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Iced tea ups risk of kidney stones

If you love iced tea, it could be time for you to give up that love — a urologist has warned that drinking it excessively could lead to kidney stones.

Iced tea contains high concentrations of oxalate, one of the key chemicals that lead to the formation of kidney stones.

Though hot tea also contains oxalate, it isn’t as easy to consume a quantity large enough amount to encourage the formation of stones.

“For people who have a tendency to form kidney stones, it’s definitely one of the worst things you can drink,” said Dr John Milner, Loyola University, Maywood, the USA.

Men, postmenopausal women with low oestrogen levels and women who have had their ovaries removed are at a higher risk.

Kidney stones are small crystals that form from the minerals and salt normally found in the urine in the kidneys or ureter, the small tubes that drain urine from the kidney to the bladder. Usually they can be expelled from the body harmlessly, but those big in size become lodged in the ureter. Milner suggests there’s nothing better than water, maybe flavoured with lemon slices.

How human laughter is different from that of apes

Scientists have unveiled how human laughter is different from that of apes. Human laughter, as we know, is unique and different than other animals — this is down to our unique status as an ape that has learned to stand on its own two feet. “Bipedalism was the breakthrough,” said Robert Provine, the doyen of laughter research.

Four-legged mammals must synchronise their breath with their stride. By taking pressure off the thorax, bipedalism gave us the breath control needed for speaking and the ability to chop up our exhalations, giving the characteristic ha-ha-ha sound of human laughter.
And our equally social great-ape cousins are also expected to do something similar.
“Laughter is literally the sound of rough-and-tumble play,” said Provine — and great apes at play do indeed produce something akin to a laugh.

But their playful pants are not as musical as ours and instead of being made up of extended exhalations, they are produced by breathing in and out. Thus, ape laughter doesn’t sound much like our own.

When Provine played a recording of chimp laughter to his students, most of them thought it was a dog panting, a few had it down as noisy sex and some even heard sawing or sanding.

Feeling secure in a relationship is good for your heart

Being in a close and warm relationship that makes you feel secure is really good for your heart, says a new study.

The study conducted by Lachlan A McWilliams, of Acadia University and a colleague revealed that people insecure about their attachments to others might be at higher risk for cardiovascular problems than those who feel secure in their relationships.

The team found that avoidant attachment (difficulty getting close to others) was positively associated with conditions defined primarily by pain, like headaches.

Anxious attachment (tendency to worry about rejection and feeling needy) was positively associated with cardiovascular problems like stroke, heart attack or high blood pressure.
These patients were also at a higher risk of chronic pain, stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure and ulcers.

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