders, affects around one in 13 people.Dr JoAnn Pinkerton, executive director of the North American Menopause Society, whose journal published the findings, said: ‘Hormone changes may be involved in the development of both anxiety and abdominal obesity because of their roles in the brain as well as in fat distribution. This study provides valuable insights for healthcare providers treating middle-aged women, because it implies that waist-to-height ratio could be a good marker for evaluating patients for anxiety.’It has long been thought that women pile on the pounds during middle age because of ‘stress-eating’ or snacking on comfort food. But the new findings suggest weight gain may come before anxiety, and not the other way around.The authors of the Peruvian study said: ‘A recommendation deriving from our study could be that obese women, identified using the weight to height ratio, could be subjected to a screening for anxiety symptoms.’Questions they asked to gauge anxiety included ‘Have you been a very nervous person?’ and ‘Have you felt calm and peaceful?’Sourcelast_img read more

A lifetime of regular exercise slows down aging, study finds

first_imgResearchers at the University of Birmingham and King’s College London have found that staying active keeps the body young and healthy.The researchers set out to assess the health of older adults who had exercised most of their adult lives to see if this could slow down ageing.The study recruited 125 amateur cyclists aged 55 to 79, 84 of which were male and 41 were female. The men had to be able to cycle 100 km in under 6.5 hours, while the women had to be able to cycle 60 km in 5.5 hours. Smokers, heavy drinkers and those with high blood pressure or other health conditions were excluded from the study.The participants underwent a series of tests in the laboratory and were compared to a group of adults who do not partake in regular physical activity. This group consisted of 75 healthy people aged 57 to 80 and 55 healthy young adults aged 20 to 36.The study showed that loss of muscle mass and strength did not occur in those who exercise regularly. The cyclists also did not increase their body fat or cholesterol levels with age and the men’s testosterone levels also remained high, suggesting that they may have avoided most of the male menopause.More surprisingly, the study also revealed that the benefits of exercise extend beyond muscle as the cyclists also had an immune system that did not seem to have aged either.An organ called the thymus, which makes immune cells called T cells, starts to shrink from the age of 20 and makes less T cells. In this study, however, the cyclists’ thymuses were making as many T cells as those of a young person.The findings come as figures show that less than half of over 65s do enough exercise to stay healthy and more than half of those aged over 65 suffer from at least two diseases.* Professor Janet Lord, Director of the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing at the University of Birmingham, said: “Hippocrates in 400 BC said that exercise is man’s best medicine, but his message has been lost over time and we are an increasingly sedentary society.“However, importantly, our findings debunk the assumption that ageing automatically makes us more frail.“Our research means we now have strong evidence that encouraging people to commit to regular exercise throughout their lives is a viable solution to the problem that we are living longer but not healthier.”Dr Niharika Arora Duggal, also of the University of Birmingham, said: “We hope these findings prevent the danger that, as a society, we accept that old age and disease are normal bedfellows and that the third age of man is something to be endured and not enjoyed.”Professor Stephen Harridge, Director of the Centre of Human & Aerospace Physiological Sciences at King’s College London, said: “The findings emphasise the fact that the cyclists do not exercise because they are healthy, but that they are healthy because they have been exercising for such a large proportion of their lives.“Their bodies have been allowed to age optimally, free from the problems usually caused by inactivity. Remove the activity and their health would likely deteriorate.”Norman Lazarus, Emeritus Professor at King’s College London and also a master cyclist and Dr Ross Pollock, who undertook the muscle study, both agreed that: “Most of us who exercise have nowhere near the physiological capacities of elite athletes.“We exercise mainly to enjoy ourselves. Nearly everybody can partake in an exercise that is in keeping with their own physiological capabilities.“Find an exercise that you enjoy in whatever environment that suits you and make a habit of physical activity. You will reap the rewards in later life by enjoying an independent and productive old age.”The research findings are detailed in two papers published today in Aging Cell and are the result of an ongoing joint study by the two universities, funded by the BUPA foundation.The researchers hope to continue to assess the cyclists to see if they continue to cycle and stay young.last_img read more

