Some of the papers published in the last week were done on topics that are not typical in mainstream fitness, nutrition and sports science but provide a unique insight into crucial areas of our well-being. From how social interactions affect our addictions through the link between aerobic fitness and cognitive function to a drug that seems to be super-efficient for weight loss in obese patients, these new findings are intriguing.
Here are the highlights:
Social interactions after isolation may counteract cravings
Social isolation can trigger sugar and cigarette cravings, but socialising may offer relief, a study in rats has shown.
Social interaction may help reverse food and cigarette cravings triggered by being in social isolation, a study in rats has found. The study used an animal model of drug addiction to show that a return to social interaction gives the same result as living in a rich, stimulating environment in reducing cravings for both sugar and nicotine rewards.
Source: University of New South Wales
Intensity not paramount for physical training during cancer therapy
People receiving treatment for cancer are known to feel better with physical training. But does it make any difference how vigorously they exercise? A new study shows that whether the training is intensive or rather less strenuous, its effect is roughly the same.
Source: Uppsala University
Blink! The link between aerobic fitness and cognition
Researchers have found evidence that spontaneous eye blink activity, which reflects activity in the dopaminergic system, explains the connection between fitness and cognitive function. This is the first study to indicate that dopamine has an essential role in linking aerobic fitness and cognition. These findings open the door to new research regarding the mechanisms by which exercise improves brain function, and may lead to novel fitness strategies for enhancing cognition.
Source: University of Tsukuba
Two studies shed light on how, where body can add new fat cells
Gaining more fat cells is probably not what most people want, although that might be exactly what they need to fight off diabetes and other diseases. How and where the body can add fat cells has remained a mystery - but two new studies from UT Southwestern provide answers on the way this process works.
Source: UT Southwestern Medical Center
Coffee lovers, rejoice! Drinking more coffee associated with decreased heart failure risk
Circulation: Heart Failure Journal Report
An analysis of three large, well-known heart disease studies found drinking one or more cups of caffeinated coffee was associated with decreased heart failure risk. Drinking decaffeinated coffee did not have the same benefit and may be associated with an increased risk for heart failure. There is not yet enough clear evidence to recommend increasing coffee consumption to decrease risk of heart disease with the same strength and certainty as stopping smoking, losing weight or exercising.
Source: American Heart Association
Mediterranean-style diet linked to better thinking skills in later life
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. Closely adhering to a Mediterranean diet was associated with higher scores on a range of memory and thinking tests among adults in their late 70s, the research found. The study found no link, however, between the Mediterranean-style diet and better brain health.
Source: University of Edinburgh
'Gamechanger' drug for treating obesity cuts body weight by 20 percent
About one third (35 percent) of people who took a new drug for treating obesity lost more than one-fifth of their total body weight, according to a major global study.
Source: University College London
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