Reminders of old age may negatively impact memory
When combating memory loss, the key may be to think young.
A new study indicates that older people who believe that old age and memory loss go together may be undermining their own performance.
When older adults took a series of cognitive tests involving arithmetic and memorization after being encouraged that their age my affect the results, they performed less well, the study shows. The researchers worked with about 100 people in two age groups: 60 to 70 and 71 to 82.
For some of the test takers, the researchers purposely tried to plant the idea that age may affect performance. They told the volunteers that the test was being used to examine the effects of age on memory, and asked volunteers to write their age before they took the test. The researchers found that members of this group did worse than other groups, especially for those in the 60 to 70 age group.
Researchers speculate these participants were newly getting used to the idea of being considered “older,” which let them be greater influenced by suggestions that their age may make them do worse.
The study appears in Experimental Age Research and was led by Thomas M. Hess of North Carolina State University.
Hydroxycut Diet aids recalled
The Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers to stop using the popular Hydroxycut line of weight-loss products, citing reports of a death due to liver failure and other cases of serious health problems.
The FDA said it’s received reports of 23 incidences of harmful health effects in persons using Hydroxycut, including one person who needed a liver transplant. Other complications include heart problems and a type of muscle damage that could lead to kidney failure, the FDA said.
The Hydroxycut brand has been heavily sold at national chain stores including GNC and the Vitamin Shoppe, and includes pills, drinks and powders marketed to induce weight loss. According to the FDA, the brand sold more than 9 million units last year.
Hydroxycut’s parent company Iovate Health Science of Onatrio, and its American distributor, are voluntarily recalling 14 of the products. Two other Hydroxycut products, Cleanse and Hoodia, with different ingredients, are not affected by the recall.
This recall is the latest in a series of incidences that question whether the FDA has adequate authority to regulate dietary supplements. Since dietary supplements can offer general health benefits but cannot claim to treat specific illnesses, they are overseen differently than drugs by the FDA and do not need the agency’s approval to go on sale. The products‘ safety is up to the manufacturers; the FDA acts only in cases when it finds issue with a product already on sale.
ANNA OPALKA compiles Science Scene and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.