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Oct 11

News: Health Herbal Medicine Research Latest News

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  • Taurine may slow ageing process, research suggests Friday June 09th, 2023

    Taurine – a nutrient found in foods with protein such as meat or fish – may slow down the ageing process, scientists have said.

    A team of international researchers found that taurine supplements slow ageing in mice and monkeys – extending life and health in middle-aged mice by up to 12%.

    The scientists said their findings, published in the journal Science, make the case for further studies with human trials.

    Study leader Vijay Yadav, assistant professor of genetics and development at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, said: “Human society is ageing.

    “It is associated with changes in molecular composition within us.”

    He added: “For the last 25 years, scientists have been trying to find factors that not only let us live longer, but also increase healthspan, the time we remain healthy in our old age.

    “This study suggests that taurine could be an elixir of life within us that helps us live longer and healthier lives.”

    Taurine is an amino acid found in meat, fish and eggs, and plays an important role in supporting immune health, nervous system function and energy production.

    Some energy drinks have taurine added to them, due to its hypothesised effect on mental and athletic performance.

    Previous research has shown taurine deficiency to be associated with ageing but Prof Yadav said it was not clear whether it actively directs the ageing process or is just a passenger going along for the ride.

    For the study, the researchers looked at blood samples and measured the taurine concentrations at different ages in mice, monkeys, and humans.

    They tested nearly 250 female and male mice around 14 months old, about 45 years of age in people terms, giving half of them a taurine supplement and the other half a control solution.

    The team found that consuming taurine supplements increased average lifespan by 12% in female mice and 10% in males.

    This translates to three to four extra months for mice, equivalent to about seven or eight human years, the researchers said.

    The team also found that daily intake of 500 and 1000 milligrams of taurine supplement per kilogram of body weight was also associated with improvements in strength, coordination, and cognitive functions in the rodents.

    Prof Yadav said: “Not only did we find that the animals lived longer, we also found that they’re living healthier lives.”

    The team then tested the effects of taurine supplements in middle-aged monkeys and found that those taking it every day for six months also showed improvements in their immune systems, bone density and overall metabolic health.

    The researchers then looked at data from a study involving 12,000 European adults aged 60 and over.

    They found that people with higher taurine levels were healthier, with fewer cases of type 2 diabetes, lower obesity levels, and lower levels of inflammation.

    Prof Yadav said: “These are associations, which do not establish causation but the results are consistent with the possibility that taurine deficiency contributes to human ageing.”

    Lastly, the researchers measured taurine levels of male athletes and sedentary people who took part in a strenuous cycling workout, before and after the activity.

    They said a “significant increase” in taurine levels was seen in both athletes – such as sprinters and endurance runners – and sedentary people.

    Prof Yadav said: “No matter the individual, all had increased taurine levels after exercise, which suggests that some of the health benefits of exercise may come from an increase in taurine.”

    Based on their findings, the researchers said anti-ageing human clinical trials, which are already investigating drugs such as metformin and rapamycin, should also include taurine.

    Prof Yadav said: “Taurine abundance goes down with age, so restoring taurine to a youthful level in old age may be a promising anti-ageing strategy.”

    Source: Sky News

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  • Want to remain healthy as you get older? Just swing your arms! How an ancient Chinese technique can help improve your walking speed, posture and flexibility and make everyday tasks that much easier Saturday June 03rd, 2023
    • Over 1,000-year-old exercise routine consists of sequence of five arm swings

    Forget expensive gym memberships – the secret to a healthy old age could be as simple as swinging your arms.

    Walking speed, posture and flexibility all improved in women who did a traditional Chinese arm-swinging exercise three times a week for two months, a study found.

    The women, who were in their 60s and 70s, also found day-to-day activities, such as dressing and cooking, easier after practising Shuai Shou Gong.

    Even touching their toes was less of a stretch.

    Researcher Professor Neil Roberts, of Edinburgh University, said: ‘These findings demonstrate that the gentle, rhythmic, whole-body sequence of movements of Shuai Shou Gong may be readily learned and enjoyed by older adults and improves general health and wellbeing.’

