New Kit Kat Mini with Whole Grain Biscuit Launched in Japan

The new product is the first new series in about 10 years under the “KitKat” brand made by Nestlé.

Packages of 3- and 13-piece are available at supermarkets and drug stores nationwide. 11-piece bags are available at convenience stores nationwide.

Study: Exercise May Help Slow Memory Loss for People Living with Alzheimer’s Dementia

Promising new research shows aerobic exercise may help slow memory loss for older adults living with Alzheimer’s dementia.

ASU Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation Professor Fang Yu led a pilot randomized control trial that included 96 older adults living with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s dementia.

Participants were randomized to either a cycling (stationary bike) or stretching intervention for six months. Using the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale-Cognition (ADAS-Cog) to assess cognition, the results of the trial were substantial.

The six-month change in ADAS-Cog was 1.0±4.6 (cycling) and 0.1±4.1 (stretching), which were both significantly less than the expected 3.2±6.3-point increase observed naturally with disease progression.

“Our primary finding indicates that a six-month aerobic exercise intervention significantly reduced cognitive decline in comparison to the natural course of changes for Alzheimer’s dementia. However, we didn’t find a superior effect of aerobic exercise to stretching, which is likely due to the pilot nature of our trial. We don’t have the statistical power to detect between-group differences, there was substantial social interaction effect in the stretching group, and many stretching participants did aerobic exercise on their own.” Yu said.

The findings are described in a recently published article, Cognitive Effects of Aerobic Exercise in Alzheimer’s Disease: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial, in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Yu says their results are encouraging and support the clinical relevance of promoting aerobic exercise in individuals with Alzheimer’s dementia to maintain cognition.

“Aerobic exercise has a low profile of adverse events in older adults with Alzheimer’s dementia as demonstrated by our trial,” said Yu. “Regardless of its effect on cognition, the current collective evidence on its benefits supports the use of aerobic exercise as an additional therapy for Alzheimer’s disease.”

Source: EurekAlert!

Reese’s is Launching a Peanut Butter Cup without Any Chocolate

Ramishah Maruf wrote . . . . . . . . .

Peanut butter purists called and Reese’s answered.

Reese’s latest iteration of its wildly popular peanut butter cup will be all peanut butter, no chocolate, Hershey announced on Monday.

The Reese’s Ultimate Peanut Butter Lovers Cup is made entirely of peanut butter, both inside and in the peanut butter candy-flavored outer shell.

This is the first time in the company’s 90-year-history that its peanut butter cups have taken chocolate completely out of the equation. Versions of the Peanut Butter Lovers Cup came out in 2019 and 2020, but those still contained some chocolate.

“While launching a Reese’s Cup with absolutely no chocolate might come as a shock, we’re giving the truest peanut butter fans something to go wild about,” Margo McIlvaine, Reese’s brand manager, said in a statement.

Hershey, like other confectioners, relies on impulse purchases to drive sales. In the last year, the candy company has released peanut butter cups filled with pretzels and a peanut butter and chocolate Snack Cake it billed as a “mid-morning snack.”

A 2019 Monmouth University survey found that Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are America’s most popular Halloween candy, with over a third of respondents choosing it as their favorite.

Reese’s said it launched the chocolate-free version of the candy to celebrate National Peanut Butter Day, which was March 1. They’ll roll out in April for a limited time and will come in standard, king and miniature sizes.

Source: CTV

Long-term Exposure to Low Levels of Air Pollution Increases Risk of Heart and Lung Disease

Exposure to what is considered low levels of air pollution over a long period of time can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, atrial fibrillation and pneumonia among people ages 65 and older, according to new research published today in the American Heart Association’s flagship journal Circulation.

Air pollution can cause harm to the cardiovascular and respiratory systems due to its effect on inflammation in the heart and throughout the body. Newer studies on the impact of air pollution on health are focused on understanding the potential harm caused by long-term exposure and are researching the effects of multiple air pollutants simultaneously. Research on air pollution is critical to informing recommendations for national environmental and health guidelines.

“People should be conscious of the air quality in the region where they live to avoid harmful exposure over long periods of time, if possible,” said Mahdieh Danesh Yazdi, Pharm.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., a post-doctoral research fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and lead author of the study. “Since our study found harmful effects at levels below current U.S. standards, air pollution should be considered as a risk factor for cardiovascular and respiratory disease by clinicians, and policy makers should reconsider current standards for air pollutants.”

Researchers examined hospitalization records for more than 63 million Medicare enrollees in the contiguous Unites States from 2000 to 2016 to assess how long-term exposure to air pollution impacts hospital admissions for specific cardiovascular and respiratory issues. The study measured three components of air pollution: fine particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone (O3). Using hundreds of predictors, including meteorological values, satellite measurements and land use to estimate daily levels of pollutants, researchers calculated the study participants’ exposure to the pollutants based upon their residential zip code. Additional analysis included the impact of the average yearly amounts of each of the pollutants on hospitalization rates for non-fatal heart attacks, ischemic strokes, atrial fibrillation and flutter, and pneumonia.

Statistical analyses found thousands of hospital admissions were attributable to air pollution per year. Specifically:

  • The risks for heart attacks, strokes, atrial fibrillation and flutter, and pneumonia were associated with long-term exposure to particulate matter.
  • Data also showed there were surges in hospital admissions for all of the health outcomes studied with each additional unit of increase in particulate matter. Specifically, stroke rates increased by 2,536 for each additional ug/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter of air) increase in fine particulate matter each year.
  • There was an increased risk of stroke and atrial fibrillation associated with long-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide.
  • Pneumonia was the only health outcome in the study that seemed impacted by long-term exposure to ozone; however, researchers note there are currently no national guidelines denoting safe or unsafe long-term ozone levels.

“When we restricted our analyses to individuals who were only exposed to lower concentrations of air pollution, we still found increased risk of hospital admissions with all of the studied outcomes, even at concentration levels below current national standards,” added Danesh Yazdi. “More than half of the study population is exposed to low levels of these pollutants, according to U.S. benchmarks, therefore, the long-term health impact of these pollutants should be a serious concern for all, including policymakers, clinicians and patients.”

The researchers further stratified the analyses to calculate the cardiovascular and respiratory risks associated with each of the pollutants among patient subgroups including gender, race or ethnicity, age and socioeconomic factors, detailed in the study.

The causality in the study could only be interpreted and not proven definitively due to the limitations of the data available, which may have not included other known CVD risk factors. In addition, coding errors can occur in the Medicare database, which would impact the analyses.

Source: American Heart Association

Apple and Blueberry Cake

Ingredients

1-1/2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
3/4 cup caster (superfine) sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 apple, cored and thinly sliced
3/4 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons demerara sugar or dark brown sugar

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F).
  2. Place flour, sugar, butter, vanilla, eggs and milk in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until just combined.
  3. Spoon mixture into a greased 9-inch springform tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Top with the apple and blueberries and sprinkle with sugar.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes or until the cake is cooked when tested with a skewer.
  5. Serve with vanilla ice-cream.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Source: Donna Hay


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