Sports Hobbies For Middle Aged Women – Benefits

A study around post-menopausal women published in the journal Frontiers in Endocrinology reveals that physical activity that involves sports in leisure time helps in managing the blood lipid profile well, thus reducing cardiovascular conditions as blood lipid profile is a market of heart conditions.

As per Karvinen and his team, after menopause the risk of cardiovascular conditions increases significantly in women and lipid profile is a reliable marker to measure heart health. He and his colleagues investigated around 193 menopausal women participants of the age group 47-55 from Finland, registered for the Estrogenic Regulation of Muscle Apoptosis (ERMA) study. The study is co-authored by Dr Mathew Jergenson of Minnesota Medical School and University in Minneapolis. The reason behind conducting the study as per him was to explore if physical activity did have a role in cardiovascular risk factors.

He says “It is well known that physical activity has health benefits, yet it is less clear to what extent physical activity prevents negative changes in lipid profile while women are in their menopausal transition. The participants were monitored for physical activity levels in leisure time, generally and specifically also, using accelerometers and had to answer questions as well.

Leisure is the time that is not related to routine daily work be it housework or commuting and includes sport or recreation activities in free time.

The researchers found out that there was indeed a connection between more activities during leisure time and lowering of cholesterol levels particularly (LDL) as well as with high levels of cholesterol (HDL). Karvin reports that indeed the leisure time physical activities were related to healthy lipid profiles. But, that does not mean that the negative changes in lipid profile during menopause can be fully done away with due to leisure time sports activities.

The author also said that leisure time physical activities will underscore the adverse atherogenic changes in the cardiovascular risk factors in middle aged women who are healthy. Hence, sport related activities in leisure are good.

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Brain Function And Poor Oral Health – The Connection

Not one but two new studies have revealed that stress on a continuous basis can negatively impact oral health of elderly humans and also lead to a decline in the cognitive functioning in them. It has been always said that oral health is a good indicator of a humans overall health. But, not many of us know that a declining oral health could be an indication of other risky health conditions that can also affect the quality of life of a human being.

An article published in the Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology shows that there is a link between tooth loss as well as gum disease with stroke occurrence.

As per the conclusions of this article of 2010, gum disease is responsible for increase in the risk of heart attack by 20%. Well, there’s another team at the University of New Brunswick, NJ are focusing on a connection between oral health and cognitive decline.

Even a research team from Rutgers University carried out a two separate studies around perceived stress and cognitive decline and published the reports of two separate studies in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society.

Talking about other parts of the world like for example China, XinQi Dong, the director of Rutgers University’s Institute for Health, healthcare policy and aging research says that in china it was the ethnic and racial minorities who were typically vulnerable to consequences of poor oral health. The reason being that already there are barriers like socio economic status and language plus access to preventive dental care is less. Particularly, the old Chinese Americans are at a risk of oral health problems because of lack of regular dental checkup and dental insurance. These studies were carried out on Chinese elderly in Chicago of 60 years and above age. The study involved quizzing question around oral health and then asking them to complete five cognitive tests. The second study asked people if they had faced issues like dry mouth besides measuring their social strain levels, social support and perceived stress with the help of pre-defined scales.

The study involved 2700 Chinese Americans and results revealed that around half of them did had symptoms of tooth related issues. Also, there was not significant relationship between congnitive issues and gums but researchers believe that the participants may not have reported gum problems and ignored them as they do not cause major problems to health.

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Genetic Components Related To Left Handedness – A Study

A recent study by scientists reveals about regions of the Human DNA and their association with left handedness. These regions are connected to the brains language related features. An earlier study around handedness had revealed that genes were responsible for 25% of it but the type or name of the genes was unknown.

In India and across the world there were has been a lot of stigma and taboo around being left handed. But, today rarely anyone is of the belief or even discriminates between left and right handed people.

10% of the population in the world is known to be left handed and also includes many well-known individuals like Alert Einstein and Leonardo da Vinci amongst them.

The recent study was published in the journal ‘Brain’ and involved the participation of 40,000 people including 38000 left handed ones. After doing the genetic analysis, the researchers found that it was the DNA regions that linked to left handedness strongly.

