Exercise keeps muscles, and you, young

A University professor has uncovered the "secret" to staying strong as we age -- superb fitness.

Geoff Power found elderly people who were elite athletes in their youth or later in life -- and who still compete as masters athletes -- have much healthier muscles at the cellular level compared to those of non-athletes.

The study compared world-class track and field athletes in their 80s with people of the same age who are living independently. There have been few such studies of aging and muscle weakening in masters athletes in this age group.

"One of the most unique and novel aspects of this study is the exceptional participants," said Power.

New flu vaccine protects against multiple strains including H1N1

Researchers announced today the development of a vaccine that protects against multiple strains of both seasonal and pandemic H1N1 influenza in mouse models.

"One of the problems with current influenza vaccines is that we have to make predictions about which virus strains will be most prevalent every year and build our vaccines around those predictions," said Ted Ross. "What we have developed is a vaccine that protects against multiple different strains of H1N1 virus at once, so we might be able to one day replace the current standard of care with this more broadly cross-protective vaccine."

The H1N1 influenza virus caused a worldwide pandemic in 2009. When it was first detected, it was called swine flu because the virus was similar to those found in pigs, but the virus now circulates as a seasonal form of influenza.

How much sugar is in your child's fruit drink?

Researchers and colleagues from Action on Sugar have assessed the sugar content of over 200 fruit drinks marketed at children and have found them to be "unacceptably high."

To assess the sugar content of fruit juice drinks, 100% natural juices, and smoothies marketed specifically to children, the researchers measured the quantity of 'free' sugars in 203 standard portion sizes (200 ml).

'Free' sugars refer to sugars, such as glucose, fructose, sucrose, and table sugar, which are added by the manufacturer, and naturally occurring sugars in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates, but not the naturally occurring sugars found in whole fruits and vegetables, which the body metabolises differently and which act to curb energy intake.

Exercise may slow brain aging by 10 years for older people

Exercise in older people is associated with a slower rate of decline in thinking skills that occurs with aging. People who reported light to no exercise experienced a decline equal to 10 more years of aging as compared to people who reported moderate to intense exercise, according to a population-based observational study.

"The number of people over the age of 65 on the rise, " said study author Clinton B. Wright, MD, MS. "Our study showed that for older people, getting regular exercise may be protective, helping them keep their cognitive abilities longer."

Poor diet and lack of exercise accelerate the onset of age-related

Could an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise be making you age faster? Researchers believe there is a link between these modifiable lifestyle factors and the biological processes of aging. In a recent study, researchers demonstrated that a poor diet and lack of exercise accelerated the onset of cellular senescence and, in turn, age-related conditions in mice. Results appear today in Diabetes.