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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Gossip Is Good For Health

New Straits Times

Tuesday, 23/06/2009

Gossip's good for health

When women gossip, it actually makes them healthier. Research shows gossiping boosts level of progesterone, a hormone which reduces anxiety and stress. It also plays an important part in social bonding, making women happier

Researchers at the University of Michigan put 160 female students in pair, and half were given questions to ask other designed to bring them closer together

These included "Given the choice of anyone in the world, who would you want as a dinner guest?" and "What has been your greatest accompplishment?" The remaining pairs were asked to proof-read a reserach paper on botany.

After 20 minutes, the students who got to know each other through "chatty" questions saw progesterone levels stay the same or increase. But in the other group, pregesterone declined.

The finding, published the journal Hormones and Behavior, said many of the hormones involved inn bonding and helping behaviour lead to reductions in stress and anxiety. The higher levels of progesterone may be part of the underlying basis of these effects.

Progesterone is produced in the ovaries, and prepares the womb for pregnancy, fights infection and stops the over-production of oestrogen that could raise the risk of cancer.


OBESE children as young as seven have worrying levels of compounds linked to heart disease and heart attacks.

Researches at Nemours Children's Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida found that obese youngsters had up to 10 times the normal amount of a compound that reflects inflammation, and another that helps blood to clot - both known to raise the risk of heart attacks and heart disease in adults.

Obesity is hard to measure in children but paediatricians generally classify a child as obese if he or she is in the 95th percentile of weight for their age.

The researhers studied 202 healthy children, 115 of them obese, and half of them past peberty.

The obese children had high levels of c-reactive protein,associated with inflammation, which is itself linked to heart disease. They also had abnormally high levels of the clotting factor fibrinogen compared to lean children of the sme age and sex.

Reporting the finding at a meating of the Endocrine Society recently, the researchers said none of the children had other symptoms that might point to danger, such as high blood pressure, high blood glucose and high cholesterol known collectively as the metabolic syndrome.

They said doctors often do not treat obesity in children now unless they have other features of the metabolic syndrome and this practice should be reconsidered.


People who engaged in frequent vigorous exercise are at risk of atrial fibrillation, a new study suggests.

Researches at New York university Medical Centre analysed data from 16,921 apparently healty men who participated in the Physicians' Health Study, a prospective investigation started in 1982. During follow up, 1,661 men reported that they developed atrial fibrillation.

Upon futher analysis of the subgroups of vigorous exercisers, the association was only apparent in men younger than 50 years of age and in joggers. Comparing five to seven days of vigorous exercise with no vigorous exercise, the risk of atrial fibrillation was elevated by 74 per cent among joggers.

Atrial fibrillation is a heart rhythm disorder, usually involving a rapid heart rate, in which the upper heart chambers(atria) contract in a disorganised and abnormal manner. This can cause an inefficient amount of blood to be pumped through the heart. Although the condition is usually well-controlled with treatment, atrial fibrillation can lead to fainting, heart failure and stroke.

The researches, writing in the American Journal of Cardiology, said however the study does not prove that vigorous exercise is a dirext cause of atrial fibrillation; plus it is possible that unknown confounding factors were not considered. - Reuters

Source : My Health Portal

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