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Replacing red meat with plant foods may reduce the risk of heart disease.

  Replacing red meat with plant foods may reduce the risk of heart disease. Replacing red meat with high-quality plant foods such as beans, nuts, or soy may be associated with a modestly reduced risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), suggests a study published by  The BMJ  today. Substituting whole grains and dairy products for total red meat and eggs for processed red meat might also reduce this risk. Substantial evidence suggests that high consumption of red meat, especially processed red meat, such as bacon, hot dogs, sausages, and salami, is associated with an increased risk of death and major chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease. Studies that show inconsistent results often fail to compare red meat with similar protein and energy sources. To address these problems in study design and analysis, a team of US researchers examined the relationship between total, processed, and unprocessed red meat and CHD risk and estimate the effects of substituting other protein sources

What makes hard workouts so effective

  What makes hard workouts so effective High-intensity interval training strengthens the heart even more than moderate exercise does. Now researchers have found several answers to what makes hard workouts so effective. "Our research on rats with heart failure shows that exercise reduces the severity of the disease, improves heart function, and increases work capacity. And the intensity of the training is significant to achieve this effect," says Thomas Stølen, a researcher at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Stølen and his colleague Morten Høydal are the main authors of a comprehensive study published in the  Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology . The researchers went to great lengths to investigate what happens inside tiny heart muscle cells after regular exercise. "We found that exercise improves important properties both in the way heart muscle cells handle calcium and in conducting electrical signals in the heart. These improvements

Can the Mediterranean diet boost exercise endurance?

  Can the Mediterranean diet boost exercise endurance? Researchers at Saint Louis University have found that eating a Mediterranean diet can improve athletes' endurance exercise performance after just four days. In a small study published in the  Journal of the American College of Nutrition , investigators found that participants ran a 5K six percent faster after eating a Mediterranean diet than after eating a Western diet. Researchers found no difference between the two diets in performance in anaerobic exercise tests. The Mediterranean diet includes whole fruits and vegetables, nuts, olive oil, and whole grains and avoids red and processed meats, dairy, trans and saturated fats, and refined sugars. By comparison, the Western diet is characterized by low intake of fruit, vegetables, and unrefined or minimally processed oils and high intakes of trans and saturated fats, dairy, refined sugars, refined and highly processed vegetable oils, sodium, and processed foods. Senior researche

WHAT IS THE LINK BETWEEN DIETARY FIBER AND DEPRESSION?

  WHAT IS THE LINK BETWEEN DIETARY FIBER AND DEPRESSION? A new study suggests that higher daily dietary fiber intake is linked to a lower risk for depression in premenopausal women. Fiber is a commonly recommended part of a healthy diet. That's because it's good for your health in so many ways -- from weight management to reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer. A new study also finds that it might be linked with a reduced risk of depression, especially in premenopausal women. Study results are published online in  Menopause , the North American Menopause Society (NAMS). Depression is a common and serious mental health condition that affects a person's ability to perform daily activities and leads to suicide. It's estimated that more than 264 million people worldwide have depression, with numbers increasing over time. This debilitating condition is much more common in women, and there are several theories as to why this is the case. Changes

COVID-19: Distancing and masks -- good but not enough

  COVID-19: Distancing and masks -- good but not enough Wear a mask, keep your distance, avoid crowds -- these are the common recommendations to contain the COVID-19 epidemic. However, the scientific foundations on which these recommendations are based are decades old and no longer reflect current knowledge. To change this, several research groups from the field of fluid dynamics have now joined forces and developed a new, improved model of the propagation of infectious droplets. It has been shown that it makes sense to wear masks and maintain distances, but this should not lull you into a false sense of security. Even with a mask, infectious droplets can be transmitted over several meters and remain in the air longer than previously thought. TU Wien (Vienna), the University of Florida, the Sorbonne in Paris, Clarkson University (USA), and the MIT in Boston were involved in the research project. The new fluid dynamics model for infectious droplets was published in the " Internatio

Cannabis reduces headache and migraine pain by nearly half, according to the latest research.

