Shaking Hands is Disgusting – Here’s What Else You Can Do – Nicky Milner

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The traditional handshake plays a central role in our daily lives. We shake hands with people we know and those who are new to us. A handshake communicates our personality and mood to people and we use them as a mutually acceptable way of agreeing to seal the deal in endless scenarios.

But if you stop all that handshaking for a moment and take a closer look at the science behind this gesture, things might not seem quite so pleasant. This is in part because the human body contains many different types of bacteria. Some are good and we rely on these to help keep us healthy. Others are not so good and might make us sick.

We constantly gain and lose bacteria and so we are never sure when we might pick up an infection. Surfaces act as a route of transmission for bacteria and therefore every time we touch a surface we share bacteria unknowingly. This is why the risk of picking up an infectious disease is increased in places such as toilet seats. But have you ever thought about what bacteria you share when shaking somebody’s hand?

The power of a handshake

According to research from the University of Colorado, on average we carry 3,200 bacteria from 150 different species on our hands. And yet, shaking hands can be an everyday occurrence. It is considered to be an accepted means of greeting people and is the epitome of politeness in diverse cultures – especially in the Western world. As well as being a means of greeting people, it is also used to build rapport and trust with people. Ignoring a handshake is deemed to be impolite and rude.

Research has shown that on average, we will shake hands on average 15,000 times in our lifetime. So there are lots of opportunities for spreading bacteria between people – particularly if they are carrying potentially infectious bacteria that could make us ill. This includes faecal bacteria, which is quite common on hands.

This risk increases even further when we don’t wash our hands regularly – which is why good hand hygiene is essential. And of course, if the bacteria are resistant to antibiotics then we could inadvertently playing a role in spreading antibiotic resistance within our environment.

Fist pumps preferred

Some hospitals are so concerned about the spread of germs via handshakes that they are looking at creating handshake-free zones. Good hand hygiene and regular hand washing is often very low in hospitals. And hospital acquired infections are a major concern in healthcare institutions.

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The hospital environment is regularly monitored for the presence of potentially infectious agents that can be acquired by a patient during a stay there. Critical care wards, and those containing vulnerable patients (such as the very young, elderly and immunocompromised) are especially important since patients are more prone to severe infections.

Research performed in neonatal intensive care wards – where sick newborn babies are cared for – explored the potential for handshake free zones. The wards ran a trial to see if they could discourage handshaking and actively encourage alternative greetings – such as fist bumps, smiling and eye contact – to try to reduce the person to person spread of infectious agents.

Alternative hand shakes

But it’s not just limited to fist pumps – around the world there are many different ways of saying hello and you don’t have to look far to find “healthier” ways of greeting. The New Zealand Maori, for example, rub noses and foreheads in their traditional hongi greeting and the Japanese bow to each other. Then there are the “dap greetings” such as high fives and fist bumps – which are commonly used by young people in the Western world.

Research has shown that the amount of bacteria transferred through a handshake is twice as much when compared to a high five. Significantly lower numbers of bacteria are also transferred when a fist bump is used. This is largely due to the difference in surface areas that are in contact with each other – despite the greeting taking the same time and number of bacteria on the surface of the person initiating the greeting on each occasion.

So, is the traditional handshake being replaced with more diverse and healthier options? This will take time – if it happens at all. But that said, as awareness of infectious diseases grows and people actively try to reduce the spread of infection, perhaps there could be a future where we all high five and fist pump rather than formally shake the hands of those we meet. Or at the very least better adoption of handwashing.

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Researchers Give Skin Cells a Tan Without the Sun – Emily Matchar

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Despite tanning’s well-known link to skin cancer, many of us simply can’t resist that golden look. But now, researchers may have found the perfect solution: a natural tan, without the sun.

Studying mice, the researchers identified the molecular pathways that lead to tanning and learned how to stimulate these pathways, turning pale red-haired mice into dark brown ones. Now, they’ve figured out how to do the same in laboratory samples of human skin, inducing a tan exactly the same way the sun does.

They hope to use this research to create a product that could give people protective tans. These fake tans, gotten without harmful UV radiation, could be used along with sunscreen to help reduce skin cancer risk—and produce a lovely sun-kissed glow.

