World of Medicine

Reader's Digest Asia Pacific - - Digest Health News of Medicine -

New Cul­prit Be­hind Tummy Trou­ble

A slower pas­sage of food through the large in­tes­tine seems to in­crease the amount of harm­ful me­tab­o­lites pro­duced along the way, ac­cord­ing to re­search from the Tech­ni­cal Univer­sity of Den­mark. This may raise the risk of prob­lems such as col­orec­tal can­cer and chronic re­nal dis­ease. The signs that your food’s tran­sit time could be slug­gish in­clude in­fre­quent bowel move­ments and ab­dom­i­nal pain. Eat­ing a fi­bre-rich diet, drink­ing lots of wa­ter and ex­er­cis­ing are all ways of speed­ing it up.

The Lim­its of Caf­feine

When 48 sub­jects lim­ited their sleep to five hours a night for five nights, a safe amount of caf­feine (200 mg, roughly equiv­a­lent to two cups of brewed cof­fee, five co­las or one en­ergy drink) im­proved alert­ness on the first two days. How­ever, it made no dif­fer­ence com­pared with a placebo on the re­main­ing three. Rather than re­ly­ing on caf­feine to com­pen­sate for lost shut-eye, re­pay­ing your sleep debt is the best way to re­store health and func­tion.

Cau­tion to Daily Pill Tak­ers

Peo­ple with con­di­tions re­quir­ing a reg­u­lar pill rou­tine some­times ex­pe­ri­ence ad­verse ef­fects when they first try us­ing a pill or­gan­iser, found a study from the Univer­sity of East Anglia in Eng­land. The prob­a­ble cause: if they had been for­get­ting to take their pills be­fore us­ing the or­gan­iser, they may not have been get­ting ex­pected health re­sults, so their doc­tors may have in­creased the amount pre­scribed. Once they con­sume their med­i­ca­tions prop­erly, they may end up with too much medicine in their sys­tems, lead­ing to in­ci­dents such as falls or low blood glu­cose lev­els.

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