Archive for February 1st, 2013

Eating fruits and vegetables can uplift your mood

Friday, February 1st, 2013

A new research from New Zealand”s University of Otago has suggested that eating more fruit and vegetables may make young people calmer, happier and more energetic in their daily life.

Department of Psychology researchers Dr Tamlin Conner and Bonnie White, and Dr Caroline Horwath from Otago”s Department of Human Nutrition, investigated the relationship between day-to-day emotions and food consumption.

A total of 281 young adults (with a mean age of 20 years) completed an internet-based daily food diary for 21 consecutive days. Prior to this, participants completed a questionnaire giving details of their age, gender, ethnicity, weight and height. Those with a history of an eating disorder were excluded.

On each of the 21 days participants logged into their diary each evening and rated how they felt using nine positive and nine negative adjectives. They were also asked five questions about what they had eaten that day. Specifically, participants were asked to report the number of servings eaten of fruit (excluding fruit juice and dried fruit), vegetables (excluding juices), and several categories of unhealthy foods like biscuits/cookies, potato crisps, and cakes/muffins.

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Excessive alcohol use can damage youngsters’ brain

Friday, February 1st, 2013

A new study has highlighted the significant changes in brain function and structure that can be caused by excessive alcohol use in young people.

Functional signs of brain damage from alcohol misuse in young people mainly include deficits in visual learning and memory as well as executive functions, according to the study published in Cortex.

These functions are controlled by the hippocampus and frontal structures of the brain, which are not fully mature until around 25 years of age. Structural signs of alcohol misuse in young people include shrinking of the brain and significant changes to white matter tracts.

Age of first use may be considered to trigger alcohol misuse. According to the researchers however, changing the legal drinking age is not the answer.

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Being vegetarian can reduce risk of heart disease by up to a third

Friday, February 1st, 2013

A new study from the University of Oxford has found that the risk of hospitalisation or death from heart disease is 32 percent lower in vegetarians than people who eat meat and fish.

Heart disease is the single largest cause of death in developed countries. The new findings suggest that a vegetarian diet could significantly reduce people’s risk of heart disease.

“Most of the difference in risk is probably caused by effects on cholesterol and blood pressure, and shows the important role of diet in the prevention of heart disease,” explains Dr Francesca Crowe, lead author of the study at the Cancer Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford.

This is the largest study ever conducted in the UK comparing rates of heart disease between vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

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AIDS today is not death tomorrow

Friday, February 1st, 2013

HIV today means death tomorrow? NO.

HIV is a dreaded ‘word’ for most people. The short name of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, which has swept across the globe since the past four decades, creates fear in the minds of the general population due to its ability to kill the affected patient. The general impression is that the person dies soon after the entry of the virus into the human body. Fortunately for us, that is NOT the case.

HIV enters the body and lodges itself into certain white blood corpuscles. This ‘hijacked’ cell acts according to the invader’s orders. Gradually, the immunity keeps dropping allowing common germs and dangerous ones like tuberculosis to enter and create havoc. It takes many years for the immune system to get completely paralysed leading to a state of AIDS – the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

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