As per the researchers the three regions are inside or are responsible for protein code of brain development and patterning. Proteins play a significant role in making microtubules which are scaffolding like building block and are responsible for guiding cell construction.

Microtubules are made up of long chained molecules making up the physical structure of the cells throughout the body also known as cytoskeleton and have the ability to respond to cell singals by quickly assembling and disassembling.

The scientists did study brain scan details of 9000 participants after analyzing their DNA samples. The findings indicate that in left handed people right and left side for brain that deals with language coordinate in a better way compared to right handed ones. These findings thus pave the path for getting deeper into finding if left handed people are better in tasks that involve verbal communication compared to the right handed ones.

Well, as per Gwenaelle Dououad, associate professor at the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging that it was apparently for the first time that they had been able to establish that in humans the handedness is linked to cytoskeletal differences in the brain.

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Diverticulitis – Know More About The Stomach Condition

A common condition of stomach that, many people are unaware of diverticulitis. It affects the large intestine or colon and occurs when the mucosa or muscous membrane forms small pouches bulging inside the gastrointestinal tract pushes out via a weak muscle area in the larger intestine. Though over 80% of the people suffering from divurticulitis do not show any symptoms of it, some of them do feel severe pain and need surgery.

Causes – Though the primary cause of this condition is unknown, some of the risk factors include obesity, smoking, red meat, high saturated fat and low fibre diet.

Symptoms – Though symptoms vary depending upon the severity of the condition, people experience symptoms like fever, bloating, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, constipation, Vitamin D deficiency and genetics to name a few.

Diagnosis – The diagnosis depends on physical examination and a few tests including urine and stool test, colonoscopy, MRI, CT scan or X ray of the GI tract, to name a few.

Complications: Generally this condition does not have complication in over 75% of the cases but in 25% of the cases there are chances of developing complications. The complications of divertulitis include –

Abscess – It is the formation of pus inside the diverticula

Scarring – This condition causes intestinal blockage

Perforation inside Intestine – This causes holes in the intestine and is a severe condition that leads to leakage into the abdominal cavity

Fistula – In this condition, the infection spreads through other organs

Phlegmon – It’s the inflammation of the soft tissues under the skin

Prevention– Eating foods that are rich in fibre are advisable in order to prevent the condition. These include Vegetables like Spinach, Peas, high-fibre fruits, ground Psyllium Seed, low fibre animal protiens like eggs and fish etc. Avoid foods like popcorn, fried foods, saturated fats, popcorn and refined grains.

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A Blood Test That Predicts How Long You Would Live

Even today with all the advancement in science and technology, doctors are not able to predict how long a person would live, well in advance. Probably the can predict it with some accuracy within a year of his/her death but not as early as 5-10 years.

A recent study published in the journal Nature Communications the researchers are in the process of developing a reliable predictive tool that could pave the path towards predicting life span of a person as early as 5-10 years before time. As per the researchers this would help the doctors design the course of treatment and take important decisions related to them. Like for example doctors could be able to identify between patients in need of medicine or surgery and also help scientists in monitoring the impact of intervention on mortality risk that so without running clinical trials.

Presently, doctors are able to have a fair idea about the general life span of people through their cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Through this study the researching scientists from Leiden University Medical Center of Netherlands as well as Brunel University London researched around identification of biomarkers for managing the same.

The study included 44, 168 participants between the age group of 10 -109 years of which 5512 passed away. The study began by creating mortality metabolic marker followed by

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Omega 3 Fatty Acids And Health Benefits

Some of us are definitely aware of omega 3 fatty acids and their benefits. But, many of us are not aware that fatty acids are present not only in animals but plants also. The animal based fatty acids include doosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as well as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). While the animal based omega 3 fatty acids comes from fish oils, plant based come from plant sources. These sources contain alpha-lionelic acid (ALA), that can be converted into Omega-3 fatty acids of the body.

But, most of us are only aware about the health benefits of animal based fish oils with EPA and DHA. But, many of us again aren’t aware about the amount of omega 3, fatty acids that our body requires, even though there is no set standard for intake of the same.

