Tag Archive | "british researchers"

Master Switch for Obesity Help

Scientists have discovered a gene that is linked to cholesterol and diabetes acts like a master switch that may control fats in the body. Scientists say that this can play a huge role in getting obesity help and cure for obesity-related diseases.

British researchers said in a study published in “Nature Genetics” that because fat plays an extremely significant role in our chances of getting metabolic diseases, the regulating gene may be targeted for the treatment of illnesses such as diabetes, obesity, and heart diseases.

Tim Spector, lead author of the study, said that their study is the first major research that shows how very minimal changes in a single master regulator gene can affect metabolic functions of other genes. They analyzed at least 20,000 genes in fat samples from 800 British female twins who volunteered for the study. After which they compared and confirmed their findings with 600 more fat samples from another group from Iceland.

As of the moment, one out of 10 adults in the world is obese. That is more than a billion people or 10% of the world’s total population. The numbers have increased, almost doubled, since the 1980s and it has shifted from rich nations only to even poor countries because of poor eating habits.

In the United States alone, $147 billion are spent to treat obesity-related diseases each year. That accounts for 10% of the country’s total medical spending. Cases of type-2 diabetes are also increasing in number as obesity rates grow.

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Lack of Sleep May Lead to Brain Aging

British researchers said that middle-aged adults who get less than the ideal amount of sleep at night may be at risk for declined brain function, or in simple terms, it causes the brain to age.

The researchers said that the severity of the decline in brain function can be as much as seven years more.

Jane Ferrie, a senior research fellow, said that the society today pressures people to fit more things in our 24-hour schedule. The entire struggle to balance work and life has caused us many of us to trade hours of sleep for more “productive” things.

Ferrie said that their studies showed a link between lack of sleep and impaired or declining cognitive function.

Moreover, the study shows that women who reported an average of 7 hours of sleep have the highest cognitive score while men who sleep for 6-8 hours scored the highest. Consequently, those who reported sleeping less than 6 hours every night – regardless of gender – scored relatively low in the cognitive scores.

Since most of the biological processes in our body take place at night, sleeping gives human beings the ability to recuperate from stressors and oxidants.

Although most people can function relatively well even with less than optimal hours of sleep, it may cause a long-term detrimental effect to us, Ferrie said.

Ferrie further said that chronic short sleep leads to the production of hormones inside the body that causes high blood pressures, diabetes, heart problems, and issues in cholesterol levels.

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