Control of Genes Could Explain Why Females Suffer Worse Virus Infection

A university study could explain why females may suffer worse outcomes of virus infection such as Covid-19. Researchers from the University of Dundee’s School of Life Sciences found the control of genes on X chromosomes in females can cause much wider effects on cells than previously realised.

The X chromosome – of which females have two and men have only one – contains more than 1,000 genes that are vital for cell development. However, a double dose of such gene products can be lethal, meaning one of the two chromosomes in female cells shuts down in a process known as X chromosome inactivation (XCI).

The team found that issues with the XCI process in female cells can cause major changes in protein levels. Proteins are the main targets of almost every drug and differences in the levels of a cell are frequently responsible for many different types of disease, including cancer.

Alejandro Brenes, an analytics developer at the university school, said: “This study has revealed major consequences for the female cells if the XCI mechanism is defective. “By analyzing a collection of human stem cells from both healthy male and female donors, we found that a defective XCI increased the levels of thousands of proteins from all chromosomes, many of which are known markers of disease.

“The data can help to explain why some people may be more likely to develop specific types of disease, suffer worse outcomes of virus infection, such as Covid-19, or vary in how they respond to treatments and therapy. “The results could also be important for the safe development of stem cell therapies.

COVID-19, has been said to affect men and women differently, with men thought to be more likely to become severely ill and die from the disease.To find out more about sex differences in COVID-19, we spoke to Professor Sabra Klein, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

According to data from around the world, including preliminary data from the UK, an equal number of males and females contract the disease, but do we see the same symptoms?Where we are seeing real differences, in terms of larger magnitude of a male-female difference is in severity of disease.

When the virus enters our body, it needs to enter our cells in order to replicate. Successfully making it into the cell, the virus tries to replicate itself. Estrogen in women is thought to make this harder, meaning that the virus can’t make as many copies of itself in women.

Once the immune system realizes the virus has infiltrated its cells, it launches an attack to try and clear out the infection from its cells.

Generally speaking, women tend to mount more robust immune responses that can be beneficial for initially recognizing and initiating the clearance of a virus. So that can be beneficial. Where it can be detrimental is if long-term responses are not properly regulated, so you can get excessive immune responses that can contribute to long-term inflammation and that in and of itself can cause some tissue damage.

In addition to these sex differences in physiology, there are also important behavioral differences. Men are less likely to go to hospital until later in their disease. However, as healthcare workers are often women, we may still see a shift away from the male bias of the disease as the pandemic progresses.

“It also highlights the importance of sex-specific studies, as there are still many uncharacterized differences between females and males that need to be better understood in order to advance precision medicine.” The study, Erosion of human X chromosome inactivation causes major remodeling of the iPSC proteome, is published in Cell Reports and can be found online.

By: Douglas Barrie

Source: Control of genes could explain why females suffer worse virus infection – study

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Feeling Cold: Why Do You Feel Colder Than Others?

1

I’m freezing,” has to be my most used phrase. I’m not even talking about during winter, when everyone’s cold, but all year round. You can find me complaining about the fact that I can’t feel my fingers in mild March or that I need a jacket during July’s heatwave evenings. I won’t even begin to tell you how many layers I wear when I go skiing.

The Stylist team’s morning call is also a never-ending chorus of complaints about temperature (yes, our editor was wrapped up in a puffer jacket this morning). Yet, my housemate can walk down the street in shorts in December, and others sweat the second they put a coat on.

So why do some people just seem to feel the cold more than others – and what does it mean?

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Finding out what is ‘normal’ when it comes to our temperature is pretty tricky though, explains Dr Clare Eglin from the Extreme Environments Laboratory in the Health and Exercise Science department at the University of Portsmouth. While our core temperature should ideally not change, “our perception of whether we find somewhere warm or cool is very individual and usually down to our skin temperature,” Dr Eglin says. “This is what gives our body feedback, and lots of things can affect that from the clothes that we are wearing to the activities we are doing – and also the wind and dampness of the environment.”

However, there are genetic and personal factors that can mean that two people, wearing the same thing, in the same environment feel different temperatures.

Why do some people feel colder than others?

