Monday, January 24, 2011

You Snooze, You Lose: More Weekend Sleep Cuts Kids' Obesity Risk

well even better ! I'm sure parents would love that extra time in the morning instead of being waken up between 6 and 7 in the morning with energized kids saying" I'm hungry, I'm hungry". but interesting article. for the most part I'm all for it. even tho I'm not a kid i could use a nap right now.. I'm dead this morning.

Kids sleeping late on the weekends? Let ‘em — they're not being lazy; they're cutting their risk of obesity, according to new research published online today in the journal Pediatrics.

Ideally, parents should strive for a constant bedtime and wake time. But since that's not always realistic, it's good to know that children who catch up on sleep during weekends and vacations are better able to counteract the adverse effects of insufficient sleep during the week and reduce their risk of obesity. (More on Study: Most Babies Sleep Through the Night (But Not Mine))

Researchers at the University of Chicago analyzed the sleep patterns and BMI of 308 children between the ages of 4 to 10, dividing them into nine groups and using wrist actigraphs for one week to determine when they were asleep. The group of children with normal sleep patterns had the lowest risk of obesity and metabolic complications.

On average, the children slept an average of eight hours each night, less than what they should be getting. Kids ages 5 to 8 should sleep 9 to 10 hours, but children — like adults in our society — are largely sleep-deprived. (More on Why You Shouldn't Snuggle with Your Pooch in Bed)

“We tend to disrespect sleep,” says David Gozal, the lead author and chair of the pediatrics department at the University of Chicago. “We're not aware there's a very substantial price to pay for shortening the duration of sleep and for creating very irregular sleep schedules. Together, these create a much higher risk of obesity."

The worst combination? Irregular sleep and not enough of it. Those kids with the shortest, most irregular sleep had a 4.2-fold increased risk of obesity. When this group got more sleep on the weekends, their risk decreased to 2.8 fold — better but still nowhere near as good as the normal sleepers.

The obese kids in the study slept less time and more irregularly on weekends and were less likely to compensate on the weekends for not getting enough sleep on weekdays, which added up to metabolic problems. Short, irregular sleep increased the risk of inflammation, glucose sensitivity and resulted in a rise in lipids. (More on Some Scientific Evidence For Beauty Sleep)

“The point is regularity,” says Gozal. “If you are a regular catch-up sleeper on the weekends, that can have a beneficial effect if you are a short sleeper during the week. But if you have irregular, short/long sleep during the week and you continue that during the weekend, that puts you at worse risk.”

There's plenty of buzz about childhood obesity but not much chatter about the importance of sleep, says Gozal. Educating families about the significance of sleep through public health campaigns that emphasize the link could breed healthier kids.

“The best thing to globally reduce the risk for obesity is to sleep long during the week and during the weekend and have regular sleep,” says Gozal.

Original Article.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Premenstrual Syndrome: Are Vitamin E and Fatty Acids the Answer

People joke about PMS, but for many women, premenstrual syndrome is no laughing matter. Lucky for them, a new study suggests that vitamin E and a mix of essential oils could spell relief.

"The negative effect of PMS on a woman's routine activities and quality of life may be significant, in addition to the repercussions on economic costs resulting predominantly from a reduction in productivity," lead researcher Dr. Edilberto Rocha Filho of the Federal University of Pernambuco in Brazil told The Scotsman.

In Dr. Filho's six-month study of 120 women, those given capsules containing two grams of vitamin E and a combination of essential oils including oleic acid, and linoleic acid, experienced significant relief from PMS symptoms. Side effects were insignificant.

Symptoms of PMS include breast tenderness, acne, bloating, weight gain, headaches, joint pain, food cravings, irritability, mood swings, crying spells, and depression. Taking ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen can help. So can exercising, getting enough sleep, and avoiding salt, caffeine, and alcohol.

As for the oils, Filho and his team are optimistic.

"Essential oil capsules can now be said to show much promise as a treatment," said Filho.

The study was published January 11 in Reproductive Health.

Original article.

