In the News: Exercise Rejuvenates Cells, Child Abuse Alters Brain Wiring, Taking a Break from Diet May Trigger Weight Loss

Exercise may rejuvenate cells. According to a new study, exercise can help muscle cells stay healthy and strong, which is a good indicator of a person’s overall well-being. Exercise seems to play a role in muscle health by refreshing the mitochondria, the cell network. The process is known as “mitophagy”, which is when damaged, less-than-stellar mitochondria are identified, removed, and clear the way for healthy mitochondria to take their place. This exercise-induced mitophagy might hold the key not only to overall healthiness but longevity as well. Want to start exercising? Give this quick workout a go. (MN)

Child abuse alters brain wiring. Scientists have discovered changes to certain neural bodies in the brains of people who suffered child abuse. After examining the brains of people with depression who committed suicide but had no history of child abuse, people who committed suicide, had depression, and did suffer from child abuse, and the people who had no psychiatric conditions or history of child abuse, they found that only the group that had suffered child abuse had a reduced amount of myelin coating around nerve fibers in the brain. These changes may explain why these people often develop suicidal behaviors and ideations, and are more likely to develop depression, aggression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Researchers believe that experiencing this trauma in the early stages of life may interrupt neural functions in the anterior cortex, which may make it harder to process and regulate emotions and form attachments. (SD)

Taking a break from a diet may trigger weight loss. The International Journal of Obesity has found that taking a small break from your diet may be the key to losing more weight. In the study, obese men were broken up into two groups, with one group dieting for 16 weeks straight, and one group following a diet for two weeks, taking a break, eating the number of calories needed to maintain their weight as is, and then resuming their diet, maintaining this schedule until the 16 weeks were over. Six months after this experiment ended, the group that cycled in and out of their diets was 18 pounds lighter than the other group. When looking into why, experts say it is tied to the resting metabolic weight. As you lose weight, your metabolism slows down, and it stops slowing down when you take a diet break. Want to see how this works? Give this diet a try and follow the on-off-on pattern. (IJO)