- Hyaluranic acid, a naturally occurring compound, awakens stem cells to repair damaged muscle
- ‘A banana a day’: Starch supplement may reduce the risk of some hereditary cancers
- Running reduces risk of death regardless of duration, speed
- Eating processed foods is hurting your brain, study says: Even ‘2 cookies’ can affect health
- Sharing memories with toddlers helps their well-being into adulthood
- What the Amish can teach us about health and happiness
Hyaluranic acid, a naturally occurring compound, awakens stem cells to repair damaged muscle
University of Ottawa (Ontario), August 4 2022
A new study published in the journal Science reveals a unique form of cell communication that controls muscle repair. In damaged muscle, stem cells must work together with immune cells to complete the repair process, yet how these cells coordinate to ensure the efficient removal of dead tissue before making new muscle fibers has remained unknown. The scientists have now shown that a natural substance called hyaluronic acid, which is used in cosmetics and injections for osteoarthritis, is the key molecule that manages this fundamental interaction.
“When muscles get damaged, it is important for immune cells to quickly enter the tissue and remove the damage before stem cellsbegin repair,” said Dr. Jeffrey Dilworth, senior scientist at the University of Ottawa and senior author on the study. “Our study shows that muscle stem cells are primed to start repair right away, but the immune cells maintain the stem cells in a resting state while they finish the cleanup job. After about 40 hours, once the cleanup job is finished, an internal alarm goes off in the muscle stem cells that allows them to wake up and start repair.”
Dr. Dilworth and his team identified hyaluronic acid as the key ingredient in this internal alarm clock that tells muscle stem cells when to wake up. When muscle damage occurs, stem cells start producing and coating themselves with hyaluronic acid. Once the coating gets thick enough, it blocks the sleep signal from the immune cells and causes the muscle stem cells to wake up.
“Interestingly, aging is associated with chronic inflammation, muscle weakness and a reduced ability of muscle stem cells to wake up and repair damage,. “If we could find a way to enhance hyaluronic acid production in the muscle stem cells of older people it might help with muscle repair.”
‘A banana a day’: Starch supplement may reduce the risk of some hereditary cancers
Universities of Newcastle and Leeds (UK), August 4, 2022
Resistant starches (RS) are carbohydrates that pass undigested through the small intestine and are digested, or fermented, in the large intestine. They are present in plant-based foods including beans, oats, breakfast cereals, rice, cooked and cooled pasta, peas, and slightly unripe bananas. RS forms part of dietary fiber, which is known to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer and many other non-communicable diseases.
Researchers at Newcastle University and the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom found that a RS powder supplement may help prevent cancer in people with Lynch syndrome.
Lynch syndrome, an inherited condition, predisposes people to colon cancer, gastric cancer, and several other cancers.
The experts ran a multinational trial involving almost 1,000 people with Lynch syndrome. They gave the participants a 30g dose of RS for an average of two years.
The supplementation did not affect colorectal cancers as expected. However, unexpectedly, its protective potential was most apparent in the upper digestive tract, where cancers are aggressive and not usually caught early.The trial analyzed the long-term effects of aspirin and RS on cancer onset in patients with Lynch syndrome.
The dose used was equivalent to eating one slightly unripe banana daily. Bananas at this stage resist breakdown in the small intestine, reaching the large intestine and feeding the microbiome there.
They found no difference in the number of colorectal cancer cases. However, fewer participants receiving the supplement developed non-colorectal LS cancers compared to those taking the placebo.
Running reduces risk of death regardless of duration, speed
Iowa State University, July 29, 2022
Running 5 minutes daily can reduce risk of cardiovascular disease-related death
Running for only a few minutes a day or at slow speeds may significantly reduce a person’s risk of death from cardiovascular disease compared to someone who does not run, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Researchers studied 55,137 adults between the ages of 18 and 100 over a 15-year period to determine whether there is a relationship between running and longevity. In the study period, 3,413 participants died, including 1,217 whose deaths were related to cardiovascular disease. In this population, 24 percent of the participants reported running as part of their leisure-time exercise.
Compared with non-runners, the runners had a 30 percent lower risk of death from all causes and a 45 percent lower risk of death from heart disease or stroke. Runners on average lived three years longer compared to non-runners. Also, to reduce mortality risk at a population level from a public health perspective, the authors concluded that promoting running is as important as preventing smoking, obesity or hypertension. The benefits were the same no matter how long, far, frequently or fast participants reported running. Benefits were also the same regardless of sex, age, body mass index, health conditions, smoking status or alcohol use.
The study showed that participants who ran less than 51 minutes, fewer than 6 miles, slower than 6 miles per hour, or only one to two times per week had a lower risk of dying compared to those who did not run. Runners who ran less than an hour per week have the same mortality benefits compared to runners who ran more than three hours per week. Thus, it is possible that the more may not be the better in relation to running and longevity.
Eating processed foods is hurting your brain, study says: Even ‘2 cookies’ can affect health
Yale University, August 3, 2022
Although it’s obvious that a diet of hot dogs and ice cream won’t lead to a healthy physical life, new research illuminates how ultra-processed foods can also cause a significant decrease in brain function.
Research presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in San Diego outlined how foods such as instant noodles, sugary drinks and frozen meals all play a factor in a faster rate of cognitive decline.
“Just 100 calories of processed foods can affect your physical health. So, that’s two cookies.”
Research has linked ultra-processed food consumption to health problems like obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancers. That’s because they cause inflammation, which can affect neurotransmitters in the brain. Processed foods also operate on a micro level with billions and billions of bacteria cells that (impair) functioning.”
The findings found that participants who were getting 20% or more of their daily calories from ultra-processed foods saw a far faster decline in cognitive performance over the span of six to 10 years versus people with diets containing few processed foods.
Sharing memories with toddlers helps their well-being into adulthood
University of Otago (New Zealand), August 3 2022
How mothers share memories with their children during toddlerhood impacts mental health and well-being in early adulthood, a University of Otago study has shown.
Researchers found 21-year-olds told more coherent stories about turning points in their lives if their mothers were taught new conversational techniques two decades earlier.
These adults also reported fewer symptoms of depression and greater self-esteem compared to adults in the study whose mothers interacted with them as usual.
The study, published in Journal of Research in Personality, is a long-term follow-up of a reminiscing intervention in which 115 mothers of toddlers were assigned to either a control group or taught to use elaborative reminiscing for a year.
Elaborative reminiscing involves open, enriched, and responsive conversations with children about shared experiences of everyday events. This is the first study to show long-term benefits of mother-child reminiscing for emerging adult development.
What the Amish can teach us about health and happiness
University of Tennessee, July 29, 2022
Often viewed as outcasts by mainstream society, the Amish may seem downright bizarre to the average American. Foregoing technological advancements that many of us would be lost without, the Amish have created a way of life that fosters a connection with the land and environment, while also cultivating an impressive sense of community. And they are healthy — exceedingly so. The Amish rarely experience disorders like cancer or cardiovascular disease, seemingly able to bypass illness altogether. What’s their secret?
One of the most striking aspects of the Amish is how they lead their lives, free from modern inventions like electricity, telephones, cars and the myriad of gadgets most of us consider so essential for our productivity and happiness.
This high level of daily physical activity helps to keep their obesity rates low and cardiovascular health in top form.
“The Amish were able to show us just how far we’ve fallen in the last 150 years or so in terms of the amount of physical activity we typically perform. Their lifestyle indicates that physical activity played a critical role in keeping our ancestors fit and healthy.”
\One of the main contributors to stress is the speed at which we move, think and process. We are bombarded with sensory information at every turn.
Not so with the Amish. Their communities are based on patience and a slower way of being. Competition is frowned upon, while cooperation and harmony are respected. Social support is strong. Through traditional gender roles, each person has a valued part to play within the community.
The study published in Scientific Research discovered that mental health is enhanced by the structure of Amish society. Martial stability, mutual support, a secure parental base and care for the elderly were found to be contributing factors in cultivating happiness and contentment.
Moreover, the Amish tend to have low vaccination rates. Instead, they rely on clean living and a healthy diet of homegrown, organic produce, raw dairy and nourishing fats to keep immunity strong.