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Health scan

A snapshot of the current thinking in medicine, fitness and lifestyle trends that impact your life

health and fitness Updated: Apr 28, 2012 23:01 IST

Bedroom fights decoded

Snoring, allowing kids to sleep in the bed and leaving the reading light on are among the many reasons why couples argue in the bedroom at least 167 times a year, a study has found. One in 10 couples in has a night-time fight at least twice a week over their partner’s “sound effects” while sleeping.
One in five lose two hours sleep every night because of noise, while 10% said they were even considering splitting up because of it.

One-fifth of men admitted they woke themselves up with their own snoring or heavy breathing. Other reasons for fights include being too hot or too cold and a lack of passion on the bed.

The upside is that most of the arguments couples have in the bedroom are down to behaviours that are easy to resolve as a relationship develops.


Mobile phones don’t harm health

There is still no evidence mobile phones harm human health, found UK’s Health Protection Agency (HPA)’s biggest ever review of the evidence surrounding the safety of mobile phones. Scientists looked at hundreds of studies of mobile exposure and found no conclusive links to cancer risk, brain function, heart problems or infertility.
However, they said monitoring should continue because little was known about risks beyond 15 years as mobile phones became popular in the late 1990s. The HPA said children should still avoid excessive use of mobiles. The experts highlight that more work was needed on the effect of radio frequency fields.

Strong light therapy for heart attacks

Strong light, or even just daylight, could be used to treat heart attacks, say US researchers, adding to the existing treatments such as CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), aspirin, clot-busters and more. For patients, this could mean that daylight exposure inside of the hospital could reduce the damage that is caused by a heart attack, they report in the journal Nature Medicine.
What’s the connection between light and a myocardial infarction, known commonly as a heart attack? The answer lies, perhaps surprisingly, in the circadian rhythm, the body’s clock that is linked to light and dark.


Sunshine vitamin lowers hypertension

Vitamin D tablets, available from chemists, produces reductions in high blood pressure as powerful as medicines, said Danish researchers at the European Society of Hypertension conference in London.

High blood pressure affects 139 million people in India and is the leading cause of strokes and heart attacks. Vit D is produced naturally in the skin in sunlight, but inadequate exposure to the sun makes people deficit even in sunny India. The researchers found that those patients taking the vitamin D supplement showed a significant reduction in blood pressure.


Beetroot makes you faster

Eating beetroot boosts athletic performance, research has suggested, by helping runners finish faster. Scientists have discovered athletes who eat baked beetroot before a race run put in a faster time.

The deep pink root vegetable contains high levels of nitrates, which have been shown to boost exercise performance.

Researchers at St Louis University in America found athletes were able to run five km faster after eating beetroot than after eating cranberries. It follows other studies that have shown beetroot juice can increase stamina and make muscles more efficient. Beetroot widens blood vessels, which reduces blood pressure and allows more blood flow to the muscles.