Friday, November 25, 2016

13 benefits of jasmine tea

Jasmine tea is a lightly scented and aromatic tea that uses jasmine blossoms and jasmine oil as the key ingredient. Usually green tea is used as base for jasmine tea, but in some countries black and white tea are also used. This results in jasmine tea being quite fragrant and popular in countries like China.

There are numerous health benefits of jasmine tea. The scent and aroma of jasmine tea induces a feeling of calmness and helps in reducing stress and anxiety by soothing the senses. Green tea and jasmine blossoms are carefully blended to produce this fragrant drink, which is a delight to consume. It produces a velvety sensation in the mouth when consumed, which earns it a good reputation globally. 

Jasmine tea has gained worldwide reputation for curing many ailments such as stomach disorders and prostate cancers. It also helps fight against common infections and keeps a person healthy. No wonder jasmine itself has been referred to as a “gift from God.”

1. Antibacterial properties
Most people are not aware that jasmine tea can be a safe alternate to antibiotics and can be part of a regular diet. Jasmine tea is made by adding jasmine oil to tea buds and provides a mechanism for the body to fight against infections and diseases. Research conducted has shown that a certain bacteria, known as E.coli which is present in poorly preserved foods, can cause alarming diseases. Jasmine oil helps in the elimination of these bacteria. Jasmine tea is extremely beneficial in instances of cold, flu and throat infections.

2. Aromatherapy
Jasmine itself has medicinal properties and is therefore a highly effective form of aromatherapy. Research published in the European Journal of Applied Psychology found that simply inhaling jasmine can reduce a person’s heart rate as well as have a sedative effect on both nerve activity and mood.

3. Stress/anxiety relief
Throughout history jasmine has been used for stress relief and as an anti-depressant, which is due to its aforementioned therapeutic properties. 

It has been noted that jasmine tea has sedative qualities that reduces and calms down rapid heart rate and brings about a state of calm. It reduces stress and anxiety in people and also helps in relieving back pain, joint pain and muscular pain in most individuals.

4. Anti-aging
Aging is known to be caused by free radicals in the body. Jasmine tea helps slow down aging by curbing the growth of anti-aging molecules in the body and preventing cells from coming in contact with them. This helps keep the body and mind younger and makes people have a clear, glowing complexion.

5. Stimulate weight loss
The tea contains catechins which have fat burning properties and thus aid in weight loss. It does this by increasing your metabolic rate, which subsequently helps you to burn fat faster. A recent study has shown that people who drink jasmine green tea tend to lose weight faster than those who don’t drink it regularly.

6. Help in enhancing immunity
The antiviral and antibacterial properties found within jasmine green tea can help to prevent both colds and the flu. Consuming the tea whilst sick can also help to speed up your recovery. Some even believe that simply gargling jasmine tea can prevent illness.

7. Cancer prevention
Many studies have been conducted on the benefits of jasmine tea and research has shown that jasmine tea helps slow down cancer cell production in our bodies. Jasmine tea has proven to have a chemo like effect on breast tumors and has also helped fight against prostate cancer. Cancer is mainly caused by free radicals in the body that, if left neglected, can lead to the growth of cancer cells. Jasmine tea, with its antioxidants, fights these free radicals and breaks them.

8. Heart health and Cholesterol
Jasmine tea has been known to reduce cholesterol and bad fats within the body. In addition, it can prevent additional bad cholesterol forming. These things naturally helps to reduce your chances of heart disease and strokes.

9. Regulates circulation
Jasmine tea has been proven to be highly beneficial for improving blood circulation. As such, it can help to prevent medical conditions such as blocked arteries, thrombosis, brain damage and blood clots.

10. Regulate blood sugar
Drinking jasmine tea keeps the glucose level in check and maintains the balance of blood sugars in our bodies. Regulation of blood sugar is important, since it prevents early onset of diabetes. People who are diabetic or have a history of it should consult a doctor before consuming jasmine tea on a regular basis. Jasmine tea can sometimes interfere with medicines and cause the blood sugar level to drop too low.

11. Prevent arthritis and joint pain
Along with many other benefits such as reduction of anxiety and stress, jasmine tea is known to improve muscular and joint pain or pain caused by arthritis. Elements in jasmine tea reduce pain and inflammation that is caused by harmful cellular oxygenation, which may lead to discomfort in individuals. Regular consumption of this tea may reduce these ailments and prevent inflammation.

12. Prevent gastrointestinal disorders
Consuming jasmine tea helps in preventing stomach related diseases and disorders. It helps in digestions and also helps fight against gastrointestinal cancers. The antioxidants called catechins in jasmine tea have numerous health benefits that also aid in keeping the stomach healthy. These antioxidants help in activating intracellular antioxidant that combine with gastrointestinal enzymes and induce a healthy andregular bowel function.

