UK researchers have found that elderly people who get plenty of exercise seem to be staving off the expected decline of their immune systems… by about 60 years. Data yielded from 125 long-distance cyclists, many of whom were in their 80s, showed that they had the high-functioning, infection-thwarting immune systems of 20 year olds. Feel free to hop on the stationary bike that’s been collecting dust in your basement as you read the rest of this.
Professor Janet Lord, study co-author and director of the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing at the University of Birmingham, explains that “the immune system declines by about 2-3% a year from our 20s, which is why older people are more susceptible to infections, conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and, potentially, cancer.” But her data shows that the steadily weakening immune response that would normally leave us increasingly vulnerable as we age is far from a fate we must all simply accept. So long as exercise is a priority. “Because the cyclists have the immune system of a 20-year-old rather than a 70 or 80-year-old, it means they have added protection against all these issues,” says Lord.
The health boon for the ageing endurance cyclists studied, explain researchers, hinges on the production of a lymphocyte (or white blood cell) known as a T cell. Side note: endurance cycling events typically range from 100 km to 300 km rides. For context, 100 klicks on a bike will likely take you about 3 hours — so do ease in slowly if you’re inspired but it’s been a long winter of sofa comas.
Sugar substitutes make people feel they can indulge in a sweet treat or a soft drink without the calories. But research suggests that consuming low-calorie sweeteners at the same time as carbohydrates prevents the body from using blood sugar effectively, increasing the risk of health problems.
Dana Small at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and her colleagues asked 60 healthy people to consume 7 beverages of a single type over 2 weeks. The beverages contained either sugar, the low-calorie sweetener sucralose, a non-sweetening carbohydrate or both sucralose and the carbohydrate.
According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 34 million Americans have diabetes. That’s equal to 10% of the population in the USA. To date the most common treatment has been to manage the disease with diet and insulin shots, when requred.
Further research is required, however this new research could lead to a cure in humans.
Researchers at the Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri were able to cure diabetes in mice by infusing them with stem cells.
Diabetes affects the ability of the body of producing and managing insulin, which is normally produced by the pancreas. When this happens, body insulin levels need to be monitored regularly and expensive insulin shots need to be administered if blood sugar levels shoot up. According to the researchers, the findings provide a much reliable alternative— using beta cells to generate insulin for diabetics.
The treatment works using pluripotent stem cells. These cells can actually shape-shift into becoming any kind of cells in the body. However, the process is not perfect. The cells can also morph into other types of cells. The cells are harmless but do affect the ratio of the insulin-producing cells, affecting the efficacy of the treatment.
The JP Morgan report on the economic risks of human-caused global heating said climate policy had to change or else the world faced irreversible consequences.
The study implicitly condemns the US bank’s own investment strategy and highlights growing concerns among major Wall Street institutions about the financial and reputational risks of continued funding of carbon-intensive industries, such as oil and gas.
JP Morgan has provided $75bn (£61bn) in financial services to the companies most aggressively expanding in sectors such as fracking and Arctic oil and gas exploration since the Paris agreement, according to analysis compiled for the Guardian last year.
The experience of hiking is unique, research suggests, conveying benefits beyond what you receive from typical exercise. Not only does it oxygenate your heart, it helps keep your mind sharper, your body calmer, your creativity more alive, and your relationships happier. And, if you’re like me and happen to live in a place where nearby woods allow for hiking among trees, all the better: Evidence suggests that being around trees may provide extra benefits, perhaps because of certain organic compounds that trees exude that boost our mood and our overall psychological well-being.
Hiking in nature is so powerful for our health and well-being that some doctors have begun prescribing it as an adjunct to other treatments for disease. As one group of researchers puts it, “The synergistic effect of physical activity and time spent in nature make hiking an ideal activity to increase overall health and wellness.”
The study, published Tuesday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, used the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Cohort Study to determine the levels of cleaning product exposure for 2,022 Canadian infants in the first three months of their lives..
The researchers then assessed the children at the age of three to determine if they had developed asthma, wheeze or allergies. The researchers found an association between early exposure to cleaning products and a risk of asthma and wheeze, though there appears to be no such connection to allergies.
How well we sleep impacts how we think and feel, as well as our alertness, memory, and concentration. “Sleep quality and quantity are directly related to the health of the brain,” says Beth A. Malow, MD, MS, FAAN, professor of neurology and director of the sleep disorders division at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. Several studies have demonstrated an association between sleep disturbances such as insomnia, fragmented sleep, sleep apnea, and even excessive napping and an increased risk of cognitive decline over time, says Brendan P. Lucey, MD, assistant professor of neurology and director of the sleep medicine section at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
In 2009, a series of studies on mice conducted at Washington University were among the first to suggest that chronically sleep-deprived subjects develop higher levels of harmful amyloid beta and tau proteins—considered, along with neurofibrillary tangles, to be hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. “Think of tau and amyloid as the waste produced by typical nerve function,” says Charlene Gamaldo, MD, FAAN, associate professor of neurology and medical director of the Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center. “Normally, the brain clears these metabolic waste products away.”
And it may clear away these proteins during sleep, according to a landmark 2013 rodent study in Science by researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center, who showed that during deep sleep, when neural activity quiets down, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) bathes the brain, washing away excess amyloid beta and tau proteins. A more recent study, published in the November 2019 issue of iScience, provided further insight into CSF’s function. MRI scans taken while subjects were sleeping showed that during deep sleep, blood flow in the brain diminished as pulsing waves of CSF flushed out excess amyloid beta and tau, presumably girding the brain against cognitive decline. So while it has been known that sleep has some value for survival, these reports seem to put sleep front and center in terms of protecting us from cognitive decline.
The World Health Organization has put together a quick video that helps dispel some of the myths about wearing masks to prevent contracting the new coronavirus.
It’s important to note the seasonal flu claims between 290,000 and 650,000 lives annually. Yet this garners little media attention and so the general public considers the seasonal flu only a mild infection. As I write this, less than 900 people have died as a result of contracting the Coronavirus.
Researchers at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, N.Y., followed 1,134 breast cancer patients. The six-year study was part of a Phase 3 clinical trial to determine the best dose and schedule for three chemotherapy drugs in high-risk, early-stage breast cancer.
As part of the research, participants filled in surveys about their use of supplements before and during chemotherapy, as well as their lifestyle, diet and exercise habits.
Among the 18 per cent who took vitamins like A, C or E, all of which are antioxidants, their risk of the cancer returning was 40 per cent higher than the participants who didn’t take supplements.
Every day I dive into the internet cesspool and go through a pile of news sources to extract the most fascinating stories. Curated by hand. No large media organizations. No bots. No unambiguous algorithms deciding what you get to read.
This site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for good judgement, common sense, medical advice, or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider.