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Mon, 24 Feb 2020
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Health

Benefits of walking in the rain

Walking in the rain
Raining can be very soothing and because of that many people like to walk in the rain. If you have consider them crazy, don't anymore, as rain can really soothe the mind, body, and soul. The reason of such anxiety relief is the pleasant smell of the rain.

PETRICHOR - THE SCENT OF RAIN

While walking in the rain you are inhaling the smell of the rain that calms down the mind thus letting out all the suppressed feelings and thoughts. The word Petrichor was given by Australian scientists, Isabel Joy Bear and Richard Thomas, who were inspired by the Greek words petros, meaning stone, and ichor meaning the fluid that flows from the veins of the gods. This amazing scent is produced by nitrogen molecules, soil-dwelling bacteria, and the oils released from plants while dry periods.

Therefore if you practice walking in the rain you will gain many benefits along with reduced stress levels.

Heart

Heart doctors 'held back stent death data'

heart
© Getty Images
Doctors working on a clinical trial for treatment of heart disease held back key data, Newsnight has been told.

The Excel trial tested whether stents were as effective as open heart surgery at treating patients with a heart problem called left main disease.

The data suggested more people fitted with stents were dying after three years.

It was eventually published - but only after treatment guidelines that partly relied on the trial had been written.

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Biohazard

Study reveals how too much fluoride causes defects in tooth enamel

fluorosis
© F.J. Aulestia et al., Science Signaling (2020)
Microscope images of control enamel cells (left) and enamel cells treated with high levels of fluoride (middle), with a close-up of mitochondria from the latter (right).
Exposing teeth to excessive fluoride alters calcium signaling, mitochondrial function, and gene expression in the cells forming tooth enamel — a novel explanation for how dental fluorosis, a condition caused by overexposure to fluoride during childhood, arises. The study, led by researchers at NYU College of Dentistry, is published in Science Signaling.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps to prevent cavities by promoting mineralization and making tooth enamel more resistant to acid. It is added to drinking water around the world — the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends a level of 0.7 parts per million — and all toothpastes backed by the American Dental Association's Seal of Acceptance contain fluoride. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) named water fluoridation one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century for its role in reducing tooth decay.

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Health

A common cough syrup drug just passed another trial as Parkinson's treatment

cough syrup
A drug first discovered over 50 years ago and long used as a medicine for coughs and respiratory illnesses appears to show promise in treating a very different kind of sickness: Parkinson's disease.

Ambroxol, an active ingredient in cough mixtures since the 1970s, has been investigated in recent years for its apparent potential to halt the progression of Parkinson's, and already this year, the drug has passed two important milestones that may bring us closer to a much-hoped-for treatment.

Last month, a multi-institutional team of researchers led by University College London (UCL) reported the results of a small Phase II clinical trial suggesting that ambroxol was safe and well-tolerated in human patients with Parkinson's disease, while hinting at possible neuroprotective effects that need to be examined further in subsequent trials.

Based on these outcomes, last week funding was announced to continue the next steps in evaluating ambroxol in a much larger cohort of people with Parkinson's, while also seeking to learn more about how individual patient genotypes may contribute to the disease.

"The ambroxol study is important because there are no treatments available for Parkinson's that slow, stop, or reverse [it]" says Simon Stott, deputy director of research at The Cure Parkinson's Trust, one of the bodies funding the research program.

Comment: For more approaches to treating Parkinson's:


Brain

Researchers find a western-style diet can impair brain function

waffles powdered sugar
© jopstock/Getty Images
Volunteers were given a western-style diet featuring generous amounts of Belgian waffles.
After a week on a high fat, high added sugar diet, volunteers scored worse on memory tests

Consuming a western diet for as little as one week can subtly impair brain function and encourage slim and otherwise healthy young people to overeat, scientists claim.

Researchers found that after seven days on a high fat, high added sugar diet, volunteers in their 20s scored worse on memory tests and found junk food more desirable immediately after they had finished a meal.

Comment: While the results aren't particularly surprising, it would be nice if researchers could tease apart the findings to look at specific foods. The shorthand of "high fat, high sugar diet", or even "western-style diet" doesn't really tell us much. Would eating a fatty steak have the same effect (unlikely). What about straight sugar? Does fruit have the same effect as candy? Is it the combination of fat and sugar that's the problem? Or is it actually the processed chemical ingredients?

In the meantime, avoiding processed foods seems to be a 'no-brainer'.

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Cookies

'Western-style' diet is making you fat and stupid, study says

waffles

A diet high in fat and sugar can impair mental abilities, a new study has found.
Mmmmm doughnuts.

A "Western-style" diet makes you Homer Simpson-level stupid, according to a new study published in the Royal Society.

Even if you're slim and healthy, eating a high-fat, high-sugar diet for just a week was found to impact brain function and make it harder for people to control their appetites, the researchers from Australia, the US and England found.

"After a week on a Western-style diet, palatable food such as snacks and chocolate becomes more desirable when you are full," Richard Stevenson, a professor of psychology at Macquarie University in Sydney and one of the study's authors tells the Guardian. "This will make it harder to resist, leading you to eat more, which in turn generates more damage to the hippocampus."

