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Do having more fingers benefit us?

Polydactyly, the condition in which a person is born with more than the usual number of fingers on their hands or toes on their feet, is seen in many individuals. One in every 2000-3000 babies are born with polydactyly. It is considered a deformity as it is not a normal affair. Hence, most doctors remove any extra fingers or toes at the time of birth itself to avoid embarrassment in the future and also because these extra digits are considered useless. Now, the question of whether it has beneficial aspects, is arising among scientists who believe that polydactyly serves people with more dexterity in movement when compared to those with fewer digits of fingers and toes. Studies were conducted to learn more about this. "We wanted to know if the subjects have motor skills that go beyond people with five fingers and how the brain is able to control the additional degrees of freedom," says study co-author Prof. Carsten Mehring. During the study, participants were made to perform various tasks while their brain activity was being recorded continuously through functional MRI. Results showed that, they were able to perform tasks with a single hand, which could be done only using two hands for people without extra digits. Scientists explain that brain was able to cope up and control the extra finger only because it was there by birth and having control over parts developed in later stages of life is doubtful.

(Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com)

Tomato juice and heart health

Cardiovascular issues have been the major cause of death in American population. There are many reasons leading to heart related issues which are controllable as well as uncontrollable. Factors like smoking habit, obesity etc. are controllable while the ones like ageing are uncontrollable. From previous studies, scientists have proved that tomatoes, which are abundant in bioactive compounds, such as carotenoid, vitamin A, calcium, and gamma‐aminobutyric acid, help in benefitting cardiovascular risk elements such as high blood pressure and lipid and glucose metabolism, over a longer period. Having 1 glass of unsalted tomato juice included in daily diet is said to have remarkable benefits on cardiovascular health. "The current study is the first to investigate the effects of tomato or tomato product intake on cardiovascular disease risk markers over the course of a year and over a wide age range.", report the authors. Men and women participants were included in the study, whose health factors like blood pressure, levels of triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood, and fasting plasma glucose were measured. They were provided with unlimited access to unsalted tomato juice for one year. Results reflected that their average systolic blood pressure dropped from 141.2 to 137.0 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Also, average diastolic blood pressure dropped from 83.3 to 80.9 mm Hg. Another positive aspect found was that they benefitted in reducing hypertension stage 2 down to hypertension stage 1 in participants.

(Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com)