8 Health Benefits From This Christmas Spice (Not Cinnamon)

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It’s Christmastime, which means it’s time to break out those gingerbread cookies and start chowing down (in moderation, of course).

But before you start feeling guilty about what you’re eating, it’s important to realize the important health benefits that one very important ingredient in these cookies brings.

As it turns out, ginger can do wonders for your health. And, as you read through this list, you may find yourself seeking out new opportunities to enjoy this holiday spice all season long.

1. Ginger Is High In Gingerol

Gingerol is a powerful substance, which contains anti-inflammatories as well as antioxidants.

2. ginger prevents nausea

Starting to feel sick? Approximately 1.5 grams of ginger can help prevent nausea from illness, morning sickness, chemo, seasickness, airline nausea, and more.3. ginger reduces muscle pain

Thanks to it’s anti-inflammatory properties, consistent indulging in ginger can slow the advancement of muscle pains and can lessen muscle soreness from exercise.

4. ginger lowers blood sugar levels

Studies have shown that ginger has the ability to reduce levels of sugar in the blood, while also lowering the risk of heart disease in patients that have type 2 diabetes.

5. Ginger aids in digestion

Ginger naturally works to increase the rate that the stomach empties. This can be very helpful for those suffering from discomfort from indigestion.

6. ginger lessens menstrual pain

Women will likely be happy to eat ginger, as it can be very effective at reducing menstrual pain at the beginning of the cycle.

7. ginger reduces bad cholesterol

Studies have shown that ginger can significantly reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, as well as lower blood triglyceride levels.8. ginger helps protect the aging process

Studies have shows that ginger helps protect the brain from damage related to aging. In addition, ginger can increase cognitive function in elderly women.

New Way To Shut Off Hunger Pangs May Have Arrived

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Fighting off those hunger pangs can be quite the battle – especially when we’re standing near the cookies this holiday season. So, we reason it’s simply a matter of willpower to fight the urge to eat everything in sight.
However, we now know that there’s a lot more that triggers hunger pangs than we think. And it’s not a matter of “good behavior,” as much as a delicate balance of calorie intake, neurons, and digestion hormones that decides to tell us when to eat.
For instance, a Medical News Today study shows that glial cells, found in the hypothalamus in the brain, respond to certain nutrients, and then “tell us” we’re full.
In addition, a separate study concludes that the hormone asprosin has the ability to both stimulate and suppress our appetites. 
Now, J. Nicholas Betley and his team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have been delving deep into finding more about our gut and brain plays into our sensations of hunger pangs.
According to Betley, AgRP neurons exist in the hypothalamus and begin to activate when we get hungry. Think of them as a super-sensitive alarm clock.
Interestingly, the alarm gets “noisier” the hungrier you get, and then becomes “quieter” as soon as you can see and smell the food you’re about to eat.
Bentley’s quest was to learn more about AgRP neurons – specifically how they “turn off” after we sense food is near. So, his team began using in vivo calcium imaging to follow the neurons in the brains of mice and study their activity.
The mice received three meals at different times: regular chow (their normal meal from before the study), a zero-calorie strawberry gel (brand new to them) and the same gel, with calories (also unfamiliar to the mice).
Upon seeing the chow, the AgRP neurons in the mice’s brains immediately began to decrease. This is because they were familiar with the food, and already made the connection with the chow and being full.
The sight and smell of the zero-calorie gel, however, did not affect the AgRP neurons. Once the mice ate the gel, the neurons began to decrease, but only for a short time.
The researchers repeatedly gave the mice the gel, and this decrease in activity got smaller and smaller with each dose. This shows that the mice’s brains had made a link between the gel and low calorie intake.
However, when the strawberry gel with calories was given to the mice, a strange thing took place. According to Medical News Today:

Finally, when the same mice received the calorie-containing gel, AgRP neurons decreased in activity and continued to “lay low” for a long time.

“To solidify their findings, the team repeated the experiments in a reversed order — that is, starting with the calorie-containing gel — and used a different group of mice.

They also infused the gel straight into the rodents’ stomachs, and they found the same calorie-dependent effects.

Finally, infusions were repeated with pure sugars, fats, and proteins. The more calories the rodents received, the lower dropped the activity of AgRP neurons.

“[W]hat this study conclusively demonstrated,” says Betley, “is that nutrients are the primary regulators of this alarm system,” referring to AgRP neurons.

So what does this mean for us humans? By introducing nutrient-dense foods into our diet, and eating these as smaller meals throughout the day, this may help us maintain our healthy diet and avoid those nighttime binges after having been “good” all day.

Why You Shouldn’t Trust Most Cancer Drugs

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According to a new study, a majority of cancer drugs given out from 2009 to 2013 did not offer substantial evidence they would improve or extend the patient’s life. Shockingly, these drugs were given authorization from the European Medicines Agency.

According to Natural News:

“Lead author Dr. Courtney Davis commented: “When expensive drugs that lack robust evidence of clinical benefit are approved and reimbursed within publicly funded healthcare systems, individual patients may be harmed and public funds wasted.”

In other words, cancer patients and the population, in general, suffer as Big Pharma watches its profits pile up.”