Like Family, Many Friends Share the Same Genes

well i saw this article and immediately thought to myself, " makes sense my best friend who Ive know since 2ND grade is basically like my sister" so hopefully this sweet and simple article keeps you interested and entertained.

Many of us have those friends we can count on for everything -- the ones we feel really connected to.

It turns out, that much like we are with family, we also may be "connected" to our friends through our genes, according to a study from the University of California, San Diego.

Dr. James Fowler, professor in the School of Medicine and the Division of Social Sciences at the University of California, San Diego, and his colleagues studied more than 3,000 pairs of friends. Fowler and his team compared the similarities of six genes thought to be associated with social behavior. What they found was that many friends share the same type of genes.

The findings will be published in the early edition of the journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences later this week.

"There may be a partially genetic basis for friendship," Fowler told AOL Health. "This is the first step towards understanding the biology of 'chemistry' -- that feeling you have about a person that you will like or dislike. We may choose our friends not just because of the social features we consciously notice about them, but because of the biological features we unconsciously notice."

Researchers found that many friends share the DRD2 gene, which is associated with an outgoing personality and is also linked to alcoholism.

Another gene, the CYP2A6 gene, which is associated with "openness" was less likely to be shared by friends, however. These people were more likely to look for friends who had slightly different personalities than their own.

Dr. Irene Levine, a psychologist and professor of psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine, and author of The Friendship Blog and "Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend," surveyed more than 1,500 women online to find out what attracted them to their best friend. "Women often used the same term, 'we clicked,' to describe the indescribable," Levine told AOL Health.

"The choice of friends (or lovers) is influenced, of course, by personality -- which is shaped by a complex mix of genes and environment," she explains. "Two old adages ... seem to apply: 'Opposites attract' and 'Birds of a feather flock together.' Sometimes people are attracted by differences; other times, they are attracted by similarities that make them feel comfortable."

Dr. Margaret Gibbs, professor emeritus of psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, agreed. "I think it's interesting that the study found both sides of the popular aphorisms: 'Birds of a feather flock together' and 'Opposites attract,'" she told AOL Health. "I think those same principles work in our choices of friends. We feel comfortable with the familiar, but also seek balance and variety."

"Perhaps people vary as to whether they are more inclined to pick the familiar over the different, and, who knows, that inclination could be genetic, too," adds Gibbs.

Original Article.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Year in Review: More Scrutiny of Dietary Supplements

Hello how was every one's holiday break?
hopefully well i know we all deserved a little vacation to spend with our families. With holidays comes some extra holiday weight and we are are back on track somehow with trying to get back in shape whether it be hitting the gym, dieting or taking a dietary supplement.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been busy this year issuing statements and recalls regarding dietary supplements discovered to contain undeclared drug ingredients. Studies have shown that some supplements may increase potentially lethal risks to patients and contain varying amounts of active compounds between brands. And through all this, patients and doctors are not talking to each other about the use of dietary supplements.

So, where are we now?

Read this story on

The FDA's latest statement largely concerned a major issue in the dietary supplement market -- that safety and efficacy standards are in the hands of manufacturers. As a result, pills, powders, and other products that contain drug or drug-like ingredients may be released and marketed as dietary supplements despite being drug products, the FDA statement said.

"These tainted products can cause serious adverse effects, including strokes, organ failure, and death," Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, commissioner of the FDA, said in the statement.

The statement noted the FDA and supplement industry are working together to stem the flow of illegally marketed drug products sold under the veil of "dietary supplements," including weight-loss, body-building, and sexual enhancement products.

"Part of the difficulty in regulating dietary supplements is that [some companies] operate outside of the law and don't include manufacturer information on the label, so it can be impossible to contact someone and request a recall," an FDA spokesperson told MedPage Today.

"If you're thinking about taking a supplement, always talk to a healthcare provider first -- they know you best and what drugs you're taking," the spokesperson said.

But the poor communication is not entirely an industry-side faux pas, Jennifer Strohecker of the Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah, told MedPage Today.

Original Article.