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Short walks 'could cut diabetes risk in older people'

Walking for 15 minutes after meals could prevent "potentially damaging" blood sugar spikes

A 15-minute walk after each meal could prevent older people developing type-2 diabetes, a study has found.

The post-meal walks control blood sugar as well as one long walk, research by George Washington University suggested.

Elevated blood sugar after meals could increase the risk of type-2 diabetes, so resting after eating "is the worst thing you can do", the study said.

Diabetes UK said there were "small differences" between exercise routines - but any activity was beneficial.

The US study was the first to test short bouts of exercise in the "risky period" following meals, when blood sugar can rise rapidly, lead author Loretta DiPietro said.

'Blunting effect'

She said high blood sugar after meals was a key risk factor in the progression from impaired glucose tolerance - what the study called "pre-diabetes" - to type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The study found three 15-minute walks were as effective at reducing blood sugar over a 24-hour period as one 45-minute walk of the same "easy-to-moderate" pace.

But walking after food was "significantly more effective" at "blunting the potentially damaging elevations in post-meal blood sugar commonly observed in older people".

The important take-home message is that doing any physical activity, even at a low intensity, is good for you.”

Dr Matthew Hobbs Head of research, Diabetes UK

Older people may be "particularly susceptible" to poor blood sugar control after meals due to insulin resistance in the muscles and slow or low insulin secretion from the pancreas, the researchers said.

They found the best time to walk was after the evening meal, which is often the largest of the day and therefore causes the greatest rise in blood sugar.

More research needed

This increase often lasted "well into the night and early morning", the study found, but it was "curbed significantly" as soon as people started to walk.

Researchers studied 10 people aged 60 and over who were at risk of developing type-2 diabetes due to higher-than-normal levels of fasting blood sugar and insufficient physical activity.

Dr DiPietro said the findings could lead to an "inexpensive strategy" for preventing type-2 diabetes, but said the results must be confirmed by larger trials.

Weight loss and exercise are widely accepted as key ways to prevent type-2 diabetes, which occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin to function properly, or the body's cells do not react to insulin.

Diabetes UK estimates there are up to seven million UK people at "high risk" of developing type-2 diabetes.

Dr Matthew Hobbs, the charity's head of research, said the study reinforced the message that exercise was "extremely important" to reduce the risk.

Talking about the comparison between one 45-minute walk and three 15-minute walks after meals, he added: "Although there were some small differences, the important take-home message is that doing any physical activity, even at a low intensity, is good for you

Source : BBC

N.H.Khider

Honey

The dangers of sugar have been so widely publicized that many people mistakenly think anything "sweet" equals bad news for the body. While refined sugar is indeed harmful, if not toxic, to your health, nature provides a wonderfully delicious array of natural sugars found in fruits, root vegetables and honey that nourish the body and promote good health.

Getting back to the rich abundance of nature, especially when it comes to the health benefits of honey, is one of the simplest, yet most powerful ways to protect your body. As Hippocrates said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

When using sweetener, always reach for raw, organic honey in order to reap the most benefits. Here are 6 delicious ways that honey improves your health:

. It boosts your immune system.1

Raw, organic honey is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and enzymes which protect the body from bacteria and boost the immune system. Cold and flu symptoms, such as coughs, sore throats, and congestion are also kept at bay when treated with honey.

To improve your immune system, add 1-2 tablespoons of honey to warm water daily. For an extra boost, add fresh lemon juice and a dash of cinnamon.

. It helps you lose weight.2

Drinking warm water with lemon and honey on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning.Doing this on a daily basis is one of the best ways to cleanse the liver, remove toxins, and flush fat from the body.

For optimal benefits, add 1 tablespoon of honey plus the juice of one lemon to warm water every morning before breakfast. This is a very soothing and satisfying drink to end the day with, as well .

. It reduces the risk of heart disease.3

Honey mixed with cinnamon has been shown to revitalize the arteries and veins of the heart and reduce cholesterol in the blood by up to 10%. When taken on a regular basis, this honey-cinnamon mixture may reduce the risk of heart attacks and stop another from occurring in people who have already suffered one.

Add 1-2 tablespoons of honey with 1/3 teaspoon of cinnamon to warm water, then drink daily.

. It soothes indigestion. 4

For those who suffer from indigestion, the antiseptic properties of honey relieve acidity in the stomach and alleviate digestion. Honey also neutralizes gas, becoming the ultimate stomach soother when it comes to overeating.

