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Jan 30
What You Eat After Working Out Matters
What you eat after working out makes a difference, but it doesn't mean you have to starve yourself to reap the health benefits of exercise.

A new study shows that eating a low-carbohydrate meal after aerobic exercise enhances insulin sensitivity. Increased insulin sensitivity makes it easier for the body to take up sugar from the bloodstream and store it in muscles and other tissues where it can be used for fuel.

Impaired insulin sensitivity, or insulin resistance, increases the risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Researchers say the results support a growing body of research that shows many of the health benefits of exercise come from the most recent exercise session rather than weeks or months of training.

"Many of the improvements in metabolic health associated with exercise stem largely from the most recent session of exercise, rather than from an increase in 'fitness' per se," researcher Jeffrey F. Horowitz of the University of Michigan says in a news release. "But exercise doesn't occur in a vacuum, and it is very important to look at both the effects of exercise and what you're eating after exercise."

Natural Ways to Fuel Your Workout

Eating Affects Health Benefits of Exercise

The study, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, looked at the effects of three different meals on the body's metabolism after 90 minutes of moderate exercise on a treadmill and stationary bicycle compared with resting metabolism in nine healthy men.

The first meal consisted of a balanced meal with a carbohydrate, fat, protein, and calorie content that matched their calorie expenditure during the exercise session.The second meal matched the calorie count of their exercise expenditure but contained about 200 grams of carbohydrates (less than half the carbohydrate of the balanced meal).The third meal contained fewer calories than those burned during the aerobic workout (about one-third less than the other two meals) and a relatively high carbohydrate content.

In all three exercise sessions, researchers say there was a trend for an increase in insulin sensitivity. But when the participants ate the low-carbohydrate meal following exercise, it increased their insulin sensitivity even more.

Researchers say the results show that people can reap important health benefits from exercise without starving themselves after exercise or losing weight.

Jan 29
Body odour helps detect cancer
A new study by American researchers has shown that changes in body fluid odours can be used to identify presence of lung cancer tumours.

The research by scientists at the Monell Center and collaborators may help in methods to identify potential diagnostic biomarkers for lung cancer in human urine.

Monell biologist Gary K. Beauchamp, a senior author on the study, said: "Cancer tumors result in a change in body-related odours that can be detected both by trained animal sensors and by sophisticated chemical techniques.

"These findings indicate that odour sensing has the potential to improve early diagnostic and prognostic approaches to lung cancer treatment."

The scientists used a controlled animal model to reduce many confounding factors frequently found in human patient studies.

In behavioural studies, sensor mice were first trained to recognize the scent of urine of animals with lung cancer tumours. The trained sensor mice were then able to use urine odour to make a difference between tumour-bearing from healthy animals.

Chemical examination of urine compounds showed that the amounts of several chemical compounds differed significantly between tumour-bearing and healthy mice. Interestingly, the levels of many of these compounds were lessened in tumour-bearing mice rather than increased, which is often expected.

After experimenting more, the researchers were able to identify tumour-bearing from control mice simply by measuring the amounts of these biomarker chemicals in mouse urine and then creating chemical profiles. This chemical classification was accurate enough to identify 47 out of 50 mice as tumour-bearing or healthy.

The findings show that lung cancers produce changes in odorous compounds secreted in urine and that these changes can be detected and used as markers for the disease.

Steven M. Albelda, a senior author on the paper and William Maul Measey Professor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, said: "Finding new ways to screen for early lung cancers in patients at risk, such as smokers, is one of the best ways we have to reduce the high death rate from this disease,"

Albelda added: "Using the same chemical approaches as in this paper, we hope to be able to detect odors in urine of smokers that could be used to identify lung cancer at a very early stage."

The study has appeared online in the journal PLoS One, (ANI)

Jan 29
swine flu deaths in India, toll goes up to 1210
Four more people have died of influenza A (H1N1) in India, taking the death toll due to the swine flu pandemic in the country so far to 1210, an official statement said here today.

While no deaths were reported during the day today, information about four deaths that occurred earlier - two in Haryana and one each in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh - was received from the state governments concerned by the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare today,

Of the total swine flu deaths in the country so far, Maharashtra now accounts for 312, while 223 lives have been lost in Gujarat, 176 in Rajasthan, 141 in Karnataka, 93 in Delhi, 52 in Andhra Pradesh, 38 in Punjab, 36 each in Kerala and Haryana, 21 in Madhya Pradesh, 18 in Uttar Pradesh, 13 in Uttarakhand, 8 each in Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh, 7 in Tamil Nadu, 6 each in Chhattisgarh and Puducherry, 5 in Goa, 4 in Jammu & Kashmir, 3 in Orissa, 2 in Assam and 1 each in Mizoram and Dadra & Nagar Haveli.