The study also made sure to follow-up with the patients using these drugs in increments of five years at a time. Unfortunately, many of the patients either saw no benefits to these drugs, or the benefits were clinically insignificant.

What’s worse, marketers are advertising some of these drugs as “breakthrough therapy,” when in reality they offer no substantial advantage over existing treatments.

This deceptive marketing causes patients and their families to have false hope. It also makes them more likely to forego more effective treatments.

Not to mention, news spread earlier this year about a fund, which helped patients have access to cancer medications that the National Health Service doesn’t cover – failing miserably.

After spending over $1.5 billion and garnering about 100k patients, only approximately 18 percent of those patients gained health benefits from the drugs.

Heartbreakingly, most of the patients who received health benefits lived just over three months longer than those who did not.

Unfortunately, this is what cancer patients are up against in the battle to fight this disease. According to Natural News:

There is a slew of conflicting information available, different doctors say different things, and patients can’t even trust the drugs that have been approved by regulators to make them feel any better – and in many cases, they make them feel worse. Stricter standards need to be put in place to protect sick people from being victims of Big Pharma’s profit machine.

Teens Using These Popular Electronics Are Mentally Damaged

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Ever worry about your teenager’s overuse of their cell phone? It turns out you have every right to worry.
 According to a new study done by researchers at the Korea University in South Korea, teens who have an addiction to using their smartphones have a chemical imbalance in their brains.
This makes them much more susceptible to anxiety and depression.
The researchers sought more information on the effects of this addiction, and so they began working with adolescents, about 15.5 years old on average, who had been given a diagnosis of either smartphone or internet addiction. 
The researchers simultaneously began studying a control group of 19 other participants who did not have an addiction to either their smartphones or the internet.
According to Medical News Today:
“The participants’ brains were examined using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), which is a technique that allows researchers to evaluate levels of various chemicals in the brain.

Of the 19 smartphone- and Internet-addicted teens, 12 also received cognitive behavioral therapy(CBT) over 9 weeks as part of the study. The CBT type that they received was adapted from a program targeting gaming addiction.”

The researchers also began administering tests, focusing on the extent to which the participants’ addictions were impacting their productivity, social lives, and daily activities. High scores on the test correlate with severe smartphone and/or internet addictions.

The results of the study came in with shocking results:

Participants with a more severe Internet and smartphone addiction were also found to have problems with depression and anxiety, as well as sleeplessness and impulsive behavior.

“The addicted teens underwent MRS both before and after CBT, while the control group was only examined using MRS once. The researchers were interested in measuring levels of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate-glutamine (Glx) in the brain.

GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that interacts with neural synapses, slowing down signaling between brain cells. GABA balances out the effect of Glx, which is an excitatory neurotransmitter that speeds up electric signaling in the brain.

Imbalances in GABA and Glx levels have previously been found to play a role in mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.

Following the MRS exams, the team found that addicted participants, in comparison with the healthy control group, had a higher ratio of GABA to Glx before CBT in the anterior cingulate cortex area of the brain, which is implicated in cognition and the regulation of emotions.

Chemical balance, however, was largely restored in the brain following CBT interventions.”

According to Dr. Seo, head researcher of the study, there is a significant link between a teenager’s emotional regulation & cognitive ability and the intensity of their addiction to smartphones & the internet.

There is also a link between these factors and the amount of anxiety and depression the teenager is feeling.

These findings should help us wake up to the drastic effects that can come from being on our phones too much. It’s important to moderate our time on the internet and on our phones to help increase emotional regulation and reduce anxiety and depression.

4 Weird Ways Known to Help Prevent Breast Cancer

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Everyone knows about the negative impacts stress can have on the mind and body. However, few people know that an increase in stress can lead to certain cancers, such as breast cancer.

It’s incredibly important to learn some proactive, healthy ways to cope with stress (and therefore fight off disease).

Here’s a list of four ways you can healthily cope with stress, and help your body to heal itself during difficult times. Studies have shown these “relaxation responses” really work!

Meditate

Telomeres are very small regions of DNA, existing at the end of a cell’s chromosome. Their role is to help protect genetic information. Whenever a cell divides, these telomeres become smaller in the original cell.

Interestingly enough, studies have shown telomeres are longer in breast cancer survivors – particularly those who meditate and/or take part in consistent mindfulness practices.

Long telomeres are an indication of health, and can point to a lower risk of developing breast cancer.

Just 15 minutes of meditation and deep breathing can help your body reap the benefits of this practice. Remember – consistency is key.

Movement

Movement gives your body a method of coping with stress in a healthy, productive way. In fact, walking four hours per week can greatly reduce the risk of obtaining invasive breast cancer.

HIIT workouts, swimming, dancing, jogging, and speed walking are all great ways to blow off steam and help your body deal with stress. The goal is to get your heart rate up.

If you aren’t physically able to do these activities, consistent stretching and yoga can also have benefits on the endocrine and nervous systems.

Journaling

Set a timer for 20 minutes, and journal about anything you like, making sure to write the entire time. You can choose to write about whatever pops in your head, or about something specific. The goal is for your pen to not leave the paper.

One of the most beneficial exercises is to write about the plans you have, the goals you want to achieve, and the things you’re grateful for. You can also draw out your feelings.

Writing down compliments about yourself is also beneficial in reducing stress, and can help reset your perspective.

