MIT Researchers Think They Can Spot Early Signs of Parkinson’s in the Way People Type.

It may be possible to detect neurological diseases years before other symptoms appear by monitoring how long we hold down keystrokes


From the physical keys on our laptops to the software buttons on our smartphones, most of us rely on keyboards as the primary way of entering data into the digital world. But it turns out that our keyboards can also tell us quite a bit about ourselves, detecting when we’re tired, drunk, and even when we’re showing early signs of neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease—perhaps years before more recognizable symptoms surface.

Researchers at the Madrid-MIT M+Visión Consortium, a network dedicating to healthcare innovation in Madrid, are gathering and analyzing the keystrokes of volunteers with software and studying the patterns that emerge through machine learning. Individual typing patterns have already been used to identify individuals; some banks have used them to increase security when logging into accounts. But according to a soon-to-be-published paper in Scientific Reports, the M+Visión team was able to take the same typing data, combined with pattern recognition techniques, to distinguish between typing done when fully rested and when volunteers were tasked to type when woken up in the night. That data could also be used to detect neurological conditions much earlier than existing methods.

To be clear, the team is only gathering information about the timing of key presses, not which keys are being pressed. The researchers developed software that could be applied to a web browser to track how long a typist holds down each key. There’s no need to use specialized keyboards, and little cause for privacy concerns. In fact, many third-party smartphone keyboards gather much more data about what we type.

But it’s clear from the group’s work that we leave behind a trove of information when we interact with electronic devices in our daily lives.

“Every time we touch something that has a microprocessor in it, the microprocessor is able to measure the timing with sub-millisecond accuracy,” Luca Giancardo, a M+Vision fellow and the paper’s first author says. “You can get potential information from a microwave, but changing the software in a microwave is much harder.”

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How Molecule Protects Brain Cells in Parkinson’s Disease Model

Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found how a widely known but little-studied enzyme protects brain cells in models of Parkinson’s disease.

These findings could provide valuable insight into the development of drug candidates that could protect brain cells in Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

The study, published recently online ahead of print by the journalMolecular and Cellular Biology, focuses on the enzyme known as serum glucocorticoid kinase 1 (SGK1).

“The overexpression of SGK1 provides neuron protection in both cell culture and in animal models,” said Philip LoGrasso, a TSRI professor who led the study. “It decreases reactive oxygen species generation and alleviates mitochondrial dysfunction.”

Using a neurotoxin animal model of neurodegeneration, the study showed that SGK1 protects brain cells by blocking several pathways involved in neurodegeneration, deactivating other molecules known as JNK, GSK3β and MKK4.

Increasing SGK1 offers a potential therapeutic strategy because, as the study makes clear, there isn’t enough naturally occurring SGK1 to do the job.

“Even though the levels of naturally occurring SGK1 increases in the cell under stress, it was not enough to promote cell survival in our neurodegeneration model,” said Sarah Iqbal, the first author of the study and a member of the LoGrasso lab. “On the other hand, cell survival mechanisms tend to dominate when more SGK1 is added to the neurons.”

The LoGrasso lab plans to continue to explore SGK1 as a therapeutic possibility for Parkinson’s disease.

In addition to LoGrasso and Iqbal, other authors of the study, “Serum-Glucocorticoid-Inducible Kinase 1 Confers Protection in Cell-Based and inIn Vivo Neurotoxin Models Via the C-Jun N-Terminal Kinase Signaling Pathway,” include Shannon Howard of TSRI.

Taking paracetamol has serious effects on your emotions, study finds

Paracetamol is one of the most commonly used painkillers – but scientists now believe it gets rid of feelings of pleasure as well as pain.

Taking paracetamol has serious effects on your emotions, study finds

Users don’t seem to be aware that their emotions have been affected, said the Ohio State University researchers.

Paracetamol is one of the most commonly used over-the-counter drugs, found in hundreds of medicines, and commonly prescribed long-term on the NHS for chronic pain.

Volunteers in a Ohio State University study found that paracetamol users felt less strong emotions in response to a series of photos such as images of kittens.

Lead author Geoffrey Durso said, ‘Most people probably aren’t aware of how their emotions may be impacted when they take paracetamol.

‘Rather than just being a pain reliever, acetaminophen can be seen as an all-purpose emotion reliever.

