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Lead author John M Violanti, PhD, research associate professor in UB’s Department of Social and Preventive Medicine in the School of Public Health and Health Professions, found that the permutation can contribute to the development of the metabolic syndrome, a combination of unhealthful factors among police officers.
The study showed that overall, 30 per cent of officers working the night shift had metabolic syndrome, compared to 21 percent in the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES III).
“One potential explanation for this unusual finding is that midnight-shift officers were most likely to be sleep deprived because of difficulties associated with day sleeping. Sleep debt has been shown to have a harmful impact on carbohydrate metabolism and endocrine function,” he said.

Genetic defect linked to vitamin A deficiency
Almost half of the British women might be lacking an important source of vitamin A due to previously undetected genetic defect.
Although dairy products and eggs are known as a rich source of vitamin A, another key source is beta-carotene, the orange pigment in carrots, which is converted into the vitamin by the body.

However, University of Newcastle team has identified a genetic variation that blocks the ability beta-carotene to produce vitamin A.
“Vitamin A is very important, particularly now when we are all trying to fight off winter colds and flu. It reduces the risk of inflammation such as that with chest infections,” the Daily Express quoted Dr Georg Lietz, head of the University of Newcastle team as saying. The researchers are conducting further studies to establish if the problem applies to men.

Choosing among alternative medicines
Alternative health remedies have gained immense popularity. Now, a new study sheds light on how people choose among the various available remedies.
“Examples of the wide array of health remedy options include drugs, supplements, acupuncture, massage therapy, Ayurveda, and Traditional Chinese Medicine,” said authors Wenbo Wang (New York University), Hean Tat Keh (Beijing University), and Lisa E Bolton (Pennsylvania State University).
“Such medical pluralism is common in both developed and developing countries and raises the questions: How do consumers choose among health remedies?” they added.

The researchers focussed their study on Western medicine and its Eastern counterparts, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurvedic medicine.
“Western Medicine is primarily concerned with the material aspect of the body and views all medical phenomena as cause-effect sequences,” write the authors. “On the other hand, TCM and Ayurvedic Medicine favor a holistic approach, view the mind and body as a whole system, and rely upon inductive tools and methods for treatment,” they added.

The authors found that consumers prefer TCM when uncertain about the cause of an illness because a holistic medicine tolerates uncertainty better than Western Medicine.

Similarly, consumers prefer TCM because of lay beliefs that it offers an underlying cure (versus symptom alleviation by Western Medicine).

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