London. If you thought overweight males were always at a disadvantage, think again. Researchers have found that fat men are having more sex than their thinner peers. For the study, published in the journal PLOS One, the researchers from the University College London and Anglia Ruskin University in the UK, picked nearly 5,000 sexually active British people.
"I believe the observed association is owing to spouses in satisfying relationships relaxing their efforts to maintain their weight because they are no longer motivated to attract a mate," study lead researcher Lee Smith, was quoted as saying by thesun.co.uk.
"Therefore, those who are overweight are more likely to be in a happy and satisfying relationship and more likely to engage in frequent sexual activity," Smith added.
According to the study, among sexually active older people, fat males were a third more likely than their slim counterparts to have sex in previous week. The research found that likelihood of having sex in the past year was the same across all sizes.
However, fat men did it more often as they have an excess of confidence to go with the flab, said the report. The researchers also revealed that overweight women were 16 per cent likelier to have had sex in the previous week.
"Some women feel attracted to all that protective bulk. Well-fed men also have an excess of energy to burn," psychotherapist Phillip Hodson, was quoted as saying by thesun.co.uk.
London. Diet significantly influences mental health and wellbeing, but this link is firmly established only in some areas such as the ability of a high fat and low carbohydrate diet (a ketogenic diet) to help children with epilepsy, and the effect of vitamin B12 deficiency on fatigue, poor memory, and depression, says a study. The research, published in the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology, cautions that the evidence of a link between diet and mental health for many diets is comparatively weak.
"We have found that there is increasing evidence of a link between a poor diet and the worsening of mood disorders, including anxiety and depression. However, many common beliefs about the health effects of certain foods are not supported by solid evidence," said lead author Suzanne Dickson, Professor at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
The researchers who conducted a comprehensive review of studies linking diet with mental health also found that there is good evidence that a Mediterranean diet, rich in vegetables and olive oil, shows mental health benefits, such as giving some protection against depression and anxiety. However, for many foods or supplements, the evidence is inconclusive, as for example with the use of vitamin D supplements, or with foods believed to be associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or autism.
"With individual conditions, we often found very mixed evidence," said Dickson. "With ADHD for example, we can see an increase in the quantity of refined sugar in the diet seems to increase ADHD and hyperactivity, whereas eating more fresh fruit and vegetables seems to protect against these conditions. "But there are comparatively few studies, and many of them don't last long enough to show long-term effects," she added.
The scientists confirmed that some foods had readily provable links to mental health, for example, that nutrition in the womb and in early life can have significant effects on brain function in later life. Proving the effect of diet on mental health in the general population was more difficult. "In healthy adults, dietary effects on mental health are fairly small, and that makes detecting these effects difficult: it may be that dietary supplementation only works if there are deficiencies due to a poor diet," Dickson said.
"We also need to consider genetics: subtle differences in metabolism may mean that some people respond better to changes in the diet than others," she added. There are also practical difficulties that need to be overcome in testing diets. Food is not a drug, so it needs to be tested differently to a drug. We can give someone a dummy pill to see if there is an improvement due to the placebo effect, but you can't easily give people dummy food.
"There is a general belief that dietary advice for mental health is based on solid scientific evidence. In reality, it is very difficult to prove that specific diets or specific dietary components contribute to mental health," Dickson said. (IANS)
CABINET APPROVES CONFERRING THE STATUS OF INSTITUTION OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE TO THE CLUSTER OF AYURVEDA INSTITUTIONS AT GUJARAT AYURVED UNIVERSITY CAMPUS, JAMNAGAR
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval to confer the status of Institution of National Importance to the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Jamnagar by conglomerating the cluster of Ayurveda Institutes at Gujarat Ayurveda University campus, Jamnagar, namely, (a) Institute for Post Graduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda (b) Shri Gulabkunwerba Ayurveda Mahavidyalaya and (c) Institute of Ayurveda Pharmaceutical Sciences including Pharmacy Unit and to subsume the Maharshi Patanjali Institute for Yoga & Naturopathy Education & Research into the Department of Swasthvritta of the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda.
The Bill to that effect is to be introduced in the ensuing Session of Parliament to declare the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Jamnagar as Institution of National Importance. Considering the rapidly growing role of AYUSH Systems in addressing the Public Health challenges of India, conferring the status of National Importance will boost the role and importance of Ayurveda in Public Health. The strengthening of Ayurveda will reduce government expenditure on health as Ayurveda is cost-effective because of its preventive and curative approaches. There is rising interest and demand for knowledge and services of Ayurveda all over the world. India is the country of origin of Ayurveda and the world is looking up to India to showcase the state of art institutions providing international level education and training in Ayurveda.
Elevation of the proposed Institute to the status of Institution of National Importance will provide it the autonomy to upgrade the standard of Ayurveda education, frame various courses in Ayurveda as per national and international demand, adopt advanced evaluation methodology, etc. It will have the mandate to frame its own certification courses for deeper penetration of AYUSH across masses and will give the capacity to bring out the unrealized potential of Ayurveda for addressing the major public health challenges faced by the country. It will help the institute to develop tertiary care in Ayurveda and to secure inter-disciplinary collaborations to give a contemporary thrust to Ayurveda.
New Delhi. Researchers in Denmark found that overweight and obesity were associated with higher risks of several common cancers and according to health experts here obesity may worsen the cancer survivor-ship, including quality of life.
According to the study, published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, there were 20,706 cancers among 313,321 adults diagnosed with overweight and obesity compared with 18,480 cancers that were expected based on information from the general population.
