This technological advance was too interesting not to share. Google has developed a new smart contact lenses could help millions of diabetics worldwide.
The lenses have glucose sensors , very small wireless chips that are sandwiched between two lenses and a wifi antennae that is smaller than a human hair. They can monitor blood sugar levels once per second and send a wireless signal. Google is working to integrate LED lights that would flash to indicate high or low blood sugar levels.
The product is still is still being tested, but Google has run clinical research studies. Google estimates that it will take five years before the product will reach consumers.
A report published online in The FASEB Journal, shows a link between weight, paternal diet, and health at conception and the health of offspring. In a study involving rats, researchers found that if the male rats ate a high fat diet, were obese and had diabetes, their offspring had altered expression in pancreatic and fat tissue. The altered gene expression increased the risk of obesity.
The female rats they were mated with were lean and healthy. Researches found that the female offspring born of obese fathers on a high fat diet, had difficulty in a glucose challenge test, even while eating a healthy diet themselves. There were gene expression changes present in pancreatic islets, which produce insulin to control blood glucose and the fat tissue.
“While scientists have focused on how the maternal diet affects children’s health, this study is part of exciting new research exploring the impact of paternal diet on offspring risk of obesity,” said Margaret Morris, Ph.D., Pharmacology School of Medical Sciences at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. “The fact that similar gene markers were affected in pancreas and fat tissue tells us that some of the same pathways are being influenced, possibly from the earliest stages of life. It will be important to follow up these findings, and to learn more about when and how to intervene to reduce the impact of poor paternal metabolic health on offspring.
New research from Vanderbilt University on children with autism shows their hearing is out of sync with what they see.
The research indicates that autistic children cannot immediately connect sound with visual stimuli. The study examined the behavior of 32 high functioning children with autism. They were placed in front of a TV and asked to press a button when they heard the sound that matched what they were seeing. The children with autism took longer. This gap was substantial, sometimes up to half a second.
“Children with autism have trouble integrating simultaneous information from their eyes and their ears,” said study researcher Stephen Camarata, professor of hearing and speech sciences at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. “It is like they are watching a foreign movie that was badly dubbed.”
“When audio and visual signals happen during word learning, they don’t get linked properly,” said Camarata. “For example, when I point to a cup on my desk and say ‘cup’, the word gets bound to the image of the cup. But in children with autism, they might be looking at something else, and then the word cup comes and gets bound to the hat they are looking at.”
Whether you are looking for a health conscious gift or want to start 2014 off on the right foot, you should pass the sporting goods and head straight for the electronics. Bluetooth and wireless technology now make it possible to track your activity, weight, blood pressure, sleep patterns, oxygen level and other indicators on your smart phone and then manage your data, track your progress and share it with others.
This device comes in a clip on and band format. It measures your activity as steps taken, calories burned, stairs climbed and distance traveled. It also tracks your sleep and wake patters and can wake you with a silent vibrating alarm. It is a Bluetooth device and shares data with your phone and/or computer.
This wireless scale shares data with the Fit Bit App allowing you to track your weight, BMI and percentage of body fat. It syncs data automatically through your wifi network. The scale can be used for up to 8 users.
This wireless blood pressure monitor has never been easier to use. You slip the blood pressure cuff on and the data transfers to your iphone or ipad. The information is then stored, graphed and can be emailed to your doctor.
Zeo is a sleep monitoring system that uses a headband to track your sleep patterns. The information is sent to your smartphone app and tracks the length of time spent in deep, REM and light sleep and give you a score to the quality of your sleep. The Smartwake alarm feature uses the data to wake you at the optimal point of your sleep cycle.
Tinke is a device that plugs into your phone and measures your heart rate, blood oxygen level and respiratory rate. It has a “zen measurement” feature that provides one minute breathing exercises and checks your level of relaxation on the end of the exercise. The Tinke app allows your to monitor and chart your progress and to share your results with others through social media platforms.
The benefits of meditation have been studying for many years but for the first time a study has shown the effect of meditation on genes. The study conducted by researchers in France, Spain and Wisconsin shows that mindful meditation can alter the expression of genes that relate to inflammation, specifically those targeted by anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs.
The study compared a group of experienced meditators practicing mindfulness to that of a control group of others engaged in non-meditative activities. At the commencement of the study, there was no difference between the groups. After an 8 hour period, the group that mediated shows a suppression of inflammatory genes. The gene suppression was associated with increased cortisol recovery time when exposed to a social stress test.
“The regulation of HDACs and inflammatory pathways may represent some of the mechanisms underlying the therapeutic potential of mindfulness-based interventions,” Kaliman says. “Our findings set the foundation for future studies to further assess meditation strategies for the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions.”
New research has shown us why sleep is so important to our brain function. During sleep the brain flushes away potentially toxic buildup.
In a study published on Oct. 18, 2013 in Science, scientist injected a marker into the cerebral fluid of mice. When the mice were in the awake state nothing occurred, but when the mice were asleep, the fluid was flushed away. The study shows that the glial cells contract during sleep increasing the brain’s interstitial space and allowing unwanted fluid to be flushed away. They then return to normal size in the awake state.
This study is a breakthrough in neurological diseases linked to protein build-up in the brain such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
The bottom line is if you want to stay healthy and keep your brain functioning at its best, get enough sleep.
It has long been known that too much television is not healthy for developing children, but with the prevalence of tablets, smart phones and video games limiting total screen time is more important than ever.
According to the American Association of Pediatricians, “the average 8- to 10-year-old spends nearly 8 hours a day with different media, and older children and teens spend more than 11 hours per day. Kids who have a TV in their bedroom spend more time with media. About 75 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds own cell phones, and nearly all teenagers use text messaging.”
Guidelines established by the American Association of Pediatrics suggest that children under 2 should not watch any television or entertaining media while older children should be limited to one to two hours a day.
Research shows that children with television in their bedroom have lower test scores. The AAP supports the idea “screen-free” zones with no television, computers or video games in children’s bedrooms.
Background television is also an issue. A study published in Child Development compared the length of time a three year old played with a toy while television was playing in the background compared to time played with the television off. When the television was on, the play time was significantly reduced.
There have also been strong links between health and television viewing. Children who spend more than 4 hours per day watching TV are more likely to be overweight. Simply having a television in the bedroom increases the risk of being overweight. Other studies have shown correlations between increase screen time and increased incident of asthma as well as an increase in bone fractures.
How do you limit time? There are a number of timer that have been developed to track and limit screen time on televisions and video games. These can track single or multiple children and devices. There are a number of Apps such as Game Time Limits control the amount of time spent on tablets and smart phones.
If you are thinking of donating your time or money to help others, you might be surprise to learn that you are actually helping yourself. Charitable giving and volunteering has been shown to increase longevity, decrease stress and to make you happy.
A study conducted by the University of Michigan followed 423 older couples over a five year period It found that the elderly who are helpful to others reduced their risk of dying by nearly 60% compared to those who did not offer practical or emotional support to friends, neighbors and family during the same period of time.
A 2006 study by the National Institute of Health found that charitable giving creates a “helper’s high”; it activates the regions of the brain associated with trust, pleasure and social connection. The Harvard Business School conducted a study that found that “very minor alterations in spending allocations—as little as $5 in our final study—may be sufficient to produce non-trivial gains in happiness on a given day.”
A study published in Psychology and Aging found that volunteering 200 hours a year (4 hours a week) can reduce the risk of developing hypertension by 40%. There was a 22% decrease in those who volunteered 100 to 199 hours a year (2 hours a week).
Next time someone asks you for help, do yourself a favor and say yes.
Looking at my practice, I am astounded at the number of my patients that are following the paleo diet. My clients claimed to be feeling good, losing weight and having increased energy levels, but what I see is something else.
Their systems have become acidic and fatty and there was no doubt in my mind that their cholesterol and triglycerides are off the charts. Their channels are very similar to what I had seen in those following the Atkins diet. During the treatment of one patient, I felt phlegm and fat buildup. I asked how his cholesterol levels were and if he was eating too much fat, he explained that he was eating only grass fed beef and putting organic butter in his tea.
The paleo diet calls for a wide variety of grass fed meats, fish/seafood, fruits and vegetables, eggs, nuts and seeds and healthy oils, perhaps a main issue is one of choice. There is a difference between choosing rib eye steak over a lean cut of fish and perhaps people are choosing the steak more often than the fish.
A study published in the British Medical Journal looked at over 40,000 Swedish women who followed a low carb high protein diet. These women did not show consideration to the nature of the sources of carbohydrates or protein, they simply followed a low carb/high protein diet. The results showed that “a 20 g decrease in daily carbohydrate intake and a 5 g increase in daily protein intake would correspond to a 5% increase in the overall risk of cardiovascular disease.”
While there are some short term gains in following a low carb high protein diet, the long term effect of stroke and heart disease are not worth the risk. Simply adding a small amount of unprocessed grains and focusing more on the fruit and vegetable component of the diet can give you the balance and the results you are looking for.