There are many factors to this, including:

  • Overall body size can impact how cold you feel, as smaller people have less cells in their body that produce heat
  • People with higher levels of body fat and/or muscle mass have more insulation and a higher resting metabolic rate so burn energy faster
  • Being active not only warms the body immediately but can have a long-term effect on temperature regulation
  • Older people also tend to have a slower resting metabolic rate, so may feel the cold more

These factors do mean that gender is a big divider, as women are generally smaller than men and carry less muscle mass. We’ve all fought over the thermostat in the office (or central heating while at home) but the fact is that “the temperature deemed comfortable for most people is meant to be about 21 degrees. Actually, that’s ideal for a man in a suit, but women generally do better with a higher temperature,” says Dr Eglin.

Interestingly, we feel this disparity internally too. “Estrogen and progesterone, which change throughout the menstrual cycle, affect how quickly our blood vessels constrict to the cold. So depending what part of the menstrual cycle you’re in, you might find your hands and feet get colder, affecting your overall temperature perception,” says Dr Eglin.

Plus, your temperature perception can change throughout the day. “For instance, at six o’clock in the morning your core temperature is at its lowest, and from midday to mid-afternoon, it’s at its highest,” she adds.

Why do my hands feel cold?

Don’t panic if, like me, you have hands like ice cubes on a summer’s day. “It is a very typical thing, particularly for women, as our hands are really good for regulation,” says Dr Eglin. Our hands have a large surface area but a small volume and are filled with lots of blood vessels very close to the surface of the skin. “They’re very good for losing heat and so therefore, when you’re slightly cool, the blood flow shuts down,” she says.

While “peripheral temperature is generally nothing to worry about”, it can be a sign of Raynaud’s syndrome, an extreme response to cold or stress where arteries narrow to the point that fingers and toes turn white or blue and feel cold and numb – but circulation returns to normal when warm again.

Is it bad to be cold all the time?

Generally, being cold is simply down to our body type, and as long as we take precautions it’s not a bad thing. But if constant coldness is mixed with other symptoms it could be a sign of something more serious. For example, coldness paired with tiredness or dizziness could be a symptom of an iron or B12 deficiency, or even anaemia. Constantly being cold coupled with hair loss, a change in your digestive system and weight gain could also be a sign of a low thyroid – when the gland stops producing enough thyroxine (a hormone which regulates your metabolism).

Ultimately, your body is pretty good at regulating itself, so trust what it’s telling you. “Our behaviour is the most important thing when it comes to keeping warm. I think quite often we underestimate the weather in the UK. You always hear people say ‘It’s not that bad, it’s not like we’re in the Arctic!’, but with the windchill and dampness it can be very cold. We don’t pay enough attention to that,” says Dr Eglin. So, bundle up when you’re feeling the chill.

By

Source: Feeling cold: why do you feel colder than others?

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The Menstrual Month: How To Exercise Effectively At Every Stage Of Your Cycle

The physiological changes that take place around a woman’s period can affect her training. Experts assess when to take it easy – and when you should go hard

When Evgenia Koroleva started learning about her menstrual cycle and the effect it was having on her, week to week, she says: “It blew my mind. Why did I know so little about my body?” A gym owner, Koroleva has since created a training programme based around an individual’s cycle, which she says will optimise results.

Hers is not the first to take the menstrual cycle into consideration when it comes to exercise. Interest has grown hugely in recent years, with elite athletes tracking physiological changes and coaches educating themselves about the effects. For the rest of us, there are apps and cycle trackers, but the area is still woefully under-researched (blame male-dominated medicine and sport).Advertisement

There are also a lot of conflicting results, while almost half of the existing studies are low quality, says Kelly Lee McNulty, a PhD student at Northumbria University, who is investigating the effects of the menstrual cycle on performance, adaptation and recovery. “While performance and training based on the menstrual cycle is such an interesting concept, and very popular at the moment, there’s not enough published high-quality evidence,” she says.

(There is even less on the impact of hormonal contraception on exercise performance, so where we refer here to the menstrual cycle, it is for women who are not on the pill or using an implant.) However, there are generalities that could be helpful for some women. Here is how your cycle may be affecting your workout.

