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Yoga’s Effect on Inflammation & Other News of Note

Posted Aug 30 2010 7:07am

Yoga Shows Potential to Ward Off Certain Diseases (LiveScience)

Practicing yoga may do more than calm the mind — it may help protect against certain diseases, a new study suggests.

In the study, women who had practiced yoga regularly for at least two years were found to have lower levels of inflammation in their bodies than did women who only recently took up the activity.

Inflammation is an immune response and can be beneficial when your body is fighting off infection, but chronically high levels of inflammation are known to play a role in certain conditions, including asthma, cardiovascular disease and depression… More

Bottled Teas May Not Deliver on Antioxidants (US News & World Report)

When you buy a bottled tea, you may not be getting the health boost you expect.

A new study finds that these increasingly popular beverages may contain far lower levels of antioxidants called polyphenols than green or black tea that you brew at home. In fact, some commercial tea beverages contain such small amounts of polyphenols that you would have to drink 20 bottles to get an amount equal to what’s in one cup of home-brewed tea.

Polyphenols are believed by scientists to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties… More

Walking Helps Your Brain (News-Gazette)

Even moderate exercise — walking for 40 minutes three times a week, for example — can improve brain function in older people.

Previous studies have shown aerobic exercise enhances brain function. A new study by University of Illinois researchers looked at the effect of moderate exercise on connections between brain circuits.

* * *

Brain networks become less connected as people age. The study found that older people who exercise are better at moving from a state of rest in brain activity (such as when they are passively observing something and not focusing on a particular task) to becoming engaged with the outside world. They are also better at planning, prioritizing, strategizing and multi-tasking… More

Berries May Slow Mental Decline from Aging (WebMD)

Compounds found in various berries and possibly in walnuts may slow down natural aging processes in the brain, new research indicates.

What’s more, blueberries, strawberries, and acai berries may help the aging brain in a crucial but previously unrecognized way, according to a study presented at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston.

Scientists say they have found evidence that compounds in the berries and maybe walnuts activate the brain’s natural “housekeeper” mechanism that cleans up and recycles toxic proteins, which have been linked to age-related mental decline and memory loss… More

Vitamin D Found to Influence over 200 Genes, Highlighting Links to Disease (PhysOrg)

The extent to which vitamin D deficiency may increase susceptibility to a wide range of diseases is dramatically highlighted in research published today. Scientists have mapped the points at which vitamin D interacts with our DNA – and identified over two hundred genes that it directly influences. The results are published today in the journal Genome Research.

It is estimated that one billion people worldwide do not have sufficient vitamin D. This deficiency is thought to be largely due to insufficient exposure to the sun and in some cases to poor diet. As well as being a well-known risk factor for rickets, there is a growing body of evidence that vitamin D deficiency also increases an individual’s susceptibility to autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes, as well as certain cancers and even dementia… More


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