Alcohol that makes you look younger? Japan launches ‘collagen’ beer

Japanese company Suntory has launched an anti-ageing beer aimed at women

 Suntory's 'Precious' beer contains colleagen

Bizarre beer: Suntory’s ‘Precious’ beer contains colleagen

A new brand of Japanese beer, however, claims to actually make you look youthful and more beautiful – because it contains collagen.

Collagen is a natural protein which keeps the skin plump and supple. As humans age, their collagen supplies deplete, which is one of the reasons we gain wrinkles.

“Precious” beer, which has been created by Japanese company Suntory, is said to contain two grams of collagen per can, and is firmly being marketed at women.

The rather bizarre advert declares that: “Guys can tell if a girl is taking collagen or not.”

Collagen-laced beauty products have been popular for a number of years Japan. Beauty-conscious women flock to restaurants which serve food naturally high in collagen – such as pigs trotters, shark fin and chicken skin – while grocery stores also offer collagen-boosting products.

In 2009, the convenience store chain Family Mart said sales of its collagen hot pots – known as “nabe” – had sold more than double their initial target since going on sale the year before.

Experts claim that eating the protein has no discernible anti-ageing benefits, but it certainly isn’t putting people off chomping on collagen.

Here at Telegraph Food, we reckon a beer that makes you look beautiful when you wake up with a hangover is the dream. But we might stick with Doom Bar for the moment.

Stephen Hawking Covers Monty Python’s ‘Galaxy Song,’ And The Effect Is Relatively Hilarious

Stephen Hawking knows a thing or two about stars and galaxies, and now his robotic voice has a starring role in a delightful cover version of the “Galaxy Song,” Monty Python’s whimsical take on mankind’s insignificance in the vastness of the universe.

As British cultural legends, Hawking and Monty Python and are a natural pair. Hawking participated in Monty Python’s 2014 live reunion shows, appearing in a filmed segment in which he knocks down fellow physicist Brian Cox and recites the lyrics of the “Galaxy Song” as he launches into space.

That version of the classic tune is now being released as a single to mark Record Store Day, The Guardian reported. This year the annual event, which celebrates independent record stores, falls on April 18.

Old-school music lovers can scramble to buy one of the 1,000 vinyl copies of the single, while Hawking fans who’ve joined the 21st Century can purchase their own version from the U.K. iTunes store.

The original lyrics sound even better when they’re rendered in Hawking’s electronic speech.

Just remember that you’re standing on a planet that’s evolving

And revolving at 900 miles an hour

That’s orbiting at 19 miles a second, so it’s reckoned

A sun that is the source of all our power

This isn’t Hawking’s first venture into the music world. Pink Floyd sampled his voice in the band’s 1994 album “The Division Bell” and again in 2014 on their last album, “The Endless River.”

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Scientists uncover gene ‘architects’ responsible for body’s blueprint

Researchers have identified two key proteins that act as genetic ‘architects’, creating the blueprint needed by embryos during the earliest stages of their development. Previous work by the research team showed that the protein MOZ could relay external ‘messages’ to the developing embryo, revealing a mechanism for how the environment could affect development in very early pregnancy.
Researchers have identified two key proteins that act as genetic ‘architects’, creating the blueprint needed by embryos during the earliest stages

Researchers have identified two key proteins that act as genetic ‘architects’, creating the blueprint needed by embryos during the earliest stages of their development.

Previous work by the research team from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, Australia, showed that the protein MOZ could relay external ‘messages’ to the developing embryo, revealing a mechanism for how the environment could affect development in very early pregnancy.

Dr Bilal Sheikh, Associate Professor Tim Thomas, Associate Professor Anne Voss and colleagues have now discovered that MOZ and the protein BMI1 play opposing roles in giving developing embryos the set of instructions needed to ensure that body segments including the spine, nerves and blood vessels develop correctly and in the right place.

Associate Professor Voss said the study revealed that the proteins tightly regulated Hox gene expression in early embryonic development. “In very early development, when the embryo is still just a cluster of dividing cells, the embryo must become ‘organised’ so that the body tissues and organs develop correctly, with everything in its right place,” Associate Professor Voss said.

“The embryo is organised along an ‘axis’ from head to tail, and a standard pattern of development is established that subdivides the body into segments, with each segment responsible for producing specific aspects of tissues and organs, including the vertebral column, spinal cord and nerves.

