Eat chocolate, stay sharp
Long-term exposure to air pollution can make you fat and sleep apnea can damage kidneysstudies and research tips for a healthier you
Eating chocolates can be good for brain
Regular consumption of chocolate keeps brain healthy and sharp, a study suggests. Researchers examined a previous study involving residents of New York whose diet was regularly monitored. The participants also took a series of tests to assess their cognitive functions. Researchers found that those who ate chocolate more frequently performed better in tests on visual-spatial memory and organization, working memory and abstract reasoning compared to those who had fewer chocolates. Chocolates contain high amount of a compound called methylxanthines which has been linked with improving alertness and cognitive function. The study was published in the journal Appetite. Read more here.
Exposure to air pollution can lead to obesity
Long-term exposure to air pollution can increase the risk of obesity, a new study suggests. Researchers at Duke University put pregnant rats and their offspring in two chambers. The first group was exposed to outdoor air and the other breathed through an air filter that removed the pollutants. After 19 days, the lungs and livers in rats exposed to the polluted air increased in size and also showed signs of tissue inflammation. The cholesterol level was 50%, while triglyceride was found to be 46% higher in them. Interestingly, the negative effects of air pollution were less pronounced after three weeks than they were at eight weeks. The study will appear in the journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Read more here.
Financially insecure feel more physical pain than others
People who feel financially insecure are more likely to experience more physical pain than those who feel financially secure, claims a University of Virginia study. Researchers went through six previous studies involving 33,720 individuals and found that households in which both adults were unemployed spent 20% more on painkillers compared to households in which at least one adult was employed. The study points out that economic insecurity leads to physical pain, reduces pain tolerance and increases dependence on painkillers. The study was published in the journal Psychological Science. Read more here.
Sleep apnea can increase risk of kidney diseases
People afflicted with sleep apnea are more likely to be diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, a Taiwanese study shows. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder marked by frequent pauses while breathing. Researchers studied data on 8,600 adults who suffered from sleep apnea and over 34,000 adults of the same age, sex and monthly income but without sleep apnea. They found 157 cases of chronic kidney disease in people with sleep apnea and 298 cases in the other group. It was found that the risk of kidney disease was 58% higher in people with sleep apnea. The study was published in the journal Respirology. Read more here.
Brain function in elderly can be restored through brain exercises
Mild cognitive impairment is common in old age, but a US study claims that its effects can be reversed and the function of brain can be improved again through brain exercises designed to sharpen minds. Researchers enlisted 127 elderly people in a brain fitness program for a period of 12 weeks. The program included meditation training, cognitive behaviour therapy, and education about diet, exercise, stress reduction and sleep habits. By the end of the study, 84% of participants reported significant improvement in three out of 10 areas of cognitive function, while 9% experienced a significant improvement in at least two areas. The study was published in the Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease. Read more here.