7 Recent Scientific Discoveries That May Thrill You
Right from the time of creation man has always desired more and the world of scientific discovery is no exception.
These health discoveries below may just be what you’ve been searching for.
1. What if eating chocolate helped prevent and treat diabetes? It’s crazy enough to laugh off, but here’s the thing: Researchers from Brigham Young University have discovered that certain compounds found in cocoa can actually help your body release more insulin and respond to increased blood glucose better. Insulin is the hormone that manages glucose, the blood sugar that reaches unhealthy levels in diabetes.
Of course, there’s a catch.
“You probably have to eat a lot of cocoa, and you probably don’t want it to have a lot of sugar in it,” said study author Jeffery Tessem, assistant professor of nutrition, dietetics and food science at BYU. “It’s the compound in cocoa you’re after.”
2. Finnish researchers have revealed that eating stimulates brain’s endogenous opioid system to signal pleasure and satiety. The recent results obtained by researchers from Turku PET Centre have revealed that eating leads to widespread opioid release in the brain, likely signalling feelings of satiety and pleasure.
In a research carried out at Turku PET Centre, eating both bland (left panel) and delicious (right panel) meals triggered significant opioid release in the brain. Eating a delicious pizza led to significant increase of pleasant feelings, where as consumption of calorie-matched nutritional drink did not. However, both types of meals induced significant release of endogenous opioids in the brain.
3. A 14 year study in more than one million people has found that women with high cholesterol have significantly lower rates of breast cancer and improved mortality. The research, presented recently at ESC Congress, suggests that statins are associated with lower rates of breast cancer and subsequent mortality.
“This is the most conclusive and direct evidence as they are yet to confirm the link between high cholesterol and breast cancer, a topic that has been fascinating researchers for the past few years,” said Dr Rahul Potluri, senior author and founder of the ACALM Study Unit at Aston Medical School, Aston University, Birmingham, UK.
4. If you’re a smoker considering cosmetic surgery, your plastic surgeon will likely require you to stop smoking for at least two weeks before your procedure.
A long-term follow-up study finds that many patients receiving these instructions will quit smoking, or at least smoke less after cosmetic surgery reports the September issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
“Our results show an association between cosmetic surgery and smoking cessation at long-term follow-up,” says lead author Aaron C. Van Slyke, MD, MSc, of University of British Columbia, Vancouver.
5. Dark chocolate enriched with extra virgin olive oil is associated with an improved cardiovascular risk profile, according to a recent research presented today at ESC Congress.
“A healthy diet is known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease,” said lead author Dr Rossella Di Stefano, a cardiologist at the University of Pisa, Italy. “Fruits and vegetables exert their protective effects through plant polyphenols, which are found in cocoa, olive oil, and apples. Research has found that the Italian Panaia red apple has very high levels of polyphenols and antioxidants.”
This study tested the association between consumption of dark chocolate enriched with extra virgin olive oil or Panaia red apple with atherosclerosis progression in healthy individuals with cardiovascular risk factors.
European Society of Cardiology.
6. Physical exercise has an anti-aging effect on the hippocampus region of the brain — an area that controls memory, learning and balance.
A new study, comparing different forms of exercise, dancing and endurance training, undertaken by elderly volunteers for eighteen months, shows that both can have an anti-aging effect on the brain, but only dancing corresponded to a noticeable difference in behavior.
This difference is attributed to the extra challenge of learning dancing routines.
7. Doctors have long stressed the importance of good nutrition for expectant mothers but now, biologists say the father’s diet too, could play a similar role in the health of a baby.
A University of Cincinnati biology professors Michal Polak and Joshua Benoit manipulated the nutrition of male fruit flies and observed a strong correlation between poor diet and poor survivorship among their offspring. The study was published this week in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Everyone knows a father is responsible for half of his offspring’s genes. But the UC study comes at a time when researchers are learning more about other influences fathers have on their offspring’s health that are not necessarily coded within genes, a concept called epigenetics.
These influences include direct environmental effects such as exposure to toxins that can be passed from the father to his offspring through his seminal plasma.