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Artificial sweeteners may up obesity, heart disease risk

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Artificial-Sweeteners

Toronto, July 17: Worried about your ever increasing waistline? Cut down the use of artificial sweeteners as they may be associated with long-term weight gain and increased risk of obesity, a study has warned.

Artificial sweeteners are substitutes for sugar that provides a sweet taste like that of sugar while containing significantly less food energy.

The findings showed that artificial sweeteners or non-nutritive sweeteners may have negative effects on metabolism, gut bacteria and appetite.

Thus, individuals consuming artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, sucralose and stevia, may also be at risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease, the researchers from University of Manitoba in Canada, said.

According to researchers, the use of artificial sweeteners which is widespread and increasing is linked with the current epidemic of obesity and related diseases.

For the study, published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), the team conducted a randomised controlled trials involving 1,003 people followed for six months on average.

The trials did not show a consistent effect of artificial sweeteners on weight loss, and the longer observational studies showed a link between consumption of artificial sweeteners and relatively higher risks of weight gain and obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and other health issues.

“We found that data from clinical trials do not clearly support the intended benefits of artificial sweeteners for weight management,” said Ryan Zarychanski, assistant professor at the University of Manitoba.

“Caution is warranted until the long-term health effects of artificial sweeteners are fully characterised,” added Meghan Azad, assistant professor, at the University.

IANS

Health

Use of Smartphone before sleep may make your kid obese: Study

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New York, Dec 10: Beware if your children have a habit of playing games on smartphones before sleeping, he or she may face an increased risk of becoming obese, warns a study.

It was discovered kids who used digital devices such as watching TV or playing games on smartphones before going to bed got an average of 30 minutes less sleep in comparison to those who did not.

This lack of proper sleep not only caused fatigue and attention problems in school, but also disrupted their eating habits. This leads to higher body mass indexes (BMI), news agency IANS reported.

“We saw technology before bed being associated with less sleep and higher BMIs,”stated Caitlyn Fuller, researcher at the Pennsylvania State University in the US.

“We also saw this technology use being associated with more fatigue in the morning, which circling back, is another risk factor for higher BMIs. So we’re seeing a loop pattern forming,” Fuller further asserted.

The study, published in the journal Global Pediatric Health, examined the sleep and technology habits of 234 children, between the age of eight to 17 years.

As per the suggestions from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), parents should set some limitations regarding the use of technology, like requiring their kids to put away their devices during meal times and keeping phones out of bedrooms at night.

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Health

How jet lag could increase cancer risk

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cancer

London, Dec 10: Frequent travelling that causes jet lag could increase risk of cancer as it tends to disrupt our body clocks that are controlled by the same mechanism that causes tumors, reveals study.

The findings, reported in the Daily Mail, discovered that internal human body clocks have a major influence on cell multiplication and has the potential to prevent cancer.

“Our internal clock is in sync with external light and dark cues, and prompts people’s behaviour and activity levels,” lead author Angela Relogio from the Charite-Medical University in Berlin, was quoted as saying by Daily Mail.

“Based on our results, it seems to us that the clock is likely to act as a tumor suppressor,” Relogio added.

For the study, published in the journal PLOS Biology, researchers examined a protein known as RAS, which is inappropriately activated in around a quarter of cancerous cells, in mice.

This takes place via two proteins — INK4 and ARF — that are known to conquer cancer.

“One cannot stop wondering whether disrupted circadian timing should be included as a next potential hallmark of cancer,” Relogio asserted.

Changes in the biological clock have also been known to up the risk of heart related diseases and diabetes.

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Health

Discrimination strains relationship, affect health

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couples

New York, Dec 9: Witnessing discrimination of any kind be it race, age, gender or other factors –not only harms the health of but their partner or spouse as well, a study has found.

“We found that when an individual experiences discrimination, they report worse health and depression. However, that’s not the full story – this stress spills over and affects the health of their partner as well,” said William Chopik, Assistant Professor at Michigan State University in the US.

A lot of the harmful effects of discrimination on health takes place because it is damaging to relationships, showed the findings published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, IANS reported.

“When one partner experiences discrimination, they bring that stress home with them and it strains the relationship. So this stress not only negatively affects their own health, but their partner’s as well,” Chopik asserted.

For the study, the researchers examined  nearly 2,000 couples in the US ranging in age from 50 to 94.

The participants observed on instances of discrimination, as well as on their health, depression and relationship strain and closeness.

It didn’t matter where the discrimination came from, Chopik said.

“What matters is that they felt that they were unfairly treated. That’s what had the biggest impact on the person’s health,” he further added.

And that discrimination had a spillover affect on the victims’s spouse or partner.

As people are embedded in relationships, what happens in those relationships affects our health and well-being, Chopik stated.

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