Getting Fit and Getting Enough Iron Boosts Students’ Grades
Researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Pennsylvania State University have found that a student’s fitness level and iron status could be the difference in grades and can impact getting an A or a B.
In the study based at Penn State, evidence suggested female college students who were fit and had normal iron levels achieved higher grade point averages than unfit women who were iron deficient. The difference in grade point average was as much as 0.34?enough to drop or increase a letter grade.
“GPA is a very easy measure of success and something everyone can relate to,” said Karsten Koehler, assistant professor of nutrition and health sciences at Nebraska. “That’s something that resonates pretty well. It’s always nice to show an association that has a meaningful effect that translates into something everybody can apply.”
Physical fitness is also known to influence overall health, cognition and learning. Koehler and his colleagues wanted to explore the lesser known combined effects of fitness and iron deficiency on grade point average.
“Improving fitness or maintaining a high level of fitness can be important for collegiate success,” said Koehler. “Ideally, we should also make sure the diet is appropriate to prevent nutrient deficiencies.”
The study was published in The Journal of Nutrition.
Why do shorter men go bald more often?
Short men may have an increased risk of becoming bald prematurely. An international genetic study under the leadership of the University of Bonn at least points in this direction. During the study, the scientists investigated the genetic material of more than 20,000 men. Their data show that premature hair loss is linked to a range of various physical characteristics and illnesses. The work has now been published in Nature Communications.
It has already long been known that men with premature hair loss suffer from heart diseases and prostate cancer somewhat more often, now add going bald. The new genetic data now confirm suspicions that there are further connections to other characteristics and illnesses. In their study, the researchers analyzed genetic data from around 11,000 men with premature baldness. Around 12,000 men with no hair loss served as a control. The participants came from seven different countries.
Story Source: University Bonn.
Resistance training benefits older women just as much as older men
Men and women aged over 50 can reap similar relative benefits from resistance training, a new study shows. While men are likely to gain more absolute muscle size, the gains relative to body size are on par to women’s.
The findings, recently published in Sports Medicine, consolidated the results of 30 different resistance training studies involving over 1400 participants. This paper specifically compared the results of men and women aged 50 and over.
“Historically, people tended to believe that men adapted to a greater degree from resistance training compared to women,” says Dr Amanda (Mandy) Hagstrom, exercise science lecturer at UNSW Medicine & Health and senior author of the study. “The differences we found primarily relate to how we look at the data — that is, absolutely or relatively. ‘Absolute’ looks at the overall gains, while ‘relative’ is a percentage based on their body size.”
Source: by University of New South Wales
Assessing Safe Driving in High-Risk Older Adults
Memory plays a significant role in driving competence. At a basic level, memory provides drivers with the knowledge of how to operate a motor vehicle; turning the key in the ignition, shifting gears, and distinguishing the brake from the gas pedal. Drivers also need to remember their destination so that they don’t get lost. Studies have shown that there is a 62 percent increase in errors among individuals with AD, most notably in the attention skills of driving straight and in making left-hand turns. They also have pathological changes in visual processing areas, which significantly impacts visual processing, and consequently, driving performance.
Drivers with dementia and even their caregivers may lack the insight needed to limit and eventually discontinue driving. They might say something along the lines of “I have never had an accident,” which is then confirmed by their loved one, and both are in denial that they could be an unsafe driver.
SOURCE Florida Atlantic University
Why is Yawning So Contagious?
Feeling tired? Even if we aren’t tired, why do we yawn if someone else does? Experts at the University of Nottingham have published research that suggests the human propensity for contagious yawning is triggered automatically by primitive reflexes in the primary motor cortex — an area of the brain responsible for motor function.
Their latest findings show that our ability to resist yawning when someone else near us yawns is limited. And our urge to yawn is increased if we are instructed to resist yawning. But, no matter how hard we try to stifle a yawn, it might change how we yawn but it won’t alter our propensity to yawn. Importantly, they have discovered that the urge to yawn — our propensity for contagious yawning — is individual to each one of us.
Story Source: University of Nottingham.
Could Omega-3 Prevent Alzheimer’s disease?
The incidence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is expected to triple in the coming decades and no cure has been found. Recently, interest in dietary approaches for prevention of cognitive decline has increased. In particular, the omega-3 fatty acids have shown anti-amyloid, anti-tau and anti-inflammatory actions in the brains of animals. In a new article published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, researchers have found that for patients with high omega-3 levels, blood flow in specific areas of the brain is increased.
This study drew from a random sample of 166 participants from a psychiatric referral clinic for which Omega-3 Index results were available. The participants were categorized into two groups of higher EPA+DHA concentrations (>50th percentile) and lower concentrations (<50th percentile). Quantitative brain SPECT was conducted on 128 regions of their brains and each participant completed computerized testing of their neurocognitive status.
Results indicated statistically significant relationships between the Omega-3 index, regional perfusion on brain SPECT in areas involved with memory, and neurocognitive testing. Overall, the study showed positive relationships between omega-3 EPA+DHA status, brain perfusion, and cognition. Lead author Daniel G. Amen, MD, of the Amen Clinics Inc., Costa Mesa, CA, adds, “This is very important research because it shows a correlation between lower omega-3 fatty acid levels and reduced brain blood flow to regions important for learning, memory, depression and dementia.”
Story Source: provided by IOS Press