The Gary Null Show

The Gary Null Show od Progressive Radio Network

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Gary takes on the real issues that the mainstream media is afraid to tackle. Tune in to find out the latest about health news, healing, politics, and the economy.

Kategorije: Zdravlje

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  • Cocoa flavanols may be able to reduce blood pressure
  • Cool room temperature inhibited cancer growth in mice
  • Smells experienced in nature evoke positive wellbeing
  • Healthy lifestyle may buffer against stress-related cell aging, study says
  • Zinc plus antioxidants: A cost-effective solution to macular degeneration?
  • Passive exercise offers same brain health benefits as active movements, study finds
Cocoa flavanols may be able to reduce blood pressure

University of Surrey (UK), July 23, 2022

A recent study found that cocoa flavanols can effectively lower blood pressure in people with ideal blood pressure, but not when it was already low, as well as reduce arterial stiffness. 

Researchers of the current study note that previous controlled clinical intervention studies have demonstrated the blood pressure-decreasing and arterial stiffness-reducing effects of cocoa flavanols (CF) in healthy humans.

However, as these studies were in tightly controlled settings, the researchers wanted to see how well this intervention played out in real-life scenarios. The researchers used an n-of-1 study design, where a small number of participants were exposed to the same intervention or the placebo multiple times. They then compared the results for each individual as well as between individuals. 

The study included eleven healthy adults who received alternating doses of cocoa flavanol capsules and placebo capsules for eight days. 

The results showed that cocoa flavanols were effective in lowering blood pressure and reducing arterial stiffness. 

One concern about using cocoa flavanols to lower blood pressure is the risk of the blood pressure dropping too low. However, in this study, researchers found that the cocoa had less impact when blood pressure was lower, indicating it was a potentially safe intervention. 

Prof. Christian Heiss, study author and professor of cardiovascular medicine, explained to MNT:  “The study confirms that cocoa flavanols can lower blood pressure and improve arterial stiffness. The new thing is that it does so in the normal life of healthy people and only lowers it if it is ‘high’ even in the ‘normal range.”

Cool room temperature inhibited cancer growth in mice

Karolinska Institutet, August 5, 2022

Turning down the thermostat seems to make it harder for cancer cells to grow, according to a study in mice by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. The study, published in the journal Nature, found that chilly temperatures activate heat-producing brown fat that consumes the sugars the tumors need to thrive. Similar metabolic mechanisms were found in a cancer patient exposed to a lowered room temperature.

"We found that cold-activated brown adipose tissue competes against tumors for glucose and can help inhibit tumor growth in mice," says Professor Yihai Cao at the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology, Karolinska Institutet, and corresponding author. "Our findings suggest that cold exposure could be a promising novel approach to cancer therapy, although this needs to be validated in larger clinical studies."

The study compared tumor growth and survival rates in mice with various types of cancer, including colorectal, breast and pancreatic cancers, when exposed to cold versus warm living conditions. Mice acclimatized to temperatures of 4 degrees Celsius had significantly slower tumor growth and lived nearly twice as long compared with mice in rooms of 30 degrees Celsius.

They found that cold temperatures triggered significant glucose uptake in brown adipose tissue, also known as brown fat, a type of fat that is responsible for keep the body warm during cold conditions. At the same time, the glucose signals were barely detectable in the tumor cells.

When the researchers removed either the brown fat or a protein crucial for its metabolism called UCP1, the beneficial effect of the cold exposure was essentially wiped out and the tumors grew at a pace on par with those that were exposed to higher temperatures. Similarly, feeding tumor-bearing mice with a high sugar drink also obliterated the effect of cold temperatures and restored tumor growth.

"Interestingly, high sugar drinks seem to cancel out the effect of cold temperatureson cancer cells, suggesting that limiting glucose supply is probably one of the most important methods for tumor suppression," Yihai Cao says.


Smells experienced in nature evoke positive wellbeing

University of Kent (UK), August 5, 2022

Smells experienced in nature can make us feel relaxed, joyful, and healthy, according to new research led by the University of Kent's Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE).

Smells were found to play an important role in delivering well-being benefits from interacting with nature, often with a strong link to people's personal memories, and specific ecological characteristics and processes (e.g. fallen leaves rotting in the winter).

Researchers found that smells affected multiple types of human well-being, with physical well-being noted most frequently, particularly in relation to relaxation, comfort and rejuvenation. Absence of smell was also perceived to improve physical well-being, providing a cleansing environment due to the removal of pollution and unwanted smells associated with urban areas, and therefore enabling relaxation. Relaxation reduces stress and lowers cortisol levels, which is often linked to a multitude of diseases, and so these findings could be particularly significant to public health professionals.

The research, carried out in woodland settings across four seasons, also found that smells evoked memories related to childhood activities. Many participants created meaningful connections with particular smells, rather than the woodland itself, and associated this with a memorable event. This, in turn, appeared to influence well-being by provoking emotional reactions to the memory.