The statement said 36 new cases of swine flu were reported from different parts of India today, including 20 in Maharashtra, 7 in Gujarat, 2 each in Madhya Pradesh and Delhi, and 1 each in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

With these, the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases of the virus reported in the country so far has gone up to 28,711, the statement added.

Jan 28
Low Carb Diet Lowers Blood Pressure
A low carb diet may not be the best from the viewpoint of nutrition, although it DOES help patients with diabetes or heart disease lower their blood pressure, according to a new study published Jan 25 in Archives of Internal Medicine.

The study showed two groups of patients, one given a low carb diet and another given weight loss aid orlistat, sold as Xenical or Alli for a period of 48 weeks; the participants from both groups lost similar amounts of body weight.

William S. Yancy Jr. of the VA Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina gave 146 patients with heart disease or diabetes either a low carb diet with less than 20 grams of carbohydrate daily, or 120 mg of orlistat three itmes each day and instruction on eating low calorie and lower fat diet.

At the end of the study, the low carb group lost about 9.5 percent of their body weight while the orlistat group lost about 8.5 percent.

However, the low carb group experienced a 6 percent drop in their systolic blood pressure and a 4.5 point drop in their diastolic pressure. In comparison, the weight loss pill did not lower blood pressure.

Those who adhered to the low carb diet the most strictlyt lost about 14 to 15 percent of their body weight.

Previous studies have shown that low carb diets, such as the one advocated by Dr. Robert Atkins, is effective in short term weight loss; yet, those same studies have shown that it is difficult to maintain the weight loss.

Jan 27
Diabetes sugar 'can go too low'
Intense treatment to lower blood sugar in patients with diabetes could prove nearly as harmful as allowing glucose levels to remain high, a study says.

Cardiff researchers looked at nearly 50,000 patients with type 2 diabetes and found the lowest glucose levels linked to a heightened risk of death.

Significant differences in death rates between patients on insulin and those taking tablets are also flagged up.

But there could be various explanations for this, experts noted.

Patients taking insulin-based treatments have been urged not to stop taking their medication as a result of the Cardiff University study, which is published in The Lancet.

Changing treatments

Using data from GPs, the team identified 27,965 patients with type 2 diabetes whose treatment had been intensified to include two oral blood glucose lowering agents - metformin and sulphonylurea.

A further 20,005 patients who had been moved on to treatment which included insulin were added to the study.

Patients whose HbA1c levels - the proportion of red blood cells with glucose attached to them - were around 7.5%, ran the lowest risk of dying from any cause.

For both groups this risk went up by more than half if levels dropped to 6.4%, the lowest levels recorded. For those with the highest levels the risk of death increased by nearly 80%.

But the risks appeared to be particularly pronounced among those on the insulin-based regimen than those on the combined treatment.

Irrespective of whether their HbA1c levels were low or high, there were 2,834 deaths in the insulin-taking group between 1986 and 2008, nearly 50% more than in the combined group.

'Don't stop'

The authors acknowledged there could be various factors associated with this, such as these being older patients with more health problems, who perhaps had had diabetes for a longer period of time. They also make reference to a possible link between use of insulin and cancer progression that had been reported in a different study.

"Whether intensification of glucose control with insulin therapy alone further heightens risk of death in patients with diabetes needs further investigation and assessment of the overall risk balance," wrote lead author Dr Craig Currie.

"Low and high mean HbA1c values were associated with increased all-cause mortality and cardiac events. If confirmed, diabetes guidelines might need revision to include a minimum HbA1c value."

Dr Iain Frame, head of research at Diabetes UK, described the study as "potentially important" but stressed it had limitations.

"It is not clear what the causes of death were from the results reported. Furthermore, when it comes to the suggestion made in this research that insulin could increase the risk of death, we must consider important factors such as age, the duration of their diabetes and how the participants managed their condition.

"It is crucial to remember that blood glucose targets should always be agreed by the person with diabetes and their healthcare team according to individual needs and not according to a blanket set of rules."

While people would be able to manage their condition for a period with diet, exercise and even tablets, many would eventually have to move on to insulin, he noted.

Jan 27
Women need more sleep than men: Study
Women need more sleep than men - around 20 minutes of more sleep on an average - owing to their busy and multi-tasking brain, according to a new research by a British sleep expert.

"Women need 20 minutes more shut-eye than the average man. This is because women's brains are wired differently from men's and are more complex, so their sleep need is slightly greater," said Professor Jim Horne, director of the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University in UK.

Pointing out that one of the major functions of sleep is to allow the brain to recover and repair itself, Horne said, "During deep sleep, the cortex - part of the brain responsible for thought memory, language and so on - disengages from the senses and goes into recovery mode. The more a person uses his brain during the day, the more sleep he needs at night to recover, Horne said adding, "Women tend to multi-task - they do lots at once and are flexible - and so they use more of their actual brain than men do. Because of that, their sleep need is greater."

