More Dried Fruit in a Diet Associated with Better Overall Health

In a new study from Pennsylvania (Penn) State University in University Park, U. S., researchers concluded that encouraging people to eat more dried fruit that doesn’t contain added sugar could be an effective way to boost the intake of vital nutrients and improve the overall health.More Dried Fruit in a Diet Associated with Better Overall Health

For the study, the researchers analyzed survey responses from 25,590 individuals who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007–2016. The analysis showed that those who ate a significant amount of dried fruit tended to have healthier diets, a lower BMI, a smaller waist circumference, and lower systolic blood pressure than those who didn’t.

Valerie Sullivan, who led the study, says: “Dried fruit can be a great choice for a nutritious snack, but consumers might want to be sure they’re choosing unsweetened versions without added sugar. Portion sizes can also be tricky because a serving of dried fruit is smaller than a serving of fresh since the water has been taken out.”

New Study: COVID-19 Immunity May Last Up to 8 Month

Recent research by scientists from La Jolla Institute for Immunology in California suggests that recovered COVID-19 patients might have an immunity to the infection that lasts from 6 to 8 months.New Study COVID-19 Immunity May Last Up to 8 Month

The researchers say that the body of a recovered patient has a robust immune memory which relies on more than just antibodies as it involves white blood cells known as T cells and B cells that have powers of recollection. This enables the immune system to recognize and reattack the repeated coronavirus invasion.

Co-author of the study Shane Crotty, a virologist at La Jolla Institute, says: “Most people are making most parts of the immune response to this virus, and those parts are still around six to eight months later. That looks like generally good news for having protective immunity.”

Scientists Found How Much Exercise Needed to ‘Offset’ a Day of Sitting

A new study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, suggests that about 30 to 40 minutes of exercise per day is needed to counteract the negative impact of a day of sitting on the health.Scientists Found How Much Exercise Needed to 'Offset' a Day of Sitting

The study is based on a meta-analysis of nine previous studies which included data on 44,370 people in four different countries who were wearing a fitness tracker. The analysis showed that the risk of premature death among people who lead a went up as time spent engaging in moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity went down.

Researchers write in their paper: “In active individuals doing about 30-40 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity, the association between high sedentary time and risk of death is not significantly different from those with low amounts of sedentary time.”

High Blood Pressure in Midlife Associated with Increased Brain Damage

According to a new study, published in the European Heart Journal, high blood pressure (compared to the normal blood pressure) is associated with increased brain damage later in life.High Blood Pressure in Midlife Associated with Increased Brain Damage

For the study, researchers analyzed data of 37,041 participants enrolled in UK Biobank who were recruited from the general population aged between 40 and 69 years with the available medical information, including MRI brain scans.

Using these data, the researchers were looking for damage in the brain called “white matter hyperintensities” (WMH) which are associated with an increased risk of stroke, dementia, physical disabilities, depression, and a decline in thinking abilities.

The scientists found that a higher load of WMH was linked to current systolic blood pressure, but the strongest association was for past diastolic blood pressure, particularly when under the age of 50. Any increase in blood pressure, even below the usual treatment threshold of 140 mmHg for systolic and below 90 mmHg for diastolic, was linked to increased WMH, especially in those cases when people were taking medication to treat high blood pressure.

Vegan Diets Might Increase the Risk of Bone Fractures

Recent research from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom finds that people who stick to vegan diets might have a higher risk of bone fractures compared to people who have meat in their diets. The risk may be higher for vegetarians and pescatarians, too.Vegan Diets Might Increase the Risk of Bone Fractures

For the study, a team of researchers analyzed data from about 55,000 men and women living in the United Kingdom who had agreed to participate in the Oxford component of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study to check how diets impact the risk of bone fracture.

Of these participants, around 30,000 ate meat, around 8,000 were pescatarians (ate fish), more than 15,000 were vegetarians, and about 2,000 were vegans at the time they started participating in the study between 1993 and 2001. The participants were followed for more than 17 years, on average.

The analysis of the received data showed that among the study participants eating a vegan diet, there were close to 20 more cases of fractures per 1,000 people over a 10-year period. In particular, vegans faced a higher risk of fractures of the hips and legs, as well as other main site fractures, such as the clavicle, ribs, and vertebrae.

Why the Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine Might Be a Global Game-Changer

Recently, Oxford University has announced that their COVID-19 vaccine, developed in a partnership with AstraZeneca, showed overall effectiveness of 70.4%. However, this is interim results and the figures might change in the future.Why the Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine Might Be a Global Game-Changer

During trials, the Oxford vaccine was given to one group of volunteers as two standard doses and showed 62% effectiveness. The second group received a smaller dose followed by a standard second dose, which showed the effectiveness of 90%. At the present moment, researchers are not sure what’s the reason for this result.

So why this vaccine could be a global game-changer? Here are several good reasons:

  • It has a good safety record with no serious side effects
  • It can be stored in a domestic fridge
  • It is cheaper (around US$4, while Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines are around US$20 and US$33, respectively.


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