Monday, 28 October 2013

The secret to staying young: How thinking like a bee can reverse brain aging

  • Older bees 'stay young' when doing tasks normally handled by younger bees
  • Remain mentally sharp 'for as long as we observe them' says researcher

The secret to living a longer life may lie in the way that bees think.

Scientists at Arizona State University discovered that older honey bees can effectively reverse brain aging when they take on responsibilities typically handled by much younger bees.

As bees have the same kind of brain cells as humans, the findings have suggested that people can adapt their social lives to help their minds stay younger as they grow older.

Questions: Scientists at Arizona State University discovered that older honey bees can effectively reverse brain aging when they take on responsibilities typically handled by much younger bees
Questions: Scientists at Arizona State University discovered that older honey bees can effectively reverse brain aging when they take on responsibilities typically handled by much younger bees

'We knew from previous research that when bees stay in the nest and take care of larvae - the bee babies - they remain mentally competent for as long as we observe them,' Gro Amdam, who led the research that was published in the journal of Experimental Gerontology, told Live Science.

'However, after a period of nursing, bees fly out gathering food and begin aging very quickly.'

The scientists found that the aging process in bees resembled that in humans. 'After just two weeks, foraging bees have worn wings, hairless bodies, and more importantly, lose brain function - basically measured as the ability to learn new things.’

But, once the bees were presented with the opportunity to care for the larval babies again during an experiment, those that did ‘significantly improved their ability to learn new things.’

Research: As bees have the same kind of brain cells as humans, the findings have suggested that people can adapt their social lives to help their minds stay younger as they grow older
Research: As bees have the same kind of brain cells as humans, the findings have suggested that people can adapt their social lives to help their minds stay younger as they grow older

When scientists compared the brains of the bees that had improved to those that had not, they discovered changes to a protein called Prx6, which is also found in humans and is known to help protect against dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.

'Maybe social interventions - changing how you deal with your surroundings - is something we can do today to help our brains stay younger,' Amdam said. 

'Since the proteins being researched in people are the same proteins bees have, these proteins may be able to spontaneously respond to specific social experiences.'

CBS adds that bees, like humans, do not cope well under stress and will usually not survive more than about a week or ten days in isolation as they are social beings.

Read More; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2170606/The-secret-staying-young-How-thinking-like-bee-reverse-brain-aging.html

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The Health Benefits of Water

We all need water to survive, but how exactly does it help?

Did you know that your body weight is approximately 60 percent water? Your body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain other bodily functions. Because your body loses water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, it's important to re-hydrate by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water. The amount of water you need depends on a variety of factors, including the climate you live in, how physically active you are, and whether you're experiencing an illness or have any other health problems.
Water Protects Your Tissues, Spinal Cord, and Joints
Water does more than just quench your thirst and regulate your body's temperature; it also keeps the tissues in your body moist. You know how it feels when your eyes, nose, or mouth gets dry? Keeping your body hydrated helps it retain optimum levels of moisture in these sensitive areas, as well as in the blood, bones, and the brain. In addition, water helps protect the spinal cord, and it acts as a lubricant and cushion for your joints.
Water Helps Your Body Remove Waste
Adequate water intake enables your body to excrete waste through perspiration, urination, and defecation. The kidneys and liver use it to help flush out waste, as do your intestines. Water can also keep you from getting constipated by softening your stools and helping move the food you've eaten through your intestinal tract. However, it should be noted that there is no evidence to prove that increasing your fluid intake will cure constipation.
Water Aids in Digestion
Digestion starts with saliva, the basis of which is water. Digestion relies on enzymes that are found in saliva to help break down food and liquid and to dissolve minerals and other nutrients. Proper digestion makes minerals and nutrients more accessible to the body. Water is also necessary to help you digest soluble fiber. With the help of water, this fiber dissolves easily and benefits your bowel health by making well-formed, soft stools that are easy to pass.
Water Prevents You From Becoming Dehydrated
Your body loses fluids when you engage in vigorous exercise, sweat in high heat, or come down with a fever or contract an illness that causes vomiting or diarrhea. If you're losing fluids for any of these reasons, it's important to increase your fluid intake so that you can restore your body's natural hydration levels. Your doctor may also recommend that you drink more fluids to help treat other health conditions, like bladder infections and urinary tract stones. If you're pregnant or nursing, you may want to consult with your physician about your fluid intake because your body will be using more fluids than usual, especially if you're breastfeeding.
How Much Water Do You Need?
Some recent research suggests that increased amounts of water — such as the recommended eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day — may not have as many health benefits as experts previously believed. Most people who are in good physical health get enough fluids by drinking water and other beverages when they're thirsty, and also by drinking a beverage with each of their meals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you're not sure about your hydration level, look at your urine. If it's clear, you're in good shape. If it's dark, you're probably dehydrated.

