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Singing for an hour leads to significant reduction in cortisol levels and an increase in the levels of cytokines . Photo: iStockphoto
Singing for an hour leads to significant reduction in cortisol levels and an increase in the levels of cytokines . Photo: iStockphoto

Singing daily can help fight cancer

Children raised in bilingual families show cognitive development early in life and daily intake of walnuts can help control cholesterol levelsstudies and research tips for a healthier you

Singing can strengthen immune system and help fight cancer

Singing daily for an hour can increase levels of immune proteins in the body which are used to fight illnesses such as cancer, a British study claims. Researchers from Imperial College London, University College London and the Royal College of Music tested 193 individuals out of which 55 had cancer. All the participants sang in different choir groups. The researchers found that singing for an hour leads to significant reduction in cortisol (stress hormone) levels and an increase in the levels of cytokines (a protein that enhances the body’s ability to fight serious illnesses). The study was published in the journal ECancer Medical Science. Read more here.

Protein found in beef can improve physical movement in obese

Including beef in diet can help obese older adults with limited ability to exercise by improving physical movement, a study suggests. Researchers from Duke University found that people who ate a reduced-calorie diet higher in lean protein (found in beef) showed greater improvement in physical function in terms of body balance, lower body strength and walking speed, compared to those who ate a diet lower in protein. Although the increase in overall dietary protein was modest between the two groups, improvements in function were significantly higher in the protein group. The study appeared in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences. Read more here.

Speaking two languages improves cognitive skills at an early age

Babies born in bilingual family show cognitive development as early as 11 months of age, a US study shows. Researchers from the University of Washington examined 16 children where eight lived in Spanish speaking households and eight in households where both English and Spanish were spoken. They found that bilingualism helps babies pick more languages early but also leads to cognitive development. The switching between languages regularly provides regular practice to the speakers and improves executive function skills. The study was published in the journal Developmental Science. Read more here.

Walnuts can help lower cholesterol levels

Daily intake of walnuts can improve cholesterol levels in the blood without affecting body weight in older adults, a Spanish study suggests. Researchers from Loma Linda University enlisted 707 healthy older adults and randomly assigned some to daily doses of walnuts with the regular diet and the rest to continue with their usual diet. A follow-up study after a year revealed that none of the two diets affected body weight, triglycerides, and HDL cholesterol. However, the walnut-diet group showed a significant LDL cholesterol reductions compared to the other group. Read more here.

Children born through artificial methods face greater risk of birth defects

Children born though assisted reproductive technology (ART) such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) are more likely to suffer from birth defects than children who are conceived in the old-fashioned manner, a US study suggests. Researchers from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied data on 4.6 million babies born in three US states between 2000 and 2010. About 65,000 (1.4%) of the babies were conceived using ART. After adjusting for mother’s age and other health characteristics, they found that babies born through ART were 28% more likely to have birth defects compared to babies conceived without reproductive technology. The study was published in JAMA Pediatrics. Read more here.

Compiled by Abhijit Ahaskar

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