This unhealthy habit has just been linked to hearing loss

first_imgAs if you needed more reasons to give up smoking for good, a new study has just linked the unhealthy habit to yet another health risk: hearing loss.That’s right, not only will cigarettes increase your chances of developing heart disease and multiple cancers but, according to brand new research, they might also impact your hearing.In the study, published today in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, researchers followed 50,000 participants over eight years in order to see whether smoking affects hearing.And, even after taking factors such as occupational noise exposure into account, the team from Japan’s National Centre for Global Health and Medicine found that smokers were between 1.2 and 1.6 times more likely to develop hearing loss compared to people had never smoked.This is equivalent to a 20-60% increased risk of both low-frequency and high-frequency hearing loss, Huffington Post reports.In order to conclude this, the team compared data from annual health checks – which included audio testing – with answers from a lifestyle questionnaire designed to evaluate smoking habits.‘With a large sample size, long follow-up period, and objective assessment of hearing loss, our study provides strong evidence that smoking is an independent risk factor of hearing loss,’ concluded lead author Dr Huanhuan Hu.‘These results provide strong evidence to support that smoking is a causal factor for hearing loss and emphasise the need for tobacco control to prevent or delay the development of hearing loss.’The good news? Don’t despair if you used to be a smoker but have now given up because the scientists also found that the damage appeared to be reversible. They concluded that the increased risk of hearing loss decreased after five years of giving up cigarettes.So, if you’re still a smoker, please listen up…Sourcelast_img read more

Man takes selfie sitting next to girlfriend cheating on him… and she didn’t realise until it went viral online

first_imgMariano, 20, accidentally showed up at the same party as his partner, but was shocked when he saw her making out with another man.The couple were clearly too busy to notice boyfriend Mariano coming to sit next to them to catch them on camera.In the photo the girl is caught red-handed passionately kissing the man as Mariano watches just inches away.He uploaded the shot to social media with the caption: “My girlfriend (now ex) did not realise we came to the same party.”The unnamed girlfriend reportedly did not find out that Mariano had seen her with the other man until she saw it online.After the photo spread across social media, receiving over 67,300 likes, Mariano, from Quilmes in the Argentinian state of Buenos Aires, posted a screenshot of his girlfriend’s apparent explanation of the incident.In the messages, the girl says: “I was very drunk and the [other man] was very insistent with me, he told me loads of things and I do not know how it came to that.“I seriously love you and I want to be with you.”Mariano responded with a laughing emoji and the message: “You could have made a bit more of an effort”.The couple are said to have now split up.Flirting may seem harmless but such “micro-cheating” could risk your relationship, experts warn.Sourcelast_img read more

