Risk factors for skin cancer

September 3rd, 2016

Anyone can develop skin cancer, but people with fair complexions are more susceptible to precancerous conditions and skin cancer than people with darker skin tones. That’s because darker skin has more melanin, which provides some natural protection against the sun’s damaging rays. In addition to fair skin, other risk factors for skin cancer include:

  • a personal history of skin cancer
  • a tendency to freckle or burn easily
  • lots of sun exposure throughout your life
  • many sunburns as a child or adolescent
  • family history of the skin cancer or conditions that are more likely to develop into skin cancer
  • Chronic,  non-healing scarring
  • Radiation Therapy
  • exposure to toxic materials, such as arsenic, coal tar or creosote
  • exposure to certain subtypes of human papillomavirus (genital warts) especially in people with compromised immune systems
  • taking immunosuppressant drugs (after an organ transplant, for instance)

You especially want to see a pediatric dermatologist if:

September 2nd, 2016
  • Your child was born with a skin abnormality like a birthmark or wart. A specialist can make sure it doesn’t get infected, cancerous or harmful.
  • Your pediatrician doesn’t know what to do about a lump, rash or acne outbreak. Yes, she may have diagnosed the issue and prescribed medication. But if the problem recurs or the treatment isn’t working, a pediatric dermatologist can ensure that the condition gets treated correctly.
  • Your child has a recurring or serious skin problem. It’s serious if it changes rapidly in size, color, shape or texture. It’s also serious if it keeps returning, is itchy or could come from an allergic reaction.

8 Wrinkle Causes—Other Than Aging

September 1st, 2016

 

1. Smoking
You’re likely aware of the long list of reasons to quit smoking. Here’s another: Lighting up is one of the most common causes of wrinkles. Smoking can accelerate your skin’s normal aging process, contributing to wrinkles. It may restrict blood flow to your skin. And that makes it difficult for skin cells to reach the oxygen and nutrients necessary to regenerate and stay healthy. Also, smoke’s chemicals break down your skin’s elastin and collagen. And of course, pursing your lips to puff creates fine lines around your mouth.

2. Skipping sunscreen
You know that sunscreen is important. But an occasional tan won’t hurt right? Unfortunately, most signs of aging come from unprotected skin exposure—even just a few minutes worth. How? Exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays breaks down your skin’s elastin and collagen. Without these supportive tissues, skin loses its flexibility and strength. Then it starts to sag and wrinkle. That’s why you should wear sunscreen daily, regardless of the weather. Otherwise, you’re accelerating the aging process. (Just be aware that many sunscreens aren’t the SPF they claim to be.) And don’t be tempted to skip sunscreen even if you’re inside your car. Remember that the sun still hits your face while you’re driving and that some car windows don’t block out UV light.

3. Picking pimples
You may have the urge to pop your zits. But you’re creating scars, irritation and, yes, wrinkles, when you pull and pick at your skin. Your best bet is to use over-the-counter or prescription products to help get rid of acne or let pimples heal on their own.

4. Eating a poor diet
As they say, “You are what you eat.” Cliché, yes. True, indeed. Since the skin is our largest organ, it’s no surprise that it’s the first part of your body to show nutrient deficiencies, including wrinkles. That’s why it’s important to consume a healthy, well-balanced diet. Eating a plentiful amount of fresh vegetables and fruits may help prevent damage that leads to premature skin aging. And findings from research studies suggest that a diet high in sugar or other refined carbohydrates promotes aging.

5. Squinting to see the computer screen or television
Each time you squint, a groove forms underneath the skin. As skin gets older, it loses its flexibility and can’t return to how it was, causing wrinkles. So if you sit too close to or too far away from the computer or the TV, constantly straining and squinting to see the screen, you’re causing fine wrinkles around your eyes. Consider making an appointment with your optometrist to make sure your eyes are in optimal shape and that your prescription, if you have one, is up to date.

6. Chewing gum
Chomping on gum forces your mouth to continuously form different shapes. And if you chew frequently, these formations can lead to a downward turn in the corners of your mouth, a pronounced muscle at the bottom of the jaw line or a wrinkle on your lower mouth.

