Showing posts with label Health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health. Show all posts

19 May 2019


Drinking Water Before Meals Can Reduce Appetite

Some people claim that drinking water before a meal reduces appetite.

There actually seems to be some truth behind this, but almost exclusively in middle-aged and older adults (11).

Studies of older adults have shown that drinking water before each meal may increase weight loss by 2 kg (4.4 lbs) over a 12-week period (4, 11).

In one study, middle-aged overweight and obese participants who drank water before each meal lost 44% more weight, compared to a group that did not drink more water (4).

Another study also showed that drinking water before breakfast reduced the amount of calories consumed during the meal by 13% (12).

Although this may be very beneficial for middle-aged and older people, studies of younger individuals have not shown the same impressive reduction in calorie intake

19 March 2018


 A new study on the effects of smoking marijuana and its relation to creativity has some interesting results.
The study consisted of 412 marijuana users (they couldn’t find 8 more?) and 309 non-users, and they attempted to answer the question: Does smoking marijuana make you more creative?
Emily LaFrance, the co-author of the study and graduate student at Washington State University, says she first became interested in the topic when she noticed that a lot of her favorite artists admit they smoke marijuana. “This cannabis use was commonly thought to have been a cause of the creative success of many artists,” she explains. “I began to wonder about this commonly held idea – are cannabis users really more creative than non-users?”
 The study is called “Inspired by Mary Jane? Mechanisms underlying enhanced creativity in cannabis users” and was published inConsciousness and Cognition. It examined the participants over a variety of areas including psychological tests, and measuring creative works and achievements.
Some major points from the study include:
  • Cannabis users were more likely to be extroverted and open to new experiences.
  • Cannabis users reported higher levels of artistic creativity, but not a higher amount of creative achievements or completed works.
  • Cannabis users performed better on a convergent thinking test (which tests creative problem solving).
Overall, they did find that those who use marijuana are more creative than their counterparts who do not use it, but when they dug deeper they made a startling discovery.
When the scientists included the personality traits into the data, they realized that these traits on their own could determine whether a person is more open to using marijuana, as well as drive a tendency to be more creative.
“Cannabis users may be more creative than non-users,” LaFrance says, “but this is not because using cannabis has increased their creativity.” She goes on to explain that it’s the fact that marijuana users “are more open to experience than non-users, and this openness to experience is associated with both cannabis use, and heightened creativity.”
So there you have it: if you smoke pot you’re probably more creative than people who don’t… but it’s not necessarily the weed that’s got your creativity going. It was you all along!
Note: This study was conducted with all subjects being sober, meaning none of them were under the influence of marijuana during the test.
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13 March 2018


Make an egg white mask. Wash and dry your face using your normal daily routine. Crack an egg and separate the yolk from the egg white, putting the egg white into a small bowl. Brush the egg white onto the your face. Place a layer of tissue, toilet paper or something similar on top of the egg white. Wait for the egg white to dry, then brush a second layer of egg white on top of the paper and add another layer of paper. Repeat the egg white and paper layers up to 3 more times. Let all layers completely dry, then peel the mask off using the paper. Wash and dry your face again to clean-up any remaining egg residue.[18]

  • Another mask option is a combination of 2 tablespoons (29.6 ml) of oats and 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt. You can also add 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice if you’d like. This mask should only be left on your face for up to 5 minutes before washing it off with cold water.
  • If you prefer something red, you can create a mask using a crushed tomato. Rub the crushed tomato not your face for a couple of minutes, then leave it for another 15 before