14 ways to develop a positive bedtime routine for the best night’s sleep

first_imgWhat’s the secret to a good and healthy night’s sleep?There’s no definitive answer but good sleep hygiene begins the moment you wake up because everything we do throughout the day can impact our sleep at night.In fact, a recent survey of 2,000 adults by independent furniture retailer Barker and Stonehouse revealed the nation’s sleeping habits – many of which will probably come as no surprise.Brits are currently not getting the recommended eight hours of sleep; with one in five admitting they don’t get to sleep until 12pm and wake up at 6:30am throughout the week.What’s more, more than 40% believe we would lead happier lives if we simply had more sleep. Does this ring true for you?Developing a positive daily routine will pave the way for regular good quality sleep for you and your family. Here, Naturalmat’s sleep expert, Christabel Majendie, shares her tips and insight on how to achieve just that.Daytime1. Exercise during the dayExcess energy can cause restlessness at night, so daily exercise will help you use up excess energy. Exercise promotes biochemicals such as endorphins, endocannabinoidsand neurotransmitters, all of which can help reduce stress and anxiety. Other benefits include more confidence, a distraction from worries and an improvement of overall health.2. Expose yourself to sunlightMake sure you get enough sunlight during the day – this promotes higher levels of melatonin which is essential; for maintaining a healthy circadian rhythm. Sunlight can also help you get more Vitamin D, with some studies suggesting that Vitamin D has a positive influence on sleep.3. Don’t take long naps during the dayThere are differing opinions about day-napping. However, the general advice is to avoid it altogether because it can disrupt your circadian rhythm. If you do nap during the day, make it no longer than 20 minutes.4. Stay out of the bedroomGet out of bed and stay out. The idea is to associate your bedroom with sleep and sex only, so if you work from home, don’t have your office or work space in the bedroom.5. Develop a healthy, balanced dietThe right foods contain compounds that promote sleep, so good nutrition is an essential part of sleep hygiene.Tip: Eat protein foods high in tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes melatonin. Pumpkin seeds, chicken, cheese, nuts, lentils, oats, beans and eggs are considered high tryptophan foods.6. Have an afternoon cut-off point for caffeine“Avoid caffeine four to six hours before bed. Switch to a decaffeinated tea, such as chamomile or a warm, milky drink,” says Christabel. “If you are dependent on caffeine in the day to keep you alert and awake, consider going to bed earlier each night instead or address the factors that may be impacting on your sleep quality.”Caffeine is a stimulant, so if you’re a regular coffee-head be disciplined and stop drinking tea and coffee early on in the day. Better still, if you want to give up, do so gradually because caffeine can be addictive and can produce withdrawal symptoms.In the hours leading up to bedtimeThis is an important time. The body needs to stop winding down and get prepared for sleep.7. Avoid deep or emotionally upsetting discussionsThis can fill your mind with all kinds of thoughts that will keep you awake. Be disciplined. If a loved one is being insistent, politely remind them that this isn’t the best time.8. Don’t eat big mealsAvoid meals at least three hours before going to bed. The body needs to expend energy restoring and repairing, not digesting food. But by the same token, do not go to bed really hungry as this can keep you awake. If you are hungry, have a light snack.9. Don’t watch TV or play computer games while in bed……Or anything else that’s stimulating such as mobile phones. The blue light from these devices inhibits the development of melatonin and makes it harder for you to fall asleep.In the hours leading up to bedtimeThis is an important time. The body needs to stop winding down and get prepared for sleep.7. Avoid deep or emotionally upsetting discussionsThis can fill your mind with all kinds of thoughts that will keep you awake. Be disciplined. If a loved one is being insistent, politely remind them that this isn’t the best time.8. Don’t eat big mealsAvoid meals at least three hours before going to bed. The body needs to expend energy restoring and repairing, not digesting food. But by the same token, do not go to bed really hungry as this can keep you awake. If you are hungry, have a light snack.9. Don’t watch TV or play computer games while in bed……Or anything else that’s stimulating such as mobile phones. The blue light from these devices inhibits the development of melatonin and makes it harder for you to fall asleep.10. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotineCaffeine and nicotine are both stimulants – avoid them at all costs. If you haven’t managed to, establish a cut-off point for your caffeine intake, ideally at least three hours before sleep. Alcohol may help you nod off, but once it’s been metabolised the withdrawal symptoms will cause arousal, therefore disrupting your sleep cycle.11. Establish healthy bedtime ritualsThis should become a regular habit. Ideally, the rituals should promote relaxation. Avoid doing anything too stimulating as this can have the opposite effect. Examples of bedtime rituals:A warm bath at set timesPractice mindfulness techniques such as meditationLight readingGentle yoga and pilatesTrying to sleepMost of us have been there at some point: We’re in bed and yet we cannot switch off. This can be especially frustrating when we have important events the next day.12. Do not clock watchNaturally, as you lie there trying to sleep, you will worry about time. However, don’t do it. Watching the clock will just cause more anxiety and make it harder for you to drift off.‘Stick to a bedtime routine in the hour before bed and stop all work or tasks. Your routine could include taking a bath, making a warm, decaffeinated drink and maybe a snack if you have eaten early in the evening, reading, listening to some relaxing music or practicing some relaxation techniques. The idea is to wind down your mind and body and relax,’ says Christabel.13. Do not try and force yourself to sleepIt will have the reverse effect. Instead, conjure up pleasant scenes in your mind and forget about falling asleep.14. Worrying only makes it worseJust resign yourself to the idea that it’s already late and there is nothing you can do about it. You will be surprised how this will lift the load and help you relax.Don’t forget…When’s the last time you changed your mattress?The right mattress is fundamental to getting a perfect night’s rest. ‘Experts have proved time and again that a good night’s sleep is crucial to one’s overall wellbeing – yet in most homes across the UK, the bedroom, and particularly the mattress, is where we spend the least money – despite it being the place we spend the most time in,’ says Adam Black, co-founder of mattress retailer Button & Sprung.If your mattress is more than 10 years old, you feel the springs when lying down, you roll towards the centre of your bed unintentionally, or you wake up with back or neck pain, then it’s time to invest in a new one.Sourcelast_img read more

This Simple Trick Will Make You Fall Asleep in Just 60 Seconds or Less

first_imgInsomniacs, prepare for the best night’s sleep ever. That’s right: No more tossing and turning into the wee hours of morning. No more counting sheep on Sunday evenings. And no more lying, wide-eyed, in the dark after waking up in the middle of the night. There’s now an easy—and expert-approved—way to fall asleep in less than a minute.This all-natural remedy is called the 4-7-8 method, and yes, it’s as simple as it sounds. First, get settled into a comfy position on your bed. Then, simply inhale through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and then exhale slowly through your mouth for eight more seconds. Repeat until you fall asleep.That’s all there is to it! Don’t believe us? Just ask Harvard-educated medical doctor Andrew Weil, who adopted this exercise from a centuries-long Indian yogi meditation practice.“It’s the single best method that I’ve found for dealing with getting back to sleep if you want up on the middle of the night,” he said in a lecture.The yogis use this method to achieve a state of complete relaxation, counteracting stress and anxiety. Deliberately slowing down your breathing forces the rhythm of your heart to slow down, too, making the rest of your body relax. In other words, it’s a natural sedative—for your body AND mind.“The theory is that by imposing certain rhythms on the breath with your the voluntary system, gradually these are induced into the involuntary nervous system,” he said. “And that comes with time. So it’s the regularity of doing this over a period of weeks, months, years that produces the changes that you want.”Sourcelast_img read more

7 Surprising Things You Should Never Do Before Bed

first_imgYou change into your coziest PJs, turn off Game of Thrones and snuggle under the covers. And then you lie in bed, tossing and turning, for the next two hours. What’s the deal? Here are seven things that might be keeping you from your best night’s sleep.DON’T: TAKE A HOT BATHSoaking in a hot tub might sound like the perfect end to a long day, but think twice before you mix up the bubbles. Our friends at the National Sleep Foundation tell us that our internal body temperature typically lowers a few degrees before bed, helping us feel calm and drowsy. Raising your body temperature (like, by sitting in steamy water) is likely to make you feel wide awake. So skip the suds or enjoy them earlier in the evening.DON’T: EAT CHOCOLATEThere’s nothing wrong with satiating your sweet tooth with a square (or three) of dark chocolate after dinner, but make sure to space it out at least a few hours before bed. The caffeine and sugar in chocolate will cause your blood sugar to spike, and the buzz won’t do you any favors if you’re trying to fall asleep.DON’T: PLAY WITH YOUR DOGOK, we should be more specific. Cuddling with Sarah Jessica Barker is perfectly fine and there are actually health benefits to letting your pup sleep in your bed. But if you’re full-on playing and she’s riled up, neither of you are going to be able to snooze anytime soon. Instead, take her for a long walk right after dinner, so by the time bedtime rolls around, you’re both ready to hit the hay.DON’T: HAVE A GLASS OF WINEDon’t worry, we’re not trying to discourage you from drinking your evening vino (especially with all the weight-loss benefits, hello). But if you’re having trouble sleeping, it’s best to wrap up your alcohol consumption at least two hours before bedtime. First, alcohol messes with your sleep cycles, so even if you zonk out immediately, you’re more likely to wake again in the middle of the night, the folks at WebMD tell us. But alcohol is also a diuretic, which means you’ll probably find yourself getting up a few hours later to pee.DON’T: WORK OUTAnd by “work out,” we mean running, spinning and other cardio. A nice, meditative candlelit yoga session? Go for it. But if you get your heart pumping too close to bedtime, you’ll get a boost of adrenaline that will keep you tossing and turning. If you’re going to bed at 10 p.m., aim to be home from your boxing class by 8 p.m.DON’T: DRINK TEACaffeinated tea is a no-brainer. Like coffee, sipping a cup of English Breakfast before bed will probably make you jittery. But even herbal tea is a bad idea in the sheets, especially if you already have to get up to use the bathroom throughout the night. If this is you, cut off liquids (yep, even water) an hour before bed. Save your hydration efforts for tomorrow morning.Sourcelast_img read more

