Previously, a number of studies suggest that younger adults are more creative and cognitively flexible when they are in a good mood. Stephanie M. Carpenter, from the University of Michigan (Michigan, USA), and colleagues enrolled 46 adults, ages 63 to 85 years, in a study to assess the role of mood on cognitive skill.. Half of the subjects were put into a good mood by receiving a thank-you card and two small bags of candy, tied with a red ribbon, when they arrived at the lab for the experiment. The other "neutral mood" participants did not receive a card or candy. The participants completed a computer-based study. They also participated in a decision-making task, where the participants were given $3 in quarters and presented with eight virtual decks of cards over the course of experiment. The researchers wanted to see how quickly and accurately the participants would learn which decks generally won them money, and which decks lost them money. The findings were clear: older adults who were put into a good mood chose significantly better than those who were in the neutral mood. Later in the experiment, the researchers tested working memory -- how much information people can hold in their mind at any one time. Researchers read aloud a group of intermixed letters and numbers (such as T9A3) and participants were to repeat the group back in numeric and then alphabetic order (in this case, 39AT). The participants received groups with increasingly more letters and numbers. Results showed that the older adults who were induced into a good mood scored better on this test of working memory. The study authors conclude that: “These effects of positive-feeling induction have implications for affect theory, as well as, potentially, practical implications for people of all ages dealing with complex decisions.”
Stephanie M. Carpenter, Ellen Peters, Daniel Vastfjall, Alice M. Isen. “Positive feelings facilitate working memory and complex decision making among older adults.” Journal: Cognition & Emotion; Volume 27, Issue 1, January 2013, pages 184-192.
Exposure to sunlight associates with a decreased incidence of rheumatoid arthritis, among women.
An eight-week long program involving the consumption of 40 g of soybean protein a day improved biomarkers of inflammation and adipocytokines.
Indulging in a small food treat yields as much psychological satisfaction as a larger portion.
By modulating the biological pathways involved in inflammation, humulones and bittering acids found in beer may beneficially impact diabetes and other diseases.
Older adults may improve their decision making and working memory simply by maintaining a positive mood.
Silibinin, the extract of milk thistle, kills skin cells mutated by UVA radiation - which makes up about 95% of the sun’s radiation that reaches Earth.
Alternate walking and running to save energy, maintain endurance.
Tomorrow's life-saving medications may currently be living at the bottom of the sea.
Vegetarians are less likely to develop ischemic heart disease, as compared to those who eat meat.
Cells that are likely to develop into tumors exhibit a particular bioelectric signature.
Yoga has positive effects on mild depression and sleep complaints, and improves symptoms associated with schizophrenia and ADHD.
Getting a good night of rest promotes feelings of gratitude for relationships.
A type of meditation, known as mindfulness-based stress reduction, helps to relieve the inflammation response seen in arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and
Elevated levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammatory disease, may associate with increased risk of psychological distress and depression.
Economists and public health researchers report that happiness and mental health are highest among people who eat seven portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
Daily physical activity can boost a person's mental health, via the psychological mechanisms known as the self-image hypothesis and the social interaction hypot
Large-scale population based study suggests that people with anxiety depression, and other mental health problems have a higher risk of early death.
Phobic anxiety associates with shorter telomeres – a marker of a cellular aging, in middle-aged and older women.
Parkinson’s Disease may start with non-motor symptoms affecting physical, mental, and emotional health, that precede the onset of the disease by several years.
Low levels of vitamin B-6 and B-12 are associated with an increased risk of impaired cognition.
Tip #127 - Delay Death with Vitamin D
The therapeutic role of vitamin D, "the sunshine vitamin," for bone health, has become well established. A number of recent studies now link vitamin D deficiency to adverse health consequences such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and some infectious diseases.
Johns Hopkins University (Maryland, USA) researchers reported that low blood levels of Vitamin D are associated with a 26% increased risk of death from any cause. The team analyzed data collected on 13,331 adults during a 6-year period after which the subjects were followed for 9 years. People with Vitamin D levels of less than 17.8 ng/mL had a 26% increased rate of death from any cause, compared to people with the highest Vitamin D levels (more than 32.1 ng/mL).
Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health (Massachusetts, USA) reported that those individuals taking vitamin D supplements are at a 7% lower risk of death, as compared to those who did not supplement.
As well, Vitamin D inhibits the body’s inflammatory response and thus reduces the turnover of leukocytes (a type of white blood cell). The length of the leukocyte telomere (the endcap of the chromosome) is a predictor of aging-related disease, whereby it shortens as a result of increased inflammation. A team from King's College, London School of Medicine (United Kingdom) found that people with longer telomeres have higher levels of Vitamin D stored in their bodies. The team reports that: “The difference … was … equivalent to five years of telomeric aging,” suggesting that people who have higher levels of vitamin D may age more slowly than people with lower levels.