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Delayed reporting of concussions may lead to prolonged post-concussion symptoms

According to a study published in this month’s Journal of Athletic Training, athletes who wait to report a concussion may experience prolonged recovery times. Researchers determined that athletes who delay post-concussion treatment missed close to one more week of activity than those who received immediate treatment. Athletes who do not receive immediate treatment are at risk for further damage to the brain and will most likely take much longer to recover. Previous research has also supported...Read more

DHA helps improve kidney cancer therapy according to new study

According to a new study published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, researchers demonstrate that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) helps reduce renal cell carcinoma invasiveness, growth rate, and blood vessel growth when combined with the anti-cancer therapy regorafenib.  Regorafenib is one of a new generation of anti-cancer therapies that attack tyrosine kinases. Unfortunately, kidney cancers mutate to resist these therapies. However, DHA metabolites called...Read more

Study demonstrates nutritional supplements improve efficacy of antidepressants

According to an evidence review published earlier this week in the American Journal of Psychiatry, researchers confirmed that certain nutritional supplements can increase the efficacy of antidepressants for individuals with clinical depression. Researchers at Harvard and the University of Melbourne examined 40 clinical trials along with a systematic review of the evidence for nutrient supplements that are used as adjuncts to help with clinical depression. As a result, fish oil, SAMe,...Read more

New study finds vitamin D improves heart function

According to a new study published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers demonstrated that vitamin D improves heart function in patients with chronic heart failure. Heart failure affects more than 23 million people worldwide. This statistic emphasizes the significance of this new study because it presents the first evidence that vitamin D supplementation can improve heart function of people with heart failure. The findings could make a meaningful difference in...Read more

New study shows higher doses of omega 3 fatty acids, specifically EPA, are beneficial for depression

Depression is a major cause of disease burden worldwide, affecting approximately 350 million people. For quite some time now, fish oil supplementation has been a recommended adjunct for helping with major depressive disorder (MDD). According to a new meta-analysis published two weeks ago in Translational Psychiatry, researchers have further confirmed the link between intake of omega-3 fatty acids and the reduction in major depressive disorder. This meta-analysis consisted of 13...Read more

New study reveals individuals with metabolic syndrome may require more vitamin E

New research published just two days ago in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that approximately one-third of Americans who have metabolic syndrome do not absorb dietary vitamin E as effectively as healthy individuals. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that is essential to overall health. It is estimated that 35% of Americans have metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by having at least three of the following traits: excess abdominal fat, elevated blood pressure, low...Read more

Chemical exposure may be linked to rising rates in diabetes and obesity

According to a statement issued three days ago by the Endocrine Society, their summary links endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure to two of our biggest public health risks, diabetes and obesity. This news builds upon the Endocrine Society’s 2009 report, which examined the scientific evidence on endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and the health risks associated with them. Since 2009, additional research has demonstrated that exposure to EDCs is associated with an increased risk of diabetes...Read more

Low vitamin D associated with age-related cognitive decline and dementia

In a new study published earlier this month in JAMA Neurology, researchers demonstrated a significant association between vitamin D insufficiency and cognitive decline that is specifically seen in Alzheimer's disease and dementia. The results reinforce the importance of identifying vitamin D insufficiency among the elderly. Here, low vitamin D levels were associated with significantly faster rates of decline in memory and executive function performance. This study included approximately...Read more

Resveratrol helps to stabilize Alzheimer's disease biomarker

A new study published last week in the journal Neurology demonstrated that long-term, high-dose resveratrol stabilized amyloid-beta40 (Abeta40) in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. This biomarker declines when the disease progresses. Even though this is a single, small study, it is the largest and longest nationwide human clinical trial of high-dose resveratrol to date. The clinical trial was a randomized, phase II, placebo-controlled, double blind study in patients with mild...Read more

New study finds high prevalence of pre-diabetes and diabetes in the U.S.

According to a new study published in JAMA just three days ago, the increasing prevalence of diabetes may be leveling off. That being said, in 2011 through 2012, the estimated prevalence of diabetes among U.S. adults was 14% and the prevalence of pre-diabetes was 38%, which means about half of the U.S. adult population has either diabetes or pre-diabetes. Diabetes is a major cause of illness and death and is still a significant problem in the U.S. The healthcare costs associated with diabetes...Read more

Vitamin D and its role in macular degeneration

Vitamin D has been extensively researched for its benefits in bone health, cancer, inflammation, and the immune system. A new study published in JAMA Ophthalmology last week found that vitamin D may be a critical player in eye health in the prevention of age-related macular degeneration, specifically among women who are genetically susceptible. This may have to do with its role in inflammation, which is believed to be involved in the development of macular degeneration. Macular...Read more

Are you allergic to the fruits and vegetables you eat? You may actually be reacting to the antibiotic residues in the food.

