Health scan

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

health and fitness Updated: Jun 15, 2013 23:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

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

Fish oil stalls effects of junk on brain

Fish oils could minimise the effects that junk food can have on the brain, a recent review has proved. Research over the past 10 years indicates that high-fat diets disrupt neurogenesis, a process that generates new nerve cells. But diets rich in omega-3s have the potential to prevent these negative effects.

Fish oils play a significant role in stalling refined sugars and saturated fats’ ability to inhibit the brain’s control on the body’s intake of food. Excessive intake of certain macronutrients, the refined sugars and saturated fats can lead to weight gain, disrupt metabolism and even affect mental processing.

Walking or cycling to work can boost heart health

Indians who walk or cycle to work have a lower cardiovascular risk as they are less likely to be overweight or obese, have diabetes or suffer from complications of high blood pressure, according to a new study.
Researchers from Imperial College London and the New Delhi-based Public Health Foundation of India said, that the findings suggest that encouraging more people to use physically active modes of transport could reduce rates of important risk factors for many chronic diseases.

Unfortunately, the rates of diabetes and heart disease are projected to increase dramatically in India and other low and middle income countries over the next two decades. Getting more people to use active modes of travel should be integral to strategies to maintain healthy weight and prevent diabetes and heart disease in India, felt the researchers.

Frequent binge drinking leads to insomnia in elderly

Those adults who are into frequent binge drinking may find it difficult to have a good night’s sleep.

According to a recent study insomnia symptoms are common in older adults who are into too much alcohol consumption. Overall, 26.2 per cent of participants had two or less binge drinking days per week, on average, and 3.1 per cent had more than two days per week, on average.

Participants who binged on an average of more than two days a week had an 84 percent greater odds of reporting an insomnia symptom compared to non-binge drinkers.

Doctors must be careful to look into the drinking habit of their older patients, particularly those who complain of poor sleep pattern.

Ginger effective in treating asthma symptoms

Gourmands and foodies everywhere have long recognised ginger as a great way to add a little peppery zing to both sweet and savory dishes.

Now a study from researchers at Columbia University shows purified components of the spicy root may also have properties that help asthma patients breathe more easily.

Asthma is characterised by the tightening of the bronchial tubes that carry air into and out of the lungs. Bronchodilating medications are the most common types of asthma medications. Specific components of ginger help enhance the relaxing effects of bronchodilators and can be used as therapeutics in alleviating asthma symptoms.

Vegetable oils are good for your health

The vegetable oil is packed with health benefits, says a recent study.

Oils, like those from soy, corn and canola, are a significant source of calories and are rich in linoleic acid (LA), which is an essential nutrient that is known to reduce blood cholesterol levels.

The study finds no link between vegetable oil consumption and circulating indicators of inflammation that are often associated with diseases such as heart disease, cancer, asthma and arthritis.

It’s advised to consume between two and four tablespoons of vegetable oil daily to reach the necessary amount of LA needed for a heart-healthy diet.

First Published: Jun 15, 2013 23:35 IST