Health scan

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

health and fitness Updated: Mar 09, 2013 22:51 IST
Hindustan Times

Closeness destroys sexual chemistry
Despite films like Friends with Benefits, most of us don't want to make out with friends. Emotional intimacy can actually hinder passion between the sheets. The couples who have the best relationships often have the worst sex lives as the wonderful intimacy often obliterates desire by completely neutralising sexual chemistry, says Jack Morin, author of The Erotic Mind. If intimacy increases even further, friendship finds it way in place of sexual passion.

Morin is in the forefront of exploring why closeness destroys, rather than enhances sex. The reason is that we find separateness far more attractive and bond better if we see our partners as individuals rather than one-half of ourselves. Simply put, genuine closeness turns out to be a turn off.

Sitting down raises diabetes risk
As much as regular exercise, sitting around less and moving more frequently lowers your chances of having diabetes, reports the journal Diabetologia. Just decreasing your sitting time by 90 minutes in a day results in critical health advantages usually associated with 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity every week.

Sedentary time - time spent moving very little or not all - was linked to high glucose, low HDL "good" cholesterol and high triglycerides, all independent risk factors for diabetes.

Salty food not good for auto-immune diseases
Salty diets are to blame for the rise in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, asthma and eczema, diseases triggered by an overactive immune system that starts attacking itself. The study by a group of US and German scientists is the first to indicate that excess salt may be one of the environmental factors driving the increased incidence of such diseases.

A mice fed a high-salt diet saw a dramatic increase in the number of Th17 cells in their nervous systems that promoted inflammation and play an important role in the development of autoimmune diseases.

Avoid processed meats and live longer, says study
Sausages, ham, bacon and other processed meats increase the risk of dying young, shows a study of half a million people for nearly 13 years. It says diets high in processed meats were linked to heart disease, cancers and early deaths, reports the journal BMC Medicine.

The salt and chemicals used to preserve the meat are damaging health. Processed meat refers to meat that has been preserved by smoking, curing, salting or adding preservatives, such as ham, bacon, pastrami and salami, as well as hot dogs and some sausages. Hamburgers and minced meats count as processed meat only if preserved with salt or chemical additives.

First Published: Mar 09, 2013 22:49 IST