Accurate measurements of sodium intake confirm relationship with mortality

Eating foods high in salt is known to contribute to high blood pressure, but does that linear relationship extend to increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death? Recent cohort studies have contested that relationship, but a new study by investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital and their colleagues using multiple measurements confirms it. The study suggests that an inaccurate way of estimating sodium intake may help account for the paradoxical findings of others, according to Science Daily.

Gene therapy restores hand function after spinal cord injury in rats

Researchers at King's College London have shown that rats with spinal cord injuries can re-learn skilled hand movements after being treated with a gene therapy, according to Science Daily.

People with spinal cord injury often lose the ability to perform everyday actions that require coordinated hand movements, such as writing, holding a toothbrush or picking up a drink. Regaining hand function is the top priority for patients and would dramatically improve independence and quality of life. No regenerative treatments are currently available.

Emotional eating 'learned by children not inherited'

Children who eat more or less when stressed or upset have learned the behaviour rather than inherited it, a study suggests.

A study by University College London found home environment was the main cause of emotional eating, according to BBC.

And this was due to parental behaviours including giving upset children their favourite food to soothe them.

But eating-disorder charity Beat says parents shouldn't be blamed for children's eating issues.

The same characteristics can be acquired differently when it comes to neurons

Distinct molecular mechanisms can generate the same features in different neurons, a team of scientists has discovered. Its findings, enhance our understanding of brain cell development, according to Science Daily.

"We now have a better comprehension of how neurons form and acquire the features that allow them to fulfill their function in neural circuits that lead to specific behaviors," explains Nikos Konstantinides, a post-doctoral fellow at New York University's Department of Biology and one of the paper's lead authors. "These results point to several potential pathways for medical advancement, such as directing stem cells towards specific neuronal types that can be used to treat brain diseases by cell replacement therapy or by triggering neural stem cells to replace damaged tissue."

Lentils significantly reduce blood glucose levels

Replacing potatoes or rice with pulses can lower your blood glucose levels by more than 20 per cent, according to  Science Daily.

Prof. Alison Duncan, found that swapping out half of a portion of these starchy side dishes for lentils can significantly improve your body's response to the carbohydrates.

Replacing half a serving of rice with lentils caused blood glucose to drop by up to 20 per cent. Replacing potatoes with lentils led to a 35-per-cent drop.

"Pulses are extremely nutrient-dense food that have the potential to reduce chronic diseases associated with mismanaged glucose levels," said Duncan, who worked on the study with PhD student Dita Moravek and M.Sc. students Erica Rogers, Sarah Turkstra and Jessica Wilson.

"We are hoping this research will make people more aware of the health benefits of eating pulses" said Duncan.