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Are teens sleeping too long?
How much sleep is enough for a child? Most studies suggest that 16-year-olds need nine hours a night, and many sleep that long — but according to the latest research, this may be excessive, reports The Daily Telegraph. For a study at Brigham Young University in Utah, scientists sought to Connect sleep patterns to school performance levels by examining data from a sample of 1,724 schoolchildren of both primary and secondary age. They concluded that the optimum amount of sleep for a 12-year- old was 8.5 hours, while for a 16-year-old it was just seven. Separately, a study of 6,000 women in the US found that those who were the most physically active were significantly less likely to develop cancer than other women — hut that sleeping less than seven hours a night wiped out the benefits of exercise.
Eat cake early to lose weight
If you want to shed pounds, try eating cake for breakfast, says the Daily Mail. This counterintuitive advice emerged from a study at Tel Aviv University: it found that people who ate a big breakfast, which included a pudding, lost more weight than those who had no sweet treat in the morning. The research involved nearly 200 obese people, who were assigned to one of two groups. Both groups were put on a calorie-controlled diet: 1,600 calories a day for men and 1,400 for women. However, those in the first group were told to consume 600 of their calories in a large, protein and carbohydrate-rich breakfast, which included a pudding; the others were asked to have a small 300-caloric breakfast, with no pudding. After16weeks, participants in both groups had lost an average of 33 lbs each; hut by the end of
Should cake be part of your breakfast?
the 32-week study, the big breakfasters had lost a further l5lhs, while the others had regained 22lhs. Researchers reckon that eating a large breakfast kick-starts the metabolism, and that having pudding in the morning makes people less likely to suffer cravings later in the day, which — as time wears on and willpower wanes — lure them away from their diet plans.
One in five men at heart risk
A single genetic mutation — which is present only in men — appears to raise the risk of heart disease by 50%, scientists have found. Up to one in five men in the UK have the variant of the Y chromosome that makes them at greater risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) — an effect that is independent of other known risk factors such as high blood pressure and smoking, says BBC News online. The research involved more than 3,000 men taking part in three major heart investigations. DNA analysis revealed that 90% of the participants carried one of two common versions of the Y chromosome (haplogroup I and haplo group Rlhlb2); it turned our that men in the first category had a 50% higher risk of CAD than the other men. It’s not clear why this particular genetic signature may increase heart disease risk, but the researchers speculated that its influence on inflammation and the
immune system are involved. Three years ago, scientists identified a different mutation which almost guarantees that a carrier will suffer heart problems. It occurs in 1 % of the world’s population, a frequency that rises to 4% on the Indian subcontinent
How aspirin fights cancer
Australian scientists have discovered how aspirin and other painkilling drugs help stop the spread of cancer, raising hopes of finding new treatments for the disease. Simply put, rumours secrete proteins and compounds called growth factors, which attract blood and lymphatic vessels to their vicinity and allow the cancer to spread through the body. These growth factors also encourage lymphatic vessels to widen, making them even more
effective conduits. Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, however, impede the widening of these “supply lines”, making it hard for the tumour to spread, said co-author Dr Tara Karnezis, of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne. Scientists had known for years that aspirin could help stop cancer spreading, but did nor understand the biological process involved, reports the Daily Express last year, a study published in The Lancer found that death rates from cancer of the colon, prostate, lung, brain and throat were all reduced by a daily dose of aspirin.
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