x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Holding a grudge can actually make you sick

Plus, research suggests kids should drink milk after playing sports, high levels of fat in junk food can block key anti-diabetes chemicals, and more health news.

For kids, white stuff is the right stuff

Children should be given milk after their school or club sports sessions instead of water, say experts from Canada's McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. In a study of hydration levels among children eight to 10 years old, researchers found that while their bones are still developing milk is the best post-exercise tipple. "It's better than either a sports drink or water because it is a source of high-quality protein, carbohydrates, calcium and electrolytes," insists the lead researcher Brian Timmons.

Fat food switches us on to diabetes

High levels of fat in junk foods and processed snacks can have the long-term effect of rewiring our genetic make-up, scientists have discovered. In trials, published in the journal Nature, it was found that a diet high in fat will eventually block the actions of two chemicals in the body - known as FOXA2 and HNF1A. In healthy people, these chemicals produce an enzyme that helps regulate glucose in the body. But when fatty foods disable them, our blood sugar levels can't be regulated and we can develop type 2 diabetes.

Holding a grudge will make you sick

Constant bitterness can make a person ill - so says a research team from Canada's Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. "Persistent bitterness may result in global feelings of anger and hostility that could affect a person's physical health," reveals Carsten Wrosch, a professor in psychology, who has spent 15 years looking at the side-effects of negative emotions. Wrosch says bitterness can be avoided if people who experience failure can find other ways to fulfil their goals. The news follows claims from psychologists in Berlin that a new type of mental disorder - post-traumatic embitterment disorder (PTED) - should be officially recognised.

The spice is life

Keeping your diet rich in spices such as turmeric and cinnamon can boost your body's resistance to the negative effects of high-fat foods. In a study of six overweight men, carried out by Penn State University in the US, researchers discovered that adding two tablespoons of culinary spices including rosemary, oregano, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, cloves, garlic powder and paprika to specific dishes could reduce the levels of triglycerides in the men's blood by about 30 per cent. Triglycerides are a type of fat that can form in the blood and eventually block the arteries - a precursor to heart problems.

First smoke is the worst smoke

Cigarette smokers will claim that the "first one of the day" is often the best - as it eases their body's overnight craving for nicotine. But now data shows that smoking within a half-hour of waking leads to a 59 per cent higher risk of head and neck cancers than lighting up later in the day. Two separate studies in the health journal Cancer - one of which featured 1,055 cancer sufferers - found that early smokers are more likely to suffer from specific cancers of the throat, neck and brain, while smoking within an hour of waking was found to lead to a 31 per cent higher risk of lung cancer.

Salt shake-up could save millions of lives

Cutting the amount of salt we consume could have a profound effect on levels of heart disease and strokes, saving millions of lives worldwide. At a presentation before the latest United Nations meeting on non-communicable diseases, World Health Organisation scientists explained that setting a target to reduce dietary salt intake to less than five grams (about one teaspoon) per person per day by 2025 could meet this goal. Estimates for dietary intake of salt in the UAE have put the average daily amount consumed per person at almost nine grams.