Never date someone who does these 15 things

first_imgI don’t need to tell you that dating someone is one of the biggest decisions you can possibly make.You only get life once, and you’re choosing to spend a massive amount of time with one person.Sure, the relationship might only last one year, but if you live to 80, that’s still 1/80th of your life. Huge.You need to make sure that they’re worth it. Because if they’re not, not only are you wasting your precious time, but they could seriously fuck up your life.Trust me, I know from personal experience.So, whatever you do, make sure they don’t do these 15 things!1) They get sketchy whenever you ask to see their phoneThis is a serious warning sign. It means they’re hiding something and you can’t trust them.And without trust, a relationship can’t grow.2) They get all weird when you ask about their day at work or what they did on the weekendYes, it’s okay to do things without you, but if they won’t tell you what they’re doing when they’re without you, it has to make you wonder.I mean, how can you trust someone who won’t be honest about what they’re doing?3) They tell you something, then they change their storyIf they describe something about their day, and then later on, they change it up, it’s incredibly shifty.The truth is the truth. It doesn’t change!If you can’t trust what they say, how in the hell are you meant to trust them?4) They put you downSome people thrive on feeling better than others. It’s toxic.If they call you names or they’re always on a mission to one-up you, you need to ask why they’re in this relationship.Just to feel better about themselves? F*ck that!You seriously need to get the hell away from someone like that.5) They get mad when you don’t want sexThis a terrible warning sign that they see you as a sex object and nothing more.Let’s be honest, sex is just one part of many parts to a successful relationship. If sex is their main motivation, the relationship will lack depth and you’ll eventually get hurt.6) They never buy you thingsI don’t care if you’re girl or a guy, you should always be on the lookout for things that your man or woman needs. It’s basic courtesy.But if they never buy you things that you need, it means that they’re not paying attention and they’re more concerned with themselves.Remember, a successful relationship involves two people giving and receiving and being there for each other.7) They hate spending time with your friends and familyIf they constantly bash your friends and family and show a lack of respect, it means they have no respect for you, either.Not only is this a warning sign that they’re not really compatible with you, but in all honesty, they might be a total asshole too.It’s negative energy that you simply don’t need in your life.8) They hold you to double standardsA classic example of this is if they’re always happy to go out drinking with their friends, but they get mad when you do the same.No, no matter how they spin it, it’s not okay.9) They turn their mistakes into your mistakesThey fail at something, but somehow, you’re the one apologizing for it.If this is the case, it’s a surefire sign that they’re manipulative and skillful at turning everything into your fault.It’s horrible for your own self-esteem.10) They still flirt with othersHow terrible is it to go out to a public place and watch them flirt with another person right in front of you, even if it’s just the waiter/waitress?!I’m sorry, but those actions are a huge indicator that they’re capable of cheating. You should be the one they’re making laugh and feel giddy about.And if you don’t get rid of them quickly, it could cause you future pain that you won’t be able to fathom.11) They refuse to give you a titleHere’s a hint. If you’ve been dating someone for more than 3 months and they refuse to call you your girlfriend or boyfriend, then they’re simply not committed to you.Nothing good can come from someone who doesn’t know what they want.12) They like themselves more than they like youIf they hardly listen to you and prefer the sound of their own voice, you need to get out.They don’t respect your opinions or advice, and they probably think that they’re God’s gift to humankind.They’re not, and you deserve to be valued and respected.13) They still mention their exDo not miss this giant red flag! If they constantly mention an ex-girlfriend or boyfriend, then they’re not over them and they won’t able to love you fully.You deserve more than someone that is loving multiple people.14) You’re not attracted to themYou’d think this one is obvious but it isn’t.You can love spending time with someone so much and think they’re such a nice person that it would eventually work out. But it’s a risk. If that sexual attraction never comes, the sex becomes pretty tiresome and boring.15) You’re not a priority in their lifeYou deserve someone that makes room for you in their life. You don’t have to consume their life, but you need to be a big part of it.Regardless of the circumstance, if they’re finding it hard to squeeze you in more than once or a twice a week, it’s a clear warning sign that you’re not a priority.If you’re willing to make room in your life, they should too.Sourcelast_img read more