This corresponds to a 12 per cent higher risk associated with overweight and obesity.
Excess body weight or obesity in itself may be a root cause for a number of chronic diseases and some cancers, the health experts said.
Ashish Goel, Associate Director, Surgical Oncology at Jaypee Hospital in Noida said that extra body fat undoubtedly reduces the immune system of the body, and functioning of the hormones and cells which further results in abnormal number of cells and can increase the risk of tumour formation.
"Obesity is a well known predisposing factor for endometrial ovarian breast and stomach cancers and to some extent for kidney cancers," Goel told IANS.
The study also revealed that having type 2 diabetes or alcoholism-related diseases in addition to overweight or obesity was linked with even higher risks.
The increased risk was seen for cancers previously identified as obesity-related, including pancreatic and postmenopausal breast cancers, as well as for blood and neurological cancers, it added.
"Yes, this is true that, obesity has been associated with an increased risk of various kind of cancers. Also its also proven that the obesity may worsen the cancer survivorship, including quality of life and also increasing the changes of recurrence of the disease," said J.B. Sharma, Senior Consultant, Medical Oncologist at Action Cancer Hospital in New Delhi.
Sharma added that being overweight has been directly or indirectly linked with liver cancer, thyroid cancer, endometrial cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, kidney cancer, gallbladder cancer, etc.
"Being overweight after menopause also increases breast cancer risk," he said. (IANS)
Researchers have found that more women than men die of heart failure and 50 per cent of the heart failure cases among women are caused by having a heart attack, which can be treated with modern methods.
According to the study, 50 per cent of women experiencing heart failure and the cause is generally related to having untreated high blood pressure levels over time, which leads to progressive stiffening of the heart.
There is no effective treatment for this kind of heart failure yet, the study published in the journal Nature Medicine.
"Men and women have different biologies and this results in different types of the same heart diseases. It is about time to recognise these differences," said study researcher Eva Gerdts from University of Bergen in Norway.
For the study, the researchers have compared common risk factors for heart diseases and how these affect men and women differently. They have, among other things, focused on the sex differences in the effect of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.
According to The World Health Organization (WHO), 11 per cent women and 15 per cent men are obese (BMI over 30 kg/ m2) globally. In Norway, one in five adults are obese.
"If we see this from a life span perspective, we can see that obesity increases with age, and that this trend is greater for women than men. Obesity increases the risk of having high blood pressure by a factor of three. This, in turn, increases the risk of heart disease," Gerdts said.
According to the researchers, obesity also increases the risk of diabetes 2. A woman with diabetes has a much higher relative risk of heart complications and death than a man. "We know that women with diabetes 2 are usually obese and some of the fat is stored in the heart, which makes it more vulnerable for disease," Gerdts added.
The researchers explain that many of the differences between woman and men when it comes to heart disease are connected to the sex hormone, oestrogen.
The hormone prevents the formation of connective tissue in the heart, which makes it harder for the heart to pump blood. In men the effects are just the opposite.
"We see that obese men store oestrogen in their fat cells in the abdomen, which has a bad effect on the heart," Gerdts said.
After menopause, women lose the oestrogen advantage. Their arteries become stiffer and more vulnerable for diseases, the study said.
"We think that this is part of the explanation for why high blood pressure seems to indicate higher risk of heart disease amongst women," Gerdts said.
In addition, smoking is also a part of the risk scenario for women.
"For women, the effects of risk factors such as smoking, obesity and high blood pressure increase after menopause," Gerdts concluded.
In a major breakthrough, researchers have identified how a subset of immune cells are activated to kill cancerous cells, which could hold the key to new powerful therapies against cancer.
This new study built on previous research which found that following immunotherapy some CD4+ T cells, traditionally thought to be 'helper' and 'regulator' immune cells, become cytotoxic and directly engage with and kill cancer cells. Published in the journal Immunity, the research team from University College London, examined the molecular and cellular mechanisms underpinning this activity, as part of an experimental study of immunotherapy in mice.
Researchers found that IL-2, a 'growth factor' for T cells and the 'transcription factor' Blimp-1 are responsible for initiating potent killer activity in CD4+ T cells within cancerous tumours.
"We knew these immune cells had the ability to proactively kill cancer cells with incredible potency, but to maximise their potential, we needed to know how this mechanism was activated," said study co-lead author Sergio Quezada.
"Our discovery provides the evidence and rationale for utilising Blimp-1 to maximise the anti-tumour activity of CD4+ T cells," Quezada added.
Work is now underway in our lab to develop new personalised cell therapies where the activity of Blimp-1 can be maxed up to drive potent tumour control, the researchers said.
According to the study, T cells are a subset of lymphocytes (white blood cells), which play a key role in the body's immune response. In immunotherapy T cells are modified and used to attack cancer. These cells move around our bodies, looking for infected cells and killing them.
However, T cells do not recognise most cancers, since cancers develop from our own tissues and appear normal to most T cells, the research said. The main challenge with T cell immunotherapy approaches is to find ways to direct T cells to attack cancer cells.
"Cellular therapies have only recently entered the mainstream in terms of clinical application. Our findings broaden our understanding of the regulators of T cell differentiation, illuminating new elements that might be targeted to enhance therapeutic efficacy," said study researcher Karl Peggs from the University College London in UK.
According to the researchers, the study like this helps scientists understand better the intricacies of our immune system and how it can be utilised to kill cancer cells.