7. Eager for fresh breath? Opt for mints or mouthwash.
Sleeping on your stomach or side?If you sleep on your face, your comfy and beloved pillow can give you wrinkles. How? Consistently pushing your face into your pillow creates creases that can eventually lead to permanent wrinkles. Sleep on your back if you can, placing a pillow beneath your knees to help prevent you from flipping over. Can’t give up stomach or side sleeping? Try a satin pillowcase; it slides across your face and is less abrasive than one that’s cotton.

8. Not removing makeup
When you sleep in your makeup, those cosmetics plus the pollutants you acquired throughout the day seep into your skin, breaking down elastin and collagen. And that can lead to fine lines and wrinkles.

The Facts on Adult Acne

August 31st, 2016

What is adult acne?
Many women think of acne as something they bid farewell to with adolescence. But actually, a significant number of women over the age of 25 years experience adult acne. Because you have acne as an adult, it can be frustrating and embarrassing, but rest assured that adult acne is quite common. Adult acne can be divided into two general types: persistent and late-onset acne. Persistent acne is acne that continues from adolescence into adulthood. Patients tend to have lesions most days and may experience flare-ups before their menstrual cycles. Late-onset acne appears for the first time in adulthood and falls into two categories. Chin acne is concentrated in the mouth area and tends to flare premenstrually. Sporadic acne tends to appear and die down suddenly, with no apparent reason.

What causes adult acne?

The causes of adult acne are not entirely clear. It may be linked to the behavior of certain sex hormones, particularly those called androgens, which control excretion from the oil-producing sebaceous glands. Other possible triggers include smoking, cosmetic use, stress or taking certain medications such as those used to treat epilepsy or depression. Some women may also have a genetic predisposition to the condition.

What are the effects of adult acne?

The physical appearance of adult acne can vary widely. Sometimes acne is confined to comedones—commonly known as whiteheads and blackheads—that exist on the surface of the skin. But it can also include deeper lesions called nodules and cysts that lie further underneath the skin. Such deeper lesions tend to be more painful and are sometimes filled with pus.

Women feel awkward having acne as adults. Because the flare-ups characteristic of adult acne are often unpredictable, women may feel like they are unable to control the condition. Click here to learn more about the effects of adult acne on women.

Adult acne is not something you should attempt to solve yourself, particularly by trying to pop, squeeze or pick at lesions, which may lead to scarring. However, there are things you can do on your own. In addition to carefully following your dermatologist’s prescribed treatment plan, try to keep your skin as healthy as possible. Wash your face gently with a mild soap or cleanser, keep hairsprays and gels away from your face, opt for makeup that is labeled “non-comedogenic” or “non-acnegenic” and eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

Foods Rich in Antioxidants for Healthy Aging

August 30th, 2016

Blueberries

Red peppers, oranges, pine nuts, roasted sunflower seeds, safflower oil: Vegetables and fruits that are high in vitamin C help prevent skin appearance changes related to aging. Nuts and oils with high amounts of linoleic acid provide similar defense. Regardless of age, sun exposure or other factors, women who eat more foods that are rich in vitamin C and linoleic acid have fewer wrinkles, less skin dryness and less atrophy—the gradual thinning of skin layers.

Cocoa: It’s not just for kids anymore! You may have switched to green tea for its antioxidant benefits, but cocoa is actually higher in the powerful phenolic phytochemicals that fight oxidative damage. Indeed, cocoa leads the list for antioxidant capacity—ahead of red wine, green tea and black tea. Make it with nonfat milk and you’ll help strengthen your bones as well.

Spinach, kale, collards: Here’s another reason to eat more vegetables: high vegetable consumption produces a slower rate of cognitive decline with age. People aged 65 or older and found that those who ate about three to four daily servings of vegetables—particularly leafy greens—had much less decline in memory, recall and other mental functions than did those who ate less than one serving of veggies per day.

Walnuts: These popular nuts enabled aged rats to improve motor performance (such as walking on a plank) and thinking skills. Because of these results, researchers believe walnuts look very promising for strengthening cognition.

Fish: It’s been called “brain food” for decades, but now there’s evidence that fish helps keep your mental abilities strong while you age. Compared with people who ate less than one fish meal per week, those who ate fish once weekly or more often showed a slower rate of age-related cognitive decline.

