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Monthly Archives: FEBRUARY 2016


Give up sugar for just nine days to improve health
25.02.16 - PT Team
Give up sugar for just nine days to improve health



The study, published by the journal Obesity, substituted the sugar intake of 43 obese children with starch and claims to have demonstrated sugar is dangerous not because of its calories but because of the strain it places on the body's metabolism.
 
Study author Robert Lustig, paediatric endocrinologist at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in San Francisco, said his research found the children's cholesterol improved and their insulin levels dropped.
 
"Everything got better," Dr Lustig claimed. "These findings support the idea that it is essential for parents to evaluate sugar intake and to be mindful of the health effects of what their children are consuming."
 
His findings contest prevalent thinking, supported by multi-national corporations, that claims obesity - and related diseases - are not the result of sugar but of high calorie intake.
 
Dr Lustig says his study was careful to avoid this: researchers ensured the children participating in the study maintained the same weight and were encouraged to eat more if researchers saw their weight falling.
 
He claimed as a result the children, aged between eight and 18, began "responding to their satiety cues" and told researchers they were "overwhelming them with food."
 
"Sugar calories are the worst, because they turn to fat in the liver, driving insulin resistance, and driving risk for diabetes, heart, and liver disease.
 
"This has enormous implications for the food industry, chronic disease, and health care costs," he told The Daily Telegraph.
 
Senior paper author Jean-Marc Schwarz claimed he had never seen results "as striking or significant".




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The new spin on skin care
24.02.16 -
The new spin on skin care



You could be paying heavily for anti-wrinkle creams that don’t really work, say researchers in the US. Women here say they want the luxe treatment
 
THE STUDY
Researchers who tried out the cream for 12 weeks on women between the age of 30 and 70,
found the luxury products smoothed out some fine lines and wrinkles, but were only able to
reduce the average depth of wrinkles by less than 10 per cent, a change barely
visible to the naked eye. In fact, two inexpensive brands of cream turned out to be
the most powerful anti-wrinkle formulations and researchers concluded that there is no
correlation between the price and effectiveness.
 
Can’t resist a divine face cream that promises a zero wrinkle face and a blemish free T-zone? Or an anti-wrinkle formula with the delicious fragrance of pink grapefruit and ylang ylang?
 
You may be paying only for the perfume and the texture of the cream, say beauty experts who are going by new research on the subject. A study done by a US consumer reports magazine reported that a regular cream might be more effective in reducing wrinkles than a premium product.
 
Despite the study’s findings, most women are unconvinced. Says style expert Sheetal Sharma, "A premium cream makes me feel better. I look for many things when I’m buying an anti-wrinkle cream – it has to be waterbased, contain ceramides and have an SPF of 30. This kind of combination is not available in a regular cream. I don’t mind spending extra on my skin.”
 
Adds communications consultant Pratichi T, "Frankly, I would question the research because many studies are conducted with vested interests. Also, I believe that if something costs a lot, there is a premium value, by way of expensive ingredients or long term research. I would continue using luxury brands.”
 
But are these creams as good as they claim to be? Says beauty expert Leila Sharma, "We are taught in beauty school that nothing goes into the inner layers of the skin unless it is injected or ‘sent in’ with the aid of electricity. What we are treating with creams is the surface and this is
made up of dead cells. A cream works on those cells by hydrating them, making sure they are artificially plumped. So as long as you are using a product to add bulk to the wrinkles and improve the surface, that will do.”
 
According to dermatologist Dr Anil Abraham, a lot of the time consumers are paying for a brand name. "You usually pay for the feel-good factor of the cream. I’ve noticed among patients that they don’t want to use a medicated cream but are happy to accept a commercial one because companies make them consumer-friendly. It’s not entirely possible to conduct research on creams like this on women because each woman differs from the other in so many ways. But what everyone should do is check with a doctor before using a cosmetic cream instead of buying them over the counter.”
 
Adds beauty expert Manjul Gupta, "I don’t think it’s a question of whether you should use cheap or premium products, but whether it suits you. An ordinary cream can work wonders for you if it suits your skin conditions or it could be a luxury product that is best for you. You have to decide with the help of a professional.”
 

 

 




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Having a dog is better than a workout!
24.02.16 -
Having a dog is better than a workout!



Dogs are a better investment than health club memberships for those who want to lose weight, says a study. Pet owners apparently cover more miles in a year on ‘walkies’ than the average gym junkie. Those who walk their dogs also have the benefit of fresh air, will recover more quickly from their exercise and are less stressed.
 
More than 1,500 dog owners and gym members were surveyed for the study commissioned by a pet brand. The average pet owner walked 676 miles a year, or the equivalent of London to Bangkok over the animal’s lifetime. In contrast, gymgoers clocked up an average of 468 miles on various exercise bikes, running machines and other equipment. Part of the reason could be the commitment associated with a pet.
 
While 92 per cent of dog owners stick to an exercise routine long term, only 52 per cent of gym members are still attending two or three months after buying their pass. Psychologist Dr David Lewis monitored one group of middle-aged dog owners and another group of gym members of the same age, who didn’t own dogs.
 
He examined them before and after a series of exercises to monitor their fitness levels. Both groups were asked to do eight minutes on a stepping machine and then tested 60 seconds after the end of the exercise.
 
The heart rate of dog walkers had returned to the normal resting rate but the heart rate of gym members was still 29 beats a minute above the normal level. This is because dog walking is a heart-strengthening aerobic exercise while the average gym routine is only made up of around 48 per cent of aerobic exercise. Higher-than-average stress levels affected 52 per cent of gym members but only 35 per cent of dog walkers. Pet owners were also found to have lower blood pressure.
 
The study also found fitness levels differed depending on the breed of dog. But this was not as simple as smaller dogs needing less exercise. Owners of basset hounds, shihtzus, dachshunds, corgis and, surprisingly, whippets tend to do little more than stroll with their animals. Boxers, dobermans, German shepherds, retrievers and the much smaller breed of jack russells usually demand more brisk walks.
 
And the real power walkers in the canine world are dalmatians, border collies, setters and springer spaniels. Dr Lewis said: "Given the financial cost of gym membership, Fido wins hands down as your personal well-being trainer.
 
Not only does walking a dog mean you have to go out at least once a day—rain or shine, you become far less stressed merely by stroking a pet.”




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