“We showed that the proteins MOZ and BMI1 were important for initiating activation of the Hox genes — section by section — providing the blueprint the developing organism needs for proper development.”

Associate Professor Voss said that, though they worked together, MOZ and BMI1 played opposing roles. “We discovered that MOZ and BMI1 were important for initiating and correctly timing Hox gene expression, ensuring the genes were activated at the right time and in the right place,” she said.

MOZ was responsible for activating the genes, while BMI1 prevented Hox genes being switched on prematurely, Associate Professor Voss said.

She said the research also showed that significantly reducing Hox gene expression still allowed normal development, as long as the timing and location of expression were correct.

“We found that if the Hox genes were activated too early or late, it had significant repercussions for the developing embryo, such as malformations of the spine,” Associate Professor Voss said. “Interestingly, we also found that producing an ‘accurate’ amount of MOZ or BMI1 in developing embryos was not nearly as important for correct development as when and where Hox genes were activated.”

Importantly, MOZ and BMI1 could provide a mechanism to transmit signals from the environment to the developing embryo, with potentially devastating consequences.

“We know that Hox genes can be directly affected by too much vitamin A, which can cause severe deformities in the embryo,” Associate Professor Voss said. “Substances or environmental challenges that impact MOZ or BMI1 expression could affect when and where Hox genes are expressed, causing defects in the developing embryo.”

Dr Anne Voss said the research team’s discovery overturned a decades-long belief about embryonic development. “A lot of what we know about embryonic development and how it is controlled was learned from studies of fruit flies,” Associate Professor Voss said. “In this study we showed a key difference; two molecules that have only a maintenance role in fruit flies are indispensible for initiating the blueprint in mammalian development.”

The research was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Victorian Government. Dr Sheikh was a PhD student at The University of Melbourne during part of this research study.

23 Reasons Bitter Gourd Is Sweet Medicine For Your Health.

23 Reasons Bitter Gourd Is Sweet Medicine For Your Health.

Bitter gourd or Momordica charantia (also known as bitter melon) belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family, of the genus Momordica, home to squash, watermelon, cantaloupes, cucumber, etc. As is the trait within members in the Cucurbitaceae family, bitter gourds are vines with thin stems and tendrils that require trellis to support the climbing vine.

They come in many varieties ranging from dark greens to whites and common varieties are balsam pear, cundeamor, la-kwa, etc. The pods are characterized by smooth lengthwise ridges and uneven warty surface. Depending upon the cultivar type, immature pods are light to dark green and have oblong or oval shapes with a pointed tip at the blossom end. Internally, the flesh is white with rough edged seeds, and gradually turns yellow or orange as they mature, with the seeds turning red.

Bitter gourd contains a unique phyto-constituent that has been confirmed to have a hypoglycemic effect (lowering blood sugar) called Charantin. There is also another insulin-like compound known as Polypeptide P which has been tested as an insulin replacement in some diabetic patients.

Bitter gourd originated on the Indian subcontinent, and was introduced into China in the 14th century. It thrives in hot and humid climates, so are commonly found in Asian countries and South America.