7 Foods for Healthy Hair

August 29th, 2016

Here are some foods with hair-health benefits:

Healthy omega-3 fatty acids can foster hair growth and sheen. Your body is unable to manufacture these healthy fats on its own, so fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna can supply them. The American Heart Association advises eating two servings (3.5-ounce portions) of fatty fish per week. If you don’t eat seafood, omega-3s are also found in some nuts and seeds, such as flaxseeds, but it’s in a different form, so you may also want to talk with your health care provider about taking a supplement.

Greek yogurt is packed with protein, which is critical for keeping hair healthy. It also contains vitamin B5 (or pantothenic acid), which may help prevent hair thinning and loss. And while we’re on the subject of protein, make sure to get protein from foods like lean meat, chicken and turkey, which can protect against hair loss and promote growth and thickness. Eggs, milk and cheese are also considered complete protein sources. If you’re a vegetarian, find your protein in foods like quinoa, chickpeas and lentils.

Strawberries, citrus fruits and peppers. What do these have in common? They’re high in vitamin C, needed by your body to help produce protein. And since your body can’t make or store vitamin C, it’s important to include foods that contain this vitamin in your daily diet. Other sources include pineapple, cantaloupe, kiwi fruit and veggies like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and leafy greens.

Iron-rich foods. Low iron can contribute to hair loss. Treat any deficiency with iron-rich foods like lean meat, turkey, whole grains, dried fruit, beans and egg yolks.

Biotin. This water-soluble B complex vitamin, also known as vitamin H, is found in small amounts in certain foods like eggs, cheese, yogurt, chicken and liver. Biotin helps to strengthen the keratin in the hair and nails and comes in different types of over-the-counter supplements. There is preliminary evidence that it may reduce hair loss caused by an autoimmune disease when biotin supplements are combined with zinc and a topical cream containing clobetasol propionate.

Sweet potatoes.
Your body turns the antioxidant beta carotene into vitamin A, which in turn helps protect against dry or dull hair and encourages production of sebum (an oily fluid produced by the glands in your scalp that keeps your strands from drying out). Beta carotene, which gives veggies and fruit their rich colors, is also found in carrots, apricots, mangoes, asparagus, broccoli and kale.

Silica. In a study of women with temporary hair thinning, it was found that those who took the oral supplement silica experienced significant hair growth. Foods that contain this mineral include bananas, beer, oats and raisins.

Honey, the Skin Saviour

August 27th, 2016

Facial scrub: Women with sensitive skin can prepare a face mask made of honey, brown sugar, olive oil and lemon juice. It’s less abrasive, yet removes dead skin cells to reveal a smoother and more vibrant complexion.


Hair removal: Mix honey and lemon juice and pour into a sugaring wax that’s safe to use on your body. This will remove hair and also make your skin soft.

Scars: To make the scars leave your side, apply raw honey on the affected areas before bed and cover with a bandage. In the morning, remove the cover-up and cleanse the skin.

Bath treatment: Take bath with milk and honey. The alpha hydroxy acids in milk breaks down dry and flaky skin, while the enzymes in honey softens skin.

Sunburn:
 Honey helps to soothe sunburns. You just need to dab on a little honey on skin.

Chapped lips: Mix honey, brown sugar and olive oil, and apply on your lips. This mixture will moisturise chappy lips.

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5 Homemade Orange Peel Face Packs for Glowing Skin

August 26th, 2016

1. Orange Peel and Yogurt – Face PackTake 1 tbsp of orange peel powder and 2 tbsp of yogurt. Mix well. Apply on face and wash off after 20 minutes to get clear, fresh, and toned up tight looking skin. This is an instant rejuvenating face pack which you can apply before a party or any big event.

2. Orange Peel, Turmeric and Honey – Face WashUse this face wash over a period of time to remove stubborn tan. Take 1 tbsp orange peel powder, just a pinch of cosmetic turmeric, and 1 tbsp of natural honey. Mix everything well into a fine paste. Apply on the face and neck, and wash off after 5 to 10 minutes with any gentle face cleanser or rose water. Try not to use this on acne prone skin but if you decide to do so then follow it up with an acne skin face pack.

3. Orange peel powder and walnut powder and sandalwood paste – ExfoliatorTake a tbsp of orange powder and add 1 tbsp of sandalwood powder and a tbsp of walnut powder. Then add 2 to 3 drops of lemon juice and 2 tbsp of rose water to make a paste. Leave on the face for 5 minutes and rinse off to get bright skin which will give instant glow post gentle exfoliation.

4. Orange Peel, Multani Mitti and Rose Water – Face PackThis one is recommended for oily skin. Take 1 tbsp of orange peel powder, 1 tbsp of multani mitti and make a smooth paste out of it by adding rose water. Apply on the face and neck and rinse off only when its semi dry. This face pack will deep cleanse your skin and pull out both black heads and white heads.

5. Orange Peel Powder and Lime – Face PackThis is another great pack to remove tan and brighten the skin. Take 2 tbsp orange peel powder, add in a few drops of lime and to this add a tbsp each of fullers earth and sandalwood powder to make a smooth paste. Apply on the face and rinse off after 30 minutes to get fresh and bright skin. This is also lovely for oily acne prone skin and if fresh acne is present then more of lime juice and orange peel powder should be added.

5 Homemade Orange Peel Face Packs for Glowing Skin

August 25th, 2016

Apples: They are a great source of natural vitamins, especially if you have a fair and sensitive skin. They have astringent and softening properties that helps keep the skin supple and hydrated.

Mash an apple and mix with 1tsp of honey and apply to clean skin for about 10 minutes. This face mask will help soften your skin, especially if you have an oily or combination skin type and cannot use heavy creams and moisturizers which very often lead to break outs.

Banana: It is one of the best fruit moisturizers. This humble fruit works wonders on dry skin and helps nourish and tighten the skin.

It is also known to invigorate the skin. It cleanses open pores leaving the skin look absolutely flawless.

Mash one banana and mix 1tsp oatmeal with a little full cream milk, enough to make a smooth paste.
Apply to clean skin and leave it for about 15 minutes.
This should be washed off first with milk and then water.

Strawberries: Almost everyone in the berry family have invigorating qualities, however I am always a little partial to this one because of my Brit upbringing – having spent my childhood in strawberry fields in Cheshire and thereafter helping my mother make jam at home.

Strawberries are high in Vitamin C and manganese. They have potent antioxidants like phenol which has oxygen giving properties to the body. Strawberry is an anti-cancer fruit that helps build up immunity in the body. It has medicinal value and astringent properties. By using it as a scrub on the skin it helps in improving oily skin in winters.

You can make a wonderful strawberry skin smoothie by taking 20 strawberries and mashing them into 4tsb of yogurt. Apply this on the skin for 15 minutes and wash off with water.

Avocados: This exotic fruit is high on Vitamin A, E, D and the minerals and potassium found in this fruit make it excellent for nourishing dry and sun damaged skin.

I have always believed that Vitamin D found in the sun is a must for all skin types. I do sunbathe for some time. Sometimes, people go a bit overboard and end up with sun burn.

Avocado is naturally moisturizing and is one of the best masks I have made till now. With this fruit, add the following natural goodies: 2tsp honey whipped into 1 mashed avocado in a blender with 1tsp of fresh cream and 2 marigold flowers.

Apply this mask onto the skin for at least 15 minutes and wash off with tepid water.

Pomegranates: This winter fruit has been used from ages as a luxurious body scrub. Its juice once absorbed by the skin helps keep the skin young and supple. I would definitely like to use this as a dead skin exfoliate on the face, as it helps wake up the skin on a dull winter morning.

Take the ‘pearls’ of one pomegranate, pound it in a petal and mortar, add 10 almonds or a 3tsb almond powder and 2tsp milk powder. Scrub gently on the skin in a rotating manner. Wash off with milk and then water to revel in baby soft supple skin.

Orange: Excellent skin softeners and high in Vitamin C. Oranges are great toners for dead skin. One can rub the skin with orange peel or grind the dried peels with milk and honey to make a natural Vitamin nourishing scrub.

Boil the peel in mineral water and add orange flowers and leaves to make a ‘wake me up’ tonic for my skin. This can be stored in a bottle in the fridge for up to ten days. It works even better in a spritz bottle. Don’t forget that oranges being high in Vitamin C can help in building up the immune system, so eat them in plenty.

Papaya: Available throughout the year, I specially bless this fruit for its great digestive qualities. It has helped me cure many teenagers’ problems like acne, stomach issues and blemishes on the skin. Paw and paw or simply papaya has softening properties and when mashed with 2 cubes of pineapple and 1tsp glycerin, it helps soften painful cuticles.

