Health and fitness
New “tanning drug” to turn white skin brown without requiring exposure to the sun

People with pale skin have long struggled to get the golden tan that seems to come so easily for other people. Lighter skin tones tend to turn from white to red rather quickly, leaving people sunburned and frustrated. Now, scientists have developed a drug that can help these individuals tan without going out in the sun at all. This might sound like great news in theory, but there are a few caveats.

The drug, which is applied in cream form to the skin, allowed mice with red hair to develop a deep tan. These mice, much like humans with similar coloring, are especially vulnerable to damage from ultraviolet rays. While this breakthrough was first announced more than ten years ago, it has taken scientists until now to find a way to make human skin, which is much thicker, absorb it.

One of study’s authors, Dr. David Fisher, said: “Human skin is a very good barrier and is a formidable penetration challenge. Therefore, other topical approaches just did not work.”

Of course, it’s not a bad thing that the scientists had so much trouble finding ways for medication to penetrate our body’s biggest organ. Our skin has evolved to protect us, and going against its nature is probably not going to end well.

Global obesity now affecting 2 BILLION people as processed junk food causes global epidemic

There is an alarming rate of people – both children and adults – who are succumbing to health problems caused by obesity, according to a new study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. Shockingly, more than two billion people around the world are afflicted with diseases that are related to being obese or overweight. The study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that there’s a significantly huge number of people who are dying even though they are not technically obese. The research showed that 40 percent of the four million deaths observed were people whose body mass index (BMI) are not even above the threshold for obesity. The study authors are deeply concerned about the growing global public health crisis.

Obesity is a serious concern and it’s also very expensive. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) more than a third (36.5 percent) of adults in the U.S. are obese.

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.