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Research

The Sunshine Vitamin

It’s called the “sunshine vitamin” for a reason. Vitamin D is produced in your skin only in response to direct sunlight and the amount produced depends on the time of day, where you live in the world, and the color of your skin. The more skin you expose, the more vitamin D is produced. Vitamin D performs several important functions in the body. These include the facilitation of a health immune system and the regulation of the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. A sufficient amount of vitamin D is required for physical growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against certain diseases. Insufficient amounts of vitamin...

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Healthy Brain Aging Linked to Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids in the Blood

Two new studies link patterns of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the blood to the integrity of brain structures and cognitive abilities that are known to decline early in aging. The studies add to the evidence that dietary intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can promote healthy aging, the researchers said. Further research is needed to test this hypothesis, they said. The brain is a collection of interconnected parts, each of which ages at its own pace. Some brain structures, and the abilities they promote, start to deteriorate before others, said University of Illinois M.D./Ph.D student Marta Zamroziewicz, who led...

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The Epigenetics Program at Temple University

Fels Institute for Cancer Research, Temple University School of Medicine What is epigenetics? Epigenetics is the software of a cell. It is a series of instructions that allows a given cell to properly use its hardware (the genetic code). Epigenetics is written in the language of biochemical tags, most prominently methylation of DNA. Methylation refers to the addition of methyl groups – biochemical tags – to DNA. These tags serve functions akin to bookmarks. They help the cell sift through the large amount of genetic material we inherit from our parents, and the bookmarks determine which gene should be active...

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