MINUTE OF EXERCISE A DAY COULD PREVENT OSTEOPOROSIS, FINDS STUDY

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No more excuses

Many people think that getting fit means devoting your life to the gym and slogging it out for hours. And unsurprisingly, that can be pretty off-putting.

But increasingly we’re realising that short workouts can be much more effective than long ones, if you just know what to do.

It turns out that just a minute’s exercise a day can have a hugely beneficial impact on your health.

According to a study by the Universities of Exeter and Leicester, women who do 60-120 seconds of high-intensity weight-bearing exercise a day have four per cent better bone density than those who do less than a minute.

Women who exercise for over two minutes have even stronger bones, with density six per cent higher than those who do under a minute.

After the age of 30, people tend to lose more bone mass than they gain, and the higher your bone density, the lower your likelihood of developing osteoporosis.

You’re also less likely to have bone fractures in old age.

The study was conducted on over 2,500 female participants, and it’s women who are most at risk of osteoporosis, with bone density declining significantly after the menopause.

According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, a tenth of women aged 60 are affected by osteoporosis, and this rises to two-thirds of women aged 90.

What’s more, one in three women over the age of 50 and one in five men of the same age will suffer from osteoporotic fractures.

But further research needs to be done to work out how best one should undertake exercise in order to improve bone density the most.

“We don’t yet know whether it’s better to accumulate this small amount of exercise in bits throughout each day or all at once, and also whether a slightly longer bout of exercise on one or two days per week is just as good as one to two minutes a day,” said lead author Dr Victoria Stiles.

“But there’s a clear link between this kind of high-intensity, weight-bearing exercise and better bone health in women.”

To reach their conclusions, the researchers asked their participants to wear activity monitors for a week and then compared this data to measurements of their bone health.

The activity data was broken down into single seconds to understand how people move in their daily lives.

“We wanted to make every second count in our analysis, because short snippets of high-intensity activity are more beneficial to bone health than longer, continuous periods,” Stiles said.

“We were careful not to ignore short bursts of activity throughout the day.”

Many people, although not consciously exercising, engage in non-exercise activity thermogenesis – or NEAT – over the course of the day, and this can be enough to improve your health.

If you want to increase your bone health, start with simply trying to walk more, and from there you can incorporate short bouts of running too.

There are limitations to the study’s findings though.

“Because this is a cross-sectional study – which assesses data taken from a subset of the population at a particular point in time – we can’t be sure whether the high-intensity physical activity led to better bone health, or whether those with better bone health do more of this exercise,” Stiles clarified.

“However, it seems likely that just one to two minutes of running a day is good for bone health.”

It’s not the first study to suggest you can drastically improve your health with just a minute’s exercise either: earlier this year, researchers from McMaster University found that 60 seconds of intense exercise broken up into 20 second blasts as part of a ten-minute workout can be as effective as a 45 minute endurance workout.

No more telling yourself you just don’t have the time to keep fit then.

[“Source-independent”]

Amazing benefits of curry leaves for hair and skin

curry leaves

Soft and flawless skin, clean and dandruff-free scalp, gorgeous hair… are the things of beauty every women long to have. Those who are naturally blessed with good skin and silky hair are lucky, but others struggle for it. There could be many easy solutions to having the crowning glory and lovely skin. Curry leave is one. Curry leaves not only add flavour to food, but it can also treat your skin and hair.

Rich in carbohydrates, fiber, calcium, phosphorous, irons and vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin E, curry leaves help fight all kinds of infections, including skin infection. It can also treat premature greying of hair. Add curry leaves in your daily diet or try the following wonder tips for few weeks and see the result.

Skin: Rich in antioxidants, curry leaves can be used as a home remedy to treat common fungal infections of the nail or any body part that are often difficult to treat. Make a paste with lukewarm water and curry leaves and apply on the affected area. For dark spots and acne, add a pinch of turmeric to your curry leaves paste and apply the pack to your face.

Dandruff: Take five curry leaves and two to three tablespoon coconut oil. Heat them together. Once the mixture cools, apply it to the roots of your hair and leave it overnight. Wash it off with a mild shampoo.

