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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: Jun 22, 2013 22:33 IST
Hindustan Times

Excess sugar causes heart damage

Your sweet tooth may be damaging your heart.

Eating too much starch or sugar can set people down a pathway to heart failure, a new study has warned.

A single small molecule, the glucose metabolite glucose 6-phosphate (G6P), causes stress to the heart that changes the muscle proteins and induces poor pump function leading to heart failure.

When the heart muscle is already stressed from high blood pressure or other diseases, and then takes in too much glucose, it adds insult to injury.

Yoga immediately stimulates your brain

A single, 20-minute session of Hatha yoga significantly improves working memory and inhibitory control, two measures of brain function associated with the ability to maintain focus and take in, retain and use new information.

According to a latest study, one performs significantly better immediately after the yoga practice than after moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise for the same amount of time. The breathing and meditative exercises calm the mind and body and keep distracting thoughts away while once focuses on the body, posture or breath.

Enhanced self-awareness that comes with meditational exercises has a significant role to play in the health benefits that yoga provides.

Parenting, home environment influences kids’ health

Kids whose moms encourage them to exercise and eat well, and model those healthy behaviours themselves, are more likely to be active and healthy eaters, according to a new study.

Home environment and parenting can influence a child’s health by shaping his or her dietary and physical behaviours, such as providing access to fruits and vegetables or encouraging kids to play outside. There is a strong relationship between the home environment and behaviours related to obesity -dietary and exercise habits — among preschoolers.

Physical inactivity and junk food intake affect health adversely, and to promote healthy behaviour among children, a healthy home environment and parental role modelling are important.

Skipping breakfast raises diabetes risk in obese women

There is bad news for women skipping breakfast due to lack of time.

Overweight women who regularly skip breakfast may develop chronic insulin resistance that could increase their risk for
type 2 diabetes, a new study has warned.

According to the researchers, acute insulin resistance can develop after only one day of skipping breakfast.

In insulin resistance, a person requires more insulin to bring their glucose, or blood sugar, into a normal range.

When the body becomes permanently resistant to the effects of the hormone insulin, sugar builds up in the blood, which can lead to pre-diabetes and diabetes over time.

Green tea helps to lose weight

Evidence has shown that green tea extract may be an effective herbal remedy useful for weight control and helping to regulate glucose in type 2 diabetes, according to a latest study.

The active constituents of green tea, which have been shown 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. The effects of green tea extract have also been found to be comparable to those found when taking two of the drugs that are currently recommended for non-insulin dependent diabetes.

First Published: Jun 22, 2013 22:29 IST