One or two tablespoons of honey before heavy meals is the best way to thwart indigestion, and if you’ve already overindulged, add honey and lemon to warm water to help move food through the digestive track.

. It bolsters your energy levels.5

The natural sugars in honey provide a healthy source of calories and energy for the body. Plus, using honey for an energy boost also answers the human body’s innate craving for something sweet.

Fight fatigue with nature’s answer to low energy. Instead of reaching for coffee, cakes, or chocolate to get you through an energy slump, try reaching for a tablespoon of raw, organic honey instead.

. It clears up your skin.6

Due to its anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties, honey is the ultimate organic skincare brand. Apply a dab of raw, organic honey directly to blemishes, and let the skin absorb its medicinal properties overnight. Wash it off in the morning, and after regular use, you’ll wake up to clear skin!

Honey is also an effective treatment for other skin conditions, such as eczema, ring worm, and psoriasis. Though honey does not CURE these conditions, it does soothe inflammation and relieve dryness

Source : Mind Body Green

N.H.Khider

Antioxidants Are Unlikely To Prevent Aging, Study Suggests

Diets and beauty products which claim to have anti-oxidant properties are unlikely to prevent aging, according to research funded by the Wellcome Trust. Researchers at the Institute of Healthy aging at UCL (University College London) say this is because a key fifty year old theory about the causes of aging is wrong.

"Superoxide" free radicals – oxygen molecules that have an imbalance of electrons to protons – are generated in the body through natural processes such as metabolism. These free radicals can cause oxidation in the body, analogous to rust when iron is exposed to oxygen. Biological systems, such as the human body, are usually able to restrict or repair this damage.

In 1956, Denham Harman proposed the theory that aging is caused by an accumulation of molecular damage caused by "oxidative stress", the action of reactive forms of oxygen, such as superoxide, on cells. This theory has dominated the field of aging research for over fifty years. But now, a study published online today in the journal Genes & Development suggests that this theory is probably incorrect and that superoxide is not a major cause of aging.

"The fact is that we don't understand much about the fundamental mechanisms of aging," says Dr David Gems from UCL. "The free radical theory of aging has filled a knowledge vacuum for over fifty years now, but it just doesn't stand up to the evidence."

Dr Gems and colleagues at the Institute of Healthy aging studied the action of key genes involved in removing superoxide from the bodies of the nematode worm C. elegans, a commonly-used model for research into aging. By manipulating these genes, they were able to control the worm's ability to "mop up" surplus superoxide and limit potential damage caused by oxidation.

Contrary to the result predicted by the free radical theory of aging, the researchers found that the lifespan of the worm was relatively unaffected by its ability to tackle the surplus superoxide. The findings, combined with similar recent findings from the University of Texas using mice, imply that this theory is incorrect.

"One of the hallmarks of aging is the accumulation of molecular damage, but what causes this damage?" says Dr Gems. "It's clear that if superoxide is involved, it only plays a small part in the story. Oxidative damage is clearly not a universal, major driver of the aging process. Other factors, such as chemical reactions involving sugars in our body, clearly play a role."

Dr Gems believes the study suggests that anti-aging products which claim to have anti-oxidant properties are unlikely to have any effect.

"A healthy, balanced diet is very important for reducing the risk of developing many diseases associated with old age, such as cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis," he says. "But there is no clear evidence that dietary antioxidants can slow or prevent aging. There is even less evidence to support the claims of most anti-aging products."

The research was welcomed by Dr Alan Schafer, Head of Molecular and Physiological Sciences at the Wellcome Trust.

"With increasing lifespan comes greater exposure and vulnerability to the aging process," comments Dr Schafer. "Research such as this points to how much we have to learn about aging, and the importance of understanding the mechanisms behind this process. This new study will encourage researchers to explore new avenues in aging research.

N.H.Khider

Soure :Science daily

Eating Citrus Fruit May Lower Women's Stroke Risk

A compound in citrus fruits may reduce your stroke risk, according to research reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association. Eating higher amounts of a compound in citrus fruits, especially oranges and grapefruit, may lower ischemic stroke risk. Women who ate high amounts of the compound had a 19 percent lower risk of ischemic stroke than women who consumed the least amount.

This prospective study is one of the first in which researchers examine how consuming flavonoid subclasses affects the risk of stroke. Flavonoids are a class of compounds present in fruits, vegetables, dark chocolate and red wine.