He calls the response "a vicious cycle of overeating."

Past research had shown that a "Western-style" diet — generally defined as a diet high in fat, sugar and processed foods — impaired brain function in animals. Researchers suspected the same would happen in humans.

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Biohazard

Weighing down childhood: Are vaccines and glyphosate contributing to childhood obesity?

childhood obesity BMI
Over the past several decades, the experience of childhood has changed fundamentally for many American children. Impairing their ability to climb trees and run races, over a third are encumbered — at even the youngest ages — with runaway weight and associated sequelae like high blood pressure. As of 2015-16, about 13.7 million U.S. children and adolescents — roughly one in five (18.5%) — were obese, and another 17% were overweight. Even worse, a third of those classified as obese fell into the category of "extreme obesity."

In the adolescent age group (12- to 19-year-olds), obesity prevalence — at 21% — has quadrupled since the 1980s, generating $14 billion in annual direct health expenses. Researchers are even more concerned, however, by the worsening picture in 2- to 5-year-olds. Studies show that early-onset weight gain has long-term risks; when children start kindergarten overweight, they are four times more likely to become obese by eighth grade as normal-weight kindergartners. In less than a decade (from 2007-08 to 2015-16), the prevalence of obesity and severe obesity in the 2- to 5-year age group rose from 10% to 14%. In the most recent two-year cycle, this sharp increase in preschool-age children — particularly boys, African Americans and Hispanics — prompted researchers to fret about the obesity epidemic having become "endemic." At a societal level, experts warn that "The obesity epidemic threatens to shorten life expectancy . . . and bankrupt the health care system."

The dramatic surge in childhood obesity began in earnest in the late 1980s. Given the growing evidence that environmental chemicals are key obesity triggers, it makes sense to consider what exposures may have increased over the same time period. Vaccines and glyphosate are two culprits that readily come to mind — and published evidence supports a link.

Comment: While the continually plunging quality of diet is no doubt at least partly responsible for the growing obesity epidemic, toxicity and inflammation are likely playing a huge role (perhaps moreso than diet quality). We've all seen people with garbage diets who seem to be relatively unaffected, while others need to pay strict attention to what they eat or pay consequences. Genetics can only explain so much, and the above article connects some dots that give a clearer picture than the mainstream calories-in-calories-out model will allow.

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Heart

Vitamin C may improve ventricular function, shorten ICU stay after heart bypass surgery

Vitamin C
High doses of vitamin C led to improved ventricular function and reduced duration of ICU stay among patients who had just undergone coronary artery bypass surgery, adding more support for vitamin C's heart-protective potential

Researchers from Shiraz University of Medical Sciences in Iran evaluated the impact of high-dose vitamin C on markers of myocardial injury in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).

This surgery improves blood flow to the heart and is performed on people suffering from severe coronary heart disease, where plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries.[i] Myocardial injury is considered the leading cause of death in patients with cardiovascular disease.[ii]

Vitamin C Supports Heart Function After Surgery

In their double-blind randomized trial, the group recruited 50 patients ages 50 to 80 years old who had CABG surgery.[iii] The intervention group received 5 grams (g) of intravenous vitamin C before anesthesia and 5 g of vitamin C in a solution. The control group received the same amount of placebo.

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People 2

Study finds sexual promiscuity dramatically increases cancer risk

couple
A new study has found that engaging in sexual promiscuity increases the risk of getting cancer by as much as 91 per cent.

"Experts found older women who had ten or more lifetime lovers were 91 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with the disease, compared to those who only had one," reports the Sun.

The study by Anglia Ruskin University scientists shows that many cancers such as cervical, prostate and oral are linked to sexually transmitted infections. The higher the number of partners, the more likely someone is to get infected.

"In both men and women, a higher number of sexual partners was associated with increased risk of cancer," said lead researcher Dr Lee Smith.

While sexual promiscuity is at an all time high, the U.S. birth rate continues to plummet.

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Alarm Clock

The benefits of intermittent fasting

intermittent fasting
© Gracia Lam
I was skeptical, but it turns out there is something to be said for a daily fast, preferably one lasting at least 16 hours.

I've long thought the human body was not meant to run on empty, that fasting was done primarily for religious reasons or political protest. Otherwise we needed a reliably renewed source of fuel to function optimally, mentally and emotionally as well as physically.

Personal experience reinforced that concept; I'm not pleasant to be around when I'm hungry. There's even an official name for that state of mind, confirmed by research: Hangry!

Comment: All the objections and reasons intermittent fasting might be 'more difficult than doing nothing' can be dismissed with one simple piece of advice: Don't be stupid about it. It isn't rocket science, nor is it that difficult once you've adjusted. Much like the keto diet, the benefits can be quite remarkable and it would be a shame if people were dissuaded from trying a relatively simple strategy with potentially huge payoffs because it might be a little hard at first and you might have to turn down a dinner invitation or two.

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