Archive for June, 2012

June 13, 2012

Why having an older father helps you live longer.


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Older fathers are said to be more tolerant, affectionate and spend more time with their children.

And it seems they give their offspring another benefit – longer lives.

Scientists say children of older fathers and grandfathers are more likely to live longer.

They found those with older fathers had longer telomeres – tiny ‘caps’ on the ends of chromosomes that protect against the ageing process.

The researchers measured the telomere length of DNA in the blood of 1,779 young Filipino adults and their mothers and determined the ages of the children’s fathers and grandfathers.

They found an individual’s telomeres lengthened not only with their father’s age at their birth but also with their paternal grandfather’s age at their father’s birth.

Each year a man delayed reproduction increased the length of the telomeres. The increase roughly equalled the amount of annual shortening observed in middle-age adults.

The findings, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest delayed paternal reproduction could increase their offsprings’ telomere length over time, which could promote long life.

Telomeres have been called the ‘chromosomal clock’ because they seem to be central to biological ageing, with longer telomeres a sign of being biologically younger and healthier.

Professor Chris Kuzawa, an anthropologist at Northwestern University in the United States, said telomeres shorten with time in most cells – but they lengthen in sperm.

A previous study found those with shorter telomeres were three times as likely to die from heart disease.

Professor Kuwaza said: ‘The effect of the age of paternal ancestors on telomere length could allow increases in life expectancy under demographic conditions of low mortality and delayed reproduction.’

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June 13, 2012

The problem with people having patience with you is that you’ll never know when it’s going to end; so you’re constantly on tenterhooks searching for signs of the patience waning and the impatience waxing. No doubt if the person is a newcomer to the land of patience they’ll suddenly jerk out of it giving you a jolt out of the blue too. There won’t be any nice warning signs at all. That’s the scary part: the Jekyll and Hyde feel.
As for any times impatience is a virtue? Apparently a short burst of stress helps to boost the immune system! And also the adrenalin rush can push people to achieve higher, more and faster – just like in competitive sports. People don’t know what they can do until they reach the brink of the precipice and are forced to make that decision without too much over-thought and second-guessing: they just grab the bull by the horns and run with the decisions. However, impatience will lead to chronic stress amongst those that surround you and chronic stress not only impairs the immune system but is also reponsible for many ailments. I won’t be surprised if people start to become allergic or even systemically intolerant of stress in the near future!! *tongue-firmly-in-cheek*

June 13, 2012

Why sharing a bed is good for your heart.

sharing a bed

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Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh in the U.S. believe sleeping next to someone helps lower the stress hormone cortisol, perhaps because it encourages feelings of safety and security.

Prolonged periods of elevated cortisol have been linked with an increase in cytokines — proteins involved in inflammation that can trigger heart disease, depression and auto-immune disorders.

Sleeping together has a protective effect by lowering the levels of these proteins.

Sleep is a critically important health behaviour that we know is associated with heart disease and psychiatric wellbeing,’ says lead researcher Wendy Troxel, assistant professor of psychiatry and psychology at the university.

‘There is extensive literature showing that married people — happily married people, in particular — live longer, happier, and healthier lives than their unmarried or unhappily married counterparts.

‘We also know sleep is critically important for health and wellbeing, and it happens to be a behaviour couples engage in together, so it stands to reason it may be an important link with their health.’

Sharing a bed is also thought to boost levels of the ‘love hormone’ oxytocin, known to induce bonding feelings.

Recent studies have shown oxytocin’s vital role in health. Scientists at Malmo University Hospital in Sweden found it can affect digestion.

Those with lower levels had poorer gastric motility — the process by which food is moved from the stomach to the intestines, therefore slowing down digestion.

Levels of the hormone have been found to be lower in patients with irritable bowel syndrome, says Dr Hamilton.

‘Oxytocin has also been shown to reduce inflammation. While inflammation is a necessary part of the healing process, too much of it, which can accompany bacterial infections or chronic stress, is damaging to the body.

‘It’s well known, for example, that inflammation plays a role in many types of cancer.

‘Meanwhile, a number of recent studies have shown how oxytocin can affect the heart.’

For example, a study from the University of North Carolina asked 59 women who were married or had partners to keep a diary of the number of hugs they received over a set time.

The scientists then analysed levels of oxytocin in the blood. The women who’d received the most hugs had the highest levels of oxytocin — and the lowest blood pressure and heart rates.

‘Indeed, oxytocin is like a natural angina medication,’ says Dr Hamilton.

‘Angina medication is basically nitric oxide, which expand blood vessels. Oxytocin helps the body produce nitric oxide itself.’

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