Three must-own cancer stocks for your biotechnology portfolio

June should be national cancer month.

Each year around this time, oncology groups and Wall Street brokerages hold a rash of conferences where researchers reveal the latest, greatest potential cancer cures.

This year has been no exception. Above all, we learned about remarkable advances in two exciting cancer therapies — and three great companies that will benefit.

Here’s more detail. (I’ve kept the technical language to a minimum.)

Cancer weapon

Tumors are smart. They know how to trick the immune system into missing them. But scientists are wising up to their tricks. In one evasive strategy, tumors release an enzyme that renders them invisible. If you block the enzyme, your immune system can find tumors and destroy them — with the help from cancer drugs. This is the key to an early-stage cancer weapon you should invest in, known as “IDO inhibitors.”

IDO stands for “Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase,” an enzyme released by tumors to blind the body’s immune system. “IDO is a strange drug target, because IDO inhibition by itself has no noticeable anti-cancer effect,” says Tanguy Seiwert, a cancer-therapy researcher and medical doctor who teaches at the University of Chicago. Suppressing IDO, however, makes tumors vulnerable.

The best “pure play” in IDO inhibitors is a company whose shares I own, and have suggested since December 2011 in my stock newsletter, Brush Up on Stocks. We’re up 750% in this company since 2011 ($14 to $120). But I think this stock is still a “hold” because there are bigger gains ahead.

Incyte Corp. INCY, +3.58% just released excellent data on its IDO inhibitor, called epacadostat, at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) conference. In combination with cancer therapies from Merck & Co. MRK, +1.13%  and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. BMY, +1.40% it showed excellent results against several kinds of cancer.

“It looks really good. I think this was a coming-out party for IDO inhibitors,” says Seiwert. Besides effectiveness, one of the main positives is that epacadostat is safe. This means it can be readily used to assist many other cancer drugs. “You can add it to a ton of things because the cost is low, in terms of toxicity.”

Incyte is an ideal biotech company for investors because it is self-funding. It has a very profitable drug called Jakafi, for a rare blood disorder, which supports research on new drugs like the IDO inhibitor. So investors dodge dilutive financings.

Fake news

So why hasn’t Incyte’s stock shot up? Investors have three main worries. But they look like false fears.

One bit of “fake news” circulating is that Incyte showed success, in part, only because it omitted patients from some results, which drove up the percentage of success stories. But this is a dubious critique for two reasons. Even if you included the three patients left out, it would only lower the success rate by a few percentage points, notes J.P. Morgan analyst Cory Kasimov. Second, Incyte offered several separate data sets showing success in many types of cancer, but the omission only affected one subgroup, says Seiwert. “I think this was way overblown.”

The next fear: Competitor NewLink Genetics Corp. NLNK, +3.27%   recently announced Roche AG RHHBY, +0.21%  handed back development rights to its IDO, following lousy results in a Roche study. Some investors take this as a sign that IDO is malarkey. But William Blair analyst Katherine Xu thinks this is bullish for Incyte, since it signals a competitor may be gone. NewLink’s IDO may have fared poorly because it works differently than Incyte’s IDO, or because Roche used an extremely sick patient population. Neither scenario reflects poorly on Incyte.

The third knock on Incyte is the one to watch. While Seiwert is impressed with Incyte’s IDO results, he points out the Phase II results are early-stage, and longer-term studies are needed to learn more about patient survival. Those studies are in the works. Incyte has nine Phase III studies planned with Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb, says Xu. The outcomes here are key, since about $50 worth of the current $120 Incyte stock price is linked to IDO.

Turbo for the immune system

In another key advance in cancer therapy in the past two years, doctors have learned how to extract a patient’s blood and genetically tweak white blood cells so they override evasive tactics used by tumors.

Then the cells are reproduced in a lab to expand the supply, and put back in the patient’s body so they can move in for the kill. Hopefully, the cells then continue to proliferate and thrive and stay on hand to fight any more cancer that comes along.

Known as chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy (CAR-T), this approach has produced remarkable results against blood cancers in patients who otherwise had almost no hope of survival. CAR-T works by unblocking cancer cell receptors normally sought out by the immune system.

“This is one of the most exciting therapies in immunotherapy,” said Jae Park, a Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center cancer researcher and medical doctor, at the Jefferies 2017 Global Healthcare Conference in early June.

Probably the best pure play here is Kite Pharma Inc. KITE, +1.64% At the Jefferies conference, Kite CEO Arie Belldegrun showed images of a patient’s body riddled with tumors, which disappeared about a month after treatment began. The patient showed no sign of the disease a year later.

Kite has a product coming on the market by the end of this year, and probably many more on the way, says Brad Loncar, the cancer research expert behind the Loncar Cancer Immunotherapy CNCR, +2.93%  exchange traded fund. This is pretty good progress for a therapy that was considered “science fiction” two years ago.

I suggested Kite in my stock letter at around $71 on May 17, and I think it’s still a “hold” even though it has already risen to $87, because this promises to be a blockbuster therapy. At the time, insiders were big buyers as the stock sold off on news of the death of a patient in one of its studies.

That unfortunate death highlights one of the key risks here. CAR-T patients have died because the therapy can cause brain swelling. Doctors are getting better at staving off adverse side effects, says Park. But they still don’t fully understand what causes them, which should raise a yellow flag for investors.

‘Impressive’ bluebird

Kite also faces competition from other companies developing CAR-T, including power players like Novartis AG NVS, +0.75% Pfizer Inc. PFE, +0.76% Johnson & Johnson JNJ, -0.21%  and GlaxoSmithKline PLC GSK, -0.09% as well as Juno Therapeutics Inc. JUNO, +3.91% Cellectis SA CLLS, +0.00% Adaptimmune Therapeutics PLC ADAP, -0.44% and two privately held companies called Poseida Therapeutics and Nanjing Legend Biotech.

Any of these efforts may pan out nicely, but my pick as a third CAR-T play is bluebird bio BLUE, +3.59% which is partnering with Celgene Corp. CELG, +2.29% Bluebird just announced really impressive results for its CAR-T candidate called bb2121. In early studies, just released at ASCO, this therapy produced an overall response rate of 90% to 100% among “hospice-type” patients whose cancer was so bad that seven different attempts to cure them, on average, had failed.

“To generate efficacy data on this level with an overall very tolerable safety profile is highly impressive,” says Kasimov, at J.P. Morgan. “With more key updates to come in 2017, we would continue to add to positions in bluebird bio.”

At the time of publication, Michael Brush held INCY. Brush has suggested INCY and KITE in his stock newsletter Brush Up on Stocks. Brush is a Manhattan-based financial writer who has covered business for the New York Times and The Economist group, and he attended Columbia Business School in the Knight-Bagehot program.


Valentine’s Day gifts for your fitness fanatic partner

Valentine Day gift ideas for a fitness freak partner

1/8Valentine Day gift ideas for a fitness freak partner

Valentine’s day doesn’t have to be all about chocolates, flowers and jewellery. Here are ways you can please your partner who is into fitness and wellness…

​Activity tracker (FitBit, Jawbone, Samsung etc)

2/8​Activity tracker (FitBit, Jawbone, Samsung etc)

If your partner is a fitness freak, nothing can be a better gift than an activity tracker. Activity tracker will help your partner to keep a track of his fitness activities throughout the day and even night.

​Gym bag, skipping rope, workout bottles

3/8​Gym bag, skipping rope, workout bottles

Be it a new yoga pant, flashy new gym bag or an interesting workout bottle, new things make you feel motivated and enthusiastic about your workout. You can gift these individually or make a small gym bag hamper!

​A green tea mug with an inspiration quote

4/8​A green tea mug with an inspiration quote

All fitness freaks incorporate this habit of having green tea and black coffee in their regular routine. So how about if you give your partner a new mug so that they have a new reason to have it.

​BMI machines

5/8​BMI machines

While losing weight, one is advised to weigh themselves everyday in the morning. And along with your weight, your BMI also matters. So it’s best to gift your partner a BMI machine of his/her own.

​Gift Sugarbox, fitness edition

6/8​Gift Sugarbox, fitness edition

This fitness edition is curated by fitness expert Namrata Purohit, who feels fitness today is more than just a person’s external image – it’s about being fit internally. For me fitness has always been about having fun and Sugarbox seemed like a great medium for me to convey this message to the audience.

