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Health & longevity news archive: September-October 2008

red LED
Red LEDs could make anti-ageing device
(Oct 28, 2008)

Sunlight causes wrinkles, among other kinds of skin damage, but a different kind of light – specifically the red glow from LEDs - may help to smooth them out by altering the interactions between water and elastic proteins in the skin. Andrei Sommer and Dan Zhu of the University of Ulm in Germany have been investigating how water molecules in the skin interact with different substances.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

brain scan
Brain boost drugs 'growing trend'
(Oct 17, 2008)

Increasing numbers of people are using prescription drugs like Ritalin to boost alertness and brain power, say experts. Up to a fifth of adults, including college students and shift workers, may be using cognitive enhancers, a poll of 1,400 by Nature journal suggests. Neuropsychologist Professor Barbara Sahakian of Cambridge University said safety evidence is urgently needed.

Read more. Source: BBC

obese men
New twist in brain obesity riddle
(Oct 5, 2008)

The discovery of another way in which the body appears to control how much it eats could shed fresh light on obesity. US researchers said poor diets may trigger a signalling system which prompts the body to consume even more. When the signals – involving a protein linked to inflammation - were blocked in mice, they maintained normal weight.

Read more. Source: BBC

people exercising
Clean living 'slows cell ageing'
(Sep 16, 2008)

Taking more exercise and eating the right foods may help increase levels of an enzyme vital for guarding against age-related cell damage, work suggests. Among 24 men asked to adopt healthy lifestyle changes for a US study in The Lancet Oncology, levels of telomerase increased by 29% on average. Telomerase repairs and lengthens telomeres, which cap and protect the ends of chromosomes housing DNA.

Read more. Source: BBC

Sources of vitamin B12
Vitamin linked to brain shrinking
(Sep 9, 2008)

A vitamin found in meat, fish and milk may help stave off memory loss in old age, a study has suggested. Older people with lower than average vitamin B12 levels were more than six times more likely to experience brain shrinkage, researchers concluded. The University of Oxford study, published in the journal Neurology, tested the 107 apparently healthy volunteers over a five-year period.

Read more. Source: BBC

Climbing stairs can prolong life
(Sep 1, 2008)

Taking the stairs instead of the lift at work could save your life, claim Swiss researchers. Banning the use of lifts and escalators led to better fitness, less body fat, trimmer waistlines and a drop in blood pressure, a study of 69 people found. This translates to a 15% cut in the risk of dying prematurely from any cause, calculate the University of Geneva team.

Read more. Source: BBC

Human brain
New brain cells are essential for learning
(Sep 1, 2008)

Far from being a completed masterpiece, some parts of the brain are works-in-progress, continuously churning out new cells. Now we may know why the brain goes to all that trouble. In mice at least, it appears that fresh brain cells are key to learning and memory.

Read more. Source: New Scientist


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