Get to know your cycle

The 28-day cycle is split into two halves – follicular and luteal, either side of ovulation. Very broadly, taking a 28-day cycle as the textbook example, McNulty defines the most-relevant phases as early follicular (days one to five), with low oestrogen and progesterone; late follicular (days six to 12), with high oestrogen and low progesterone; and mid-luteal (days 20 to 23), with high oestrogen and progesterone. “Women are so different; we experience our menstrual cycles differently and a blanket approach is not going to work for everyone,” she says.

Collect your own data, she advises – there are numerous apps, but a notebook is fine – “and then look for patterns”. If one week you can blitz a high-intensity workout and the next you can barely make it through, it doesn’t mean your fitness has gone backwards. If your motivation is suffering, it doesn’t mean you are a failure. It could all simply be hormonal. “Then you’ve got hormone fluctuations daily, so it all becomes more complex,” McNulty says.

Try exercising through the symptoms

“There are more than 150 symptoms, like breast pain, headaches and nausea … potentially, that’s a time to decrease training if you’re not feeling it,” says McNulty. “But then it’s also been shown that moderate-intensity exercise, like yoga, is beneficial for premenstrual symptoms.” Around days three to five of your period, oestrogen starts to increase, “so you might be starting to feel better and up for exercise around that time”. Koroleva says: “Training on your period is a good way to offset your symptoms.”

Push yourself up to week three …

In the late follicular and the mid-luteal phases, oestrogen is higher. McNulty says one of its many effects is to help build muscle mass. “This is when we can really push female bodies,” says Koroleva. “For the first three weeks, we push you in terms of strength training and add cardio to it. Our bodies don’t have a huge amount of testosterone, but it rises during ovulation and this makes it an ideal time to really push, because of the energy levels.”

This is the time when you might set your personal bests and “sail through high-intensity training”, she says. However, it is not a given. “In that mid-luteal phase, progesterone rises; that has its own physiological effects, so you might not notice that difference,” she says. “It’s just being aware of what might work for you.”

… but be wary of injury around ovulation time

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There is some evidence that, when oestrogen is high, around the late follicular phase, there is an increased risk of injury, because the hormone makes ligaments and tendons more lax. For instance, an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (in the knee) may be more likely. “It’s something to be aware of, but I would never say not to train,” says McNulty. “But if you know this phase might have certain increased injury risks, you could warm up better.”

Take advantage of oestrogen

While it might make you more prone to injury, oestrogen also provides benefits. It is thought to have a positive effect on mood, “so this might increase your motivation to train,” says McNulty. “It has neuromuscular effects as well, so it can signal to increase your ability to activate your muscles. There is evidence to suggest that our ability to recover from training is improved, as oestrogen is thought to have a protective function against muscle damage.” It also reduces the inflammatory response, so it could reduce muscle soreness. “This might mean that we recover more quickly and therefore adapt to training more readily.”

Burn fat

Oestrogen is also thought to reduce the amount of carbohydrate the body uses as the fuel for exercise, instead burning fat. “In theory, it might be that, when oestrogen is high, your body might use more fats for energy – but, again, there are conflicting research findings,” says McNulty. There is some evidence that the metabolism speeds up towards the end of the cycle (and this may be why you get cravings for carbs). “On any weight-loss programme, the point is to put the body into a calorie deficit,” says Koroleva.

However, if you go too far, it can be counterproductive. “If you’re trying to lose weight and you’re in the second phase of your cycle, if you’re doing high-intensity training and you don’t add carbohydrates and increase your calories, your body can actually start to hold on to the weight. It’s almost counterintuitive, but, because of the hormonal changes, the calories need to increase.”

Don’t overheat in week four

In the mid-luteal phase, progesterone rises along with oestrogen. This may limit some of the effects of oestrogen, but it has its own consequences, says McNulty. “It increases your basal body temperature, so, if you’re doing an endurance sport, you might be struggling in a hot environment a little bit more in that mid-luteal phase and you might have to adopt cooling strategies.” Progesterone is also a “calming hormone”, she says. It may increase sleep, but also can affect the way the brain picks up new skills. Trying to perfect a dance routine, or change your golf technique, may be more difficult during this phase.