Many experts believe and recommend omega 3 fatty acids for people suffering from cardiovascular conditions particularly higher doses for people having high cholesterol levels. Prescribed medications that are FDA approved are available for people with conditions rather than the supplements.

Omega 3 acids are recommended only for adults and children should not be given any supplements of omega 3 acids before consulting the doctor. Though natural sources of omega 3 fatty acids can be consumed by all irrespective of ages, only if you have no significant allergies around the same.

Natural Sources of omega 3 fatty acids include Cod liver, Soybeans and tofu, Walnuts, Salmon, trout, tuna and sardines, to name a few. The international organization AHA recommends adults for males and females except pregnant women to increase the intake of omega 3 fatty acids

Even avoiding the intake of omega 6 fatty acids that include eggs, meat as well as oil can help in increasing the levels of omega 3 fatty acids in blood. Balancing of omega 3 fatty acids to that of omega 6 can help you manage many health conditions in a better way and reduce the risk of certain conditions as well. As per reports people in USA consume 14-25 times more omega 6 fatty acids as compared to omega 3 fatty acids and this imbalance is not good for health, certainly.

Having said that, omega 3 fatty acids supplements should not be consumed without consulting your physician because they do have certain side effects particularly pregnant women with a diabetes risk should avoid them.

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Celiac Disease Detection Now Made Faster With Blood Test –AN Overview

As per All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Celiac disease is known to affect around 6 – 8 million people across India. Also known as gluten sensitive enteropathy or celiac sprue, Celiac disease is known to be an emerging health condition. Celiac disease is a disease where in there is sensitivity against gluten, a protein that is found in wheat, rye and barley. It does not mean allergy to gluten or intolerance to it at all. It is an auto immune disorder that occurs in 1 in 1000 genetically disposed people. This disorder is not very common in Southern India but is prevalent in North and North eastern parts of India.

Now coming to the detection of this condition. The present method used to diagnose it consumes weeks or months. As the time taken to detect the condition is prolonged, people with the condition have to bear with the side effects of it. With the blood test, this time could be reduced to just a few hours. Scientists who are working on the same have been able to pick some of the biomarkers forming the blood test basis. They have found that when people are exposed to gluten, there is an increase inflammatory molecules in the blood stream that can associate with the symptoms that are in common.

Known to affect 1 percent of the population across the western world, Celiac disease is a condition one has to live with. In India there is limited awareness about celiac disease and there is a dire need for awareness around the condition and its prevention as well.

As per Dr Robert P Anderson, who is the Chief Scientific Officer at ImmusanT, it was the first time that their team has been able to describe the inflammatory reaction that the patients experience when they are exposed to gluten. He also stated that the findings could also help differentiate people who have similar symptoms but do not suffer from the condition and ensure that proper treatment pertaining to their condition is given to them.

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Is Midlife Stress Responsible For Alzheimer’s In Women

Though, the reason behind Alzheimer’s affecting women more than men is not clear, a research does bring to light the effects of stress on cognitive functions of the mind.

Alzheimer’s is a common condition particularly in the elderly people and like the cause is unknown, there is no cure to for it. But, a research has shed light on the stress aspect and its effect on the mind’s cognitive functioning.

Past researches around the effect of stress on women have stated that there is a high impact on stress response of females and stress can result into memory and cognitive problems, though of temporary nature.

The objective of the recent research conducted at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine was to find out the relation between stress and long-time decline in cognitive functioning. Cynthia Munro, PH.D and associate professor of Psychiatry and behavioral sciences said that the stress hormones like cortisol increased when there someone was under normal stress and then the levels returned to the baseline. But if there was stress on a regular basis or if the sensitivity to stress was high, there is a increased and sustained responses in the hormones and the recovery is also delayed. It’s a fact that an increase in stress hormones for a consistent basis then it is not good for brain’s hippocampus – the seat of memory.

The study included the data of over 900 residents of Baltimore found that there was link that could play a significant role in stating why women over 65 have more chance of getting Alzheimer’s.

