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Stephanie Faris

Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and novelist whose work has appeared on NYPost.com, PSMag.com, the Intuit Small Business Blog, and many others. She is the Simon & Schuster author of 8 children's books, including the Piper Morgan chapter book series, 25 Roses, and 30 Days of No Gossip.

Although the more health conscious among us may have ditched sugar for good, there are benefits to the carbohydrate. A new study reveals that just a little sugar can have slight brain benefits, especially in older consumers.

Scientists studied the effects of just a small amount of sugar on the brains of people of all ages, grouping study participants into two groups. The first group was between the ages of 18 and 27, while the second group was aged 65-87. Participants were given either a glucose drink or a placebo, then asked to perform a series of memory tasks.

Dieters have long tried to crack the weight loss code, trying everything from counting fat grams to cutting out all carbohydrates. But as nutritionist Daryl Gioffre recently pointed out, the human body is fairly complex, which means that there are many weight loss tips that simply don’t work.

One misconception Gioffre recently overturned is the fat avoidance fad that is now a thing of the past. In actuality, Gioffre says, a small amount of fat each day can actually help with weight loss, especially if it’s a healthy form of fat. She recommends seven to ten portions of good fats like almonds, macadamia nuts, and avocados each day, since good fats can increase metabolism and stave off the urge to eat.

New research reveals that two existing drugs may boost immunity in senior citizens, possibly keeping illness at bay and extending lives. Researchers tested 264 participants over the age of 65, giving them either one or both of two types of drugs or a placebo. The two drugs tested were RAD001, which is used to treat cancer as well as prevent organ transplant rejection, and BEZ235, which was also designed for cancer patients. Both drugs affect a cellular pathway in the body closely tied to the immune system, among other bodily functions.

After administering low doses of the medication or a placebo for six weeks, the researchers monitored participants for a year. They tested each participant for infections and found that those who took the medications had a lower rate of infection. Those who took both drugs had only 1.49 infections, while the placebo group had 2.41, which was around 40 percent higher.

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