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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: May 05, 2013 02:30 IST


Junk consuming moms set babies up for obesity

Moms who eat junk food while pregnant or during breastfeeding are setting up their babies to be addicted to a high-fat, high-sugar diet, a new study has warned.
Researchers from the University of Adelaide have suggested that a junk food diet during pregnancy and lactation desensitises the normal reward system fuelled by these highly palatable foods. Opioids are produced by the body as a reward response, including in response to fat and sugar. These opioids stimulate the production of the “feel good” hormone dopamine, which produces a good feeling. The opioid signalling pathway in these offspring is less sensitive than those whose mothers eat a standard diet. In the same way that someone addi0cted to opioid drugs has to consume more of the drug over time to achieve the same ‘high’.

Smoking hookah equally harmful as cigarette
Smoking tobacco through a hookah is a pastime gaining popularity among the college crowd, but many of them mistakenly believe that using the fragrant water pipe is less harmful than smoking cigarettes.
According to a new study, hookah smoke contains a different but still harmful mix of toxins. Hookah use exposes smokers to higher levels of carbon monoxide, especially hazardous to those with heart or respiratory conditions, and to higher levels of benzene, long associated with leukemia risk, a form of blood cancer. If you are smoking from a hookah daily, you are likely to be at increased risk for cancer.

Having unsupportive spouse ups risk of depression
People who have unsupportive spouses are significantly more likely to develop depression, according to a recent study.
University of Michigan Health System researchers found that the quality of a person’s relationships with a spouse, family and friends predicts the likelihood of major depression disorder in the future, regardless of how frequently the social interactions take place. Individuals with strained and unsupportive spouses are significantly more likely to develop depression, whereas those without a spouse are at no increased risk. And those with the lowest quality relationships have more than double the risk of depression than those with the best relationships. The condition increases the risk for and worsens conditions like coronary artery disease, stroke and cancer.

Green tea helps lose weight
Green tea extract is an effective herbal remedy useful for weight control and helping to regulate glucose in type-2 diabetes, according to a new study.
The active constituents of green tea, which are known to inhibit intestinal glucose and lipid uptake, are a certain type of flavonoid called gallated catechins. The amount of gallated catechins necessary to reduce blood glucose concentrations can be achieved from a daily dose of green tea that is up to two cups. The green tea extract can actually be a preventative and therapeutic tool for obesity and obesity-related type 2 diabetes without too much concern about the side effects.

Grape intake protects against organ damage
Consuming grapes can help protect against organ damage associated with the progression of metabolic syndrome, according to a new study. Natural components found in grapes, known as polyphenols, are known to be responsible for these beneficial effects.
Three months of grape-enriched diet that includes a blend of red, green and black varieties, significantly reduces inflammatory markers in the body, including in the liver and abdominal fat tissue. Compared with the controlled diet, Grapes also reduces liver, kidney and abdominal fat weight.

First Published: May 05, 2013 02:28 IST

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