what's the buzz

what's the buzz

Binge drinking raises diabetes risk

Binge drinking interferes with the area of the brain that controls insulin regulation, which increases your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, a new study has warned.

"Insulin resistance has emerged as a key metabolic defect leading to Type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease (CAD)," said Christoph Buettner, MD, PhD, senior author of the study and Associate Professor of Medicine (Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Disease) at Mount Sinai.

"Someone who regularly binge drinks even once a week, over many years, may remain in an insulin resistant state for an extended period of time, potentially years," said Dr. Buettner.  Researchers in this study were able to show that it is alcohol's effect on the brain — specifically the hypothalamus, the area that controls metabolism — that makes the body less able to process insulin.

The study was conducted on a group of rats, some of which were given alcohol over a three-day period to mimic binge drinking, while others received the same amount of sugar calories from other food sources. The rats who drank alcohol were then found to have higher concentrations of plasma insulin, an indicator of metabolic syndrome, which increases one's risk for diabetes.

Crying may have enabled humans to communicate

The phenomenon of crying when we are overcome by emotion developed as a means to communicate our feelings before the emergence of language, a scientist has claimed.

Michael Trimble, a professor of neurology, suggests that there must have been a time in our evolution when tears took on a meaning beyond their simple bio-mechanical function - keeping the eyeballs moist, the Daily Mail reported.

He has written a new book – ‘Why Humans Like To Cry’ - that attempts to shed light on the mystery of why our species is the only one in the animal kingdom to shed tears of anguish.

The work, according to its publisher, offers a wide-ranging discussion of emotional crying, looking at its physiology as well as its evolutionary past. Biologically, tears are needed to keep the eyeball moist and they contain proteins and other substances to keep it healthy and fight infections.

In every other animal that seems to be extent of their function, but in humans, crying takes on a whole new, additional significance.

Being vegetarian can reduce risk of heart disease

A new study from the University of Oxford has found that the risk of hospitalisation or death from heart disease is 32 percent lower in vegetarians than people who eat meat and fish.

Heart disease is the single largest cause of death in developed countries. The new findings suggest that a vegetarian diet could significantly reduce people’s risk of heart disease.

“Most of the difference in risk is probably caused by effects on cholesterol and blood pressure, and shows the important role of diet in the prevention of heart disease,” explains Dr Francesca Crowe, lead author of the study at the Cancer Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford. This is the largest study ever conducted in the UK comparing rates of heart disease between vegetarians and non-vegetarians.