Colorful fruits and vegetables are abundant in antioxidants, compounds that may protect against cardiovascular disease by preventing lipid oxidation and endothelial damage — both of which can lead to atherosclerosis, and by preserving the nitric oxide pool–which helps to reduce blood pressure.

Exercise, doing puzzles, and learning a new language may help aging men and women to retain their memory and thinking skills. Deborah Barnes, from the University of California/San Francisco (UCSF; California, USA), and colleagues enrolled 126 inactive men and women, average age 73.4 years, who were experiencing cognitive declines, in a study to assess the combined effects of physical plus mental activity on cognitive function.

Movement From Australia to Great Britain, researcher teams confirm that the more a person sits, the greater the risk of chronic diseases. Emma S. George, University of Western Sydney (Australia), and colleagues, reported on their analysis of data from subjects enrolled in Australia’s 45 and Up Study, involving more than 267,000 people and for which a subset of 63,048 men, ages 45 to 65 years, was selected.

The National Sleep Foundation (Virginia, USA) has published the results of its 2013 “Sleep in America” poll—which show a compelling association between exercise and better sleep. A total of 1,000 surveys comprised of a representative sample stratified by age and area of the country (Northeast, Midwest, West, and South).

The Shamatha Project at the University of California/Davis (California, USA) is a comprehensive long-term, control-group study of the effects of meditation training on mind and body. Tonya Jacobs and colleagues used a questionnaire to measure aspects of mindfulness among a group of volunteers before and after an intensive, threemonth meditation retreat.

While unique experiences shape the way that people evaluate happiness and optimism, a large-scale study data reveals that life satisfaction increases over subjects’ lifetimes.

Older adults may improve their decision-making and working memory simply by maintaining a positive mood. Stephanie M. Carpenter, from the University of Michigan (Michigan, USA), and colleagues enrolled 46 adults, ages 63 to 85 years, in a study to assess the role of mood on cognitive skill.

A person’s risk of heart attack increases incrementally, and may be elevated within the first year of unemployment. Matthew E. Dupre, from Duke University (North Carolina, USA), and colleagues analyzed data collected from 13,451 participants in the Health and Retirement Study, median age 62 years.

High-perceived stress associates with a moderately increased risk of incident coronary heart disease. Donald Edmondson, from Columbia University (New York, USA), and colleagues assessed the effect of perceived stress on incident coronary heart disease.

People with known cardiovascular disease, or diabetes with end-organ effects, are at a lower risk of cardiovascular death, heart attack, heart failure, or stroke if they consume a healthy diet. Researchers involved in two clinical studies involving a total of 31,546 men and women, average age 66.5 years, sought report that subjects who consumed the healthiest diet had a significantly lower risk of further cardiovascular events, as compared to those who ate the poorest quality...

People may lose 30 minutes of life expectancy for every two cigarettes they smoke, for being 11 pounds overweight, and for eating an extra portion of red meat daily. David Spiegelhalter, from the University of Cambridge, has coined the concept of a “microlife,” defined as 30 minutes of life expectancy—as a practical substitution for the statistical concept of the hazard ratio. He computed that a million half hours—or 57 years—roughly corresponds to a lifetime of adult exposure to...

Four months of a high-intensity interval training program dramatically increased cognitive performance, among middleaged people with increased cardiovascular risk.

An active lifestyle helps preserve gray matter in the brains of older adults and could reduce the burden of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Cyrus Raji, from the University of California/Los Angeles (UCLA; California, USA), and colleagues examined how an active lifestyle can influence brain structure in 876 adults, average age 78 years, enrolled in the Cardiovascular Health Study.

Exercise may play an important role in helping people to better endure life’s daily anxieties and stress. J. Carson Smith, from the University of Maryland (Maryland, USA), enrolled 37 healthy and normally physically active young adults to complete two exercise regimens on separate days: the first, 30-minutes of seated rest; and the second, 30-minutes of moderate intensity cycle ergometer exercise (Rated Perceived Exertion of 13; ‘somewhat hard’). The researcher assessed...

What and when we eat can alter our body clocks — consequently impacting overall health, weight, and life expectancy. The human body is regulated by a “circadian clock system” — a complex timing system governing the body’s key biological processes. Researchers from the University of Southampton (United Kingdom) submit that oscillations in the gene and protein components in the body clock modulate physiological and metabolic outputs.

Older adults who learned music in childhood and continued to play an instrument for at least 10 years outperformed others in tests of memory and cognitive ability. Brenda Hanna-Pladdy, from Emory University (Georgia, USA), and colleagues studied 70 musicians and non-musicians, ages 59 to 80 years, who were evaluated by neuropsychological tests and surveyed about general lifestyle activities.

A blend of choline, uridine, and docohexaenoic acid (DHA) serves as precursor to lipid molecules essential for forming and maintaining membranes of brain cells, thereby helping to avert the loss of synapses—connections between brain cells that can lead to memory loss and other cognitive impairments.

Choline can be found in meats, nuts and eggs, and omega-3 fatty acids are found in a variety of sources, including fish, eggs, flaxseed and meat from grass-fed animals. Uridine...

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