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  • For A Mood Boost, Take A Social Media Break

    Social media has changed the way we communicate with each other, for better and for worse. From sparking arguments with strangers, to “doom scrolling” through bad news, to contributing to poor body image and low self-esteem, there’s little doubt that time spent on these platforms can have negative effects on mood.

    To learn whether taking time away from social media might improve mood, researchers at the United Kingdom’s University of Bath rated 154 adults’ levels of anxiety, depression, and well-being. They then assigned them to one of two groups: One was asked to stop using all social media for one week, while the other could continue using social platforms as usual.

    At the end of the week, the volunteers who had taken a social media break had significant reductions in anxiety and depression, and an improved sense of well-being, compared with those who continued to scroll. The researchers now plan to study the effects of a social media break on different age groups.

    The paper was published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.


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  • More Antioxidants, Lower Dementia Risk?

    Antioxidants — substances that help prevent or slow the oxidative damage caused by free radicals — are crucial for good health. According to one recent study, they may also help protect the aging brain. Researchers from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging reviewed data from 7,283 people who were at least 45 years old at the beginning of the study. The participants underwent physical exams, had their blood antioxidant levels tested, and were followed for an average of 16 years to see who developed dementia during that time.

    The researchers found that people with the highest amounts of the antioxidants lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin in their blood at the start of the study were less likely than those with lower levels to develop dementia decades later. The finding could help pave the way for more research into the effects of antioxidants on cognitive health, including whether adding more antioxidants to the diet can help ward off dementia. The study was published in the May 4, 2022, online issue of Neurology.


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