Posts tagged with "StudyFinds"

For good gut bacteria, how about ‘dem’ apples?

July 31, 2019

How does the old saying go? “One hundred million bacteria a day will keep the doctor away?” Researchers at the Graz University of Technology in Austria have found that a typical 8.5-ounce apple contains about 100 million bacteria, mostly in the seeds and skin.

And while that may sound a bit alarming at first, they say that, when it comes to gut health, the more bacteria the better.

What’s more, Study Finds reports, organic apples contain even more diverse bacterial-goodness than conventional apples—potentially making them healthier, tastier, and better for the environment.

“The bacteria, fungi, and viruses in our food transiently colonize our gut,” the study’s senior author Professor Gabriele Berg, of Graz University of Technology, said in a recent press release. “Cooking kills most of these, so raw fruit and veg[gies] are particularly important sources of gut microbes.”

Berg and her team set out to find the best fruit source for beneficial gut microbes, so they decided to set their sights on one of the most popular fruits worldwide: the apple. “Eighty-three million apples were grown in 2018, and production continues to rise,” Berg says. “But while recent studies have mapped their fungal content, less is known about the bacteria in apples.”

Researchers analyzed and compared the bacteria levels in regular store-bought apples and organic ones. Each apple was broken down and analyzed piece by piece, i.e., stem, peel, seeds, etc.

Both types of apples displayed generally the same amount of bacteria — 100 million, mostly in the core of the apple. For example, if you remove the core, a typical apple’s bacteria count drops all the way to a measly 10 million.

However, the organic and processed apples differed when it come to variety of bacteria. Organic apples displayed much more diverse communities of bacteria than the regular samples. This is noteworthy because when it comes to gut health, diversity is even more important that quantity.

“Freshly harvested, organically managed apples harbor a significantly more diverse, more even and distinct bacterial community, compared to conventional ones,” Berg explains. “This variety and balance would be expected to limit overgrowth of any one species, and previous studies have reported a negative correlation between human pathogen abundance and microbiome diversity of fresh produce.”

Furthermore, organic apples only were shown to contain Lactobacilli, a fairly well-known probiotic. Conventional apples on the other hand, contained bacteria known to harbor pathogens. The research team even say that organic apples contain much more of a specific bacteria, methylobacterium, known to enhance flavor in fruit.

These findings mesh well with another recent study that found fungal communities among organic apples were much more diverse compared to regular apples grown using pesticides.

Berg and her team say that one day microbiome information on fruits and vegetables may be as readily available as more traditional nutrition information.

The study has been published in the July 24 edition of the scientific journal, Frontiers in Microbiology.

Research contact: @StudyFindsorg

Mama’s boy or daddy’s girl? Half of adults admit they have a favorite parent

July 24, 2019

Maybe, in a perfect world, children would love both of their parents the same amount—but a new survey of 2,000 Brits conducted by ChannelMum and posted on Study Finds reveals that 50% of adults are either mama’s boys or daddy’s girls.

If you think for just a moment, you’ll identity celebrities who fit that mold: Bradley Cooper is the former; and Ivanka Trump, the latter, for sure.

Overall, the researchers discovered, 40% of respondents preferred their mothers, while one in seven preferred their fathers.

Interestingly enough, these allegiances seem to flip-flop as children age. Children initially are closer to their mothers, but 35% switch over to team dad by age 13. However, by the age of 20, one-third of them (35%) will switch back to preferring their mothers.

Many children appear to be proud of their closeness with a particular parent; with 21% of male respondents calling themselves a mama’s boy, and 22% of female respondents agreeing that they’re daddy’s girl.

“It’s often assumed that children are always closest to their mum, but this simply isn’t the case,” explains Siobhan Freegard, a parenting expert with ChannelMum, in a statement. “As fathers become more hands-on, there are plenty of children and adults who value the bond with dad just as much—and in some cases, even more than their relationship with their mum.”

Additionally, researchers found that different life events can influence parental preferences among children. Having a baby, for example, is more likely to bring people closer to their mothers than their fathers. Grown sons and daughters also turn to their mothers more often when they move, get their first job, or get married.

On the other hand, children are generally more likely to develop shared interests with their fathers as they enter adulthood. Children also feel closer to their fathers after being taught a new skill or craft by dad.

The survey also shed some light on sibling relationship dynamics. Almost one in five respondents admitted to being jealous of a sibling’s relationship with their parents. As far as jealousy among parents, 13% of parental respondents said they feel jealous when their children “pick” the other parent.

It’s common for parents to fear drifting apart from their children; more than four in 10 parental respondents admitted that losing touch with their children as they grow older is a major concern.

However, at the end of the day, the survey showed the most important factor in building a positive parent-child relationship is being there for each other no matter what (58%).

Other important relationship building factors included being able to talk about any topic (58%), spending quality time together (56%), establishing mutual respect (55%), and forgiving each other when mistakes are made (45%).

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

Research contact: @StudyFinds

 

 

 

So far, so good: Nearly 60% of long-distance relationships are successful

July 18, 2019

Nearly 60% of relationships involving people who live far-removed from each other will “go the distance,” according to the findings of a recent study, posted by StudyFinds.

It may take a lot of work, a lot of faith, and a heck of a commitment to make a long-distance relationship work, but the new findings should give couples who are separated by geography hope that there will no love lost between them.

The study, commissioned by Amsterdam-based interactive sex toy company KIIROO, also helped define what a long-distance relationship truly means. Averaging the responses from 1,000 U.S. adult participants who, themselves, have been in a long-distance union, they calculated that “long-distance” require one to live at least 132 miles from his or her significant other.

While most partners are optimistic at the outset of the long-distance relationship, the four-month mark is when the distance becomes challenging, the survey showed. But hang in there: After eight months, the lifestyle becomes a piece of cake.

Interestingly enough, about 50% of the respondents said they had met their partner online,  while 27% said they never lived close to them to begin with.

So what’s the key to success? Cellphones, for one thing. The couples in the survey reported that they sent their significant others 343 texts per week on average — or 49 per day — and spent about eight hours a week talking to each other on the phone or via video chat.

Still, these modes of communication don’t replace physical presence. Two-thirds of the respondents agreed that the long-distance travel was the most challenging aspect of their relationship. Three in 10 said they missed the sex the most.

Toon Timmermans, CEO of KIIROO, remarked in a formal release, “We forge new relationships online more now, than ever before. From the results of this study, we see that technology in any shape or form is being used by long-distance relationships to feel closer, to feel loved—and to attempt help ease sexual tensions that may arise due to the distance.”

There were some other positives to living far from a partner. Fifty-five percent said the time apart from one another made them feel closer, and 81% agreed that it actually made the moments together more intimate.

Perhaps the biggest surprise finding of all: About 70% of respondents admitted said they actually talked to their significant other more while they lived apart.

The survey was conducted by research firm OnePoll in October 2018.

Research contact: @StudyFinds 

Embraceable you: Study finds that hugs make us happier

October 8, 2018

Have you ever felt as if you needed a hug? Now, there’s scientific evidence to show that, when your day is not going well, a hug can make a huge difference.

In fact, results of an investigation conducted by Carnegie Mellon University—and posted on October 4 on StudyFinds— indicate that people who “hug it out” after an argument are less likely to harbor bad feelings for the rest of the day.

The researchers   that people who consider themselves to be “huggers” actually enjoy better overall health and stronger relationships.

Previous research has shown the benefits of hugs—and the overall role of touch in promoting better mental and physical health—but such studies typically have focused on romantic relationships; while the latest probe sought to examine the power of hugging among various social circles.

For the study, the authors analyzed responses of 404 men and women between the ages of 21 and 55 who were in good health and lived in or near to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Only 25% of the participants were either married or had live-in romantic relationships.

Participants were interviewed every night for two weeks about their interactions with others each day. That meant describing such things as social activities, conflicts, resolutions, and of course, hugs. They also were asked about their mood and any changes as the day wore on.

The researchers found that people who got a hug after they had experienced a conflict showed a smaller decrease in positive emotions and a smaller increase in negative emotions, compared with individuals who were not hugged. In other words, being hugged at some point in the day may have helped them to keep a positive attitude—and, similarly, may have prevented them from feeling more upset about the conflict. In fact, hugs were shown to help reduce bad moods in participants through the following day, as well.

However, the authors identified several limitations of their study. For example, participants weren’t asked who they received their hugs from, or whether or not the hug was received before or after a conflict, which could perhaps play a role in the effectiveness of the hug.

“This research is in its early stages. We still have questions about when, how, and for whom hugs are most helpful,” admitted Michael Murphy, one of the study’s co-authors, in a press release.. “However, our study suggests that consensual hugs might be useful for showing support to somebody enduring relationship conflict.”

Murphy and his co-authors say that additional research is needed to better understand how, why, and even when hugging is so effective. Still, they believe their results show the potential power of a hug on harder days: “[H]ugs may be a simple yet effective method of providing support to both men and women experiencing interpersonal distress,” they conclude.

Research contact: michaelmurphy@cmu.edu