​A brand new yoga mat

7/8​A brand new yoga mat

After gymming, yoga has become the new fitness trend. And if your partner is a yoga freak, gifting a yoga mat would surely make him/her happy. You can go for customized yoga mats as well!

​Assortment of soothing teas

8/8​Assortment of soothing teas

A combination of healthy teas will help your partner to take a break from their boring routine of having the same tea every day. After all variations and changes are loved by everyone.

(Picture Courtesy: Shutterstock/Thinkstock/Pixabay)


Plex’s new Amazon Echo support lets you control your home theater with your voice


Plex is getting into the home automation game. The popular media management software just announced it now has an Alexa skill, as well as smart home features that turns off the lights or post a message in Slack based on an action you take with Plex.

The new Alexa skill is available now in the US and UK Alexa stores. Once you’ve activated the Plex skill, you can ask your Alexa to play content from your local media library on demand, such as a movie or a television episode from a specific season. Not sure what you’re in the mood for? You can also ask Alexa and Plex (Plexa?) to suggest music or something to watch.

Plex doesn’t specifically say this, but it appears the Alexa skill is open to all users, not just Plex Pass subscribers.

Get smart

That said, the company is also adding an interesting new feature for Plex Pass users called Webhooks. Basically, what this means is that when you take an action with Plex, a secondary action can be carried out by a computer.

If you start a movie in Plex, for example, you could use Plex’s Webhooks feature to automatically dim the living room lights. Right now, Plex is hoping to get developers to start adding Webhooks that integrate with Plex.

The impact on you at home: There are three examples on Github that you can try out right now, including desktop notifications for music playback, automated Slack posts when you rate something in Plex, and a smart light integration with the Wink Hub.

These integrations are useful, but they’ll require some knowledge of JavaScript meaning it’s probably out of the grasp of most users, and that may not change. Plex’s technical documentation for Webhooks says they are a “fairly advanced feature and won’t commonly be used by an ‘average’ user.” Plex Pass Pro customers may be able to get an installer to come to their home and set Webhooks up, however.

This story, “Plex’s new Amazon Echo support lets you control your home theater with your voice” was originally published by TechHive.

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Google Maps now shows how hard it will be to park at your destination

google maps parking

Update 1/27/17: The feature is now available in the full version of the app. This article has been updated to reflect this news.

If you’ve ever taken longer to find a parking spot than you did driving somewhere, Google Maps might be able to help—or at least prepare you for a headache. Thanks to a new feature in the latest version of the app, you’ll now be able to tell how hard it will be to park once you arrive at your destination.

The new feature is easy to miss. The next time you pull up driving directions, you’ll see a small circular P icon to the right of your route overview, next to which will show three levels of parking difficulty: Easy, Medium, and Limited. (To make it easier to see at a glance, easy and medium are colored blue while limited is red.) While the feature doesn’t update to show the actual parking situation when you arrive (at least not yet), you can get a slightly longer description when you expand your directions.

The update is currently rolling out in the Google Play store, but if you’re not seeing it, you can sideload the Google-signed APK from APKMirror. Keep in mind that the feature is only available in 25 cities across the U.S: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, and the Washington D.C. area.

Why this matters: Parking can be a major headache when driving somewhere new, so we’ll take any information we can get. And with the new Uber integration built right into the app, a red circle could mean the difference between driving or being driven somewhere.


Netflix now lets you save downloads to your Android phone’s SD card

netflix offline

Netflix shocked the world last year when it finally allowed many of its popular shows and movies to be downloaded for offline viewing, with nary any restrictions on how much you could save. Now it’s making the feature a little sweeter for Android users who are running out of space on their phones.

One of the advantages Android phones have over iPhones is the availability of SD card expansion. On many handsets you can pop out the SIM card tray and add in a tiny storage card, so you won’t regret not getting a 64GB phone instead of a 32GB one. The expansion slot is great for storing photos and files that would otherwise fill up your phone’s internal storage, and now you can use it store Netflix movies and TV shows, too.

netflix download locationGreenbot
A new option in App Settings lets you specify where you want downloads to go.

