Friday, March 8, 2013

People Who Drink Before Bedtime Could Be Disrupting Their Dream Time

Having a drink before bedtime may help you fall asleep faster, but experts warn that it isn’t offering any incentives on the quality of sleep time.

Researchers from the London Sleep Centre have reviewed the evidence of having a tipple before bedtime to see what effect it has on nighttime slumber. The evidence gathered indicates that alcohol upsets our normal sleep cycle, and effectively disrupts our most satisfying type of sleep: REM sleep. REM sleep (rapid eye movement sleep) is the phase of sleep in which our dreams occur. Overall sleep is supported by natural transitions from REM sleep and non-REM (NREM) sleep. Typically, people begin the night sleep cycle in the NREM phase followed by a short period of REM sleep. The phases switch back and forth over 90-minute cycles throughout the night.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Why it is important to have an early dinner

Why it is important to have an early dinner
Why it is important to have an early dinner (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)

Besides eating healthy one should eat early to ward off digestive problems and disorders.

Generally, we sleep just after having dinner and fail to give the stomach sufficient time for digestion. Neelanjan Singh, Nutritionist with Heinz Nutri Life Clinic explains that most of your digestive problems can be fixed with an early dinner. "It is important to have an early dinner because if you have a late dinner the body does not have time to digest it well," says Neelanjana. "You are going to be in the prone position soon where you lie down flat on the bed. That way the digestive track is not working at its optimal level."

Little mistakes lead to big heart disease

Little mistakes lead to big heart disease
Little mistakes lead to big heart disease

Little mistakes you make over time can pile up to pose big challenges for your heart

Missing checkups
Many people who suffer from heart disease, don't show obvious symptoms. So it is best if, beginning at 20, you get full cholesterol checks done every five years, your blood pressure checked at least every two years and body mass index calculated at each visit to the doctor. Then, at age 45, set blood glucose checked every three years.

Forgetting your family history
To figure your risk for heart disease, you need to know if it runs in the family. You should be aware of what sicknesses your parents have or had, and learn about your grandparents' medical history. If they are no more, try to find out not only how they died, but at what age. Knowing their lifestyle habits can be helpful, too. Also, if your siblings have any signs of heart disease, especially at an early age, your risks may be higher.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

7 steps for a healthy heart in your 30s

7 steps for a healthy heart in your 30s
7 steps for a healthy heart in your 30s (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images) 

When you enter your 30s, life gets more and more stressful and complicated. Your career has gained momentum, perhaps you're married and have children, a mortgage, some other loans.

Before you know it, stress adds up and raises the risk of heart problems. There are many ways to avoid the risk of heart problems at this age and enjoy your life. Practice these seven steps to live life without heart problems just like you lived at your 20s. Getting away from the office or family tensions is not easy, but try to change how you handle them. The more you relax, the more easily your body will be able to regulate stress levels. Research suggests that exercise, in any form, is the best way to de-stress and relax. Select something you enjoy and stick to it.

Heart disease: Signs of heart problems

Heart disease: Signs of heart problems
Heart disease: Signs of heart problems (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)

Heart attacks and cardiac arrests can take away loved ones in an instant. The best way is to prevent such unfortunate and tragic outcomes is to keep a constant check on heart health.

Heart disease must be detected well in advance, before it can cause damage. One way to do this is to lower cholesterol and reduce unnecessary fats in the body. But heart diseases also affect people who are 'slim' or who have no history of heart problems in the family. Just like any other disease and sickness, there are ways to judge if you will suffer a heart attack and there are signs that you can watch out for in others around you. These are the top 10 signs of heart problems.

Spanish have highest healthy life expectancy in Europe

They may be out of work and struggling with financial disaster, but the Spanish have the highest healthy life expectancy in Europe – and beat Australia, Canada, Norway and the USA as well. Spain has an excellent healthcare system, ranked seventh in 2000 on the only occasion the World Health Organisation has compiled a league table. The UK was 18th. But it is not just the structures or even the skills of the doctors that matter. It is also the state of health of the people who arrive in the clinics.
 Fruit vendor in Barcelona
A fruit vendor in Barcelona. A Mediterranean diet may be a contributory factor to Spain's high healthy life expectancy. Photograph: Albert Olive/EPA
Maybe the Mediterranean diet, heavy on fruit, salads, fish and olive oil, is responsible for the low death rate from heart disease – Spain has the 3rd lowest level of years of life lost. It also does well on a number of cancers – pancreatic, prostate, breast and oesophageal. Families still care for ailing relatives – taking daily meals to those in hospital is normal and premature deaths from falls are low.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Vigorous daily exercise could help to repair damage from heart failure

