Eating carrots during pregnancy makes babies happy and kale turns them to ‘tears’

Scans of 100 mothers-to-be show foetuses giving more “laughter-face” responses at carrots, but “cry-face” reactions to kale. The findings by scientists at Durham University could now aid research into how human taste and smell receptors develop.

They believe what pregnant women could influence their children’s taste preferences – and could help form healthy eating habits.

It is thought foetuses experience flavour by inhaling and swallowing the womb’s amniotic fluid.

Experts recorded reactions soon after the mums took carrot and kale flavour capsules.

Postgraduate Beyza Ustun, who led the research, said: “Studies have suggested babies can taste and smell in the womb, but they are based on post-birth outcomes.

“Our study is the first to see these reactions prior to birth. We think repeated exposure to flavours before birth could help to establish food preferences post-birth – which could be important when thinking about messaging around healthy eating and the potential for avoiding ‘food-fussiness’ when weaning.

“It was really amazing to see the unborn babies’ reaction and share those moments with their parents.”

Facial reactions seen in both flavour groups showed exposure to just a small amount of carrot or kale flavour stimulated a response.

Research co-author Professor Jackie Blissett, of Aston University, Birmingham, said: “The next step is to examine whether foetuses show less ‘negative’ responses to these flavours over time, resulting in greater acceptance when babies first taste them outside of the womb.”

The study appears in the journal Psychological Science.

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  • 38 минут назад 25.09.2022Health Care
    Paula Radcliffe demands ‘safe spaces’ for late exercise as Britain becomes inactive

    The 49-year-old former British long-distance runner, and mother of two said the pandemic and lockdown measures had stopped many people from being physically active.

    She said this had been a particular problem for children and younger people who were more likely to develop “ingrained habits” of being inactive.

    Speaking ahead of FLORA’s Get Towns Active Runalong next week, (29 September) which aims to encourage people to be more active, she said: “The lockdown was a big worry because all connection with sport stopped and children stopped being physically active.

    “It is very hard for young people to break that habit. We know being physically active is a key component to good mental health and many more young people are struggling with their mental health. It is not just sport, but little things like walking to and around school and social contact.

    “It’s hard for teens and youngsters to understand they have to get through a stage of being out of shape before they can get fit again whereas adults may be more used to riding that roller coaster.”

    She added: “My exercise gives me very important headspace. In this event we are encouraging families and children to put down their phones and do something physical and enjoyable even if it is meeting up with friends outside or walking the dog.

    “As the days get darker, councils should now ensure there is good access to safe and lit areas for people, particularly teenage girls to exercise together.”

    Almost a third say exercising does not come naturally to them (32 percent) and over a quarter find they are more time poor than ever (27 percent).

    The report also reveals that Brighton is the least active city in the UK and Ireland, with Cork being the most active.

    FLORA’s Get Towns Active Runalong is being held in Brighton next week, which FLORA’s Annual Active Towns Report revealed is the UK and Ireland’s least active town.

  • 39 минут назад 25.09.2022Health Care
    Eating ‘ultra processed’ foods raises risk of bowel cancer by 29% among men – study

    It is well established that our diet plays a huge role in our health and wellbeing. Often not eating enough of a certain food can lead to notable deficiencies while too much of others can cause weight gain and issues such as high blood pressure. Now scientists have shown that what you eat can have far-reaching – and potentially fatal – consequences.

    A study published in the British Medical Journal explored the link between a processed diet and bowel cancer.

    The disease, which is also known as colorectal cancer, is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 11 percent of new cancer cases.

    It is the second most common cause of cancer deaths, with 16,800 in the UK every year.

    The research – conducted by academics from universities in the US, Canada and Brazil – concluded that men who ate high rates of ultra-processed foods had a 29 percent higher risk of bowel cancer compared to men who consumed much less.

    However, the same link was not found among women.

    Speaking in Science Daily, the study’s lead author, Lu Wang, explained: “We started out thinking that colorectal cancer could be the cancer most impacted by diet compared to other cancer types.

    “Processed meats, most of which fall into the category of ultra-processed foods, are a strong risk factor for colorectal cancer.

    “Ultra-processed foods are also high in added sugars and low in fibre, which contribute to weight gain and obesity, and obesity is an established risk factor for colorectal cancer.”

    As part of the research dietary responses from more than 200,000 participants – 159,907 women and 46,341 men – were analysed over a period of 25 years.

    Each person filled in a food questionnaire every four years which asked about the consumption of 130 different foods.

    During this time period, 1,294 men and 1,922 women were diagnosed with bowel cancer.

    The greatest link between the disease and ultra-processed foods among the male participants was found with animal products.

    Mr Wang said: “These products include some processed meats like sausages, bacon, ham, and fish cakes. This is consistent with our hypothesis.”

    High intake of sugary drinks such as fizzy drinks and fruit-based drinks was also associated with high risk of bowel cancer among the men, but not all processed foods were found to be as harmful.

    Co-senior author Fang Fang Zhang added: “We found an inverse association between ultra-processed dairy foods like yoghurt and colorectal cancer risk among women.”

    It was thought this could be one reason why women were less affected.

