Workouts may slow Tumor Growth…

The American College of Sports Medicine reviewed past research on how exercise can reduce the risk of developing some cancers by as much as 69%. The data also showed how exercise can improve treatment outcomes which in turn can prolong life. One line of thought is that exercise can lower inflammation in the body and therefore cultivate an environment that is less friendly to malignancies. In a new study performed at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, scientists inoculated two groups of rodents with cancer cells. One group was allowed to be extremely active while the other remained sedentary. They noted that in the group that was active there was very little evidence of tumor growth.  The T cell (immune fighter) that they attributed this to is the CD8+ T cell. What they also discovered was when they suppressed this particular T cell, regardless of how much activity, tumor cell growth was no longer suppressed. They then isolated and injected the CD8+ t cell from active rodents into sedentary rodents and found that their tumor growth was suppressed. After removing blood from the active rodents, they determined that their blood contained a large amount of lactate produced from exercise. Bathing T cells in lactate produced stronger cancer fighting T cells. There appears to be a profound effect that exercise has on the ability of the T cells to suppress tumor growth and how these cells remain persistent in fighting cancer over a period of time.

 

https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/exercise-linked-with-lower-risk-of-13-types-of-cancer.html

Jigsaw Puzzles and Our Minds…

Working on a jigsaw puzzle can be extremely gratifying. The fact that there is a conclusion to a puzzle, unlike some of the puzzles that we confront in our daily lives, is part of the gratification. Since solving a jigsaw demands so much intensity, it can actually shut off the neurological pathways that can lead to anxiety. A demand for puzzles has grown especially during this pandemic. They are available in everything from wood to cardboard to acrylic. Whenever there is a severe crisis, the last one was the Great Depression, there seems to be an upswing in demand. Because they are tactile, they provide a different sensation then just visual entertainment. There appears to be a hit of dopamine every time a piece fits into place. Puzzles encourage participation from either family members or friends which make them more collaborative as opposed to competitive and therefore relaxing. Putting together a puzzle can develop skill sets such as visual-spatial reasoning, short-term memory, pattern matching and patience. There are even companies such as “Completing the Puzzle” that can rent you a puzzle if you do not have space to store puzzles. Jigsaw sets can begin at 100 pieces and go up to as many as 32,000. They are available in every category which makes it easy to put together a visual you truly enjoy. Lastly, they can be extremely meditative if you just want to sit quiet and be alone.

 

https://www.goodnet.org/articles/7-surprising-ways-puzzles-are-good-for-your-brain

http://www.southmountainmemorycare.com/blog/30-7-surprising-benefits-of-doing-jigsaw-puzzles-for-all-ages-2

Fear of Pasta:

Should pasta be a part of our diet? Why is it that it is the first food that people eliminate when they feel they want to eat healthy or lose weight? Actually, pasta can be a good source of energy as well as a nutritious part of your diet when used properly. Sure, pasta can put on weight, but that depends on how much of it you are consuming and what you are combining it with. It should be part of the meal and not the entire meal. In other words, about a cup of cooked pasta in combination with olive oil, vegetables, beans or some animal protein can provide a nice combination of carbohydrates, fat and protein. With so many types available, is one better than the other? Regular refined pasta may seem to be an undesirable choice but in fact it is made from semolina (a hard Durum wheat) which is high in protein. Since it is refined it is also fortified with folate and B vitamins. The nature of this type of pasta is such that the way its protein and carbs are bound together it digests very slowly making it a slow release of energy in the body. Vegetable infused pasta is nothing more than colored pasta with no added nutritional benefits. Whole wheat is a step up since it contains the whole grain of the wheat so you will get both the bran (fiber) and the germ (healthy fat) of the wheat. Pastas made from beans or other grains (chickpeas, lentils, quinoa etc.) do have a higher nutritional value but vary in taste. Using pasta for energy can really work especially if you are an active person. Just be aware of portion size and incorporate other grains to vary your diet and nutritional needs.

An Extra Set of Salivary Glands…

The human body is so complicated. After years of cutting and dicing cadavers, we are still finding hidden unknown organs. Scientists in the Netherlands have discovered a fourth set of salivary glands hidden inside the nasal cavity. Until recently it was believed that there were only three major sets. Why is this important? Salivary glands are responsible for supplying spit. In turn, the mouth becomes lubricated allowing us to both speak and swallow. They help us fight off germs from entering the mouth and have great healing powers for infections in the mouth. Most important they help with tasting our food which is a major contributor to quality of life. The tissues that comprise these glands are extremely delicate, and doctors are extremely careful not to destroy them when using radiation. These two hidden glands may be a major funneling system for transporting fluid from the head to the base of the tongue. The new finding may help to answer the question why people who undergo radiation of the head and neck so often end up with so many of the effects of injured salivary glands. Since they were so well hidden, doctors, unaware of their existence, never took precautions to spare them. It is not clear at present if these glands exist in the whole population or in certain groups of people. The research needs to widen its study to include a more diverse population. It just goes to show what an incredible piece of anatomy our bodies are.

 

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/quality/physicians-may-have-discovered-4th-pair-of-salivary-glands-in-head.html