  1. Heart Care: Reduces bad cholesterol levels, by burning unnecessary fats which clog the arterial walls and thereby reduce the chances of heart attacks.
  2. Weight Loss: Rich in iron, beta-carotene, and potassium. It can relieve constipation and improve circulation, thereby producing slimming effects on the body.
  3. Type II Diabetes Cure: Reverses insulin resistance and activates the protein kinase, activating the absorption of sugar in body cells. Significantly improves glucose tolerance without increasing blood insulin levels.
  4. Lowers blood glucose levels: Contains phyto-nutrient, polypeptide-P, a plant insulin, known to lower blood sugar levels. The hypoglycemic agent, Charantin, increases glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis in the cells of liver, muscle and adipose tissue.
  5. Hypertension Reliever: Actively inhibits hypertension, high plasma cholesterol, or high plasma lipids, which affect patients with Type II diabetes, decreasing the risk of stroke or heart attack.
  6. Anti-parasitic: Antihelminthic or anthelmintic compounds are used in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases and can kill parasitic intestinal worms. It also stimulates peristalsis of food, relieving indigestion and constipation problems.
  7. Liver tonic: Helps to maintain healthy liver and bladder. It is also useful in removing kidney stones and relieving gout pain.
  8. Blood Cell Booster: The compounds a-eleostearic acid and the 15, 16-dihydroxy-a-eleostearic acid, are a good remedy for leukemia and blood irregularities such as anemia. It helps in producing healthy red blood cells and balances the amount of white blood cells in your body.
  9. Blood Cleanser:  Its juice cleanses the liver and blood off toxins and is highly beneficial for treating blood disorders like blood boils and itching due to toxemia.
  10. Folates Source: Has high amount of Folates that helps in treating defective neural tubes which usually occurs during early pregnancy.
  11. Anti Ageing:  Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, fights and eliminates free radicals, reducing wrinkles and slowing down the ageing process. It also protects the skin from damage by sun’s UV rays.
  12. For Respiratory disorders:  Fresh pods are an excellent remedy for curing respiratory problems like asthma, cold, cough, bronchitis and pharyngitis.
  13. Nutrients/Vitamin SuperStore: Contains flavonoids such as ß-carotene, α-carotene, lutein, and zea-xanthin. Low in calories, rich in phytonutrients like dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants and a good source of niacin (vitamin B-3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium, manganese and magnesium.
  14. Disease Buster: Not only effective in killing malaria bacteria, but it can also weaken some viruses such as Cholera, Chickenpox, Measles, Herpes and Jaundice.
  15. Immunity Booster: This bitter juice can also help to strengthen your immune system and increase your body’s resistance against a variety of infections.
  16. Psoriasis Cure:  Regular consumption of this bitter juice has curative benefits in treatment of psoriasis, fungal infections like ring-worm and athletes feet, and skin infections like eczema.
  17. Acne Cure: Helps prevent acne, thanks to its blood purifying properties. Keeps your skin glowing and free from blemishes and infections.
  18. Eye Care:  High beta-carotene and other properties, help alleviate eye problems and in improving eyesight.
  19. For Hangover:  Its anti-intoxication properties are beneficial in the treatment of hangover and eliminating liver problems, due to alcohol consumption.
  20. Piles Cure:  Three teaspoons of the juice, extracted from its leaves, added to a glassful of buttermilk and consumed on an empty stomach every morning, has shown promising curative results in the treatment of piles.
  21. Hair Care: Super hair tonic which imparts shine, wards off dandruff, treats split ends, combats dryness and itchiness of scalp, reduces hair loss, treats rough and tangled hair, prevents premature graying and removes excess oiliness in hair.
  22. Regulates blood flow and clotting: Aids in the healing process preventing further infections.
  23. Energy Source:  Regular consumption of this bitter juice has been proven to improve energy and stamina levels. Even sleeping patterns have been shown to be improved/stabilized.


Side Effects and Precautions:

  • Diarrhea: Excessive consumption (more than two melons a day) may cause mild abdominal pain or diarrhea. Avoid taking on an empty stomach.
  • Hypoglycemia: Diabetics taking hypoglycemic drugs will need to alter the dosage of their drugs if they consume bitter gourd on a regular basis.
  • Pregnancy: Pregnant women should avoid taking too much bitter gourd or its juice as it may stimulate the uterus that may lead to preterm labor.
  • Alkaloids and Toxicity: Bitter gourd may contain alkaloid substances like quinine and morodicine, resins and saponic glycosides, which may be intolerable by some people causing symptoms like excessive salivation, facial redness, dimness of vision, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and muscular weakness.

Sickening: Major food corporations use tissue from aborted babies to manufacture flavor additives in processed foods.

Every time you purchase mass-produced processed “food” from the likes of Kraft, PepsiCo, or Nestle, you’re choosing, whether you realize it or not, to feed your family not only genetically engineered poisons and chemical additives, but also various flavoring agents manufactured using the tissue of aborted human babies.


It’s true: A company based out of California, known as Senomyx, is in the business of using aborted embryonic cells to test fake flavoring chemicals, both savory and sweet, which are then added to things like soft drinks, candy and cookies. And Senomyx has admittedly partnered with a number of major food manufacturers to lace its cannibalistic additives into all sorts of factory foods scarfed down by millions of American consumers every single day.

Known as “HEK-293,” the aborted human fetal cell line used by Senomyx is manipulated to evaluate how the human palate will react to synthetic flavors used in the production of processed foods. Since most processed foods on the market today are hardly food to begin with, and typically lack any real flavor or appeal on their own, chemical companies like Senomyx are hired to develop artificial ones (which are often deceptively labeled as “natural flavors”) in order to make them taste like real food.

