BATTLE BLUES: An hour of exercise per week can help prevent depression, a study has found. Scientists monitored levels of exercise and symptoms of depression and anxiety in almost 34,000 Norwegian adults over 11 years. They found that 12% of cases of depression could have been prevented by engaging in just an hour of physical activity each week. Results showed people who reported doing no exercise at all at the start of the study were 44% more likely to develop depression than those exercising one to two hours a week. The benefits did not extend to protecting against anxiety, said the authors, whose findings appear in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
BROKEN FAST: Skip breakfast and you and your arteries could be in poor shape, research suggests. A study in Spain found that people who regularly miss the first meal of the day are more at risk of the kind of artery damage that leads to heart attacks and strokes. They are also more likely to be obese and suffering from high blood pressure and cholesterol than those who religiously consume a sustaining breakfast. In addition, blood markers linked to heart and metabolic risk factors were more prevalent in breakfast skippers and lowenergy breakfast consumers than people who ate normal higher calorie breakfasts. The research appears in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
COLD WATER: Scientists have dispelled the old wives’ tale that drinking beetroot juice can warm us up. Ant Shepherd, of the University of Portsmouth, has led the research which examined the impact on 13 healthy people of drinking the vegetable’s juice. He found that although the participants, who all suffer from feeling cold in the outdoors, registered a rise in nitrate levels, they did not have an effect on the warmth of fingers and toes, endothelial function, blood pressure, pain or thermal comfort and sensation. Dr Shepherd said: “Beetroot has very high nitrate levels... so we thought beetroot may make people warm up. That it didn’t could be because the nitric oxide is being neutralised or converted by oxidants in the body, or it could be that we need to give juice over a longer period.”