Rudolph: Aging begins when the body has reached its maximum functional capacity. – KESKIN WHEELS

Rudolph: Aging begins when the body has reached its maximum functional capacity.

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Rudolph: Aging begins when the body has reached its maximum functional capacity.

Irregular sleeping times interfere with brain development

If toddlers go to sleep at a different time each night, this disrupts the healthy development of the brain, more so in girls than in boys. But both sexes do worse in intelligence tests if they have irregular sleep times than children of the same age, whose night rest begins at a fixed time.

Happy boys: They can go to sleep whenever they want, it has no effect on their mathematical skills, their reading skills, or their spatial thinking, according to the tests in seven-year-olds, while the girls of the same age showed slight deficits, when bedtime was not tied to a specific time. By the age of three, however, both sexes were clearly affected.

Massive deficits among girls

However, the differences became massive when children had never known fixed sleeping times, neither at three, nor at five, nor at seven years. Girls then show serious gaps in the tested skills, whereas boys do not show any reading, arithmetic or spatial understanding. They do a little worse than the guys who are used to certain times.

Scientists at University College London (UCL) suspect that sleep habits could even have an impact on lifelong health.

A lack of routine disrupts the internal clock

The lack of rhythm, the lack of daily routine or even lack of sleep disrupt the children’s internal clock. This, in turn, upsets the natural course of early childhood development. The ability to absorb, process, store and remember new information is blocked.

"Three years seems to be the age at which the greatest effects are seen and that is worrying" explains UCL professor Amanda Sacker to the British "Guardian".

Information processing becomes more difficult

"If a child has irregular bed times at a young age, they can no longer put together all the information around them, and as the children get older, it becomes even more difficult. That sends them on a stony path than the others."

No matter what time, but always the same!

The time does not matter at all, regardless of whether a child is put to bed at 10 p.m. or 7 p.m., it is only important that it is the same time every day.

Conclusion: If boys are otherwise always seen as losers in the education system, the problem children of society, they are ahead here. Routines, rituals and rhythms make you smart – certainly not just the girls.

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On August 1, the legal right to a daycare place for one- and two-year-old children came into force. A new court ruling now suggests, however, that this is less about a right to a daycare place and more about childcare in general.

Parents can be referred to childcare providers

Parents can also be referred to a childminder to look after a child under the age of three – so they are not necessarily entitled to a day care center. In a legal dispute about childcare close to home, the city of Cologne was therefore right in a higher instance. The twelfth Senate of the Higher Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westphalia thus conceded a decision by the Cologne Administrative Court (Az .: 12 B 793/13).

This had decided in July that if the distance to the daycare center is more than five kilometers, the right to local care was no longer guaranteed. Parents could also not be referred to a place with a childminder, it was said in the first instance (Az .: 19 L 877/13).

It depends on the individual case

The higher administrative court in Münster, however, emphasized in its incontestable decision that the parents‘ wishes do not have to be complied with if there is no place available in the desired form of care. The court left open whether the assessment from the first instance is correct, according to which a daycare center more than five kilometers away in metropolitan areas can no longer be described as close to home. A blanket judgment is not enough here, it was said in Münster – the individual case must be considered.

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A hot cup of tea on cold days is not as beneficial as expected. A current study by Stiftung Warentest showed that some products are contaminated with a number of toxins. In terms of smell and taste, however, all products received a good rating.

When testing 27 Darjeeling and Ceylon Assam teas and goods test found that almost all products are contaminated with anthraquinone. This pollutant is suspected of causing cancer. If you don’t want to do without the drink, you should choose one of the five products that, according to consumer advocates, contain only small amounts of harmful substances.

No through pollutants "Very good" for Darjeeling

All teas really come from the Darjeeling growing area. In general, loose teas performed better than the bag versions. The best product, according to the Stiftung Warentest, is offered by Tee Gschwender: Despite the satisfactory pollution, its taste is very good – flowery, grassy and slightly sweet. The healthiest in comparison is the Darjeeling from dm, "Healthy plus". Both products, as well as six other teas, were included "Good" excellent.