Take it easy

“After the third week, taper down and do more restorative exercise, such as yoga or pilates,” says Koroleva. “It’s not the time to try to beat any records or do much strength training. If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s a really good time to do long walks and low-intensity training. In a world where we’re surrounded by these super high-intensity workouts and we beat our bodies into the ground, working with your cycle is a much kinder way to look after your body.”

Emine Saner

By: Emine Saner@eminesaner Tue 2 Feb 2021 11.30 GMT

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SUBSCRIBE for new videos every week! https://www.youtube.com/user/joannaso…​ Ladies, WE ARE NOT MEN! Our body does not function like a MAN, we go through our monthly menstrual cycle, hence our hormones go up and down almost every week. Don’t expect to TRAIN LIKE A MAN! Don’t feel bad when you can’t push as hard on certain days but that also doesn’t mean you should just sit back and do nothing. WATCH this video through to understand the Menstrual Cycle and how we women CAN adjust our exercise routine and also food intake to match our body’s internal rhythms and even help with weight loss. Joanna Soh is a certified Personal Trainer (ACE), Women’s Fitness Specialist (NASM) and Nutrition Coach (VN), with over 8 years experience. Link to 28-Day Workout Plan According to

Menstrual Cycle: http://joannasoh.com/fitness/fitness-…​ Period & Exercising: Everything You Need to Know https://youtu.be/ie9uB2iU97I​ Healthy Ways to Overcome Period Cravings https://youtu.be/nB7cCrik6hM​ __________ Stay Connected & Follow us! Joanna Soh: http://joannasoh.com/https://www.instagram.com/joannasohof…https://www.facebook.com/joannasohoff…https://www.youtube.com/user/joannaso…https://twitter.com/Joanna_Soh​ HER Network: https://www.hernetwork.tvhttps://www.facebook.com/hernetwork.tvhttps://www.instagram.com/hernetwork.tv​ __________ In general, the menstrual cycle occurs in two phases. On average, it’s a 28-day cycle. 1) FOLLICULAR Phase – Day 1 to Day 14 – Go hard! Do high intensity workouts, lift heavy and perform total body strength training. – Your body is more tolerant to pain and muscles recover quicker. – Your body uses Carbs as its main source of fuel. –

You can increase your carb intake slightly especially after an intense workout. 2) LUTEAL Phase – Day 14 to Day 28 – I like to call this phase the “roller coaster” phase. – this is when all the PMS symptoms start to hit: you might crave for sugar or high fat food, you have bigger appetite, you feel sluggish, you have trouble sleeping, your body retains more water, you feel bloated and you might suffer from mild cramps too. – Your body turns to FAT AS FUEL instead of carbs. – Good news, your body is now burning FAT rather than carbs or glycogen. Focus on steady pace cardio to get the most out of your workout. – This is also when the muscle breakdown increases, hence it takes longer for you to recover from your workout. So choose moderation workout that’s less intense. – You might lose your motivation BUT power through your workout, as much as possible, eat well and you WILL feel better.

We are all very different and it takes time to really understand your body. If you have this knowledge, you’re able to take advantage of the hormonal benefits and overcome the challenges by adjusting and changing your workout routine and also food intake. Again, remember this is a guideline as there is very limited research in regards to training with your menstrual cycle. Give it a try, make changes and see what works for you. __________ MUSIC Daily Beetle by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/…​) Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-…​ Artist: http://incompetech.com/

Harder Workout Intensity May Not Increase Your Longevity

Good news if you take a more leisurely approach to your workouts: a recent study found that people who performed harder workouts didn’t live any longer, on average, when compared with people who did more moderate workouts. Researchers studied a group of people in Norway who participated in five years of supervised exercise training.

The participants included 790 women and 777 men (with an average age of 73), divided into three groups. Everyone followed federal recommendations to get 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week. But in addition to that, one group received two supervised weekly sessions of high-intensity interval training. A second group added two supervised moderate-intensity continuous training workouts per week. All three groups continued their assigned workouts for five years.

