Regular blueberry consumption may reduce risk of dementia, study finds
University of Cincinnati, May 11, 2022
Researchers found that adding blueberries to the daily diets of certain middle-aged populations may lower the chances of developing late-life dementia. The findings were recently published in the journal Nutrients.
Krikorian said his team has been conducting research on the benefits of berries for people with greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia for several years.
The researchers enrolled 33 patients from around the Cincinnati area between the ages of 50-65 who were overweight, prediabetic and had noticed mild memory decline with aging. Krikorian said this population has an increased risk for late-life dementia and other common conditions.
Over a period of 12 weeks, the patients were asked to abstain from berry fruit consumption of any kind except for a daily packet of supplement powder to be mixed with water and consumed either with breakfast or dinner. Half of the participants received powders that contained the equivalent of one-half cup of whole blueberries, while the other half received a placebo.
Krikorian said those in the blueberry-treated group showed improvement on cognitive tasks that depend on executive control.
Patients in the blueberry group also had lower fasting insulin levels, meaning the participants had improved metabolic function and were able to more easily burn fat for energy. Krikorian said the blueberry group displayed an additional mild degree of higher mitochondrial uncoupling, a cellular process that has been associated with greater longevity and reduced oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can lead to symptoms like fatigue and memory loss.
Regular exercise with dietary advice linked to better mobility in frail older people
Yale University, May 11, 2022
A program of regular exercise along with expert dietary advice is linked to a reduction in mobility problems among frail older people living in the community, finds a trial published by The BMJ today.
The combination of aerobic (walking), strength, flexibility, and balance exercises alongside personalized nutritional counseling reduced mobility disability by 22% over three years.
Their findings are based on 1,519 men and women (average age 79 years) with physical frailty and sarcopenia (a combination of reduced physical function and low muscle mass) recruited from 16 clinical sites across 11 European countries between 2016 and 2019.
Women in the intervention group lost less muscle strength (0.9 kg at 24 months) and less muscle mass (0.24 kg and 0.49 kg at 24 months and 36 months, respectively) than control women, but no significant group differences were seen in men.
Study: Side effects emerge after approval for many US
Yale University, May 9, 2022
Almost one-third of new drugs approved by U.S. regulators over a decade ended up years later with warnings about unexpected, sometimes life-threatening side effects or complications, a newanalysis found. The results covered all 222 prescription drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over ten yers. The 71 flagged drugs included top-sellers for treating depression, arthritis, infections and blood clots. Safety issues included risks for serious skin reactions, liver damage, cancer and even death.
“The large percentage of problems was a surprise,” and they included side effects not seen during the review process, said Dr. Joseph Ross, the study’s lead author at Yale University.”We know that safety concerns, new ones, are going to be identified once a drug is used in a wider population. That’s just how it is,” Ross said.
While most safety concerns were not serious enough to prompt recalls, the findings raise questions about how thoroughly drugs are tested before approval
The study counted black-box warnings for dozens of drugs; these involved serious problems including deaths or life-threatening conditions linked with the drugs. There were also dozens of alerts for less serious potential harms and three drug withdrawals because of the potential for death or other serious harm. Among the drugs with added warnings: Humira, used for arthritis and some other illnesses; Abilify, used for depression and other mental illness; and Pradaxa, a blood thinner. The withdrawn drugs and the reason: Bextra, an anti-inflammatory medicine, heart problems; Raptiva, a psoriasis drug, rare nervous system illness; and Zelnorm, a bowel illness drug, heart problems.
Exercise during pregnancy may yield metabolic benefits in grandchildren
Harvard University, May 11, 2022
If grandma liked working out, her pain may be your gain. It may seem unlikely, but recent research out of the Joslin Diabetes Center says it just might be the case. Laurie Goodyear, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, has found that a grandmother’s exercise during pregnancy may make her grandchildren healthier metabolically, with less body fat, better insulin control and, in some, healthier bones.
We are looking for epigenetic alterations in the DNA, because epigenetic alterations can be changed as rapidly as two generations. We analyze micro RNAs, some methylation situations in the F1 generation eggs and sperm to see what’s going on. We are currently investigating how mothers’ exercise affects their children’s gametes.
I’m confident in saying that women who are pregnant should try to be as physically active as they can, depending, of course, on the condition of their pregnancy. There’s strong human data showing that exercise during pregnancy improves the mother’s health; numerous animal studies showing improved first-generation health; and now we have evidence that maternal exercise will positively impact the health of the second generation. I’m not an obstetrician, and there are certainly conditions where a woman cannot perform exercise during pregnancy, but, when medically approved, being physically active is important—for the mother, the first generation, and now even the grandchildren.
New Study Finds Simply Believing You Can Do Something To Improve It Is Linked With Higher Wellbeing
University Of Southern Denmark And University Of Copenhagen, May 11, 2022
The number of people struggling with poor mental health and mental disorders has been rising around the world over the past few decades. Those who are struggling are increasingly facing difficulties accessing the kind of support they need – leaving many waiting months for help, if they even qualify for treatment.
In our recent study, we asked 3,015 Danish adults to fill out a survey that asked questions about mental health – such as whether they believe they can do something to keep mentally healthy, whether they had done something in the past two weeks to support their mental health, and also whether they were currently struggling with a mental health problem. We then assessed their level of mental wellbeing using the Short Warwick–Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale, which is widely used by healthcare professionals and researchers to measure mental wellbeing.
As you’d expect, we found that mental wellbeing was highest among those who had done things to improve their mental health compared with the other participants.
Interestingly, however, we found that – whether or not our respondents had actually taken action to improve their mental wellbeing – people who believed they could do something to keep mentally healthy tended to have higher mental wellbeing than those who didn’t have this belief.
So while it’s most beneficial to take steps to improve your mental health, even just believing that you can improve it is associated with better overall mental wellbeing.The effect of night shifts—gene expression fails to adapt to new sleep patterns
McGill University (Quebec). May 7, 2022
Have you ever considered that working night shifts may, in the long run, have an impact on your health? A team of researchers from the McGill University has discovered that genes regulating important biological processes are incapable of adapting to new sleeping and eating patterns and that most of them stay tuned to their daytime biological clock rhythms.
“We now better understand the molecular changes that take place inside the human body when sleeping and eating behaviours are in sync with our biological clock. For example, we found that the expression of genes related to the immune system and metabolic processes did not adapt to the new behaviours,” says Dr. Boivin, a full professor at McGill University’s Department of Psychiatry.
It is known that the expression of many of these genes varies over the course of the day and night. Their repetitive rhythms are important for the regulation of many physiological and behavioural processes. “Almost 25% of the rhythmic genes lost their biological rhythm after our volunteers were exposed to our night shift simulation. 73% did not adapt to the night shift and stayed tuned to their daytime rhythm. And less than 3% partly adapted to the night shift schedule.
“We think the molecular changes we observed potentially contribute to the development of health problems like diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases more frequently seen in night-shift workers on the long term,” explains Dr. Boivin.