Wrinkles: Soak curry leaves in a glass of water and leave it overnight. Drink it in the morning. The antioxidant properties in the leaves reduces fine lines and wrinkles and helps in premature ageing of the skin.

Hair: Using curry leaves in your food and drinks and washing your hair with curry leave water can give you healthy and lustrious hair. The amino acid, proteins and carotene content in it is said to stregnthen the follicles and protect the hair from falling. It also boost hair growth and strengthen the hair texture.

Use curry leaves to garnish your daily food, blend them and mix them with oil, boil or soak them in plain water to drink or wash your face and hair. All the nutrients present in it will treat your hai rand skin problems effectively.

 

[“source-thestatesman”]

Some types of vegetarian diet can raise heart disease risk

Researchers divided diets into 'healthful' and 'unhealthful' categories

“Being vegetarian isn’t always healthy: Plant-based diet may raise the risk of heart disease,” the Daily Mail reports. A US study found a vegetarian diet based on less healthy food options, such as refined grains, could increase the risk of heart disease.

The researchers behind the latest study made the point that many previous diet and health studies “lumped together” all types of vegetarian diets as plant-based, without considering the actual content of specific diets. And not all plant-based diets are healthy and nutritious.

The researchers looked at data involving 200,000 health workers from the US and tried to analyse any link between diet and coronary heart disease.

Overall a high plant-based diet wasn’t linked with a clear benefit for heart disease risk compared with a low plant-based/high meat-based diet.

When the plant-based diets were broken down and analysed further, the researchers found interesting differences.

Those eating a “healthy” plant-based diet high in wholegrains, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats were less likely to get heart disease than people eating “unhealthy” plant-based diets including foods like potatoes, refined grains and sweets.

While the study can’t rule out the possibility that other health and lifestyle factors such as stress, job type and education could have influenced the links, the association between unhealthy plant-based diets and heart disease is plausible.

The diet advice for vegetarians is the same for everyone else: eat a balanced diet with at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day, eat less sugar, salt, and saturated fat, and choose wholegrain carbohydrates where possible.

Where did the story come from?

The study was carried out by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, AbbVie (a pharmaceutical company), and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, all in the US. It was funded by the US National Institutes of Health, US Department of Agriculture/Blueberry Highbush Council and the California Walnut Commission, and Metagenic. One author has served on the Scientific Advisory Committees of IKEA, Take C/O, and SPE, and another is also an employee of AbbVie.

The study was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The Daily Mail’s reporting was generally accurate, but the statement claiming “refined grains and potatoes lead to a higher risk of cardio-metabolic disease” is not entirely representative. These were just two of a wide variety of foods included in the “unhealthy plant-based diet.” Neither does this statement account for the fact that there may be many other health and lifestyle factors other than diet contributing to coronary heart disease risk.

What kind of research was this?

This was a study pooling data from three large cohort studies of health professionals. It aimed to see whether consuming a plant-based diet or a diet including meat was associated with risk of coronary heart disease.

Coronary heart disease is the general term used to describe when the arteries supplying the heart become clogged by a build-up of fatty substances. Complete blockage of the arteries causes heart attack, a major cause of death both in the UK and worldwide.

A prospective cohort study is a good way of looking at the link between an exposure (such as diet) and an outcome (like heart disease) as you can examine a large number of people over a long period of time.

However, you are unable to control the diets or all other lifestyle factors that could be having an influence, such as smoking and exercise. A randomised controlled trial would be needed for this, but it is not really possible to make sure people stick to a specific diet for a long period of time.

What did the research involve?

The research included:

  • 73,710 women (aged 30 to 55 years) involved in the Nurses’ Health Study (1984 to 2012)
  • 92,329 women (aged 25 to 42 years) involved in the Nurses’ Health Study 2 (1991 to 2013)
  • 43,259 men (aged 40 to 75 years) taking part in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986-2012)

This study only included participants who, at the start of the study, did not have coronary heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Information on diet was collected every two to four years using a food frequency questionnaire. Participants recorded how often on average they consumed a specified portion of any of 130 food items in the past year. This ranged from “never or less than once a month” to “six or more times a day”.

