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How to improve sleep through seeking and avoiding light at the right times

I came across this report last week of a study into sleep-wake cycles. A group of adults were monitored in their normal environments (with electrical lighting, TV and electronic devices) and also had their levels of the ‘sleep hormone’ melatonin assessed [1]. It was discovered that in their normal environment, melatonin secretion was generally delayed […]

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Forbidding foods may cause us to obsess about them, and what to do about it

I came across this story today in the Daily Mail, concerning what can happen when we deny ourselves something. Apparently, according to this research, resisting something we desire can make us think about it more. Interestingly, if the same thing is denied to people more generally, it tends not to have this effect [1]. So, […]

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B-vitamin therapy looks promising for staving off Alzheimer’s disease

Last year, I reported on research which found that supplementation with the vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid had been found to reduce the brain shrinkage (brain atrophy) in individuals suffering from ‘mild cognitive impairment’ (impaired brain function not severe enough to be labelled ‘dementia’) [1]. Subsequent research found that this treatment regime actually improved […]

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Is pot-smoking healthy?

Smoking marijuana is perhaps not a lifestyle habit that many would classify as ‘healthy’. However, a study published this week in the American Journal of Medicine discovered that pot-smoking is associated with improvement in a range of health markers including lowered waist circumference, body mass index and fasting insulin levels, as well as improved blood […]

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Potential underlying mechanism for statin side effects on the brain found

One of the things you’ll hear from ‘key opinion leaders’ who promote the use of statins is that these drugs have a very good safety profile. These judgements appear to be based on the findings of studies in which statins are given to individuals in the context of ‘randomised controlled trials’ (where statins are pitted […]

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Do low-carb diets really make people sleepy?

I came across this story today. Published yesterday in the Daily Mail, it reports research in which, apparently, high-fat meals were found to induce sleepiness in individuals, compared to high-carb ones. I have looked for this study on-line and can find no trace of it (only references to it). What this sometimes means is that […]

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Why are female rats more likely to binge eat than male rats?

Binge eating is a phenomenon where someone may start eating but then find it difficult to stop. I actually think that binge eating is more common than perhaps is recognised. Lots of lots of people will, for instance, find that what started as ‘just one biscuit’ turns into half a packet or that a few […]

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Think yourself young?

I came across this report earlier this week about a piece of research which apparently found that older individuals who think of themselves as elderly and frail are more likely to end up actually being old and frail. The details of the research are not to be found on-line, but reading this report immediately reminded […]

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More reminders that those wanting to control their weight might want to sleep more

I came across this report recently of a study which found that stopping men sleeping for a night led to them choosing bigger portions of ‘energy-dense’ food at a buffet [1]. Previous work from the same group at Uppsala University in Sweden found that sleep deprivation caused greater activity in the parts of the brain […]

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A brief guide to hydration

I read a review paper recently about the assessment of dehydration [1]. The authors conclude that we don’t have very good standardised tests for dehydration, but a reasonable test is to measure heart rate when sitting, and then again immediately on standing. During dehydration the blood volume tends to be lower and blood pressure too. […]

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