Night owls have higher risk of diabetes
A new study has found that night owls, regardless of other lifestyle factors, may have a higher risk of diabetes or reduced muscle mass compared to early risers.
The findings, published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, looked at the sleeping habits of 1,620 middle-aged adults. The participants, ranging in age from age 47 to 59, were asked to identify themselves as strong morning people, strong night people, or somewhere in-between. Additional questions looked at how easy it was for them to get moving in the morning, how alert they felt, what time they usually go to bed, and sleeping preferences for different situations.
The research subjects were also asked to undergo several tests including the oral glucose tolerance test for diabetes, body composition measurement (to determine muscle loss), and the visceral obesity diagnosis test by measurement of abdominal computed tomography (CT). Researchers then analyzed the morning or night responses, or so-called “chronotypes” to determine whether there was a link with metabolic disorders including diabetes, metabolic syndrome, sarcopenia (reduced muscle mass) and obesity.
They found that to be the case, that the night owl chronotype was associated with diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and reduced muscle mass. The findings also revealed sex and age elements, such as that female night owls tended to have more abdominal fat and a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, while male night owls were more likely to have diabetes or sarcopenia. All night owls, regardless of gender, tended to be younger and have higher body fat and blood triglyceride levels than morning people.
The study controlled for potential lifestyle factors, such as age, gender, body mass index, smoking, alcohol consumption, sleep duration, and use of medications.
Researchers suggested that the findings could be caused by night owls’ tendency to have poorer sleep quality and unhealthier habits such as late-night snacking or a more sedentary lifestyle.
The results highlight the importance of research on circadian rhythms and provide more information that could be helpful for preventing diabetes and reduced muscle mass.
[Sourced from: Medical News Today , https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/291829.php](Metabolic problems ‘more likely in evening types than morning people’)
Ancient potion fights superbug
A 1,000-year-old remedy found in the one of the oldest medical textbooks may be effective in treating MRSA, the sometimes deadly staph infection. That’s what researchers at the University of Nottingham in the U.K. are saying after experimenting with an ancient potion that includes garlic, onion or leek, wine and bile from a cow’s stomach and was recommended to treat eye infections.
MRSA is spread through skin-to-skin contact and can lead to skin and bloodstream infections, such as pneumonia. In 2011, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates, MRSA was responsible for 80,461 infections and 11,285 deaths in the U.S. Medical experts say it’s become more difficult to treat because many modern antibiotics are losing their effectiveness against such “superbugs.”
For this study, the researchers consulted a medical recipe from Bald’s Leechbook, a 10th century Old English manuscript. The potion was to be brewed in a brass vessel, strained for purification, and left to sit for nine days before being directly applied to the infection.The scientists followed the instructions, making four batches to test on artificial infected wounds. First they tested each of the ingredients separately on the wounds, with little to no effect. But when they mixed the ingredients together, they discovered that 90 percent of the bacteria died.
Secondly, the researchers tried diluting the potion before applying it to wounds to see how much would be needed to treat an infection. They found that diluting it until it was unable to kill the bacteria disrupted communication between bacteria cells, an important discovery because bacteria cells need to communicate with each other in order to destroy tissue.
This concoction was developed well before the modern understanding of germ theory, which suggests there was a systemic approach to developing medicine even then.
Future research will look at other ancient remedies to test their effectiveness on modern medical conditions.
Failed cancer drug restores memory in mice
A study at the Yale School of Medicine that tested a cancer drug on mice with Alzheimer’s has shown promise in restoring memory and connections between brain cells.
The drug had proven ineffective in treating solid cancer tumors, but when used in the research at Yale, it showed promise in blocking brain damage caused by the formation of amyloid-beta plaques, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. The drug was able to restore brain connections and reduce inflammation, and the memory of the mice that was lost during the progression of the disease, returned.
The study was funded by a National Institutes of Health program to test failed drugs on different diseases. The next step will be to conduct trials to see how effective the drug may be in treating humans with Alzheimer’s.
1st batch of Coca-Cola: March 29,1886
Working over a three-legged brass kettle in his backyard in Atlanta, Georgia, a pharmacist named John Pemberton stirs up a carbonated syrup concoction. His invention is a soda drink, but one that he thinks has curative powers–a “brain tonic” that can ease headaches and calm nerves.
It’s not Pemberton’s first attempt at creating flavorful medicine. Previously, he had mixed wine and coca leaves, resulting in a kind of cocaine cocktail he called “Pemberton’s French Wine Coca.” He had described it as being beneficial to “clergymen, lawyers, literary men, bankers, ladies, and all whose sedentary employment causes nervous prostration, irregularities of the stomach, bowels and kidneys who require a nerve tonic and a pure, delightful diffusable stimulant.”
It had been a big hit at the pharmacy where he worked, but when Atlanta banned alcohol, he had to come up with a non-alcoholic version. The result was the beverage that his bookkeeper suggested they call Coca-Cola after its two main ingredients–coca leaves and kola nuts, which added caffeine. A little more than a month later, on May 8, the first glass of Coca-Cola was sold at Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta for five cents.
In addition to relieving headaches and bad nerves, Pemberton hoped his drink would help fight morphine addiction. Pemberton had been slashed across his chest with a sword when he had been a Confederate Army officer, and like many wounded Civil War veterans, he had become addicted to morphine.
His Coca-Cola was not quite as popular as his wine drink had been–about nine servings were sold each day. Through the rest of 1886, it generated a total of $50 in sales.
The next year Pemberton sold his secret formula to an Atlanta businessman named Ada Candler for a little more than $2,000. When Pemberton died a year later, he had no idea how famous his drink will become.
Within a few years, Candler, a marketing genius, was promoting the soda wherever he could–it’s now-famous script logo could be seen on signs, calendars, clocks, fans, urns, cabinets and newspapers all over town. In 1889, more than 60,000 drinks were sold. While it was promoted mainly as a “delicious and refreshing” soft drink, Candler was also able get doctors to recommend Coca-Cola for mental and physical exhaustion, headaches and depression. Within 10 years, he turned it into a national brand.
Early in the 20th century, the coca leaves were taken out of the formula. The caffeine remained.
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