Science Round-Up: Study reveals mysterious health benefits of eating Nordic fat

A Nordic diet consisting of berries, vegetables, fish, whole grains, dairy products and rapeseed oil has been shown to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, according to a study from the .

Additional benefits include a reduced risk of becoming overweight, having cardiovascular disease and developing type 2 .

Not just a weight loss diet
“Most people think that the beneficial effects on blood sugar and cholesterol are solely due to weight loss – but we have shown that there are other mechanisms at play,” explains researcher Lars Ove Dragsted.

Researchers from , Finland, , Sweden and Iceland examined blood and urine samples from about 200 people over the age of 50 with elevated BMI and increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Participants were monitored over six months, with half eating Nordic food while the other half ate as usual. The Nordic group was instructed to maintain their starting weight.

Unique fat sources
The group, which was on a Nordic diet for half a year, became significantly healthier with lower cholesterol levels, lower total content of both saturated and unsaturated fat in the blood and better regulation of blood sugar compared with the other group. Even without the weight loss, we could see an improvement in health, ”explains Lars Ove Dragsted.

“In the blood from the Nordic diet group, we found other fat-soluble substances than the control group. The substances appear to be associated with unsaturated fatty acids in the oils found in the Nordic diet. ”

Fats in the Nordic diet include fish, flaxseed, sunflower and rapeseed. Although the connection is clear, researchers are not yet able to explain the exact reason why these fats lower cholesterol and blood sugar.


Danish astrophysicist presents new black hole theory
A groundbreaking study from the University of Copenhagen on how black holes meet and collide has been published in the journal Nature. Astrophysicists analyzed the gravitational waves emitted by the collisions and found that some black holes orbit each other in ellipses instead of circles before colliding. This is contrary to Einstein’s theories, which predict that pairs of black holes always strive to move in circles. So the team put forward a new theory. The core of most galaxies is a supermassive black hole, surrounded by a flat, rotating ‘disk’ of gas, which contains many smaller black holes. So far, the interactions between these smaller black holes have been calculated assuming they occur in three dimensions. “But then we tried to assume that things happened in 2D, because a gas disk is actually flat. We found that it resulted in a 100 times greater chance of an elliptical collision, ”said research leader Johan Samsing.

Giant Greenlandic crater is much older than assumed
New laser analysis methods have made it possible for researchers at the University of Copenhagen and the Natural History Museum to date the 31 km wide Hiawatha asteroid crater, buried under the ice sheet, with an age of 58 million years. When the iron-based meteor hit northwest Greenland with a force several million times larger than an atomic bomb, there was temperate rainforest. The jury is still in doubt as to whether the Hiawatha asteroid disrupted the global climate, but the new dating will allow scientists to better understand its climatic effects.

Stem cell transplants can revolutionize colitis treatment
About 35,000 Danes suffer from colitis – a colon disease that causes pain and fatigue. Because of the stigma, many choose to live with the unpleasant disease rather than relieve it with a stoma. Now, researchers at the University of Copenhagen have shown that stem cell transplantation in the colon can cure mice for colitis, which bodes well for a future form of human treatment that does not require a stoma.

Danish brain researcher wins major neuroscience award
Ole Kiehn, one of Denmark’s leading brain researchers, has won the prestigious Brain Award for his pioneering mapping of the neural networks in the brain and spinal cord that activate and control physical movement. The Brain Prize is the world’s largest neuroscience research prize and will be awarded on 25 May 2022 at a ceremony in Copenhagen under the leadership of Crown Prince Frederik.

Researchers are learning to speak pig Latin
By studying audio recordings of pigs’ grunts throughout their lives, an international team of researchers from the University of Copenhagen, and the French research institute INRAE ​​has been able to ‘translate’ them into similar emotions. The algorithm they have devised can distinguish between positive and negative emotions and has potential uses in animal welfare management.

New algorithm can detect bipolar disorder in voice
Psychiatrists assess the mood of patients with bipolar disorder through conversation and by listening to their voice. New research from DTU, published in the International Journal of Bipolar Disorders, has revealed that the voice can be used as a ‘digital ’ to enable computers to distinguish the same. The study successfully used voice analysis software to distinguish between patients with bipolar disorder and healthy controls. Digital biomarkers, including the voice, have huge potential in and are already used in the treatment of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and diabetes.

New study of eastern Antarctica shakes up understanding of continental drift
DTU Space has contributed to a Danish-British-Norwegian mapping project of geophysical conditions in Antarctica, which has revealed that large parts of eastern Antarctica are much younger than previously thought. The discovery points to increased ice melting in the area. This means that the history of continental migration as we know it may need to be rewritten.

Danish Universities interrupt cooperation with Russia and Belarus
On Tuesday, Danish universities issued a joint statement on their suspension of bilateral, institutional collaborations on research, education and innovation with state entities in Russia and Belarus. This means that there will be no exchange of scientific staff or students in the future.

What did women read in the 17th century?
SDU researcher Lucie Duggan has received a grant from the Augustinus Foundation to build a comprehensive database of the works in Karen Brahe’s Library to create an overview of what wealthy 17th century women read at a time when a Latin education was reserved for men. Brahe’s is the only preserved Danish private library from the 17th century with around 3,400 printed books and 1,150 manuscripts. A large part of Brahe’s collection includes books on theology, history, folk songs, autobiographies, genealogy, and weapons.

Maternal does not affect infant mortality
A joint study between Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus University has found that the increased mortality among children born to women with epilepsy in the first year of life has been declining in recent years, so it is not higher than in healthy mothers. The researchers concluded that the treatment of women with epilepsy and their children has improved in recent years. Studies show that children born to women with epilepsy have an increased risk of being born prematurely, having a low birth weight and being born with malformations.

Hospital gets groundbreaking CT scanner
Herlev Hospital has received Denmark’s first Photon-Counting CT Scanner – one of just four such advanced scanners in the world. With 16 times higher resolution than a normal CT scanner, doctors can examine microbone structures that are smaller than a hair. The scanner, developed by Siemens Healthineers, was first approved for clinical practice in mid-2021 and can be useful in diagnosing pancreatic cancer, lung cancer, metastases in the spine, bone fractures and pulmonary fibrosis.

Source: The Nordic Page

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