Three versions of a plant-based diet were created from these questionnaires based on intake of 18 main food groups:

  • An overall plant-based diet index (PDI) was created by assigning positive scores to plant foods and reverse scores to animal foods.
  • A “healthful plant-based diet index” (hPDI) was created by giving positive scores to healthy plant foods such as whole grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, oils and tea. Both animal foods and less healthy plant foods such as juices, refined grains, fries and sweets received a negative score.
  • An “unhealthful plant-based diet” (uPDI) was created by giving positive scores to less-healthy plant foods, such as sweets, cakes, chips and crisps, and scores to animal and healthy plant-based foods.

The researchers looked at participant reports of coronary heart disease during follow-up assessments, and validated this through checking medical records. Deaths were identified through next of kin and a search of the US National Death Index.

Results were adjusted for the following confounding factors:

  • smoking
  • age
  • physical activity
  • alcohol
  • multivitamin use
  • family history of coronary heart disease
  • margarine intake
  • energy intake
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • diabetes
  • body mass index
  • post-menopausal hormone use and oral contraceptive use in women

What were the basic results?

During follow-up 8,631 people developed coronary heart disease.

High adherence to an overall plant-based diet (PDI) showed a trend for reduced risk compared to low adherence to a PDI and a mainly animal-based diet, but this fell just short of statistical significance (hazard ratio [HR] 0.92, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.83 to 1.01).

However, when analysing “healthful” versus “unhealthful” plant-based diets separately:

  • Highest adherence to the healthy plant-based diet reduced risk of heart disease by 25% compared with a low adherence to this diet (i.e. consuming an unhealthy plant-based diet, including meat) (HR 0.75, 95% CI 0.68 to 0.83).
  • Highest adherence to an unhealthy plant-based diet increased risk of heart disease by 32% compared with lowest adherence to this diet (i.e. consuming a healthy plant-based diet, including meat) (HR 1.32, 95% CI 1.20 to 1.46).

How did the researchers interpret the results?

The researchers concluded that a “higher intake of a plant-based diet index rich in healthier plant foods is associated with substantially lower CHD risk, whereas a plant-based diet index that emphasizes less-healthy plant foods is associated with higher CHD risk.”

They further add that “dietary guidelines and lifestyle interventions could recommend increasing intake of healthy plant foods, while reducing intake of less healthy plant foods and certain animal foods for improved cardiometabolic health.”

Conclusion

This large pooled cohort study seems to demonstrate an association between a healthy plant-based diet and reduced risk of coronary heart disease, and an increased risk of heart disease with an unhealthy plant-based diet.

This adds to the evidence base supporting the possible benefits of healthy plant-based diets in protecting against certain illnesses. However there are some limitations to the research:

  • The cohort included only health professionals from the US so might not be representative of wider populations in the UK or elsewhere.
  • The study can’t provide information on the benefits or otherwise of this diet in people with established coronary heart disease, stroke or cancer as these people were excluded.
  • The questionnaire was self-reported and asked for recall of food habits over the previous year so there might be some inaccuracies in reporting. Also, people might not want to admit to consuming less healthy foods – although if unhealthy foods were under-reported, this could have meant an even bigger difference in results.
  • Heart disease outcomes were mainly self-reported and then verified, so some cases may have been missed.
  • Although analyses adjusted for various health and lifestyle factors, there are likely to be many other confounding variables influencing likelihood of coronary heart disease, such as education, occupation or stress levels.

Nevertheless the study supports general understanding about the benefits of wholegrains, fruits and vegetables and healthy sources of fat.

Eating a purely plant-based, but unhealthy, diet may be good for your conscience but not so good for the heart.

Read more about healthy vegetarian diets.

Analysis by Bazian

Edited by NHS Choices

Links to the headlines

Being vegetarian isn’t always healthy: Plant-based diet may raise the risk of heart disease. Daily Mail, July 18 2017

Vegetarian diets can lead to higher risk of heart disease, finds study. The Independent, July 17 2017

Links to the science

Satija A, Bhupathiraju SN, Spiegelman D, et al. Healthful and Unhealthful Plant-Based Diets and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in U.S. Adults. Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

[Source:-.nhs.uk]

Even modest changes to diet could reduce risk of death, study finds

Image result for Even modest changes to diet could reduce risk of death, study finds

With more than one-third of U.S. adults suffering from obesity, it’s no surprise that many Americans would benefit from healthier eating habits. Fad diets capitalize on our desire for quick results but usually fail in the long run.

