2 Surprising Personality Traits Linked To Stronger Immune System

Although people high in this personality trait generally suffer from more stress and anxiety, some have a surprising health advantage.

Being neurotic can be good for your health in some circumstances.

So-called ‘healthy neurotics’ are people who combine neurotic personality traits with being conscientious.

Healthy neurotics have lower levels of markers of inflammation in their blood, suggesting their immune system is functioning better.

The self-discipline of being conscientious counteracts unhealthy neurotic behaviours like overeating and drinking too much alcohol.

Dr Nicholas A. Turiano, the study’s first author, said:

“These people are likely to weigh the consequences of their actions, and therefore their level of neuroticism coupled with conscientiousness probably stops them from engaging in risky behaviors.”

A survey of 1,054 adults found that those who were both neurotic and conscientious had lower levels of inflammation in their blood.

Interleukin 6 (IL-6) is an immune protein that is linked to chronic disease.

The neurotic and conscientious also had fewer chronic health problems and lower body-mass indexes.

The results are somewhat surprising as neurotic people tend to suffer more from stress and anxiety, which are also linked to worse health.

Dr Turiano said:

“Speculation is that healthy neurotics may be hyper-vigilant about their lifestyle and about seeking treatment when a problem arises.

It’s their conscientiousness that guides their decisions to prevent disease or quickly get treatment when they don’t feel well.”

Better physical health is not the first advantage identified for the neurotic, as I’ve written previously:

“High levels of creativity may go hand-in-hand with neuroticism.

It’s because the area of the brain which is linked to creativity also has the tendency to overthink things and worry.

Neuroticism is characterised by negative thinking in a range of areas.”

Neurotic people also seem to suffer from indecision as a result of worrying about the future.

One way to reduce this is to start learning to take action:

“Learning to value taking action is an important way of reducing the harmful effects of neuroticism.

People high in anxiety and neuroticism dislike taking action, recent research reveals.”

→ Read on about the harmful effects of neuroticism.

The study was published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity (Turiano et al., 2012).

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Episode 1785 Scott Adams: All Of The Best Jokes About Roe v Wade Decision From The Supreme Court

Episode 1785 Scott Adams: All Of The Best Jokes About Roe v Wade Decision From The Supreme Court

Content:

  • AOC’s talent for surfing the wave
  • Why neither side can say their real argument
  • Keith Olbermann labels SCOTUS domestic terrorists
  • School choice solves systemic racism
  • Maggie Haberman’s Pulitzer Prize for propaganda
  • The crippling impact of loneliness
  • If you would like to enjoy this same content plus bonus content from Scott Adams, including micro-lessons on lots of useful topicsto build your talent stack, please see scottadams.locals.com for full access to that secret treasure.

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This Popular Vitamin Is Linked To Weight Loss

High levels of this vitamin are associated with 20 pounds more weight loss.

Higher levels of vitamin D are linked to more weight loss, research finds.

People who are dieting have been shown to lose 20 pounds more when they have high vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D at higher levels in the body is also associated with burning belly fat.

The conclusions come from a study of 4,421 people whose total body fat and belly fat was measured.

Across men and women, higher vitamin D levels were linked to less belly fat, the results showed.

However, women with higher vitamin D levels also had less total body fat.

One reason for the beneficial effect of vitamin D may be its connection with the neurotransmitter serotonin.

Serotonin can affect everything from sleep to mood.

High levels of vitamin D may suppress the storage of fat.

Over half the people in the world may be deficient in vitamin D.

Foods that are rich in vitamin D include oily fish and eggs, but most people get their vitamin D from the action of sunlight on the skin.

That is why levels are typically lower in the body through the winter months in more Northern climes.

Dr Rachida Rafiq, the study’s first author, said:

“Although we did not measure vitamin D deficiency in our study, the strong relationship between increasing amounts of abdominal fat and lower levels of vitamin D suggests that individuals with larger waistlines are at a greater risk of developing deficiency, and should consider having their vitamin D levels checked.”

