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How binge drinking affects male, female brains?

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While binge drinking affects the health of both males and females, the effect of gene expression in an area of the brain linked to addiction was found to be different, finds a new study.
Repeated binge drinking was found to significantly alter molecular pathways in the nucleus accumbens — a region of the brain linked to addiction.
But, in females, the genes linked to hormone signalling and immune function are altered, whereas in males genes related to nerve signalling are affected.
The study has significant implications for the treatment of alcohol use disorder as they emphasise the importance of tailoring effective therapies towards male and female patients, said researchers led by Deborah Finn, Professor at Oregon Health and Science University.
Repeated binge drinking can be a risk factor for the development of alcohol dependence.
For the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Genetics, the team analysed gene expression in nucleus accumbens.
“We examined the effect of repeated binge drinking on the expression of 384 genes previously identified as important in addiction and mood disorders,” Finn said.
Of a total of 106 genes regulated by binge drinking, only 14 were regulated in both males and females, representing common targets to binge drinking. Interestingly, only 4 of these 14 genes were regulated in the same direction and the top 30 genes regulated by binge drinking in each sex differed markedly.
“We have shown that pharmacologically manipulating a pathway in both sexes that only was affected by binge drinking in males did not decrease binge drinking in females; binge drinking was only decreased in males,” Finn explained.
She noted that a consideration of sex is critical in the development of potential pharmacological therapies for the treatment of alcohol use disorder.


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Health

How eating veggies, fish can keep your heart healthy, lower heart disease risk

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Your diet should be high in fresh vegetables, fish, and seafood in order to keep your heart at its healthiest.

If you are suffering from high blood pressure, consuming fish, seafood and a primarily vegetarian diet may help reduce hypertension-related heart disease symptoms, a study suggests.

Intake of fish, seafood and vegetarian food increases levels of a compound called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), known to boost heart health, said researchers from the Medical University of Warsaw in Poland. The study showed that low-dose treatment with TMAO reduced heart thickening (cardiac fibrosis) and markers of heart failure in an animal model of hypertension. “Our study provides new evidence for a potential beneficial effect of a moderate increase in plasma TMAO on pressure-overloaded heart,” the researchers said.

For the study, published in the American Journal of Physiology – Heart and Circulatory Physiology, researchers analysed the effect of TMAO on rats, which have a genetic tendency to develop high blood pressure. One group of hypertensive rats were given low-dose TMAO supplements in their drinking water, and another group received plain water. They were given the TMAO therapy for either 12 weeks or 56 weeks and were assessed for heart and kidney damage as well as high blood pressure.

It seems that a fish-rich and vegetarian diet, is associated with a significantly higher plasma TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide) than red meat-and egg-rich diets, considered to increase the cardiovascular risk.

The results showed that TMAO treatment did not affect the development of high blood pressure in any of the spontaneously hypertensive rats. However, condition of the animals given the compound was better than expected, even after more than a year of low-dose TMAO treatment. In addition, four- to five-fold increase in plasma TMAO does not exert negative effects on the circulatory system. This is in contrast to the previous research that showed TMAO blood plasma levels — and heart disease risk — rise after the consumption of red meat and eggs, the researchers said.

“It seems that a fish-rich and vegetarian diet, is associated with a significantly higher plasma TMAO than red meat-and egg-rich diets, considered to increase the cardiovascular risk,” the researchers noted.

“However, further study is needed to assess the effect of TMAO and TMA on the circulatory system.”

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Health

5 skin care rules for men this winter

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Men nowadays have become equally conscious and cognisant of their skin. However, it is important to take steps wisely. Karan Gupta, Director and Men’s Grooming Expert of Qraa Men, and Dilip Kundlia, Director and Skin Care Expert at Oshea Herbals, have shared tips for men to look prim and proper in winter.

* Never step out of your house before applying sunscreen on your skin. Sunscreen is an essential product and something most men often tend to ignore and neglect.

Therefore, men must incorporate sunscreens that have high moisture content in them to have dual benefits on their skin.

* Men are usually very protective and insecure about their beard and take exceptional care of it. The beard of a man enhances his mystique thereby making him look more attractive and charismatic. Beard vitalizers, beard conditioning spa and beard oils shall be their saviour this winter.

* It is time to get into some serious skin care business and indulge in some charcoal face washes, scrubs and face packs. The presence of activated charcoal sucks out the impurities and detoxifies the skin while soothing it.

* For your skin to be smooth and supple throughout the winters, go in for handmade cleansing bars which are rich in shea butter, neem extracts, blackberry extracts, charcoal and papaya. These handmade bars reinstate the natural moisture content in the skin.

* For healthy skin, it is important to give up on all the bad habits like drinking and smoking. Such habits have a direct impression and control over looks of a person. Instead, start drinking more water to stay hydrated.

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Social jet lag and it’s dangerous consequences

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Results show that Social Jet lag which occurs when you go to bed and wake up later on weekends than during the week, is associated with poorer health worse mood and increased sleepiness and fatigue. Each hour of Social Jet Lag also is associated with an 11 percent increase in the likelihood of heart disease. These effects are independent of sleep duration and insomnia symptoms, which are related to both Social Jet Lag and health.

We know that sleep deprivation has consequences such as poorer performance and furthermore we know that chronic Social Jet Lag leads to unhealthy patterns of Nicotine, Caffeine, and alcohol consumption and to an increased BMI.

In this project we are seeking to understand how can we adjust the biological clock do that it is closer to the Social one. If we push the internal clock to an earlier time then the mismatch will be less. Leading to less sleep deprivation. We are implementing new devices of data collection and are using light and the timing of light exposures as our main tools for shifting internal time.

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