What's the buzz

Common plants can help clean air indoors

Common indoor plants such as purple waffle, English ivy, variegated wax and purple heart plant have been found tremendously effective in eliminating harmful air pollutants in homes, offices, and other indoor spaces.

Indoor air is said to be 12 times more polluted than outdoor air due to paints, varnishes, adhesives, furnishings, clothing, solvents, building materials, and even tap water.

Stanley J Kays, University of Georgia, tested the ornamental indoor plants for their ability to remove harmful VOCs or volatile organic compounds from indoor air.
Adding ornamental plants to indoor spaces can reduce stress, increase task performance, and reduce symptoms of ill health.

During the study, the research team tested 28 common indoor ornamentals for their ability to remove five volatile indoor pollutants.

Alternate-day fasting the best bet to fight flab

Alternate-day fasting can be the right way lose weight and boost cardio-vascular health, experts from University of Illinois at Chicago suggest. The conclusion was reached after observing 16 obese people who ordained to a 10-week trial of not eating any food every alternate day.

Also, they had kept their weight stable for the previous three months, and had body mass indexes of between 30 and 39.9.

Attention was given that none was diabetic, had a history of cardiovascular disease, was taking weight-loss or lipid- or glucose-lowering medications, or smoked.
Researchers noted that weight loss ranged from 10 to 30 pounds; the researchers expected an average loss of only five pounds.

To add to it, blood pressure and heart rate were lowered, along with total cholesterol and circulating fat levels.

A spoonful of sugar may reduce life expectancy

If a new study on worms is anything to go by, all the sugar in your diet could spell much more than obesity and Type 2 diabetes — it might take years off your life.
During the study, Cynthia Kenyon, University of California, San Francisco, found that by adding just a small amount of glucose to C elegans usual fare of straight bacteria, worms lose about 20 per cent of their usual life span. They trace the effect to insulin signals, which can block other life-extending molecular players.
Although the findings are in worms, Kenyon says there are known to be many similarities between worms and people in the insulin signaling pathways.

Those mutations effected insulin signals. Specifically, a mutation in a gene known as daf-2 slowed aging and doubled life span. That longer life depended on another ‘FOXO transcription factor’ called DAF-16 and the heat shock factor HSF-1.

Phosphorus levels in blood may predict heart disease

A new study has found a link between higher levels of phosphorus in the blood and increased calcification of the coronary arteries — a key marker of heart disease risk.
“This may help to explain why even early-stage chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with increased cardiovascular risk that is not otherwise explained by traditional risk factors,” said Katherine R Tuttle.

For the study, the researchers looked at the relationship between phosphorus levels and coronary artery calcification (CAC) in nearly 900 healthy adults.

Previous studies have linked CAC — an early sign of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) — to an increased risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack) and other cardiovascular events.

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