At the conclusion of the trial, 4.6% of the participants had died, but there was no significant difference in death rates between the group that followed the modest federal exercise recommendations and the two groups that did the more intense workouts. In addition, all groups had similar levels of cardiovascular disease and deaths from cancer.

However, that’s not to say that participating in regular high-intensity workouts wasn’t linked to any benefits. The participants who did the harder workouts had better outcomes on certain measures of mental health and physical fitness.

By: Harward Health Publishing

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Should I get cataract surgery?

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What to expect after COVID

COVID-19 may have lingering effects, such as headaches, fatigue, and cognitive problems, and possibly lung, heart, or kidney damage. Because so little is known about why this happens, there are no official follow-up guidelines or recommendations. Some experts say it may be worth a conversation with a doctor. It is hoped that research may yield more information in the future. (Locked) More »

It’s not too late to get in better shape

Only an estimated 40% of American adults get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a week, the low end of what the government recommends. Only 20% of adults perform the recommended strength training twice a week. This lack of movement makes older adults less fit than they could be for their age. But the good news is that people can build strength and improve their fitness at any age using a gradual, progressive approach that focuses on building strength, cardiovascular fitness, and flexibility and balance. More »

Understanding intimate partner violence

Intimate partner violence, which includes physical or sexual violence, psychological harm, or stalking by a current or former partner, affects as many as one in three women. Help is available, even during the pandemic. Leaving an abusive situation can be challenging, but having a plan can help. Women should also be aware that the abuse isn’t their fault and they are not alone. As many as one in three women experiences intimate partner violence. (Locked) More »

Beware do-it-yourself cosmetic injections

Neurotoxins and dermal fillers for cosmetic use are being sold illegally online to unlicensed individuals, putting people at risk of serious complications. More »

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Mayo Proceedings

Dr. Carl -Chip- Lavie, Professor of Medicine in the Department of Cardiovascular Diseases at the John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute, Ochsner Clinical School and the University of Queensland School of Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana, in an Editorial appearing in the September 2014 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, clarifies the difference between elite and extreme athletes, and demonstrates that more is not better with regard to exercise. Peak benefits are gained from 30-40 and less than 60 minutes daily of moderate exercise. Available at: http://tinyurl.com/nu74s77

Adequate Vitamin D Levels Cuts Risk Of Dying From Covid-19 In Half, Study Finds

There’s new evidence that getting enough vitamin D provides significant support in protecting hospitalized individuals infected with Covid-19 from adverse outcomes.

Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) analyzed data from 235 people who were admitted to the hospital with Covid-19. They found that patients older than 40 years old were 51.5 percent less likely to die from the infection if they had a sufficient level of Vitamin D, which they define as being at least 30 ng/mL.

Dr. Michael F. Holick, lead author of the study, and professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics, and molecular medicine at BUSM, says, “This study provides direct evidence that vitamin D sufficiency can reduce the complications, including the cytokine storm (release to too many proteins into the blood too quickly) and ultimately death from Covid-19.”

Patients in the study were followed for the following clinical outcomes including clinical severity of the infection:

·        Becoming unconscious

·        Having difficulty in breathing resulting in hypoxia and death

·        Blood analyzed for inflammatory marker (C-reactive protein Recommended For You

·        Blood analyzed for numbers of lymphocytes

·        All parameters compared between groups of patients divided by vitamin D deficient and vitamin D sufficient

Dr. Holick published a separate study recently that found having a sufficient level of vitamin D can reduce the risk of catching Covid-19 by 54-percent. He also believes having adequate vitamin D levels helps ward off other viruses causing upper respiratory tract illnesses including influenza.

Holick adds, “Because vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency is so widespread in children and adults in the United States and worldwide, especially in winter months, it is prudent for everyone to take a vitamin D supplement to reduce risk of being infected and having complications from Covid-19.” Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here

Marla Milling

Marla Milling

I am a full-time freelance writer in Asheville, North Carolina. I’ve written more than 900 published articles/essays for a wide variety of publications including Pregnancy, ePregnancy, Women’s Health, Kids’ Health, Health, Healthgate, and many others, as well as four non-fiction books. Plus, my background includes 10 years as a news producer for WLOS-TV (ABC affiliate in Asheville, N.C.), and six years as Director of Communications at Mars Hill College (now University) in Mars Hill, N.C. 