13. Prevention of inflammatory bowel disease
IBD is a medical condition that involves bloating and pain in the colon. Studies have shown that green tea can actually help to reduce these symptoms in two types of IBD, as well as Crohn’s Disease.

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Friday, November 18, 2016

How tomatoes beat wrinkles: Fruit is high in antioxidant that can project against harmful UV radiation

Eating plenty of tomatoes could stave off wrinkles - and even skin cancer, say scientists.

The fruit is rich in an antioxidant called lycopene that helps shield the body from harmful UV radiation.

A study says it isn't a substitute for sunscreen but offers another important line of defence.

The German researchers said it could lead to people taking supplements containing the chemical for health - or cosmetic - purposes.

They also found another pigment known as lutein - abundant in spinach and kale - achieved similar results.

They compared the skin of 65 people who were divided into two groups - one given a supplement called TNC (tomato nutrient complex) or a placebo and the other lutein or the dummy treatment.

At the beginning and end of each 12-week treatment phase their skin was exposed to two types of ultraviolet (UV) light, UVA1 and UVA/B in a process known as irradiation - with biopsies taken 24 hours later.

These showed those who received no lycopene or lutein had increased expression of certain 'indicator genes' linked to wrinkly skin and inflammation - two common side effects of sun damage.

In contrast both treatments significantly reduced the expression of these genes.

The findings follow a study in 2012 which concluded women who ate a diet rich in tomatoes had increased skin protection, reduced redness and less DNA damage from ultraviolet rays.

While you shouldn't give up on sun screen doctors have said this juicy fruit should be part of your overall diet for better looking skin.

Professor Jean Krutmann, of Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine in Dusseldorf, said: 'There is growing evidence that dietary intervention can protect human skin against detrimental effects caused by solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

'To the best of our knowledge we show here for the first time tomato nutrient complex (TNC) as well as lutein do not only protect healthy human skin against UVB/A, but also against long wave UVA1 radiation and oral photo-protection of healthy human skin can be demonstrated.'

He said 'oral supplementation with lycopene-rich TNC and with lutein may be efficient' in blocking sun damage - helping to prevent wrinkles and skin cancer.

Prof Krutmann said: 'Our study further supports the concept dietary strategies are beneficial for human skin in general and nutritional supplements of the exact kind used in this study are very effective in providing protection against UVA radiation-induced skin damage in particular.'

Previous studies into lycopene have generally assessed its ability to reduce UV-induced erythema, which is the skin reddening that is a sign of sun damage.

One such study found people taking a lycopene mixture had 33 per cent more protection against sunburn - equivalent to a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 1.3.

This latest study looks at gene expression as a method of demonstrating sun damage to human skin.

Matthew Gass, of the British Association of Dermatologists, said: 'Eating tomatoes and kale isn't a substitute for sunscreen or other forms of sun protection such as protective clothing and shade.

'However this study shows these lycopene and lutein supplements could be an extra tool to protect against sun damage.'

The study is published in the British Journal of Dermatology. 

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

White tea: Does a cup a day keep wrinkles away?

White Tea—What is it?

Black, green, white and oolong teas all come from the same plant, the Camellia Sinensis. What differentiates each type of tea is the age of the plant when it is picked, and the length of time the plant is processed. White tea is picked the earliest and is the least processed. This leads many researchers to believe that of all teas, white may retain the highest levels of the health-promoting antioxidants already commonly known in black and green teas.

A recent study even suggests that white tea may have antioxidant activity that directly affects the health and appearance of skin!

Anti-Aging Antioxidants

When researchers from England looked at the potential skin-supporting properties of 21 plant and herb extracts, including green and white tea, they found that white tea outperformed them all.

The study looked specifically at the effects on structural proteins found in the skin called elastin and collagen. Elastin is responsible for maintaining elasticity of the skin along with aiding in wound repair. Collagen is a protein found in connective tissue that supports the skin’s strength as well as elasticity. The breakdown of these two proteins can lead to age-related wrinkles and sagging skin.

Researchers found that white tea helped to prevent this breakdown, which could mean stronger, suppler skin. Furthermore, the amounts of white tea used in the experiments were far less than one would typically consume in beverage form, begging the question of how effective white tea could really be.

The Fountain of Youth in a Cup?

The antioxidant potential and health benefits of drinking all types of tea have long been proven. Although more research is needed on how white tea affects the skin, early indicators are definitely positive. Maybe my beauty store informant was on to something after all.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Does teenage BLOOD hold the key to the fountain of youth?

