Scientists say that just one week of poor sleep can disrupt hundreds of genes, increasing the risk of a host of life-threatening illnesses linked to stress, immunity and inflammation.
The discovery could explain why lack of sleep is so bad for the health, they say.
The researchers wrote in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: ‘Insufficient sleep is increasingly recognised as contributing to a wide range of health problems.
'Multiple studies have shown self-reported short sleep duration - defined in most studies as less than six hours - is associated with negative health outcomes such as all-cause mortality, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and impaired vigilance and cognition.' Indeed, sleep deficiency is associated with a host of conditions including obesity, heart disease and mental impairment.
One week of bad sleep can "switch off" hundreds of genes and raise the risk of a host of illnesses including obesity and heart disease, scientists claim.
Regularly taking fish oil supplements could help protect against skin cancer, according to a study that suggests omega-3 fats help boost the immune system.
Eating a Mediterranean-style diet can cut heart attacks, strokes and death rates in people at high risk of heart disease by as much as a third, research shows.
Changing the balance of foods in a diet can lessen the risk even before heart-related illness strikes, according to a major clinical trial.
Previous studies have compared the effects of the diet on people after they have suffered a heart attack or stroke – with many showing improved heart health.
But this research was the first to rigorously test the effects on a high-risk group. In fact, the study of around 7,500 people was halted early, after almost five years, because the results were so clear it would have been unethical not to recommend the diet to all those taking part.
Mediterranean Diet Shown to Ward Off Heart Attack and Stroke. Finding publishes in the New England Journal of Medicine
About 30 percent of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease can be prevented in people at high risk if they switch to a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and vegetables, and even drink wine with meals, a large and rigorous new study has found.
“Really impressive,” said Rachel Johnson, a professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont and a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association. “And the really important thing — the coolest thing — is that they used very meaningful endpoints. They did not look at risk factors like cholesterol or hypertension or weight. They looked at heart attacks and strokes and death. At the end of the day, that is what really matters.”
The United States Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of experts in prevention and primary care, based its recommendations on extensive reviews of more than a hundred studies. They characterized low doses as 400 international units or less of vitamin D and 1,000 milligrams or less of calcium.Posted by Jill Fallon at February 26, 2013 9:53 AM | Permalink
Taking those amounts daily, the task force wrote in its recommendations, “has no net benefit for the primary prevention of fractures.” But there is good evidence, the group said, that taking them could increase the likelihood of kidney stones.
The recommendations, however, do not apply to people with osteoporosis or vitamin D deficiencies, the task force said.