Fitness Factoids: Volume 11
Injectable Nanoparticles Maintain Normal Blood-Sugar Levels
Thanks to the combined efforts of researchers at NC State, UNC Chapel Hill, MIT, and Children’s Hospital of Boston a new unique form of nanoparticle technology has been developed that could potentially revolutionize pharmaceutical insulin. Researchers have developed a network of nanoscale particles that once injected into the body, can maintain normal blood sugar levels for more than a week. The injectable nano-network is made up of a mixture that contains nanoparticles with a solid core or insulin, modified dextran, and glucose oxidase enzymes. When exposed to high levels of glucose, the enzymes convert glucose into gluconic acid, which breaks down the modified dextran to release the insulin. With human trials of the new technology scheduled to start soon, researchers are hopeful that the discovery will lead to improved health and quality of life for diabetics.
Tamoxifen and Coffee May Prevent the Return of Breast Cancer
Swedish researchers have found two things near-and-dear to the heart of bodybuilders, Tamoxifen and coffee, could reduce the risk of breast cancer reoccurrences. The study, conducted by Lund University, followed 600 breast cancer patients for an average of five years. Approximately 300 patients participating in the study were prescribed the drug Tamoxifen, which reduces the risk of new tumor formation by inhibiting estrogen receptors. Although it isn’t immediately clear how coffee impacted treatment, researcher Maria Simonsson says “One theory we are working with is that coffee 'activates' Tamoxifen and makes it more efficient.” The Lund University researchers have previously linked coffee consumption to a decreased risk of developing certain types of breast cancer. Caffeine has also been shown to hamper the growth of cancer cells.
Omega-3’s Don’t Provide Extra Eye Protection
Omega-3 fatty acids have a proven track record and a long list of positive benefits when it comes to improving our health. Unfortunately, preventing macular degeneration is not on that list. In a study published in the latest edition of The Journal of the American Medical Association researchers at The National Eye Institute found that omega-3 supplements didn’t provide any protection against macular degeneration. In a study conducted nearly a decade ago researchers found that a formula consisting of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, zinc, and copper reduced the risk of late stage macular degeneration by nearly 25%. In a recent attempt to revisit this study researchers found that by adding additional omega-3 supplements to the already existing formula yielded no additional improvement.
Teen Girls Who Exercise Less Likely To Be Violent
Remember the crazy chick in high school that always seemed to be fighting some other girl and no one could ever seem to figure out why? Maybe all she needed was a stepmill. Researchers from Columbia University analyzed the results of a 2008 survey completed by 1,312 students at four inner-city high schools in New York to determine if there was a link between regular exercise and violence related behaviors. The results were staggering and showed that females who exercised more than 10 tens in a month had a reduced risk of being involved in a gang, those who reported having the ability to run for at least twenty minutes had a decreased risk of carrying a weapon, and those involved in team sports had decreased odds for gang involvement, illegal weapon usage, and fighting.
Melatonin Delays Onset ALS Symptom Onset And Death In Mice
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is diagnosed in about 5,000 people annually in the United States. ALS is a neuromuscular disease that is characterized by progressive muscle weakness which ultimately becomes terminal due to the failure of the respiratory muscles. In a recent edition of the journal Neurobiology of Disease researchers from the University of Pittsburgh released a study detailing their findings which stated that melatonin injections had the potential to delay onset symptoms and reduce mortality rates of mice affected with ALS. “Our experiments show for the first time that a lack of melatonin and melatonin receptor 1, or MT1, is associated with the progression of ALS,” Dr. Friedlander said. “We saw similar results in a Huntington’s disease model in an earlier project, suggesting similar biochemical pathways are disrupted in these challenging neurologic disease.”