But because these ingredients can be legally disguised with vague descriptors like “artificial flavors” and even “natural flavors,” most consumers have no idea that these additives, in some cases, are actually made using the cell tissue of unborn babies that were murdered through abortion. It’s sickening but true, and people must learn the truth in order to avoid partaking in what says amounts to a satanic ritual.

“What they don’t tell the public is that they are using HEK 293 — human embryonic kidney cells taken from an electively aborted baby to produce those receptors,” Debi Vinnedge of the pro-life group Children of God for Life said about the ugly truth of the flavoring chemical industry. “They could have easily chosen animal, insect, or other morally obtained human cells expressing the G protein for taste receptors.”

Vaccines, “beauty products” loaded with chemicals made from unborn babies murdered via legalized genocide

Processed food isn’t the only hidden source of additives made using aborted human fetal tissue — many so-called “beauty products” and vaccines are also loaded with aborted baby tissue-derived additives. According to, Neocutis “beauty” products and anti-wrinkle creams are made from aborted male baby cells collected after a 14-week gestation period.

Many vaccines, including Merck & Co.’s MMR II vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella, as well as ProQuad (Merck), Varivax (Merck), Pentacel (Sanofi Pasteur) and Havrix (GlaxoSmithKline), also contain derivatives of aborted human babies.

The following list outlines processed “food” products, vaccines and “beauty products” known to contain ingredients derived from aborted human babies (and there are likely many more; your best bet is to avoid all processed foods in general):

• All Pepsi soft drinks
• Sierra Mist soft drinks
• Mountain Dew soft drinks
• Mug root beer and other soft drinks
• No Fear beverages
• Ocean Spray beverages
• Seattle’s Best Coffee
• Tazo beverages
• AMP Energy beverages
• Aquafina water
• Aquafina flavored beverages
• DoubleShot energy beverages
• Frappuccino beverages
• Lipton tea and other beverages
• Propel beverages
• SoBe beverages
• Gatorade beverages
• Fiesta Miranda beverages
• Tropicana juices and beverages

• All coffee creamers
• Maggi Brand instant soups, bouillon cubes, ketchups, sauces, seasoning, instant noodles

• Black Jack chewing gum
• Bubbaloo bubble gum
• Bubblicious bubble gum
• Chiclets
• Clorets
• Dentyne
• Freshen Up Gum
• Sour Cherry Gum (Limited)
• Sour Apple Gum (Limited)
• Stride
• Trident

• Sour Cherry Blasters
• Fruit Mania
• Bassett’s Liquorice All sorts
• Maynards Wine Gum
• Swedish Fish
• Swedish Berries
• Juicy Squirts
• Original Gummies
• Fuzzy Peach
• Sour Chillers
• Sour Patch Kids
• Mini Fruit Gums
• Certs breath mints
• Halls Cough Drops


Neocutis uses aborted male baby cells after a 14-week gestation period in their anti-wrinkle creams. The following creams they sell contain aborted fetal cells, but we need to boycott all their products.
• Bio-Gel Prevedem Journee
• Bio-Serum Lumiere
• Bio Restorative Skin Cream

• MMR II (Merck)
• ProQuad (MMR + Chickenpox — Merck)
• Varivax (Chickenpox — Merck)
• Pentacel (Polio + DTaP + HiB — Sanofi Pasteur)
• Vaqta (Hepatitis-A — Merck)
• Havrix (Hepatitis-A — Glaxo SmithKline)
• Twinrix (Hepatitis-A and B combo — Glaxo)
• Zostavax (Shingles — Merck)
• Imovax (Rabies — Sanofi Pasteur)

• Pulmozyme (Cystic Fibrosis — Genetech)
• Enbrel (Rheumatoid Arthritis — Amgen)

Sources for this article include:

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Stress eating helps, when they’re these superfoods

When work deadlines begin piling up and your social calendar is booked, the last thing you want to hear is to steer clear of the vending machine. Who has time for healthy eating? But when it comes to combating stress levels, what you eat may actually help relieve your tension. Indeed, some foods may help stabilize blood sugar or, better yet, your emotional response. Here, 12 foods to reach for when you’ve just about had enough.

