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Eating potato as effective as carbohydrate gels: Study

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New York: Consuming potato puree during prolonged exercise works just as well as a commercial carbohydrate gel in sustaining blood glucose levels and boosting performance in trained athletes, a new study suggests.

“The research has shown that ingesting concentrated carbohydrate gels during prolonged exercise promotes carbohydrate availability during exercise and improves exercise performance,” said study’s lead author Nicholas Burd, Professor at the University of Illinois in the US.

“Our study aim was to expand and diversify race-fuelling options for athletes and offset flavour fatigue,” Burd said.

Potatoes are a promising alternative for athletes because they represent a cost-effective, nutrient-dense and whole-food source of carbohydrates, the researchers reported in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

Furthermore, they serve as a savoury race fuel option when compared with the high sweetness of carbohydrate gels.

The researchers recruited 12 participants who were healthy and devoted to their sport, averaging 165 miles per week on their bicycles.

To qualify for the trials, the cyclists had to reach a specific threshold for aerobic fitness and complete the 120-minute cycling challenge followed by a time trial.

Participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions during the experiments: They would consume either water alone, a commercially available carbohydrate gel or an equivalent amount of carbohydrates obtained from potatoes.

The researchers standardised what the 12 cyclists ate for 24 hours before repeating the 120-minute cycling challenge and time trial, which was designed to mirror typical race conditions.

Throughout the exercise, the team measured participants’ blood glucose, core body temperature, exercise intensity, gastric emptying and gastrointestinal symptoms.

The researchers also measured concentrations of lactate, a metabolic marker of intense exercise, in participants’ blood.

“We found no differences between the performance of cyclists who got their carbohydrates by ingesting potatoes or gels at recommended amounts of about 60 grams per hour during the experiments.

“Both groups saw a significant boost in performance that those consuming only water did not achieve,” Burd added.

According to the study, plasma glucose concentrations went up by a similar amount in those consuming potatoes and gels.

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Health

Keto diet may help you fight the flu

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New York,  A ketogenic diet, which includes meat, fish, poultry and non-starchy vegetables, may help combat the flu virus, suggests new research.

This diet regimen activates a subset of T cells in the lungs not previously associated with the immune system’s response to influenza, enhancing mucus production from airway cells that can effectively trap the virus, said the study published in the journal Science Immunology.

“This was a totally unexpected finding,” said co-senior author Akiko Iwasaki, Professor at Yale University in the US.The researchers found that mice fed a ketogenic diet were better able to combat the flu virus than mice fed food high in carbohydrates.

Specifically, the researchers found that the ketogenic diet triggered the release of gamma delta T cells, immune system cells that produce mucus in the cell linings of the lung — while the high-carbohydrate diet did not.

When mice were bred without the gene that codes for gamma delta T cells, the ketogenic diet provided no protection against the influenza virus.

“This study shows that the way the body burns fat to produce ketone bodies from the food we eat can fuel the immune system to fight flu infection,” said co-senior author Visha Deep Dixit, Professor at Yale University.

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Lifestyle

Diabetes-related stress more harmful for young adults

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New York, Nov 16 (IANS) Young people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes experience high psychological distress, resulting in worse health outcomes and poor blood sugar control, find researchers from Carnegie Mellon University.

Age plays a critical role in the well-being of people newly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.”We found we can evaluate a patient’s initial stress and predict how they will be doing six months later,” said Vicki Helgeson, professor of psychology at the university.

“If you can identify people who are facing diabetes distress earlier, you can intervene and prevent their health from declining,” said the findings published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine.

In the study, the team evaluated 207 patients who were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes within the past two years.

They found younger patients (42 years and younger) experienced higher diabetes-related and psychological distress.

In addition, patients with higher education and income expressed more stress. Conversely, older patients (older than 64 years) had less psychological stress and greater consistency in self-care, blood sugar control and medication adherence.

Patients in long-term relationships also reported less diabetes stress.Patients identified diet as the greatest stressor (38 per cent).

Other significant stressors include checking blood sugar (8 per cent) and experiencing high or low blood sugar events (7 per cent).

Patients who self-reported greater stress also reported greater depressed mood, less adherence to medication and higher anxiety.

“Diabetes care is difficult, because it requires a lifestyle change that you have to do forever,” Helgeson said. “Life gets in the way of sticking to a diabetes regimen.”

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Fashion

Why perimenopause affects sexual life in some women

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Sex And Menopause

Sexual dysfunction increases by nearly 30 per cent during perimenopause and vaginal dryness most often has the greatest effect on desire, arousal and overall satisfaction, reveals a new study.

For some women, sex becomes less satisfying with age, with a pronounced decline during perimenopause. Women start perimenopause at different ages.

There are many factors that can negatively affect sexual function, including mental and emotional status, ageing, chronic medical problems and menopause status.

Decreasing estrogen levels during the menopause transition cause a variety of biological changes in a woman’s body, leading to vaginal atrophy, the thinning, drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls.

“This study examined sexual functioning in women aged 40 to 55 years and identified a link between vaginal dryness and worse sexual function.

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“Given the high prevalence of sexual dysfunction in women, identifying an eminently treatable contributing factor such as vaginal dryness may allow women to maintain their sexual function during the menopause transition,” said Dr Stephanie Faubion, medical director with the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) in a paper published in the journal Menopause.

Although previous studies have documented the effect of vaginal atrophy on menopausal women, this new study is one of only a few to assess effect during perimenopause, a transitional time before menopause when the ovaries gradually begin to make less estrogen.

Largely as a result of vaginal dryness, researchers noted that sexual satisfaction scores decreased while sexual dysfunction increased by about 30 per cent during the perimenopause years.

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