The study does not prove causation, though, Dr Rafiq explained:

“Due to the observational nature of this study, we cannot draw a conclusion on the direction or cause of the association between obesity and vitamin D levels.

However, this strong association may point to a possible role for vitamin D in abdominal fat storage and function.”

The study was published in the journal Clinical Nutrition (Rafiq et al., 2018).

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The Funny Sign That Your IQ Is High

Both men and women are more attracted to a person with this quality.

Being funny is a sign of a higher IQ, research finds.

Funny people have higher levels of general and verbal intelligence.

Not only that, but being funny is also linked to having more dating success.

Both men and women are more attracted to a person who is funnier.

However, women are more discerning about humour and react to it more strongly.

Men, meanwhile, tend to be focused on producing jokes (often to impress women).

The study’s authors write:

“Humor is not just a reliable intelligence-indicator; it may be one of the most important traits for humans seeking mates.

Of course, mate attraction is not the only function of humor.

Humor can also be used in competing for status with same-sex rivals, reducing social tensions, and other adaptive functions.”

The study involved 400 young people who were given intelligence tests and asked about their dating history.

They were then handed New Yorker cartoons with the caption deleted and asked to come up with their own.

The results showed that, unsurprisingly, verbal intelligence was strongly related to being funny.

However, people found it hard to come up with anything really good, with most captions rated as not funny at all.

This shows how difficult jokes are — especially in the medium of New Yorker captions.

Other studies, though, have also found links between intelligence and humour.

In this study, men were especially focused on trying to write funny captions and theirs were rated more highly, the authors write:

“Men were funnier than women on average and produced a larger number of captions, consistent with the sexual signaling hypothesis in which men try (unconsciously) to signal their mate quality through their humor ability, and women are more responsive to and discriminating about humor.”

The study was published in the journal Intelligence (Greengross & Miller, 2011).

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2 Brain Networks Are Vital To Weight Loss, Neuroscientists Find

Those whose brains are better at resisting temptation and do not automatically seek out food are better at weight loss.

Two brain networks are highly influential in successful weight loss, neuroscientists have shown.

Activity in one network of brain regions — called ‘FN1’ — is linked to sensory and motors skills.

It is these areas of the brain that control people’s unconscious motivation to seek out food.

In other words, some people are automatically looking for food, even without being consciously aware of it.

The second network called ‘FN2’, influences attention and executive function.

These regions of the brain are involved in how people resist temptations to eat.

People who find it harder to resist temptations naturally have more difficulty losing weight.

In contrast, those whose brains are better at resisting temptation and do not automatically seek out food are better at weight loss, the researchers found.

Professor Jonathan Burdette, the study’s first author, said:

“These findings show that the brain network properties of people who were less successful at weight loss were different from folks who were more successful.

Some people have a stronger unconscious sensory motor bias to pursue food, while others appear to have less.

In a society of food abundance with food cues everywhere, this information can help explain why some people have such difficulty in taking off excess weight and maintaining it.”

The research involved 71 people enrolled in a weight loss trial.

Their brains were scanned at the start to see what types of activity would predict success.

The two functional networks, FN1 and FN2, were found to be critical to people’s progress.

Professor Burdette said:

“Our findings provide further insight into complex functional circuits in the brain so we now have a mechanistic understanding of why people aren’t losing weight.

In theory, if you know more about urges and control, we will be able to tailor therapies to an individual as opposed to treating everyone the same.”

Implications for weight loss therapy

The findings suggest that to lose weight people need to understand the importance of unconscious drives.

Unfortunately, people consistently underestimate the impact of unconscious process like habits on their behaviour.

Mindfulness is one way to become more aware of behaviours that are triggered unconsciously.

Certainly, mindfulness has been consistently found to reduce cravings for food, cigarettes and alcohol.

Over time, people practising mindfulness find it easier to resist acting on their desires.

Mindfulness helps the mind acknowledge cravings and allows them to flow out of consciousness.

In addition, self-weighing encourages people to be aware of their weight and makes them think about what they are eating.