Green leafy vegetables

It’s tempting to reach for a cheeseburger when stressed, but go green at lunch instead. “Green leafy vegetables like spinach contain folate, which produces dopamine, a pleasure-inducing brain chemical, helping you keep calm,” says Heather Mangieri, RDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. A 2012 study in the Journal of Affective Disorders of 2,800 middle-aged and elderly people and found those who consumed the most folate had a lower risk of depression symptoms than those who took in the least. And, a 2013 study from the University of Otago found that college students tended to feel calmer, happier, and more energetic on days they ate more fruits and veggies. It can be hard to tell which came first—upbeat thoughts or healthy eating—but the researchers found that healthy eating seemed to predict a positive mood the next day.

Turkey breast

You’ve probably heard that the tryptophan in turkey is to blame for that food coma on Thanksgiving. The amino acid, found in protein-containing foods, helps produce serotonin, “the chemical that regulates hunger and feelings of happiness and well-being,” Mangieri says. On its own, tryptophan may have a calming effect. In a 2006 study published in the Journal of Psychiatry Neuroscience, men and women who were argumentative (based on personality tests) took either tryptophan supplements or a placebo for 15 days. Those who took tryptophan were perceived as more agreeable by their study partners at the end of the two weeks compared with when they didn’t take it. (The study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.) Other foods high in tryptophan include nuts, seeds, tofu, fish, lentils, oats, beans, and eggs.


If you’re already a carb lover, it’s likely that nothing can come between you and a doughnut when stress hits. First rule of thumb: Don’t completely deny the craving. According to MIT research, carbohydrates can help the brain make serotonin, the same substance regulated by antidepressants. But instead of reaching for that sugary bear claw, go for complex carbs. “Stress can cause your blood sugar to rise, Mangieri says, “so a complex carb like oatmeal won’t contribute to your already potential spike in blood glucose.”


As bizarre as it may sound, the bacteria in your gut might be contributing to stress. Research has shown that the brain signals to the gut, which is why stress can inflame gastrointestinal symptoms; communication may flow the other way too, from gut to brain. A 2013 UCLA study among 36 healthy women revealed that consuming probiotics in yogurt reduced brain activity in areas that handle emotion, including stress compared to people who consumed yogurt without probiotics or no yogurt at all. This study was small so more research is needed to confirm the results—but considering yogurt is full of calcium and protein in addition to probiotics, you really can’t go wrong by adding more of it to your diet.


When you’re stressed, it can ratchet up anxiety hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. “The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon haveanti-inflammatory properties that may help counteract the negative effects of stress hormones,” says Lisa Cimperman, RD, of the University Hospitals Case Medical Center and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, Oregon State University medical students who took omega-3 supplements had a 20% reduction in anxiety compared to the group given placebo pills. One 3-ounce serving of cooked wild salmon can have more than 2,000 milligrams of omega-3s, double the daily intake recommended by the American Heart Association for people with heart disease.


“When you’re stressed, there’s a battle being fought inside you,” Mangieri says. “The antioxidants and phytonutrients found in berries fight in your defense, helping improve your body’s response to stress and fight stress-related free radicals.” Research has also shown that blueberry eaters experience a boost in natural killer cells, “a type of white blood cell that plays a vital role in immunity, critical for countering stress,” says Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, Health’s contributing nutrition editor.


When you have an ongoing loop of negative thoughts playing in your mind, doing something repetitive with your hands may help silence your inner monologue. Think knitting or kneading bread—or even shelling nuts like pistachios or peanuts. The rhythmic moves will help you relax. Plus, the added step of cracking open a shell slows down your eating, making pistachios a diet-friendly snack. What’s more, pistachios have heart-health benefits. “Eating pistachios may reduce acute stress by lowering blood pressure and heart rate,” Mangieri says. “The nuts contain key phytonutrients that may provide antioxidant support for cardiovascular health.”

Dark chocolate

Calling all chocoholics: a regular healthy indulgence (just a bite, not a whole bar!) of dark chocolate might have the power to regulate your stress levels. “Research has shown that it can reduce your stress hormones, including cortisol,” Sass says. “Also, the antioxidants in cocoa trigger the walls of your blood vessels to relax, lowering blood pressure and improving circulation. And finally, dark chocolate contains unique natural substances that create a sense of euphoria similar to the feeling of being in love!” Go for varieties that contain at least 70% cocoa.