  Cannabis reduces headache and migraine pain by nearly half, according to the latest research. Inhaled cannabis reduces self-reported headache severity by 47.3% and migraine severity by 49.6%, according to a recent study led by Carrie Cuttler, a Washington State University assistant professor of psychology. The study, published online recently in the  Journal of Pain , is the first to use big data from headache and migraine patients using cannabis in real-time. Previous studies have asked patients to recall the effect of cannabis use in the past. One clinical trial indicated that cannabis was better than ibuprofen in alleviating headache, but it used nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid drug. "We were motivated to do this study because a substantial number of people say they use cannabis for headache and migraine, but surprisingly few studies had addressed the topic," said Cuttler, the lead author on the paper. In the WSU study, researchers analyzed archival data from the Strai

A new class of antibiotics active against a wide range of bacteria

  A new class of antibiotics active against a wide range of bacteria Dual-acting immuno-antibiotics block an essential pathway in bacteria and activate the adaptive immune response. Wistar Institute scientists have discovered a new class of compounds that uniquely combine direct antibiotic killing of pan drug-resistant bacterial pathogens with a simultaneous rapid immune response for combatting antimicrobial resistance (AMR).  The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared AMR as one of the top 10 global public health threats against humanity. It is estimated that by 2050, antibiotic-resistant infections could claim 10 million lives each year and impose a cumulative $100 trillion burden on the global economy. The list of bacteria that are becoming resistant to treatment with all available antibiotic options is growing, and few new drugs are in the pipeline, creating a pressing need for new classes of antibiotics to prevent public health crises. "We took a creative, double-pronge

CAN OLDER WOMEN BENEFIT AS MUCH FROM RESISTANCE TRAINING AS MEN?

  CAN OLDER WOMEN BENEFIT AS MUCH FROM RESISTANCE TRAINING AS MEN? Men and women aged over 50 can reap similar relative benefits from resistance training, a new study led by UNSW Sydney shows. While men are likely to gain more absolute muscle size, the gains relative to body size are on par with women's. The findings, recently published in  Sports Medicine , consolidated 30 different resistance training studies involving over 1400 participants. This paper specifically compared the results of men and women aged 50 and over. "Historically, people tended to believe that men adapted to a greater degree from resistance training compared to women," says Dr. Amanda (Mandy) Hagstrom, exercise science lecturer at UNSW Medicine & Health and senior author of the study. "The differences we found primarily relate to how we look at the data -- that is, absolutely or relatively. 'Absolute' looks at the overall gains, while 'relative' is a percentage based on the

CAN THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET REDUCE THE RISK OF PROSTATE CANCER?

  CAN THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET REDUCE THE RISK OF PROSTATE CANCER?  In a study to examine a Mediterranean diet about prostate cancer progression in men on active surveillance, researchers from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found that men with localized prostate cancer who reported a baseline dietary pattern that more closely follows the key principles of a Mediterranean-style diet fared better over the course of their disease. "Men with prostate cancer are motivated to find a way to impact the advancement of their disease and improve their quality of life," said Justin Gregg, M.D., assistant professor of Urology and lead author of the study, published today in  Cancer . "A Mediterranean diet is non-invasive, good for overall health and, as shown by this study, has the potential to affect the progression of their cancer." After adjusting for factors known to increase the risk of cancer getting worse over time, such as age, prostate-specific antigen

OPTIMAL TREATMENTS FOR COVID-19

  OPTIMAL TREATMENTS FOR COVID-19 Getting control of COVID-19 will take more than widespread vaccination; it will also require a better understanding of why the disease causes no apparent symptoms in some people but leads to rapid multi-organ failure and death in others and better insight into what treatments work best and for which patients. To meet this unprecedented challenge, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), in collaboration with investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital and the University of Cyprus, have created a mathematical model based on biology that incorporates information about the known infectious machinery of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and about the potential mechanisms of action of various treatments that have been tested in patients with COVID-19. The model and its important clinical applications are described in the  National Academy of Sciences  (PNAS). "Our model predicts that antiviral and anti-inflammatory drugs t