New York- Sipping green tea could be quite beneficial as researchers have found that a compound in the popular beverage may increase levels of a natural anti-cancer protein, known for its ability to repair DNA damage or destroy cancerous cells, says a new study.
The study of the direct interaction between the anti-cancer protein p53 and the green tea compound, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), published in the journal Nature Communications, points to a new target for cancer drug discovery.
"Both p53 and EGCG molecules are extremely interesting. Mutations in p53 are found in over 50 percent of human cancer, while EGCG is the major antioxidant in green tea, a popular beverage worldwide," said corresponding author Chunyu Wang, Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.
"Now we find that there is a previously unknown, direct interaction between the two, which points to a new path for developing anti-cancer drugs. Our work helps to explain how EGCG is able to boost p53's anti-cancer activity, opening the door to developing drugs with EGCG-like compounds."
The protein p53 has several well-known anti-cancer functions, including halting cell growth to allow for DNA repair, activating DNA repair, and initiating programmed cell death -- called apoptosis -- if DNA damage cannot be repaired.
One end of the protein, known as the N-terminal domain, has a flexible shape, and therefore, can potentially serve several functions depending on its interaction with multiple molecules.
EGCG is a natural antioxidant, which means it helps to undo the near constant damage caused by using oxygen metabolism. Found in abundance in green tea, EGCG is also packaged as an herbal supplement.
The researchers found that the interaction between EGCG and p53 preserves the protein from degradation.
Typically, after being produced within the body, p53 is quickly degraded when the N-terminal domain interacts with a protein called MDM2.
This regular cycle of production and degradation holds p53 levels at a low constant.
"When EGCG binds with p53, the protein is not being degraded through MDM2, so the level of p53 will increase with the direct interaction with EGCG, and that means there is more p53 for anti-cancer function. This is a very important interaction," said Wang. (Agency)
London- People who eat a Mediterranean-style diet -- particularly one rich in green leafy vegetables and low in meat -- are more likely to stay mentally sharp in later life, a study shows.
The study indicated that closely adhering to a Mediterranean diet was associated with higher scores in a range of memory and thinking tests among adults in their late 70s.
"Eating more green leafy vegetables and cutting down on red meat might be two key food elements that contribute to the benefits of the Mediterranean-style diet," said researcher Janie Corley from the University of Edinburgh.
For the study, published in the journal Experimental Gerentology, the researchers tested the thinking skills of more than 500 people aged 79 and without dementia.
The participants completed tests of problem solving, thinking speed, memory and word knowledge, as well as a questionnaire about their eating habits during the previous year.
More than 350 of the group also underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scan to gain insights into their brain structure.
The team used statistical models to look for associations between a person's diet and their thinking skills and brain health in later life.
The findings show that, in general, people who most closely adhered to a Mediterranean diet had the highest cognitive function scores, even when accounting for childhood IQ, smoking, physical activity and health factors. The differences were small but statistically significant.
The individual components of the diet that appeared to be most strongly associated with better thinking skills were green leafy vegetables and a lower red meat intake.
"In our sample, the positive relationship between a Mediterranean diet and thinking skills is not accounted for by having a healthier brain structure, as one might expect," said Corley.
"Though it's possible there may be other structural or functional brain correlates with this measure of diet, or associations in specific regions of the brain, rather than the whole brain, as measured here," Corley added. (Agency)
New York- A vegan diet is more effective for weight loss and cholesterol control than a Mediterranean diet, a new study suggests.
The findings, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, indicated that the study participants lost an average of 6 kilograms on the vegan diet, compared with no mean change on the Mediterranean diet.
"Previous studies have suggested that both Mediterranean and vegan diets improve body weight and cardiometabolic risk factors, but until now, their relative efficacy had not been compared in a randomized trial," said researcher Hana Kahleova from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a non-profit organization in the US.
According to the researchers, a low-fat vegan diet has better outcomes for weight, body composition, insulin sensitivity, and cholesterol levels, compared with a Mediterranean diet.
