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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: Aug 17, 2013 22:59 IST

Hindustan Times

Adult anxiety in kid's tummyaches
Children with chronic stomach pains are at high risk for anxiety disorders in adolescence and young adulthood, found a study.

Of the 332 people studied, about half the young adults who had had functional abdominal pain as children developed an anxiety disorder at some point, compared with 20% of the control group.

40% of the children with functional abdominal pain went on to experience depression, compared with 16% of those who had never had these stomachaches, reports the study in the journal Pediatrics.

Big breakfast, small dinner helps manage PCOS
Adjusting meal timing can help women suffering from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) — which impairs fertility by impacting menstruation, ovulation, hormone - manage their glucose and insulin levels to improve overall fertility.

Women with PCOS who increased their calorie intake at breakfast, including high protein and carbohydrate content and reduced their calorie intake through the rest of the day, have a reduction in insulin resistance and testosterone levels, report researchers from Israel.

This reduction causes a 50% rise in ovulation rate, indicated by a rise in progesterone.

Women with the disorder are typically “insulin resistant” - they produce too much insulin to deliver glucose from the blood into the muscles. A low-calorie weight-loss plan focusing on larger breakfasts and smaller dinners also lowers insulin, glucose, and triglycerides levels.

Three-sodas-a-day sugar habit toxic
A sugar rush could be dangerous to more than your waistline, show research from the University of Utah.

Male mice fed a diet with 25% extra sugar - equivalent to an additional three cans of soda a day in humans - were less likely to defend their territory and reproduce, while female mice on the same diet died at twice the normal rate, they report in the journal Nature Communications. The results are similar to the lab’s findings on inbreeding in mice.

Most people get a quarter or more of their calories from added sugars, which include sugar added to beverages, sweets, biscuits, fruit drinks and ice cream.

While previous studies have found sugar has a toxic effect, they generally used amounts much higher than most people actually eat.

A grape tonic for patients
The chemical that makes grapefruit taste sour could be used to combat heart disease. Molecules known as flavanoids, common in citrus fruits, can zap the inflammation that leads to India’s biggest killer.

One called naringenin, which gives the fruit its bitterness, protects immune cells from mistakenly blocking blood vessels and causing heart conditions.

The study, which was carried out by the researchers from Glasgow University in the UK, showed these biomolecules could be used to reduce the inflammation that is a cause of many heart problems.

This research may give rise to a new generation of anti-inflammatory drugs that are cheaper and less lethal than some existing therapies.

Facebook users more unhappy
Despite all the virtual socialising and “liking” involved, using Facebook is actually associated with a decline in happiness, according to a new study.

“On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling the basic human need for social connection,” lead author Ethan Kross, a social psychologist at the University of Michigan. “But rather than enhance well-being, we found that Facebook use predicts the opposite result — it undermines it,” Kross said.

The study of 82 young adult Facebook users found that the more they used Facebook, the more their happiness and life satisfaction levels declined.

While face-to-face interactions with others led participants to feel better over time.

People were not likely to use Facebook when they felt bad but were more likely to use it when they were lonely - loneliness and Facebook use both independently predicted subsequent levels of happiness.

First Published: Aug 17, 2013 22:58 IST

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