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what's the buzz...

Eating fish can boost memory

A research team at the University of Pittsburgh led by an Indian origin scientist has found that healthy young adults ages 18-25 can improve their working memory even further by increasing their Omega-3 fatty acid intake.

While Omega-3 essential fatty acids—found in foods like wild fish and grass-fed livestock—are necessary for human body functioning, their effects on the working memory of healthy young adults have not been studied until now.

“Before seeing this data, I would have said it was impossible to move young healthy individuals above their cognitive best,” said Bita Moghaddam, project investigator and professor of neuroscience.

“We found that members of this population can enhance their working memory performance even further, despite their already being at the top of their cognitive game,” Moghaddam noted.

Led by Rajesh Narendarn, project principal investigator and associate professor of radiology, the Pitt research team sought healthy young men and women from all ethnicities to boost their Omega-3 intake with supplements for six months.
They were monitored monthly through phone calls and outpatient procedures.

Newly identified compounds can kill malarial parasites

Researchers have identified two new chemical compounds that can rapidly kill the blood-borne Plasmodium parasites that cause malaria.

The finding has offered a new means to eradicate malaria infections. Malaria causes up to 3 million deaths each year, predominantly afflicting vulnerable people such as children under five and pregnant women, in tropical regions of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Treatments are available for this disease, but the Plasmodium parasite is fast becoming resistant to the most common drugs, and health authorities say they desperately need new strategies to tackle the disease.

This new potential treatment uses molecules that interfere with an important stage of the parasite’s growth cycle and harnesses this effect to kill them. The impact is so acute it kills ninety per cent of the parasites in just three hours and all those tested in laboratory samples of infected human blood cells, within twelve hours.

Resveratrol in red wine may not offer medical benefits

Resveratrol, an ingredient in red wine thought to improve insulin sensitivity, reduces risk of heart disease and increases longevity, does not appear to offer these benefits in healthy women, a new research has revealed.

The study, carried out at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, involved 29 post-menopausal women who did not have type 2 diabetes and who were reasonably healthy.

“Resveratrol supplements have become popular because studies in cell systems and rodents show that resveratrol can improve metabolic function and prevent or reverse certain health problems like diabetes, heart disease and even cancer,” said senior investigator Samuel Klein, MD, director of Washington University’s Center for Human Nutrition.

“But our data demonstrate that resveratrol supplementation does not have metabolic benefits in relatively healthy, middle-aged women,” he noted.

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