Mix of stress and air pollution may lead to cognitive difficulties in children

Children with elevated exposure to early life stress in the home and elevated prenatal exposure to air pollution exhibited heightened symptoms of attention and thought problems, according to researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and Columbia Psychiatry. Early life stress is common in youth from disadvantaged backgrounds who also often live in areas with greater exposure to air pollution. Continue reading “Mix of stress and air pollution may lead to cognitive difficulties in children”

Green leafy vegetables may prevent liver steatosis

A larger portion of green leafy vegetables in the diet may reduce the risk of developing liver steatosis, or fatty liver. In a study published in PNAS researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden show how a larger intake of inorganic nitrate, which occurs naturally in many types of vegetable, reduces accumulation of fat in the liver. There is currently no approved treatment for the disease, which can deteriorate into life-threatening conditions such as cirrhosis and liver cancer. Continue reading “Green leafy vegetables may prevent liver steatosis”

Slow, steady increase in exercise intensity is best for heart health

For most people, the benefits of aerobic exercise far outweigh the risks, however, extreme endurance exercise — such as participation in marathons and triathlons for people who aren’t accustomed to high-intensity exercise — can raise the risk of sudden cardiac arrest, atrial fibrillation (a heart rhythm disorder) or heart attacks, according to a new Scientific Statement “Exercise-Related Acute Cardiovascular Events and Potential Deleterious Adaptations Following Long-Term Exercise Training: Placing the Risks Into Perspective-An Update from the American Heart Association,” published in the Association’s premier journal Circulation. Continue reading “Slow, steady increase in exercise intensity is best for heart health”

Aerobic exercise training linked to enhanced brain function

Individuals at risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) because of family history or genetic predisposition who engaged in six months of aerobic exercise training improved their brain glucose metabolism and higher-order thinking abilities (e.g., planning and mental flexibility) called executive function; these improvements occurred in conjunction with increased cardiorespiratory fitness. The results of this study are published in a special issue of Brain Plasticity devoted to Exercise and Cognition. Continue reading “Aerobic exercise training linked to enhanced brain function”

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