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Omega-3 rich diet helps sound sleep: Study

A new study has revealed that higher levels of omega-3 DHA in diet would give better sleep.

The randomised placebo-controlled study by the University of Oxford found that children on a course of daily supplements of omega-3 had nearly one hour more sleep and seven fewer waking episodes per night, as compared with the children taking the corn or soybean placebo.

According to the study, it found that there is possible links between sleep and fatty acid status in healthy children, and that higher blood levels of the long-chain omega-3 DHA are significantly associated with better sleep, including less bedtime resistance, parasomnias and total sleep disturbance.

It was also revealed that higher ratios of DHA in relation to the long-chain omega-6 fatty acid AA (arachidonic acid) are also associated with fewer sleep problems.
Professor Paul Montgomery of Oxford University said that various substances made within the body from omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids have long been known to play key roles in the regulation of sleep and lower ratios of DHA have earlier been linked with lower levels of melatonin.

Drinking energy drinks linked to health problems in teens

A new study has found that consumption of energy drinks among teenagers may be linked with poor mental health and substance use.

Researchers are calling for limits on teen’s access to the drinks and reduction in the amount of the caffeine in each can.

The paper by researchers at the University of Waterloo and Dalhousie University, found that high school students prone to depression as well as those who smoke marijuana or drink alcohol are more likely to consume energy drinks than their peers.
“While it remains unclear why these associations exist, the trend is a concern because of the high rate of consumption among teenagers,” Sunday Azagba, a researcher at the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact at the University of Waterloo and lead author on the paper, said.

“These drinks appeal to young people because of their temporary benefits like increased alertness, improved mood and enhanced mental and physical energy,” Azagba said.

Among the 8210 high school students surveyed, nearly two thirds reported using energy drinks at least once in the past year, with more than 20 percent consuming them once or more per month. Younger high school students were more likely to consume energy drinks than older ones.

Energy drinks have been associated with a number of negative health effects, including cardiovascular symptoms, sleep impairment and nervousness and nausea. The side effects are caused by the beverages’ high concentration of caffeine.

Eating red meat could up cancer risk in the gut

New reports suggest that eating red and processed meat could increase risk of developing cancer in the gut.

These reports have resulted in new nutritional recommendations that advise people to limit their intake of red and processed meats.

A recent perspective paper, authored by 23 scientists, underlines the uncertainties in the scientific evidence and points to further research needed to resolve these issues and improve the foundation for future recommendations on the intake of red meat.
The review discusses recent studies on associations between red and processed meat intake and cancer risk in humans and animals.

In animals it is possible to promote cancer by giving the animals a chemical cancer challenge and a basic “standard” diet that is high in meat, but doesn’t contain any ingredients that protect and can help the gut stay healthy. This means no vegetables, no fiber, no milk or other sources of calcium. In other words, the “standard” diet of the lab animals is not very comparable to that of humans.

The many differences between diets for humans and laboratory animals may explain why the results seem to differ: in humans, the observed association between red and processed meat intake and cancer is relatively small in magnitude, but consistent, and may still present a serious public health impact.

The 23 researchers conclude that other foods, in cooperation with the bacteria that live in the gut, may protect the gut so any potential adverse effects of meat may become less pronounced or may even be fully prevented.

The team of scientists further concludes that science does not yet have a full understanding of how food that we eat affects our gut and our health.

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