Friday, 18 October 2013

What are the health benefits of honey?

Honey is a sweet liquid produced by honey bees using nectar from flowers through a process of regurgitation and evaporation.

This Medical News Today information article includes a brief history of honey in traditional medicine and explains some of its potential health benefits.

The possible health benefits of consuming honey have been documented in early Greek, Roman, Vedic, and Islamic texts and the healing qualities of honey were referred to by philosophers and scientists all the way back to ancient times, such as Aristotle (384 - 322 BC) and Aristoxenus (320 BC).

Honey has high levels of monosaccharides, fructose and glucose, containing about 70 to 80 percent sugar, which gives it its sweet taste - minerals and water make up the rest of its composition.

Honey also possesses antiseptic and antibacterial properties. In modern science we have managed to find useful applications of honey in chronic wound management.

More information can be found at; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/264667.php

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

7 Ways to Make Water Taste Better


Simple tips for livening up your drinking water

Not everybody has a taste for water, but we all need it to ensure that our bodies continue functioning properly. If you want to drink more water, but aren't crazy about the taste (or lack thereof), here are some tips that can make it more enjoyable:
1. Add fresh fruit. Citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes, and oranges, are classic water enhancers, but other fruit flavors might also tempt your taste buds. Try crushing fresh raspberries or watermelon into your water, or adding strawberry slices. Cucumber and fresh mint are refreshing flavors as well — especially in summer.
2. Use juice. Any fruit juice can be a good base flavor for water, but tart juices, like cranberry, pomegranate, grape, and apple, are especially delicious. Go for juices that are all natural, with no added sugars. And remember: Fruits and their juices don't just taste good — they contain vitamins and antioxidants that can benefit your health too.
3. Make it bubbly. Many people prefer sparkling to still water. If plain old water isn't inspiring to you, try a naturally effervescent mineral water — which will give you the added benefit of minerals. Or try bubbly seltzer, a carbonated water. You can add fresh fruit or natural juice flavors to your seltzer, as suggested above, or look for naturally flavored seltzers at your local market. If you become a seltzer devotee, you might want to consider getting a seltzer maker for your home.
4. Get creative with ice. Some say that ice water tastes better than water served at room temperature. If that's so, flavored ice cubes may make an even better drink. Use some of the flavoring suggestions above and start experimenting with fresh fruit, mint, or cucumber ice cubes. Simply chop your additive of choice, add it to your ice cube tray along with water, then freeze. You may also consider juice, tea, or coffee cubes. If you want to be more creative, use ice cube trays that come in fun shapes, like stars, circles, or even fish.
5. Drink tea. Herbal, fruit, green, white, and red teas are generally considered to be better for you than black teas (or coffee, for that matter) because they contain little to no caffeine. And there are countless flavors of these teas to choose from. Start with the selection at your local market or health food store. If you're interested in pursuing more exotic flavors and sophisticated teas, start researching the vast array of specialty teas that come from all parts of the globe.
6. Try bouillons, broths, and consomm├ęs. If your palate leans toward the savory, you may pass on tea and start sipping one of these hot and savory liquids instead. Choose low-fat and low-sodium versions for maximum health benefits. Because soup is water-based, a cup of hot soup will count toward your daily fluid consumption.
7. Add fast flavor. If you're looking for a quick-and-easy flavor booster, you might also consider sugar-free drink mixes, and flavor cartridges that can be used with your faucet filter system.