A report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology shows that women experiencing breast cancer felt fewer symptoms when participating in this exercise.

start tapping

Tapping (aka the Emotional Freedom Technique) allows for a quick and easy way to calm stress and increase focus.

By simply tapping on key points on the face and chest, and saying affirmations out loud while doing it, the body can reduce its stress levels and significantly lower cortisol levels.

This may seem awkward to do at first, but studies show that 90% of patients of military veterans with PTSD had a significant reduction of symptoms in just six weeks of consistent EFT practice.

It may be difficult to remember to implement these stress-reducing strategies. However, by simply participating in each of these for 15 minutes a day, you can see significant results when it comes to stress reduction.

 

 

Trick Your Brain Into Helping You Lose Weight

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Mindfulness is becoming a hot topic lately, and studies show that this practice may be an effective way to keep your weight under control.
The intention of mindfulness practices is to increase calmness, improve discipline and self-control, and eliminate thoughts that interfere with your progress. 
Yoga and meditation, which are useful ways of executing mindfulness, can also increase energy levels and protect the body from heart disease.
Researchers Kimberly Carrière, Prof. Bärbel Knäuper, and Bassam Khoury of McGill University in Canada began performing studies to understand how mindfulness practices can affect a person’s weight and dietary practices.
After analyzing 19 different studies focusing on the correlation between mindfulness and weight (all done within the last 10 years), the researchers came to the following realization:
It was found that, across the board, mindfulness was “moderately to largely effective in reducing weight loss and improving obesity-related eating behaviours.”
Interestingly, mindfulness practices were not shown to be as effective for weight loss in the short-term as exercise and changes in diet. However, they did prove to be effective in the long-run with consistent practice.
According to Medical News Today:
“In the first instance, mindfulness practitioners lost 3.3 percent of body weight, compared to the 4.7 percent weight loss experienced by the participants who only dieted and exercised.”

However, at follow-up evaluations after several weeks from the interventions, participants who used mindfulness techniques continued to shed excess pounds steadily, bringing their mean weight loss to 3.5 percent.

Study participants who were not performing mindfulness practices did not lose any more weight; in fact, some participants ended up gaining more pounds that they had initially shed.

These results are encouraging to the researchers, and many are wondering how much more effective weight loss programs may be with the addition of mindfulness practices.

These Furry Friends May Help You Live Longer

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Dogs are by far the most popular pet in America. However, they may have more advantages than just companionship and cute furry faces. 
According to a recent study, these canines may also reduce the risk of dying prematurely by up to a third.
After analyzing over three million adults, the results showed that dog owners – especially those who live alone – have a lower risk of mortality (from all causes, as well as cardiovascular disease) over the course of a 12-year span, in comparison to those who do not have dogs.
Possible causes for these findings include: stress reduction, better sleep quality (when dogs are in the bedroom), and increase in exercise levels.
Researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden were conducting the study.

According to Medical News Today:

“For their study, lead junior author Mwenya Mubanga — of the Department of Medical Sciences and the Science for Life Laboratory at Uppsala University — gathered health, mortality, and dog ownership data for 3,432,153 individuals who were living in Sweden.

Information was taken from a total of seven national data sources, including the Swedish National Patient Register, the Cause of Death Register, the Swedish Twin Register, and the Swedish Kennel Club.

All individuals were free of cardiovascular disease when the data began being collected in 2001, and they were followed-up for an average of 12 years.”

In single-person households, dog ownership was tied to a 36 percent lower risk of cardiovascular death, while dog ownership in multi-person households was linked to a 15 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular death.

Although the researchers are still seeking conclusive evidence to various aspects of their study, they are confident that these results may be generalizable to the entire Swedish population, as well as other populations with similar cultures when it comes to dog ownership.

New Danger Linked To ECigs

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Many people feel that e-cigarettes (or “vaping”) is healthier than smoking. This may be the case, but it by no means the act isn’t negatively impacting your health.
According to recent research, certain flavorings that manufacturers add to e-cigarette liquids can actually be harming to the user’s heart.
Researchers found that flavoring chemicals in the liquids, such as cinnamon and citrus, were actually impairing the ability of the heart cells to function. 
Marketers have been selling e-cigarettes as a “safe alternative” to normal cigarettes; however, the more scientists are discovering about vaping, the more dangers they’re uncovering.

Researchers have also found a positive association between e-cigarette use and an increase in cardiovascular risk. Scientists think the nicotine present in e-cigarette liquids is the cause.

According to Medical News Today:

“Nystoriak and colleagues tested 15 different e-cigarette flavorings on human cardiomyocytes derived from induced pluripotent stem cells.

Cardiomyocytes are the cells that make up the heart muscle, and they are responsible for the contractile function of the heart, which enables the organ to pump blood around the body.

The team monitored how each flavoring — when heated and unheated — affected the function of cardiomyocytes.”

THEY FOUND THAT CINNAMALDEHYDE, OR CINNAMON FLAVORING, PREVENTED THE CARDIOMYOCYTES FROM CONTRACTING 24 HOURS AFTER COMING INTO CONTACT WITH THEM, WHILE EUGENOL (CLOVE), CITRONELLOL (FLORAL), AND LIMONENE (CITRUS) CAUSED THE HEART MUSCLE CELLS TO BEAT FASTER.