    The exercise routine, which is more than 1,000 years old, consists of a sequence of five arm swings. The first four involve swinging the arms back and then forward, to shoulder height.

    During the fifth swing, you bend you knees twice – once when swinging your arms back and again when bringing them forward. The sequence is then repeated multiple times.

    The deceptively simple movements can provide a wealth of benefits. The knee bends strengthen the muscles in the hips and thighs.

    Swinging the arms stimulates the nerves, tendons and muscles around the shoulder, the journal Plos One reports:


    In the first study of its kind, 56 women aged between 60 and 80 were divided into two groups.

    Source: Daily Mail


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  • Dishwashers can be very bad for your gut health, research finds Saturday January 14th, 2023

    Residue from rinse agents is left behind on dishes after they are cleaned in professional-grade dishwashers. This damages the natural protective layer in the gut and can contribute to the onset of chronic diseases, as demonstrated by researchers working with organoids at the Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research.

    Whether it’s at a restaurant, at school or in the barracks, commercial dishwashers help plates, glasses and cutlery become squeaky clean and dry in a matter of minutes.

    These practical appliances come with risks, however, as was recently discovered in a new study by researchers at the Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research (SIAF), an associated institute of the University of Zurich (UZH). One ingredient in particular found in commercial rinse agents has a toxic effect on the gastrointestinal tract.

    Chemical residue on clean plates

    A typical cycle in a commercial dishwasher involves circulating hot water and detergent for around 60 seconds at high pressure. Afterwards, there is a second 60-second washing and drying cycle in which water and a rinse agent are applied.

    “What’s especially alarming is that in many appliances, there’s no additional wash cycle to remove the remaining rinse aid,” says Cezmi Akdis, UZH professor of experimental allergology and immunology and director of the SIAF, who led the study. “This means that potentially toxic substances remain on the dishes, where they then dry in place.”

    When the dishes are used the next time, this dried chemical residue can easily end up in the gastrointestinal tract.

    This inspired the research team under Akdis to investigate what effect the components of commercial-grade detergents and rinse agents have on the epithelial barrier in the gut – the layer of cells that lines the intestinal tract and controls what enters the body. A defect in this barrier is associated with conditions such as food allergies, gastritis, diabetes, obesity, cirrhosis of the liver, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, autism spectrum disorders, chronic depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

    Similar protective layers are also present on the skin and in the lungs. As numerous studies have shown, many additives and chemicals that we encounter in everyday life can damage these layers. “We assume that defective epithelial barriers play a role in triggering the onset of two billion chronic illnesses,” says Akdis. This connection is explained by the epithelial barrier hypothesis, which Akdis has helped develop during his more than 20 years of research in this field.

    Toxic substance in rinse agents

    The researchers used a newly developed technology for their study – human intestinal organoids and intestinal cells on microchips. The tissue forms a three-dimensional clump of cells that is very similar to the intestinal epithelium in humans.

    The team used various biomolecular methods to analyze the effect that commercial detergents and rinse aids have on these cells. They diluted these substances to reflect the amounts that would be present on dry dishes (1:10,000 to 1:40,000).

    The result was that high doses of rinse agents killed the intestinal epithelial cells and lower doses made it more permeable. Researchers also observed the activation of several genes and cell signaling proteins that could trigger inflammatory responses. A more detailed analysis showed that one component of the rinse agent – alcohol ethoxylates – was responsible for this reaction.

    According to Akdis, these findings have significant implications for public health. “The effect that we found could mark the beginning of the destruction of the gut’s epithelial layer and trigger the onset of many chronic diseases,” he says. Akdis calls for an immediate response: “It is important to inform the public about this risk, since alcohol ethoxylates seem to be commonly used in commercial dishwashers.”


    Ismail Ogulur, Yagiz Pat, Tamer Aydin, Duygu Yazici, Beate Rückert, Yaqi Penq, Juno Kim, Urszula Radzikowska, Patrick Westermann, Milena Sokolowska, Raja Dhir, Mubeccel Akdis, Kari Nadeau, Cezmi A. Akdis. Gut epithelial barrier damage caused by dishwasher detergents and rinse aids. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

    Source: The Brighter Side of News

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