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Diet rich in fish helps prevent broken hips 

Higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in blood could cause reduction in risk of postmenopausal women suffering from hip fractures, a new research has suggested. In the research, scientists analyzed red blood cell samples from women with and without a history of having a broken hip.

 The study showed that higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids from both plant and fish sources in those blood cells were associated with a lower likelihood of having fractured a hip.

 In addition to omega-3s, the researchers looked at omega-6 fatty acids, generally plentiful in a Western diet. The study also showed that as the ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3s increased, so did the risk for hip fracture.

 Rebecca Jackson, the study’s senior author and a professor of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at The Ohio State University, said that the inflammation is associated with an increased risk of bone loss and fractures, and omega-3 fatty acids are believed to reduce inflammation.  She said that they didn’t use self-report of food intake, as there can be errors with that and looked directly at the exposure of the bone cell to the fatty acids, which is at the red blood cell level.  Jackson said that the RBC levels also give an indication of long-term exposure to these fatty acids, which we took into account in looking for a preventive effect.

 The analysis showed that higher levels of total omega-3 fatty acids and two other specific kinds of omega-3s alone were associated with a lower risk of hip breaks in the study sample.

Gas-giant exoplanets prefer to cling close to parent stars

Gemini Observatory’s Planet-Finding Campaign has found that distant gas-giant planets are rare and prefer to cling close to their parent stars.

 The impact on theories of planetary formation could be significant.

 “It seems that gas-giant exoplanets are like clinging offspring,” Michael Liu of the University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy and leader of the Gemini Planet-Finding Campaign, said.

 “Most tend to shun orbital zones far from their parents. In our search, we could have found gas giants beyond orbital distances corresponding to Uranus and Neptune in our own Solar System, but we didn’t find any,” he said. 

The Campaign was conducted at the Gemini South telescope in Chile, with funding support for the team from the National Science Foundation and Nasa.  The Campaign’s results, Liu says, will help scientists better understand how gas-giant planets form, as the orbital distances of planets are a key signature that astronomers use to test exoplanet formation theories. 
Processed carbohydrates tempt people to overeat

A new study has found that eating highly-processed carbohydrates like cakes, cookies and chips could affect pleasure centers in the brain, leading to serious cravings that might cause people to overeat.

 Our brains consist of a complex network of pathways and regions that control for all our bodily functions. Chemical messengers called neurotransmitters allow signals to pass from one nerve cell to the next to aid in these functions.

 One neurotransmitter, dopamine, plays a major role in the brain’s reward pathways. For example, the brain gets flooded with dopamine when people take addictive drugs including cocaine and nicotine.

 To find out how food intake was regulated by the dopamine-reward pathway, Ludwig and his colleagues recruited 12 overweight or obese men between the ages of 18 and 35 years old, CBS News reported.

 On two occasions, they were fed milkshakes that were almost identical except one had a high-glycemic index and one was low-glycemic.

 High-glycemic carbohydrates get digested rapidly, and include white bread, pasta, rice and baked goods, WebMD notes. Low-glycemic carbs are digested much slower, and include fruits, vegetables, unprocessed whole grains and legumes.

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