Researchers from Harvard University find the right amount of fruit and vegetable for long and healthy life – it is the combination of two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables daily.
For the study, a team of researchers analyzed 26 studies that included information on 2 million adults all over the world, looking for patterns linking diet and longevity.
The analysis showed that people who consumed 5 servings a day of fruits and veggies were 12% less likely to die of heart disease, 35% less likely to die of respiratory disease, and 10% lower risk to die from cancer.
Lead author Dr. Dong Wang, an epidemiologist and nutritionist at Harvard, says: “While groups like the American Heart Association recommend four to five servings each of fruits and vegetables daily, consumers likely get inconsistent messages about what defines optimal daily intake of fruits and vegetables such as the recommended amount, and which foods to include and avoid.”
A new international study, conducted by researchers from the U.S and the U.K., suggests that eating a diet high in sugar fructose may cause inflammation of the immune system.
In their study, the scientists discovered that fructose sugars cause the immune system to become inflamed, which leads to the production of more reactive inflammatory cytokines.
Such inflammation can damage cells and tissues, contribute to organs and systems malfunction, and lead to disease development.
Dr. Emma Vincent, a study author and research fellow at Bristol Medical School, says: “Our study is exciting because it takes us a step further toward understanding why some diets can lead to ill health.”
A new study, conducted by scientists from Stanford University, suggests that exposure to air pollution in early childhood alters genes in a way that can lead to heart disease later in life.
For the study, researchers recruited children of Hispanic descent aged between 6 and 8 from Fresno, California. The city has the highest pollution levels due to industrial agriculture and wildfires.
The scientists estimated exposure to air pollution for 1 day, 1 week, and 1, 3, 6, and 12 months prior to each participant visit and compared them to health and demographics questionnaires, blood pressure readings, and blood samples.
The analysis of the available data showed that exposure to fine particulate known as PM2.5, carbon monoxide, and ozone over time is associated with an alteration of DNA molecules that can change their activity without changing their sequence, and this change in gene expression may be passed down to future generations.
In a new study, published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, researchers find that people with higher conscientiousness as a personality trait have a lower risk of death. Conscientiousness can be described as the tendency to be organized, control impulses, and delay gratification.
For the study, a team of scientists assessed personality traits with the help of the Midlife Development Inventory (MIDI) Personality Scales in 957 participants from the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) study. The researchers also took blood samples from the participants and measured their levels of CRP and IL-6 inflammatory biomarkers (they are an integral part of the immune response, playing both pro- and anti-inflammatory roles).
Lead study author Dr. Páraic Ó Súilleabháin, of the Department of Psychology and the Health Research Institute at the University of Limerick, says: “We found that part of the reason why people who score higher on the personality trait of conscientiousness live longer is as a result of their immune system, specifically due to lower levels of a biological marker called interleukin-6. There are likely further biological mechanisms that are yet to be discovered, which will give a clearer picture of all the different ways that our personalities are so critical to our long-term health.”
According to a new study from Uppsala University in Sweden, using beta-blockers such as propranolol may help treat cerebral cavernous malformations – a condition that is characterized by misshapen blood vessels in the brain and other parts of the body.
The study was performed in collaboration with researchers at Uppsala University, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and at IFOM – The FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology and the Mario Negri Institute of Pharmacological Research in Italy.
Lead author of the study Peetra Magnusson of the University’s Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, says: “We examined mice with vascular malformations in the brain – cavernomas or CCMs, as they’re called – that corresponded to the hereditary form of the condition in humans. The mice were given propranolol in their drinking water, and we were able to see that the cavernomas were becoming fewer and smaller. The blood vessels functioned better, too, with less leaking and improved contacts between their cells.”
Recent research by a team of researchers in the United Kingdom and the U.S. finds that patients with COVID-19 receiving heparin-based blood thinners in the first 24 hours after hospitalization have a lower risk of complications and death.
For their study, the researchers analyzed electronic health record data from veterans registered with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs who were admitted to hospitals with COVID-19 between March 1 and July 31, 2020.
The scientists write in their paper: “Receiving prophylactic anticoagulation was associated with a 27% decreased risk of death over the first 30 days, compared with receiving no anticoagulation. The evidence of benefit was strongest among patients not admitted to the [intensive care unit] within the first 24 hours of admission.”
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