“THESE EFFECTS [FROM THE CHEMICALS] ARE KIND OF STRIKING BECAUSE IT SUGGESTS THAT IF THIS COMPOUND WAS INTERACTING WITH THE HEART MUSCLE ITSELF, IT COULD DO SOMETHING DIRECTLY TO CHANGE HOW THAT CELL ACTUALLY FUNCTIONS,” SAYS NYSTORIAK.

The researchers found that the liquid flavorings caused the most drastic effects when they were unheated.

However, with thousands of flavorings on the market today, it is unknown how each of these will break down if heated.
The researchers also do not have conclusive evidence of how inhaling the flavorings in e-cigarette liquids impacts cardiomyocytes.
Still, there is one conclusion that can be drawn from this study: don’t believe e-cigarettes have no side-effects.

3 Day Cancer Treatment Could Work

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Cancer cells have the maddening ability to become resistant to current therapies. As a result, these cells are enormously difficult to treat.
However, thanks to some exciting new study, researchers may have been able to find cancer’s weak spot – and to nearly destroy it in cell cultures.
According to the study, changing the structure of chromatin in cancer cells may make them more simple to eradicate. 
Chromatin is located in the nucleus, and is the result of DNA’s wrapping around histones (proteins). Its role is to pack the genetic code into the nucleus of a cell. It also has the ability to switch genes on and off.
Well, with cancer, chromatin allows the disease to evolve and to resist cancer therapies – which ultimately keeps them from dying off.
According to Vadim Backman, of the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University, cancer depends upon the interaction of “tens of thousands of genes.”

Backman and his colleagues set out to combat cancer’s drug resistant properties, focusing on chromatin as the key to accomplish this. The team was also using an imaging technique, which has been helping them discover more about chromatin.

Medical News Today writes:

“The new technique is called Partial Wave Spectroscopic (PWS) microscopy, and it enables real-time monitoring of chromatin in living cells.

Additionally, the researchers explain that PWS allows them to assess chromatin at a length scale of 20–200 nanometers, which they say is the precise point at which cancer formation influences chromatin.

They used PWS to monitor chromatin in cultured cancer cells. They found that chromatin has a specific “packing density” associated with gene expression that helps cancer cells to evade treatments.

The analysis revealed that a more heterogeneous and disordered chromatin packing density was related to greater cancer cell survival in response to chemotherapy. A more conservative and ordered packing density, however, was linked to greater cancer cell death in response to chemotherapy.”

“Just by looking at the cell’s chromatin structure, we could predict whether or not it would survive,” says Backman. “Cells with normal chromatin structures die because they can’t respond; they can’t explore their genome in search of resistance. They can’t develop resistance.”

 

The researchers later found they can alter electrolytes in the cancer cells’ nucleus in order to change chromatin’s structure.

To test this theory, the researchers began administering a combination of Celecoxib (typically useful for pain relief) and Digoxin (known to treat heart failure and atrial fibrillation), along with chemotherapy, on cancer cells in a lab. Both of these drugs have the ability to alter the packing destiny of chromatin.

Vadim Backman says:

“Within 2 or 3 days [of testing], nearly every single cancer cell died because they could not respond. The CPT compounds don’t kill the cells; they restructure the chromatin. If you block the cells’ ability to evolve and to adapt, that’s their Achilles’ heel.”

Backman’s results are incredibly promising. However, the researcher recognizes that he will also need to test this process on both animals and humans.

Medical News Today states:

“There is a big difference between cell cultures and humans,” says Backman. “You never know how the environment inside the human body will affect cancer’s behavior or if there will be unforeseen side effects.”

That said, the researchers note that they have replicated their findings in seven different cancer types so far, which Backman says is “very promising.”

Regulating This Hormone Could Help You Lose Weight

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According to researchers, a hormone naturally found in your body may be the culprit behind the recent weight gain you’ve been experiencing. 
The hormone, known as asprosin, is one of the hormones that tells your brain that you’re hungry. According to researchers, fat generates asprosin. The hormone then regulates your body’s blood sugar levels by moving to the liver, and signaling it to begin releasing glucose into your bloodstream.

Interestingly enough, recent research is now showing that asprosin’s presence also affects the hypothalamus – a portion of your brain that regulates weight and appetite.

The first scientific discovery of the hormone asprosin was in 2016. Since its discovery, Dr. Chopra and her colleagues have been administering the hormone to mice with symptoms of neonatal progeroid syndrome (NPS) – a rare disease that causes extreme leanness and the inability to accumulate fat.

The researcher’s goal was to witness asprosin’ effects on the mice’s brain chemistry, hunger levels and, subsequently, weight gain.

Astoundingly, Chopra and her team were able to restore a healthy appetite by simply giving the mice the administration of the hormone. According to Dr. Chopra:

“There are two types of neurons involved in appetite control. One type, the AgRP neurons, stimulates appetite while the other type, POMC neurons, suppresses it. Asprosin works on both types of neurons in an opposite manner; it activates appetite-stimulating AgRP neurons and it deactivates appetite-suppressing POMC neurons.”