Strenuous daily exercise could help to repair the heart of someone who has just suffered a heart attack, according to a new study. Researchers at Liverpool John Moores University found that vigorous regular exercise led to dormant stem cells in the heart becoming active. This stimulated the development of new heart muscle. The findings, published in the European Heart Journal, suggest that scientists could soon be able to improve the quality of life for people suffering from heart disease or heart failure. This is the first study of its kind to suggest that a basic exercise regime could have the same effect on the heart as injecting growth chemicals to stimulate stem cells to produce new tissue.
British Heart Foundation
Vigorous daily exercise could lead to the heart generating new heart muscle cells, according to a study funded by the British Heart Foundation

Friday, March 1, 2013

Why some people get spots and others don't: Scientists discover the 'bad' bacteria that gives us blemishes

 Even celebrities cannot escape the acne-causing bacteria: Cameron Diaz succumbs to an outbreak of spots
Even celebrities cannot escape the acne-causing bacteria: Cameron Diaz succumbs to an outbreak of spots

They are the bane of many a teenager's life.  But the days of spots may now be numbered after scientists discovered why some people are more prone to them than others.  The researchers, from UCLA, have discovered more about the bacteria that live on the skin and cause acne. They have found that this bacteria contains ‘bad’ strains which cause pimples and ‘good’ ones that may protect the skin.

Living in a box: The desperate workers forced to live in tiny 'coffin' apartments of Tokyo - which still cost up to £400 a month to rent

They are barely large enough for a single person to squeeze into at all, let alone swing a cat. But incredibly these tiny 'coffin' apartments in central Tokyo still command rents of up to £400 a month.
Tight squeeze: A Tokyo local shows a Japanese news crew around her tiny 'coffin apartment'
Tight squeeze: A Tokyo local shows a Japanese news crew around her tiny 'coffin apartment'
Pokey: People are paying up to £400-a-month to live in the tiny 'coffin' apartments
Pokey: People are paying up to £400-a-month to live in the tiny 'coffin' apartments

Canadian adult obesity at historic high: study

An overweight person is shown in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., May 12, 2005. Obesity rates are at an all-time high, especially in certain parts of the country, say researchers, who have "mapped" the changes to illustrate how Canadians' waistlines have expanded over time.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Richard Buchan 

Obesity rates are at an all-time high, especially in certain parts of the country, say researchers, who have “mapped” the changes to illustrate how Canadians’ waistlines have expanded over time. Overall, at least one-quarter of Canadian adults have a body mass index of 30 or greater that puts them in the obese category, concludes a study that provides a comprehensive look at rates across the country, complete with “obesity maps.” “Our analysis shows that more Canadians are obese than ever before — on average, between one-fourth and one-third of Canadians are obese, depending on the region,” said principal author Carolyn Gotay of the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia.

Health Canada describes deaths from Hep C pill Incivek

Geoff Campbell, who has Hep C, was waiting for Incivek to be approved in Ontario

A chronic Hepatitis C wonder drug that has caused death and serious skin reactions has been hit with a serious warning and alert by Health Canada, two months after the same urgent message in the U.S. The Incivek capsules are the flagship product of Vertex Inc., a Massachusetts pharmaceutical company with a branch in Laval, Que.

Health Canada warned people to seek “urgent” medical treatment if they develop a serious skin reaction while taking Incivek, the trademark name of the drug teleprevir produced by Vertex Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. Deaths have occurred in people with “progressive rash and systemic symptoms” who kept using the drug, Health Canada said Wednesday. The U.S. parent company announced the “black box” warnings, the highest cautionary level, in December. The drug was approved in the U.S. and Canada in 2011.

Parents in North Korea eating their own children out of hunger

People in North Korea are secretly reporting that there is a growing trend of parents eating their own children in the famine hit country, according to press reports in the United Kingdom. A man was recently executed in North Korea, after murdering his two children for food, an undercover reporter told the British press.

Kim Jong Un 
There is a silent hunger in the agricultural provinces of North and South Hwanghae, which is believed to have killed more than 10,000 people and raising fears that cannibalism will become widespread. The grim stories emerged as hungry residents were angered after the farms affected by drought and shortages had their food confiscated by party officials.

