Health Briefs

Stress and Fatigue Abate with Combo Supplement

stress-fatigue-supplement-a09785f8study from Dijon, France, found that a specific nutrient combination supplement can help reduce feelings of anxiety and tiredness. Researchers studied 242 subjects between the ages of 18 and 70 that complained of stress and fatigue. Each was given a supplement containing magnesium, probiotics, vitamins and minerals to take for one month.

Researchers measured the subjects’ stress and fatigue levels before commencing the test period and again one month later. They found a 22 percent reduction in psychological stress and a 45 percent reduction in fatigue. Thirty days after the supplementation was discontinued, the subjects’ stress and fatigue levels remained reduced.

Kids Going Online at Bedtime Sleep Poorly

kids-online-bedtime-cdf7c940new study from King’s College London has found that children’s use of electronic devices close to bedtime can reduce their chances of a good night’s sleep. Researchers examined 20 existing studies encompassing 125,000 children between the ages of 6 and 19. They found that youngsters using a device within 90 minutes of falling asleep had an increased likelihood of poor and inadequate sleep quality and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Study author Ben Carter, Ph.D., says, “Sleep is an often undervalued, but important part of children’s development, with a regular lack of sleep causing a variety of health problems.” These can include obesity, sedentary lifestyle, reduced immune function and poor diet. Poor food choices and excessive eating can start young, as illustrated in a study from Colorado University, in Boulder, which found a link between sleep deprivation and poor diet choices in preschool children.

The Colorado study followed five girls and five boys, ages 3 and 4, that were regular afternoon nappers. They were deprived of their naps for one day, during which their food and beverage consumption was monitored and compared with their choices on a day when their sleep routine remained intact. During the sleep-deprived day, the children ate 20 percent more calories than usual and their diet consisted of 25 percent more sugar and 26 percent more carbohydrates.

Wheezing Toddlers Prone to Food Allergies

wheezing-toddler-food-allergies-bd014a7eResearchers in Singapore studied the relationship between eczema and wheezing in babies and food allergies in toddlers. They collected data from 849 children that had completed skin prick testing for inhalant and food allergies, including eggs, peanuts and cow’s milk at 18 months and 36 months of age. The resulting data were compared to information obtained from questionnaires administered to the children’s mothers at several intervals throughout their first three years of life to determine the prevalence of allergic diseases such as eczema and rhinitis, along with wheezing.

The researchers found children that experienced eczema or wheezing within their first 18 months were more likely to have an allergy at 36 months. Occurrences of eczema or wheezing after youngsters were 18 months old appeared to have no notable impact on the later allergy skin test results.

DHA Boosts Elder Brain Function

dha-brain-function-5583f466Researchers from Tianjin Medical University, in China, have discovered that regularly taking docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) improves brain function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. A total of 219 adults over the age of 65 participated in the randomized, double-blind, 12-month trial. Half of the subjects were given two grams of this omega-3 fatty acid daily, while the others received a placebo.

The researchers measured cognitive function, including a full-scale intelligence quotient (IQ) test and two IQ subtests which serve as indicators of both short and long-term memory. The tests were administered after six months and again after 12 months. The DHA group showed a 10 percent higher IQ than the placebo group. There were also significant increases in both IQ subtests and brain hippocampus volume in the DHA group. Decreased hippocampus volume is a primary indicator of Alzheimer’s disease.

Heave Ho

abandoned-fishing-gear-18d6db4dAbandoned and Lost Fishing Gear Pollutes the Seas

Abandoned and lost fishing gear such as traps, crab pots and nets litter the ocean floor in coastal areas worldwide, continuing to attract, entrap and kill fish and other marine life. The Associated Press reports that global nonprofits, governments and companies are engaged in efforts to retrieve and recycle as many of the items as possible to protect the environment, save marine life and reduce hazards to marine navigation.

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Chinese Herbs Lessen Postpartum Blues

chinese-herbs-postpartum-84b1e338study from the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, in Beijing, reports that Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) can be an effective treatment for patients with postpartum depression. Traditional Chinese Medicine advocates herbal treatments based on underlying issues.

Researchers analyzed data from 47 clinical trials encompassing 3,795 participants between the ages of 18 and 43 suffering from postpartum depression. The study pooled results into three categories: CHM versus placebo, CHM versus routine treatments (antidepressants) and CHM plus routine treatments versus only routine treatments.

The study found that using Chinese herbs combined with antidepressants is the most effective approach, noting that CHM is a safe, effective alternative for patients unable or unwilling to take antidepressants.

Fenugreek Eases Menopause

fenugreek-menopause-5186486arandomized, double-blind study from the Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Science and Research, in Bangalore, India, has found that an extract of fenugreek husk (FHE) called FenuSMART can provide relief from common symptoms of menopause, including night sweats, insomnia, headaches, hot flashes and mood swings.

Researchers studied 88 menopausal women between the ages of 45 and 58. Half were given one gram of FHE per day for 90 days while the other half the supplement had on the subjects’ menopausal symptoms through weekly telephone sessions.

At the study’s end, approximately 32 percent of the women in the FHE group reported no hot flashes, while the placebo subjects saw the frequency of theirs reduced from three to five per day to one or two. Additionally, the subjects that took FHE experienced a 57 percent reduction in night sweats, a 68 percent abatement of mood swings, a 75 percent drop in insomnia and 58 percent fewer headaches.

Aloe Vera Juice Allays Diabetes

aloe-vera-juice-diabetes-9d9b8415Researchers from the David Grant Medical Center, at Travis Air Force Base, in Fairfield, California, have found that oral doses of aloe vera can reduce fasting blood glucose and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), which indicates the average glucose level over the previous three months, in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Data from nine clinical studies that included 89 diabetes patients were analyzed. Findings suggest that patients with a fasting blood glucose level of more than 200 milligrams per deciliter experienced the greatest benefits from the aloe vera.

Fortified Foods Cut Into Supplement Use

fortified-foods-eddb1c4dSeptember 2016 survey from Packaged Facts, a division of Market Research Group, LLC, showed that as much as 20 percent of the U.S. adult population is cutting back on supplement use due to consumption of fortified foods. Despite this trend, nutritional supplement sales nationwide are projected to increase by $1.5 billion in just two years to $16 billion in 2018.

Fortified foods contain extra nutrients added by manufacturers such as cereal fortified with iron, milk with added vitamin D and pasta enhanced with folic acid. While the original intent of these additives was to improve nutritional deficiencies in people without access to foods that naturally contain these nutrients, consequences now include an overabundance of particular nutrients for some and poor food choices due to a dependence on fortified foods for others. Ingesting naturally occurring nutrients in unfortified foods allows each nutrient to be absorbed together with the other vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients contained in that food, enabling them to work together within the body, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.

NA NTexas Natural Awakenings