Here you can find a selection of the latest research news stories and medical breakthroughs. Take a look below to learn more!
Deep Sleep May Help Clear the Brain of Alzheimer’s Related Toxins
New study links sleep-dependent brain activity with the excretion of toxic proteins related to Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease develops in line with increased levels of the proteins amyloid-β (Aβ) and tau in the brain. Experts believe that cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), that is released during deep sleep carries such waste products away from the brain through the glymphatic system.
This analysis further highlights how deeply sleep quality can impact brain health.
Sleep activity could prove to be a revealing marker for risk of cognitive decline, increasing the chances of early intervention.
Read more here:
Could Consuming Mushrooms Reduce the Risk of Cancer?
An analysis of 17 observational studies found an association between an increased consumption of mushrooms and a lower risk of cancer.
In participants who ate 18 grams of mushrooms daily, they experienced a 45% decrease in the relative risk of cancer, compared to participants who ate no mushrooms.
Mushrooms are rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Antioxidant ergothioneine may have a protective role against cancer.
Although this study determines a relationship between exposure and outcome, it does not prove causation. Further research is needed.
Which Vaccines Are Effective Against the Delta Variant?
A report from Public Health England puts the protection from requiring hospital treatment for the delta variant at 92% after 2 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is estimated at 96% protection from hospital treatment after 2 doses.
The delta variant of Sars-CoV-2 was identified by scientists in December 2020 in India and has been reported in 80 countries. The delta variant is about 60% more transmissible than the alpha variant.
Read more about the delta variant and vaccine effectiveness in the article below:
Eating Whole Fruits May Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Data from the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study involving over 11,000 participants found an association between high levels of fruit intake and lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
They also found a link between higher fruit consumption and better measures of insulin sensitivity and glucose intolerance.
According to corresponding author Dr. Nicola Bondonno, “People who consumed around 2 servings of fruit per day had a 36% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes over the next 5 years than those who consumed less than half a serving of fruit per day. We did not see the same patterns for fruit juice.”
Read the full article here:
COVID-19 Lockdowns Saw Increased Screen Time and Sleep Problems
New evidence suggests that the increase in screen exposure during the COVID-19 lockdowns may be linked to worse sleep quality.
Not getting enough sleep or having poor sleep quality can contribute to the onset of many physical health problems, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and obesity.
People are also at increased risk of mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, when they regularly do not get enough sleep.
To read about a recent study in Italy regarding the impact of lockdown on sleep, click the link below:
Greater Whole Grain Intake May Reduce Cardiovascular Risk Factors
Researchers have shown that people who eat more whole grains have a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
Researchers drew on data from the Framingham Heart Study including over 3,000 participants.
Of participants who consumed the least whole grains, their waist circumference increased by 1 inch over 4 years. For those who consumed the most whole grains, their waists increased only by 0.5 inches.
The data suggests those who ate the most whole grains, were better able to maintain their blood sugar and blood pressure, reducing their risk of cardiovascular disease.
Read more here:
Reading, Writing and Playing Games Delay Alzheimer’s by 5 Years
A study investigating the link between cognitively stimulating activity and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease has found that participating in activities such as reading, writing and playing games, could make the brain more resilient to the condition.
Researchers examined data from a study of 1,903 people with an average age of 79.7 years and no dementia diagnosis.
Those with highest level of cognitive activity developed Alzheimer’s at an average age of 93.6 years, compared to those with the lowest levels developing the condition at 88.6 years.
Cognitive stimulating activities have the potential to change the brain structure and function, enhancing cognitive reserve.
Read more about delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease here:
International Study Links Ultra-Processed Foods with IBD Risk
A spike in IBD is linked to the increase in Western dietary patterns.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of diseases that cause inflammation in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
A recent study including data from over 116,000 individuals highlights that higher consumption of ultra-processed foods and drinks increases the likelihood of developing IBD.
Professor Narula stated that the consumption of “low quality” food disturbs gut microbes, weakens the immune system and causes the inflammatory overreactions behind many common diseases.
To read more about this study and IBD, click the link below:
5 Top Tips for Self-Care in a Pandemic-Exhausted World
How can we prioritize our wellness in this uncertain time?
- Set clear boundaries between ‘work’ and ‘home’
- Set intentions at the start of each day to get into the right mindset
- Ration news and social media consumption
- Make sure to get a good night’s sleep
- Engage in activities that you like
Want to read more about how to prioritize your health and self-care during the pandemic, click the link below:
Colourful Fruit and Veg May Reduce Risk of Cognitive Decline
A large study has found a link between eating foods rich in antioxidants, called flavonoids, and a significantly reduced risk of experiencing early signs of cognitive decline.
Fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries, oranges, and peppers, owe their bright colours to plant chemicals known as flavonoids. These phytochemicals have powerful antioxidant properties, which has raised hopes that they could reduce oxidative stress in the brain.
Oxidative stress is a strong candidate for causing age-related cognitive decline and eventually dementia, which affects a person’s memory, thinking, and reasoning abilities.
Flavones, a type of flavonoid present in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, were associated with a 38% reduction in risk of cognitive decline.
Read the full article here: