ISLAMABAD – Climbing one step at a time burns more calories than leaping up several stairs, according to scientists from the University of Roehampton.

They found climbing five flights of stairs five times a week-an ascent of around 15 metres-burnt an average of 302 calories if the stairs were taken one at a time. But taking two steps with every stride will only burn 260 calories, they say.

Lewis Halsey, senior lecturer in comparative and environmental physiology at the university, said: “We were really interested to find out what expended more energy overall-attacking the stairs two at a time and climbing them quickly, or taking them more sedately one step at a time and reaching the top more slowly,” the Daily Mail reports.

“Our study reported the calories burned ascending stairs, the potential weight loss value of climbing stairs if done regularly and frequently during the week, and also the different energy costs of ascending stairs one step at a time versus two steps at a time.

“And our conclusion: it is better to take the stairs one at a time, if you want to burn the most calories.”

Vitamin C halves incidence of common cold

Vitamin C is beneficial against common cold particularly for people under heavy physical stress.

In five randomized trials of participants with heavy short-term physical stress, vitamin C halved the incidence of the common cold.

Three of the trials studied marathon runners, one studied Swiss school children in a skiing camp and one studied Canadian soldiers during a winter exercise.

Furthermore, in a recent randomized trial carried out with adolescent competitive swimmers, vitamin C halved the duration of colds in males, although the vitamin had no effect on females.

Regular doses of vitamin C of one gram per day or higher have reduced the average duration of colds in adults by 8 percent and in children by 18 percent.

Although these findings unambiguously show that vitamin C has a biological effect on colds, taking vitamin C every day to shorten infrequent colds does not seem reasonable. On average, adults have only a few common cold episodes per year and children have some half a dozen colds per year.

Few therapeutic trials, meaning trials in which vitamin C was given only after the first symptoms of a cold appeared, have been carried out and their results are not consistent.

Nevertheless, given the consistent effect of vitamin C on the duration and severity of colds in the regular supplementation studies, and the safety and low cost of vitamin C, the researchers consider that it may be worthwhile for individual common cold patients to test whether therapeutic vitamin C is beneficial for them.

First-born kids prone to diabetes

Birth order may raise the risk of first-born children developing diabetes or high blood pressure, a study has claimed.

It found that first-born children have greater difficulty absorbing sugars into the body and have higher daytime blood pressure than children who have older siblings.

The study conducted at the University of Auckland’s Liggins Institute in New Zealand, measured fasting lipid and hormonal profiles, height, weight and body composition in 85 healthy kids between the ages of 4 and 11.

The 32 first-born children, who participated in the study had a 21 percent reduction in insulin sensitivity and a 4 mmHg increase in blood pressure.

The study found that the oldest and only children tended to be taller and slimmer than their later-born counterparts, even after the height and body mass index of their parents was taken into account.

The metabolic differences in younger siblings could be caused by physical changes in the mother’s uterus during her first pregnancy. As a result of the changes, nutrient flow to the foetus tends to increase during subsequent pregnancies.

For this study, researchers focused on kids as puberty and adult lifestyle could affect insulin sensitivity.

The study will be published in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM).