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Poor grades? Blame your genes: Scientists

Around two-thirds of individual differences in academic achievement can be explained by comparing genes, scientists said.

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Houston: Children's ability to score better grades may be encoded in their DNA, say scientists who found that around two-thirds of individual differences in academic achievement can be explained by comparing genes.

For many years, research has linked educational achievement to live trajectories, such as occupational status, health or happiness.

However, researchers from the University of Texas in the US and King's College London in the UK showed that genes have a substantial influence on academic success, from the start of elementary school to the last day of high school.

The study, published in the journal npj Science of Learning, analyzed test scores from primary through the end of compulsory education of more than 6,000 pairs of twins.

Researchers found educational achievement to be highly stable throughout schooling, meaning that most students who started off well in primary school continued to do well until graduation.

Genetic factors explained about 70 percent of this stability, while the twins shared environment contributed to about 25 percent, and their nonshared environment, such as different friends or teachers, contributed to the remaining five percent.

"Around two-thirds of individual differences in school achievement are explained by differences in children's DNA," said Margherita Malanchini, a psychology postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas.

"But less is known about how these factors contribute to an individual's academic success over time," said Malanchini. However, this does not mean that an individual was simply born smart, researchers explained.

Even after accounting for intelligence, genes still explained about 60 percent of the continuity of academic achievement. "Academic achievement is driven by a range of cognitive and noncognitive traits," Malanchini said.

"Previously, studies have linked it to personality, behavioral problems, motivation, health and many other factors that are partly heritable," she said.

However, at times grades did change, such as a drop in grades between primary and secondary school. Those changes can be explained largely by non-shared environmental factors, researchers said.

"Our findings should provide additional motivation to identify children in need of interventions as early as possible, as the problems are likely to remain throughout the school years," said Kaili Rimfeld, a postdoctoral researcher at King's College London.

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Have you ever fond of that golden thick liquid produced by thousands of bees using enzyme and flowers’ nectar called honey? Do you use it as an alternative sweetener for sugar in your tea, juice or even use this as a filling on your bread and biscuits? If so, Manuka honey can be your newest favoriteto store in your pantry among different types of honey available in the store.

This kind of honey does not just taste better but it is also packed with nutrients that are good for your body. It is loaded with health benefits because of its Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) content and a good remedy for wound, sore throat, bad breath and other gastrointestinal diseases. So, if you are not yet familiar with manuka, this article will provide you practical information about this nutritious sweetener.

What is Manuka honey?

Manuka honey is a monofloral honey which was first originated in New Zealand and used as an alternative medicine. This type of honey is being produced by thousands of European bees from the nectar of Leptospermum scoparium commonly known as Manuka tree which grows onlyin New Zealand and southeastern Australia. Since bees only pollinate and get the nectar from one plant species only, it has a distinctive and strong flavor—a combination of sweet, aroma, and slightly bitter flavor. Its color is darker and more intense that those regular honey.

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It contains methylglyoxal(MG), dihydroxyacetone (DHA) and hydrogen peroxide. MG is an organic compound and active ingredient for anti-bacterial, DHA is a carbohydrates used for anti-aging products while hydrogen peroxide is an antibiotic compound. It makes Manuka honey good for curing inflammation and wound cleansing.

Manuka honey vs raw honey?

As stated above, Manuka honey is a monofloral type of honey. European bees only pollinate in the flowers of Manuka tree unlike for the raw honey wherein the bees can get nectar from different flowers around them. Both are pure form of honey but Manuka honey undergoes creaming process after it is extracted from hive. Raw honey is extracted even without adding heat that is why, sometimes when you buy regular honey from the market, there are pieces of pollen mixed in the syrup.

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Also, as compared to other kinds of honey, manuka honey has a unique content of methylglyoxal (MG). Although, both has anti-microbial properties, manuka possesses a much stronger anti-microbial activity than to raw honey.

How to know if the Manuka honey you are going to buy is real?

Because of the buzz of Manuka honey, it increases its sale in the market over the years. A lot of people are willing to purchase this superfood even though it is a bit pricy as compared to regular honey. As a result, it makes more susceptible to adulteration.

So, before you buy (whether in the market or online), it is a must to check the label to know if the product really comes from the New Zealand. Remember that Manuka honey can only be harvested in New Zealand because the Manuka tree only grows in this place. Look for the abbreviation UMF and certified MG content. If these two are missing, the chance that the Manuka honey you are going to buy is fake is relatively high.

