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News on Health & Science

Secrets of a Woman’s Wrinkles With Age

The dream of retaining youthful looks into old age came a step closer yesterday after scientists announced that they had identified the key genes involved in ageing skin. Using data generated by the human genome project – the international effort to decode human DNA – researchers have found 1,500 separate genes that govern how long people stay free from wrinkles.
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The team – led by scientists working for cosmetics giant Procter & Gamble – also believe they have identified the eight major causes of ageing skin.
Despite decades of research and billions of pounds of funding, the cosmetics industry has struggled to develop creams and lotions that reverse ageing.
The best that most of the expensive anti-ageing creams can do is smooth over wrinkles or plump up the skin

Out of the 20,000 to 25,000 known human genes, they have found around 1,500 that play a key role in ageing skin.
‘The human genome project has made it possible for us to analyse ageing right down to the hundreds of genetic changes that happen in our skin as we get older,’ Dr Tiesman said.
Skin ages in eight separate ways, each one controlled by its own group of genes, he added.

Whether you grow old gracefully like Cliff Richard – or wrinkled like Keith Richards – depends partly on your lifestyle and partly on these genes.
Dr Tiesman and his research team believe one of the most important factors is hydration – the way that skin collects and retains its moisture, using molecules that bind water into skin.
As skin gets older, the genes that control this process become less active and skin can retain less moisture, leading to wrinkles.
Dr Tiesman found that up to 700 genes could be involved.
Another ‘ageing pathway’ involves collagen – the protein that gives skin its underlying structure.

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Why skin deteriorates with age: As people get older, the genes that degrade collagen can become overactive, leading to more wrinkles
As people age, the genes that degrade collagen can become overactive, leading to more wrinkles. The team has found 40 genes involved in the collapse of collagen. Inflammation was found to involve about 400 genes, while another group of genes influence how the skin reacts to sunlight.
The skin’s response to ‘free radicals‘ – the molecules that can damage a cell’s damage – is also crucial to how it ages.
By narrowing down the DNA involved with skin ageing, researchers hope to create drugs and creams which can stimulate some genes and suppress others to restore youthful looks.
Professor Anthea Tinker, who studies the social aspect of ageing at King’s College London, said: ‘Older people care about their appearance just as much as any other age group and they are an important and growing market.’
Most anti-ageing creams don’t stand up to scientific scrutiny. However, a reliable clinical trial published earlier this year showed that Boots No7 Protect and Perfect range actually worked.
Manchester University scientists found that a fifth of people who used the cream for six months saw improvement in their skin. The cream appeared to trigger the production of a protein called fibrillin-1, which makes skin more elastic.

Source:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1200689/Secrets-womans-wrinkles-revealed-scientists-discover-genes-linked-eternal-youth.html#ixzz0LqDc4UJ8

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News on Health & Science

Clean Living ‘Slows Cell Ageing’

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Taking more exercise and eating the right foods may help increase levels of an enzyme vital for guarding against age-related cell damage, work suggests.
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Among 24 men asked to adopt healthy lifestyle changes for a US study in The Lancet Oncology, levels of telomerase increased by 29% on average.

Telomerase repairs and lengthens telomeres, which cap and protect the ends of chromosomes housing DNA.

As people age, telomeres shorten and cells become more susceptible to dying.

It is the damage and death of cells that causes ageing and disease in people.

Several factors such as smoking, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are associated with shorter-than-average telomeres.

Professor Dean Ornish, from the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in California, and his team wanted to find out if improvements in diet and lifestyle might have the opposite effect.

They asked 30 men, all with low-risk prostate cancers, to take part in a three-month trial of comprehensive lifestyle changes.

These consisted of a diet high in fruit and vegetables, supplements of vitamins and fish oils, an exercise regimen and classes in stress management, relaxation techniques and breathing exercises.

Telomerase activity was measured at the beginning of the trial and again at the end.

Among the 24 men who had sufficient data for analysis, blood levels of telomerase increased by 29% on average.