Now new research adds to the evidence that a more moderate approach can make a lasting difference.

A study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health finds that improving the quality of diet over time, even with modest changes, may significantly reduce the risk of premature death.

Improvements to diet included consuming more whole grainsvegetables, fruits, nuts, and fish and eating less red and processed meats and sugary beverages.

“Overall, our findings underscore the benefits of healthy eating patterns including the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet. Our study indicates that even modest improvements in diet quality could meaningfully influence mortality risk and conversely, worsening diet quality may increase the risk,” lead author Mercedes Sotos-Prieto, who worked on the study while a postdoctoral fellow in the Harvard Chan School department of nutrition and who is currently an assistant professor of nutrition at Ohio University, said in a statement.

For the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Sotos-Prieto and her team analyzed data on nearly 74,000 adults over a 12-year period. The researchers assessed the participants’ diet using three different scoring methods: the 2010 Alternate Healthy Eating Index, the Alternate Mediterranean Diet score, and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet score. Each model assigns scores to various types of food, with healthier foods receiving higher scores and less healthy foods receiving lower scores.

The results showed that better diet quality over a 12-year period was linked to a reduced risk of death in the subsequent 12 years, no matter which method of scoring was used. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables and fish or n-3 fatty acids appeared to contribute most to an improvement in diet quality.

Specifically, the study showed that a 20-percentile increase in diet-quality scores was associated with an 8 to 17 percent reduction in the risk of death.

That can be achieved, for example, by swapping out just one serving of red or processed meat and replacing it with one daily serving of nuts or legumes.

In contrast, worsening diet quality was linked to a 6 to 12 percent increase in the risk of death.

Nancy Z. Farrell, a registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, said the findings reinforce the work she does every day with her patients.

“Registered dietitian nutritionists practice evidence-based science every day in encouraging and educating the public on disease prevention and treatment, and we know that chronic disease increases the cost of health care and drives up insurance premiums,” she told CBS News.

Farrell says everyone can benefit from making smart diet swaps as often as possible.

“Have a ‘meatless Monday’ dinner where you incorporate beans or legumes, such as red beans and quinoa. Or have a veggie pizza night,” she suggests.

When it comes to snacking, avoid high-calorie junk foods like potato chips and opt for a handful of nuts, or make your own trail mix with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.

And if you’re looking for a sweet treat, skip the ice cream and try freezing some fruit instead.

“Blueberries or blackberries offer a refreshing summer snack with a burst of coolness,” Farrell said.

Importantly, experts say it’s crucial to not only incorporate such changes into your diet, but to stick with them over time.

“Our results highlight the long-term health benefits of improving diet quality with an emphasis on overall dietary patterns rather than on individual foods or nutrients,” said Frank Hu, professor and chair of the Harvard Chan School department of nutrition and senior author of the study. “A healthy eating pattern can be adopted according to individuals’ food and cultural preferences and health conditions. There is no one-size-fits-all diet.”

[“Source-cbsnews”]

EXERCISE CAN BE PUNISHING – BUT HERE’S HOW TO STOP THINKING OF IT AS A PUNISHMENT

Image result for EXERCISE CAN BE PUNISHING – BUT HERE’S HOW TO STOP THINKING OF IT AS A PUNISHMENTThe fitness industry is said to be worth £4.4bn in the UK alone. But, despite medical research telling us that exercise will help us live longer, the majority of people do not engage with health and fitness. Could it be that exercise is still considered a punishment – as it was in Victorian prisons?

Or do we just need to increase the fun and social aspect to exercise to get more of us working up a sweat?

Medical research suggests exercise is good for our health and will help us all live longer. But a report by the British Heart Foundation says that 20 million people living in the UK are physically inactive.

To be considered active, the Department of Health recommends adults should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week. So it begs the question: why do close to a third of the country’s population struggle to meet this recommended amount of exercise, when doing so could prolong their life?

