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MICROPLASTICS, THE INVISIBLE MENACE

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  MICROPLASTICS, THE INVISIBLE MENACE A new study finds plastic accumulation in food may be underestimated. A new study has found plastic accumulation in foods may be underestimated. There is also concern these microplastics will carry potentially harmful bacteria such as  E. coli,  which are commonly found in coastal waters, up the food chain. Researchers from the University of Portsmouth tested a theory that microplastics covered in a layer of microbes (called a biofilm) ) were more likely to be ingested by oysters than clean microplastics. Although the experiment was carried out on oysters under laboratory conditions, scientists believe similar results could be found in other edible marine species that also filter seawater for food. Up until now, studies to test the impacts of microplastics on marine life have typically used clean, virgin microplastics. However, this is not representative of what happens to microplastics in the marine environment. Microbes readily colonize microplas

A fermented-food diet lowers inflammation, study finds

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  A fermented-food diet lowers inflammation, study finds According to researchers at the Stanford School of Medicine, a diet rich in fermented foods enhances the diversity of gut microbes and decreases molecular signs of inflammation. In a clinical trial, 36 healthy adults were randomly assigned to a 10-week diet that included fermented or high-fiber foods. The two diets resulted in different effects on the gut microbiome and the immune system. Eating foods such as yogurt, kefir, fermented cottage cheese, kimchi, and other fermented vegetables, vegetable brine drinks, and kombucha tea led to increased overall microbial diversity, with stronger effects from larger servings. "This is a stunning finding," said Justin Sonnenburg, Ph.D., an associate professor of microbiology and immunology. "It provides one of the first examples of how a simple change in diet can reproducibly remodel the microbiota across a cohort of healthy adults." In addition, four types of immune ce

Eat whole grains for smaller increases in waist size, blood pressure, and blood sugar.

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  Eat whole grains for smaller increases in waist size, blood pressure, and blood sugar. Study in the middle- to older-aged adults suggests whole grains may protect against heart disease. Middle- to older-aged adults who ate at least three servings of whole grains daily had smaller increases in waist size, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels over time compared to those who ate less than a one-half serving per day, according to new research. Published July 13, 2021, in the  Journal of Nutrition , the study by researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University examined how whole- and refined-grain intake over time impacted five risk factors of heart disease: Waist size, blood pressure, blood sugar, triglyceride, and HDL ("good") cholesterol. Using data from the Framingham Heart Study Offspring Cohort, which began in the 1970s to assess long-term risk factors of heart disease, the new research examined health outcomes associated wi

Excessive coffee consumption may be bad for your brain.

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  Excessive coffee consumption may be bad for your brain. It's a favorite first-order for the day, but while a quick coffee may perk us up, new research from the University of South Australia shows that too much could be dragging us down, especially when it comes to brain health. In the largest study of its kind, researchers have found that high coffee consumption is associated with smaller total brain volumes and an increased risk of dementia. Conducted at UniSA's Australian Centre for Precision Health at SAHMRI and a team of international researchers*, the study assessed the effects of coffee on the brain among 17,702 UK Biobank participants (aged 37-73), finding that those who drank more than six cups of coffee a day had a 53 percent increased risk of dementia. Lead researcher and UniSA Ph.D. candidate, Kitty Pham, says the research delivers important insights for public health. "Coffee is among the most popular drinks in the world. Yet with global consumption being mor

Omega-3 acids in the blood increase life expectancy

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   Omega-3 acids in the blood increase life expectancy  A 1% increase in this substance in the blood is associated with a change in mortality risk similar to quitting smoking. Levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood are as good a predictor of mortality from any cause as smoking, according to a study involving the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), in collaboration with The Fatty Acid Research Institute in the United States and several universities in the United States and Canada. The study, published in  The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , used data from a long-term study group, the Framingham Offspring Cohort, which has monitored residents of this Massachusetts town, in the United States, since 1971. Researchers have found that omega-3 levels in blood erythrocytes (the so-called red blood cells) are excellent mortality risk predictors. The study concludes that "Having higher levels of these acids in the blood, as a result of regularly including oily f

CBD MAY BE AN EFFECTIVE SUBSTITUTE FOR OPIOIDS IN TREATING CHRONIC PAIN.

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  CBD MAY BE AN EFFECTIVE SUBSTITUTE FOR OPIOIDS IN TREATING CHRONIC PAIN. The cannabis-derived substance provides fewer side effects, with less potential for abuse Fibromyalgia is one of many chronic pain conditions that remains stubbornly difficult to treat. As the ravages of the opioid epidemic lead many to avoid these powerful painkillers, a significant number of people with fibromyalgia are finding an effective replacement in CBD-containing products, finds a new Michigan Medicine study. CBD, short for cannabidiol, is the second most common cannabinoid in the cannabis plant and has been marketed for everything from mood stabilization to pain relief, without the intoxicating effects produced by the most common cannabinoid, THC. THC, which stands for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the ingredient in marijuana that causes people to feel high. The cannabis industry has exploded, aided by the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana in states around the United States and the

Tai chi can mirror the healthy benefits of conventional exercise.

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  Tai chi can mirror the healthy benefits of conventional exercise. A rescent study shows that tai chi mirrors the beneficial effects of conventional exercise by reducing waist circumference in middle-aged and older adults with central obesity. The study was done by investigators at the University of Hong Kong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; the Chinese Academy of Sciences; and UCLA. Central obesity is a major manifestation of metabolic syndrome, broadly defined as a cluster of cardiometabolic risk factors, including central obesity, dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) level, and high blood pressure, that all increase risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 543 participants were randomly assigned in a 1:1:1 ratio to a control group with no exercise intervention (n= 181), conventional exercise consisting of aerobic exercise and strength training (EX group) (n= 181), and a tai chi group (TC group) (n= 181). Interventions lasted