02 March 2018


Skin is the body's largest organ. When healthy, its layers work hard to protect us. But when it's compromised, the skin's ability to work as an effective barrier is impaired. We have therefore found the best ways to improve skin health to support it in maintaining its protective role.
Woman putting on face cream
With a few simple alterations to your skincare routine, you could have radiant-looking skin in no time.
Your skin is the window to your body that reveals the stories of your life. From acne breakouts during your teenage years to the radiant glow of pregnancy and the sunspots of aging, both your age and your health are reflected in your skin.
Skin has many functions, making it the ultimate multitasker of the human body. Its most important role is being the first line of defense between our bodies and the outside world, protecting us from bacteria, viruses, and pollution and chemical substances that we encounter in the workplace and at home.
Skin regulates body temperature, maintains fluid balance, and controls moisture loss. It also acts as a barrier and shock absorber, recognizes pain sensations to alert us to danger, and protects us against the sun's harmful ultaviolet (UV) rays.
Many factors impact your skin. Genetics, aging, hormones, and conditions such as diabetes are internal factors that affect the skin. Some of these you cannot influence, but there are many external factors that you can.
External influencers such as unprotected sun exposure and washing too frequently or with water that is too hot can damage skin. An unhealthful diet, stress, a lack of sleep, not enough exercise, dehydration, smoking, and particular medications can all impact the skin's ability to operate as an effective protective barrier.
Here are Medical News Today's skin health tips to help you banish wrinkles, get a radiant glow, and keep your skin supple and soft all year around.

1. Eat a healthful diet

There is a multibillion-dollar industry dedicated to products that keep your skin looking its best, and which claim to fight signs of aging. But moisturizers only go skin deep, and aging develops at a deeper, cellular level.
What you eat is as important as the products that you put on your skin. Your diet could improve your skin health from the inside out, so a clear complexion begins with eating a healthful diet.

Skin-healthy foods

Here are some foods that have been acknowledged by research as being skin-healthy.
Mangoes contain compounds withantioxidant properties. These compounds help to protectcomponents of the skin, such ascollagen.
Tomatoes have skin cancer-prevention benefits. One study in mice revealed that daily tomato consumption decreased the development of skin cancer tumors by 50 percent after UV light exposure.
tomatoes on a wooden board
Consuming tomatoes on a daily basis may help to protect against skin cancer.
Research has shown that incorporating tomato paste into your meals may help to protect against sunburn. After 10 weeks, people who consumed 40 grams of tomato paste per day had 40 percent less sunburn than the control group.
Lycopene, the pigment responsible for giving tomatoes their deep red color, is thought to play a role in the protective effect of tomatoes against UV damage.
Olive oil is associated with a lower risk of severe facial photoaging — that is, cumulative damage to the skin that includes wrinkles, dark spots, and discoloration, which result from long-term sunlight exposure.
Cocoa flavanols found in dark chocolate may improve the structure and function of skin. Scientists discovered that cocoa flavanols decreased roughness and scaling on skin, increased skin hydration, and helped to support the skin's defenses against damage from UV rays.
Green tea has been tied to many skin benefits. Compounds found in green tea called polyphenols rejuvenatedying skin cells, which suggests that they may be useful for healing wounds or certain skin conditions.
It has shown promising results as a potential treatment for skin conditions such as psoriasis and dandruff. Patches of dry, flaky, and red skin often feature in these conditions — usually as a result of inflammation and the overproduction of skin cells. Green tea may slow down the production of skin cells and suppress inflammation.
White tea has anti-cancer and anti-aging properties. One study indicates that some ingredients in white tea may protect the skin from oxidative stressand immune cell damage.
Kale is one of the best sources of lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin may protect against light-induced skin damage, especially from UV rays.
Omega-3 found in oily fish, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds or oils such as linseed oil and corn oil may preventdryness and scaling of the skin.
Soy may help to improve crow's feet skin wrinkles that appear at the outer corner of the eyes in menopausal women.
Never rely on foods to protect you from the sun. To protect yourself from sun exposure, always use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, seek shade between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and wear clothing that covers your skin and a wide-brimmed hat.

Calorie restriction diet

Research has demonstrated in mice that reducing calorie intake slows down the cellular aging process. This finding could prove to be an anti-aging strategy to test in humans in the future.
Scientists found that reducing the number of calories consumed by 35 percent had an impact on aging inside a cell. Cutting calories caused the cell's protein makers, called ribosomes, to slow down, and the aging process also to decelerate.
This decreased speed not only lowered the production of ribosomes, but it also gave them time to repair themselves and keep the entire body functioning well.