Life-extension advocates could be one step closer to the ‘biological fountain of youth’ – a treatment in which the blood of the young and healthy is used to reverse the effects of aging.

In a series of new trials, researchers have found that injecting the blood plasma of 18-year-old humans into old mice rejuvenates both the body and brain, improving cognition and allowing them to frolic about like their younger counterparts.

According to Alkahest, the company behind the experiments, blood plasma may hold the secrets to youth, and a similar technique could one day be used in procedures for humans.

The findings were presented at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego, California.

The firm, whose mission ‘is to enrich the health and vitality of humankind through transformative therapies that counterbalance the aging process,’ injected 12-month-old mice with blood samples from 18-year-old humans twice a week for three weeks.

At 12-months, mice have entered a stage roughly equivalent to that of a 50-year-old person, moving more slowly and performing badly on memory tests.

But, after three weeks, the researchers noted improvements in the mice’s performance on a range of tests.

Following the injections, the older mice were better at remembering their way around a maze – and, they ran around an open space like the younger group.

The results were compared to young, 3-month-old mice, and older mice who had not been given the treatment.

The researchers also examined the brains of the treated mice, and found that they appeared to have created new cells in the hippocampus.

This process, known as neurogenesis, is thought to contribute to memory and learning, and the results now show that it can be enhanced through the injection of young human blood, New Scientist reports.

According to Sakura Minami, of Alkahest, some of the factors that give young blood its power have now been identified – but, the team will not reveal them yet.

The researchers say these findings could one day help them to develop anti-aging treatments, and could even help people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Human trails have already begun to test this hypothesis.

Peter Thiel

In recent years, the bizarre practice has caught the attention of many life-extension enthusiasts – including billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel, who said he is looking into 'parabiosis.'

Early studies have shown that the transfusion of blood plasma from a young donor can have age-reversing effects on the body, and it's recently begun clinical trials on humans.

Human trials were launched recently by a company called Ambrosia, with participants paying $8,000 to get involved, according to Inc.

In the study, ‘Young Donor Plasma Transfusion and Age-Related Biomarkers,’ healthy individuals aged 35 or older receive a transfusion of blood plasma from donors younger than 25.

And, the firm has been contacted by Thiel Capital’s chief medical officer, Jason Camm, Inc. reports, who expressed interest in the work.

In an interview last year with Jeff Bercovici, Peter Thiel explained his interest in life-extension medicine.

Moving on from a discussion on caloric restriction, human growth hormone, and diabetes drug metformin, the investor said he isn’t yet convinced that scientists have found the cure-all technique.

But, he’s turned his sights to some ‘strangely underexplored’ fields.

‘I’m looking into parabiosis stuff, which I think is really interesting,’ Thiel told Bercovici.

‘This is where they did the young blood into older mice and they found that had a massive rejuvenating effect.’

Thiel went on to clarify that the procedure was of interest as a personal-health treatment, and said it would not require FDA approval.

Still, the investor remarked then that he hadn’t ‘quite, quite, quite started yet’ in moving forward with parabiosis, and according to Inc., this is still the case.

Scientists first experimented with parabiosis in the 1950s, and in recent years, it’s begun to gain attention once again.

In the organ systems of both animals and humans, the procedure has been found to reverse the symptoms of aging, though scientists don’t yet understand all of the mechanisms at work.

Jesse Karmazin, founder of Ambrosia, explains to Inc. that the blood of a young organism is rich with proteins that improve cell function, and can spur the production of these proteins in the recipient’s body.

And, the researcher says this effect appears to be ‘almost permanent.’

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Diseases could soon be diagnosed using MUSIC

An introductory excerpt shows the melody of the 1r75 protein. The researchers hope one day other molecules could be turned into melodies, and could even be used to listen to entire genomes

Turning proteins into melodies may help save lives.

Music and genetics may not be two things you would usually associate with one another, but the unusual combination could one day help improve medical diagnostics.

Both music and genes contain repetition and both have a finite number of options, with four base pairs in genes and twelve notes in music.

This logic has been used to transform the structure of proteins into melodies, allowing them to be analysed using our ears rather than eyes.

The researchers behind this idea say their melodies could be used to teach protein science, and in the near-future could be used to pinpoint mutations. 

The researchers, from the University of Tampere in Finland, Eastern Washington University and the Francis Crick Institute in London, believe their technique could help scientists identify anomalies in proteins more easily.

'We are confident that people will eventually listen to data and draw important information from the experiences,' said Dr Jonathan Middleton, a composer based at the Eastern Washington University.

