Friday January 18, 2019

Stem Cells May Help To Stay Strong In Old Age

For the study, published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers investigated the number of mutations that accumulate in the muscle's stem cells (satellite cells)

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Stem cells
As we grow older, our muscular function declines. So, according to the researchers, this discovery may result in new medication to build stronger muscles even when in old age. Pixabay

Researchers have found how an unexpectedly high number of mutations in the stem cells of muscles impair cell regeneration.

For the study, published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers investigated the number of mutations that accumulate in the muscle’s stem cells (satellite cells).

ALSO READ: Treating blindness with stem cell therapy

“What is most surprising is the high number of mutations. We have seen how a healthy 70-year-old has accumulated more than 1,000 mutations in each stem cell in the muscle, and that these mutations are not random but there are certain regions that are better protected,” said co-author Maria Eriksson, professor at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet.

Stem cells
The study was performed using single stem cells cultivated to provide sufficient DNA for whole genome sequencing. Pixabay

The mutations occur during natural cell division, and the regions that are protected are those that are important for the function or survival of the cells. Nonetheless, the researchers were able to identify that this protection declines with age.

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“We can demonstrate that this protection diminishes the older you become, indicating an impairment in the cell’s capacity to repair their DNA. And this is something we should be able to influence with new drugs,” said Eriksson.

“We achieved this in the skeletal muscle tissue, which is absolutely unique. We have also found that there is a very little overlap of mutations, despite the cells being located close to each other, representing an extremely complex mutational burden,” the researcher noted. (IANS)

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Orange Juice, Leafy Vegetables May Prevent Memory Loss in Older Age

A total of 55 per cent of the participants had good thinking and memory skills, 38 per cent had moderate skills, and seven per cent had poor thinking and memory skills

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orange juice
Orange juice, leafy greens may preserve memory in older men. Pixabay

Men who eat leafy greens, dark orange and red vegetables, berries and drink orange juice may be at a lower risk of developing memory loss in older age, according to a study.

The findings showed that men who ate larger amounts of fruits and vegetables 20 years earlier were less likely to develop thinking and memory problems, whether or not they kept eating larger amounts of fruits and vegetables later.

Men who consumed the most vegetables were 34 per cent less likely to develop poor thinking skills than the men who consumed the least amount of vegetables.

Men who drank orange juice every day were 47 per cent less likely to develop poor thinking skills than the men who drank less than one serving per month. This association was mainly observed for regular consumption of orange juice among the oldest men, the researchers found.

“One of the most important factors in this study is that we were able to research and track such a large group of men over a 20-year period of time, allowing for very telling results,” said Changzheng Yuan from Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

Green vegetable
Leafy vegetables. Pixabay

“Our studies provide further evidence dietary choices can be important to maintain your brain health,” Yuan added.

The study, published in the journal Neurology, looked at 27,842 men with an average age of 51 who were all health professionals.

Participants also took subjective tests of their thinking and memory skills at least four years before the end of the study, when they were an average age of 73.

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A total of 55 per cent of the participants had good thinking and memory skills, 38 per cent had moderate skills, and seven per cent had poor thinking and memory skills.

However, the study does not show that eating fruits and vegetables and drinking orange juice reduces memory loss; it only shows a relationship between them, the researchers noted. (IANS)