what's the buzz

Crash dieting gives five-year health boost

Eating an ultra-low calorie diet for just a few weeks could have long-term health benefits, Scottish experts have suggested.

Experts at Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, say the “crash diets” – where people consume less than 800 calories-a-day – lead to significant weight loss, improve overweight people’s blood pressure, increase fertility and reduce the symptoms of asthma.

A team from the university’s Centre for Obesity Research and Epidemiology reviewed 32 studies which had looked into the effects of very-low-energy-diets (VLEDs) on obesity and related health issues, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

The long-term benefits of the crash diets showed significant weight loss in almost all the previous studies.

“We have found that long-term benefits such as improvements in cardiovascular risk, respiratory disorders and fertility are achievable with the use of these short-burst diets,” the Daily Express quoted Dr Catherine Rolland, a member of the research team, as saying.

“The knock-on effect was seen for at least five years after the diet ended,” Rolland added.

The review also found little evidence to suggest any negative effects of VLEDs on bone health, liver or kidney function – areas of concern highlighted in some previous weight-loss studies into restricted dieting.

Midlife fitness key to healthier aging

Being physically fit during your 30s, 40s, and 50s not only helps extend lifespan, but it also increases the chances of ageing healthily, free from chronic illness, say researchers.

For decades, research has shown that higher cardiorespiratory fitness levels lessen the risk of death, but it previously had been unknown just how much fitness might affect the burden of chronic disease in the most senior years – a concept known as morbidity compression.

“We’ve determined that being fit is not just delaying the inevitable, but it is actually lowering the onset of chronic disease in the final years of life,” said Dr. Jarett Berry, assistant professor of internal medicine and senior author of the study.

Investigators at UT Southwestern Medical Center and The Cooper Institute examined the patient data of 18,670 participants in the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study, research that contains more than 250,000 medical records maintained over a 40-year span.

Energy drinks may helpimprove heart function

Energy drinks can exert acute positive benefits on heart performance, a new study has revealed.

The current study, led by Dr Matteo Cameli from University of Siena, which used avant-garde technique in echocardiography and echo Doppler analysis to explore the influence of energy drinks on heart function on 35 healthy subjects, found that their ventricular functions were better and enhanced.

The participants were given an energy drink (168 ml/m2) containing caffeine and taurine.
When their heart rate, blood pressure, left ventricular function and right ventricular function were analysed one hour after consumption, they were found to be relatively deviated from baseline values.

Although the increase in heart rate, systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure were not significantly changed, left ventricular function improved in comparison to baseline.

 The functioning of right ventricle also improved one hour after consuming energy drinks.
"Taken together these results show that energy drinks enhance contractions of both the left and right ventricles, thereby delivering a positive effect on myocardial function," Dr Cameli said.

Comments (+)