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Use Probiotics to Reduce Bone Loss and Newborn Infections

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Bone loss leading to increased fracture risk occurs in half of postmenopausal women, but new research from Sweden offers a deterrent: a combination of three Lactobacillus probiotic strains. A total of 249 healthy, early postmenopausal women over the age of 50 that took the probiotics for a year suffered no significant bone loss in the lumbar spine compared to a placebo group, report researchers at Gothenburg University. They had slight reductions in bone loss at the neck and no changes at the hip or upper femur.

In a British Medical Journal-published study on probiotics that spanned 10 years and involved nearly 1,000 at-risk babies, researchers from the UK’s Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital found that newborns with gut infections were twice as likely to recover when given probiotics as part of their treatment in intensive care units, with sepsis rates reduced from 22.6 percent to 11.5 percent. The strains used were L. acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum and B. longum subspecies infantis. The babies were suffering from necrotizing enterocolitis, a rare infection and inflammation of the intestines which can affect low-birthweight babies.
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Global Brief: Natural Thinking Spending Time in Nature Increases Cognitive Performance
More of our time is spent indoors than ever before. One of the ways by which nature may improve cognitive function (i.e. the acquisition of and goal-oriented use of knowledge) is by improving memory formation and recall, specifically that of short-term or working memory, and goal-oriented or directed attention; the kind that requires focused effort. By comparing and contrasting 13 studies, a team of researchers has shed light on this complex interaction in research published in Frontiers in Psychology. The studies used the backwards digit span task, which requires participants to invert a series of numbers and repeat them back. All demonstrated significantly improved cognition in nature as compared to urban environments. The benefits of studies like this are two-fold: not only are we learning more about how the brain interacts with its environment, but also how to leverage this interaction to lead healthier, more productive and happier lives.
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