Undercover reporters from Asian press agencies told a British newspaper that a man dug up the corpse of his grandson and ate it. Another, boiled his own son for food. Despite reports of widespread famine, Kim Jong Un, 30, has spent large sums of money to launch two rockets in recent months. This week North Korea also launched a nuclear test. One informant was quoted as saying: "In my village, a man who killed his two children and tried to eat them was executed by a firing squad." The informant said that the father killed his eldest daughter while his wife was on a business trip and then killed his son because he had witnessed the murder. When his wife returned home the man told her that he had meat, but she became suspicious and contacted officials who discovered the bodies of the children.


Cyberdyne robot suit for disabled gets safety approval in Japan

A ROBOT suit that can help the elderly or disabled get around was given its global safety certificate in Japan, paving the way for its worldwide rollout.

Employees of Japan's robotics company Cyberdyne demonstrate the robot-suit "HAL" (Hybrid Assistive Limb) as they walk on a street in Tokyo. HAL was given a safety certificate in Japan, paving the way for a worldwide rollout.

The Hybrid Assistive Limb, or HAL, is a power-assisted pair of legs developed by Japanese robot maker Cyberdyne, which has also developed similar robot arms. A quality assurance body issued the certificate based on a draft version of an international safety standard for personal robots that is expected to be approved later this year, the ministry for the economy, trade and industry said. The metal-and-plastic exoskeleton has become the first nursing-care robot certified under the draft standard, a ministry official said.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Children who get a good night's sleep 'have better memories'

Researchers have found that children who slept well had a boosted memory which could explain why children who do not sleep well do not do as well in school

Children who get a good night’s sleep have a boosted memory according to new research. The findings could explain why children who do not sleep well do not do as well in school. Children were more effectively able to convert ‘implicit’ knowledge into ‘explicit,’ which often happens in learning, than adults according to researchers from the University of Tuebingen, Germany.

Explicit knowledge is information stored in the mind while implicit knowledge is being able to go about doing something without necessarily knowing how. Implicit may be converted into explicit, and vice versa, but the effects of sleep on memory have not been studied extensively, especially in children.

One in five couples spend more than a YEAR trying to conceive - and experts say delaying motherhood and obesity are to blame

A fifth of couples said struggling to conceive ruined their sex lives

Nearly 20 per cent of couples spend more than a year trying for a baby, worrying new figures show. And the effect of not being able to conceive is so bad for some couples that it forces them apart - or places their relationship under great pressure.  Experts have blamed women delaying motherhood and the obesity epidemic as the two most likely reasons for rising infertility.

There are now more mothers over 30 than at anytime since records began - and further research has shown being overweight can interfere with ovulation in woman and sperm quality in men.  Sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia - shown to affect both male and female fertility - are also on the rise.

The survey of more than 2,000 people, for ITV's This Morning, found that 18 per cent of couples spent over a year trying to get pregnant.  The figure is higher than that quoted by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, which states that 14 per cent suffer fertility problems.

Experts say that couples should not have any cause for alarm until a year has passed without being successful.  When it came to IVF, 17 per cent of couples said they would try it once, with 35 per cent of men saying they would want their partner to try it three times. Eight per cent of those questioned had undergone IVF and later became pregnant naturally.

Babies can hear syllables in the womb, says research

Baby's ear

Scientists say babies decipher speech as early as three months before birth. The evidence comes from detailed brain scans of 12 infants born prematurely.  At just 28 weeks' gestation, the babies appeared to discriminate between different syllables like "ga" and "ba" as well as male and female voices.

Writing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the French team said it was unlikely the babies' experience outside the womb would have affected their findings.

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Secrets of Eating Right and Living Longer

Yes, it's possible to eat certain foods and boost your longevity. Often labeled "super foods," these foods have the ability to not only strengthen the immune system, but to also fight disease, and lower body fat and cholesterol.
All of these health benefits can help you live a longer, healthier, and happier life.
Some super foods contain substances called antioxidants and phytochemicals, which work together to fight disease and promote a long life.
A majority of these foods work best when they're combined with a well-balanced diet.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Children with controlling 'helicopter parents' are more likely to be depressed

An overbearing parenting style - where parents hover over their children - affects a child's ability to get on with others, say researchers
Children with controlling parents are more likely to be depressed or anxious, a study suggests.