A reason why inactive people may not engage in enough exercise is because it is not perceived to be a fulfilling or satisfying leisure pursuit. Other competing pastimes of a more sedentary nature, such as watching TV, reading and gaming, are seen by some as being more enjoyable.

Exercise as punishment

The treadmill was devised as a form of punishment for convicted criminals in the Victorian era. At this time, prisoners had to undertake long hours of hard labour by walking on treadmills to grind flour. This form of punishment was abolished in the late 19th century for being too cruel.

Exercise also has a long history of being used as a form of correctional behaviour in schools. Indeed in 2014 the then-Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, proposed to ban exercise being used in schools as a form of punishment for fear that it would put children off being active.

Given that exercise has a lengthy historical association with the use of discipline for the purpose of punishment and obedience, can 21st century society ever be truly accepting of exercise as a leisure pursuit that can have personal fulfilment?

At present, the high volume of inactivity levels in the UK suggests a large amount of people are not motivated to take exercise. Getting people to be more active, therefore, would require a shift in people exercising because they want to rather than having to.

Making it social

My research explores the role of social psychology for the development of interventions that make physical activity a fulfilling pursuit for long-term condition sufferers. This is because social psychological science has consistently demonstrated that people are motivated to seek social connections in order to fulfil their psychological needs as human beings. For example, “the belongingness hypothesis” states that people have a basic need to feel closely connected to others.

So it is important people have positive social exercise experiences that enrich their quality of life and, in doing so, make the pursuit of exercise a more satisfying and worthwhile activity. This can be achieved by creating exercise environments that provide individuals with a shared sense of social connectedness, creating opportunities for people to form friendships, meaningful attachments and mutually supportive relationships.

For example, the EuroFit programme takes a unique approach for improving men’s health and fitness by allowing fans to train in the environment of a professional football club they support. City Ride events are another example, where families and friends of all ages and abilities can enjoy cycling together through the streets of a vibrant traffic-free environment. Similarly, walking sports offer a social atmosphere of fun, laughter and camaraderie for those who may have difficulty participating in high impact activities.

Connecting people in dynamic and socially rewarding exercise environments has the potential to offset the drudgery often associated with exercise and make it a leisure pursuit worth doing.

[“Source-independent”]

What Type of Exercise Is Best for the Brain?

Image result for What Type of Exercise Is Best for the Brain?Exercise is just as good for the brain as it is for the body, a growing body of research is showing. And one kind in particular—aerobic exercise—appears to be king.

“Back in the day, the majority of exercise studies focused on the parts of the body from the neck down, like the heart and lungs,” says Ozioma Okonkwo, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. “But now we are finding that we need to go north, to the brain, to show the true benefits of a physically active lifestyle on an individual.”

Exercise might be a simple way for people to cut down their risk for memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease, even for those who are genetically at risk for the disease. In a June study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Okonkwo followed 93 adults who had at least one parent with Alzheimer’s disease, at least one gene linked to Alzheimer’s, or both. People in the study who spent at least 68 minutes a day doing moderate physical activity had better glucose metabolism—which signals a healthy brain—compared to people who did less.

The brain benefits of exercise go beyond disease prevention. Okonkwo has also shown that people who exercise have greater brain volume in areas of the brain associated with reasoning and executive function. “We’ve done a series of studies showing that increased aerobic capacity boosts brain structure, function and cognition ,” he says, “Other people have found exercise can improve mood.” Okonkwo’s research has also shown that exercise can diminish the impact of brain changes on cognition, not just prevent it. “Exercise is the full package,” he says.

Exercise likely improves brain health through a variety of ways. It makes the heart beat faster, which increases blood flow to the brain. This blood delivers oxygen—a good thing, since the brain is the biggest consumer of oxygen in the body. Physical activity also increases levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which i s known to help repair and protect brain cells from degeneration as well as help grow new brain cells and neurons, says Okonkwo .

In one study. Joe Northey, a PhD candidate at the University of Canberra Research Institute for Sport and Exercise in Australia, showed that when people ride a stationary bike, they experience increased blood flow to the brain, and within that blood are a range of growth factors that are responsible for cell growth and associated with improved brain function. “Considering exercise can also reduce the risks associated with common lifestyle diseases that impact the brain, such as high blood sugar and hypertension, it is further motivation to try to incorporate exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle,” says Northey.

