what's the buzz...

what's the buzz...

Eating walnuts can protect against diabetes

A new study has found that overweight adults can help protect themselves from diabetes and heart disease by adding walnuts to their diet.

Researchers from Yale University put a small group of adults on a walnut-enriched diet for two eight-week sessions.

For their research, scientists chose 46 adults between the ages of 30 and 75 who had a body mass index larger than 25 and a waist circumference exceeding 40 inches (102 cm) for men and 35 inches (89 cm) for women.

All exhibited risk factors for metabolic syndrome, a precursor of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and none were smokers, the New York Daily News reported.

Participants were assigned to either a walnut-enriched ad libitum diet or an ad libitum diet without walnuts. Those who followed the walnut diet were instructed to eat 56 g of shelled, unroasted walnuts a day as a snack or with a meal.

At the end of the experiments, scientists observed improved endothelial function in overweight adults who consumed walnuts.

Endothelial cells make up the inner lining of blood vessels and help with blood clotting and the formation of new blood cells, regulate inflammation and control blood pressure.

Greenland Sea warming faster than world’s oceans

Researchers have said that recent warming of the Greenland Sea Deep Water is about ten times higher than warming rates estimated for the global ocean. For their study, they analysed  temperature data from 1950 to 2010 in the abyssal Greenland Sea, which is an ocean area located just to the south of the Arctic Ocean.

Since 1993, oceanographers from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), have carried out regularly expeditions to the Greenland Sea on board the research ice breaker Polarstern to investigate the changes in this region.

The programme has always included extensive temperature and salinity measurements. For the present study, the AWI scientists have combined these long term data set with historical observations dating back to the year 1950. The result of their analysis: In the last thirty years, the water temperature between 2000 metres depth and the sea floor has risen by 0.3 degrees centigrade.

AWI scientist and lead author of the study, Dr. Raquel Somavilla Cabrillo, said that the amount of heat accumulated within the lowest 1.5 kilometres in the abyssal Greenland Sea would warm the atmosphere above Europe by 4 degrees centigrade.  The Greenland Sea is just a small part of the global ocean. However, the observed increase of 0.3 degrees in the deep Greenland Sea is ten times higher than the temperature increase in the global ocean on average. For this reason, this area and the remaining less studied polar oceans need to be taken into consideration’.

Somavilla said that until the early 1980s, the central Greenland Sea has been mixed from the top to the bottom by winter cooling at the surface making waters dense enough to reach the sea floor.
Sugar gel helps protect babies against risk of brain damage

Researchers have suggested that a dose of ‘sugar gel’- which means rubbing sugar into the inside of the baby’s cheek in the form of gel-is a cheap and effective way to protect premature babies against brain damage.

According to the scientists, who tested the gel therapy in 242 babies under their care, it should now be a first-line treatment, the BBC reported.

Current treatment typically involves extra feeding and repeated blood tests to measure blood sugar levels.

Prof Jane Harding and her team at the University of Auckland Dextrose said that gel treatment costs just over 1 pound per baby and is simpler to administer than glucose via a drip.

The study is published in The Lancet.