According to a recent study, conducted by researchers from University Hospital Muenster in Germany, physical fitness is associated with improved cognitive performance.
For their study, the researchers took data from the Human Connectome Project, which included MRI brain scans taken from 1,206 adults whose average age was 28.8 years.
Also, 1,204 participants underwent some further tests among which were a walking test for 2 minutes where researchers noted the distance. Besides, 1,187 participants also completed cognitive tests where volunteers’ memory, reasoning, sharpness, and judgment, among other parameters were assessed.
The study authors conclude in their paper: “With the present work, we provide evidence for a positive relationship between [physical fitness] and both white matter microstructure as well as cognitive performance in a large sample of healthy young adults.”
A new study, conducted by researchers from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, suggests that a healthy diet may protect the gut microbiome from being destroyed by antibiotics.
For the purpose of the study the team treated three groups of mice with different antibiotics and monitored how bacteria in the mice digestion system changed.
When scientists added sugar to the mice’s diet, the sensitivity of these bacteria to amoxicillin increased. This means that antibiotics sensitivity can be modified with the help of diet changes.
Dr. Belenky, one of the authors of the study, says: “For a long time we’ve known that antibiotics impact the microbiome,’ Dr Belenky said. ‘We have also known that diet impacts the microbiome. This is the first paper that brings those two facts together.”
For the study, a team of scientists analyzed data of 36,499 Japanese men aged from 40 to 79 years taken from the Miyagi Cohort Study and the Ohsaki Cohort Study. The individuals were followed for 13.2 years on average.
The comparison of data from different groups of participants (from those who almost never ate to those who ate mushrooms almost every day) showed that those participants who consumed mushrooms one or two times per week had 8% lower risk and those who consumed mushrooms three or more times had 17% lower risk of prostate cancer.
The authors of the study conclude in their paper: “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first cohort study indicating the prostate cancer-preventive potential of mushrooms at a population level.”
A new study, published in the journal Heart, suggests that daytime napping once or twice a week may decrease the risk of having heart stroke.
Within the scope of the study, the researchers studied the association between napping frequency and duration as well as the risk of fatal or non-fatal heart conditions such as heart attack, stroke, or heart failure. The study included data gathered from 3462 randomly selected people living in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The study authors conclude: “The study of napping is a challenging but also a promising field with potentially significant public health implications. While there remain more questions than answers, it is time to start unveiling the power of naps for a supercharged heart.”
Recent research from the US, based on data gathered for almost 20 years, confirms that low-fat diets are beneficial for the health of postmenopausal women.
Within the study, the researchers analyzed data received from the Dietary Modification Trial which began in 1993. The trial included 48,835 postmenopausal women residing in the United States. One group of women, 40% in particular, was assigned to eat a low-fat diet while the other group continued their usual diet.
After the follow-up period, which spanned for 19.6 years, the researchers reported the following benefits showed by the group of women eating a low-fat diet:
Co-author of the study Garnet Anderson, Ph.D., a senior vice president and director of Fred Hutchinson’s Public Health Sciences Division, comments: “The sheer number of new diets and nutrition trends can be overwhelming to people who simply want to know, ‘What should I eat?’ […] While there are many diets that provide short term benefits like weight loss, this study scientifically validates the long term health effects of a low-fat diet.”
A new case study from the University of Bristol reports that poor diet of a young patient led him to blindness. The researchers who performed the examination of the case recommend considering nutritional optic neuropathy in patients with vision symptoms impossible to explain in combination with a poor diet.
In this case, a teenage patient was a “fussy eater” with a normal body mass index and height and had no visible signs of malnutrition. He also didn’t take any medication. Tests showed low levels of vitamin B12. Starting from the secondary school, the patient ate a limited diet of chips. Crisps, white bread, and processed pork. By the time the doctors managed to diagnose his condition, the patient had become permanently blind.
Lead study author Dr. Denize Atan, Consultant Senior Lecturer in Ophthalmology at Bristol Medical School and Clinical Lead for Neuro-ophthalmology at Bristol Eye Hospital, comments: “Our vision has such an impact on the quality of life, education, employment, social interactions, and mental health. This case highlights the impact of diet on visual and physical health, and the fact that calorie intake and BMI are not reliable indicators of nutritional status.”