For the study, the team randomly assigned participants -- who were overweight and had no history of diabetes -- to a vegan diet or a Mediterranean diet in a 1:1 ratio.
For 16 weeks, half of the participants started with a low-fat vegan diet that eliminated animal products and focused on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
The other half started with the Mediterranean diet, which followed the PREDIMED protocol, which focuses on fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, low-fat dairy, and extra virgin olive oil, while limiting or avoiding red meat and saturated fats.
The study found that the vegan diet decreased total and LDL cholesterol levels by 18.7 mg/dL and 15.3 mg/dL, respectively, while there were no significant cholesterol changes on the Mediterranean diet.
Blood pressure decreased on both diets, but more on the Mediterranean diet, the researchers said. (agency)
Coconut oil is natures hair care miracle, offering 10-fold benefits when it comes to hair health. While its numerous hair advantages are well known, here are the top 5 benefits that make coconut oil indispensable.
1. Coconut Oil Is The Ultimate Hair Protector
No one does the job of shielding hair better than coconut oil. Living in a warm and sunny environment has its own set of problems for hair. Every exposure to sun causes hair to lose moisture and shine, increasing dryness. But not when there's coconut oil to protect it. A Research Gate study reveals that coconut oil seeps 10 layers deep into the hair shaft and forms a layer of protection that continually hydrates your hair. It also has SPF and anti-oxidant abilities to safeguard from sun damage. Additionally, chemical damage from shampoos and other styling products, including heat damage, can be averted by applying coconut oil prior to exposure.
2. Coconut Oil Restores Hair Health From Within
As you tire out from superficial hair care products that do more damage than good in the long run, remember that coconut oil seeps into the deepest part of the hair shaft and rejuvenates the hair follicles to restore hair health from the inside out. The fatty acids and vitamins of this oil go deep into the hair to moisturize and hydrate the hair follicles to combat dryness.
3. Coconut Oil Is A Scalp Saviour
Humidity and extreme climatic changes are not friends to our scalp. With abundant anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, coconut oil has the ability to prevent and treat multiple scalp issues including dandruff, dryness, and other infections. It also efficiently removes sebum build-up, a critical factor causing greasiness in the scalp and hair.
4. Coconut Oil Effectively Removes Frizz
While we wish everyday were a good hair day, the reality is often quite different. Frizz, which is a result of moisture being sucked out of hair, generally happens when the harsh chemicals in some shampoos deplete the hair of its natural moisture. During the drying process, moisture is sucked out, especially in humid climes leading to frizzy hair. Applying a few drops of coconut oil to freshly washed, damp hair, ensures that the moisture stays locked in and your hair stays frizz free.
5. Coconut Oil is Natural and Environmental Friendly
Coconuts trees, common as they are in the tropics, literally grow abundantly all around us. Hence, coconut oil is natural, local, available in plenty and perfectly suited to our hair's multi-faceted needs, Let us ditch the multitude of exorbitantly priced, non-biodegradable and unnecessary hair products, and replace it with the all-natural goodness of coconut oil and do our part in protecting the environment. Our hair, our bank account and our planet will thank us for it.
(As told by Aparna Santhanam, dermatologist, and hair and wellness expert. She can be reached at [email protected] The views expressed are personal.)
London, If your child is fully vegan, then there are chances that they may have a lower level of vitamin D, a new study suggests.
The findings indicate that children on a fully vegan diet were found to have significantly lower vitamin D levels compared to children without a special diet despite having regular vitamin D supplementation.
Along with that, the study also suggested that their vitamin A status was lowered too.
"Our results indicate that the health effects of strict diets on children cannot be extrapolated from studies on adults. In addition to vitamin D intake, attention must be paid to adequate intake of vitamin A and protein from various sources." said researcher Topi Hovinen from the University of Helsinki.
Vegan diets gain popularity especially among young adults and through choices of the families vegan diet is becoming more common in young children, too.