    “Foods like yoghurt can potentially counteract the harmful impacts of other types of ultra-processed foods in women,” Mr Zhang said.

    Overall, the researchers stressed the importance of cutting back on processed foods.

    Mr Zhang said: “Much of the dependence on these foods can come down to factors like food access and convenience. “Chemically processing foods can aid in extending shelf life, but many processed foods are less healthy than unprocessed alternatives.

    “We need to make consumers aware of the risks associated with consuming unhealthy foods in quantity and make the healthier options easier to choose instead.”

  • 39 минут назад 25.09.2022Health Care
    Magic mushrooms a shock new treatment to battle anorexia – ‘Game changer’

    Scientists say the psychedelic ingredient in the mushrooms could prove a “game changer” in tackling the eating disorder, and are preparing to launch a trial this year.

    There is currently no effective medication for the condition, which affects at least 100,000 in the UK. Depression often accompanies the illness, making the mood shift required to treat it even more difficult.

    Traditional anti-depressants are designed to boost serotonin – the chemical in the brain that affects mood and happiness. But the most severely affected anorexia patients have such low levels of serotonin that antidepressants are ineffective.

    It is believed the psilocybin, the active compound that makes magic mushrooms “magic”, will alter pathways in the brain that affect mood and make patients more amenable to psychological treatment.

    King’s College Londonwill give the treatment in tablet form to 60 UK patients.

    The volunteers will be briefed on what they are likely to experience. They will remain under observation for around six to eight hours to make sure the magic mushroom effect wears off.

    Dr Hubertus Himmerich, a leading expert in eating disorders at King’s College London and co-lead of the study said: “There is no indication that traditional psychiatric medications have the capability to improve the main psychological symptoms of anorexia.

    “Psilocybin, however, might be a game changer, because it could have the potential to shift thinking patterns and behaviour in those who have had anorexia for a long time.”

    Janet Treasure, Professor of Adult Psychiatry at King’s College, said: “Currently there are no drug treatments for anorexia nervosa and psychological treatments are less effective in people with comorbid depression and a long duration of illness.

    “Based on the results from early studies of psilocybin it is important that we now investigate the possibility that this could be a new treatment for anorexia nervosa.”

    A team at the University of California has already carried out a safety trial on a small group of patients that showed higher and lower doses of the drug were safe and did not harm volunteers. Some patients reported positive effects.

    Professor Walter Kaye, who led this trial, said: “Patients often hate their body shape and believe they are fat. Some of the patients in our trial reported a different, positive view of their body image. The early results offer hope that this treatment could be a breakthrough.”

    Psilocybin is already being used in trials to treat post-traumatic stress disorder and treatment resistant depression.

    Experts think it could also help treat other eating disorders such as bulimia which affects 700,000 people in the UK.

    Many anorexics have “comorbidities” such as anxiety, panic attacks and obsessive-compulsive disorders which could also be helped by psilocybin.

  • 39 минут назад 25.09.2022Health Care
    The food that helps eliminate ‘excessive daytime sleepiness’ if it replaces carbohydrates

    When you think of sleeping problems, not sleeping enough probably comes to mind. It’s expected that roughly a third of people in the UK struggle with insomnia. But sleeping too much can also be an issue, albeit a less common one. At its extremes, excessive sleepiness – known as hypersomnia – can cause dysfunction in your family and social life. It’s also highly associated with car accidents. But studies show that simple dietary changes could help.

    The Sleep Foundation explained people with hypersomnia tend to sleep between nine to 11 hours per day but still feel tired.

    The common symptoms, the health body explains, include not feeling “refreshed upon waking up” and feeling like you could “nap any time”.

    Hypersomnia is a recognised issue and if you often fall asleep during the day or sleepiness affects your life day to day, you should see your GP, suggested the NHS.

    People with hypersomnia may include wake-promoting medicines, like modafinil and stimulants. But there are also simple behavioural changes that are known to reduce excessive sleepiness. Studies have identified several foods that have shown positive effects.

    The study found replacing five percent of energy intake from protein with an equal amount of saturated fat and carbohydrate increased the odds of having excessive daytime sleepiness.

    Interestingly, the study also noted that the odds of having excessive sleepiness were higher when carbohydrates were replaced with saturated fat.

    But these odds decreased when saturated fats were replaced with unsaturated fat, or back to carbohydrates.

    Another study found that eating more protein-rich foods, as well as decreasing the odds of daytime sleepiness could improve sleep duration and reduce sleepiness.

    There are several other habits people who find themselves sleeping too much can introduce.

    The NHS recommends taking the following steps:

    Excessive daytime sleepiness is often coupled with other conditions that may cause it.

    Many people who experience hypersomnia struggle with narcolepsy. The other symptoms of this include falling into a deep sleep anywhere, without warning.

    They may also deal with sleep apnea, which is linked to loud snorting, breathing and snoring at night.

    Restless legs syndrome is also common among people with hypersomnia. This causes an unusual feeling in your legs, particularly at night.

  • 39 минут назад 25.09.2022Health Care
    Green tea can prevent ‘eroding’ of cartilage and ease arthritis symptoms – expert

    It is thought more than 10 million Britons are living with arthritis and other joint problems. Depending on the type of condition you have it can leave you with pain and mobility issues. While there is no cure yet, there are a number of things you can do to try to ease the symptoms.

