Are women fitter than men?

A new study shows that when women exercise, their body processes oxygen a lot faster than men’s. This indicates superior aerobic fitness, explain the researchers. In other words, women may be naturally fitter than men.

man and woman ready for running

But new research challenges the traditional belief that men are athletically superior to women. In fact, by measuring women’s response to aerobic training, a new study suggests that the opposite may be true.

The new study examined sex differences in the body’s response to aerobic fitness; more specifically, it focused on how sex affects the body’s ability to process oxygen once it starts to exercise.

Thomas Beltrame, from the University of Waterloo in Canada, led the research, and the findings were published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.

 

Oxygen uptake is a standard measure of aerobic fitness, and it describes the amount of oxygen that the body can take in and use per minute.

As the American College of Sports Medicine explain, our oxygen consumption rate “provides a measure of the maximal ability to perform high-intensity aerobic work, [and] is strongly associated with performance and health.”

Therefore, a higher rate of oxygen processing means that women may be less prone to muscle fatigue and more likely to perform better athletically. They may also be more resilient, as higher oxygen processing also indicates a lower perception of physical effort.

“The findings are contrary to the popular assumption that men’s bodies are more naturally athletic,” Beltrame says.

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Oxygen therapy treat Alzheimer’s?

Breathing oxygen at a higher-than-normal air pressure might ease some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, if recent research done in mice has the same results in humans.

Mice genetically engineered to develop some human features of Alzheimer’s disease showed significant reductions in physical and behavioral symptoms after 2 weeks of daily treatment with hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).

This was the result that a team hailing from the University of Tel Aviv (TAU) in Israel reported in a paper that was published recently in the journal Neurobiology of Aging.

HBOT is a type of treatment during which the person breathes oxygen at a pressure that is greater than normal air pressure. The treatment, which is delivered inside a pressurized chamber, can cause the lungs to absorb up to three times more oxygen than usual.

The researchers note in their study paper that, while HBOT “has been used successfully to treat several neurological conditions,” its effects on Alzheimer’s disease “have never been thoroughly examined.”

In a hyperbaric oxygen chamber that they custom-built for the small animals, the researchers gave the transgenic mice 1 hour of HBOT every day for 14 days. They also gave another group of normal mice (the controls) the same treatment.

After this, the team observed the mice as they completed a number of behavioral tests. They also examined their brain tissue for effects of the treatment on the physical hallmarks of Alzheimer’s. They compared the results with the control mice.

The researchers’ analysis showed various biological and biochemical signs that HBOT had reduced inflammation in the brain.

 

The team suggests that the findings show that HBOT shows promise as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, especially given that it “is used in the clinic to treat various indications, including neurological conditions.”

 

references https://www.medicalnewstoday.com

In honour of COPD Awareness Month

As November marked National COPD Awareness Month we thought it gave justice to another article! An internationally-recognized event held annually to enhance exposure around chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The main cause of COPD is tobacco smoke or exposure to air pollutants like cigarette smoke or outdoor pollution in the home or at work, family history, and respiratory infections like pneumonia also increase your risk.

Symptoms of COPD include:

  • Frequent coughing or wheezing
  • Excess phlegm or sputum
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trouble taking a deep breath

If you experience these symptoms, you should discuss them with your GP. One way to treat COPD is supplemental oxygen from a portable oxygen tank if blood oxygen levels are low.

 

ref: https://eparisextra.com

Christmas trees could trigger deadly asthma attacks, doctors have warned.

christmas-tree

The festive fir in the corner of your living room harbours mould, which can aggravate the lungs.

Leading charity Asthma UK has urged people to be vigilant over the Christmas period.

Their data shows around 300 people are admitted to hospital on Christmas Day each year, suffering severe attacks, that could be linked to the festive favourite.

Mould that naturally grows on your tree can multiply in the warm temperatures of your living room.

And fake trees aren’t the safe alternative they may seem to be, gathering dust and mould in the loft, that can aggravate the lungs.

But, those with allergies as well as asthma sufferers should be alert to the dangers, Asthma UK urged. The moulds are naturally occurring on the trees, but flourish when they are inside our toasty warm homes in the winter.

But the charity also warns that both real and fake trees can also pose a threat.

 

Fake trees are a great alternative if the allergens that form on a real tree cause you too many breathing difficulties.

But artificial trees, and decorations, can gather dust and mould when they are kept in storage for the year which can cause a flare-up of symptoms when you put it up.

So it’s a good idea to wipe them down when you pull it out of storage and wrap them in plastic to keep the dust at bay when you put them away again.