The motives behind choosing a vegan lifestyle are ecological, ethical and health-related -- vegan diets exclude all animal-based products.
According to the researchers, it is recommended that full vegan diet is always supplemented with vitamin B12, vitamin D and iodine and based on individual assessment the supplementation for calcium, vitamin B2, iron and zinc may be needed.
For the study, published in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine, the research team studied comprehensively the nutrition and metabolism of 40 healthy children.
The children were following a vegan, vegetarian or omnivore diet according to the choice of their families. Their nutritional intake, metabolic biomarkers and micronutrient statuses were extensively studied.
Levels for LDL and HDL cholesterol, essential amino acid and docosahexaenoic acid, a fatty acid with a central role in development of visual function, were low while folate levels were remarkably high in vegan children, the researchers found.
The team says that the new findings motivate further and larger studies on the health consequences of a vegan diet in young children. (IANS)
India is gearing to celebrate Makar Sankranti on 14th January 2021. Til ka Ladoo has been an indispensable part of Makar Sankranti celebrations for centuries. Makar Sankranti marks the beginning of the harvest season. It is around 14th Jan when the sun steps into Capricorn (Makar in Sanskrit), and starts on its Northward journey, a transition called Uttarayan in Sanskrit. This puts a gradual end to the cold winter days and paves way for a pleasant spring.
The duration of sunshine increases which is good for crops. On this occasion, people prepare several delicacies with til(sesame) and gur(jaggery). Til ki papdi, til rewadi, til gajak are some of them. However, the most common and loved Sankranti snack is til ka laddoo. From Punjabi Lohri celebrations to the Marathi Sankranti feast, til ka ladoos are a staple part of the festivities. There is much variety of til ka ladoos too. Some traditional preparations also add grated coconut to the til-jaggery mixture.
Apart from Sankranti, Til ka laddoos are a common fixture throughout winters as well. Til helps in keeping the body warm, which is why the delicacy is made in huge batches much in advance and stored for weeks in airtight containers. In addition to generating body heat, sesame is also a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and healthy oils. It contains calcium, iron, magnesium, hosphorous, manganese, copper, zinc, fiber, thiamin, vitamin B6, and folate.
Ladoos were invented way back in the 4th century B.C for a totally different purpose compared to what we use them today for. If we go back in history, it is believed that ladoos were originally invented for medicinal purposes by the father of Indian surgery and medicine Susruta. 'Til ka Ladoo', which we all relish today was invented back in the 4th century B.C. Susruta began using it as an antiseptic to treat his patients.
The combination of sesame seeds, jaggery, and peanuts was known to have immense healing properties. Ever since then, til ka ladoo became a common fare in winters and Sankranti celebrations which fall during winters. So much so, that it is impossible for us to imagine a Sankranti spread without a mention of Til ka Ladoo.
Prepared with Til and Gur, Til Ladoo is an amazing health booster that offers oodles of benefits. The tasty treats enhance the immunity of the body, boost bone health, and helps in curing a lot of diseases. Til ladoo triggers hair growth, enhances skin glow, boosts digestion, strengthens dental health.
Til Ladoo helps in reducing blood pressure, migraine, constipation, and hypertension. Women love it for so many reasons. Its antioxidant properties fight free radicals, helps delay aging, lose weight, and even prevent cancer. But best of all is that Til Ladoo boosts mil production for new mothers. This dessert is also great for busting stress and depression.
How to make Til Ladoo?
Dry roast 1/2 cup white sesame seeds and 1/2 cup black sesame seeds.
Heart 1 cup jaggery and 1/4 cup water.
Keep the flame on low, stir well, and dissolve jaggery. Let it boil for 5 minutes.
Turn off the flame and add roasted sesame seeds.
Next, add 2 tbsp peanuts, 2tbsp cashews, and 1/2 tsp cardamom powder.
Combine everything well and allow to cool for 5 minutes till the mixture thickness.
Grease your hand with little ghee and prepare balls of the size of your choice.
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