MORE: The Simple Reason Exercise Enhances Your Brain

Aerobic exercise, like running and swimming, appears to be best for brain health. That’s because it increases a person’s heart rate, “which means the body pumps more blood to the brain,” says Okonkwo. But strength training, like weight lifting, may also bring benefits to the brain by increasing heart rate. The link between resistance training and better brain health is not as established, but research in the area is growing.

For now, Northey recommends a combination of the two. “Combining both is ideal,” he says, for all of the other benefits exercise bestows on the body. “In addition to improving your brain function, you should expect to see improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength, as well as reducing the risk of obesity, diabetes and hypertension amongst other diseases.”

[“Source-time”]

Wonders Of Jojoba Oil For Skin, Hair

Image result for Wonders Of Jojoba Oil For Skin, Hair

(A File Photo/Image for representation.)

From treating burns to moisturising the scalp and strands — there are a lot of skin care and hair related issues that jojoba oil can solve, say experts.

Ragini Mehra, Founder at Beauty Source and Shiv Singh Mann, Founder at online store Desert Splendour, have listed a few benefits:

 Acne control: Acne develops when the hair follicles get blocked due to excess sebum production. Being a liquid, jojoba oil can penetrate deep into the hair follicle. It can dissolve the sebum deposits, resulting in clearing out the blockage.

– Moisturises skin: Jojoba oil is lighter compared to other oils and absorbs easily into the skin. It softens the skin and adds a healthy glow, by providing moisture and nourishment, and leaves the skin looking fresh and youthful. Jojoba oil also treats sunburn and prevents irritation.

– Discard frizzy hair: A common problem in summers is frizzy hair. Jojoba oil softens your hair, locking the tresses against unwanted moisture and preventing frizzy hair. At the same time, it works as a natural replacement for essential moisture of the scalp and strands, which is often taken away by the harsh chemicals present in shampoos.

– Nutritious for skin: Jojoba contains nutrients like Vitamin E and B, as well as antioxidants and several essential minerals which hydrate, nourish and protect skin. Organic jojoba oil has the highest level of antioxidants and nutrients. Jojoba has properties that speed up cell regeneration.

– Relaxation and stress relief: Jojoba oil has many healing properties. Specially, the lavender jojoba oil has a calming, earthy, lightly sweet and freshly floral scent, which is widely beloved for its relaxing and balancing effects on both the physical and emotional bodies. It can improve sleep if a few drops are poured on the pillow.

[“Source-news18”]

Scientists discover role of skin in spreading leishmaniasis

Image result for Scientists discover role of skin in spreading leishmaniasisScientists at the University of York have discovered that parasites responsible for leishmaniasis – a globally occurring neglected tropical disease spread by sand flies – are mainly acquired from the skin rather than a person’s blood.

Visceral leishmaniasis is a parasitic infection that kills 20-40 thousand people each year across 56 countries, mainly in the developing world. There is no vaccine and drugs are prohibitively expensive or toxic.

Previously it was assumed that sand flies acquired the disease parasite directly from a host’s blood, through biting an infected person before spreading the disease to uninfected people in subsequent bites.

However, the number of parasites found in blood has often been puzzlingly low, leading some to question whether there is another source of parasites for transmission.

Now, mathematicians, experimental biologists, and immunologists have revealed a ‘patchy landscape of parasites’ found on carriers’ skin that determines how many parasites are picked up by sand flies.

Using mathematical modeling, they showed that some areas of skin can contain particularly high numbers of the parasite, while other areas may not.

This means that whether a sand fly becomes infected or not depends on where they bite a person.

This breakthrough is significant as it suggests current methods of treating leishmaniasis are too simple, as disease detection and treatment often focuses on levels of the parasite in blood samples.

The research also stresses that more attention should be focused on developing treatments that affect parasites in the skin, if the cycle of transmission is to be interrupted.

Johannes Doehl, Post-Doctoral Research Associate in York’s Centre for Immunology and Infection and lead author of the study, said: “Currently, to assess treatment success in visceral leishmaniasis, clinicians focus on monitoring parasite levels in a host’s blood.

