LAB REPORT

Plucking can boost hair growth; exercise helps fight fatty liver disease

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 April, 2015, 6:05am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 April, 2015, 6:05am

Exercise improves fatty liver disease Any exercise, regardless of frequency or intensity, benefits obese and overweight adults with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, the most common cause of chronic liver disease in the Western world. In a new study published in the Journal of Hepatology, investigators examined the effect of various aerobic exercise regimens in improving liver and visceral fat in 48 overweight and obese subject who had sedentary lifestyles. The participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups: low-to-moderate intensity, high-volume aerobic exercise; high-intensity, low-volume aerobic exercise; low-to-moderate intensity, low-volume aerobic exercise; and placebo for an eight-week period. All three groups, irrespective of the exercise regimen, showed improvement in liver fat of about 18 per cent to 29 per cent, compared with the placebo group in which liver fat increased by an average of 14 per cent. The improvement was independent of weight loss.

Pesticides raise risk of heart disease Pesticide exposure, not obesity alone, can contribute to increased cardiovascular disease risk and inflammation in younger women, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. The study looked at the effects of exposure to polychlorinated pesticides such as DDT, which can compromise the protective effect the body's natural oestrogen has on a premenopausal woman's heart health. In the study, premenopausal women with higher concentrations of environmental oestrogens in their visceral fat tissue from the belly were more likely to have higher average blood sugar levels. Those with higher levels of environmental oestrogens in their blood tended to have more inflammation and faced a greater risk of cardiovascular disease.

Pluck it and see It may sound counterintuitive but plucking 200 hairs in a specific pattern and density can induce up to 1,200 replacement hairs to grow, shows a new University of Southern California study. The researchers, reporting their results of tests on mice in the journal Cell, say this could lead to potential new targets for treating alopecia, a form of hair loss. The regenerative process happens because the plucked follicles signal distress by releasing inflammatory proteins, which recruit immune cells to rush to the site of the injury. These immune cells then secrete signalling molecules such as tumour necrosis factor alpha, which, at a certain concentration, communicate to both plucked and unplucked follicles that it's time to grow hair.