“We know what causes skin cancer – it’s really associated with UV radiation – and yet it’s at the top of the list [of most common cancers], and it continues to increase in frequency,” says David Fisher, a dermatologist at Massachusetts General Hospital who led the research.

“Sunscreen does prevent skin cancer. It has been shown. But it’s not enough. What I think could be done is to use sunscreen that has been supplemented by something to darken the skin.”

For years, Fisher and his team have been studying how UV radiation triggers the production of melanin. About a decade ago, they figured out how the pigment pathways work on a molecular level.

Then they discovered how to use a topical compound to manipulate those pathways and induce a tan in mice. But what worked on mice didn’t work on humans—human skin is five times thicker than mouse skin, so it’s much more difficult to create compounds that penetrate it.

“So we’ve been eager over the past 10 years to see if there might be other drugs and other compounds that could achieve the same effect, but that would be able to penetrate into human skin,” Fisher says.

Now, they have. In a paper published June 13 the journal Cell Reports, Fisher and his team describe their discovery. They knew how to activate the pigment pathway by inhibiting a type of enzymes, called salt-inducible kinases (SIK), but the inhibitors were too large to penetrate human skin. Working with chemist Nathaniel Gray and his team, they found a new class of small-molecule SIK inhibitors that did the trick.

Applying the compound to human skin activates the same tanning response as the sun: the melanocytes in the skin make pigment and then carry the pigment to other skin cells. These cells mature, migrate to the surface of the skin, and eventually slough off. This takes a while, so the tan lasts a week or so, just like a sun-induced tan. Spray-on tans also produce a faux glow, but they are purely cosmetic, Fisher says, as they don’t affect the skin melanocytes.

“We’ve got several compounds that we can apply right onto human skin that was kept alive artificially in a petri dish,” Fisher says. “We could see that the skin starts to turn dark.”

The level of darkness depends on various factors, including time and amount of compound. The team was able to turn pale mice an extremely dark brown, the human equivalent of going from an Irish complexion to a Sub-Saharan African one. But humans wouldn’t need to radically change their appearance to get benefits, Fisher says. Even people who have naturally modestly tan skin have far more protection than those without any tan at all.

The next step will be to determine whether the compounds are safe for human use. Fisher and his team are starting to speak with potential partners to develop a commercial compound that could go through human testing, likely a lotion or cream that could be combined with sunscreen. Because the compounds go on the surface of the skin, not into the bloodstream like a pill does, they do have less risk of causing serious adverse reactions.

“I would hope that we’d be in a position to have a solid answer in terms of where this is going in three to five years,” Fisher says.

The team is also interested in seeing whether this process could benefit people with skin conditions like vitiligo, an autoimmune disease where parts of the skin stop producing melanin, causing a patchy appearance. It could also potentially help people with certain types of albinism, though only those with enough melanocytes in their skin to be activated by the compound.

Although the research is promising, Fisher cautions that this is not, and will never be, a replacement for traditional sun protection.

“This is not mean to replace sunscreen, but rather is an additional component,” he says. “UV protection is still absolutely important.”
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Health Check:What Should I Eat To Improve My Skin

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Get radiant skin!” “Banish your pimples!” “Glow from the inside out!”These are some statements that pop up when asking Google the age-old question: what should I eat to improve my skin?

Recommendations usually include cutting out chocolate, other junk foods and dairy products. But is there evidence to actually support this?

Chocolate

Researchers started exploring the link between diet and skin health, particularly acne, in the mid-1900s. Dermatology textbooks from the 1930s advised restricting carbohydrates, sweets and junk foods to improve acne. But these recommendations were based on doctors’ experiences and observations, not quality research.

Chocolate is one junk food that often gets blamed as an aggravating factor of acne. In a 1969 study, 65 people with acne were asked to eat one chocolate bar per day for four weeks. They were either given a bar that contained ten times the amount of chocolate found in a typical bar, or a bar that looked identical but contained no chocolate.

Results showed participants who ate the chocolate bars did not have more breakouts than those who didn’t eat the chocolate.

