Toned muscles help reduce stress

Scientists have found out why a good workout helps us relax. Toned muscles filter out the stress chemical kynurenine and stop it from reaching the brain, also preventing depression, according to the Daily Mail. People made more protective proteins called KATs, which neutralise kynurenine, after just a few weeks of exercise.

The finding by Swedish researchers doesn’t just help explain why exercising makes us feel less stressed – it could also lead to new treatments for depression. Normally, exposure to kynurenine causes depression.

New research shows best way to swallow pills

If swallowing tablets invokes a fear of choking followed by unpleasant gagging and a nasty taste in the mouth, there is now a ray of hope. Scientists in Germany believe they may have the devised a new foolproof guide to help people take their medication with ease based on a study that was published in the journal Annals of Family Medicine.

The scientists found that using just a tablespoon (20 ml) of water with each pill can help patients take their medication more effectively. They devised two techniques. The ‘pill bottle’ method was best for traditional ‘chalky’ tablets. People are asked to put tablet in mouth and swallow water with sucking motion. The ‘lean forward’ method is used to help people swallow drugs in capsule form. Taking a sip of water people were asked to swallow with head bent forward.

Cup of cocoa before bed improves memory

With the winter nights setting in, many of us will be settling down with a nice hot cup of cocoa at the end of our day. New research has found that this practice may have health benefits, says the Daily Mail. Cocoa could help stave off dementia by increasing blood flow to a part of the brain that helps with memory.

The study found that it may even reverse age-related memory decline in healthy older people. The research showed antioxidants in cocoa – called dietary cocoa flavanols – helped improve the memory of pensioners.

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