Oral contraceptives, even if widely used, may leave unwanted and adverse health impacts in the long run. A recent study that featured in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience suggested that women who use oral contraceptives are less able to recognize facial expressions of complex emotions. Titled Oral Contraceptives Impair Complex Emotion Recognition in Healthy Women, the study stated, “Despite the widespread use of oral contraceptives (OCs), remarkably little is known about the effects of OCs on emotion, cognition, and behaviour. However, coincidental findings suggest that OCs impair the ability to recognize others’ emotional expressions, which may have serious consequences in interpersonal contexts.”
To further investigate the effects of oral contraceptives on emotion and recognition in women, the researchers tried to investigate whether women taking oral contraceptives were less accurate in the recognition of complex emotional expressions than women who were not using oral contraceptives.
For the purpose of the study, the team of researchers asked two groups of women to participate in an emotion-recognition task. The first group consisted of 42 healthy women who were on oral contraceptives, while the second group comprised of 53 healthy women who were not on the pill.
Alexander Lischke, a researcher in the Department of Physiological and Clinical Psychology/Psychotherapy at the University of Greifswald in Germany, and the senior author of the study explained, “If oral contraceptives caused dramatic impairments in women’s emotion recognition [as hypothesized]. We would have probably noticed this in our everyday interactions with our partners. We assumed that these impairments would be very subtle, indicating that we had to test women’s emotion recognition with a task that was sensitive enough to detect such impairments. We, thus, used a very challenging emotion recognition task that required the recognition of complex emotional expressions from the eye region of faces.” “Such emotional expressions included contempt and pride, which are more complex than the expressions of simpler emotions, such as fear or happiness”.
After analysis, it was found that even if both the groups were equally good at recognising easy expressions, the group of people on oral contraceptives were less likely to identify difficult expressions correctly. On a more specific note, women who took the pill were 10 percent less accurate in their emotion recognition than women who did not take the pill.
As reported in Medical News, Lischke stated, “Cyclic variations of estrogen and progesterone levels are known to affect women’s emotion recognition and influence activity and connections in associated brain regions. Since oral contraceptives work by suppressing estrogen and progesterone levels, it makes sense that oral contraceptives also affect women’s emotion recognition. However, the exact mechanism underlying oral contraceptive-induced changes in women’s emotion recognition remains to be elucidated.”
6 Warning Signs of Protein Deficiency
The list containing all the roles and functions of protein can be a really long one. This nutrient is necessary for building and repairing muscles and other tissues in the body such as the blood, cartilages, bones and skin. It is also important for the production of hormones or chemicals that regulate an assortment of bodily processes. Without sufficient amounts of protein in the diet or even in supplement form, it can be hard for anyone to attain optimal health.
It doesn’t come as a surprise why a lot of vegans, weight-watchers and others who are on restrictive diets to suffer from the various symptoms of protein deficiency.
By consuming foods that contain little or no protein, the body has no choice but to utilize protein that’s already in it, causing wasting of the tissues where protein is stored, such as in the muscles.
These are some of the warning signs you will observe if you are suffering from protein deficiency:
This is not caused by excess fat as you might suspect, but by the inflammation of the salivary glands. This condition usually takes place if there’s an ongoing protein-carbohydrate imbalance within you.
Edema is the reason for this, a condition wherein excessive fluid collect in the tissues. This happens because protein is one of the various components that factor in your body’s fluid balance.
Again, this has something to do with the pooling of water in the tissues, known in the medical world as edema. There’s an assortment of health conditions that lead to edema, and one of them is protein deficiency.
This condition may be brought about by a handful of things. One of them is not having enough protein in the diet. This doesn’t really come as a surprise as your hair is mostly made up of protein.
Excessive skin dryness
Not getting enough protein can cause the skin to end up really dry and flaky, and even develop rashes. Protein deficiency makes you more prone to getting sunburned too.
Lethargy or brain fog
Your energy and cognitive functioning are also affected when protein deficiency strikes. As mentioned earlier, protein is vital for the normal production of hormones. Some of these hormones have something to do with stress, energy production and mental alertness.
To avoid these problems, it’s important to get sufficient amounts of protein daily. There is a simple formula for calculating how much protein you need to consume everyday: your weight in pounds / 2 = daily protein requirement in grams.
Common protein form linked to cardiac, metabolic diseases: Study
A form of protein, clusterin, has been associated with many different facets of cardiometabolic syndrome risk through its actions in the liver, suggests a new research study.
In addition, it is linked to increased cardiovascular disease risk and mortality, high blood pressure, harmful cholesterol levels and fatty liver disease.
Cardiometabolic syndrome (CMS) is a cluster of conditions that increase a person’s risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. These conditions include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.
“Our goal was to discover new factors produced by the cells in fat tissue that have an impact on cardiometabolic disease.
In particular, we wanted to identify those important to maintaining the framework of fat tissue, called the extracellular matrix, which becomes dysfunctional in obesity,” said David Bradley, Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University in the US.For the study, the team included a small group of 54 obese and 18 lean patients.
The findings, published in the journal, Diabetes Care, showed that clusterin, which is overproduced from the fat cells of obese patients, is strongly related to insulin resistance, said the study.
Insulin resistance is a major cause of Type-2 Diabetes, and patients with obesity commonly have both metabolic and cardiovascular complications. “Fat cells increase clusterin production as they enlarge in obesity.
Clusterin may be a biomarker of disease, as well as a therapeutic target to potentially prevent this disease,” said lead researcher Willa Hsueh, Professor at the varsity. “This collaborative research is shedding new light on the importance of clusterin on ‘cardiometabolic syndrome’, which may eventually lead to developing new treatments for this life-threatening combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity,” said K. Craig Kent, dean at the varsity.
CMS, which affects about 25 per cent of the world’s population, is now recognised as a disease entity by the World Health Organization and the American Society of Endocrinology. Further translational research involving mouse models is needed to learn more about how clusterin impacts each of the CMS components and whether administrating clusterin-inhibiting antibodies inhibits CMS, the study noted.
Drinking orange juice daily may keep strokes at bay
Drinking orange juice daily may cut your risk of deadly strokes by almost a quarter, suggests a study. The study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, showed that people who consumed the juice each day saw a reduction in the risk of a brain clot by 24 per cent, the Daily Mail reported.
Further, the rates of heart disease were also reduced in regular drinkers, who were 12 to 13 per cent less likely to suffer with damaged arteries.Fresh fruit juices have long been thought of as healthy.
But consumers in recent years have been put off by warnings over their high sugar content.Advertise With Us The researchers noted that the health benefits in terms of stroke prevention could outweigh the risks from sugar content. “We found a favourable association with pure fruit juice consumption,” said researchers from the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health.
It’s not just orange juice that has this benefit, other fruit juices also appear to cut the risk, they noted. Juice is thought to contain many of the naturally-occurring plant substances found in whole fruit that can protect blood vessels against disease. However, the team said despite the obvious benefits of juice, they would still recommend eating whole fruit as well, as there are more studies confirming its benefits. For the study, the team examined nearly 35,000 men and women aged between 20 and 70 years.