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A higher BMI causes depression even in the absence of other health problems: Study

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While previous studies have already established a link between obesity and depression, in a study that claims to have found the strongest evidence regarding the link between the two, researchers have found that obesity causes depression, even in the absence of other health problems.

The research was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

“The team looked at UK Biobank data from more than 48,000 people with depression and compared them to more than 290,000 controls in the UK Biobank cohort of people born between 1938 and 1971, who have provided medical and genetic information. They used hospital admission data and self-reporting to determine whether people had depression”, University of Exeter’s website mentions.

The team separated the psychological component of obesity from the impact of obesity-related health problems using genes associated with higher BMI but lower risk of diseases like diabetes. In an interesting turn of events, it was found that these genes were just as strongly associated with depression as those genes associated with higher BMI and diabetes, which suggests that a higher BMI causes depression both with and without related health issues.

It was found that this effect was stronger in women than in men. “At the other ends of the BMI spectrum, very thin men are more prone to depression than men of normal weight and very thin women”, the study mentioned.

According to Professor Hypponen, Director of the Australian Centre for Precision Health, who co-led the study, “Our research shows that being overweight doesn’t just increase the risks of chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease; it can also lead to depression”.


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Health

Try These Homemade Protein-Rich Shakes For Quick Weight Loss

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We all know the importance of the nutrient protein in losing weight. Protein is an important nutrient which helps in shedding those extra kilos. Protein helps in reducing your appetite by affecting your hunger hormones. It can also help you feel full for longer, which can help you eat less and lose body fat. Getting adequate protein can help boost your metabolism, curb your hunger cravings and help you lose body fat without losing muscle. But the question that comes to our mind is how to include adequate proteins in our diet. One amazing way to add proteins to our diet is homemade protein shakes. Protein shakes and drinks made can be made by mixing some foods rich in protein like yoghurt, full-fat milk, eggs and protein-rich foods. They can be a convenient addition to your diet, especially if taken as an evening snack, in your early morning breakfast or as a part of your workout nutrition plan.

Top 4 homemade protein shakes:

1. Almond butter protein shake:

Made with just two ingredients, this nutrient-dense protein shake will do wonders for your health. You can take some almonds or almond butter, yoghurt or full-fat milk to make this shake. Milk and nut butter will provide significant amount of protein. As an added benefit you can add some healthy seeds like chia seeds and flax seeds or some fruits. This will make the shake even more filling and nutritious.

2. Banana yoghurt protein shake:

The delicious fruit banana along with some Greek yoghurt will make an energy-boosting protein smoothie. Banana is sweet and therefore, there is no need for some added sugar. Greek yoghurt on the other hand is thick and has more protein than the normal yoghurt.

3. Oats and egg protein shake:

Though oats are healthy but you might get bored of the same recipe oatmeal with milk. Try a protein-rich smoothie with some oats. Take some roasted oats, egg, berries and milk to make a nutrient loaded protein shake. The antioxidant-rich blueberries with oats to ensure you that you get all the health benefits.

4. Spinach an flaxseed protein shake:

Though many people would not like the idea of adding spinach to their shake but spinach is one of the most nutrient dense vegetable loaded with protein. You can add some delicious fruits like banana, apples, grapes and avocado which can enhance the flavour of your shake. For additional nutritional boost, add some flax seeds and nuts rich in protein like cashews, almonds and walnuts.

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Inflammatory bowel disease ups prostate cancer risk: Study

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IBD is inflammation of all or part of the digestive tract and is a common chronic condition that includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Early detection and a healthy lifestyle can prevent the cancer, the researchers said.

Men with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are four to five times at higher risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer, according to researchers including one of Indian-origin.

IBD is inflammation of all or part of the digestive tract and is a common chronic condition that includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

The findings showed that men with IBD have higher than average prostate-specific antigen (PSA) — a substance produced by the prostate gland.

Elevated PSA levels may indicate prostate cancer — a non-cancerous condition such as prostatitis, or an enlarged prostate.

“These patients may need to be screened more carefully than a man without inflammatory bowel disease,” said Shilajit Kundu, Associate Professor from Northwestern University in the US.

“If a man with inflammatory bowel disease has an elevated PSA, it may be an indicator of prostate cancer,” Kundu added.

However, many people think their PSA is elevated just because they have an inflammatory condition.

For the study, published in the journal European Urology, the team looked at 1,033 men with IBD and a control group of 9,306 men without the disease.

A previous study led by researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden showed that children who developed IBD before the age of 18 have a three to five-fold higher mortality rate than people without IBD, both during childhood and into adulthood.

This translates into a 2.2-year reduction in life expectancy in individuals monitored up to the age of 65, the findings suggested.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), prostate cancer is the second leading cancer among males in large Indian cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Pune and Thiruvananthapuram, and third in cities like Bengaluru and Mumbai.

The ICMR projection data shows that the number of cases will double by 2020.

Early detection and a healthy lifestyle can prevent the cancer, the researchers said.

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Wasp venom offers hope against lung diseases

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MIT engineers have developed new antimicrobial peptides, which can combat bacteria causing respiratory and other infections, based on a naturally occurring peptide produced by a South American wasp. The venom of insects such as wasps and bees is full of compounds that can kill bacteria. Unfortunately, many of these compounds are also toxic for humans, making it impossible to use them as antibiotic drugs.

However, in a study over mice, the team repurposed a toxin normally found in Polybia paulista — a South American wasp — to create variants of the peptide that are potent against bacteria but non-toxic to human cells.

They found that their strongest peptide could completely eliminate Pseudomonas aeruginosa — a strain of bacteria that causes respiratory and urinary tract infections and is resistant to most antibiotics.

“We’ve repurposed a toxic molecule into one that is a viable molecule to treat infections,” said Cesar de la Fuente-Nunez, postdoctoral researcher at MIT. “By systematically analysing the structure and function of these peptides, we’ve been able to tune their properties and activity,” Fuente-Nunez added.

The peptide, reported in the journal Nature Communications Biology, is small enough— only 12 amino acids — that the researchers believed it would be feasible to create some variants of the peptide and test them to see if they might become more potent against microbes and less harmful to humans. The team tested the peptides against seven strains of bacteria and two of fungus, making it possible to correlate their structure and physicochemical properties with their antimicrobial potency.

To measure the peptides’ toxicity, the researchers exposed them to human embryonic kidney cells grown in a lab dish. In mice infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the team found that several of the peptides could reduce the infection and could eliminate it completely. “After four days, that compound can completely clear the infection, and that was quite surprising and exciting because we don’t typically see that with other experimental antimicrobials or other antibiotics that we’ve tested in the past with this particular mouse model,” Fuente-Nunez noted.

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