Rabu, 25 September 2013

The Star Online: Lifestyle: Health

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The Star Online: Lifestyle: Health

Porn addiction changes the brain


New research from Cambridge University finds that porn addiction may alter the brain in similar ways to alcohol or drug addiction.

A NEW British study finds that addiction to pornography leads to similar brain activity patterns found in alcohol and drug addicts.

Researchers from Cambridge University found that MRI scans of 19 addicted pornography users showed that the reward centres of the brain reacted to explicit images in a similar way that an alcoholic might respond to liquor or beer advertisements.

"We found greater activity in an area of the brain called the ventral striatum, which is a reward centre, involved in processing reward, motivation and pleasure," lead scientist Dr Valerie Voon told the Sunday Times in the UK.

"When an alcoholic sees an ad for a drink, their brain will light up in a certain way and they will be stimulated in a certain way. We are seeing this same kind of activity in users of pornography."

Preliminary findings in a separate study from the University of Sydney find that porn addiction is on the rise, due to the ease of access via the internet and other new technologies, researchers say. – AFP Relaxnews

Quitting smoking may improve your sleep


A new US study finds that smoking may disrupt quality sleep.

A NEW US study offers fresh incentive to kick the nicotine habit: quitting smoking can improve your sleep, researchers say.

Researchers from the University of Florida and Research Triangle Park looked at the association between sleep and smoking in a sample of nearly 5,000 US adults.

They found that nearly 12% of current smokers have trouble falling asleep, almost 11% wake in the night and 9.5% wake too early in the morning.

The figures for non-smokers were much lower, and researchers saw that for those who gave up smoking, their sleep improved significantly.

Findings, announced last week, appeared online in the journal Psychology, Health & Medicine.

Prior research has also found that smokers may get fewer hours of sleep and have less restful slumber than non-smokers, according to a German study published last year in the journal Addiction Biology. In the survey of nearly 1,100 smokers, 17% said that they slept fewer than six hours a night, while 28% reported "disturbed" sleep quality. – AFP Relaxnews

A healthy BMI during pregnancy leads to fewer complications


Pregnant women who have a healthy BMI were found to have fewer complications in a large-scale Scottish study.

A LARGE-SCALE new Scottish study finds that being at a healthy body mass index (BMI) during pregnancy is best when it comes to avoiding complications.

Findings showed that women with a BMI that was too high or too low were at increased risk for complications. Published last week online in BJOG: An International Journal Of Obstetrics And Gynaecology, the study involved data from nearly 110,000 pregnant women in Scotland.

"Longer-term benefits of reducing maternal obesity will show improvements, not only in the health outcomes of mothers and their babies, but the workload and cost to current maternity services," said study co-author Dr Fiona Denison of Queens's Medical Research Institute in Edinburgh.

In the study, pregnant women were divided into five groups based on BMI. Compared to normal-weight (a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9) women, those in other weight categories – both underweight and overweight – had more complications and longer hospitalisations after birth.

Severely obese women (a BMI higher than 35) had a three-fold increased risk of hypertension and gestational diabetes compared to normal women, the findings showed.

Underweight women (a BMI less than 18.5) had an 8% increased risk for hospital admission, while overweight (a BMI of 25-29.9), obese (a BMI of 30-35) and severely obese women's risk grew substantially more – 16%, 45%, and 88% respectively. – AFP Relaxnews

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