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Breast milk boosts brain development in babies

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New York, Feb 13 (IANS) With maternal factors, such as breast milk, having been shown to affect a baby’s development, now researchers have found that the carbohydrate, the oligosaccharide 2’FL, found in breast milk enhances cognitive development.

In this cohort study of 50 mothers and their babies, the researchers analysed breast milk composition and frequency of feeding at 1 and 6 months of age.

Cognitive development was measured at 24 months using the Bayley-III scale, a standardised test of infant and toddler development.

“Through our high-throughput analytical platform we can quantify oligosaccharides like 2’FL and many others in hundreds of breast milk samples in a short period of time,” said study co-author Lars Bode from University of California in the US.

“This technology allows us to associate differences in milk composition with specific infant outcomes like cognitive development, validating existing data from preclinical models or generating entirely new hypotheses,” Bode added.

The findings, published in the journal PLOS ONE, showed that the amount of 2’FL in breast milk in the first month of feeding was related to significantly higher cognitive development scores in babies by 2 years of age.

The amount of 2’FL in breast milk at 6 months of feeding was not related to cognitive outcomes, indicating that early exposure may be more beneficial.

Using a statistical technique called mediation analysis, the researchers were able to independently evaluate the effects of breastfeeding in general, and the effects of the oligosaccharide 2’FL.

“This enhanced cognitive development in the first 2 years of life raises the question of possible long term impact on a child – in school and beyond,” said study first author Paige Berger.

These observations allowed the team to conclude that the increased neurodevelopment provided by breastfeeding was due primarily to mothers who were producing more 2’FL for the baby to consume.

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Billie Eilish breaks down at 2020 BRIT Awards

She had told BBC Breakfast: “I stopped like two days ago. I’ve stopped reading comments fully. It was ruining my life. It’s weird. The cooler the things you get to do, the more people hate you.”

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Billie Eilish

London, Feb 19 : Singer Billie Eilish broke down at the 2020 BRIT Awards after admitting social media trolls had made her “feel hated”.

The American singer got the award on Tuesday evening for Best International Female Artist from Spice Girl Mel C, after performing new James Bond theme “No Time To Die live” for the first time, reports dailymail.co.uk.

Billie told the star-studded audience at London’s O2 Arena: “I wanted to say something that I was thinking like two seconds ago… I’ve felt very hated recently.”

Struggling to compose herself, she added: “And when I was on the stage and I saw you guys smiling at me, it genuinely made me want to cry, and I want to cry right now, so thank you.”

The award comes after she discussed her recent decision to take a step back from social media, and specifically stop reading the comments on her Instagram posts.

She had told BBC Breakfast: “I stopped like two days ago. I’ve stopped reading comments fully. It was ruining my life. It’s weird. The cooler the things you get to do, the more people hate you.”

“Cancel culture is insane. The internet is a bunch of trolls and the problem is a lot of it is really funny. It’s anything for a joke. People say anything to make people laugh.”

“It’s insane that I have ever been reading comments. I should’ve stopped long ago but the problem is I’ve always wanted to stay in touch with my fans and people have ruined that for me and for them. That s**ks.”

“I still try to like fan posts. If I see fans anywhere I just want to talk to them. They’re people, they’re me. They’re like friends of mine, but the internet is ruining my life, so I turned it off,” she added.

The Grammy-Award winning singer-songwriter and her producer and co-writer brother Finneas O’Connell had also revealed about the creative process behind the James Bond track. Finneas had explained that Bond star Daniel Craig is involved in every aspect of their movie franchise, including the theme song.

“He had to like it. If Daniel doesn’t like it then you don’t get the job,” he said while Billie added: “He has a big say in it. We learned that from this. He’s really involved. We haven’t met him but he’s got to like it before they move on.”

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Nutrition tips for people over 50

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New Delhi, Ageing is inevitable, irreversible and progressive. What’s more is that it brings along many changes to the bodily functions and affects most organs.

Nutrition has a great role to play in healthy ageing, says Dr Aastha, Head Clinical Nutrition, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Mohali. People face several health issues due to age and lack of adequate nutrition can add to the severity of the situation.

Therefore, proper nutrient intake is essential for people. As nutrient requirement of people changes with age, one must know what to eat and what not to, based on the condition of their body,” she said.

Few factors that might lead to reduced food intake after one hits 50 are: Loss of appetite, decreased sense of taste and/or smell, difficulty chewing and/or swallowing, loss of physical strength or mobility, chronic conditions and medication, mental and emotional factors, financial insecurity.

Some do’s and don’ts for people of age 50 years and above:

Adopt easy-to-digest, easy-to-absorb, small frequent meals.
Limit sugars, sweet beverages, undiluted juices, prefer fruits
Add plenty of fluids to your diet as they keep you hydrated and boost digestion
Replace refined cereals and grains with whole grain cereals and pulses
The fibre composition in diet should be moderate
Limit sedentary lifestyle – be physically active
Two-three servings of seasonal fruits should be included every day’s meal
Add onion, ginger, garlic, lemon, cumin seeds, carom seeds, fenugreek seeds, almonds, walnuts, coconut water in diet as these are good for muscular flexibility, prevent water retention and swelling and also contribute to maintain healthy blood pressure.

Busting a few myths about ageing and nutrition:

There is no reason for avoiding proteins in this age, as proteins are essential for tissue repair, avoiding pulses at night is an additional myth.
Salt needs to restricted only when one is hypertensive or has serum sodium levels on the higher side.
Cottage cheese does not have cholesterol if it is made from toned milk and is a very healthy option.
Saturated fats need not be eliminated totally from diet, unless one has a heart block or hypercholesterolemia.
Consumption of milk post dinner is just fine provided it’s not taken too late.
Reducing number of meals beyond 3 is way more harmful, so one must target 3 major meals and 2 minor meals to keep metabolism going.
Eating healthily, combined with regular physical activity, can help a person live a full active life.

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UN chief visits Kartarpur gurdwara in Pakistan

Up to 5,000 Indian Sikhs have been allowed access daily through the corridor, with plans to eventually double the capacity.

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Antonio Guterres
File Picture of Antonio Guterres in Golden Temple Amritsar India.

Islamabad, Feb 18 : United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday visited Gurdwara Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur in Pakistan’s Narowal district.

Pakistan’s Minister of Religious Affairs Pir Noorul Haq Qadri and other officials accompanied Guterras on the visit, during which the UN chief was briefed on the Kartarpur corridor.

Guterres said that the opening of the Kartarpur corridor is a “practical proof of Pakistan’s desire for peace and interfaith harmony”, Radio Pakistan reported.

Guterres also visited the community kitchen (langar) at the gurdwara, where he was served a traditional meal of rice and lentils. The kitchen caters to all Sikh pilgrims visiting the religious place, providing them free meals as per the Sikh tradition, Dawn reported.

The 4.1-km-long Kartarpur corridor has been built from Dera Baba Nanak town in Gurdaspur distict of Indian Punjab to Darbar Sahib gurdwara in Pakistan. It was inaugurated on November 9 last year to coincide with the celebrations related to the 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak.

Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, the final resting place of Guru Nanak, is situated on the west bank of river Ravi in Shakargarh tehsil in Narowal district. It is around 125 km from Lahore.

Up to 5,000 Indian Sikhs have been allowed access daily through the corridor, with plans to eventually double the capacity.

Earlier on Tuesday morning, the UN chief also visited a school in Lahore where he administered polio drops to children.

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