According to Dr. Yong Xu (another author of the study), the asprosin did not seem to change the firing activities of other neurons that regulate appetite. Therefore, the team’s focus now is identifying the receptors for the hormone.

As the authors of the study said:

“[W]e found that obese humans and mice had pathologically elevated concentrations of circulating asprosin, and neutralization of asprosin in the blood […] reduced appetite and body weight in obese mice, in addition to improving their glycemic profile.”

“[The findings] give us a possible opportunity to treat obesity by regulating blood asprosin levels,” says Dr. Chopra.

“If humans with diabetes respond the same way to the asprosin antibody that diabetic mice do, this discovery could result in a new treatment for diabetes, which affects millions of people,” Dr. Chopra said.

These findings are extremely exciting, as they may become a treatment for helping those who struggle with weight gain and obesity. These findings also point to future hopeful relief for those who experience symptoms of NPS.

All About Poop And Your Health

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Even though everybody poops, talking about it can be quite uncomfortable. However, aspects about your bowel movements (such as the size, color and frequency) can give you some necessary insight into your health.

One of the biggest worries people have generally revolves around the frequency of their bowel movements. Are they pooping too often? Not enough?

The good news is, it turns out there’s no real limitation on what is “normal” when it comes to frequency. For instance, according to a 2008 study, 98% of participants had bowel movements anywhere from 3 times a day, to 3 times a week.

Regardless, most people go to the bathroom about the same time every day/week, and their body is on a schedule.

The truth is, each person’s “routine” is different, since bowel movements are affected by a variety of factors, such as: fluid intake, diet, activity, age, medical conditions, medications, hormones, and social factors (i.e: difficulty pooping in public restrooms).

However, it’s important not to “hold it in” very often – doing so can lower your body’s ability to respond accordingly when it needs to release a bowel movement. This can result in constipation and discomfort.

Generally, if your body sticks to a routine every day/week, this is a normal and healthy sign. However, if you find your body going far away from the routine for a while, this may be an indication of either a stomach or bowel issue.

Weird Way Friends Will Improve Your Health

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According to a recent study, maintaining strong, healthy friendships throughout old age can help slow down or prevent decline in cognitive abilities.
Emily Rogalski, an associate professor at the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center (CNADC), and her team of researchers began analyzing the mental abilities and social circles of men and women in their 80s.
Interestingly, she calls this sample group of participants “SuperAgers,” since they have the mental ability and agility of people in their 50s to 60s. 
According to Medical News Today:
“Rogalski and her colleagues asked 31 SuperAgers and 19 age-matched controls to complete a 42-item questionnaire that enquired about their psychological well-being.

The questions spanned across six criteria: “autonomy, positive relations with others, environmental mastery, personal growth, purpose in life, and self-acceptance.”

Participants were at least 80 years old, and their episodic memory was “at least as good” as that of their middle-aged peers.

Episodic memory is defined as “the capacity to recall specific experiences, as if one were to ‘mentally time travel’ to re-experience individual events.”

Both the SuperAgers and the age-matched groups showed similar, high levels of mental well-being and stability across a variety of dimensions. However, the SuperAgers had much greater amounts of positive, social relationships.

Medical News Today states:

“More specifically, SuperAgers scored a median of 40 in the measure of social relations with others, whereas the controls only scored 36. As the senior researcher explains, this is a significant difference.

It could be the case, the authors write, that this difference is reflected in some neurological traits that have been observed in previous studies, as well.

These neurological features are “the greater thickness of the anterior cingulate gyrus and higher density of von Economo neurons” that researchers previously found in the brains of SuperAgers.

However, this is only a speculation, as the study is observational and cannot explain the mechanisms responsible for the findings.”

Rogalski notes that these results are very compelling, as they show that there is a link between the act of maintaining strong friendships and the slowing down of mental decline.

Granted, Rogalski recognizes that this is not a guarantee. “It’s not as simple as saying if you have a strong social network, you’ll never get Alzheimer’s disease,” she states. Despite this, having a strong social circle can be an excellent way to help prevent it.

According to Rogalski:

[If] there is a list of healthy choices one can make, such as eating a certain diet and not smoking, maintaining strong social networks may be an important one on that list. None of these things by [themselves guarantee] you don’t get the disease, but they may still have health benefits.”

– Emily Rogalski

5 Fruits To Help Improve Blood Sugar In Diabetics

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It is essential that diabetes sufferers adopt healthy lifestyle changes in order to keep their condition in check. These changes include having a consistent workout routine, and 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

However, what many people with diabetes don’t realize is that eating the right fruits can really help improve their blood sugar levels. These fruits will have lots of vitamins, minerals, and antibiotics to help ease diabetes symptoms.

Five fruits that need to be in every diabetes sufferer’s diet are:

Oranges

Fresh oranges are not only nature’s candy, but they’re also a great way to help control diabetes. Thanks to the fruit’s high fiber, mineral, and vitamin C content, oranges can help manage blood sugar levels while also contributing to weight loss.

To get all the benefits, eat the orange fruit rather than relying on sugary orange juice drinks, which have much less fiber and can spike blood sugar levels.

Pears

Something unique about pears is that they contain anthocyanin, which is very high in vitamins like vitamin A, E, C, B1 and B2. It’s so powerful it can actually help prevent people from getting diabetes (while also aiding those already with the condition). Pears’ high fiber content helps promote weight loss, lower cholesterol levels, contribute to heart health, and and helps keep the body regular.

