IN BRIEF (Page 19)

Updated: 2011-03-16 08:06

(China Daily)

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Jogging best in evening, not morning

Jogging before breakfast will not necessarily increase performance, according to Professor Ingo Froboese from the Center for Health at the German Sport High School.

This is because, just like at night, our bodies are still breaking down fats in the morning hours. "When training on an empty stomach, fat metabolism only remains active until the body's sugar reserves are used up."

When that point is reached, the body's performance falls and you will be forced to end training. If you must go jogging early in the morning, then you should at least eat a food high in carbohydrate such as a banana.

However, Froboese recommends eating breakfast first and then engaging in some weightlifting to build muscles. "That activates the body and will make it fit for the rest of the day," he says.

Weight training raises pressure in the peripheral blood vessels and increases the overall blood pressure in the body, thus making you more alert.

An endurance exercise such as jogging makes more sense in the evening, Froboese says.

Moderate jogging relaxes the body and can have a meditative effect. Stop exercising at least two hours before going to bed in order to guarantee a restful night's sleep.

Fish consumption reduces AMD risk

Women who get lots of omega-3 fatty acids are less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD), an eye disease affecting millions of older adults in the United States.

That's the conclusion of a new study, which jibes with earlier research linking fish consumption to slower progression of AMD. Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA and EPA include salmon, trout, sardines, herring and tuna.

AMD is caused by abnormal blood vessel growth behind the retina or breakdown of light-sensitive cells within the retina itself - both of which can cause serious vision impairment.

At this point, doctors can halt AMD, but they can't reverse damage to the retina. So researchers have been busy looking for ways to stave off the disease.

"Other than giving up cigarette smoking or never starting smoking, there are no known ways to prevent AMD," says William G. Christen of the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, who worked on the new study, published in the Archives of Ophthalmology.

Christen and colleagues used data from earlier research called the Women's Health Study, in which women 45 years and above had filled out extensive diet questionnaires.

When the researchers looked at all food sources of the important fatty acids, the risk of AMD was 38 percent lower in women with the top one-third DHA intake compared to those with the bottom one-third intake.

For those who got a lot of EPA, the risk was 34 percent smaller.

Hope for infertile cancer survivors

New research shows a painstaking surgical technique can help some men deemed infertile because of childhood cancer treatment to become fathers after all.

Many of the cancer treatments that can save lives also leave survivors infertile.

Young men can bank sperm if they're told in time, but many aren't. And experiments to find options for children diagnosed before puberty are only now beginning.

Researchers at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical Center pioneered an option a decade ago for men deemed sterile for a number of reasons.

Now they have long-term data showing the technique can work in some childhood cancer survivors whose only other options would have been adoption or using donor sperm.

Surgeons essentially perform tiny biopsies of testicular tissue to hunt any pockets of hidden sperm, which then are used in standard in-vitro fertilization to attempt a partner's pregnancy.

In cancer survivors, they were able to extract small amounts of sperm from more than a third of the men - 27 of 73. Doctors then attempted injecting the sperm into a partner's eggs in hopes of pregnancy.

The result: 20 children were born, including five pairs of twins, the researchers reported on Monday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

"This study gives men a new way to achieve fertility and the potential of parenthood," Dr Lisa Diller of the American Society of Clinical Oncology says.

Reuters-DPA

(China Daily 03/16/2011 page19)