Do you want to improve your mind in 2018? We have compiled the best methods to boost brain power, improve memory, build new neural connections, ignite learning, and enhance cognitive function.

man sitting on a stack of books
If you would like to improve your mind in 2018, we have five tips to help you.
Humans have brain plasticity, or neuroplasticity, which is the ability of the brain to change for better or worse at any age.
This flexibility of the brain plays a significant role in the development or decline of our brains, and how our distinct personalities are shaped.
Neural connections can be forged or severed, and gray matter can thicken or shrink. These changes reflect transformations in our abilities.
For example, learning a new skill can wire new neural pathways in our brains, while aging may weaken certain neural pathways that once existed and result in our memories not performing as well as they once did.
The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association have recently developedseven steps that aim to help individuals keep their brains healthy, from childhood into old age. They advise people to:
  1. get regular exercise
  2. eat a healthful diet
  3. maintain a healthy weight
  4. control cholesterol
  5. regulate blood sugar levels
  6. manage blood pressure
  7. quit smoking
In addition to following these guidelines, Medical News Todayprovide five steps to reach optimal brain health and improve your mind for the year ahead.

1. Get physically active

From childhood through adulthood and into old age, physical activity has been shown time and time again to benefit brain health.
man walking his dog in the park
Taking a brisk walk before an exam or test could enhance your performance.
Physical activity affects children's brain structure from an early age, which, in turn, affects their academic performance.
Researchers discovered that children who are physically fit tend to have more gray matter in the frontal, subcortical, and temporal brain regions, as well as in the calcarine cortex.
These areas are all essential for executive function and motor, learning, and visual processes.
Exercise has been demonstrated to improve memory and thinking ability among older adults with mild cognitive impairment. Aerobic exercise, in particular, was shown to increase brain volume in most gray matter regions, including those that support short-term memory and improve cognitive function.
Scientists have indicated that even short bouts of physical activity may have a positive effect on the brain.
Taking part in 20 minutes of high-intensity interval training for 6 weeks has been associated with improvements in high-interference memory, which allows us to differentiate between our car and one of the same make, model, and color, for example.
The research also found that levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor — a protein involved in the function, growth, and survival of brain cells — was greater in individuals who experienced greater fitness gains from interval training.
Other research revealed that a one-time 10-minute burst of exercise temporarily boosts areas of the brain responsible for focus, decision-making, and problem-solving. This suggests that right before a cognitively demanding task such as an exam, test, or interview, performance may be improved by a brisk walk or cycle.
And, if you happen to prefer a more gentle form of exercise, practicing 25 minutes of Hatha yoga or mindfulness meditation each day has beenassociated with improvements in the brain's executive functions and cognitive abilities, as well as the ability to regulate knee-jerk emotional responses.

2. Eat a brain-boosting Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean is the home to sun, sea, and foods known to have brain-boosting properties.
A bowl of pistachios on a cloth
Eating pistachios could improve cognitive processing and learning.
The Mediterranean diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and olive oil.
It also includes moderate amounts of dairy, fish, and wine, while red meat, poultry, and processed foods are limited.
Research discovered that people who follow a Mediterranean diet might have long-term brain protection. Study participants who consumed a Mediterranean diet retained more brain volume over 3 years than those not following the diet.
Eating a Mediterranean diet has also been shown to slow down the rate of cognitive decline and is linked withimproved brain function in older adults.
study that focused on the impact of eating nuts on the brain found that regular nut consumption strengthens brainwave frequencies that are related to cognition, learning, memory, healing, and other vital brain functions.


With marijuana legalization on the rise, an increasing number of studies are exploring the drug's potential harms and benefits. However, a new study suggests that when it comes to brain health, alcohol is more damaging.

