Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

[News article] The microbiome and the midnight snack: How gut microbes influence the body’s clock

From the 13 May 2015 Science Life article

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Poor sleep has long been linked with changes to the metabolism. Disruption of the body’s internal clock can lead to changes in appetite and cravings for unhealthy food, which in turn leads to more serious health problems like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

New research from the University of Chicago highlights a third component to that cycle: the millions of microbes that live in the intestines. These organisms respond to the same environmental cues as their host organism; their activity and metabolism is intertwined with the sleep/wake cycles and feeding schedules of the animal.

May 20, 2015 Posted by | Nutrition | , , , , | Leave a comment

[Reblog]Trouble Sleeping? Go Camping

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From the 2 August 2013 article at Scientific American

Artificial light sources can negatively affect circadian rhythms, scientists say

By Joel N. Shurkin and Inside Science News Service

This story was originally published byInside Science News Service.

Throughout most of human history, humans went to bed shortly after the sun went down and woke up in the morning as it rose. There were candles and later oil lamps, but the light was not very bright so people still went to bed early.

Scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder found that if you live by the sun’s schedule, you are more likely to go to bed at least an hour earlier, wake up an hour earlier, and be less groggy, because your internal clock and external reality are more in sync. The sun adjusts your clock to what may be its natural state, undoing the influence of light bulbs.

The work is published in the current issue of the journal Current Biology.

The disconnect between the outside environment and sleep is one reason why even native Alaskans have problems sleeping in the almost endless days of the Arctic summers, and get depressed during the long nights of winters.

The subjects in the Colorado study lived more normal lives.

Read the entire article here

August 6, 2013 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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