The latest version of the app adds a new option in App Settings for Download Location. Tap it and you’ll be able to select whether you want to save your show to your phone’s internal storage or the SD card, potentially opening up hundreds of gigabytes of space for desert island binge watching. You can even save shows to multiple cards.

Otherwise, the feature works as it did before. If a program is available for offline viewing, you’ll see a download arrow icon on the preview page, either next to an episode or in the movie description. Tap it and it will instantly begin downloading, and you can view your entire library inside the My Downloads tab.

However, you won’t be able to create a permanent library of your favorite shows. Once you download something, you have a limited time in which you can watch it, and it varies depending on the show. Some have 48-hour windows, and others are a week or longer. If a show has expired, you can quickly download it again by renewing it from the My Downloads tab inside the app, though you’ll need to be connected to the internet for it to work. And Netflix warns that some titles may only be renewed a certain number of times.

Why this matters: Offline Netflix viewing has forever changed our viewing habits, but clogging our phones with episodes of Stranger Things has become a headache. Saving shows and movies to an SD card may seem like a small feature, but it could make a big difference for Netflix bingers who are short on space.

This story, “Netflix now lets you save downloads to your Android phone’s SD card” was originally published by Greenbot.

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30 tasty tips for Android Nougat: Get more out of your Android phone

android nougat tips

Mmm…Nougat. What better way to start a new year than with a fresh flavor for your favorite Android phone?

Google’s latest major Android release may have officially launched last fall, but if you’re like most folks, you’ll probably be getting your first taste of Nougat—also known as Android 7—in 2017. If you want timely Android updates, Google’s own Nexus and Pixel phones are the only way to go—all other devices depend on third-party manufacturers to prepare and provide rollouts. And as we see time and time again, that tends to result in slow and uncertain progress.

Once you’ve got the software, though, there’s plenty to be learned about Google’s most recent mobile efforts. Here are some practical tips to help you get the most out of Android’s newest features—both the marquee additions and the less obvious little touches.

(Note that these tips are written specifically as they apply to Google’s core Android 7.0 and 7.1 software. Many device manufacturers modify the operating system to put their own spin on the features and interface, which could result in some elements looking different or even being absent altogether on certain devices.)

Nougat 101

1. Nougat makes it easier than ever to move between apps: Just double-tap your device’s Overview key (the typically square-shaped icon next to Home) to snap between your two most recently used processes. Think of it like Alt-Tab for Android.

2. Speaking of the Overview key, it gains a new function in Nougat: The native-to-Android ability to split your screen in half and view two apps on-screen at the same time. While you have an app actively open, press and hold the Overview key—or alternatively, tap it once to view your most recently used apps, and then press and hold any app and drag it to the top of the screen to initiate the split-screen view. When you’re ready to go back to a regular single-app view, press and hold the Overview key to exit.

3. Want to copy text from one app to another while using Nougat’s split-screen mode? Select the text you want, then press and hold your finger on the screen for a second and drag it to the other window. As long as the apps you’re using allow it, the text will automatically paste over.

4. Little-known fact: You can use Nougat’s split-screen mode to view two different Chrome tabs side by side. Open a new tab in Chrome, press and hold the Overview key and then tap Chrome’s three-dot menu icon (in the upper-right corner of the screen). Look for the option labeled “Move to other window.”

04 android nougat split screen chrome

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You can use Nougat’s split-screen mode to view two different Chrome tabs side by side.

5. One more Overview-related tip: You probably already know you can remove any recently used app from the list by swiping it to the left or right. As of Nougat, Android also has a native command for clearing all of the apps away at once (something many third-party manufacturers have implemented in their versions of Android for some time now). Scroll all the way up to the top of the Overview list to find it.

6. If your device has Android 7.1, try pressing and holding an icon on your home screen. That’ll cause compatible apps to pop up shortcuts to commonly used functions—like calling a favorite contact in the Phone app or opening a new tab in Chrome. (If you have Android 7.1 and aren’t having any luck, try installing and using the Google Now Launcher.)

7. Need to jump between sections in your system settings? Nougat has a new quick-navigation menu for that very purpose. Swipe inward from the left of the screen or look for the three-line “hamburger” icon in the upper-left corner to find it.

07 android nougat settings navigation

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Nougat has a new quick-navigation menu.