Daily, dip your fingers in a small bowl to which you have added these 3 ingredients for 5 minutes and see your cuticles become soft and less painful. 4-5 pieces of papaya mashed and massaged onto the face daily helps clear up blemished skin and improves the dryness. It is a softening fruit and I recommend that mixing it with 1tsb of fresh cream as it can soothe sunburn and dead leathery dry skin in no time at all.

8 Expert Skin Care tips for People in Their 30′s

August 24th, 2016

To stay gorgeous through your 30s and after, follow these 8 simple steps:

1. Cleansing – Cleanse your skin each morning and make sure to remove all makeup and cleanse again before bedtime. This allows the skin to perform its essential protective and renewal functions well. Always use products suggested by your dermatologist as there are many products available in the market and picking the right can be confusing.

2. Exfoliate – Exfoliate at night rather than in the day. Overnight skin is in renewal mode and removing dead skin skin prior to bedtime enhances the skin’s function. Exfoliate gently, just to remove dead skin and if your skin is oily or you’ve got acne then exfoliating twice a week should be sufficient.

3. Protect – Protect your skin during the day by combining an antioxidant serum or vitamin C serum with sun screen as they enhance each other. Be sure to apply the sunscreen first.

4. Stay hydrated – Make sure that the skin is not dehydrated. Don’t spend more than 5 minutes in the shower and use lukewarm water. Use a moisturizing body wash as acts as a protective moisture barrier for the skin.

Here’s a golden nugget of advice for working professionals: Add 4-5 drops of essential body oils or if nothing then almond oil/vitamin e oil/sesame oil in 2 mugs of water and splash it on the body to form a moisturizing coat.

5. Sunscreen – Wear a sunscreen with broad spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection every single day of the year, including raining days and on overcast winter days. UVA rays are “slow agers” which remain constant throughout the year.

6. Moisturize – Rub in rich intense moisturizing body lotion or apricot oil daily after bathing on slightly damp body for a healthy, hydrated skin.

7. Drink water – Drink plenty of water to also stay hydrated internally. Add lemon or lime juice for an extra boost. Eat a healthy and high-fiber diet and workout for atleast 15-20 daily.

8. Stay stress free – Of course that’s easier said than done but indulging in a hobby of ones choice works wonders for the skin.

Getting Rid of Blackheads

August 23rd, 2016

Blackheads are hardened sebum in the skin pores that are a result of improper cleaning and neglecting skincare routine. Most people forget that no matter what, your skin needs to be of good quality and that takes discipline and regular care. There is no gain without pain. So work on your skin and you will see it show results sooner than you think. If the blackheads are very deep, it is advisable to get them cleaned out professionally, at least once every four weeks.

Besides this, take orange peel powder and mix with rose water and scrub on the blackhead prone areas and gently squeeze them out with a towel after washing the scrub off.

How to Maintain Healthy Hair:

August 23rd, 2016

1. It’s normal to lose 100 to 150 strands of hair a day so don’t panic when you see a small bunch crawling across your tiled floor.

2. Comb wet hair with extreme care because they’re fragile and prone to breakage. Take a broad toothed comb and run it from the roots to the ends of your hair as gently as possible.

3. Trim your hair every few weeks to get rid of those brown and rough split ends. Cut about 1/4th an inch of your hair every 6 to 8 weeks to avoid the split ends to grow out again.

4. Don’t wash your hair everyday and whenever you do, apply some conditioner on the ends. Try and use the same brand of shampoo and conditioner.

5. Rinse the conditioner off with cold water as it is good for both strength and shine.

6. Unlike the labels on the back of our food items, the labels on the back of our shampoos are mostly left unread. In the last few years, there has been a lot of focus on sulfate in shampoos. What are sulfates? They’re the reason your shampoo lathers the way it does. They clean your scalp and hair, departing the dirt from it. But some researchers also suggest that they strip your hair of essential oils. They’re also why your eye stings when shampoo runs down the side of your face. If you feel any kind of irritation on the scalp or find your hair drying up over time then try and buy a shampoo that’s sulfate-free.

7. If you’ve got dry hair then it’s best to avoid colouring. However, if you can’t resist that gorgeous shade of brown, especially under the winter sun then follow this clever advise shared on the blog Free People. Use lemon, chamomile tea or honey as they work as great hair lighteners. You can add lemon juice to water and spray it over your hair when you’re heading out. You can rinse your hair with brewed chamomile tea after you wash them with shampoo or add honey to the water you use to wash your hair.