'The ears might detect more than the eyes, and if the ears are doing some of the work, then the eyes will be free to look at other things.'

Proteins, which have many different functions, are usually studied visually under the microscope.

But using a technique called sonification, the researchers transformed data about proteins into melodies.

The aim of their study, published in the journal Heliyon, was to answer three main questions – what the data sounds like, whether there any benefits and if can we hear particular anomalies in the data.

The melodies were created using a combination of Dr Middleton's composing skills and algorithms, in order for others to use a similar process with their own proteins.

When the melodies were played to people, a large proportion were able to recognise links between the tune and visuals such as graphs and table, which means hearing proteins was easier than expected.

The melodies were also enjoyable to listen to, people reported, which could encourage scientists to listen to them several times and give them more opportunities to analyse the proteins.

'Protein fold assignment is a notoriously tricky area of research in molecular biology,' said Dr Robert Bywater, from the Francis Crick Institute.

'One not only needs to identify the fold type but to look for clues as to its many functions.

'It is not a simple matter to unravel these overlapping messages. Music is seen as an aid towards achieving this unravelling.'

The researchers say their melodies could be used to teach protein science, and in the near-future could be used to pinpoint mutations.

But it does not have to stop at proteins.

The researchers hope one day other molecules could be turned into melodies, and sonification could even be used to listen to entire genomes.

This multidisciplinary approach - combining genetics and music - provides a completely new perspective on a complex problem in biology. 


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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Why Ayurveda recommends drinking water from a copper vessel

Copper is naturally self-sterilizing and has a toxic effect on pathogens that come in contact with it. It destroys even antibiotic-resistant bacteria or "super-germs" such as MRSA. Store potable water in a copper vessel overnight and drink it the next morning. It negates infection-causing bacteria and also aids in digestion, healthy skin and hair, healing injuries, and aids sensory info flow via the nervous system.

Ayurveda has a certain appreciation for copper.

Copper in Ayurveda

Copper is an important metal present in the ayurvedic conception of the human constitution.

It is found in a diverse range of ayurvedic applications, including the storage of potable water, the refining of minerals for supplementation, and the creation of yantras for focusing worshipful intention.

Humans have used copper for thousands of years. Indeed, copper was the first metal to be used purposefully by ancient people about 8,000 years ago, and it was the first metal to be refined and purified about 5,000 years ago.

Ayurveda’s similarly ancient roots date back to at least this period of time, and as a result, ayurveda’s applications of copper are among the oldest examples of practicing preventative natural health and may be the oldest known examples of trace mineral supplementation.

Beneficial properties of copper

The most well-known and important property is that copper is naturally self-sterilizing. Modern science calls this the oligodynamic effect — the inherently toxic effect of certain metals on pathogens.

Put simply, germs are destroyed when they come in contact with copper, silver, and a handful of other metals.

In the case of copper, the effect is particularly strong and extends even to some of today’s most resistant bacteria or “super-germs” such as MRSA, which now survive many of the traditional antibiotic treatments that doctors use to eliminate them.

In the ancient world of our ancestors and in countless places throughout today’s modern world, infectious diseases spread through potable water were and are a major threat to public health.

Ayurveda has recognized for centuries that exposing one’s drinking water to copper before consuming it is a simple and effective way to minimize exposure to such infectious diseases.

This simple and beneficial relationship between human health and the basic elements of nature is a good example of ayurveda at work, and it is one of many examples where modern science is slowly catching up to ancient wisdom.

There is more than water safety involved in this beneficial relationship that we can have with copper. Copper is an important trace mineral that plays a vital role throughout the systems of our bodies.

Storing water in a copper vessel is a simple and efficient means of providing trace copper on a regular basis. These trace deposits of copper are picked up naturally by the water and only in amounts that equal a fraction of a person’s daily recommended intake.

Copper and the human body

Modern science recognizes copper’s important role in a diverse range of bodily functions:

  1. It helps sensory information flow through the nervous system.
  2. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and helps us recover from physical injuries.
  3. It helps keep our skin and hair healthy and strong.
  4. It aids in digestion and helps us efficiently process food, resulting in less fat storage.

Recognizing all these benefits of copper, ayurveda might recommend it for skin conditions, gastritis, or anemia, and an ayurvedic practitioner might recognize poor hair or skin as a sign of a copper deficiency.

Store water in a copper vessel

There is nothing complicated about incorporating a copper drinking vessel into your life.

Large copper vases are traditionally used in India to store quantities of potable water for groups or families, which is then poured into smaller containers for meals and individual use. Some people use a simple copper cup or a kalash, a miniature vase.

