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Exercise better than pills for migraines

Working-out a few times a week works as well as medicines for preventing migraines.

health and fitness Updated: Oct 16, 2011 00:14 IST
Hindustan Times

Exercise better than pills for migraines
Working-out a few times a week works as well as medicines for preventing migraines. Migraine sufferers who pedalled on an exercise bike for 40 minutes three times a week saw as much improvement as those who took preventative pills, report researchers from Sweden in the medical journal Cephalalgia. Exercise releases natural anti-depressants in the body which make it easier to sleep and cut stress. The findings offers hope to people unable or unwilling to take migraine medication that has been linked to side-effects ranging from tiredness to numbness, vertigo and depression, including suicidal thoughts.

Trans fats make newborns bigger
Pregnant women who eat trans fats from snacks and fast food have bigger babies. A study of nearly 1,400 pregnant women in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that the more a woman ate trans fats — that raise bad LDL cholesterol — during pregnancy, the larger her newborn was. Caesarians deliveries are more likely for larger babies, who have an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease later. People eat the bulk of trans fats through baked and fried foods.

Gut bacteria affect cholesterol drugs
Statin drugs are very effective at busting cholesterol but how well it works depends on gut bacteria that cause inherent differences in the way people digest, metabolise and benefit from substances like drugs, reports the journal Public Library of Science One. An analysis of intestinal microflora and metabolomics — a discipline that examines thousands of biochemical components involved in cellular metabolism — showed three bile acids produced by gut bacteria improved the way people responded to a common cholesterol-busting drug called Simvastatin.

Eat hale and hearty food
Eating healthy prevents heart attacks, even if you are genetically at higher risk of heart trouble. “Around 20% of people carry at least one gene that raises heart disease risk. A diet high in fruits and vegetables appears to mitigate this risk,” says Sonia S. Anand, professor of medicine at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. The study is published in PLoS Medicine. Those with bad genes who ate unhealthy food had a 30% higher risk of heart attacks, while the risk did not increase for people with the bad genotype but healthy diets.

Proteins can help control appetite
The right balance between protein, carbohydrate and fat curbs overeating, showed a comparison of three diets of the same meals modified to contain 10%, 15% or 25% protein. Those on a 10% protein diet felt hungrier in the 2 hours after breakfast than those on higher protein. The menu with least protein also prompted volunteers to snack more. Proteins contain amino acids, and circulating free amino acids are important in controlling appetite. Amino-acid receptors in the brain control feeding and hunger.