    One expert recommended drinking green tea as a way to help.

    Monika Wassermann, medical director at oliolusso.com, told Express.co.uk: “Drinking a cup or two of green tea can ease joint aches.

    “It’s packed with epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) antioxidants that have proven to suppress production of some body chemicals that contribute to arthritis and other inflammation issues.

    “EGCG can also prevent eroding or wearing out of cartilage, the common trigger of joint pain, relieving pain.”

    Epigallocatechin gallate is a plant compound believed to have many health-boosting properties including reducing inflammation and promoting weight loss.

    One cup (around 250 ml) of green tea usually contains around 50 to 100mg of EGCG.

    Dr Wassermann’s recommendation was backed by a study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science.

    The research, conducted in 2016, trialled the consumption of green tea by arthritis patients for a six-month period accompanied either by infliximab (a drug used to treat arthritis) or an exercise plan.

    It found that green tea and exercise were effective at easing arthritis symptoms.

    The paper says: “Both exercise and green tea interventions appeared to be beneficial as nondrug modulates for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) disorders.”

    It concludes: “In the present study, clinical improvements in disease activity, health quality, and bone resorption and formation biomarkers were observed in all RA patients following green tea and exercise therapy interventions.

    “The data suggested that green tea and exercise might be of interest in RA therapy depending on to the patient’s needs and disease activity status.”

    The most common type of arthritis in the UK is osteoarthritis, affecting nearly nine million people.

    To begin with, it compromises the smooth cartilage lining of the joint, making movement more difficult and leading to pain and stiffness.

    It typically affects joints in the hands, knees, spine and hips.

    The second most common type of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, which is when the body’s immune system targets affected joints, causing pain and swelling.

    Symptoms of arthritis will depend on what type you have, but can include:

    Dr Wassermann advised on other foods to help with arthritis.

    “Other foods with anti-inflammatory properties include; cherries, berries, nuts, olive oil, avocados, and garlic,” she said.

  • 6 часов, 39 минут назад 25.09.2022Health Care
    Dementia: The common cooking ingredient which could double your risk – ‘Destructive’

    The number of dementia cases is set to triple by 2050 as populations around the world get older. However, age isn’t the only driver of cognitive decline. Research has also tied chilli peppers to a higher risk of the mind-robbing condition.

    Whether you use it as a defining flavour for your curry or an extra fiery kick for your marinade, capsaicin is the main pungent ingredient in chilli that gives it its hot taste.

    Sadly, for the lovers of heat out there, this chemical is also what’s been linked to cognitive decline.

    Nutritionist Rory Batt said: “Capsaicin has been found in a couple of studies to lead to (neuronal) cell death through a phenomenon known as excitotoxicity.

    “Basically, very high dose capsaicin can cause an excessive and prolonged release of cellular calcium via activating a receptor called TRPV1, which initiates a cascade of events eventually leading to cell death. This is known as excitotoxicity.

    “Because cognitive decline is in part underpinned by neurodegeneration (the death of neuronal cells), then there is possibility capsaicin could play a role [in cognitive decline] via this mechanism.”

    Furthermore, the nutritionist isn’t the only one to highlight the potentially “destructive” effects of chillies.

    According to research, published in the journal Nutrients, the spicy ingredient could almost double your risk of dementia.

    Looking at more than 4,852 Chinese adults, the researchers determined that eating more than 50 grams of chilli a day was associated with an increased risk.

    The participants’ chilli intake was assessed by a three-day food record during home visits.

    Although the research has placed a red flag on chillies, the researchers also shared that further studies are needed to draw a firm conclusion.

    However, you might not want to throw out your chilli stash just yet, according to Batt.

    The nutritionist explained that moderate consumption of the spicy ingredient has neutral effects on cognition.

    What’s more, he even suggested that consuming between one to 20 grams a day might offer some benefits.

    Batt said: “It is very likely that the dose makes the poison. A little is protective, too much destructive.

    “The right amount of TRPV1 activation and calcium release from capsaicin is actually responsible for a lot of very beneficial effects (but as we know from above too much could lead to cell death-excitotoxicity).

    “There is good reason to believe that capsaicin is good for cognitive health (in the right doses).”

    The reason why it’s so difficult to draw a conclusion on the spicy food comes down to the type of research looking at chillies and dementia.

    Dr Louise Durrant, Nutrition Communications Manager, British Nutrition Foundation, said: “The scientific research looking at potential associations between chilli intake and cognitive decline has its limitations.

    “It is mostly based on observational data which cannot tell us whether a specific food is the direct cause of a health outcome such as cognitive decline, and also provides no clear indication of the mechanisms behind how chilli consumption could be linked to cognitive function.

    “The evidence available to date does not indicate a need to change our average consumption of chilli for the sake of our cognitive health.”

    However, if you want to play it extra safe, you could follow Batt’s advice of sticking to a dose between one and 20 grams of chilli per day.

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Health Care Eating carrots during pregnancy makes babies happy and kale turns them to 'tears'