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A Low-Fat Diet May Lower the Risk of Dying from Breast Cancer

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Breast cancer treatments have come a long way in recent decades, but understanding how to prevent tumors from forming in the first place has been a major challenge.

In a new study being presented at the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago next month, researchers report intriguing evidence that a low-fat diet, similar to the kind doctors recommend for heart health, is also linked to a lower risk of dying from breast cancer.

The study analyzed data from the Women’s Health Initiative, a large trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health that studies the health effects of hormone therapy, diet and certain supplements on the health of more than 160,000 postmenopausal women. In this trial, researchers led by Dr. Rowan Chlebowski, an investigator at LA Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, focused on a group of nearly 49,000 women who were randomly assigned to follow either a low-fat diet or a control diet for 8.5 years. The low-fat diet group aimed to reduce their fat intake to 20% of their total daily calories and to increase the consumption of fruit, vegetables and grains. None of the women had breast cancer at the start of the study.

After the study ended, the rates of new breast cancers were about the same in the two groups, but women who were diagnosed with breast cancer in the interim had a 35% lower risk of dying from any cause compared to those on the control diet. Even 20 years after the study ended, the women who ate the low-fat diet continued to have a 15% lower mortality risk. And in the longer follow-up data, their risk of dying specifically from breast cancer was 21% lower than that of the women who didn’t change their diet.

“This is a very exciting result for us,” says Chlebowski. “Now we have randomized clinical trial evidence that dietary moderation, which is achievable by many, can have health benefits including reducing risk of death from breast cancer. That’s pretty good; it’s hard not to be happy about that.”

The study is the first to rigorously test a potential factor that could influence deaths from breast cancer. Earlier observational studies did not assign volunteers to specific diets but looked at cancer outcomes depending on what people, on their own, chose to eat. In this study, volunteers were provided with dietary guidelines to follow about what to eat. “Until this study, we lacked any data from a prospective randomized control trial, which is the gold standard, for showing that a dietary approach really does reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer,” says Dr. Neil Iyengar, a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, who was not involved in the study. “Many of us who are proponents of considering diet and exercise in the cancer treatment plan are excited by this trial data because it is the first to show in a very robust way that we can improve outcomes and prevent cancer-related deaths just by changing the diet.”

In a separate sub-study, the research team also showed that the longer women were on the modified diet, the lower their risk of death during the study period. The results should give doctors more confidence in considering diet when discussing treatment options with women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. While the study did not find a significant connection between dietary changes and the incidence of new breast cancer, the results do suggest that modifying the diet can lower a woman’s risk of dying from any cause, or from breast cancer, if she is diagnosed with the disease.

The reason for that, says Iyengar, may have to do with the diet’s “dose.” It’s possible, for example, that the effect of the dietary change is greater on tiny tumors in the breast tissue that are already established, although they aren’t robust enough yet to lead to a diagnosis of breast cancer. “The effect of this diet may be stronger in preventing the growth of already established tumors rather than preventing the development of tumors,” he says. “What this trial does is position us to take a deeper dive, now that we know we can effectively change the tumor or cancer behavior with diet.”

Chlebowski plans to dig deeper into the data to find out more about how diet is working to lower deaths from breast cancer. During the trial, women provided blood samples both at the start of the study and one year later, so he and his team may find factors that changed among the women on the diet compared to those on the control plan.

In the meantime, he hopes cancer doctors will talk about diet with their patients who might be at higher risk of developing breast cancer. Though not all women in the study were able to lower their fat intake to 20% of their daily calories,“these dietary changes are achievable by many,” he says. Even though not all of the women on the low-fat diet met the target, the study showed that the modifications still reduced risk of dying from any cause and from breast cancer. “It’s about taking smaller pieces of meat, and adding vegetables to the plate to balance things out,” he says.

