What's the buzz

Vigorous exercise key to healthy ageing

QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation has claimed that instead of the conventional mode of physical and mental health medication, doctors should prescribe customized exercises to older age women as treatment.

This moderate to high intensity activity, they claim, would eventually reduce the risk of death in them.

Standing on the grounds of five years of research, the study looks into the impact of exercise on mental and physical health in women over the age of 50, and clearly shows that moderate to vigorous intensity activity could have mental and physical health benefits.

The research also added that older women should be doing high intensity exercise for at least 30-45 minutes, five times a week, but it should be tailored to ensure that the intensity is enough to obtain its positive sustained effects.

As promoting healthy ageing has become an important strategy for reducing morbidity and mortality, the doctors should also develop exercise programs that are home-based and easy to incorporate as part of everyday activities, the study advised.
Larger warning labels urge smokers to quit

Scientists claim that larger warning signs on cigarette packets can influence people to quit smoking.

Study’s lead author, Hua-Hie Yong, PhD said that, “Though warning labels vary widely from country to country, it’s clear that once people see the labels, the same psychological and emotional processes are involved in making them consider quitting smoking.”

Researchers conducted telephone surveys of over 5,000 smokers in the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. Smokers answered a series of questions, including how many cigarettes they smoked a day and how often they noticed warning labels on cigarette packages.

For smokers who said they paid attention to the labels, simply seeing them was enough to remind them the risks of smoking, which made them less likely to smoke.

However, smokers who consciously avoided the labels by covering them up or by keeping them out of sight, also reported thinking about the health risks and quitting.

Because noticing the warnings may be the first step toward getting smokers to think about quitting, the study suggested that policymakers require the warnings be larger and more graphic on cigarette packages

Organic food high on nutritional content

A new study has recently documented the advantages of organic food crops over their conventional counterparts.

The findings suggested that organic foods and crops have 18 to 69 percent higher concentrations of antioxidant compounds and the levels of pesticide residues were usually 10-fold to 100-fold lower.

The team also found that organic crops have several nutritional benefits that stem from the way they were produced.

A plant on a conventionally managed field would have access to high levels of synthetic nitrogen, which would produce sugars and starches.

As a result, the plant would often contain lower concentrations of health-promoting antioxidants.

However, even without these synthetic chemical pesticides, organic plants tend to produce more phenols and polyphenols to defend against pest attacks and related injuries.

In people, they can help prevent diseases triggered or promoted by oxidative-damage like coronary heart disease, stroke and certain cancers.

The researchers also found that conventional crops have high levels of cadmium that could be well over the safe daily intake levels.

The team concluded that consumers who switch to organic fruit, vegetables and cereals would get 20 to 40 percent more antioxidants.

That is the equivalent of about two extra portions of fruit and vegetables a day, with no increase in caloric intake.

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