Wednesday March 20, 2019

‘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 for healthy body. Pixabay

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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Amazing Fact! Your Genes Determine Your Quality of Sleep

"Our study suggests that many of the genes important for sleep in animal models may also influence sleep in humans and opens the door to better understanding of the function and regulation of sleep," Dashti added.

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This was comparable to other well-recognised factors that influenced sleep duration. Pixabay

Experiencing problems like insomnia or hypersomnia could be genetic, say researchers who identified 76 new gene regions associated with the time a person sleeps.

It is well known that regularly getting adequate sleep — 7 to 8 hours per night — is important for health, and both insufficient sleep — 6 or fewer hours — and excessive sleep — 9 hours or more — have been linked to significant health problems.

Family studies have suggested that 10 to 40 per cent of variation in sleep duration may be inherited, and previous genetic studies have associated variants in two gene regions with the sleep duration.

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“Our study suggests that many of the genes important for sleep in animal models may also influence sleep in humans and opens the door to better understanding of the function and regulation of sleep,” Dashti added. Pixabay

The study from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, US, analysed genetic data from more than 446,000 participants, who self-reported the amount of sleep they typically received.

The study identified 78 gene regions — including the two previously identified — as associated with sleep duration.

While carrying a single gene variant influenced the average amount of sleep by only a minute, participants carrying the largest number of duration-increasing variants reported an average of 22 more minutes of sleep, compared with those with the fewest.

This was comparable to other well-recognised factors that influenced sleep duration.

 

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Family studies have suggested that 10 to 40 per cent of variation in sleep duration may be inherited, and previous genetic studies have associated variants in two gene regions with the sleep duration. Pixabay

“While we spend about a third of our life asleep, we have little knowledge of the specific genes and pathways that regulate the amount of sleep people get,” said Hassan Saeed Dashti from MGH.

“Our study suggests that many of the genes important for sleep in animal models may also influence sleep in humans and opens the door to better understanding of the function and regulation of sleep,” Dashti added.

The study, published in Nature Communications journal, also found shared genetic links between both short and long sleep duration.

Also Read: SpaceX Crew Dragon Capsule Undocks from International Space Station

It also found factors such as higher levels of body fat, depression symptoms and fewer years of schooling, implying negative effects from both too little and too much sleep.

While short sleep duration was genetically linked with insomnia and smoking, long sleep duration was linked with ailments such as schizophrenia, Type-2 diabetes and coronary artery disease. (IANS)