Research reveals

PHOTO: Research reveals

MEMORY LOSS WITH TRANS FAT

It has been linked to weight gain, artery issues and aggression. Now add memory loss to the list of trans fat transgressions.

If you cannot remember where you left your phone or if you turned off the air-con before leaving the house, then it is time to cut down on those doughnuts.

The more trans fat you consume, the less you remember.

So says a new study, which looked at the diets of about 1,000 healthy working-age men.

Subjects were asked to play a memory game, where they were shown 104 cards with words on them. They simply had to say which words were repeated.

Those who ate the most trans fat remembered a total of about 10 per cent fewer words, compared with those who ate the least.

It is not the first fat-related memory study. One in 2012 on women who ate all types of fat, also found memory issues in those with fattier diets.

'TEXT NECK' EPIDEMIC

Smartphone use can literally be a pain in the neck.

Doctors call it "text neck" and a report by Dr Kenneth Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine, suggests it is becoming an epidemic.

Dr Hansraj told The Washington Post: "Just look around you - everyone has their heads down."

The human head can weigh as much as 4.5kg and the bad posture can put up to 60 pounds (27kg) of pressure on the upper spine.

With smartphone users now spending an average of over four hours a day with their heads down, it can cause pain in the head, neck and arm.

The damage it causes could even be permanent or need surgery to correct.

COFFEE STAVES OFF ALZHEIMER'S, MAYBE

Researchers in the Netherlands claim that between three and five cups of coffee can help keep Alzheimer's disease or dementia at bay.

Dr Arfram Ikram, from the Erasmus Medical Centre Rotterdam, presented his findings that coffee consumption can reduce risk of the disease by 20 per cent.

The theory is that caffeine helps prevent the build-up of proteins and plaque in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer's.

At the same time, the caffeine and polyphenol compounds in coffee reduce inflammation and slow the worsening of memory.

Which all sounds like good news considering The World Health Organisation predicts that cases of dementia will triple by 2050 - meaning 115.4 million cases worldwide.

Others, such as experts from Alzheimer's Research UK, are more sceptical.

They point to the fact that there has yet to be any clinical trial and that the report was published by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee, which is funded by major European coffee companies.

juditht@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Dec 7, 2014.
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