By Alice Park

Source: https://time.com/

 

I’ve Lost 15 Pounds on the Noom Diet App, and Here’s What I Eat in a Day

I’m a fitness editor, and I live a pretty healthy lifestyle — I exercise five to six days a week, eat a whole-foods-based diet, and get at least seven hours of sleep a night — but in January of this year, I found my weight creeping up on the higher end of what I find comfortable. I’ve struggled to keep weight off my whole life, and thanks to my bipolar II medication, general stress, and love of happy hour, this has only gotten harder as I’ve gotten older.

I also have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), which means I need to be careful with my weight: women with PCOS are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance (and women with PCOS have a harder time losing weight, which makes this all a fun cycle).

All of that being said: I wanted to check out the Noom weight-loss app to see if it could help me shed some pounds and get back on track with a healthy lifestyle. Created with the help of registered dietitians and other experts, the Noom app aims to not only help you lose weight, but also change your behaviors and reevaluate the thought processes behind the decisions you make. Each day includes new articles on topics such as portion control, staying motivated, identifying your social triggers, and how to decode a restaurant menu.

Noom also includes a daily calorie target, which adjusts based on how much activity you got that day (you manually log your exercise or sync up to your Fitbit or Apple Watch). One of my favorite features of Noom is the comprehensive food log where you type in what you ate and track your daily calories. If your food isn’t in Noom’s database, you can manually add the nutrition information. It also provides a color-coded breakdown of your food based on how calorie-dense they are: green (fruits, veggies, most whole grains, complex carbs), yellow (lean meats, starches, eggs), and red (typically processed junk food but also healthy calorie-dense foods like oils and nuts). You are supposed to aim to eat as many green and yellow foods as possible and limit your red foods to 25 percent or less of your diet.

The biggest adjustment for me was keeping track of everything I ate. Sure, I eat a pretty well-balanced diet, but I’m often tempted by treats in the work kitchen or all of the tasty snacks sent to my office. After hours, it’s easy for me to let one glass of wine turn to three and get carried away with the free chips and salsa. Signing up for Noom really helped me figure out where I tend to overeat and track the true size of a healthy portion: 1/4 cup of almonds is a good-sized snack. Half a bag is not.

After four months on Noom, I’m down 15 pounds! Not as fast as I would have liked, but I do realize that slow and steady wins the race. I didn’t do anything radical aside from read the Noom articles, log my food, work out, and pay attention to my daily calorie budget. Although every day is different for me food-wise, here is an example of what a typical day of eating looks like.

What I Eat in a Day on Noom

My daily calorie target depends on how much activity I’ve done that day. If I’ve worked out and walked 10,000 steps, my calories will be closer to 1,500-1,600 a day. If I skipped a workout and laid on the couch all day (hello, hungover Sundays), my calorie target is closer to 1,200-1,300 a day. Here is an example of a day where I had a moderate workout:

Breakfast: protein smoothie (430 calories)

  • 1 scoop Vega One All-in-One Nutritional Chocolate Shake (170 calories)
  • 1/2 banana (52 calories)
  • 1 tablespoon Perfect Keto Pure MCT Oil (130 calories)
  • 1.25 cup 365 Organic Almond Milk Unsweetened (50 calories)
  • 1 cup baby spinach (7 calories)
  • 3 flowerets of raw cauliflower (9 calories)
  • 3 giant frozen strawberries (12 calories)

Lunch: breaded chicken breast with quinoa and broccoli (405 calories)

  • 3 ounces chicken breast (175 calories)
  • 1/4 serving 365 Everyday Value Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs (25 calories)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (40 calories)
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa (111 calories)
  • 1 cup roasted broccoli (54 calories)

Afternoon snack: almonds and collagen water (180 calories)

  • 17 Blue Diamond Gourmet Almonds, Rosemary and Sea Salt (120 calories)
  • Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty Water, Strawberry Lemon (60 calories)

Dinner: baked salmon with quinoa and broccoli (397 calories)

  • 3 ounces cooked salmon (195 calories)
  • 1/2 cooked quinoa (111 calories)
  • 1 cup steamed broccoli (55 calories)
  • 1 pat of butter (36 calories)

Daily total calories: 1,412

Food Color Breakdown

Image source: Noom app

On this day, I did a pretty good job of loading up on mostly green foods, a nice amount of yellow foods, and limiting my red foods. I know some of my diet staples are red (like MCT oil and almonds), but I’m going to keep eating them — I just pay attention to the portion sizes.

