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H2S could be next anti-ageing agent

Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) may play a wide-ranging role in staving off ageing, says a research team from China who has explored the compound’s plethora of potential anti-ageing pathways.

H2S has been gaining increasing attention as an important endogenous signaling molecule because of its significant effects on the cardiovascular and nervous systems, the team noted.

The evidence is mounting, they said, that hydrogen sulfide slows ageing by inhibiting free-radical reactions, by activating SIRT1, an enzyme believed to be a regulator of lifespan, and probably through its interactions with a gene, klotho, which appears to have its own market basket of anti-ageing activity.

Hydrogen sulfide is produced within the human body, and has a variety of important physiological effects. For example, it relaxes the vascular endothelium and smooth muscle cells, which is important to maintaining clean arteries as one ages, explained first author Zhi-Sheng Jiang, of the University of South China, Hunan.

It functions as an antioxidant. And it inhibits expression of pro-inflammatory factors, all of which “imply an important role in ageing and age-associated diseases,” according to the study.

Eating coloured food may prevent Lou Gehrig’s disease

Increased consumption of foods containing colorful carotenoids, particularly beta-carotene and lutein, may prevent or delay the onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), researchers have suggested.

Carotenoids give fruits and vegetables their bright orange, red, or yellow colors, and are a source of dietary vitamin A.

Prior studies report that oxidative stress plays a role in the development of ALS. Further studies have shown that individuals with high intake of antioxidants, such as vitamin E, have a reduced ALS risk. Because vitamin C or carotenoids are also antioxidants, researchers examined their relation to ALS risk.

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurological disease that attacks nerve cells (neurons) in the brain and spinal cord, which control voluntary muscles. As the upper and lower motor neurons degenerate, the muscles they control gradually weaken and waste away, leading to paralysis.

Smaller the better when it comes to snacking

Smaller snack portions are capable of providing similar feelings of satisfaction as larger ones, according to a Cornell University study.

Using chocolate chips, apple pie, and potato chips, researchers Ellen van Kleef, Mitsuru Shimizu, and Brian Wansink designed a study to determine if people who were given smaller portions of snack foods would feel hungrier or satisfied fifteen minutes after eating.

Two groups with different portion sizes were tested. The larger portion size group was given 100g of chocolate, 200g of apple pie, and 80g of potato chips, all slightly larger than the recommended portion sizes. This equalled 1370 calories in snack foods. The other group was given 10g, 40g, and 10g of these same foods respectively, for a total of 195 calories.

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