Increases in telomerase activity were linked with decreases in “bad” LDL cholesterol and decreases in one measure of stress – intrusive thoughts.

The researchers say it is too early to tell if the boost in telomerase levels will translate to a change in telomere length.

But there is evidence to suggest that telomere shortness and low telomerase activity might be important risk factors for cancer and cardiovascular disease.

“This might be a powerful motivator for many people to beneficially change their diet and lifestyle,” they told The Lancet Oncology.

Professor Tim Spector, from King’s College London, who has been researching ageing and telomeres, said: “This work builds on what we already know.

“Lifestyle can affect your telomeres. It would be interesting to find out whether it is diet, stress or both that is important.”

“This might be a powerful motivator for many people to beneficially change their diet and lifestyle ”

The study authors

Source: BBC NEWS:15th. Sept. ’08

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Herbs & Plants

Gymnema Sylvestre

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Botanical Name: Gymnema sylvestre
Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Genus: Gymnema
Species: G. sylvestre
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Common names:   gymnema, cowplant, Australian cowplant, gurmari, gurmarbooti, gurmar, periploca of the woods, meshasringa , Bedki cha pala  and miracle fruit (also a common name for two unrelated plants). periploca of the woods,gudmar
Alternative names: Gurmari, Gurmarbooti, Gurmar, periploca of the woods and Meshasringa. The Hindi word Gur-mar (Madhunaashini in Sanskrit, Chakkarakolli in Tamil), literally means sugar destroyer. Meshasringa (Sanskrit) translates as “ram’s horn”, a name given to the plant from the shape of its fruits. Gymnema probably derives from the Latin word meaning naked and sylvestre means from the forest.
Sanskrit Name : Meshasringi, Madhinasini, madhoolika Hindi: Gurmar, Tamil:amudhapushpam, Malayalam:Chakkarakkolli

Part Used : WHOLE PLANT, LEAVES

Habitat: Gymnema sylvestre R.Br. is a herb native to the tropical forests of southern and central India

Description:
Large climbers, rooting at nodes, leaves elliptic, acuminate, base acute to acuminate, glabrous above sparsely or densely tomentose beneath; Flowers small, in axillary and lateral umbel like cymes, pedicels long; Calyx-lobes long, ovate, obtuse, pubescent; Corolla pale yellow campanulate, valvate, corona single, with 5 fleshy scales. Scales adnate to throat of corolla tube between lobes; Anther connective produced into a membranous tip, pollinia 2, erect, carpels 2,unilocular; locules many ovuled; Follicle long, fusiform 1.

click to see …>…..(01)..(1)...…..(2).…..(3).………(4)

Chemical composition:
The major bioactive constituents of Gymnema sylvestris are a group of oleanane type triterpenoid saponins known as gymnemic acids. The latter contain several acylated (tigloyl, methylbutyroyl etc.,) derivatives of deacylgymnemic acid (DAGA) which is 3-O-glucuronide of gymnemagenin (3, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28-hexahydroxy-olean-12-ene)2. The individual gymnemic acids (saponins) include gymnemic acids I-VII, gymnemosides A-F, gymnemasaponins

Extra Information –

G. sylvestre leaves contain triterpene saponins belonging to oleanane and dammarene classes. Oleanane saponins are gymnemic acids and gymnemasaponins, while dammarene saponins are gymnemasides. Besides this, other plant constituents are flavones, anthraquinones, hentri-acontane, pentatriacontane, a and ß- chlorophylls, phytin, resins, d-quercitol, tartaric acid, formic acid, butyric acid, lupeol, ß-amyrin related glycosides and stigmasterol. The plant extract also tests positive for alkaloids. Leaves of this species yield acidic glycosides and anthroquinones and their derivatives.

Gymnemic acids have antidiabetic, antisweetener and anti-inflammatory activities. The antidiabetic array of molecules has been identified as a group of closely related gymnemic acids after it was successfully isolated and purified from the leaves of Gymnema sylvestre. Later, the phytoconstituents of Gymnema sylvestre were isolated, and their chemistry and structures were studied and elucidated.