"Studies have shown higher fruit, vegetable and specifically vitamin C intake is associated with reduced stroke risk," said Aedín Cassidy, Ph.D., the study's lead author and professor of nutrition at Norwich Medical School in the University of East Anglia in Norwich, United Kingdom.

"Flavonoids are thought to provide some of that protection through several mechanisms, including improved blood vessel function and an anti-inflammatory effect."

Cassidy and colleagues used 14-years of follow-up data from the Nurse's Health Study, which included 69,622 women who reported their food intake, including details on fruit and vegetable consumption every four years. Researchers examined the relationship of the six main subclasses of flavonoids commonly consumed in the U.S. diet -- flavanones, anthocyanins, flavan-3-ols, flavonoid polymers, flavonols and flavones -- with risk of ischemic, hemorrhagic and total stroke.

As expected, the researchers didn't find a beneficial association between total flavonoid consumption and stroke risk, as the biological activity of the sub-classes differ. However, they found that women who ate high amounts of flavanones in citrus had a 19 percent lower risk of blood clot-related (ischemic) stroke than women who consumed the least amounts.

In the study, flavanones came primarily from oranges and orange juice (82 percent) and grapefruit and grapefruit juice (14 percent). However, researchers recommended that consumers increase their citrus fruit intake, rather than juice, due to the high sugar content of commercial fruit juices.

A previous study found that citrus fruit and juice intake, but not intake of other fruits, protected against risk of ischemic stroke and intracerebral hemorrhage. Another study found no association between yellow and orange fruits and stroke risk, but did link increased consumption of white fruits like apples and pears with lower stroke risk. An additional study found that Swedish women who ate the highest levels of antioxidants -- about 50 percent from fruits and vegetables -- had fewer strokes than those with lower antioxidant levels.

More studies are needed to confirm the association between flavanone consumption and stroke risk, and to gain a better understanding about why the association occurs, the authors said.

Source :Science daily

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Copper linked to Alzheimer's disease

A lifetime of too much copper in our diets may be contributing to Alzheimer's disease, US scientists say.

However, research is divided, with other studies suggesting copper may actually protect the brain.

The latest study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed high levels of copper left the brain struggling to get rid of a protein thought to cause the dementia.

Copper is a vital part of our diet and necessary for a healthy body.

Tap water coming through copper pipes, red meat and shellfish as well as fruit and vegetables are all sources of dietary copper.

The study on mice, by a team at the University of Rochester in New York, suggested that copper interfered with the brain's shielding - the blood brain barrier.

Mice that were fed more copper in their water had a greater build-up of the metal in the blood vessels in the brain.

The team said this interfered with the way the barrier functioned and made it harder for the brain to get rid of a protein called beta amyloid.

One of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease is the formation of plaques of amyloid in the dying brain.

Lead researcher Dr Rashid Deane said: "It is clear that, over time, copper's cumulative effect is to impair the systems by which amyloid beta is removed from the brain."

He told the BBC that copper also led to more protein being produced: "It's a double whammy of increased production and decreased clearance of amyloid protein.

"Copper is a very essential metal ion and you don't want a deficiency and many nutritious foods also contain copper."

However, he said taking supplements may be "going overboard a bit".

Mixed evidence

Commenting on the latest findings, Chris Exley, professor of bioinorganic chemistry at Keele University, said there was "no true consensus" on the role of copper in Alzheimer's disease.

His research on human brain reached the opposite conclusion: "In our most recent work we found evidence of lower total brain copper with ageing and Alzheimer's. We also found that lower brain copper correlated with higher deposition of beta amyloid in brain tissue.

"He said at the moment we would expect copper to be protective and beneficial in neurodegeneration, not the instigator, but we don't know.

"The exposure levels used mean that if copper is acting in the way they think it does in this study then it must be doing so in everyone."

Dr Eric Karran, from Alzheimer's Research UK, said: "While the findings present clues to how copper could contribute to features of Alzheimer's in mice, the results will need replicating in further studies. It is too early to know how normal exposure to copper could be influencing the development or progression of Alzheimer's in people. "

Dr Doug Brown, from the Alzheimer's Society, said: "Considering copper is a vital mineral for the body, people should treat these results with caution and not cut it out of their diet. More research is needed to understand the role that copper might play in the brain.

Source :BBC

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