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Health scan

A snapshot of the current thinking in medicine, fitness and lifestyle trends that impact your life.

health and fitness Updated: Feb 09, 2013 21:37 IST

Vitamin D, Omega-3 helps beat Alzheimer’s
Consumption of foods like fish, eggs and milk that are rich in vitamin D3 and omega-3 fatty acids can prevent Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study.

It enhances the immune system’s ability to clear the brain of amyloid plaques, one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.

Scientists identified key genes and signalling networks regulated by vitamin D3 and the omega-3 fatty acid that may help control inflammation and improve plaque clearance.

A serving of fish twice a week and an hour in morning sun is known to be beneficial for overall health.

Chewing gum enhances alertness
It’s official! Researchers have found scientific evidence to confirm that chewing gum can speed up thinking and make you more alert.

A new study reported that reaction times are up to 10% faster while chewing gum.

It is also known to increase arousal and leads to temporary improvements in blood flow. The brain regions most active during chewing are those involved with movement and attention.

Chewing a piece of gum for 20 minutes leads to an increased heart rate, which forces more oxygen and nutrients to the brain.

It also enhances production of of insulin, which stimulates areas of the brain concerned with memory and alertness.

Wash well for smooth and shiny hair
Want more good hair days? Dermatologists say how you wash your hair and the products you use could go a long way in maintaining smooth, shiny hair.

When shampooing, concentrate on cleaning primarily the scalp, rather than the entire length of the hair, as washing only your hair can create flyaway hair that is dull and coarse.

Conditioners should only be used on the tips of the hair and not on the scalp or length of the hair since conditioners can make fine hair look limp.

If your scalp is oily, you may need to wash it as often as once a day. If you have chemically-treated hair, your hair may be drier, so you may want to wash it less frequently. As you get older, your scalp makes less oil, so you may not need to shampoo as often.

Alcohol mixed with diet drinks more intoxicant
Mixing alcohol with diet drinks may not be a good idea if getting completely sloshed is not your idea of a good time, according to a recent study.

A new comparison of Breath Alcohol Concentration (BrACs) of alcohol consumed with an artificial sweetener versus alcohol consumed with a sugared beverage has found that mixing alcohol with a diet soft drink can result in a higher BrAC.

The stomach seems to treat sugar-sweetened beverages like food, which delays the stomach from emptying.

The best way to think about these effects is that sugar-sweetened alcohol mixers slow down the absorption of alcohol into bloodstream. Artificially sweetened alcohol mixers do not really elevate alcohol intoxication.

Have milk and yogurt for healthy hip bones
Consuming milk and yogurt can give you healthier hip bones than cream, according to a new study. The researchers have found that dairy intake - specifically milk and yogurt - is associated with higher bone mineral density (BMD) in the hip.

Dairy foods have several important nutrients that are beneficial for bone health, cream and its products such as ice-cream, on the other hand, is associated with lower BMD as they have lower levels of these nutrients and have higher levels of fat and sugar.

About three servings of milk and yogurt in take per day provide better bone density.

Choosing low-fat milk or yogurt over cream can increase intake of protein, calcium and vitamin D while limiting intake of saturated fats.