BlogDay 2007

31 08 2007

Blogday Today is BlogDay again. To celebrate blog day, bloggers are supposed to recommend 5 new blog we read.

Thing is I just started to read this blog:

The Oficial Star Wars Blog

Then I recommend you this blog I’ve been reading for a couple of years, it’s written in spanish and english.

Kirainet

Then I would recommend you to look for your own blog, you lazy people! 馃檪 You can start looking for your own language:

Languages

Or you can look for your area of interest:

Tags

Enjoy!

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DHEA has no beneficial effects as antiaging supplement

27 08 2007

In a study published last year in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers have found that a widely used antiaging supplement has no effect on aging markers such as muscle strength, peak endurance, muscle mass, fat mass and glucose tolerance in elderly men and women.

The findings serve to dispel the belief that dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), sold extensively as an antiaging supplement in the USA and some parts of Europe, can reverse age-related alterations in body composition and function.

For almost two years researchers restored DHEA in 144 older men and women to the high normal levels that are usually observed in young people, but found no beneficial effects on age-related changes in body composition and function or quality of life.

These findings contradict some of the previous reports on DHEA. Researchers stated that many former studies were done over shorter periods of time and didn’t involve a large enough group of subjects. This study also was strengthened because it was a double blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial. DHEA was administered only to people with low DHEA and testosterone levels.

DHEA has been promoted as an antiaging supplement and it’s use has been a controversial issue, as antiaging supplements drive sales in the health food industry. Researchers advises elderly people to stop using DHEA because it is unlikely to offer any antiaging effect. They also suggest DHEA should no longer be accepted as a food supplement and should instead be treated as a regulated drug.

In fact, I personally think that all those so-called “natural supplements” should be under the same regulation as conventional drugs. Appropriate regulation would dispel much of the quackery associated with this kind of products.

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Plate size influences portion size

22 08 2007

portion_size Want to lose weight? Try eating off smaller plates. What’s always been a part of weight loss counseling, now a study has proven how using smaller bowls and spoons may curb the amount of food eaten.

Researchers have stated that “those interested in losing weight should use smaller bowls and spoons, while those needing to gain weight (such as the undernourished or aged) could be encouraged to use larger ones”.

This study and others have shown how people tend to put bigger portion of foods or liquids when they have big sized plates or glasses. These studies suggest that individuals may adjust their serving portions depending on the size of their bowls or spoons.

The article of the study was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Why eating feels so good?

21 08 2007

Unless in some disease states, we all more or less love eating. Eating allows us to get all the nutrients our body needs to work properly, so we could say that food (and sex) is what keeps mankind going (and they’re both great). Food sometimes can taste good and some others not that good, but when you are starving ANYTHING tastes like heaven. But why?

The need to eat is initiated, in part, by a hormone known as ghrelin. Although ghrelin is known to be produced in the gut and to trigger the brain to promote eating, it remains to be determined precisely how ghrelin affects different parts of the brain.

In a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers have shown that in mice and rats ghrelin triggers the same neurons as delicious food, sexual experience, and many recreational drugs; that is, neurons that provide the sensation of pleasure and the expectation of reward. There you have it.

The researchers have found that ghrelin bound its receptor on neurons that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. They also observed that the infusion of ghrelin into the brain area where this neurons are located increased the food intake of rats.

Thus, this region of the brain is identified as a site of action for ghrelin to induce food intake, but is also triggered by many recreational drugs and is known to produce the expectation of reward.

Now, next time you are hungry remember ghrelin is kicking in 馃槈

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The benefits of eating fish greatly outweigh the risks

16 08 2007

In the last few years there’s been a lot of talk about the potentials benefits and risks of fish consumption. We all have heard about the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids and the risks of pollutants like mercury. Studies have shown that high levels of mercury exposure (as after an industrial accident), can have adverse health effects. However, the effects of low-level exposure (i.e. from eating fish) are less well-established. All this has led to confusion among the public, rising a logical question: do the risks of eating fish outweigh the benefits?

Well, it seems that a possible answer can be given thanks to a study published a few months ago in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study basically found that fish consumption was associated with reduced risk of cardiac death, lower total mortality and improvements in child brain development.

This study was a major review of other studies and governmental reports. Researchers found that the benefits of eating a modest amount of fish per week (about 85 grams of farmed salmon or 170 grams of mackerel) reduced the risk of death from coronary heart disease by 36%. What’s more important, intake of fish or fish oil reduces total mortality by 17%. The benefits were related to the level of intake of omega-3 fatty acids, and thus benefits are greater for oily fish (e.g. salmon, bluefish), which are higher in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, than lean fish (e.g. haddock, cod).

The same study states that for infants and young children, omega-3 fatty acids from seafood likely improve early brain development. To obtain this benefits, women of childbearing age, nursing mothers and young children should eat up to two servings per week of a variety of fish (e.g. salmon, light tuna, shrimp, mackerel) and avoid only four species of fish (golden bass, king mackerel, shark and swordfish), because they may contain higher levels of mercury. This last advisory is only for women of childbearing age, nursing mothers and young children, not the general population.

So, based on the evidence, the benefits of eating one to two servings of fish a week greatly outweigh the risks among adults and, except for a few species of fish, women of child-bearing age. Now you know, toss away that fatty burger and get your serving of healthy and tasty fish!

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Vegetable Consumption Slows Rate of Cognitive Decline

15 08 2007

Veggies A study published in the journal Neurology has shown an association between slowed cognitive decline and vegetable consumption. People who consumed at least 2.8 servings of vegetables per day slowed their rate of cognitive decline by roughly 40% compared with those who consumed less than 1 serving per day 鈥 a decrease that is equivalent to about 5 years of younger age.

Researchers stated that “green leafy vegetables had the strongest association to slowed rate of cognitive decline and while we are not sure of the reason, some of our analyses suggest it may be due to dietary vitamin E in vegetables”.

In addition to vitamine E, we have to take in account that vegetables are typically consumed with added fats, including salad dressings, mayonnaise, margarine, or butter, which increase absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (like vitamin E) and antioxidant nutrients, such as carotenoids and flavonoids.

So, remember to get your 5 servings (vegetables and fruits) everyday. Otherwise you’ll become an old fart very soon!

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New look

13 08 2007

I’ve changed the template from a dark one to another with more white on it, though the heading still has some black, which I like.

I also added a couple of new links. One is my Last.fm profile, so everyone can check what I’ve been listening to. For those who don’t know Last.fm, it’s one of those social-networks centered in music, it basically keeps track of your musical taste through a small program that works with your music player (if you use Amarok for the Linux OS you won’t need that). The other link opens a web site where you’ll find some of the stuff I get to my web feeder and I think is worth reading (I use Google Reader).

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