Apples

Ever hear that old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” Well, the same goes for diabetes. Consuming whole apples (not apple juice) is shown to significantly lower the risks of type 2 diabetes.

This miracle fruit also helps lowers insulin requirements by up to 35%, thanks to its rich fiber, vitamin C, antioxidant, and flavanoid content.

Cherries

Cherries are not only delicious, but they’re also ridiculously good for those with diabetes. That’s because they have anthocyanins, which help lower and maintain blood sugar levels. It does this by increasing the production of insulin by as much as 50%!

Guava

Guava is one of those overlooked fruits that can do some serious damage to diabetes. That’s because it’s high in potassium (great for maintaining blood pressure), rich in fiber (excellent for weight loss), and has lots of lycopene (ideal for maintaining blood sugar levels).

The Weird Way Junk Food Kills Your Future

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Ever have one of those days that you’re working hard, and nothing can distract you from your work…until someone announces there’s donuts in the break room? 
If this sounds familiar, it should be a comfort to know that most all humans face this same struggle. In fact, studies show that food has a pretty powerful ability to completely distract us, even if we’re in the midst of a power-work session. 
 
And, although this fact pertains to food in general, unhealthy kinds such as chips and donuts have the wield the most power over our focus. 
That’s because unhealthy and empty-calorie laden foods are much more likely to turn on our brains’ “reward system” than, say, kale. This makes things like donuts and chips far more appealing and difficult to resist than a salad, or cucumber water.
 
But just how powerful are these distractions? And is it really true that we’re that much more distracted by junk food than we are other foods?
Corbin A. Cunningham of Johns Hopkins University and his colleagues decided to find out by doing a series of experiments. According to Medical News Today:

“The study consisted of two experiments. The first experiment included 18 participants who were required to engage in a “distraction paradigm” exercise, which aimed to determine how food diverted attention from a complex computer test.

In the task, food- and non-food-related images appeared on the screen for just 125 milliseconds — which the researchers say is too fast for people to fully comprehend what they have seen but is long enough for their brains to process the visual information.

The food images included pictures of high-fat, high-calorie products — such as chocolate, cheese, candy, and hot dogs — as well as healthful foods, such as carrots and apples.”

The researchers found that all images diverted the subjects’ attention from the computer test. However, the images of the high-fat, calorie-dense foods were found to be twice as distracting as the images of healthful foods and non-food objects.”

This tells us that the subjects’ brains were able to assess the foods’ unhealthy nutritional content and remain fixated on it, even when they were only images (and irrelevant images at that).

According to Medical News Today:

“For the second experiment, the researchers enrolled 18 new subjects. The task was the same as in the first experiment, except that the participants consumed two small candy bars beforehand.

The researchers found that these subjects were no more distracted by the images of high-fat, high-calorie foods than images of healthful foods or non-food images.”

According to the researchers, eating the candy bars beforehand lessened the participants’ cravings for the unhealthy foods. Eating the candy bars beforehand devalued the unhealthy foods, making them less desirable (and thus less distractible to the participants).

So what’s the moral of the story? Don’t go to the grocery store on an empty stomach!

If this study proves anything, it’s that we are more likely to eat bad-for-you food when we have not eaten something recently (and so the perceived value of the sweet treats increase).

If you’re heading to the store, eat a healthy snack or meal beforehand, and bring a grocery list with you. Because your stomach is full, you are less likely to purchase empty-calorie foods, and are more likely to stick to your list.

It May Feel Good, But It Could Cause Head and Neck Cancer

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Oral sex may feel good, but researchers are discovering that the act, when tied with smoking, may lead to a higher risk of a form of head and neck cancer. 
This form of cancer, known as oropharyngeal cancer, triggers when it faces exposure to the human papillomavirus. And, unfortunately, this occurrence isn’t extremely rare – more than 11,500 cases occur every year.
In fact, experts say that by the year 2020, the prevalence of oropharyngeal cancer will become more than that of cervical cancer.
However, although this risk is certainly increasing, the overall likelihood of obtaining this cancer is low. According to Prof. Gypsyamber D’Souza of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (and researcher of this study):

“Most people perform oral sex in their lives, and we found that oral infection with cancer-causing HPV was rare among women regardless of how many oral sex partners they had.”

“Among men who did not smoke,” Prof. D’Souza says, “cancer-causing oral HPV was rare among everyone who had less than five oral sex partners, although the chances of having oral HPV infection did increase with number of oral sexual partners, and with smoking.”

 This data is the result of studying 13,089 people, all between the ages of 20 and 69, who were given a test for oral HPV infection.

According to the research, both men and women with the lowest risk of oropharyngeal cancer were those who had one or zero sexual partners in their lifetime.

The risk increased slightly with more sexual partners, and increased more drastically when the person was a smoker.

According to the study:

Non-smoking men who had had five or more oral sex partners had a prevalence of oral HPV infection of 7.4 percent. The highest prevalence of infection — reaching 15 percent — was observed among men with five or more oral sex partners and who smoked.