Modern-day copper containers diverge from the traditional appearance of the kalash and are built in a cylindrical shape. They are made either with a single piece of copper or with two pieces that form a metal seam, and the mouths are threaded with screw-top lids, sometimes accompanied by a seal to prevent them from leaking.

A simple practice for using a copper container for your drinking water is to fill your copper container at night before sleeping and drink the water the following morning.

Many people who first worry that the water might taste “metallic” are soon impressed by the crisp and clean taste that copper seems to impart to the water it holds.

Try using a copper vessel regularly for your drinking water, and you may find that you take a liking to it.

A copper water vessel is a simple and practical way to employ an ayurvedic practice in your everyday routine.

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Saturday, November 5, 2016

Drinking too much when you are young can trigger 'serious health problems' for the rest of your life

Drinking too much as a young adult may put you at risk for ‘serious health problems’ decades down the line, even long after the problem has been controlled, a new study warns.

Examining more than 600 male veterans in the US, researchers found that those who reported symptoms of alcohol dependence in their younger years suffered more medical conditions than non-drinkers, and scored twice as high on the depression scale.

The researchers say drinking heavily as a young adult may have ‘hidden consequences’ for both physical and mental health by the time a person reaches their 60s, despite the improvements that occur when drinking is curbed by the age of 30.

In a study published to the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, researchers investigated the effects of drinking among 664 US male Vietnam-era veterans.

Of this group, 368 did not report any symptoms of alcohol dependence at any point in their adulthood, while 221 had at least three symptoms of dependence in young adulthood, and 75 had symptoms only before the age of 30.

The researchers found that participants who had reported alcohol dependence symptoms for at least five years during their early adulthood were in poorer physical and mental health in their 60s.

Compared with an average of two medical conditions reported by non-drinkers in the study, those who had experienced alcohol dependence as young adults had an average of three.

And on the depression scale, these participants scored twice as high.

These findings were present even in those who had curbed their drinking problem by the age of 30, the researchers found, suggesting there are ‘silent but permanent’ injuries that result from the condition.

According to lead researcher Randy Haber, PhD, of the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Health Care System in Menlo Park, Calif, the findings are ‘surprising.’
While the improvements that result after a person gains control over their alcohol dependence may be obvious, less is known about how long the effects on both the brain and body will linger.

Later in life, this condition can lead to serious health problems, the researcher says.

Previous studies have found that chronic drinking can harm areas of the brain involved in emotional regulation, self-control, and decision making, and the researcher notes that years of alcohol abuse as a young adult may have lasting consequences for these regions.

Still, Haber points out that recovering from alcohol dependence can cause a person’s life to improve almost across the board, and by incorporating other aspects of a healthy lifestyle – like eating well and not smoking – the health benefits of quitting will also carry into the later years.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Researchers pinpoint chemical that 'has the potential to postpone aging'

Researchers have identified a key factor in the aging process they say could one day lead to longer lives.

In a new study on mice and roundworms, researchers found that adding a chemical known as coenzyme NAD+ postponed physical aging and extend the subjects’ lives. It’s thought that these effects will be seen in humans as well, and could even help to prevent illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

The study from the University of Copenhagen’s Center for Healthy Aging and the American National Institute of Health examined the effects on mice and roundworms bred with the illness Ataxia telangiectasia (A-T).

This is a neurodegenerative illness which hinders DNA repairs and leads to symptoms that are typically associated with early aging.

Adding NAD+, however, was found to delay the aging process of the cells and halt mitochondrial damage. And, it extended the subjects’ lives for both the mice and worms.

According to the researchers, the study has major implications for human aging, and links two leading theories – DNA damage accumulation and mitochondrial dysfunction.

‘Our new study shows an age-dependent decrease in the level of NAD+, and this decrease is far greater for organisms with early aging and a lack of DNA repairs,’ says Professor Vilhelm Bohr, from the Center for Healthy Aging and the National Institute of Health.

‘We were surprised to see that adding NAD+ postponed both the aging processes of the cells and extended life in worms and in a mouse model.’

The effects have not yet been investigated in humans, but researchers say similar results are expected to be seen.

This is based on the universal nature of the cell repair mechanisms, which are found in all living organisms. The findings uncover a major player in the aging process, which in many ways remains a mystery.

‘We know from previous studies that a drop in the level of NAD+ results in metabolism errors, neurodegeneration and aging, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear to us,’ Bohr said.

‘Our new study stresses that the substance NAD+ plays a main role both in maintaining the health of the cells’ power stations and in their capacity for repairing the genes.’

According to the researchers, this new understanding could be a step toward the goal of life extension and the postponing of physical aging, with potential to one day prevent neurodegenerative diseases in humans.