 

 

 

reference: https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/4981922/warning-doctors-christmas-tree-deadly-asthma-attacks/

Why women should watch out for COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a potentially serious and often under-diagnosed respiratory disease caused by smoking and air pollution. It affects women more quickly and more severely than men, warn lung disease specialists ahead of World COPD Day, November 15.

Although generally little-known to the public, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was the fourth biggest global cause of death in 2015, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), behind ischemic heart disease (nine million people), stroke (six million) and lower respiratory infections (just over 3.2 million).

The WHO points out that while in the past, men were more frequently diagnosed with COPD, women are now affected to essentially the same degree. Smoking between five and 10 cigarettes per day is a risk factor for COPD in women, as well as exposure to certain household products, according to recent research.

Warning signs include a chronic cough, coughing up mucus and shortness of breath, especially during physical activity. They appear progressively—sometimes without the patient really noticing—and get worse over time, especially when resting.

 

Read more at http://www.themalaymailonline.com/features/article/why-women-should-watch-out-for-copd#gXIEGxCmRQgR6gjX.99

 

 

 

 

references: Read more at http://www.themalaymailonline.com/features/article/why-women-should-watch-out-for-copd#gXIEGxCmRQgR6gjX.99

Asthma suffers given warning over bonfires and fireworks

Bonfires and fireworks could potentially cause fatal asthma attacks warns Asthma UK

Bonfires and fireworks could cause potentially fatal asthma attacks, a leading asthma charity has warned, issuing advice ahead of Bonfire Night on November 5.

The smoke fumes from burning wood and firework displays can linger in the air creating localised pollution, which could cause asthma attacks for the 5.4million people in the UK with the condition, says Asthma UK.

Asthma UK, who provide a nurse-staffed helpline for people with asthma, advice on its website and funds over 30 research projects, says three people die from asthma attacks every day.

Having an asthma attack can be incredibly frightening, and one occurs every 10 seconds in the UK. An attack happens when the airways start to tighten, which can leave people coughing, wheezing and gasping for breath. Some people with asthma describe having an asthma attack as feeling like someone is holding a pillow over their face.

 

Asthma UK has issued top tips for people with asthma on Bonfire Night:

  • Take your preventer medicines as prescribed
  • Carry your reliever inhaler (usually blue) with you at all times
  • If you find that smoke is making you cough, stand well back and admire the fireworks from a distance
  • Make sure your friends and family know what to do and when to get help if your asthma symptoms suddenly get worse
  • If it’s cold, wrap a scarf over your nose and mouth; this will help to warm up the air before you breathe it in.

ref: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/asthma-suffers-given-warning-over-11454993

How to avoid catching a cold on public transport

As any commuter will tell you, the threat of catching a cold is everywhere – from your sniffling co-passenger to that handrail everyone’s been touching. And it’s not just paranoia; one study by the University of Nottingham in 2011 found those who use public buses or trams were up to six times more likely to catch the common cold.

In fact, up to 15% of the population will be struck down with a cold virus during the winter months, according to data from the World Health Organization.

Here are some top tips to help you avoid picking up a cough or cold on public transport this winter.

As sneezes and coughs can travel a large distance very quickly, standing sideways to them is safer than standing directly opposite. If they do sneeze or cough, try not to breathe in for a few seconds.

Surfaces like handles, buttons and handrails are key places for cold viruses to linger, but whether you pick them up depends on the length of time the virus has been on the surface, the amount of virus deposited by an infected person and, if you then transfer the bugs by touching your eyes and nose, the ‘optimal portal’ for entry.

If you see a sick person touching certain surfaces, avoid contact with the same ones but if you have to, definitely don’t touch your nose or eyes afterwards.

There is no particular ‘hotspot’ for colds and other viruses on public transport; it can be any place where people’s hands leave behind a reasonable amount of virus that will then be touched by another person. Be aware of escalator handrails, ticket machines, maps, etc too, not just the handrails on the bus or Tube.

When you’re on the go, use an alcohol-based antibacterial hand gel, known to kill viruses, after taking public transport. However, washing your hands with soap and water is best, so do that when you arrive at work or get home. If you’re really worried, it doesn’t hurt to wipe down any handrails with an antiseptic wipe.

  • Try to sit in emptier areas such as the back of the bus, or in train carriages which are less full than others – this minimises your risk of sitting near infected people.

  • If you are on a train with windows, try to open them to get as much ventilation as possible – this reduces your risk of breathing in airborne viruses.

And if you’re the one with the cold? Stay at home – as well as protecting your fellow commuters, your colleagues will thank you for not spreading those germs all around the office too.

references: https://patient.info/health/common-cold-upper-respiratory-tract-infections/features/how-to-avoid-catching-a-cold-on-public-transport