Researchers warn that the overbearing parenting style, known as 'helicopter parenting' - where parents hover over their children and become too involved in their lives - affects a child's ability to get on with others.  While some parental involvement helps children develop, too much can make them more likely to be depressed and less satisfied with their lives, they say.  The findings also suggested that children of over controlling parents feel less competent and less able to manage life and its stressors while some parents wrongly consider 'helicopter parenting' to be supportive, rather than detrimental.

Unborn babies get taste for fruit and vegetables from their mothers

Mothers can reduce the chances of having fussy eaters by eating plenty of vegetables when pregnant
The parental crusade to get children to eat fruit and vegetables should begin before birth, researchers said last night.

Pregnant women with a varied diet are less likely to give birth to fussy eaters, they said, and babies are more accepting of foods mothers eat regularly while expectant and breast-feeding.

In one study, children whose mothers often drank carrot juice ate twice as much carrot-flavoured cereal when being weaned.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

How to Go Back to School After Having a Baby

Whether your child is planned or a pleasant surprise, adjusting your life to accommodate his birth can be a complicated juggling act. If you were planning to attend school or were already enrolled when you discovered your pregnancy, getting back on track will require a bit of creative scheduling, but it certainly is not impossible. Having a baby and dreams of an education are not mutually exclusive, you’ll just have to work a bit harder than some of your classmates to juggle all of your responsibilities.

How to Help Your Child Stand Up to a Bully Without Getting Beaten Up

bully1 How to Help Your Child Stand Up to a Bully Without Getting Beaten Up

Once upon a time, bullying was regarded as a natural part of childhood and frequently attributed to “kids being kids.” These days, however, bullying is making headlines. Awareness of bullying and the inherent dangers it can pose has risen dramatically, but that doesn’t stamp the problem out altogether. With modern technology making it easier than ever for bullies to access their victims around the clock, it’s important for a parent to understand and recognize signs of bullying. Bullying can range from physically attacking someone to verbally assaulting them and from gossiping about people to cyber bullying them. Cyber bullying includes harassing or intimidating behavior via emails, text messages or social media sites. Because you can’t protect your child from everything she’ll encounter when you’re not there with her, it’s best to teach your child appropriate ways of avoiding such encounters or, if necessary, standing up to a bully without physical retaliation.

Coronavirus: Signs the new Sars-like virus can spread between people

Health officials in the UK believe they have the strongest evidence yet that a new respiratory illness similar to the deadly Sars virus can spread from person to person. Cases of the infection may come from contact with animals. However, if the virus can spread between people it poses a much more serious threat. One man in the UK is thought to have caught the infection from his father. However, officials say the threat to the whole population remains very low.

There have been 11 confirmed cases of the infection around the world. It causes pneumonia and sometimes kidney failure - five patients have died. This is the third case identified in the UK. The first was a patient flown in from Qatar for treatment. The second was linked to travel to the Middle East and Pakistan.

The virus is then thought to have spread from the second patient to his son. There have been suggestions of person to person transmission in earlier cases in the Middle East, but this was not confirmed.

Walking 'is better than the gym': Long periods of gentle exercise are more beneficial than a high-intensity workout

A long walk can significantly improves insulin sensitivity and blood lipid levels (stock photo)
If you have just been to the gym, don't sit down, not for too long anyway.

Scientists have found that long periods of walking could actually be better for you than high intensity exercise.

Low intensity exercise improves insulin sensitivity and blood lipid levels at a better rate than an hour long high octane workout, according to a study published in journal PLOS ONE.These levels are indicators of diabetes and obesity.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Eat Early, Shed Weight, Spanish Study Says

Eat your big meal early, new research says. Now you're not only what you, but when you eat. That's according to a new study that says eating lunch as your main meal of the day, early--before 3pm, in fact--could help you lose weight.

The study, just published in the International Journal of Obesity, and carried out by researchers at Spain's University of Murcia, Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital and Tufts University in Medford, Mass, included 420 overweight men and women who lived in the Spanish seaside town of Murcia.  All were monitored for 20 weeks while restricting their calorie intake to about 1,400 a day.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Folic acid 'cancer risk' fears played down by study


Taking folic acid in pregnancy
Worries that taking extra folic acid might increase the risk of cancer have been played down by a major study.

Following Canadian research linking the vitamin with a small rise in cancer, the study in the Lancet journal looked at data from 50,000 people. It found no significant differences in those taking folic acid. Taken in early pregnancy, it reduces the chances of certain birth defects and there have been calls to add it to food in the UK.