Medicinal Uses:

: The plant is acrid, antiinflammatory, anodyne, liver tonic, emetic, diuretic. It is useful in hepatosplenomegaly, dypepsia, constipation, jaundice, halminthiasis, cardiopathy, amenorrhoea. The fresh leaves when chewed have the remarkable property of paralysing the sense of taste for sweet and bitter substance for some time.

While it is still being studied, and the effects of the herb are not entirely known, the herb has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels when used for an extended period of time. Additionally, Gymnema reduces the taste of sugar when it is placed in the mouth, thus some use it to fight sugar cravings. From extract of the leaves were isolated glycosides known as Gymnemic acids, which exhibit anti-sweet activity.

This effect, however, is short-lived, lasting a mere fifteen minutes. Some postulate that the herb actually reduces cravings for sugar by blocking sugar receptors in the tongue, but no scientific studies have supported this hypothesis. It is currently being used in an all natural medication for diabetes with other ingredients such as cinnamon, chromium, zinc, biotin, banaba, huckleberry and bitter melon.

The active ingredient is thought to be gurmenic acid which has structure similar to saccharose. Extracts of Gymnema is not only claimed to curb sweet tooths but also for treatment of as varied problems as hyperglycemia, obesity, high cholesterol levels, anemia and digestion. According to the Sushruta of the Ayurveda it helps to treat Madhumeha ie glycosuria.

In 2005, a study made by King’s College, London, United Kingdom, showed that a water-soluble extract of Gymnema Sylvestre, caused reversible increases in intracellular calcium and insulin secretion in mouse and human ß-cells when used at a concentration (0.125 mg/ml) without compromising cell viability. Hence forth these data suggest that extracts derived from Gymnema Sylvestre may be useful as therapeutic agents for the stimulation of insulin secretion in individuals with T2DM

Click to see:->Gymnema sylvestre is a plant used in India and parts of Asia as a natural treatment for diabetes

>Gymnema sylvestre – Boosts Your Insulin

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://www.ayurveda-herbal-remedy.com/indian-herbs/gymnema-sylvestre.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gymnema_sylvestre

 

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Featured

Is Your Full Figure an Increased Risk for Diabetes?

A new study suggest that women who have smaller breasts in their late teens and early 20s may enjoy a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. However, many doctors have cautioned that the results may have more to do with obesity than they do with breast size alone.

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Researchers surveyed more than 92,000 women with an average age of 38, asking each of the participants to recall her bra size at the age of 20.

Women who recalled having a D cup or larger had about three times the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Women who reported wearing B cup and C cup bras also experienced a higher risk than women who wore an A cup, even after figuring in age, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, eating habits, family history of diabetes, physical activity level and pregnancies.

The study lead investigator believes that the correlation has something to do with how breasts develop during puberty. Puberty is a period marked by raised insulin resistance. Just as breast development is both accelerated and more pronounced in obese girls, their levels of insulin resistance may be as well.

However, if that is the case, many experts question why they should abandon the tried-and-true methods of evaluating type 2 diabetes risk by calculating their BMIs and evaluating lifestyles.

Sources:
ABC News January 28, 2008
Canadian Medical Association Journal January 29, 2008; 178(3): 313–315 (Free Full Text Article)

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News on Health & Science

People With More Moles Age Slowly’

 People with a large numbers of moles on their skin may age slowly, a study suggests.

Scientists from King’s College, London, compared key aging DNA with the number of moles a person had in a study of 1,800 twins.
A mole is a spot on the skin that is usually round or oval in shape and may range in color from pink, brown, red or black. The experts found that the more moles a person had, the more likely their DNA was to have the properties to fight off aging, reported the online edition of BBC News.

In the study, experts found that those with more than 100 moles had longer telomeres than those with fewer than 25. Telemores are the part of certain chromosomes linked to aging. The difference between the two mole groups was equivalent to six to seven years of aging.

Source: The Times Of India