8. If you ever find yourself in the Apps section of your system settings, take note: As of Nougat, you can quickly scroll through the list of installed apps by moving your finger downward on the very rightmost edge of the screen. That’ll cause a letter-driven fast-scroll interface to appear.

Quick Settings

9. The Quick Settings panel on Nougat has some subtle but significant new features. First: When you swipe down once from the top of your screen, you’ll now see a series of quick-access icons for things like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and airplane mode. Tapping any of the icons in that area will toggle the associated function on or off.

10. When you swipe down twice from the top of the screen—or swipe down once with two fingers—you’ll see an expanded list of larger tiles. Tapping an icon in that area will open more detailed controls for the associated function (if such controls are available).

11. In either section of the Quick Settings panel, you can long-press any icon to go directly to the associated area of your full system settings.

12. Nougat’s Quick Settings tiles are fully customizable. Swipe down from the top of your screen twice, then tap the edit command—which may be either the word “Edit” in the lower-right corner or a pencil icon in the upper-right corner—to rearrange the icons and add or remove functions from the list.

12 android nougat quick settings edit


Nougat’s Quick Settings tiles are fully customizable.

13. When editing your Quick Settings, pay careful attention to which icons you place in the first six positions. The icons in those spots will appear as the quick-access toggles in the smaller (single-swipe-down) view.

14. If your phone is managed by a workplace, look for a tile in your Quick Settings called “Work Mode.” Tapping it will switch between a work profile—with work-related apps and settings—and a personal profile that has your own personal apps and none of the company stuff.

15. You can add even more tiles into your Quick Settings by way of third-party apps. Weather Quick Settings Tile, for example, will put the latest local conditions into your panel, while Ringer Modes will give you a simple one-touch toggle for changing your phone’s sound profile. (Want even more options? I assembled a detailed list of Android’s best Quick Settings add-ons.)

16. Android 7.1 supports a new native night mode, but it’s available only on select devices with compatible hardware. If your device has it, you’ll see a tile called Night Light in your Quick Settings area. Tapping that tile will tint your screen to make it easier on the eyes in dim lighting.

17. Save yourself a tap and tell your device to activate Night Light on its own when needed. Just navigate to the Display section of your system settings and tap the item labeled “Night Light,” then tap “Turn on automatically” and select either “Sunset to sunrise” or “Custom schedule.” (As you’d expect, this setting will show up only on devices where Night Light is supported.)


18. Notifications in Nougat are bundled by app—so if you have, say, three new email alerts from Gmail, they’ll all appear within a single card in your notification panel. You can tap any such card to fan it out into individual mini-cards with more detailed info, and you can tap on any of those mini-cards to expand it and gain access to action-performing buttons (like commands for archiving or replying right then and there).

19 android nougat notifications

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Notifications in Nougat are now bundled by app.

19. Feel like an app is pinging your phone a little too frequently? Press and hold one of its notifications (or slide the notification slightly to either side and tap the gear icon that appears). That’ll give you controls for silencing all future notifications from the app or even blocking them entirely.

20. Android’s Do Not Disturb mode scores a handy new trick in Nougat: The ability to keep your phone quiet at night and then automatically turn your sound back to normal when your alarm goes off in the morning. To set it up, go into the Sound section of your system settings and tap “Do not disturb” followed by “Automatic rules.” Use the on-screen command to add a new rule, then select “Time rule” and name it whatever you’d like. Set up the days and times for whenever you want your phone to stay silent, then be sure to set the “Do not disturb” setting to either “Alarms only” or “Priority only” and activate the “Alarm can override end time” option.

Advanced options

21. Stop squinting! For the farsighted folks among us, Nougat introduces a long overdue option to increase the size of everything on your screen. Look for the “Display size” line in the Display section of your system settings.

21 android nougat display size


Researchers propose a way to use your heartbeat as a password

Electrocardiograph readings could be used as passwords in the future.

Researchers at Binghamton State University in New York think your heart could be the key to your personal data. By measuring the electrical activity of the heart, researchers say they can encrypt patients’ health records.

The fundamental idea is this: In the future, all patients will be outfitted with a wearable device, which will continuously collect physiological data and transmit it to the patients’ doctors. Because electrocardiogram (ECG) signals are already collected for clinical diagnosis, the system would simply reuse the data during transmission, thus reducing the cost and computational power needed to create an encryption key from scratch.