The findings of this study are already published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. The study began in the 1980’s and the participants had to take part in interviews as well as checkups over three times in a span of 1982 -2004. The first was in 1982, the second 1993-1996 and the last in 2003-2004. The participants were of around 47 years old on an average and over 63% were women.

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Changes In Diet That Help You Reduce The Risk Of Cancer

As per statistics cancer is the causes the second highest number of deaths in India every year. Out of the 9.6 mn, over 8% are from India. Well, that’s not a small number. One of the most common cancers in India today is breast cancer. We all know that with all the innovations and advances in Science, even today cancer does affect the life expectancy negatively and also quality of life. So, trying to prevent it seems a better idea.

A new study has revealed that the foods that are rich in flavonoids are helpful in decreasing the risk of cancer and extending longevity. The study was carried out over 50,000 participants across a span of 20 years. Finding out the impact of single compounds on health conditions as well as mortality is not an easy study, even though food does form the most important part of our lives.

Researchers have already brought to light that eating vegetables and fruits factually reduce the risk of cardiovascular conditions and increase life span too. Though, the details on how they do it is under research phase yet. Many researchers believe that it is rich in flavonoids play a vital role in the same.

Flavonoids are found in different natural food likes vegetables, dark chocolates, fruits and tea are form a chemical class known as polyphenols. These compounds are further divided into six sub classes namely Flavonols, flavanones, flavan-3-ols, anthocyanins, flavones and isoflavones.

A group of scientists from Edith Cowan University of Australia did begin a research in order to find out how the compounds could help increasing life span and help protect against health conditions. They also wanted to look into the effects of alcohol and smoking around the benefits of flavonoids. For investigation of the same, the scientists used the Danish Diet data of over 56048 adults across 23 years. During the process over 14083 participants passed away too. The researchers concluded that it was true that flavonoid rich diets with individual flavonoid subclasses do actually reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases also increasing longevity.

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Few Good Apps For Stroke Survivors

We all know that after you get a stroke it takes a long time for your body to come back to its normal functioning. India also is under a high stroke burden already. Across the world stroke is known to be the second most common cause of death. Ischemic strokes are known to account for over 87 percent of all strokes.

Stroke impacts various parts and functioning of the body. This includes mental health issues like depression and anxiety as well as movement issues like paralysis besides issues like bowel control loss, urinary incontinence, swallowing difficulty and visual impairment.

Though if the treatment is done immediately, the chances of recovery are faster. As per a survey the people who are provided critical care within 3 hours of first symptoms of stroke, have shown less disability post 3 months as compared to those who haven’t. In today’s tech times where there are applications available for all, lets run through some of the apps to help you with health and fitness after stroke

Medisafe – This is one app that is like an assistant to you. It reminds you of your doses and tracks your intake too so that you do not miss or double up by mistake. If you are on drugs you do tend to forget your doses.

Constant Therapy – This app is designed for people that are trying to recover from stroke, aphasia or brain injury. It is loaded with 65 different task categories, over a lac different exercises and over 10 difficulty levels. It is developed by scientists at the Boston University.

Cozi – This app is able to manage multiple schedules and is an ideal solution for stroke survivors who are under the care of multiple survivors. It includes a calendar that is color coded and helps manage days with reminders for medications, appointments and more. Managing groceries is also easy as the app comes with to do lists and helps ensure that nothing is missed.

Stop, Breathe & Think – This is an app that concentrates on reducing stress which is known to be a high risk factor for strokes. The main objective of the app is to reduce stress so as to curb the risk of strokes in the future. With meditation, acupressure, meditation and breathing exercises videos it helps calm you and bring you peace from within.

VocalEyes AI – Stroke can sometimes damage the brain areas which takes care of signals from the eyes. This can affect the eyes and lead to double vision or vision loss of a part. Vocaleyes acts as the computer vision for the visually challenged. With the help of machine learning it helps users with identification of objects the are deal with on a daily basis. You need to simply take a photo and the app will tell you what it is including currency denominations, faces, emotions, text, brands and more.

Well, Technology is upgrading day by day and it has already proved to be a boon too in many ways than one.

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