Newsletter #034: The Benefits of Exercise, Mental Health, and Sauna Use for Older Adults 👩
Welcome to the New Year’s edition of the humanOS newsletter! 🍾🎊 Once again, we hope all of you are enjoying your holiday season, and are gearing up for an awesome 2019.
Here, as usual, we’ll share our work, plus some of the cool studies and media that we reviewed this week and that found their way onto social media channels. 🤓
This Week’s Research Highlights
Older adults were randomly assigned to aerobic exercise three times per week, for 45 minutes in each session. After 6 months, subjects' scores on cognitive tests improved by the equivalent of reversing nearly 9 years of aging.
Researchers examined the health data of more than 15000 older adults over a 4-year period. Subjects with high levels of anxiety and depression were found to face 65% increased odds for a heart condition, 64% for stroke, 87% for arthritis, and 50% increased risk for hypertension, compared to those without anxiety or depression.
Researchers assessed medical data and self-reported sauna use for 1688 participants in Kuopio, who were followed for an average of 15 years. After adjusting for various potential confounders, they determined that using a sauna 2-3 times per week was associated with a 25% reduction in cardiovascular mortality, compared to using sauna once per week or less. Frequent sauna use (4-7 times per week) was associated with a 77% reduction in CVD mortality. (If you wanna learn more about the benefits of sauna bathing, we interviewed the principal investigator of this study a little while ago)
Videos We Loved This Week
- J. Marshall Shepherd: 3 kinds of bias that shape your worldview. Via TED.
- Andrew Wagner: How cockatoos use tools to make music. Via Science.
- Alexa Billow: What makes Kimchi so delicious? Via the American Chemical Society.
Products We Are Enjoying
This kit has pretty much everything you need to make sauerkraut and other fermented foods - including airlock lids, fermentation weights (to keep the veggies under water), and even a bamboo tamper to push everything down into the jars. All you need are some wide-mouth mason jars to begin making safe and healthy fermented vegetables. I’d suggest making some kimchi for the new year!
New humanOS Content
- Blog: humanOS Year in Review (Part 2 of 3): Hot Topics in Nutrition in 2018. By Greg Potter.
This week on the blog, we published the second of a three-part series of blogs that reflect upon our 45 blogs and 23 podcasts that we published in 2018 (ICYMI: first part can be found here). In this week’s post, Greg examines new developments in the science of nutrition that we covered on the blog this year. Here are a few quick highlights:
- Fruit flies that are fed Triphala (an Ayurvedic supplement) plus probiotics live 60% longer than controls (yet another illustration of the importance of the gut microbiome)
- Creatine improves numerous facets of health and performance, but also tends to reduce sleep - is this a good or a bad thing?
- Drinking sparkling water boosts blood concentrations of ghrelin, a hormone associated with appetite stimulation and increased food intake
- Ketogenic diets: useful for ameliorating type 2 diabetes, treating brain injury, and perhaps even enhancing athletic performance.
And much more!