"A man who has a complex job that involves a lot of decision-making and lateral thinking may also need more sleep than the average male - though probably still not as much as a woman," he told.

Jan 25
Cells Critical to Childhood Leukemia Found
Cells that cause a common type of childhood leukaemia have been discovered by scientists at The Royal Melbourne Hospital and the University of Melbourne in Australia. Targeting of these cells may lead to improved treatments for this disease and help prevent relapse.

The team, led by Dr Matthew McCormack and Dr David Curtis of the Rotary Bone Marrow Research Laboratories and the University's Department of Medicine at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, made the discovery whilst studying mice prone to developing this leukaemia.

The results have been published online today by the prestigious international journal Science.

The team found that with irradiation treatment in animal models, over 99 per cent of cells in the thymus were killed, but these stem cell-like cells persisted and rapidly recovered. This suggests that these cells may survive therapy and be responsible for relapsed disease following treatment.

Currently, children with T-ALL are given extended therapy over two to three years in an attempt to stop a relapse. More targeted therapy on the thymus cells could reduce the length and toxicity of treatment and prevent relapse.

Dr McCormack, a leading international expert on childhood leukaemia, said: "The cellular origins of this leukaemia are not well understood. Our discovery that these cells are similar to normal stem cells explains why they are capable of surviving for long periods. It also explains why they are remarkably resistant to treatment."

Approximately 50 new cases of T-ALL are diagnosed every year in Australia, two thirds of these in children or adolescents. Adults also contract T-ALL, and the majority succumb to resistant or relapsed disease.

Dr Curtis, a Clinical Haematologist and head of the Leukaemia Research Program at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, said: "The identification of these cells provides an important target for the development and testing of new treatments for patients with T cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia."

The team will now focus on novel treatments capable of killing these cells, which may lead to clinical trials within the next five years

Jan 25
Blueberry Boosts Memory
Scientists have found evidence suggesting that blueberries may help improve memory in older adults because of its antioxidative phytochemicals, according to a new study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Previous animal studies have suggested that eating blueberries may boost memory in older people, according to Robert Krikorian, author of the current study; he and colleagues from the University of Cincinnati worked in conjunction with several other organizations on the research.

Krikorian and colleagues tested the effect of blueberry juice on memory in a group of volunteers in their 70s with early memory decline. In the study, the study group drank 2 to 2.5 cups of blueberry juice while the control group drank a beverage every day for two months.

Those who drank blueberry juice experienced signficant improvement on learning and memory tests, according to the scientists.

"These preliminary memory findings are encouraging and suggest that consistent supplementation with blueberries may offer an approach to forestall or mitigate neurodegeneration," the authors wrote in the report.

Blueberries may also be helpful in encouraging weight loss and preventing type 1 diabetes according to previous studies.

Jan 23
Malnutrition higher in children born to child brides in India
London: Infants born to child brides in India have a higher risk of malnutrition than those born to older mothers, a new research has indicated.

The research found that 67 percent of babies born to child brides in India were malnourished, meaning they were either underweight or suffering from a wasted or stunted growth.

However, birth weight and childhood mortality are not significantly linked with the age of the mother, the research published on BMJ.com (British Medical Journal's website) said.

Despite significant economic growth in the past decade, India still has the highest number of under-five deaths in the world.

Almost half (44.5 percent) of 20-24 year olds in India are married before they are 18 and a quarter (22 percent) of the same age group have given birth before they are 18.

The researchers led by Associate Professor Anita Raj, from Boston University School of Public Health, investigated the relationship between early marriage and infant and children mortality-related infection in India.

They investigated into 19,000 children born to 13,500 women who had been married between the ages of 15 and 24.

The results show that the majority of babies (73 percent) were born to child brides.

The authors argue that "in view of previous evidence that child brides often are more controlled by husbands and in-laws, it may be that women married as minors are unable to advocate for adequate nutrition for their children."

Prof Raj said the findings "emphasise the value of delayed child bearing among adolescent wives."

They also reveal the need for targeted intervention efforts to support children born to mothers married as minors, who may be more vulnerable to nutritional deprivation than others in the family.

Jan 23
Over 52,500 poultry culled in West Bengal
Bird flu in West Bengal spread to two more localities in Murshidabad district, health authorities here said Friday after over 52,500 birds were culled in the affected areas.

'Two more epicenters surfaced in the Khargram block,' a health ministry official said.

Earlier, the outbreak of the flu was reported in Hazrabati and Nagar villages in Murshidabad Jan 14 and in Faridpur village of Burwan block Jan 17.

'Containment measures have been initiated as per the contingency plan and culling of birds has started. So far 52,578 birds have been culled and 4,572 eggs have been destroyed,' the official added.

Officials also said that 301 poultry workers and veterinary surgeons involved in culling operations have been put on chemoprophylaxis.

The surveillance activities are going on.