Despite this, Carole Fakhry (co-researcher in this study) admits that an HPV infection is not necessarily a predictor of cancer. Therefore, she says that screening for a cancer-causing oral HPV infection is difficult, to say the least. According to Dr. Fakhry:

“Currently, there are no tests that could be used for screening people for oropharyngeal cancer,” explains Dr. Fakhry. “It is a rare cancer, and for most healthy people the harms of screening for it would outweigh the benefits because of the problem of false positive test results and consequent anxiety.”

Skip Breakfast Because It’s Actually Good For You?

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There’s a lot of things that science and research have been telling us is true. Examples include:

  1. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
  2. Eating small meals throughout the day keeps your metabolism going and contributes to weight loss
  3. Reducing calories is the best way to lose weight

But are all of these remarks 100% accurate? Maybe not.

According to recent research, fasting at irregular intervals improves your metabolism and aids in weight loss. Better yet, you don’t need to reduce your caloric intake to reap the benefits.

Over the years, fasting has shown to have a ton of benefits. For example, it reduces inflammation, lowers oxidative stress, prevents cell damage, slows aging, increases insulin levels, and lowers the risk of acquiring diseases caused by old age.

According to research, fasting has this effect because it increases vascular growth, thereby triggering anti-inflammatory macrophages. These macrophages reduce inflammation by encouraging the cells to burn their fat stores in order to create heat.

According to Medical News Today:

STRIKINGLY, THESE FASTING-STIMULATED CHANGES IN THE GROWTH OF VASCULAR CELLS AND SUBSEQUENT IMMUNE ALTERATIONS OCCUR EVEN AFTER A SINGLE CYCLE OF 24-HOUR FASTING, AND ARE COMPLETELY REVERSED WHEN MICE START EATING AGAIN.”

– STUDY CO-AUTHOR YUN HYE KIM

Researchers are still looking into the specifics of ideal fasting, such as the length of time to fast, and what to eat in-between fasts.

However, this information gives researchers hope to one day be able to create specific fasting programs in order to help combat weight gain and obesity around the nation.

Proven to Kill Cancer – How to Get More Of It For Free

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Did you know that cancer cells love environments that are acidic and low in oxygen? That’s why it’s imperative that you introduce as much oxygen as you can into your body (in a healthy way, of course) to help combat these from forming!

Now, there are a variety of healthy ways to help increase your blood oxygen levels. These include:

Proper Breathing

You may be breathing improperly, and not even know it. However, this practice can lower blood oxygen levels by as much as 20%. And this is dangerous, as low levels of oxygen also can cause symptoms such as headaches, and anxiety (and severe low levels can cause coma and even death).

To combat this, it’s important to practice proper breathing. This is done by sitting up straight, and taking deep breaths while engaging your diaphragm and lungs. “In fact, research conducted at the Augusta Women’s Center in August, Georgia found that expanding the lungs triggers neurological responses which can slow the metabolic rate and turn on the parasympathetic nervous system,” says Natural News Blogs.

Exercise

Exercise that raises your heart rate for at least 30 minutes is excellent for increasing your blood oxygen level. This occurs because your cells burn oxygen quickly when working out. Meanwhile, working out increases the amount of carbon dioxide your body produces. This process ensures that increasing amounts of oxygen are sent to your cells. Exercise is also great for calming blood pressure in individuals with type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

focus on the right foods

Eating foods that are high in antioxidants and essential fatty acids is a great way to increase blood oxygen levels. This is because antioxidants helps the body use its oxygen more efficiently.

Essential fatty acids help the body by increasing blood oxygen levels in hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the mechanism that helps transport oxygen in the blood.

The “right type of foods” include things like: berries, dark leafy greens, certain legumes, olive oil, cold water fish, walnuts, and flax oil.

However, keep in mind to avoid the “wrong foods” that will hinder your progress. Sugary foods, as well as alcohol, can lower blood oxygen levels, cause oxidative stress, and lead to cancer. .

Healthy Aging Influenced By What You Do To This Organ

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Researchers have been discovering an absolutely astonishing fact about human gut bacteria. According to their findings from the study, seniors that are extremely healthy have largely the same gut bacterial composition as healthy 30-year-olds.

This discovery came from studying the gut health of over 1,000 healthy people, all between 3 and 100 years of age.

These participants each met the criteria for being “extremely healthy.” Neither they nor their families have diseases, and they do not drink, smoke, or currently use any antibiotics or prescription drugs.

In addition, none of the participants have a family history of neurological, cardiometabolic, or gastrointestinal diseases.

According to the findings, the microbial composition of the seniors who are extremely healthy have strong resemblance to their equally healthy, but much younger counterparts.

The researchers also came to the realization that by and large microbiota was extremely similar between participants ages 30-100. Significant differences were only shown in individuals 20 years old and younger.

In addition, the microbial composition found in men was “more variable” than those found in women.

Because of these findings, researchers are facing  a curious set of questions. Is aging better purely a result of eating well and staying active? Or is the state of the bacteria in your gut the ultimate cause of aging well (or not)?

Regardless, this study shows an undeniable correlation between healthy aging and a healthy gut.

According to Medical News Today:

Parkinson’s Breakthrough!

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Scientists in South Korea and Singapore are overturning three decades’ worth of knowledge about Parkinson’s and what causes it.