“There have been so many mature encryption techniques available, but the problem is that those encryption techniques rely on some complicated arithmetic calculations and random key generations,” said Zhanpeng Jin, a co-author of the paper “A Robust and Reusable ECG-based Authentication and Data Encryption Scheme for eHealth Systems.”

Those encryption techniques can’t be “directly applied on the energy-hungry mobile and wearable devices,” Jin added. “If you apply those kinds of encryptions on top of the mobile device, then you can burn the battery very quickly.”

But there are drawbacks. According to Jin, one of the reasons ECG encryption has not been widely adopted is because it’s generally more sensitive and vulnerable to variations than some other biometric measures. For instance, your electrical activity could change depending on factors such as physical exertion and mental state. Other more permanent factors such as age and health can also have an effect.

“ECG itself cannot be used for a biometric authentication purpose alone, but it’s a very effective way as a secondary authentication,” Jin said.

While the technology for ECG encryption is already here, its adoption will depend on patients’ willingness to don wearables and on their comfort with constantly sharing their biometrics.


This battery case will give your LG V20 more than 5 days life

The LG V20 has a 3,200 mAh battery that can easily get you through the day without any trouble. But if you are more extreme and power user probably even this wouldn’t be enough. And instead of buying a secondary battery, why don’t you actually consider the ZeroLemon option.

The case company released on Amazon their case at just $60. It comes with a 10,000mAh battery that goes in the same slot where the usual one goes. The removable back metal panel of V20 is substituted by the rubber bumper case that goes around the whole device plus, of course, the enormous battery.

There’s a cutout on the back for the fingerprint sensor/power button and the dual-camera module.

It looks bulky but doesn’t act like it. The whole package weights 230g but when you combine it with the V20 (without the original battery and back panel) it goes to just 330g.

Now this is a setup that can literally go a long way.


Good news! That cuppa coffee is key to your long life

ANI | Jan 17, 2017, 12.30 PM IST


Good news! That cuppa coffee is key to your long life (Courtesy: Thinkstock)Good news! That cuppa coffee is key to your long life (Courtesy: Thinkstock)

The finding that coffee drinkers tend to live longer than people who abstain has long puzzled scientists. US scientists believe they’ve found the answer – and it’s to do with caffeine. It helps to block chemicals in the blood that promote inflammation, they say. The study was published in Nature Medicine.

Drinking coffee and tea may help people to live longer by reducing chemicals in the blood that can trigger heart disease, researchers have found. Now researchers at Stanford University believe they may have hit on a reason why having a coffee or tea break is so good for us.

Caffeine, the ingredient that gives coffee, tea and some fizzy drinks a lift, blocks chemicals in our blood that promote inflammation. Inflamed blood vessels are more likely to become stiffer – a risk factor for heart disease. Inflammation also plays a key role in many other diseases, the research study said.

Tests on the blood of people fewer of the chemicals linked to inflammation – were found to have more caffeine in their bloodstream. Further investigation revealed that they, as might be expected, drank more coffee than their peers.

A chemical found in chocolate, theobromine, was also found to have an anti-inflammatory effect, although not as pronounced as caffeine.

David Furman of the Stanford University’s Institute for Immunity, Transplantaion and Infection said: ‘More than 90 per cent of all noncommunicable diseases of aging are associated with chronic inflammation.’ Dr Furmann added: ‘It’s also well known that caffeine intake is associated with longevity. Many studies have shown this association. We’ve found a possible reason for why this may be so.’

His colleague Mark Davis added: ‘Our findings show that an underlying inflammatory process, which is associated with aging, is not only driving cardiovascular disease but is, in turn, driven by molecular events that we may be able to target and combat.’

The authors found that in an ongoing study following participants aged 20-30, and another group of people aged 60, those who ‘tended to drink more caffeinated beverages’ had lower levels of inflammatory compounds in their blood.

Further tests in the laboratory in human cell cultures found that caffeine had an active role in combating the chemicals that trigger inflammation. The key chemical combated by caffeine is called Interleukin-1-beta.