Fortified milk is an excellent source of vitamin D, a nutrient that might boost happiness. A 50-year-long study by London’s UCL Institute of Child Health found an association between reduced levels of vitamin D and an increased risk of panic and depression among 5,966 men and women. People who had sufficient vitamin D levels had a reduced risk of panic disorders compared to subjects with the lowest levels of vitamin D. Other foods high in vitamin D include salmon, egg yolks, and fortified cereal.


Flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are all great sources of magnesium (as are leafy greens, yogurt, nuts, and fish). Loading up on the mineral may help regulate emotions. “Magnesium has been shown to help alleviate depression, fatigue, and irritability,” Sass says. “Bonus: When you’re feeling especially irritable during that time of the month, the mineral also helps to fight PMS symptoms, including cramps and water retention.”


You can’t just reach for slice after slice of avocado toast during crunch time if you don’t want to gain weight, but this superfruit might help shut down stress-eating by filling your belly and making you feel more satisfied. In a 2014 study by Loma Linda University (which, full disclosure, was sponsored by the Hass Avocado Board), researchers had participants add half an avocado to their lunches, which reduced their desire to eat more by 40% for the three hours following the midday meal. That full feeling will make you less inclined to reach for unhealthy snacks when stress kicks in.


One ounce of the buttery nut packs 11% of the daily recommended value of zinc, an essential mineral that may help reduce anxiety. When researchers gave zinc supplements to people who were diagnosed with both anxiety symptoms (irritability, lack of ability to concentrate) and deficient zinc levels over a course of eight weeks, the patients saw a 31% decrease in anxiety, according to Nutrition and Metabolic Insights. This is likely because zinc affects the levels of a nerve chemical that influences mood. If you’re already getting enough zinc, then it may not help your mood to chow down on cashews (or other zinc-rich foods like oysters, beef, chicken, and yogurt). But, cashews are also rich in omega-3s and protein, so they’re a smart snack no matter what.

Scientists Pluck Hairs For Male Pattern Baldness Research, Hoping To Reverse Thinning

Quorum sensing in hair population regeneration is shown. 

One of the foundations of surgery is that doctors must create trauma to heal trauma. The same may now be said for male pattern baldness, as researchers from the University of Southern California have found through plucking mouse hairs that new hair started to grow back even thicker.

The study is published in the journal Cell and relies on a microbiology technique called quorum sensing, a process of stimulus and response related to population density. In this case, scientists found that plucking many hairs within a specific patch signaled injury to the nearby follicles and actually caused the follicles of the thinning hair to regenerate thicker hair growth.

“It is a good example of how basic research can lead to a work with potential translational value,” said Dr. Cheng-Ming Chuong, a professor of pathology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, in a statement. “The work leads to potential new targets for treating alopecia, a form of hair loss.”

Androgenetic alopecia, better known as male pattern baldness, accounts for some 95 percent of the hair-loss cases in the U.S. The American Hair Loss Association estimates that roughly two-thirds of men will experience some degree of hair loss by age 35, and 85 percent will experience significant thinning by age 50. There is no cure.

Research into quorum sensing for hair growth began two years ago when the study’s first author, Chih-Chiang Chen, a dermatologist, arrived at USC with the knowledge that hair follicle injury affects the follicles in the surrounding area. Meanwhile, Chuong had found through prior studies that this kind of injured environment was capable of regenerating hair growth. So, they joined forces and decided to test whether plucking thinning hairs could actually regenerate new, healthier hair.

From the back of a mouse, Chen plucked 200 hairs. Those he plucked from a low-density patch didn’t result in regenerated hair. But when he focused on the hairs within a three- to five-millimeter radius, 450 to 1,300 hairs grew in their place. Some even grew back outside the plucking radius.

Quorum sensing, in this instance, involves the injured follicles releasing inflammatory proteins that get immune cells rushing to the site. These cells secrete signaling molecules that stimulate growth in both plucked follicles and unplucked follicles. According to Chuong, the principal not only has applications to male pattern baldness, but possibly other locations that need regeneration.

“The implication of the work is that parallel processes may also exist in the physiological or pathogenic processes of other organs,” he said, “although they are not as easily observed as hair regeneration.”

Source: Chen C, Wang L, Plikus M, et al. Organ-Level Quorum Sensing Directs Regeneration in Hair Stem Cell Populations. Cell. 2015.

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