Up until now, scientists have thought that the cause of the lack of voluntary movement (which is one of the biggest characteristics of Parkinson’s) is low levels of dopamine. However, this no longer seems to be the case.

The basal ganglia regulates the body’s voluntary movement. This region of the brain basically shifts between getting instructions to allow movement, and getting instructions to suppress movement.

Well, researchers Daesoo Kim (South Korea) and George Augustine (Singapore) made use of the cutting-edge technology optogenetics to intensify the motor suppression instructions given to rats’ brains.

As Medical News Today states:

“However, they found that this made ventrolateral thalamic neurons – which are involved in motor control – hyperactive.

This hyperactivity seemed to cause muscular rigidity and contractions in the rodents – symptoms similar to the hallmark motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease.

As the authors explain, this is the phenomenon called “rebound firing,” which seems to be triggered by intensifying inhibitory basal ganglia inputs.

Prof. Kim and team tested the role of this phenomenon by genetically engineering mice to lack dopamine and inhibiting rebound firing to see what effects it would have on Parkinson’s disease motor symptoms.

Rebound firing was inhibited by genetically interfering to reduce the number of ventrolateral thalamic neurons.”

SHOCKINGLY, THE MICE WITH EXTREMELY LOW LEVELS OF DOPAMINE – BUT NO REBOUND FIRING – SHOWED NO SYMPTOMS OF PARKINSON’S.

According to Kim and Augustine:

“In a low dopamine state,” the authors say, “the number of [ventrolateral thalamic] neurons showing post-inhibitory firing increases, while reducing the number of active [ventrolateral thalamic] neurons [by inhibiting basal ganglia] input, effectively prevents Parkinson disease-like motor symptoms.”

“Thus, [basal ganglia] inhibitory input generates excitatory motor signals in the thalamus and, in excess, promotes PD-like [Parkinson’s disease-like] motor abnormalities,” they conclude.

“THIS STUDY,” SAYS PROF. DAESOO KIM, AS HE COMMENTS ON THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE FINDINGS, “OVERTURNS THREE DECADES OF CONSENSUS ON THE PROVENANCE OF PARKINSONIAN SYMPTOMS.”

First study author Dr. Jeongjin Kim says, “The therapeutic implications of this study for the treatment of Parkinsonian symptoms are profound. It may soon become possible to remedy movement disorders without using L-Dopa, a precursor to dopamine.”

These findings offer significant breakthroughs in the understanding of Parkinson’s disease and the way it comes to form in the body.

Through this study, researchers now have a far greater understanding of how the brain typically controls the body’s movement, and how Parkinson’s disease affects this control.

9 Incredible Ways Turmeric Tea May Boost Health

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Turmeric is an herbal remedy that’s been useful to many for thousands of years. Thanks to its main ingredient’s (curcumin) incredible immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties, it has given much-needed relief to consumers of this spice.

Now, it’s becoming apparent that consuming Turmeric Tea (by either grating fresh turmeric or pure powder) three times a day can have incredible effects.

Here’s 9 ways Turmeric Tea can make all the difference in your life:

Supports immune function

Curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) helps combat cancer, and supports the functioning of the immune system thanks to its antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

helps manage ibs

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) affects many. However, the ingredient curcumin in turmeric can help decrease the pain and increase the quality of life for IBS sufferers.

fights and treats alzheimer’s

Curcumin has tons of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory powers, which may reduce inflammation, cell damage, and plaques that occur with several neurodegenerative conditions. It may also slow down or prevent some aspects of neurodegeneration.

helps manage lung conditions

Curcumin’s  antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may help ease the symptoms of chronic long conditions. This incredible ingredient may also aid in the treatment of cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, asthma, COPD, and pulmonary/cystic fibrosis.

helps manage diabetes

Supplementing with curcumin may help treat diabetes. Traditional medicines have been using turmeric in their diabetes treatments for thousands of years.

protects the liver

According to certain studies, curcumin protects the liver against damage. It does this by increasing digestive bile production, and protecting liver cells from damage caused by bile-associated chemicals.

helps prevent & treat cancer

According to Medical News Today:

“One of the most clinically established therapeutic properties of curcumin is its anti-cancer action.

As an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, curcumin is thought to lower the risk of cells in the body becoming damaged, reducing the risk of cell mutations and cancer.

Furthermore, numerous studies have shown that curcumin has anti-tumor properties, limiting the growth of tumors and spread of cancerous cells.

According to a 2014 medical review, more than 2,000 articles have been published using the keywords “curcumin” and “cancer.” The use of curcumin as a cancer treatment alongside chemotherapy and radiation therapy is currently being investigated.”

reduces cardiovascular complications

Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties allow it to reduce cardiovascular complications. According to Medical News Today:

“A 2012 study found that taking 4 g per day of curcumin 3 days before and 5 days after coronary artery bypass grafting surgery, reduced the risk of acute myocardial infarction or heart attack by 17 percent.”

reduces symptoms of arthritis

Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, curcumin is able to reduce even the most substantia; arthritis symptoms. According to Medical News Today:

2017 study found that out of 206 American adults with self-reported rheumatoid arthritis, 63 percent used non-vitamin supplements to manage their symptoms, with turmeric being the most popular product that was taken.