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Thyroid hormone helps visual pigments

Thyroid hormone plays a very important role where the eyes are concerned, as it controls which visual pigment is produced in the cones. Previously, it was assumed that the colour sensitivity of the cones is fixed in the adult retina.

But researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt have now been able to show that in mature cones of mice and rats the production of visual pigment is regulated by thyroid hormone. It is assumed that this mechanism exists in all mammals, including humans. If so, the adult-onset of thyroid hormone deficiency would affect colour vision. Thyroid hormone plays a crucial role during development of the body and also of the nervous system.

Studies in mice have shown that thyroid hormone also plays an important role in the development of the eye and particularly the cone visual cells. In the retina of the eye, the cones are the visual cells responsible for colour vision. Most mammals have two spectral cone types containing either of two visual pigments, one sensitive to shortwave light , and the other to middle-to-longwave light.

6-8 hrs' sleep, less stress best natural way to cut flab

Wondering how to lose weight without much effort? Don't stress and get some good sleep. A new Kaiser Permanente study has found that people with the lowest stress levels and who also got more than six hours, but not more than eight hours, of sleep were most likely to lose at least 10 pounds.

Nearly 500 participants from Kaiser Permanente in Oregon and Washington took part in the study, which measured whether sleep, stress, depression, television viewing, and computer screen time were correlated with weight loss.

Several previous studies have found an association between these factors and obesity, but few have looked at whether these factors predict weight loss. “This study suggests that when people are trying to lose weight, they should try to get the right amount of sleep and reduce their stress,” said lead author Charles Elder.

Eating 3 bananas a day could ‘slash stroke risk by 21pc’

British and Italian researchers have found that eating three bananas cuts the risk of a stroke. They said that having one banana for breakfast, one for lunch and one in the evening would provide enough potassium to reduce the chances of suffering a blood clot on the brain by around 21 per cent.

The findings suggest that thousands of strokes could be prevented by the consumption of other potassium-rich foods such as spinach, nuts, milk, fish and lentils. Although some previous studies have suggested bananas could be important for controlling blood pressure and preventing strokes, results have not always been consistent. In the latest research, scientists analysed data from eleven different studies and pooled the results to get an overall outcome.

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