The Takeaway

I tend to eat the same things over and over, which is one way people find weight-loss success: it takes the guesswork out of having to plan so many meals each week. I also try and meal prep on Sundays, and on this particular day, I made big batches of quinoa in the rice cooker and broccoli (both steamed and oven-roasted) to last for lunches and dinners. I also baked breaded chicken breasts for lunch and salmon fillets for dinner to get my protein in.

My protein smoothie can sometimes be my biggest meal of the day. I make a calorie-dense smoothie like this after my big morning workout to refuel my body and keep me full well until my late lunch. Sometimes I need to supplement with a mid-morning snack, but most days I’m satisfied until 2 p.m. or so.

If I have a day where I know I’m going to be getting drinks after work or want to make room for a delicious chocolate chip cookie from the break room, I make adjustments in my diet the rest of the day. Maybe I’ll skip the MCT oil in my smoothie or forgo an afternoon snack. Sometimes I’ll trade in my quinoa at lunch for double the veggies or leave out the butter on top. Every little tweak or adjustment counts toward my daily calorie target. And while I didn’t reach for something sweet after dinner on this day, I usually have some type of dessert each day that’s less than 100 calories: a square of dark chocolate or a dark chocolate peanut butter cup from Trader Joe’s.

I have never felt deprived doing Noom and I always listen to my hunger cues. Noom has really opened my eyes to what an accurate portion size is and how to plan your meals around your daily calorie target. I still have a little ways to go to hit my goals, but tracking everything in Noom makes it a little easier.

 

 

Source: I’ve Lost 15 Pounds on the Noom Diet App, and Here’s What I Eat in a Day

The Illegal Ingredients in Your Dietary Supplements – Sumathi Reddy

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Consumers are taking dietary supplements with illegal—and potentially harmful ingredients, a growing body of evidence shows. A new study published online in JAMA Internal Medicine this week found experimental stimulants in dietary supplements both before and after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued public warnings about the stimulants. The stimulants aren’t approved for human use and are believed to increase blood pressure and heart rates potentially, says Pieter Cohen, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and general internist at Cambridge Health Alliance…………..

Read more: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-illegal-ingredients-in-your-dietary-supplements-1540220500

 

 

 

Your kindly Donations would be so effective in order to fulfill our future research and endeavors – Thank you

Therapy for Pregnant Women With Anxiety Offers Alternative to Medication – Andrea Petersen

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“It was something to look forward to,” Ms. Bakker said, while her youngest child, five-month-old Winston, sat on her lap and clutched a fuzzy toy chick. The group is part of Dr. Green and her colleagues’ treatment program for perinatal anxiety at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. It is one of a small but growing number of psychological therapy programs that are specifically designed for pregnant and postpartum women who struggle with anxiety and depression. They address a critical need. While scientific studies have generally found that antidepressant medications are safe to use during pregnancy and breast-feeding, there are still some concerns about their impact on babies……………

Read more: https://www.wsj.com/articles/therapy-for-pregnant-women-with-anxiety-offers-alternative-to-medication-1541257200

 

 

 

 

Your kindly Donations would be so effective in order to fulfill our future research and endeavors – Thank you

Fit In My 40s You Could Do a Workout Using Only Your Body & Resistance Bands – The Guardian

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The first thing you need for a home workout is a really tidy house. I’m not remotely house proud, but I can’t do even half a sit-up if I can see an empty yoghurt pot under the sofa (and I always can). So while, in theory, learning how to get fit under your own steam and using your own accessories removes your single biggest impediment to becoming your best self, in reality you have to become a better self before you start. Do not skimp on a mat: I roamed around the house for days thinking if I just lit upon the best rug, I would be fine……….

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/oct/27/fit-in-my-40s-you-could-do-a-workout-using-only-your-body-and-resistance-bands

 

 

 

 

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