A new study from Austria finds evidence that microplastics, such as extremely small pieces of plastic beads, fibers, or fragments, accumulate in human feces.
A team of scientist from the Environment Agency Austria and the Medical University of Vienna has analyzed the samples of excrements of eight participants from Italy, Japan, Poland, the Netherlands, Russia, the United Kingdom, Finland, and Austria.
All participants reported what they ate or drank within the week prior to the sampling. They all drank from plastic bottles and ate plastic-wrapped foods. According to the study, the sea animals consume plastic, humans are likely to ingest it by eating tuna, shrimp, or lobster.
The scientists report that the microplastics may take part in transmittance of toxic chemicals and pathogens to the human body which can lead to the weakening of the immune response of the gut.
A human immune system consists of various cells, tissues, and proteins. In the system, they carry out the processes in our body that fight with pathogens — viruses, bacteria, and foreign bodies. When a pathogen comes into contact with the immune system, the latter releases antibodies to attack pathogens and kill them. The following fifteen foods will help you to boost your immune system:
According to a recent study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating a diet that includes whole grains leads to healthier gut and stronger immune system. Whole grains include such products as whole wheat, oats, rye, barley, brown rice, and quinoa.
In the study, 81 healthy adults participated. All of them ate a Western-style diet high in refined grains during the first two weeks (the study lasted for 8 weeks). During the other 6 weeks, half of the participants continued a Western-style diet, and another half ate the same diet, but instead of refined grains, they consumed whole grains.
Having analyzed the results of the study, the scientists found that those who consumed the diet rich in whole grains showed an increase in a type of bacteria called Lachnospira, which is known to produce short-chain fatty acids. Moreover, those who consumed the whole-grain diet showed a reduction Enterobacteriaceae, bacteria that trigger inflammation.
A significant number of people love horror movies and watching them on a regular basis in cinemas. There are many scientific theories that explain such a love for the nightmares, however, scientists from Nottingham Trent University in the UK found that this kind of habit can be good for health.
And it’s not just about the release of negative emotions, the accumulation of which can cause aggression, bad mood and anxiety. There is an evidence that watching horror movie strengthens the immune system, at least for some time.
The researchers took blood samples from the volunteers before, during, and after watching horror movies. It was found that the level of white blood cells, normally released in response to infection, was increased. This phenomenon is due to an ancient survival mechanism, as in case of external danger the human body was prepared in the fight against infections, illnesses and injuries, strengthening the immune system.
Watching of frightening episodes on the screen helps to release adrenaline, boosts the immune system, increases heart rate and accelerating metabolic processes that contribute to energy consumption. That is why watching horror movie can indirectly affect the loss of excess weight.
In 2012, scientists from the University of Westminster measured the number of calories burned in volunteers who watched horror movies. During one film people burned at least 113 calories, which is equivalent to 30 minutes of walking. And watching the movie “The Shining” in 1980 allowed to burn as much as 184 calories that are contained in the average size of chocolate bars.
There is an evidence that horror films are useful for sex life, they make less attractive men more attractive to women, as established by researchers from the Indiana University, which showed horror film “Friday the 13th” to 36 male volunteers and 36 female. At the same time the men got more pleasure from watching a horror movie in the company of women who sincerely expressed their fear. But self-confident ladies who were not afraid of what is happening on the screen, reduces the pleasure of watching the men.
In a recent study, researchers compared a meditation retreat with just relaxing during vacation in the same locale. They have come to the conclusion that both options changed gene activity, improved stress regulation, immune function and other cellular markers in the blood.
In their study, scientists measured gene activity, blood markers and reported wellbeing during the vacation and several months after that. They discovered a large and immediate “vacation effect” in all participants. In people who continued meditating benefits of this effect were seen even 10 months later.
Study senior author Dr. Eric Schadt, founding director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at Mount Sinai, New York, says: “Vacation in a relaxing, resort-like environment takes you away from your day-to-day grind, which may be high stress in which your body is in a more defensive-like posture, with pressures to meet deadlines, dealing with angry customers, ‘battling’ with colleagues for resources to accomplish your mission or whatever.”
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