ISLAMABAD – Substituting almonds for less healthy foods could help dieters stick to a calorie-controlled diet, and lower their cholesterol at the same time, says a new study.
Women ate 1,200-1,500 calories per day, while men ate 1,500-1,800.Nuts, and in this case almonds, shouldn’t be on the ‘do not eat’ list, they can be effectively incorporated in a weight loss plan, with the caveat that they have to be portion controlled,” said.
Half the people, assigned at random by researchers, were given two 28-gram packages of almonds (about 24 almonds per package) to eat each day. That works out to about 350 calories’ worth. The other half agreed to avoid nuts altogether.
When researchers checked in with dieters after six months, they found that the nut-free dieters had lost slightly more weight than the almond eaters: 16 pounds compared to 12 pounds, on average. A year later, both groups had gained some of their weight back, and there was no longer a clear difference in total weight loss between participants who did and didn’t eat almonds.
This shows you can include almonds in the context of a weight control programme, lose a significant amount of weight and get nice additional benefits in terms of cholesterol and triglycerides,” said Foster.
Still, he urges caution “Almonds don’t make you lose weight; they’re not free calories,” he said.
It can be difficult for dieters to stay on track for as long and healthy people have fewer incentives to lose weight than those with health problems Snacks like nuts - promoted as a healthy source of nutrients by the US Department of Agriculture - are generally considered off-limits to dieters because of their high fat content. Almonds are particularly rich in magnesium, potassium and vitamin E, as well as being a good source of fiber and calcium, according to the study’s founder, the Almond Board of California.
When dieters are limiting how many calories they eat, it’s important they eat foods that are nutrient dense, with a nice level of vitamins and minerals, and good quality fats, said Wien.
Sleeping well can make vaccines more effective
Having a good night’s sleep can make vaccines more effective, a study has suggested.
Sleeping more than seven hours a night may help the body react more efficiently to vaccinations while a lack of sleep may leave patients unprotected, it was found, The Telegraph Newspaper reported.
Some volunteers receiving a hepatitis B vaccine who slept for fewer than six hours a night, showed no response to the jab and were left unprotected against the virus.
The study involved 125 people who were administered the standard three-dose hepatitis B vaccine; the first and second doses were administered a month apart, followed by a booster dose at six months.
Their antibody levels were measured prior to the second and third vaccine injection and six months after the final vaccination to determine whether participants had mounted a “clinically protective response.”
All the participants completed sleep diaries and 88 subjects also wore electronic sleep monitors.
The researchers found that people who slept fewer than six hours on average per night were 11.5 times more likely to be unprotected after the vaccine than those who slept for seven hours or more on average. Lead author Dr Aric Prather, a clinical health psychologist at
University of California San Francisco, said, “With the emergence of our 24-hour lifestyle, longer working hours, and the rise in the use of technology, chronic sleep deprivation has become a way of life for many.
“These findings should help raise awareness in the public health community about the clear connection between sleep and health.” He added, “While there is more work to be done in this area, in time physicians and other health care professionals who administer vaccines may want to consider asking their patients about their sleep patterns, since lack of sleep may significantly affect the potency of the vaccination.”
Stem cells may be cause of cancer re-growth
Researchers presented evidence Wednesday for the existence of cancer stem cells, with three different studies seeking to end a decades-old scientific dispute about how tumours grow.
The discovery should lead to new drugs targeting stem cells that cause tumours to reappear after cancer therapy, the teams argued in three scientific papers published simultaneously in the journals Nature and Science, a private news channel reported. Dutch researcher Hugo Snippert told, “The hypothesis (that cancer stem cells exist) has been around now for some time. Hopefully these three papers now make an end to the discussion.” All the studies were conducted on lab mice.
He said that the tumour contains stem cells, which then create new cancer cells. Focusing on incurable brain tumours, a US-based research team said they had found a subset of cells that appear to be the source of new tumour growth after chemotherapy.
Researcher Luis Parada of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center said, “This study serves as a proof of principle that in at least some solid tumours functional cancer stem cells exist.”
Writing in Nature - a journal, a separate team in Belgium and the UK found a sub-population of tumour cells with stem-like properties in skin cancer.
Nature said in a press statement, “Taken together these reports provide evidence that point towards the existence of cells that may represent cancer stem cells”.
Snippert said in the end that the latest technology has allowed the scientists to examine tumour cancer growth in as natural a state as possible, unlike earlier studies that involved tumour transplants in lab mice.