A recent article published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology discusses a case of a 10 year-old girl who had an anaphylactic reaction after eating blueberry pie. She had a history of asthma and seasonal allergies, and known allergies to penicillin and cow's milk, but she was not aware of being allergic to any of the ingredients in the pie. After much testing, it was discovered that the reaction was caused by streptomycin-contaminated blueberry. Streptomycin is a well-known antibiotic,...Read more

Green tea polyphenols protect spinal cord neurons against oxidative stress

Green tea polyphenols are a potential new aid for the recovery and regeneration of neurons after spinal cord injury. Several factors contribute to pathological changes secondary to spinal cord injury, with oxidative stress having a very important role. The formation of reaction oxygen species is the basic response to disease and trauma that contributes significantly to the injury. As a result, oxidative stress and inflammation cause the death of neurons and are the main processes leading to...Read more

Can probiotics help prevent obesity?

In a recent study, researchers at Vanderbilt tested a bacteria that can produce a “therapeutic compound” in the gut. The results showed that it stopped weight gain, insulin resistance and other health complications.  Past research has demonstrated that gut bacteria plays a role in the development of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.  According to Sean Davis, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology at Vanderbilt, “The types of bacteria you have in your gut influence your...Read more

Is niacin safe?

There has been some recent negative news about niacin based on the HPS2-THRIVE study, and now we see it again, this time in the New England Journal of Medicine.  Let’s take a closer look at all of this.  First, in the recent HPS2-THRIVE study, which examined an investigational drug from Merck, the researchers state that niacin does not provide any benefits. The drug they looked at is a combination of extended-release niacin and laropiprant, a drug which partially blocks the flushing...Read more

Examining immune-related disorders and microbial balance

It has become increasingly clear that many diseases are triggered or influenced by changes in bacterial populations in the gut. The general view up until now has been that bacteria stimulate the immune system, which leads to inflammation or autoimmune diseases. In a recent study published in Immunity, researchers have painted a more complex picture. The immune system of the gastrointestinal tract not only prevents the invasion of pathogens, but it is more actively involved in the balance...Read more

The human gut has only a limited ability to convert folic acid to 5-MTHF.

There has been a lot of press on the link between MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) gene mutations and chronic disease. This has resulted in a great deal of concern with the particular form of folate that doctors are giving to their patients. As Director of Clinical and Product Support here at Designs for Health, I personally speak to approximately five doctors a day about this very topic. According to a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the human gut appears...Read more

Bright screens at night impact sleep of teens

Posted on Fri, Aug 28, 2015 @ 09:13 AM

sleepA new study published this week is just in time, as teenagers head back to school. These days, teens are spending extended periods of time on their computers and smartphones. The light from these bright screens – particularly blue light – is very effective at preventing the release of melatonin. The pineal gland normally releases melatonin a few hours before bed but if there is enough blue light exposed to the eye, the gland can stop releasing melatonin. As a result, it takes longer to fall asleep, and there is reduced evening sleepiness, a postponed circadian clock, and reduced next-morning alertness. 

Melatonin is necessary for the circadian regulation of sleep. Light exposure at night can prevent anyone from falling asleep, but new research from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism discovered that children ages 9 to 15 in the earlier stages of puberty were especially sensitive to light at night, compared to older teens. According to the research team, an hour of nighttime light exposure suppressed their production of melatonin significantly more than the same light exposure did for teens ages 11 to 16 who were farther into puberty.

As you would think, the brighter the light, the more melatonin was suppressed. However, small amounts of light at night can still be enough to affect sleep patterns. Students using tablets and computers or watching TV are pushing back their circadian clocks. This makes it much harder to fall sleep. One study found that 96% of teens use at least one form of technology within an hour before bed. This also includes those light-emitting e-readers.

Suppression of melatonin by light at night resulting in circadian disruption has been associated with sleep disturbances, increased risk of obesity and diabetes, as well as an increased risk for other serious diseases. The use of these light-emitting devices before bedtime can have a powerful effect on the body's natural sleep-wake cycle and may play a role in perpetuating sleep deficiencies.

So, as young teenagers start their new school year there are a variety of things to keep in mind in order to help them get a good night’s sleep. Teens – and their parents – should limit the use of screens at bedtime. In addition, it is important to go to sleep around the same time every night. When the timing of sleep is shifted, even if the duration of sleep is the same, it's not going to be as restorative. TV watching and the use of computers should be avoided before bed. Computer screens (smartphones and laptops) emit light in the blue part of the spectrum. This doesn't cause a problem during the daytime, but at night, this blue light (short-wavelength) limits the production of melatonin. As a result, it disturbs your sleep-wake cycle. If you are one of those people who need to be on the computer at night, there are free apps you can install that adjusts colors in a way that reduces the stimulating effects of blue light at night. 

Also, as the late night study sessions will be commencing soon, it would be mindful to steer teenagers away from caffeine and other energy drinks four to six hours before bedtime. And for the teens who play sports or for those who simply exercise to stay lean and healthy, their workouts should be done earlier in the day and not in the evening hours. Exercise increases cortisol and can make it difficult to fall asleep.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN

 

Related DFH Products- Insomnitol™ Insomnitol™ Chewables Melatonin Melatonin SRT™

 

Source: Stephanie J. Crowley, Sean W. Cain, Angus C. Burns, Christine Acebo, Mary A. CarskadonIncreased sensitivity of the circadian system to light in early/mid puberty. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2015; jc.2015-2775 DOI: 10.1210/jc.2015-2775

 

 

 

Tags: Sleep, melatonin

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