6 Effective Home Remedies for White Hair

August 22nd, 2016

1. Amla Powder

Heat 1 cup amla powder in an iron vessel until it turns into ash. Add 500ml coconut oil and simmer on a slow flame for 20minutes. Let it cool and stand for 24 hours, and then strain the next day into an airtight bottle. Use this twice a week as a hair oil massage.

2. Curry Leaves

Take a bunch of curry leaves  and grind them with 2 tsp amla powder and 2 tsp brahmi powder. Apply this as a hair mask on the hair, making sure to cover the roots. Leave on for an hour and rinse with a mild herbal shampoo.

3. Indigo and Henna

Indigo, or neel, as it is more commonly known, is a natural colourant used since ancient time to colour hair. It creates a bluish black colour and can be mixed with henna to cover grey areas, making the hair acquire a darker colour.

4. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil & Lemon Juice mixed together can help darken the hair. The combination of these two causes a chemical reaction which darkens the hair naturally over a period of time.
5. Black Tea

Black tea is another effective ingredient which can help prevent grey hair. I have used it as an after shampoo rinse, created a shampoo out of it and used it as a mask as well. Take tea brew, approximately 200ml, and use it as a leave in conditioner on your hair after shampooing. You can also soak black tea leaves for 2 hours in warm water and grind it to a smooth paste. Mix with some lemon juice and apply it as a hair mask for 40minutes before rinsing the hair.
6. The Herbal Mix

This herbal brew is excellent to slow down the greying process and you can easily make it at home. Take 1 tsp amla powder, 2 tsp black tea, 1 tsp strong coffee, 1/2 an inch piece of kaththa, 1 piece of walnut bark, 1 tsp indigo, 1 tsp brahmi powder, and 1 tsp triphala.

Add all the ingredients to 2 litres of water and simmer on a slow flame for 30minutes. Let it cool, then strain into an air tight bottle. Apply on the roots for 30minutes before shampooing and you will see a marked difference in the colour of your hair

Obese Women Have Uncontrollable Urge To Eat

August 17th, 2016

Women with severe obesity often report an underlying drive to eat continually because their brain’s reward centres continue to respond to food cues even after they have eaten and are no longer hungry, a study says.

The findings showed that obese study participants maintained activation in the midbrain, one of the body’s most potent reward centres.

The activity in the prefrontal cortex and posterior cingulate cortex significantly changed in the lean group, after eating, but not in the obese group.

However, this brain activity dropped among lean participants while continuing in their obese counterparts.

“Before or after the meal, they’re just as excited about eating. It seems they have an instinctive drive to keep eating,” said Nancy Puzziferri, Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Southwestern, in the US.

Further, while the appeal of pictured food dropped by 15 per cent for lean women after they ate, the severely obese women showed only a 4 per cent decline.

“Lean women when full will either stop eating or just sample a food they crave. It’s just not a level playing field — it’s harder for some people to maintain a healthy weight than others,” Puzziferri explained.

For the study, published recently in the journal Obesity, the team compared attitudes and the brain activity of 15 severely obese women (those with a body mass index greater than 35) and 15 lean women (those with a BMI under 25).

Their brain activity was measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

After fasting for nine hours, they were asked to rate their level of hunger or fullness, and then given a brain scan as they viewed pictures of food.

Again, after eating, the participants went through another battery of hunger/fullness ratings and fMRI scans while being exposed to pictures of food.

The obese women showed sustained “hungry” brain activation, even though they reported the same increase in satiation as their lean counterparts, the researchers concluded.

source:ndtv.com

Like Mother, Like Child: Mother’s DNA May Affect Ageing

August 16th, 2016

A tiny repository of DNA inherited only from one’s mother may be key for healthy ageing, according to researchers who swapped out mouse genes to prove the point.

For a study published, the team created two sets of lab mice identical but for their mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)- and found that one group was much healthier and more sprightly in old age.

“The way we age might be determined long before the ageing process starts and the first signs appear,” said a statement from the Spanish National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) in Madrid, whose scientists took part in the study.

Previous research had suggested that mtDNA variants could yield different health impacts, “but the issue remained very controversial due to contradictory observations,” study leader Jose Antonio Enriquez said.

The new findings, however, “definitively demonstrate” that this is true, he said.

Every cell in the human body holds about 20,000-25,000 genes, almost all of them in the nucleus- so-called nuclear DNA.

But 37 others reside in tiny structures called mitochondria, which turn sugar and oxygen into energy and power our cells.

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While nuclear DNA is transferred to offspring by both parents, mtDNA is inherited from the mother alone.

Sometimes, genetic mutations can cause mitochondria to malfunction, resulting in organ failure and even death.

Both strains of mtDNA used in the study were healthy, with only a 0.5-percent difference in genetic coding.

All the rodents were bred to have the same nuclear DNA.

Mice in one group “were ageing healthier and had a median life span longer than” the other, Enriquez explained by email.

Lab mice have a life expectancy of just over two years.

Comparing a specimen from each test group at the age of two, the researchers remarked that one showed “evident signs of superior health”.

It has “more abundant and more lustrous fur,” they noted, “is more robust, has more muscular mass, and is more active.” Liver function was also better.

“Regarding the central fact that different mtDNA variants may contribute to the natural differences between individuals, we don’t see any reason why this would be different in humans,” said Enriquez.

Experts not involved in the study called the results surprising.

Few would have expected that mixing and matching mtDNA would have such an obvious effect.

And while the implications for human health remain unclear, commentators said the results may be important for the field of “pronuclear transfer” — a technique for producing embryos free of mitochondrial diseases carried by their mothers.

The work “is an important contribution to the necessary and continuing debate concerning mtDNA replacement,” said Robert Lightowlers, director of the Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences at Newcastle University.

Stem cell researcher Dusko Ilic of King’s College London described the results as “fascinating and mind-boggling,” though further study must determine whether they could be replicated in humans.

source: ndtv.com

Neurons That Tell Brain To Stop Drinking Identified

August 13th, 2016

Scientists have identified a particular type of neurons that may be activated to influence a person to stop drinking alcohol.

Previous research has shown that alcohol consumption alters the physical structure and function of neurons, called medium spiny neurons, in the dorsomedial striatum.

Researchers from Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine earlier found that activation of one type of neuron, called D1, determines whether one drink leads to two.
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Simple Blood Test To Tell If Patients Need Antibiotics

August 12th, 2016

In a breakthrough, researchers, including one of Indian-origin, are developing a simple and low-cost blood test that can accurately identify which patients need antibiotics.

Antibiotics have saved millions of lives and created a world in which complex and lifesaving surgeries are possible.

But the overuse of antibiotics threatens to create a global scourge of antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens, researchers said.

“A lot of times you cannot really tell what kind of infection someone has. If someone comes into the clinic, a bacterial or a viral infection often look exactly the same,” said Timothy Sweeney from Stanford University in the US.

“The idea to look for a diagnostic test came from our previous paper in Immunity last year. In that paper, we found a common response by the human immune system to multiple viruses that is distinct from that for bacterial infections,” said Purvesh Khatri from Stanford.
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Too Much Or Too Little Sleep May Up Inflammatory Disease Risk

August 11th, 2016

Sleep disturbances and longer sleep duration are associated with increases in markers of inflammation, finds a new study.

Insufficient sleep is considered a public health epidemic by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Together with diet and physical activity, sleep health represents a third component in the promotion of health-span,” said Michael Irwin from the University of California – Los Angeles, US.

Common sleep disturbances, such as insomnia, have been associated with increased risk of inflammatory disease and mortality.
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Shock Wave Therapy Can Repair Injured Muscles Fast

August 10th, 2016

Sending low-frequency acoustic shock waves to injured muscles could speed up the healing process in the tissues, says an interesting study.

The Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) works by mechanically stimulating the tissue, which prompts stem cells to kick-start repair work.

“Our study indicates that shock waves increase the levels of chemical signalling factors in muscle tissue. These factors wake up “satellite” progenitor cells which gradually becomes new muscle fibres,” said Angela Zissler, at the University of Salzburg in Austria.

For injuries like ligament and tendon damage, applying the low-frequency shock waves in ESWT has already proved to be a promising technique.

In the study, the team tested ESWT on rats and discovered that the procedure triggered muscle tissue to kick-start the self-healing process.
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