Studies on whether chocolate has an effect on your skin are so far inconclusive. Charisse Kenion/Unsplash

Similar results were found in a 1971 study. Twenty-seven students who reported being sensitive to dietary acne triggers ate large amounts of chocolate, milk, roasted peanuts or soft drinks for one week. No significant difference in the number of breakouts was observed between the groups.

But these studies also had some major limitations. The 1969 study was sponsored by the Chocolate Manufacturers Association of the United States of America. And both studies did not assess participants’ intake of other foods during the study period, which may have influenced their complexion.


Read more: Research Check: does eating chocolate improve your brain function?


More recently, a 2011 study including ten men aged between 18-35 found significant changes occurred in the severity of acne after a single intake of pure chocolate (100% cocoa). There was a strong association between the amount of chocolate consumed and the number of breakouts four and seven days after they ate the chocolate.

So overall, study findings show conflicting results, and clear recommendations about chocolate cannot yet be made.

But better-quality research does suggest other dietary strategies worth trying if you want to improve your skin. These include eating more fruits and vegetables as well as foods with a lower glycaemic load.

Glycaemic load

The glycaemic index (GI) is a ranking between 0-100 given to carbohydrate-containing foods to describe how quickly the carbohydrates are digested into glucose (sugar) and absorbed into our blood. The lower the GI, the slower the rise in blood glucose levels when the food is consumed. Most junk foods (candy, chips and cakes) have a high GI.


Read more: GI diets don’t work – gut bacteria and dark chocolate are a better bet for losing weight


Glycaemic load (GL) builds on the concept of GI but also considers the amount of food being eaten. This provides a more accurate picture of the overall effect the food has on blood glucose levels.

Once the glucose enters the blood, a hormone called insulin moves it into our cells to be used for energy. Diets with a high GL trigger a higher response in insulin. This high level of insulin increases a hormone called the insulin-like growth factor (IGF), which has been associated with skin breakouts – like pimples.

Junk foods have a high glycaemic index. from shutterstock.com

In a 2008 randomised control trial (considered the gold standard in scientific research as it compares findings between two groups), 31 males with acne, aged 15-25, were asked to follow either a low-GL or a high-GL diet for 12 weeks. The low-GL group was instructed to substitute high-GI foods (processed cereals, potatoes and white bread and rice) with lower-GI foods (lean meats, fruits and wholegrain bread and pasta).

The high-GL group was encouraged to include carbohydrates as a regular part of their diet and wasn’t educated about GI. Those following the low-GL diet saw their acne improve and lost more weight.

A 2007 randomised controlled trial had similar findings. But because participants in both studies who were following the low-GL diet lost weight, it’s also possible improvements in their skin were due to weight loss and not the diet itself.

Fruit and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are wonderful for our bodies in many ways, but research shows they can also give our skin a natural, healthy glow – by tinting it yellow and red.

Our skin colour is influenced by three pigments – haemoglobin, carotenoids and melanin. Many fruits and vegetables contain carotenoids. These are responsible for the deep green colour of broccoli and spinach, the vibrant orange colour of carrots and oranges, and the red hue of capsicums and tomatoes.

Eating lots of oranges could give your skin a healthy, golden glow. freestocks.org/Unsplash

When you eat fruits and vegetables, these pigments can accumulate in your skin, leading to a healthy golden glow. The same benefits haven’t been seen with supplements, so it’s best to get your carotenoid hit from eating lots of different fruits and vegetables.

What about milk?

Milk naturally contains anabolic steroids, growth hormones and other growth factors. In a complicated metabolic pathway, these factors lead to a higher release of insulin and insulin-like growth factor, which can stimulate the development and progression of acne.

A number of studies have examined the alleged connection between milk and acne. In 2005, 50,000 women recalled their high school diet and were asked if they had ever been diagnosed with severe acne by their doctor.

Researchers found those who had a higher reported intake of milk (particularly skim milk) more commonly suffered from acne. A 2006 study with around 6,000 teenage girls and a 2008 study with around 4,700 teenage boys showed similar results.

Milk has been associated with acne development. from shutterstock.com

But no randomised controlled trials have been conducted that examine the association between milk and acne. This means whether dairy is a cause of acne hasn’t yet been established. High-quality research is needed before specific recommendations can be made.

