Health and fitness
Chemicals in shampoo and toys may interfere with the mental development of young girls, according to researchers

Scientists from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health have suggested that chemicals in shampoos and toys may seriously damage the mental development of young girls. In their study, which will be published in the September edition of Environment International, the researchers identified phthalates as the endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Young girls who had phthalates in their blood had lower levels of the active thyroid hormone free thyroxine (free T4), a hormone that plays a key roles in growth, metabolism, and other body functions.

Led by Pam Factor-Litvak, Professor of Epidemiology at the Columbia University Medical Center, the researchers collected and measured two thyroid hormones from 229 children, aged three, and 229 pregnant women. All subjects were enrolled in the Mothers and Newborns Study at the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health. The thyroid hormones were assessed against five phthalates; the metabolites of monoethyl phthalate (MEP), monobenzyl phthalate (MpzP), mono isobutyl phthalate (MiBP), and mono-n-butyl phthalate (MnBP) were all associated with lower levels of free T4 in the girls. Conversely, prenatal exposure to a metabolite of Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) was linked to elevated free T4 levels.

Is the secret to “beast mode” as simple as fasting?

While eating the right kinds of food can boost your productivity, it’s also possible to unleash your true potential by not eating. Yes, fasting can have positive mental benefits. In fact, several studies have shown that depriving yourself for a certain period of time can have physical and psychological benefits. It can, among other things, improve heart health, help you lose weight, lower the risk of diabetes, and reverse cell aging.

Psychologically, intermittent fasting can help you develop discipline and improve your cognitive functions. It may sound counter-intuitive but fasting may actually be the answer to your productivity problems. If you want to go ‘beast mode’ this could be something you need to look at.

What happens to the brain (and body) when you abstain from all kinds of food or drink over a specific period of time is quite interesting. You’d think that being hungry would make you grumpy, weak, and unable to even lift a finger.

Grape seed extract found to contain powerful nutrients that prevent tooth decay

Grape seed extracts can promote teeth durability and stave off tooth decay, a recent study in the Journal of Dental Research revealed. According to a team of researchers at the University of Illinois at the Chicago College of Dentistry, natural compounds found in grape seed extracts fortify the teeth’s dentin. Dentin is the dental tissue beneath enamel, which is mostly made of collagen. The researchers also noted that grape seed extracts may increase the life span of dental fillings.

Dental fillings can be made up of amalgam or composite resin. Researchers said dental amalgams are usually made of a combination of heavy metals such as mercury, silver, tin, or other materials. Dental amalgams are known for their low cost and long life span of 10 to 15 years or higher. On the other hand, composite-resin fillings are more aesthetically-designed, as the plastic and fine glass particles allow dentists to use filling colors that match the patients’ teeth. However, composite fillings last only five to seven years.

A federal report found that more than 90 percent of adults aged 20 to 64 have cavities. In order to address cavities, dentists take out the decay or dental caries using a drill and plug it up with a filling. According to researchers, resins need to bind with the dentin during the filling process. The researchers noted that the area between the teeth and the resin, called interface, remained a weak point that often led to the breakdown of teeth restorations. The health experts said that secondary caries and margin breakdown were the top causes of failed adhesive restorations. In addition, the research team noted that adhesive interface breakdown remained a major hurdle despite major advances in dental restorative materials. (Related: Strengthen your teeth the natural through these dietary choices)

“When fillings fail, decay forms around it and the seal is lost. We want to reinforce the interface, which will make the resin bond better to the dentin. The interface can be changed through the use of new natural materials…The stability of the interface is key for the durability of such adhesive joints, and hence, the life of the restoration and minimizing tooth loss,” researcher Ana Bedran-Russo said in

The recent study found that a combination of grape seed extracts and plant-based oligomeric proanthocyanidins prompted damaged collagen to repair itself. According to Bedran-Russo, interlocking the resin and collagen-rich dentin offered better adhesion and did not rely on moisture.