Ceylon-Assam is tasteless

The bitter mixture of Ceylon and Assam tea is one of the most popular among Germans. In terms of taste, however, the products examined do not offer any special features. Of the "K-Classic Ceylon Assam" von Kaufland not only has a high anthraquinone content, but also contains other pollutants. After the research results were announced, Kaufland removed the product from its range. Also the "Goldman Tea" was considered because of quite a few toxins "inadequate" classified.

Sustainable teas do not achieve a better result

The test included six organic varieties of the teas. But it turned out that these are no less contaminated with pollutants than their competitors. Three only received one "Sufficient" the Alnatura "Darjeeling leaf" was even with "inadequate" rated.

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Tea lovers don’t have to do without Darjeeling

According to Stiftung Warentest, the result does not give any reason to warn against consumption. However, it makes sense to keep the intake of harmful substances as low as possible. It is not yet entirely clear how anthraquinone gets into the goods; there is probably a connection with the combustion processes involved in drying the tea leaves.

The life expectancy of Germans has increased significantly over the past few decades. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the average for newborn boys was around 78, and for girls it was almost 83 years.

"Whether we will be 70 years old or 100 is largely a result of our genetic make-up" said the aging researcher Karl Lenhard Rudolph from Jena. Within the limits set by the genes, however, everyone can have a considerable influence on the way of their lifestyle to age healthily.

Rudolph is Scientific Director of the Leibniz Institute for Aging Research and assumes that the increase in life expectancy will reach a limit.

When does aging begin in your opinion? 

Rudolph: Aging begins when the body has reached its maximum functional capacity. That is in the mid-twenties. After that, the functions of our organs, for example, decline. Just think of the sport: there are hardly any outfield players in football over the age of 30.

With aging, the functions of the organs decrease and diseases develop more and more. Why is that?

We now know that it has a lot to do with stem cells. They are important for the maintenance and renewal of tissues and organs. However, their regenerative power decreases with age. Our cells are optimized for an age of 25 or 30 years. At this point, the reproduction is due and thus the handover to the next generation. Increased from 40, many signals in the body drift apart and lead to dysfunction. The genes then work increasingly incorrectly, and mutations that make the cells more unstable dominate.

There is the old human dream of eternal youth and immortality. For many, health and quality of life would extend into old age. What can research contribute to this?

Ultimately, aging is determined by a multitude of processes. It is not that we have a single gene that makes us age – according to the motto: Once we have found this, we can change that and have eternal youth. That will not happen.

What can realistically be expected is that we understand the mechanisms that lead to dysfunction in the course of aging and thus to a higher risk of disease and that we can also slow them down therapeutically in the future. For example, one could improve immune functions in old age or reduce the risk of cancer. Or if we learn to understand how Alzheimer’s works, then therapies could be developed to delay Alzheimer’s in old age. But we will not be able to prevent aging itself. In this respect, I believe that we have the realistic possibility of alleviating or even eliminating individual pathological conditions. That would mean: We would still age, but the range of health is increasing.

Life expectancy in this country has increased over the past few decades. How long can this continue?

There are calculations according to which life expectancy has increased by 0.25 years annually over the past 200 years. I don’t think it will go on forever. That would mean that in a thousand years people will be 250 years older than they are today. I think that’s unrealistic. What you see here are the consequences of medical progress. Doctors today have a good handle on many diseases that used to cause people to die. Child mortality has also decreased significantly. But people were 80, 90 or even 100 years old before that. It is not the maximum life expectancy that has doubled, but the average; rather, the maximum life expectancy has remained that way.

So you see a fixed biological age limit for humans? 

Yes. The oldest known woman has turned 122. Even if there is an increase, it is minimal. How old we can get depends very much on our genes. I therefore assume that the increase in life expectancy will reach a maximum. With the help of aging research we can approach this limit of the biological life span further and further, but we cannot overcome it.

You mentioned the power of genes. To what extent are we at the mercy of it or do other factors such as the environment or the psyche have a significant influence?

You can’t trick genes.

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