The human brain and a glass of whiskey
Researchers say that alcohol causes more damage to the brain than marijuana does.
Scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder conducted a review of existing imaging data that looked at the effects of alcohol and marijuana, or cannabis, on the brain.
Their findings linked alcohol consumption with long-term changes to the structure of white matter and gray matter in the brain.
The use of marijuana, however, seemed to have no significant long-term effects on brain structure.
Study leader Rachel Thayer, of the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder, and colleagues recently reported their results in the journal Addiction.
It is estimated that around 22.2 million people in the United States have used marijuana in the past month, making it "the most commonly used illicit drug" in the country.
Across the U.S., however, it is increasingly becoming legalized for both medicinal and recreational purposes. As a result of this changing legislation, researchers have been trying to find out more about how marijuana may benefit health, as well as the damage that it could cause.
Last year, for example, Medical News Today reported on a study linking marijuana use to a greater risk of psychosis in teenagers, while another study claimed that the drug is "worse than cigarettes" for cardiovascular health.
On the other side of the coin, researchers have found that cannabinoids — which are the active compounds in marijuana — could help to prevent migraine, and a more recent study linked marijuana use to an increased sex drive.

Marijuana vs. alcohol: Which is worse?

For this latest study, Thayer and colleagues sought to learn more about how marijuana use affects the brain.
Study co-author Kent Hutchison, also of the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, notes that to date, studies that have investigated this association have produced mixed results.
"When you look at these studies going back years," he explains, "you see that one study will report that marijuana use is related to a reduction in the volume of the hippocampus. The next study then comes around, and they say that marijuana use is related to changes in the cerebellum [...]."

26 February 2018



 It has been revealed that if you watch television for three hours or more every day, you are at risk of an early death. A study led by Professor Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez, the Chairman of the Department of Public Health at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, showed that the risk of premature death was twofold higher for those watching three or more hours of TV a day compared to those watching one hour or less. "Television viewing is a major sedentary behaviour and there is an increasing trend toward all types of sedentary behaviours. Our findings are consistent with a range of previous studies where time spent watching television was linked to mortality," the professor said. 

the researchers were unable to find any connection between premature death and other activities like accessing the computer or driving, adding that more studies will be needed to determine the biological mechanisms that may be involved.  According to Prof Martinez-Gonzalez, their findings suggest that adults may consider increasing their physical activity, avoid long sedentary periods, and reduce television watching to no longer than one to two hours each day as sedentary behaviours, especially watching television poses an additional burden on the increased health problems related to aging. 

 A previous research had found people who watch six hours of TV a day cut short their lifespan by five years compared with someone who watches no TV. People who sit for longer have bigger waist sizes, and higher levels of cholesterol, blood sugar and triglycerides. US research earlier this year found young men who watch TV for just three hours a day have half the sperm count of men who rarely watch TV. 

24 February 2018


You always know when you’ve got a stomach ulcer. There’s a sharp burning sensation in your stomach that simply refuses to go away, making certain foods unbearable and eating in general a whole lot less enjoyable. If you’ve got a stomach ulcer, you want it gone fast.

What are stomach ulcers?

Stomach ulcers, more appropriately known as gastric ulcers, are sores or lesions that develop on the inner lining of the stomach. Think of your stomach lining as the non-stick coating on your frying pan. With everything going well, the non-stick coating remains unharmed and your food slides off easily and without sticking to the bottom. If you scratch the nonstick surface with something abrasive, however, the non-stick coating begins to flake off, exposing the vulnerable inner layer of the pan to food and, quite frankly, ruining your Sunday banana pancakes.
Just another reason to stay well away from non-stick cookware!
But back to the problem at hand. Your stomach lining is much the same. With a healthy gastrointestinal environment, the lining remains unmarred and is perfectly capable of containing its own corrosive gastric acid. But when something compromises the lining, such as an H. pylori infection orchronic stress, those gastric juices begin to corrode the more susceptible inner layers of your stomach. That explains that horrible burning sensation, then.
Other major contributors to stomach ulcers include excessive use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), a poor diet and smoking.
Repeated stomach ulcers mean you’ve now got a case of peptic ulcer disease. According to the American Gastroenterological Association, this disease affects an estimated four million Americans every year, and is the most common form of stomach disease. If left untreated, stomach ulcers can result in bleeding or even a hole in the stomach or bowel. No thanks!

