Jun 182008

THE amount of fat eaten during the day seems to negatively affect the sleep patterns of healthy adults, according to a new study.

The study, authored by Cibele Crispim of the Federal University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, focussed on 52 healthy volunteers between 20 and 45. Their food intake was analysed over a three-day period, while their sleep pattern was evaluated by polysomnographic recording.

“We showed that an increased fat intake was associated with a lower percentage of REM (good quality) sleep, a higher arousal index and apnea-hypopnea index, and a lower sleep efficiency,” said Crispim. “These results showed that total fat intake and dinner fat intake seem to influence the sleep pattern negatively. However, researches in the nutrition and sleep area should be carried out to better understand these associations.”

The findings of the study were presented Tuesday at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

Dairy intake tied to lower body fat in girlsGIRLS who get enough dairy products in their diets may stay leaner than their peers, study findings suggest.

Researchers found that among 323 9- to 14-year-old girls in Hawaii, those who got more calcium from dairy sources tended to weigh less and have less fat around the middle than girls who ate less dairy. On the other hand, body weight tended to rise in tandem with soda intake.

The link between dairy intake and lower abdominal fat was particularly strong among girls of Asian descent, who made up 47 percent of the study group. Since the 1960s, U.S. children’s milk consumption has fallen off significantly, in favor of soda and sugary juices. The trend is thought to be one of the factors fueling the nation’s ever-growing rate of childhood obesity and excess weight.

A number of studies, mostly in adults, have shown that calcium may be key in maintaining normal body weight and fat stores. One reason may be the nutrient’s effects on hormones that help store calories as fat. In the new study, reported in the Journal of Nutrition, calcium from dairy sources, but not non-dairy foods, was related to lower weight and less abdominal fat.

This suggests that “the dairy portion of the calcium intake is the key factor,” write the study authors, led by Dr. Rachel Novotny of the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. It’s possible, they explain, that other nutrients in milk play an important role in weight balance.

However, the researchers add, girls in the study got relatively little of their calcium from non-dairy sources — perhaps too little for these foods to show an effect on weight and body fat.

Non-dairy sources of calcium include certain green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach, fortified soy milk, and calcium added to orange juice and cereals.

For the study, which was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, girls and their parents kept a record of the foods the children ate over three days. The researchers found that the average calcium intake fell far short of the recommended level for children in this age group — 736 milligrams (mg) per day, versus the recommended 1,300 mg a day. When girls did get relatively higher levels of dairy calcium, though, it appeared to make a difference on the scale and near the waistline. For reasons that are unclear, the effect on body fat was stronger for Asian girls than for white girls, according to Novotny and her colleagues. They speculate that ethnic differences in which dairy products are usually consumed, or in eating habits — having small amounts of dairy throughout the day, for instance, rather than a single large serving-may help explain the finding. According to the researchers, soda may tack on pounds by adding calories to kids’ diets, or by replacing milk. Milk, they note, has a range of nutrients, including protein and fat, which means it is metabolized relatively slowly. Soda contains only sugar, which is quickly metabolized, leading to a blood sugar surge followed by a precipitous drop that triggers hunger.

Considering this, the researchers conclude, drinking soda in place of milk is likely to add on pounds.

Vision Problems Occur During Pre-Diabetes: Nearly eight percent of people with pre-diabetes may have diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to blindness, a new study reports.

The research involved participants in the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), which included over 3,200 people with impaired glucose tolerance, another term for pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood glucose levels are higher than normal but aren’t high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes.

Diabetic retinopathy, which begins with changes in the small vessels in the back of the eye, was also found in 12 percent of study participants who developed type 2 diabetes. The research was funded by the U.S. National Eye Institute.

The findings were presented Sunday at the American Diabetes Association’s annual scientific sessions in San Diego.

“Previous studies have not accurately defined when type 2 diabetes begins, so our understanding of the onset of diabetic eye disease has been limited. Now we know that diabetic retinopathy does occur in pre-diabetes, within an average of three years after diagnosis,” Dr. Richard Hamman, DPP vice chairman, said in a prepared statement.

“This adds to our understanding of the development of retinopathy and suggests that changes in the eye may be starting earlier and at lower glucose levels than we previously thought,” added Hamman, chairman of the department of preventive medicine and biometrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.Dr Emily Chew, of the National Eye Institute, said, “These findings reinforce the recommendation that patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes should be screened for retinopathy. We advise good control of blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol as well as regular eye exams.”

Moderate exercise can help insomniacs sleep better: MODERATE aerobic exercises, not heavy exertion, is likely to reduce anxiety and improve the sleep quality of insomniacs, according to a study.

The study, by researchers at the Federal University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, focused on 36 patients (eight men and 28 women) with primary chronic insomnia.

Volunteers were divided into three experimental groups — doing moderate aerobic exercise, heavy aerobic exercise, and moderate strength exercise — and a control group. Following the exercise sessions, reductions were shown in sleep onset latency (54 percent) and wake time (36 percent) in the moderate aerobic exercise group.

A significant reduction of 7 percent in the anxiety state was also observed after moderate aerobic exercise session. “These findings indicate that there is a way to diminish the symptoms of insomnia without using medication,” said Giselle S. Passos, who led the study.“This study is the first to look at the importance of using physical exercise to treat insomnia, and may contribute to increased quality of life in people with one of the most important kind of sleep disorders around the world.”Insomnia is a classification of sleep disorders in which a person has trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, or wakes up too early. About 30 percent of adults have symptoms of insomnia. It is more common among elderly people and women. The findings of the study were presented at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

The News, 18/6/2008

 Posted by at 11:18 am

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