Are parsley and celery key to beating yo-yo diets?

For years, would-be slimmers have been stumped why they rapidly put on weight after a successful diet.

Now scientists believe that this 'yo-yo effect' may be caused by bacteria in our guts. While our body loses weight, the microbes living inside us used to a fatty diet remain for many months. And when they come across fatty foods again, they go into overdrive, making us pile on the pounds at an accelerated rate.
While this effect may once have been helpful – perhaps making us store extra fat after a time of famine – nowadays it is harmful.

Researchers believe the 'bad' gut bacteria cause a fluctuating weight by destroying natural compounds found in our food that encourage us to burn fat.
Instead we pile it up in our spare tyres.

This effect could be reversed, scientists believe, by taking a drink containing high levels of the substances which our found naturally in fruit and vegetables.
These compounds – flavonoids - encourage our cells to 'burn' fat rather than storing it. Although the research was in mice, scientists believe a similar mechanism may work in humans.

Source  - Daily Mail

Why eating carrots, kale and sweet potatoes could prevent dementia as you grow older

Eating carrots, kale and sweet potatoes could prevent dementia in older adults, new research suggests.
Consuming the compounds that give plants and vegetables their vibrant colours can bolster brain functioning in older adults. Those who had lower levels of carotenoids in their system had to rely on more brain power to complete memory-orientated tasks, scientists found. The powerful compounds can be found in a range of colourful vegetables and are known to improve cognitive ability.

Researchers from the University of Georgia used functional MRI technology to investigate how levels of carotenoids affect brain activity. They gauged the brain activity of more than 40 adults between 65 and 86 years old while they attempted to recall word pairings they were taught earlier. Brain activity was then analysed while the participants were in the MRI scanner.

They found individuals with higher levels of lutein and zeaxanthin didn't require as much brain activity to complete the task. However, those with lower levels had to use more brain power and relied more heavily on different parts of the brain in order to remember the words. 

Source  Daily Mail

Glass of wine a day 'cuts chances of the most common stroke'

A glass of wine a day can reduce the risk of the most common type of stroke by 10 per cent, researchers say.
Moderate drinking was found to help protect against the condition, in a study which the scientists admit is ‘controversial’. A small glass of red wine, or any drink of less than 1.5 units, is thought to cut levels of a protein that forms blood clots.

Those who drank this amount were 10 per cent less likely to have an ischaemic stroke, where a clot cuts off oxygen and blood to the brain, forcing many sufferers to re-learn how to walk and talk. Even up to two drinks a day, which could include almost two bottles of beer, was found by researchers in Cambridge and Sweden to cut the risk by 8 per cent.

More than 150,000 Britons a year suffer a stroke. Of these, 85 per cent are ischaemic. The scientists, who examined 27 studies, involving more than 21,000 stroke victims, pointed out drinking heavily still raises stroke risk. But they said small amounts may improve health by increasing ‘good’ cholesterol.

Source  - Daily Mail

Homeopathy 'treatments' must be labelled to say they do not work

There is a huge market in the US for homeopathic remedies. In 2007 alone, it was estimated Americans spent more than $3bn on a controversial system of alternative medicine created in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann, and which has long been dismissed by mainstream science.

Now, the US government is requiring that producers of such items ensure that if they want to claim they are effective treatments, then they need to make available the proof. Otherwise, they will need to point out that there is “no scientific evidence that the product works”.

“Homeopathy, which dates back to the late-eighteenth century, is based on the view that disease symptoms can be treated by minute doses of substances that produce similar symptoms when provided in larger doses to healthy people,” said a notice, filed earlier this month by the Federal Trade Commission.

Source Independent

Childhood obesity linked to irregular sleep and skipping breakfast

Skipping breakfast and irregular sleep patterns have been identified as key reasons why children may become dangerously overweight in research that sheds new light on the obesity epidemic.

The study, led by academics from University College London, challenges the widely-held view that soaring childhood obesity rates are caused solely by overeating.

Lifestyle factors and the environment a child is brought up in play a significant role in their chances of becoming obese, the researchers found from examining records of the health and circumstances of children born into 19,244 families across the UK between September 2000 and January 2002.

“This study shows that disrupted routines, exemplified by irregular sleeping patterns and skipping breakfast, could influence weight gain through increased appetite and the consumption of energy-dense foods,” said Prof Yvonne Kelly, from UCL’s department of epidemiology and public health, who led the research.