14 Celebrities With Multiple Children Who Dispel the Myth That Pregnancy Will Ruin Your Body

first_imgMany women worry that they will not get their bodies back in shape after pregnancy. However, these celebrity mothers proved that neither a tight work schedule, nor taking care of your child can prevent you from having a perfect body. And they are willing to share their experience with others!We found 14 celebrity mothers with multiple children whose flawless bodies are a great inspiration and motivation for self-improvement.14. Jessica AlbaJessica and her husband have 3 children — 2 daughters and a son, who was born on December 31, 2017. To get back in shape the actress works out every day, even if she has to sacrifice precious hours of sleep. In addition, she keeps a low sugar diet.13. Heidi KlumThe German supermodel Heidi Klum is the mother of 4 children. Each of her maternity leaves lasted no longer than a few months, after which, she returned back to work, and was even ready to participate in lingerie fashion shows.Heidi says that the best way to lose weight after giving birth is breastfeeding. It’s also a good idea to be phisically active, but it’s important to listen to your body and not overdo it. To stay in shape the model likes to ride her bike, walk her dog, or jump on her trampoline.12. Natalia VodianovaNatalia Vodianova is the mother of 5 children, and within a few days after giving birth she shared photos on Instagram showing her perfect post-pregnancy body.To stay in shape Natalia chooses dancing. She found a quiet and cozy dance studio, where she takes private lessons. Unlike other models, Vodianova does not like fitness, yoga, or pilates, because the model believes that when you practice these types of training, your hands and shoulders get big very quickly. In addition, Natalia sticks to the blood type diet.11. Angelina JolieAngelina Jolie has 6 children, three of them were adopted and the other three are Angelina and Brad Pitt’s natural children. To keep in shape the actress practices yoga, kickboxing, and does aerobic exercises.10. Julia RobertsJulia Roberts and her husband, Daniel Moder, have 3 children. The actress has repeatedly admitted that the most important thing for her is her family. However, that does not prevent her from looking awesome! In 2017 People magazine named Julia Roberts one of the most beautiful women in the world for the 5th time.9. Kate GosselinKate Gosselin is a nurse from the United States who managed to earn $10 million and become a TV star thanks to being the mother of 8 children. After they married, Kate and her husband found out that they could not get pregnant due to health problems and decided to undergo artificial insemination. As a result, the couple had twin daughters. After 3 years, the couple again resorted to IVF and six more children were born!8. Stephanie SeymourStephanie Seymour became a worldwide sensation in the 90s when she appeared in a shampoo advertisement. Today the legendary American supermodel and the former Victoria’s Secret Angel is 49 years old, and she’s still in perfect shape despite the fact that she’s had 3 children.Stephanie admits: she manages to look this way, because she never eats unhealthy food, and gets enough physical exercise — doing things like swimming, pilates, and walking.7. Demi MooreDemi Moore has 3 daughters from her marriage with actor Bruce Willis. Today, Demi is 55 years old, and she’s still in great shape. The photo on the right is a shot from the film called “Charlie’s Angels: Only Forward,” and we can see the actress’ perfect body who, at that time, was already the mother of 3 children.Demi got used to intense training since taking part in the films “Striptease” and “GI Jane.” In addition to strength training, Moore currently practices yoga and pilates, and also eats a vegan diet.6. Gwen StefaniGwen Stefani is 48 years old, she has 3 sons, one of whom she gave birth to when she was 44 years old. When asked about her shape, Gwen says: “There is no secret: you just need to eat healthy food, exercise, and stop feeling sorry for yourself.”5. Victoria BeckhamVictoria Beckham and her husband David are raising 4 children — 3 sons and a daughter. Victoria admits that she is a very disciplined person who works out at the gym for 2 hours everyday to keep fit.Victoria wakes up around 6am and trains for an hour until the children wake up. Then she cooks breakfast for the kids, and she, or her husband David, take the children to school. After the morning duties are done, she returns to the gym and works out for another hour. After her second workout, the former Spice Girls member, now a designer and a businesswoman, takes a shower and goes to the office.4. Ivanka TrumpA businesswoman and daughter of the US President, Ivanka Trump has 3 children, but it does not prevent her from looking flawless all the time.Ivanka wakes up at 5:30am to have enough time to take care of herself before the children are awake. She meditates for 20 minutes 2 times a day, does strength training, and tries to eat healthy food.3. Kate WinsletKate Winslet is the mother of 3 children. Kate claims that she has not weighed herself in 12 years, and doesn’t even know approximately how heavy she is! The actress also recommends that other women “shun scales” and avoid paying to much attention to their weight, so they don’t suffer from insecurities because of their bodies.2. Kourtney KardashianThe oldest Kardashian sister, actress, and fashion model Kourtney Kardashian is the mother of 3 children. To stay in shape, Kourtney keeps a gluten-free diet and eats small portions of food several times a day. In addition, she always finds time for training that combines cardio and strength exercises.1. Reese WitherspoonReese Witherspoon is another celebrity mother with many children: she has 3 kids. The actress is considered to be one of the most athletic stars in Hollywood. To stay in such great shape, she works out regularly doing things like running, yoga, pilates, and cardio.Sourcelast_img read more