Female smoking death risk 'has soared'

Woman smoking

Women smoking nowadays are far more likely to die as a result of their habit than they were in the 1960s, according to a new study.  Changing habits such as starting earlier and smoking more cigarettes have been blamed for the dramatically increased risks of lung cancer. The trends, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, show death rates in women have caught up with men. The study looked at data from more than two million women in the US.

Women have to work HARDER than men to lose weight and get fit

Experts are now warning that while exercise alone might be enough for men to lose weight, women also have to look at their diet to get the same results
Scientists have discovered that when it comes to the benefits of exercise, the odds appear to be firmly stacked against the fairer sex.  New research suggests that women have to do a lot more exercise to get the same health benefits as men, in terms of both diet and fitness.

Scientists at the University of Missouri who put obese men and women on the same fitness programme found men reaped significantly more benefits.  And experts are now warning that while exercise alone might be enough for men to lose weight, women must also address their diet to get the same results.

During the study, Professor Jill Kanaley and her colleagues looked at the heart rate and blood pressure of nearly 75 obese men and women with Type 2 diabetes.  They all followed a programme of aerobic (i.e. cardiovascular) exercise for 16 weeks. They all worked at an effort of 65 per cent, which was worked out based on each individual's ability.  Despite everyone exercising at relatively the same speed, the researchers found that men got far more benefit from the exercise than women.  Over the 16 weeks, women's recovery time did not improve, whereas men's did, indicating their fitness had improved. They also lost more weight.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sickening fog settles over Salt Lake City area

<p>               In this Jan. 9, 2013, photo, an inversion cloud covers downtown Salt Lake City.  A group of Utah doctors is declaring a health emergency over the Salt Lake City area's lingering air pollution problem. Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment planned to deliver a petition Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, demanding immediate action by elected officials. (AP Photo/The Deseret News, Ravell Cal)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has singled out the greater Salt Lake region as having the nation's worst air for much of January, when an icy fog smothers mountain valleys for days or weeks at a time and traps lung-busting soot.

The pollution has turned so bad that more than 100 Utah doctors called Wednesday on authorities to immediately lower highway speed limits, curb industrial activity and make mass transit free for the rest of winter. Doctors say the microscopic soot — a shower of combustion particles from tailpipe and other emissions — can tax the lungs of even healthy people. "We're in a public-health emergency for much of the winter," said Brian Moench, a 62-year-old anesthesiologist and president of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, which delivered the petition demanding action at the Utah Capitol.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Japan's finance minister tells elderly they should 'hurry up and die' to help reduce country's rising welfare bill

'Hurry up and die': Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said the elderly should be allowed to die to sooner to cut the costs to the state of having to care for them
Japan's new finance minister has claimed that the elderly should 'hurry up and die' to help ease the cost to the taxpayer of caring for them, it has emerged.

Taro Aso made the controversial statement as he discussed how to deal with the country's emerging demographic crisis as its population continues to shrink while life expectancy soars.  Aso, who said he would hate to be a burden on the state, told the national council on social security reforms: 'Heaven forbid if you are forced to live on when you want to die. 'I would wake up feeling increasingly bad knowing that [treatment] was all being paid for by the government. 'The problem won't be solved unless you let them hurry up and die.'

Long-term aspirin 'blindness link'

Sight with macular degeneration
People who regularly take aspirin for many years, such as those with heart problems, are more likely to develop a form of blindness, researchers say.

A study on 2,389 people, in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, showed aspirin takers had twice the risk of "wet" age-related macular degeneration. The disease damages the 'sweet spot' in the retina, obscuring details in the centre of a patient's field of vision.  The researchers said there was not yet enough evidence to change aspirin use.

Taking low doses of aspirin every day does reduce the risk of a stroke or heart attack in patients with cardiovascular disease. There are even suggestions it could prevent cancer. One in 10 people in the study, conducted at the University of Sydney, were taking aspirin at least once a week. On average the participants were in their mid-60s. Eye tests were performed after five, 10 and 15 years. By the end of the study, the researchers showed that 9.3% of patients taking aspirin developed wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) compared with 3.7% of patients who did not take aspirin.

Their report said: "The increased risk of [wet] AMD was detected only after 10 or 15 years, suggesting that cumulative dosing is important."Given the widespread use of aspirin, any increased risk of disabling conditions will be significant and affect many people."