Healthy lifestyle may buffer against stress-related cell aging, study says

University of California at San Francisco  July 29, 2022


A new study from UC San Francisco is the first to show that while the impact of life's stressors accumulate overtime and accelerate cellular aging, these negative effects may be reduced by maintaining a healthy diet, exercising and sleeping well. 


"The study participants who exercised, slept well and ate well had less telomere shortening than the ones who didn't maintain healthy lifestyles, even when they had similar levels of stress," said lead author Eli Puterman, PhD, assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at UCSF. "It's very important that we promote healthy living, especially under circumstances of typical experiences of life stressors like death, caregiving and job loss."


In the study, researchers examined three healthy behaviors –physical activity, dietary intake and sleep quality – over the course of one year in 239 post-menopausal, non-smoking women. In women who engaged in lower levels of healthy behaviors, there was a significantly greater decline in telomere length in their immune cells for every major life stressor that occurred during the year. Yet women who maintained active lifestyles, healthy diets, and good quality sleep appeared protected when exposed to stress – accumulated life stressors did not appear to lead to greater shortening. 


"This is the first study that supports the idea, at least observationally, that stressful events can accelerate immune cell aging in adults, even in the short period of one year. Exciting, though, is that these results further suggest that keeping active, and eating and sleeping well during periods of high stress are particularly important to attenuate the accelerated aging of our immune cells," said Puterman. 

Zinc plus antioxidants: A cost-effective solution to macular degeneration? University of Washington and University College London, July 30, 2022 A formula supplement containing anti-oxidants plus zinc appears to be cost-effective in slowing the progression of the ‘wet’ form of the most common degenerative eye disease, finds a new study in British Journal of Ophthalmology. The cost savings and effectiveness of the supplement in advanced (category 4) cases of neovascular (wet-form) Age Related Macular Degeneration (nAMD) are such that their use should be considered in public health policy, recommend the multi-centre study team on behalf of the UK Electronic Medical Record (EMR) AMD Research Team.  Category 4 individuals who already had nAMD in one eye, showed a cost saving of nearly €3250 (£3000) per patient over the lifetime of treatment, compared to those not given supplements. The Age Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) formula supplements also increased quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) by 0.16. “AREDS supplements are a dominant cost-effective intervention for category 4 AREDS patients, as they are both less expensive than standard care and more effective, and therefore should be considered for public funding,” wrote lead researcher Dr. Adnan Tufail. The study examined the use of AREDS formulation 1 and formulation 2 supplements.  AREDS 1 contained 80milligrams (mg) zinc, 2 mg copper, 500 mg vitamin C, 15 mg beta-carotene, 400 IU vitamin E. AREDS 2 reduced the amount of zinc to 25 mg, excluded beta-carotene (due to potential higher cancer risk in smokers), and added 10 mg lutein, 2 mg zeaxanthin, 1000 mg omega-3 fatty acids (650 mg docosahexaenoic acid and 350 mg eicosapentaenoic acid). These findings are consistent with previous research demonstrating the effectiveness of AREDS supplementss. Consequently, the researchers advocate the use of supplements to reduce the necessity for ranibizumab injections, which is the standard NHS treatment for AMD.


Passive exercise offers same brain health benefits as active movements, study finds University of Western Ontario, August 4, 2022 A new study by kinesiology graduate students from Western has found passive exercise leads to increased cerebral blood flow and improved executive function, providing the same cognitive benefits as active exercise. Published in Psychophysiology, the study is the first to look at whether there would be benefits to brain health during passive exercise where a person's limbs are moved via an external force—in this case, cycle pedals pushed by a mechanically driven flywheel.  During a 20-minute session with healthy young adults, the team found an improvement in executive function of the same magnitude for both the passive and the active exercise conditions, without an increase in heart rate or diastolic blood pressure.  Executive function is a higher-order cognitive ability that allows people to make plans and supports the activities of daily living. People who have mild cognitive impairments, such as people experiencing symptoms of early-stage Alzheimer's, can find their executive function negatively affected.  Previous research has documented that active exercise, where a person activates their muscles of their own volition, can increase blood flow to the brain and improve executive function. Passive exercise also increases blood flow to the brain, but this is significantly less documented.   During passive exercise, a person's limbs move and their muscle receptors are being stretched. That information is sent to the brain, indicating that more blood is needed in the moving areas of the body and in connected regions of the brain. This increase in cerebral blood flow, while significantly less than with active exercise, produced executive function improvements of a similar magnitude—an exciting result for the researchers.  "The potential impact for people with limited or no mobility could be profound. If done regularly, the increase in blood flow to the brain and resultant improvement in executive function will, optimistically, become a compounding effect that has a significant impact on cognitive health and executive function," Heath explained.

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