Sugar improves memory in over-60s, helping them work smarter

Sugar improves memory in older adults -- and makes them more motivated to perform difficult tasks at full capacity -- according to new research by the University of Warwick.

Led by PhD student Konstantinos Mantantzis, Professor Elizabeth Maylor and Dr Friederike Schlaghecken, the study found that increasing blood sugar levels not only improves memory and performance, but makes older adults feel happier during a task ,according to Science Daily.

The researchers gave young (aged 18-27) and older (aged 65-82) participants a drink containing a small amount of glucose, and got them to perform various memory tasks. Other participants were given a placebo -- a drink containing artificial sweetener.

The researchers measured participants' levels of engagement with the task, their memory score, mood, and their own perception of effort.

Obesity alone does not increase risk of death

Researchers at York University's Faculty of Health have found that patients who have metabolic healthy obesity, but no other metabolic risk factors, do not have an increased rate of mortality, according to Science Daily.

The results of this study could impact how we think about obesity and health, says Jennifer Kuk, associate professor, who led the research team at York University.

"This is in contrast with most of the literature and we think this is because most studies have defined metabolic healthy obesity as having up to one metabolic risk factor," says Kuk.

Antioxidant benefits of sleep

 Understanding sleep has become increasingly important in modern society, where chronic loss of sleep has become rampant and pervasive. As evidence mounts for a correlation between lack of sleep and negative health effects, the core function of sleep remains a mystery. But in a new study, Vanessa Hill, Mimi Shirasu-Hiza and colleagues at Columbia University, New York, found that short-sleeping fruit fly mutants shared the common defect of sensitivity to acute oxidative stress, and thus that sleep supports antioxidant processes. Understanding this ancient bi-directional relationship between sleep and oxidative stress in the humble fruit fly could provide much-needed insight into modern human diseases such as sleep disorders and neurodegenerative diseases, according to Science Daily.

An orange a day keeps macular degeneration away: 15-year study

A new study has shown that people who regularly eat oranges are less likely to develop macular degeneration than people who do not eat oranges, according to Science Daily.

Researchers at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research interviewed more than 2,000 adults aged over 50 and followed them over a 15-year period.

The research showed that people who ate at least one serving of oranges every day had more than a 60% reduced risk of developing late macular degeneration 15 years later.

Children are more likely to become snorers if they are exposed to second-hand smoke, finds study

Children exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke may become snorers, scientists claim.

An analysis of existing research suggests their risk of becoming snorers rises by up to 87 per cent, if regularly exposed to lingering cigarette smoke, according to Daily Mail.

The odds of youngsters going on to become snorers rose by around two per cent for every cigarette smoked daily in the home.

Chinese scientists reviewed 24 studies that included nearly 88,000 children to come to the conclusion.