Source - Guardian

Eating lots of garlic makes men 'smell more attractive to women'

Men: want more success with the ladies? Think your body odour could do with a bit of care and attention? Well, forget about pricey colognes, and just start increasing your garlic consumption.

Yes, garlic, that stinkiest of foodstuffs, can apparently make men smell more attractive to women. It sounds entirely counterintuitive, but that was the verdict of a 2015 study, the findings of which have resurfaced online in recent days.

Researchers from the University of Stirling and Prague's Charles University asked 42 men in rotation to eat raw garlic, garlic capsules, or no garlic, and wear pads in their armpits for 12 hours afterwards to collect body odour.

Then, 82 women were asked to sniff the odour samples and judge them on their pleasantness, attractiveness, masculinity and intensity. The body odour of the men was perceived to be "significantly more attractive and less intense" when they had eaten the garlic in bulb and capsule form than when they (the same men) hadn't eaten it.

Children who drink full-fat milk end up slimmer than those on skimmed

Children should drink full-fat milk until the age of at least six, research suggests – as they are likely to grow up slimmer.

In recent years, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has recommended that toddlers switch to semi-skimmed milk from the age of two, as part of efforts to prevent obesity. But research on more than 2,700 children found those given full-fat versions ended up with a significantly lower body mass index than those given semi-skimmed varieties. Those taking part in the Canadian study were also found to have higher levels of vitamin D, which protects the bones and immune system. 

For decades, children in Britain were encouraged to drink full-fat milk, as part of post-war efforts to build the nation’s health. But in 2009, the FSA warned that children were now consuming so much fat that it was clogging their arteries. Parents are now advised to switch their children to semi-skimmed milk from the age of two.

A high fibre diet stops you from getting ill.

Eating plenty of fibre is not only good for your heart, it has been discovered to protect us from infection.
A bit of roughage, whether a stalk of broccoli or a slice of wholemeal bread, has been found to maintain the gut's first line of defence against invading nasties.

This layer of mucus may not sound very nice, but it helps keep out bugs like E.coli which can cause devastating food poisoning. And it relies on fibre to function because, when our digestive microbes do not have fibre to eat, they are now believed to start feasting on the protective barrier instead.

Scientists at the University of Michigan made the finding from putting human gut bacteria into mice, finding those deprived of fibre were more easily infected with E.coli.  It means more reason to eat your greens, porridge oats, lentils and nuts, with fibre already known to cut the risk of heart disease, stroke and bowel cancer. However most of us in Britain eat less than half of the 30g we should get a day.

Source  - Daily Mail

Struggling with incontinence?

Whenever you laugh, do you feel a desperate need to cross your legs? 

It's an embarrassing problem that stops some people from leaving the house or having a relationship. Yet millions suffer urinary incontinence in silence as they are too embarrassed to see their doctor about their symptoms.  Almost 50 per cent of women aged 45 to 60 are believed to have incontinence and Nadia Sawalha has recently announced that she too is a sufferer. But don't worry, it can be managed. Here, a range of leading nutritionists reveal exactly how dietary changes can help you to manage the condition.

Urge incontinence is where there is a sudden need to pass urine and the woman may not be able to get to the toilet in time.  An overactive or irritable bladder is often the cause. 
The bladder will often register the need to urinate when there is not much urine in there; it has become too sensitive and is telling that woman she needs to urinate when in fact she doesn't.  The solution for urge incontinence is retraining the bladder to go longer between toilet visits and using distraction techniques so that more urine is passed at each visit. 

How tomatoes beat wrinkles

Eating plenty of tomatoes could stave off wrinkles - and even skin cancer, say scientists.

The fruit is rich in an antioxidant called lycopene that helps shield the body from harmful UV radiation. A study says it isn't a substitute for sunscreen but offers another important line of defence. The German researchers said it could lead to people taking supplements containing the chemical for health - or cosmetic - purposes.

They also found another pigment known as lutein - abundant in spinach and kale - achieved similar results. They compared the skin of 65 people who were divided into two groups - one given a supplement called TNC (tomato nutrient complex) or a placebo and the other lutein or the dummy treatment.

At the beginning and end of each 12-week treatment phase their skin was exposed to two types of ultraviolet (UV) light, UVA1 and UVA/B in a process known as irradiation - with biopsies taken 24 hours later.

Source  - Daily Mail