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Women prefer smell of men who eat more veggies

Raghu Kshitiz

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KATHMANDU — A recent study by psychology researchers from  Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia has found that women are more attracted to the body odour of men who eat more fruits and vegetables compared to those who have more refined carbohydrates such as bread or pasta.

When people eat a lot of colourful veggies, their skin takes on the hue of carotenoids, the plant pigments that are responsible for bright red, yellow and orange foods, says researchers. The carotenoids get deposited in our skin, which can be measured by the spectrophotometer.

For the study, researchers recruited a group of healthy, young men.

The men’s skin was analysed using a spectrophotometer. The results are “a good indicator of how much fruits and vegetables we are eating,” said Ian Stephen of Macquarie University, who helped conduct the small study, in a recent interview with NPR.

During the study, the scientists asked male participants to record their diet, and then participate in two methods used to determine which males had the best-smelling sweat, according to Stephen.

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“We have known for a while that odour is an important component of attractiveness, especially for women,” said Stephen.

Researchers also had men complete food frequency questionnaires so they could determine the men’s overall patterns of eating. Then the men were given clean T-shirts and asked to do some exercise.

From an evolutionary perspective, our sweat can help signal our health status and could possibly play a role in helping to attract a mate, say researchers.

Then, women in the study were asked to sniff the sweat. “Women basically found that men who ate more vegetables smelled nicer,” Stephen was quoted as saying by NPR.

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Drinking 3 cups of coffee or tea daily may keep stroke risk at bay

Raghu Kshitiz

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KATHMANDU — There have been several conflicting studies on the health benefits of drinking coffee and tea and their various varieties. But drinking up to three cups of coffee or tea in a day is safe because it reduces irregular heartbeat and stroke risk, according to a new study published in the journal JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology.

Coffee has previously been believed to worsen abnormal heart rhythms, as doctors generally discourage patients suffering from the condition. However, the results of this particular study say that a daily consumption of upto 300 mg of caffeine may be safe for arrhythmic patients.

This is because the caffeine acts as a stimulant to the central nervous system and blocks the effect of adenosine. Adenosine is a chemical which causes Atrial Fibrillation (AFib).

A single cup of coffee contains about 95 mg of caffeine. It acts as a stimulant to the central nervous system and works to block the effects of adenosine — a chemical that causes AFib.

AFib is the most common heart rhythm disorder, causes the heart to beat rapidly and skip beats, and if left untreated, can cause strokes.

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“There is a public perception, often based on anecdotal experience, that caffeine is a common acute trigger for heart rhythm problems,” said lead author Peter Kistler, Director at Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital.

But, “caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea have long-term anti-arrhythmic properties mediated by antioxidant effects and antagonism of adenosine,” he added.

A meta-analysis of 228,465 participants showed that AFib frequency decreasing by 6 per cent in regular coffee drinkers, and an analysis of 115,993 patients showed a 13 per cent reduced risk.

Another study of 103 post-heart attack patients who received an average of 353 mg of caffeine a day showed improvement in heart rate and no significant arrhythmias — or abnormal heart rhythms, that cause the heart to beat too fast, slow or unevenly.

However, in two studies, where patients drank at least 10 cups and nine cups of coffee per day, showed an increased risk for ventricular arrhythmias (VAs) – a condition in which the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles) beat very quickly.

On the other hand, patients with pre-existing heart conditions who consumed two or more energy drinks — that contains concentrated caffeine — per day reported palpitations within 24 hours.

With Agency Inputs

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