Study Confirms “Ultra-Processed Food Linked To Cancer”

first_imgGroundbreaking study finds that a 10% increase in ultra-processed foods in the diet is linked to a 12% increase in cancer.New research led by a group of scientists based at the Sorbonne in Paris reveals what many of us have likely assumed instinctively: Ultra-processed foods increase the risk of cancer.The researchers used data collected from some 105,000 adults who are part of the French NutriNet-Santé cohort study – they analyzed the medical records and eating habits, and created a database of 3,300 different food items.The Guardian reports:They found that a 10% increase in the amount of ultra-processed foods in the diet was linked to a 12% increase in cancers of some kind. The researchers also looked to see whether there were increases in specific types of cancer and found a rise of 11% in breast cancer, although no significant upturn in colorectal or prostate cancer.“If confirmed in other populations and settings, these results suggest that the rapidly increasing consumption of ultra-processed foods may drive an increasing burden of cancer in the next decades,” notes the study, which has been published in the BMJ.The team used the classification of “ultra-processed food” as defined by Nova, a group of scientists in Brazil who have created the classification tool for nutrition and public health research, policy and action. The system is comprised of four groups: Unprocessed or minimally processed foods; processed culinary ingredients; processed foods; and ultra-processed food and drink products. Nova describes the fourth group as:Industrial formulations typically with five or more and usually many ingredients. Such ingredients often include those also used in processed foods, such as sugar, oils, fats, salt, anti-oxidants, stabilisers, and preservatives. Ingredients only found in ultra-processed products include substances not commonly used in culinary preparations, and additives whose purpose is to imitate sensory qualities of group 1 foods [unprocessed or minimally processed foods] or of culinary preparations of these foods, or to disguise undesirable sensory qualities of the final product. Group 1 foods are a small proportion of or are even absent from ultra-processed products.Typical ultra-processed products include: carbonated drinks; sweet or savory packaged snacks; ice-cream, candies; mass-produced packaged breads and buns; margarines and spreads; cookies, pastries, cakes, and cake mixes; breakfast cereals, cereal and energy bars; energy drinks; milk drinks, sweetened yogurts and fruit drinks; cocoa drinks; meat and chicken extracts and instant sauces; infant formulas; “health” and slimming products such as powdered or fortified meal and dish substitutes; and many ready to heat products including pre-prepared pies and pasta and pizza dishes; poultry and fish nuggets and sticks, sausages, burgers, hot dogs, and other reconstituted meat products, and powdered and packaged instant soups, noodles and desserts.“The results are very strong – very consistent and quite compelling,” Mathilde Touvier, lead author of the study says.“But we have to be cautious,” she adds. “It is the first study. We should not be alarmist. These results need to be confirmed in other prospective studies.”Interestingly, the mechanics of the cancer risk could not be ascertained, noting specifically that the lack of nutritional value did not seem to be the smoking gun.“We did a statistical analysis to try to see if the whole association was only due to poor nutritional quality,” Touvier says. “But the results do not depend on that.”“We need to understand the mechanism,” she adds. “Maybe in the future we will have an idea whether one or two molecules are the problem and not all the ultra-processed foods.”The massive database they created – which includes all the additives in specific foods, by commercial names and brands – will prove to be a valuable tool for research in the years to come.And honestly, it can’t come soon enough. As the study notes, “After undergoing multiple physical, biological, and/or chemical processes, these food products are conceived to be microbiologically safe, convenient, highly palatable, and affordable.” Meanwhile, surveys in Europe, the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Brazil suggest that ultra-processed food products contribute to between 25 percent and 50 percent of total daily energy intake.With all of this in mind, perhaps the most prudent thing to do is to keep Nova’s advice in mind:Opt for water, milk, and fruits instead of soft drinks, dairy drinks, and biscuits. Do not replace freshly prepared dishes (broths, soups, salads, sauces, rice and beans, pasta, steamed vegetables, pies) with products that do not require culinary preparation (packaged snacks and soups, instant noodles, pre-prepared frozen dishes, sandwiches, cold cuts and sausages, industrialised sauces, ready-mixes for cakes). Choose homemade desserts and avoid industrialised formulations.Or to put it more simply, remember the Nova golden rule: Always prefer natural or minimally processed foods and freshly made dishes and meals to ultra-processed products.Sourcelast_img read more