When injected into mice, IL-1-Beta led to ‘massive systemic inflammation, along with high blood pressure’. It also led to immune cells – white blood cells that fight infection and – clogging the animals kidneys. It also found more platelets platelets, which make blood more likely to clot.

Dr Davis said: ‘That something many people drink – and actually like to drink – might have a direct benefit came as a surprise to us’.

‘What we’ve shown is a correlation between caffeine consumption and longevity. And we’ve shown more rigorously, in laboratory tests, a very plausible mechanism for why this might be so.’

Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.


Don’t succumb to temptation, stick to your diet resolutions

Debarati S Sen| TNN | Jan 12, 2017, 01.00 AM IST

Stick to your diet resolution (Thinkstock)Stick to your diet resolution (Thinkstock)
We are well into the second week of the New Year and the topic of ‘are you sticking to your resolutions’ might still be a little early. However, as the year rolls out, this does become a major issue and all goals and aims made in January are forgotten, or slowly fade into the background as priorities change. The trick here is to keep in mind that taking small yet steady steps towards your goal diligently, will definitely help. Dieticians and nutritionists share tips on how to stick to stick to your resolutions in 2017…

Write down your diet goals
This is pretty basic, and unless you actually practice this, you will not realise the power of putting your pen to the paper. Nutritionists say that when you write down your diet goals you actually realise what you are eating though the day. Dietician and sports nutritionist Deepshikha Agarwal says, “These are eye-openers. When you sit down at the end of the day to actually write down all that you ate — you will invariably realise your mistakes and that will help you to stick to your prescribed diet.” According to a study, maintaining a food journal on a daily basis can help you lose excess weight and also maintain it. The study found that participants, who were consistent with their food diary, were able to lose double the weight than those that did not.

Reminders on phone
With busy schedules we might just lose track of our diet. And since we are on our phones most of the time, mobile reminders really work for us. Deepshikha says, “Set a reminder saying ‘have green tea at 4pm’, ‘have a fruit at 11 am’ — these really help you to stick to your diet goal.”

Think through sub-strategies
A resolution to lose weight is not just about eating less. It also encompasses shopping for the right foods, cooking them the correct way, beginning and sticking to an exercise regimen and to avoid binge eating at parties and get-togethers. Dwell on these little sub-strategies first and then you can tackle your main issue much better.

Stock healthy snacks
This is essential, state nutrition experts. Clinical nutritionist Dr Nupur Krishnan says, “Don’t buy unhealthy food items. Stock snacking options like wheat puffs, makhana, roasted jowar, bajra, bhuna chana (iron rich) mumra, black til, chikki (elevates period pain) and a variety nuts and fruits. Use these to deal with mid-meal hunger pangs and to stick to your actual diet resolution.”

Control your mood swings
“Your mood affects your ability to stick to your diet resolution. Stress, negative thoughts, depression will hinder your progress, so listen to good music, get a body massage twice or thrice a week. The endorphins released and the lowering of cortisol levels will help you stay charged up and stick to your resolutions,” says Nupur.

Find yourself a resolution buddy
Choose a friend who you will be accountable to regarding your diet goal. This should be someone who can talk you into sticking to your goal, if and when you stray. Studies have found that people who wrote their goals and then reported their weekly progress and updates to their resolution buddy, were successful in reaching their goal around 70 per cent of the time.

Do not rush into it
If you have a diet goal that says you need to up your intake of fruits, you can begin by having one fruit every morning and then, after a few days add more fruits to your mid-meal snacks. Experts say this will ensure that you slowly become accustomed to your new diet regime and so, are likelier to follow your goal.

Break down your goals
In order to make your diet resolutions actionable, you need to set goals that are broken down to short-term, smaller steps. Choose a long-term goal, then pick one that is achievable in the next three months, and then break that into smaller goals that would take just a week to achieve. Finally, break that down into little steps that you could accomplish every day!

Reassess goals regularly

Once a month examining what all you have done to achieve your goals, always helps. Set alerts and them follow up.

Treat yourself

Last but not the least, this is a tip that can help you stick to your resolution, longer. Deepskhikha says, “When you follow your prescribed diet diligently for a week, then, on a Sunday, treat yourself to a special lunch. This rewarding can egg you on to stick to your routine through the week.”