“However, we now have conclusive proof that measuring parasites in the skin, not just the blood, is critical when assessing possible treatments. Clinical studies and elimination campaigns need to take this into account, and in particular measure how treatments affect the patchy landscape of parasites in the skin.”

Dr. Jon Pitchford, Reader in York’s Departments of Biology and Mathematics, said: “To effectively control leishmaniasis, we don’t just need to cure the disease in patients, we must also understand and try and break the transmission cycle. This research is the first step towards improving the treatment process and demonstrates how the application of mathematics can help solve important problems in medicine.”

[“Source-news-medical”]

Getting ‘A-Head’ of Hair Loss

Image result for Getting ‘A-Head’ of Hair LossWhether you’d like to admit it or not, your appearance has a great effect on your everyday life. If your hair starts thinning or balding noticeably, you may find yourself uneasy in public and lacking confidence. Thankfully, there is a way to predict hair loss regardless of your gender and get treatment before your condition worsens.

The cause of hair loss. Hair loss can happen for a variety or combination of reasons, but it holds a close link to your inherited genes. In fact, your hair loss can come from genes on both sides of your family, resulting in a hair situation that is hard to predict.

One important hormone does play a big role in the condition, however, and that hormone is dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT actually aids in the development of men’s sex organs but is found in smaller amounts in women.

According to Dr. Alan J. Bauman, who founded Bauman Medical, hair loss occurs due to a heightened sensitivity to DHT, not directly because of the hormone. One of the main reasons for this extra sensitivity is your genes. Since Bauman attests that about 200 genes affect hair growth, you can see why pinpointing the exact combination for hair loss proves so difficult.

A test for baldness. Despite the difficulty, researchers have found a way to predict hair loss. Doctors can perform a genetic test on both men and women, since the test is designed to identify people with a tendency for androgen alopecia. Most women experience hair loss because of this condition.

Doctors perform this test, called HairDX, by simply swabbing the inside of the cheek. They then use the DNA from the test to predict your propensity for baldness. According to Men’s Health, if a man tests positive with this genetic test, he will have a six in 10 chance of going bald before age 40.

HairDX can also test for a genetic variant. Eighty-five percent of men with the variant will not go bald by age 40, helping these men rest more easily. While the test is not certain, you can get a good idea of your genetic disposition by taking the test, no matter your gender.

If you do test positive, you can start treatment immediately, typically with Propecia (for men only) or Rogaine. These treatments are topical and may slow down the hair loss or encourage new growth. If you stop these treatments, the hair loss will continue. These two medications are the only FDA-approved treatments for alopecia.

Hair loss in men. As you have probably guessed, men have a much higher tendency for significant hair loss than women. The American Hair Loss Association states that nearly two thirds of men will experience some type of hair loss by age 35. At the same time, this condition can affect men of any age, starting at the end of puberty. Many men in their early 20s have high amounts of hair loss, and they accept it as a normal part of their lives.

Related: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: A Crisis for Teen Girls

Typically, when a man starts losing his hair, he will first see the hair line in the front start to recede. As time goes on, the hair on top of the head will thin out and stop growing altogether. Many times, the hair close to the ears and neck do not get affected in the same way, and researchers don’t currently understand why.

Female pattern hair loss. While women’s hair loss does not occur at the same rate as in men, it happens more often than you think. About a third of women will experience some form of hair loss (alopecia) throughout their lifetime, according to Harvard Health Publications. Also, the American Hair Loss Association reveals that it affects as many as 40 percent of women in the U.S.

Related: Yikes, My Hair Is Thinning

Female pattern hair loss does not usually cause total baldness for a woman, however. She may notice some thinning near the part in her hair and dismiss it initially. After a while, she may see her part widen further and find more hair coming out in the shower or her hairbrush. Intervening early is key for retaining the hair.

Intervening early will help identify any problems.

Both men and women can suffer from hair loss throughout their lives, and the genetic link can come from either side of the family. You can, however, predict the hair loss through a genetic test designed for either gender. Either way, intervening early will identify any problems that could be causing it and help you keep more of your hair for a longer time.

Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel’s senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. This Fox News article is used by permission; it first appeared on AskDrManny.com.