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If you order from the manufacturer, do business only in the trusted New Zealand brand. It makes you worry less because the honey undergoes to careful creaming process which conducted in the clean, safe and specialized facilities. Moreover, check also the consistency and color of the manuka honey being sold to you. It should be darker and bronzer while its texture should be more crystalized due to the heat temperature during its creaming process. A reputable brand would be Comvita Manuka Honey. They are a publicly listed company specializing in Manuka honey.

5 Benefits of Manuka honey

This gold elixir provides you with numerous health benefits. Get ready to be amazed because it can magically change the quality of your life even after one month of intake.

Cures pimples, acne and eczema

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Are you tired of your pimples, acne and eczema? Have you tried different beauty products yet you cannot get rid of them? Maybe, it is about time to use natural tonic to achieve your dream flawless and vibrant skin. Manuka honey has antimicrobial, antibacterial and healing properties that help you eliminate those dirt and bacteria hiding in your clogged pores.

Wash your face with lukewarm water to open the pores and apply the Manuka honey on your face. Leave it for 3-5 minutes. Then, wash it off with soap (to remove the sweet flavor) and rinse it with cold water to close the pores. Do this every night before you sleep for the best result.

Soothes sore throat and an effective wound, burn, and coughremedy

Traditionally, honey has been used as a remedy for cough with some slices of lemons on it. But Manuka is more effective due to its advanced antimicrobial, antibiotics, and anti-inflammation properties. When you put some of it in a cup of hot water, it soothes your throat which lessen the irritation and discomfort because of some bacteria lining on your gullet. So, before your cough and sore throat get complicated that would cause you other painful inflammation of the tonsils, get yourself treated by taking a teaspoon of Manuka honey 2-3 times a day. Apart from that, it can also treat wound and burn because it is rich in antioxidant and antibacterial properties.

Fights against dental plaque and other oral bacteria

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Manuka honey promotes oral health. Just like toothpaste, it can give you fresh breath because of the antimicrobial characteristic as well as the minerals important for building strong teeth such as phosphorus, zinc and calcium. Though, it is sweet, unlike those sweet treats, it has the ability to fight against plaque and other bacteria that damages your teeth and gives you bad breath. It can also keep your gum healthy which prevents you from having gingivitis—an inflammation of the gum.

Controls hair loss and other scalp problem like dandruff

Are you suffering from hair loss or other scalp problems like dandruff? Buy yourself a Manuka honey instead of trying different brands of shampoo to treat control hair loss and dandruff. Usually, when you are vitamins and minerals deficient, it is common that you experience premature thinning of hair. However, dandruff can also be a contributing factor why you lose a great amount of hair. When your scalp is undernourished, it would cause you scalp dryness thus killing your healthy skin.

With the help of Manuka honey, it can rejuvenate your hair follicles and nourish your scalp. It has antimicrobial and anti-fungal content, as well as it is packed with minerals such as B vitamins and amino acids that can keep your scalp hydrated. Aside from that, Manuka honey helps you achieve a smoother, shinier and more glowing hair.

Promotes gastrointestinal and digestive health

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If your stomach always hurt, maybe you have mild gastrointestinal and digestive problem. To prevent that from getting worse, treat yourself as soon as possible by taking Manuka honey. The anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory content of Manuka enabling you to be free of any stomach-related diseases and conditions such as abdominal pain, lose bowel movement, constipation, ulcer, and diarrhea.

Final Thought

Manuka honey provides incredible benefits not only those mentioned above making it extra unique than those raw and regular types of honey you can buy in the market. Generally, it is safe to consume even by kids (do not give this to babies under one year old). However, please consult your doctor if you are allergic to bees or honey and diagnosed with diabetes if it is okay for you. If yes, choose manuka whenever you buy honey. Just do check the label, consistency and color of the honey you are going to buy to know if it is real. Another good thing to remember about this honey is that it is specially made for you by those industrious bees pollinating in manuka tree—a type of tree which can only be found in New Zealand.

Author Profile:

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Co-founder and Head of Marketing for HoneyCity. Henry's passion is building e-commerce businesses that create value for the society. Through his interactions with people around him, he realizes that there is a lack in understanding of how to improve health through food and that idea gave birth to HoneyCity. In his free time, he enjoys watching a movie or reading a book.

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