Awareness is more likely to motivate change.

The study was published in the journal Obesity (Burdette et al., 2022).

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A Worrying Sign Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Over half the people in the study had a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Depression and lethargy can be signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency, research finds.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is easy to rectify with supplements or by dietary changes.

The body uses vitamin B12 to make red blood cells and to keep the nervous system healthy.

Other common signs of vitamin B12 deficiency include experiencing muscle weakness and being constipated.

Over half the people in the study had a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Professor Heather Keller, the study co-author, said:

“The negative effects of a B12 deficiency are considerable.

This is of particular importance in the context of our aging population with more Canadians requiring long-term care.”

The study included 412 older people entering care homes.

Just over half had low vitamin B12 levels, with 14 percent being deficient.

Kaylen Pfisterer, the study’s first author, said:

“In spending time in long-term care homes, you often see depression and loneliness.

This is why we need to do everything in our power to enhance quality of life and quality of care in this setting.

Screening for B12 deficiency is a first step to targeting B12 treatment to those who may benefit most.”

Vitamin B12 levels can be boosted through supplementation or by eating foods such as dairy, liver, salmon and eggs.

The study was published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism (Pfisterer et al., 2019).

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Episode 1741 Scott Adams: Lots Of Appalling Or Funny News Today

Episode 1741 Scott Adams: Lots Of Appalling Or Funny News Today

Content:

  • Debunkers of 2000 Mules
  • AP Zeke Miller vs Ted Cruz
  • FBI Whistleblower allegations
  • Biden cancels oil and gas leases in Alaska and Gulf of Mexico
  • Ukraine, what’s really happening?
  • 40 Billion for Ukraine
  • If you would like to enjoy this same content plus bonus content from Scott Adams, including micro-lessons on lots of useful topicsto build your talent stack, please see scottadams.locals.com for full access to that secret treasure.

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The Best Way Of Empathising Might Surprise You

Most people are wrong about the best way to empathise with others.

Surprisingly, systematic reasoning beats gut instinct for working out what other people are thinking and feeling.

The result is surprising as the same research found that people thought that gut instinct would triumph.

Dr Jennifer Lerner, one of the study’s authors, said:

“Cultivating successful personal and professional relationships requires the ability to accurately infer the feelings of others – that is, to be empathically accurate.

Some are better at this than others, a difference that may be explained in part by mode of thought.

Until now, however, little was known about which mode of thought, intuitive versus systematic, offers better accuracy in perceiving another’s feelings.”

In the first of a series of studies, the psychologists found that most people believed that relying on gut instinct was the best way to read and understand other people.

Actually, though, when they checked this out scientifically, it emerged that carefully analysing information worked better.

Dr Christine Ma-Kellams, the study’s first author, said:

“Importantly, three out of the four studies presented here relied on actual professionals and managers.

This sample represents a highly relevant group for which to test empathic accuracy, given the importance of empathic accuracy for a host of workplace outcomes, including negotiations, worker satisfaction and workplace performance.”

One of the studies found that people who habitually thought systematically rather than intuitively were better at reading other people.

Another study, though, encouraged half the participants to think in a systematic way with the following instruction:

“…write about a situation in which carefully reasoning through a situation led them in the right direction and resulted in a positive outcome.”

The other group were encouraged to think intuitively.

Once again, analytical thought prevailed.

Dr Lerner said:

“The many settings in which the value of intuition is extolled — for example a job interview — may need to be reassessed with a more nuanced perspective.”

The study was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Ma-Kellams & Lerner, 2016).

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This Dietary Change Helps Treat Severe Depression

One way this dietary change may help reverse depression is by affective levels of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that is central to mood.

Switching to a healthy Mediterranean diet can help reverse the symptoms of depression, a study finds.

Young men with moderate to severe depression in the clinical trial swapped out processed red meats, sugar and fast foods.

Instead, they ate colourful vegetables, wholegrains, fish and raw, unsalted nuts (see: the MIND diet).

One way dietary change may help reverse depression is by affective levels of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that is central to mood.

Higher quality of life

For the research, 72 depressed young men were assigned to  either a dietary change group or a control group that consisted of ‘befriending’.

Ms Jessica Bayes, the study’s first author, said:

“We were surprised by how willing the young men were to take on a new diet.

Those assigned to the Mediterranean diet were able to significantly change their original diets, under the guidance of a nutritionist, over a short time frame.

It suggests that medical doctors and psychologists should consider referring depressed young men to a nutritionist or dietitian as an important component of treating clinical depression.”

After 12 weeks, the results revealed that changing to the Mediterranean diet reduced depressing significantly more than befriending.

The young men also rated their quality of life as higher after changing their diet.

Ms Bayes explained the importance of diet:

“The primary focus was on increasing diet quality with fresh wholefoods while reducing the intake of ‘fast’ foods, sugar and processed red meat.

There are lots of reasons why scientifically we think food affects mood.

For example, around 90 per cent of serotonin, a chemical that helps us feel happy, is made in our gut by our gut microbes.

There is emerging evidence that these microbes can communicate to the brain via the vagus nerve, in what is called the gut-brain axis.

To have beneficial microbes, we need to feed them fibre, which is found in legumes, fruits and vegetables.”

Around 30 percent of people do not respond to standard depression treatment, such as medication and/or cognitive-behavioural therapy.

Ms Bayes said:

“Nearly all our participants stayed with the program, and many were keen to continue the diet once the study ended, which shows how effective, tolerable and worthwhile they found the intervention.”

Diet and mental health

Hundreds of studies have linked a better diet with improved mental health.

For example, studies have shown a link between a diet rich in vegetables, nuts, fruits and fish and a lower risk of depression.

Raw fruits and vegetables in particular have been linked to better mental health.

Avoiding a high-fat diet can reduce depressive behaviour in mice.

Reducing the intake of common inflammatory foods including fast food, cake and processed meats reduces the risk of depression.

Similarly, cutting down on refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, white rice and soda, may lower depression risk.

All sorts of positive dietary changes, including weight loss, fat reduction and nutrient boosting diets, have been shown to improve mental health.

The study was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Bayes et al., 2022).

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Vitamin B12 Deficiency: A Strange Night-Time Symptom To Know

Vitamin B12 is a critical fuel for the body, helping the body’s nerve and blood cells stay healthy and make DNA.

Night sweats can be a surprising symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency, studies have suggested.

Night sweats can soak the body, pyjamas and bed clothes.

They occur even without an overheated bedroom or sleep environment.

After taking vitamin B12, though, the symptoms can disappear.

Vitamin B12 is a critical fuel for the body, helping the body’s nerve and blood cells stay healthy and make DNA.

In one case study reported in a scientific journal, a man had been suffering from extensive night sweats for years.

They were so bad that he had to change his bedsheets almost daily.

The sweating was most obvious around the upper areas of his body — especially from the top to the mid-chest.

The study’s authors explain the treatment and the results:

“Vitamin-B12 injections 1000mcg daily for seven days followed by monthly injections were prescribed on the basis of elevated homocysteine levels.

Patient reported a dramatic response of his sweating after the second injection of vitamin B12 and remained asymptomatic at three months follows up.”

Several other cases reported by the authors of this study also linked drenching night sweats to vitamin B12 deficiency.

It is still not known exactly why vitamin B12 deficiency should be linked to excessive sweating.

Other symptoms that have been linked to vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • vision problems,
  • a smooth tongue,
  • pale skin,
  • heart palpitations,
  • tiredness, weakness and feeling light-headed,
  • and numbness or tingling in the body, as well as muscle weakness.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is relatively easy to combat with dietary supplements or a change of diet itself.

Foods that are high in vitamin B12 include liver, fortified cereals, dairy products, salmon and eggs.

Some groups of people are at higher risk of vitamin B12 deficiency, such as older people, vegetarians, and those with digestive disorders.

The study was published in the European Journal of General Medicine (Rehman et al., 2015).

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