[“Source-lifezette”]

This is what you should eat after different types of exercise

Eat well afterwards to get the most out of your exercise

Congratulations! You’ve make it through your workout. But the job isn’t done just yet – because if you really want to get the most out of your exercise, you need to put some thought into what you eat afterwards.

And according to Anna-Jane Debenham and Alex Parker, dietitians from nutrition consulting business The Biting Truth, it’s not just about protein.

Although important, particularly for muscle repair, “having protein on its own, although it may seem ‘trendy’, isn’t ideal in a lot of cases”.

Instead, they say snacks containing both carbohydrate and protein will “allow your body to recover and repair effectively”. And don’t forget to replace all those lost fluids (hey, we all get sweaty!) with extra water.

Failing to refuel or rehydrate after exercise can result in a host of problems, including earlier onset of fatigue, reduced speed and endurance, poor concentration and gut upset, Anna and Alex warn. Not to mention the fact you might not be getting the full benefits of all that effort!

Here, they explain why post-exercise nutrition is so important…

Don’t just wait until your next meal to eat

Restricting calories after a workout can be counterproductive, and after the extra strain you’ve put on your body, nutrition is even more crucial.

Anna and Alex explain: “During exercise (especially resistance training), the body shifts towards a catabolic state (muscle breakdown) which then transitions back to an anabolic state (muscle building) within the first few hours of completing your workout.”

Essentially, this means there’s a 60-90 minute “window of opportunity” after your training session, where you have a chance to replenish the stores of carbohydrates in the liver and muscle cells, as well as encourage muscle repair.

What to eat after… cardio

Running, dancing, boxing – all great cardio workouts, and they can leave you seriously pooped. “The key is replenishing carbohydrate stores,” say Anna and Alex, “and adequate hydration is essential.”

They recommend a slice of wholegrain bread with peanut butter and banana: “This snack provides high-quality carbs, protein and heart-healthy fats, and is full of potassium which helps soothe muscles.”

Other snacks you could reach for after a cardio workout include a plain banana, some nuts, or some wholegrain toast with either ricotta and fruit, or cottage cheese and tomato.

What to eat after… strength training

If you’re lifting weights and your goal is to gain muscle, Anna and Alex say: “An energy-rich diet with adequate amounts of protein is just as important as your well-developed strength-training programme.”

So, after strength training, your food intake should be low in fat and high in nutrients. “Consuming carbohydrates in conjunction with protein allows the protein to be used for muscle growth and repair,” they explain.

They recommend smoothies as a great option for fitting in a lot of nutrients in one go – you can just blend up your ingredients (such as berries, low-fat yogurt and/or oats) and you’re sorted.

What to eat after… HIIT

HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is all the rage, hailed as a speedy way to burn more fat and build more muscle compared to traditional workouts. And putting your body well and truly through its paces (no one ever said HIIT was easy) means refuelling well is crucial.

Anna and Alex suggest an onion and pepper omelette plus some fruit, and their top tip is to include pineapple.

“Aside from their protein content, eggs are high in leucine, which triggers muscle protein synthesis,” they explain. “The vitamin C in the capsicums [peppers] is essential for maintaining the healthy cartilage you need to cushion your bones. Research suggests bromelain (an enzyme in pineapple) may help reduce exercise-induced inflammation.”

(Photo: Neville Williams)

What to eat after… stretching and toning-based exercise

What you decide to eat after classes like yoga, Pilates or barre depends on what your fitness goal is: whether you want to lose weight, boost your core strength, or increase your overall muscle mass.

“If your goal is weight loss, then a nutrient rich meal within 60 minutes of your workout is essential, as the meal will be more efficiently digested,” say Anna and Alex. “If your goal is to improve strength, then protein is key.”

They suggest two hard-boiled eggs with multigrain toast, or something like a slice of roast vegetable and feta frittata would be ideal.

To help repair tired muscles and replenish energy stores after yoga, Anna and Alex say: “Your body needs a hit of protein, some low-GI carbohydrates and fruits or vegetables.” Try a small tub of Greek yogurt with a couple of spoonfuls of muesli containing nuts and fruit, or a small can of tuna, four-bean mix and some chopped veggies.

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