How to treat a stomach ulcer naturally

Rather than knocking back a handful of antacids every time you get a bout of stomach ulcers, there’s plenty of healthier ways to treat your problem. Here are three ways to treat stomach ulcers naturally.

1. Bananas

Bananas can heal a stomach ulcer by promoting cellular proliferation in the stomach
Yes, the humble and delicious banana has come to the rescue of your troubled tummy! Research shows that eating bananas, whether ripe or unripe, can protect the stomach from ulcers in multiple ways. First, bananas strengthen stomach mucosal resistance to ulcerogens via a natural flavonoid called leucocyanidin. Second, bananas promote healing by inducing cellular proliferation.
A more recent study indicated that the plantain, banana’s close cousin (which I’m a huge fan of, by the way), is also very effective in both treating and preventing the development of stomach ulcers. However, researchers did note that, contrary to claims, plantains didn’t exhibit any direct activity against H. pylori.
Because most of the studies were conducted on rats or mice, it’s hard to say exactly how many bananas you should consume to treat your stomach ulcer problem. My advice would be to start at one banana (or plantain) per day and increase the amount if you don’t see any improvement in symptoms within 12 hours.
Several studies actually used banana powder to treat ulcers, so you might want to consider either buying some from your local health food store or making it at home by dehydrating the flesh of a banana then grinding it into a flour and drinking in a glass of water a few times a day.

2. Capsaicin

Capsaicin in cayenne pepper can ease discomfort and treat a stomach ulcer naturally.
Capsaicin in cayenne pepper can ease discomfort and treat a stomach ulcer naturally.

It seems a little counterintuitive to think that capsaicin, the active ingredient found in cayenne pepper, is an effective natural treatment for stomach ulcers. However, capsaicin actually soothes the mucosal lining of the stomach and increases the release of alkali, which can significantly ease your discomfort and even treat the ulcers themselves.
A study published in the journalFEMS found that capsaicin supplementation or consumption (via cayenne pepper or, to a lesser extent, chili powder) inhibited the growth of H. pylori — the most common cause of stomach ulcers. Another study published in theJournal of Gastroenterology found that capsaicin treatment resulted in “gastric mucosal protection against ulcerogenic factors.”
The mechanisms by which capsaicin helps to treat stomach ulcers are many, but they all suggest one thing: getting more cayenne pepperin your life, or perhaps just supplementing with a good capsaicin product daily, would be a very good idea, indeed.

3. Cabbage

Research has shown that stomach ulcer patients healed faster with cabbage juice.
Research has shown that stomach ulcer patients healed faster with cabbage juice.

Who would have thought that the simple cabbage would be one of nature’s greatest defenses against peptic ulcers? On account of its high lactic acid content, cabbage stimulates the production of an amino acid that promotes additional healing blood flow to the stomach lining. Not only does this promote faster recovery from stomach ulcers, it also improves the imperviousness of that mucosal lining and lowers your risk of future ulcer attacks.
A study done way back in 1949 examined the effect of cabbage juice on patients with stomach ulcers. They found that those patients treated with the juiced cabbage healed seven times faster than those who underwent standard peptic ulcer treatments. And while standard stomach ulcer treatments have presumably improved markedly in the past seven decades, that’s still a very impressive result.
A bit closer to the present, a 2011 study re-confirmed that much earlier research, concluding that cabbage “demonstrated good antiulcerogenic activities which justify the inclusion of this plant in the management of gastric disorders.”
If you’d like to replicate those results, it looks like that cabbage and your blender have a hot date scheduled. Cut half a head of cabbage into chunks, throw it into a blender with a bit of water, and blend until it makes a sort of juice. Drink the fresh juice before each meal.
I’d also be inclined to suggest another method: raw sauerkraut. Made from shredded and fermented cabbage leaves, raw sauerkraut should not only help with the peptic ulcers, but also balance your stomach acids and support a healthy gut microbiome, which is critical to overall gastrointestinal health. Enjoy!