News on Health & Science

Purple Sweet Potato Can Fight Cancer

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A new breed of sweet potato is being touted as the superfood of the future, with experts saying the vegetable may stop people from getting cancer.
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The designer sweet potato, grown for its anti-cancer purple pigment, is also said to contain anti-aging and antioxidant chemicals, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Soyoung Lim, a researcher from Kansas State University, developed the variety of sweet potato with a purple skin and flesh to boost its cancer-fighting properties.

Lim said the colouring contained the chemical anthocyanin, which lowers the risk of cancer and could even slow down some types of the disease. Scientists have found anthocyanin slows down the growth of cancerous cells in colon cancer.

The Times Of India

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Calculator Tells the Bald Future

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A pioneering new computer programme that predicts if and when men will go bald is being offered to British men.

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The “baldness calculator” — said to be the world’s first reliable tool for predicting hair loss — has been a huge hit with men.

The programme calculates the exact age at which someone will go bald or have lost most of their hair or provides reassurance by predicting that they will still have a full head of hair in old age.

More than half a million German men used it within ten days of it being unveiled there and three million men have tried it out globally so far.

Sixty per cent of users of the calculator to date have been young men aged between 15 and 30. Two thirds of all British men will eventually suffer hair loss, according to recent research.

The programme asks users about their age, marital status, occupation, where they live, what their current hairline is, hair loss in their family and their stress levels.

German scientists devised the programme because half of men in their country suffer from hereditary hair loss.

Adolf Klenk, head of research and development at hair care firm Dr Kurt Wolff, said: “More and more men value full hair but especially younger men.

“They are looking for a partner and are at the peak of their social lives. They are very conscious about their looks and being accepted within their social groups. They get concerned that if they lose their hair, they will cease to be attractive to others whereas older men don’t care so much.”

Klenk said that men with a history of hair loss on either their mother or father’s side of the family are most at risk of going bald.

Source:The Daily Telegraph

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Soon, a Pill to Help Your Memory

Here’s some good news for students — a memory pill which can help you with revision for exams is being developed by scientists.
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An international team is coming up with the pill which could make memories stick, in a study that will not only help students revising for exams but also patients with dementia or other brain disorders.

In their study, the scientists discovered that fatty foods not only send feelings of fullness to the brain but they also trigger a process that consolidates long term memories. Now, the team, led by California University, hope to develop drugs which mimic the effect of fat and rich foods to boost memory in those suffering from brain disorders or who need to cement the facts in their brain.

In fact, they found that oleic acids from fats are transformed into a compound called oleoylethanolamide (OEA) in the upper region of the small intestine. OEA not only send hunger-curbing messages to the brain but “causes memory consolidation, the process by which superficial, short-term memories are transformed into meaningful, long-term ones”, according to the scientists.

Daniele Piomelli, who led the team, said the pill works by activating memory-enhancing signals in amygdala — the part of the brain involved in the consolidation of memories of the emotional events. “Remembering the location and context of a fatty meal was probably an important survival mechanism for early humans. It makes sense that mammals have this capability.

“OEA is part of the molecular glue that makes memories stick. By helping mammals remember where and when they have eaten a fatty meal, OEA’s memory-enhancing activity seems to have been an important evolutionary tool for early humans and other mammals,” the Daily Telegraph quoted him as saying.

The study found administering OEA to laboratory rodents improved the memory retention in two tests. When cell receptors activated by OEA were blocked, memory retention effects decreased. Piomelli said drugs that mimic OEA are currently in clinical trials.

Rebecca Wood, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust said the research offered “fascinating” insights into the way we remember. “When thinking about what constitutes a healthy diet, usually what’s good for the heart is also good for the head. Better understanding of how memories are formed could lead to new treatments that help the brain when it becomes affected by Alzheimer’s.”

You may click to see:->Memory MHz Benchmark Impact

Sources: The Times Of India

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Snorers ‘Burn More Calories at Rest’

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Believe it or not, snorers burn more calories than non-snorers, even at rest.
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A new study has revealed that heavy snoring help burn calories and, in fact, the more severe one’s snoring the more calories one regularly burns even while one’s awake, reported the ‘Archives of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery‘ journal.

According to researchers, the increased activity in a sufferer’s nervous system caused by their snoring could be the reason behind the findings.

The researchers have based their findings on analysis of 212 patients, all of whom snored or had related conditions including sleep apnoea, a disorder in which sufferers actually make snoring noises and stop breathing momentarily during the sleep as their airways close over.

Those who suffered from the most serious snoring problems expended around 2,000 calories while resting every day, while those who tended to snore lightly and less often burned an average of 1,626 calories a day resting, they found.

And, according to the researchers, resting energy expenditure may be affected by increased reactions in nervous system caused by snoring and snoring-related disorders.

However, they have strictly warned that snoring could cause other problems, which could make sufferers gain weight, despite the fact that they are expending more calories while at rest.

Lead researcher Eric J Kezirian of the University of California was quoted by ‘The Daily Telegraph‘ as saying: “First, sleep-disordered breathing often results in fatigue and other (changes) in daytime functioning that can limit physical activity.

“Second this (study) does not specifically incorporate the emerging evidence that suggests sleep-disordered breathing may alter energy intake, whether through hormonal or other mechanisms.”

Sources:The Times Of India

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Tea and Coffee are Key to Long Life

Want to live a long and healthy life? Make sure you eat chocolate, and drink tea and coffee in moderation daily, says a leading nutritional scientist.


Yes, according to Prof Gary Williamson of University of Leeds, chocolate, tea and coffee are among some key foods and beverages needed to live a long and healthy life, British newspaper ‘The Daily Telegraph‘ reported.

In fact, Prof Williamson has prepared a list of 20 “lifespan essential” foodstuffs — all are rich in naturally occurring chemicals, known as polyphenols, which have been linked to a variety of health benefits, including protection against heart disease.

And, these foods and drinks could also help to slow down the ageing process by helping to protect cells from the natural damage that occurs over time, he has suggested.

Prof Williamson said: “Epidemiology studies support the protective effects of polyphenol-rich foods. Lack of these components in the diet because of low intake of fruit and vegetables, increases the risk of chronic disease.

“This means that they are essential to fulfil the maximum individual lifespan, and so I propose that they are ‘lifespan essential’.

“Although they might not be essential for growth and development or the maintenance of major body functions, there is increasing knowledge concerning their potential for health maintenance or disease risk reduction throughout adulthood and during ageing.”

Even a recent study carried out by scientists in the US, Britain and Australia concluded that polyphenols can help protect against heart disease.

Sources: The Times Of India

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