Fitness Factoids: Volume 33
Working Nightshift Increases Risk for Diabetes
If anyone has ever worked, or known someone who has worked nightshift, they know that no matter how much sleep they’re able to get, they never feel quite right. According to a study published by the Journal of Biological Rhythms, nightshift workers are two times more likely to develop diabetes than dayshift workers – even if they switch back to normal sleep patterns. Researchers interviewed over 1,000 workers who had all worked nightshift at some point for varying durations throughout their career. Nightshift workers were found to have higher BMI’s and increased risk for diabetes even if they had worked nightshift for as little as one year.
The Brain Clears Harmful Toxins During Sleep
The importance that a proper night’s sleep can have on our physiques has been well documented. However, new research shows that sleep plays a vital role in our brain health as well. Research funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke determined that while we sleep the brain washes away toxins and harmful proteins that build up during our waking hours. Researchers determined that cerebrospinal fluid increases dramatically during sleep acting as a “dishwater for our brains.” Scientists now believe that this appears to explain the association between sleep disorders and degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Sleeping In on Weekends Doesn’t Cure Sleep Debt
The old saying “there aren’t enough hours in a day” remains true for many of us in our hectic daily lives. In an effort to recoup lost sleep during the week many people sleep in on the weekends hoping to balance out their sleep debt. Researchers from Penn State University College of Medicine found that sleeping in on the weekends does not cure problems associated with sleep restriction during the week. The team placed 30 students on a typical sleep restricted schedule during the week and allowed them extra rest on the weekends while assessing health and performance using various tests. The team found that despite the extra weekend rest participants still had elevated levels of inflammatory marker interleukin-6 (IL-6), elevated cortisol levels, and scored worse on tests used to measure concentration.
Broccoli Protects Against Radiation
Georgetown University Medical Center recently conducted a study in which they isolated a compound found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables to test its protective effect against radiation. The compound known an 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM) had been previously studied as a possible agent for cancer prevention, but this study was the first to test its ability to protect the body from the damaging effects of radiation therapy. Scientists exposed rats to harmful gamma rays and then injected DIM into approximately half of the group while the other half served as the control. Nearly half of the group that received DIM injections lived 30 days after the injections; while all of the animals in the control group died. Scientists hope these findings will lead to a breakthrough in treatment for cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy.
Resveratrol Aids in Cancer Treatment
A study published in the Journal of Surgical Research indicates that resveratrol may be an effective tool for treating a number of cancers. A team of scientists from the University Of Missouri School Of Medicine tested resveratrol’s ability to aid in cancer therapy of radiation resistant melanoma cells. Although resveratrol had similarly been tested on prostate cancer cells, this study was the first to determine its effectiveness in treatment of radiation resistant melanomas. The team found that resveratrol alone resulted in the death of 44% of tumor cells. However, resveratrol in combination with radiation therapy killed an astounding 65% of tumor cells. Scientists believe we are just beginning to understand the versatility of resveratrol in cancer treatment.