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November 17, 2012

Effects of soda

November 12, 2012

Exercise and Lifeexpectancy: The Swedes Definitely Got This Habit Right.

The Swedes are good at many sports, however, walking has to be the country's national sport.  Almost where-ever and when-ever you go  - and regardless of the weather - you will encounter people out on brisk walk.

A study (http://bit.ly/ZevIZU) by Steen Moore et al, published in the recent edition of PLOS medicine examines the effects of exercise on longevity.  Looking at over 650.000 individuals and their adjusted life expectancy, the authors found that those who did physical exercise equivalent to 75 minutes of brisk walking per week increased their life expectancy by 1.8 years, while those who met the WHO's recommended level of 150 minutes of exercise per week gained 3.4 to 4.5 years compared to their statistical, corrected life expectancy.
Interestingly, they also found also levels exercise had a greater effect on longevity than did body weight.  In other words: It is more important for your longevity to get your daily exercise than to be at your optimal weight.

November 07, 2012

Risk Factors and Multiple Sclerosis

A recent article in Nature Review (Nature Reviews Neurology 8, 602-612 (November 2012) | doi:10.1038/nrneurol.2012.198) proposes new insight on the possible causes of multiple schlerosis (MS). 
The authors suggested that, in addition to a genetic predisposition, a triad of risk factors seem to greatly increase the likelihood of the disease manifesting itself.  These include previous infection with Ebstein-Barr virus (Infectious Mononucleosis, "Kissing Disease"), Vitamin D deficiency and cigarette smoking.
While the method of connection to EBV is uncertain, it is theorized that the infection causes the immunesystem to malfunction by altering the function of the B- and T-lymphocytes.
It is well known that Vitamin D functions not only as a Vitamin but also has powerful hormonal effects. The connection between low blood levels of Vitamin D could help explain the observations concerning MS incidence and geography that has been well documented.
Smoking is well known to reduce the function of the immune system.  In this context, smoking appears to increase the risk of MS by about 50%.