Employers should let workers have lie-ins to stop them dying early, research finds

first_imgNight owls are putting their health put at risk by inflexible working hours according to a new study which found they have a greater risk of dying sooner when compared to early risers.Researchers said more employers should offer staff the opportunity to have a lie-in a stay and at work later to minimise “psychological stress” that can affect eating and exercise habits.Mortality rates in “owls”,who prefer late nights, are around ten per cent higher than “morning larks”, according to the team from the University of Surrey and Northwestern University, Chicago.This lack of sleep from late nights and early starts at work has previously been shown to increase risk of heart disease and other conditions.And the new study found mental health disorders and diabetes were most common in night owls and warned sleep deprivation could also fuel unhealthy drinking and drug-taking behaviour.“This is a public health issue that can no longer be ignored,” said Malcolm von Schantz, professor of chronobiology at the University of Surrey.“We should discuss allowing evening types to start and finish work later, where practical. And we need more research about how we can help evening types cope with the higher effort of keeping their body clock in synchrony with sun time.”The study, published in the journal Chronobiology International today, asked more than 433,000 people about their sleeping habits and followed their health over a six and a half years.In total, 27 per cent of the respondents said they were “definite morning types”, 35 per cent were “moderate morning types” while the proportions for moderate and definite evening types were 28 per cent and nine per cent, respectively.It found definite morning types tended to be older, were more likely to be women and more likely to be non-smokers. They were also more likely to be non-white, the study found.Over the study there were 10,534 deaths, roughly 20 per cent due to heart disease, and deaths among “definite evening types” were 10 per cent higher than among the most committed morning people.The participants health information is tracked as part of the UK Biobank project, and the authors found that even when they statistically controlled for things like smoking, and history of disease, mortality was still higher.Humans have evolved to be broadly synchronised with the 24-hour day-night cycle on earth, but have individual variation in sleep habits based on a host of genetic and environmental factors, known as a “chronotype”.There is increasing concern about the disruptive effects of blue light form phone screens and tablets which is similar to daylight.Sleep disruption has been implicated as a risk factor in things like Alzheimer’s disease, and the researchers said politicians should consider doing away with daylight savings time as the abrupt change has serious health effects at the population level.“There are already reports of higher incidence of heart attacks following the switch to summer time,” says von Schantz.“We have to remember that even a small additional risk is multiplied by more than 1.3 billion people who experience this shift every year. I think we need to seriously consider whether the suggested benefits outweigh these risks.”Kristen Knutson, co-author and associate professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine said recognising that needing a lie in is not a sign of laziness should help guide policy as well.“Night owls trying to live in a morning lark world may have health consequences for their bodies”“If we can recognise these chronotypes are, in part, genetically determined and not just a character flaw, jobs and work hours could have more flexibility for owls,” Knutson said.“They shouldn’t be forced to get up for an 8AM shift. Make work shifts match peoples’ chronotypes.”Sourcelast_img read more

Can Eating This Fruit During Pregnancy Speed Up Labor?

first_imgWomen would do just about anything to have a shorter labor, amiright? And while there are many tricks out there to accelerate the process, most of them are just old wives’ tales, with no basis in medical reality. I mean, I’ll slather on all the essential oils and bounce my butt off on an exercise ball, but that doesn’t mean it will speed up my dear one’s exit from the womb.However, it turns out there is one trick to speed up labor that actually has legit evidence behind it—and according to tons of moms, it actually works. Ready for it? Eating dates.Yup, that sticky, sweet fruit your grandma used throw into all manner of breads and cookies is also scientifically proven to speed up labor. Who would have thought?A 2011 study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology looked at women who ate six dates a day for the four weeks leading up their due dates, and compared them with women who did not consume dates. At labor, the women who ate dates were significantly more dilated than the women who did not. These women also were more likely to go into labor naturally (without drugs like Pitocin) and had a shorter first stage of labor.I don’t even like dates, but I would eat boatloads of them for results like that!Another study, published in the Journal of Midwifery & Reproductive Health, found that dates had a positive effect on cervical ripening (no pun intended) and dilation, and women who were induced after consuming dates had more successful inductions. The researchers pointed to the fact that dates might influence your body’s oxytocin receptors, thereby aiding in more effective contractions.Finally, a recent study from 2017 published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that while date consumption doesn’t necessarily make you go into labor any sooner, it speeds up labor once it gets started.“Dates fruit consumption during late pregnancy has been shown to positively affect the outcome of labor and delivery,” wrote the study researchers, who also noted that “dates consumption in late pregnancy is a safe supplement to be considered as it reduced the need for labor intervention without any adverse effect on the mother and child.”That’s all pretty dang convincing, if you ask me. So, as you’re patiently waiting for your little one to arrive, go ahead and stuff your face with dates.Sourcelast_img read more