Tuesday November 13, 2018

‘Drink Free Days’ May Reduce Cancer Risks Among Middle Aged People: Study

A large global study by Lancet showed that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption, even though the risks associated with one glass a day were small.

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Middle-aged adults must have 'drink-free' days: UK health body. Pixabay
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Concerned over the negative health effects of alcohol intake on middle-aged adults, a new campaign has urged people between the ages of 45 and 65 to have regular “drink-free” days, that can help reduce the chance of cancer and weight gain.

The suggestions from Public Health England (PHE) — a government agency for preventing ill health — are part of a newly launched campaign ‘ Drink Free Days ‘ — a partnership between PHE and the alcohol education charity Drinkaware.

“Having a day off drinking gives you a chance to clean your system and gives your liver a rest. It also has an immediate impact on your sleep and calorie consumption,” Julia Verne, a spokeswoman on liver disease for Public Health England, was quoted as saying by the BBC.

“People have also told us that the idea of a ‘ drink free days ‘ is much easier to manage than cutting down, say, from one large glass of wine to a small glass of wine.”

 

Drink Free Days
Ovarian Reserve in women increases by drinking wine once a week. Pixabay.

 

According to a survey — YouGov poll by PHE and Drinkaware — that examined nearly 9,000 adults aged 18 to 85, one in five were drinking more than the government’s 14 unit-a-week guidelines.

And two-thirds said they would find cutting down on their drinking harder to do than improving their diet, exercising more or reducing their smoking.

Verne said: “Most middle-aged people are not drinking to become drunk. They see it as a social activity, or as a reward for success or compensation for a hard day at work. It has become a habit and part of their lives.

“But the more you drink, the more you increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart and liver disease and cancer,” she said.

“Ultimately you are more likely to cut down if you have some days off drinking,” she added.

drink free days
the more you drink, the more you increase your risk of high blood pressure. Pixabay.

She also pointed out that many people in this demographic were struggling with their weight, and that they did not realise how many calories were contained in alcohol.

Also Read: Teens Drinking Regularly Face Worse Alcohol Problems Than Adults

The researchers urged people to consider that alcohol contains a lot of calories, the report noted.

Recently, a large global study by Lancet showed that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption, even though the risks associated with one glass a day were small. (IANS)

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NASA to Send Organ-on-Chips To Test Human Tissue Health in Space

Called a micro-physiological system, a tissue chip needs three main properties

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NASA to send tissue chips to space to test human health, genetic changes. Flcikr

NASA is planning to send small devices containing human cells in a 3D matrix — known as tissue chips or organs-on-chips — to the International Space Station (ISS) to test how they respond to stress, drugs and genetic changes.

Made of flexible plastic, tissue chips have ports and channels to provide nutrients and oxygen to the cells inside them.

The “Tissue Chips in Space” initiative seeks to better understand the role of microgravity on human health and disease and to translate that understanding to improved human health on Earth, NASA said.

“Spaceflight causes many significant changes in the human body,” said Liz Warren, Associate Program Scientist at the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) in the US.

Kepler, NASA, tissue
This illustration made available by NASA shows the Kepler Space Telescope. As of October 2018, the planet-hunting spacecraft has been in space for nearly a decade. VOA

“We expect tissue chips in space to behave much like an astronaut’s body, experiencing the same kind of rapid change,” Warren said.

The US space agency is planning the investigations in collaboration with CASIS and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes for Health (NIH).

Many of the changes in the human body caused by microgravity resemble the onset and progression of diseases associated with ageing on Earth, such as bone and muscle loss. But the space-related changes occur much faster.

That means scientists may be able to use tissue chips in space to model changes that might take months or years to happen on Earth.

Parkinson's Disease, Kepler, NASA, tissue
A researcher takes a tissue sample from a human brain at the Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s UK Tissue Bank, VOA

This first phase of Tissue Chips in Space includes five investigations. An investigation of immune system ageing is planned for launch on the SpaceX CRS-16 flight, scheduled for this year.

The other four, scheduled to launch on SpaceX CRS-17 or subsequent flights, include lung host defense, the blood-brain barrier, musculoskeletal disease and kidney function.

In addition, four more projects are scheduled for launch in summer 2020, including two on engineered heart tissue to understand cardiovascular health, one on muscle wasting and another on gut inflammation.

Kepler, NASA, tissue
“Detecting life in an agnostic fashion means not using characteristics particular to Earth life,” said Heather Graham at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Pixabay

Also called a micro-physiological system, a tissue chip needs three main properties, according to Lucie Low, scientific programme manager at National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences in the US.

Also Read: NASA’s Ralph Will Explore Jupiter’s Trojan Asteroids in 2021

“It has to be 3D, because humans are 3D,” she explained.

“It must have multiple, different types of cells, because an organ is made up of all kinds of tissue types. And it must have microfluidic channels, because every single tissue in your body has vasculature to bring in blood and nutrients and to take away detritus,” she added. (IANS)