If you are trying to improve your skin’s complexion, you could try these strategies:

  • reduce high-GL foods by decreasing the amount of processed, junk food you eat
  • add low-GL foods that won’t spike your blood glucose levels (vegetables, sweet potatoes, barley, beans and multigrain bread)
  • eat a diverse range of fruits and vegetables to get a healthy glow.

Read more: Food as medicine: why do we need to eat so many vegetables and what does a serve actually look like?

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Natural Vitiligo Treatment System – How To Stop The Spreading of Vitiligo & Getting Your Skin Color Back In As Little As 4 Days | Online Marketing Tools

Source: Natural Vitiligo Treatment System – How To Stop The Spreading of Vitiligo & Getting Your Skin Color Back In As Little As 4 Days | Online Marketing Tools

How to Get Flawless Skin: The Best Tips You Should Know By Now

Your skin gets exposed to harsh conditions every day. There’s pollution, UV rays, dirt, and harsh weather conditions. If you don’t take care of your skin the right way, you can end up with a lot of skin issues, like acne, wrinkles, and sunspots. So, how to get flawless skin? On this article, you will […]

via How to Get Flawless Skin: The Best Tips You Should Know By Now — Sig Nordal, Jr.

Exercising … Your Face | Physical and Mental Health – Exercise, Fitness and Activity

These exercises, from Happy Face Yoga, are among a series that were shown to make the face look fuller and more youthful.

Source: Exercising … Your Face | Physical and Mental Health – Exercise, Fitness and Activity

Why fasting could be the key to anti-ageing | Bauer Physical Therapy(Bauer Health Action)

A Harvard study shows how intermittent fasting and manipulating mitochondrial networks may increase lifespan.

Source: Why fasting could be the key to anti-ageing | Bauer Physical Therapy(Bauer Health Action)

Shingles Virus and You” PLR Premium Quality Ebook, Illustrated with Resources, 45+Pages & 6,300 Words | Online Marketing Tools

Source: Shingles Virus and You” PLR Premium Quality Ebook, Illustrated with Resources, 45+Pages & 6,300 Words | Online Marketing Tools

10 Day Green Smoothie Cleanse

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Do You Want to Lose Weight, Boost Your Energy, And Increase Your Overall Health? Discover How To Feel Better Than You Ever Have Before With A Great Tasting Smoothie A Day.

Do you ever feel like you have to drag yourself out of bed just to get your day started? If you’re like a lot of people out there, most days you likely feel out of energy before you ever get started for the day.

Heck, some days you may just want to crawl right back into bed… Unfortunately, if you wake up with little to no energy, things don’t get much better as the day goes on. By the afternoon, you feel drained, lethargic, and ready for a nap…

Of course, with the busy lives that most of us lead, taking a nap in the middle of the day is very rarely an option.

This step-by-step guide gives you everything you need to boost energy, lose weight, and improve your health with daily smoothies. On top of all the health benefits and way, you’ll feel, the smoothie recipes I’ve included inside taste AMAZING.

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When it comes to finding a solution for improving health and boosting energy with smoothies, a lot of people just aren’t sure exactly where to start.There are some resources out there about boosting energy and improving your health with smoothies, but most people just end up getting confused when they wing-it and try to figure it all out on their own.

In fact, some people get so confused that they hire a nutritionist or invest in expensive smoothie programs to help them get the best results possible with regular smoothies.

10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse will jump-start your weight loss, increase your energy level, clear your mind, and improve your overall health.

5.jpgMade up of supernutrients from leafy greens and fruits, green smoothies are filling and healthy and you will enjoy drinking them. Your body will also thank you for drinking them as your health and energy improve to levels you never thought possible. It is an experience that could change your life if you stick with it!

This book provides a shopping list, recipes, and detailed instructions for the 10-day cleanse, along with suggestions for getting the best results. It also offers advice on how to continue to lose weight and maintain good health afterwards.

Are you ready to look slimmer, healthier, and sexier than you have in years? Then get ready to begin the 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse!

If you successfully complete the 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse, you will…
• Lose 10–15 pounds in 10 days
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• Learn to live a healthier lifestyle of detoxing and healthy eating
• Naturally crave healthy foods so you never have to diet again
• Receive over 100 recipes for various health conditions and goals

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