Sauna sessions equal moderate exercise
Both rose immediately during the sauna visit. After the sauna session, both blood pressure and heart rate did drop below the subject’s baseline levels that were measured before the sauna session. In the second part of the study, subjects completed a short exercise program on an exercise bike while also having their blood pressure and heart rate assessed. Subjects’ heart rate reached the same levels during the sauna session as they did during moderate exercise. The researchers say this shows that saunas do place a load on the body and can be positive for the cardiovascular system.
Source: Complementary Therapies in Medicine
Brush off Alzheimer’s
Researchers have previously discovered that the bacteria causing gingivitis (inflamed gums) can move from the mouth to the brain, where the harmful enzymes they produce can destroy the nerve cells in the brain, harming memory and leading to Alzheimer’s. Now, a new study has found the first DNA-evidence indicating this process does happen in human brains. The researchers examined people with Alzheimer’s and discovered the enzymes in 96 percent of the cases. According to the researchers, this knowledge gives possible new approaches for attacking Alzheimer’s disease. A drug to block the enzymes in question is in development. The even better news is that if you have established gingivitis and have Alzheimer’s in your family, the simple thing to do is go to your dentist regularly and clean your teeth properly. Remember to brush your teeth at least twice daily and use dental floss and you will keep remembering.
Source: Science Advances
Exercise: morning or evening?
Researchers have learned that the effect of exercise may differ depending on the time of day it’s performed. Studies on mice have revealed that the effect of exercise performed at the beginning of the mouse’s dark/active phase (corresponding to the morning for a human). The researchers demonstrated that exercise in the morning results in a greater metabolic response in skeletal muscle, while exercise later in the day increases energy expenditure for longer (some hours) after the exercise session.
Source: Cell Metabolism
Elderberries for the flu
Elderberries have long been used as folk medicine to treat colds and flu. Now, researchers at the University of Sydney have found exactly how they work. The researchers used commercially farmed elderberries, which were turned into juice and applied to cells before, during and after they had been infected with the influenza virus. The elderberry juice was shown to be effective at stopping the virus infecting the cells; however, to the surprise of the researchers.
The elderberry solution also stimulated the cells to release certain chemical messengers (cytokines) that the immune system uses for communication between different cell types to co-ordinate a more efficient response against infection. These effects were caused by chemicals called anthocyanidins, which give elderberries their purple color.
Source: Journal of Functional Foods
Gut microbes eat your medication Your microbiome, the bacteria and organisms in your digestive tract, are vital to your health. Another dimension to this is that research has shown your microbiome has an impact on how you metabolize your medication. For instance, research on levodopa (L-dopa), the primary treatment for Parkinson’s disease, at Harvard University has identified which bacteria are responsible for degrading the drug and how to stop this microbial interference. It’s a vital area for future research.