Diet, in addition to alcohol consumption, may play important role in liver problems

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A new study finds that mice bred to consume high amounts of alcohol, but controlled by diet, did not necessarily develop the most severe liver injuries, suggesting that diet may pay an important role in liver injury development. Alcoholic liver disease is a global health burden and refers to a disease spectrum ranging from hepatomegaly and simple fatty liver (hepatic steatosis), to more severe pathologies such as alcoholic steatohepatitis and hepatic cirrhosis. In the United States about half of the population drinks alcohol and approximately 38 million people are estimated to engage in binge drinking behavior.

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Different sugars, different risks to your liver

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Studies in mice show that fructose plays a more damaging role than glucose in fatty liver disease. Mice on a fatty diet who were given high levels of fructose in their diet suffered much worse metabolic effects than those given similar calories of glucose. The scientists went on to pinpoint biological processes that help to explain the different outcomes. Although fatty liver disease usually does not progress to dangerous levels of liver inflammation, the condition is an increasing concern as its rates climb in the worldwide obesity epidemic.

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Too much sugar? Even ‘healthy people’ are at risk of developing heart disease

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Healthy people who consume high levels of sugar are at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. A ground-breaking study from the University of Surrey found that a subject group of otherwise healthy men had increased levels of fat in their blood and fat stored in their livers after they had consumed a high sugar diet. The study looked at two groups of men with either high or low levels of liver fat, and fed them a high or low sugar diet to find out if the amount of liver fat influences the impact of sugar on their cardiovascular health. The low sugar diet contained no more than 140 calories a day worth of sugar — an amount close to the recommended intake — while the high sugar diet contained 650 calories worth. After 12 weeks on the high sugar diet, the men with a high level of liver fat — a condition known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) — showed changes in their fat metabolism that are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and strokes.

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Obesity gene no barrier to weight loss, study shows

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Diet, exercise and drug-based approaches to losing weight can be widely beneficial, even if some people may have a greater risk of piling on the pounds due to their genetics. In short, your DNA is not a barrier to weight loss. While many genes are believed to affect body weight, a particular version of the so-called FTO gene shows one of the strongest associations with fat gain. Those carrying two copies of the genetic variant – about 16% of the population – are on average 3kg heavier than those without, and 1.7 times more likely to be obese. While it is not known exactly how the genetic variant promotes weight gain, it is believed to increase the appeal of high-calorie foods and reduce the feeling of fullness after a meal. But whether it also affects efforts to shed pounds has been a matter of debate.

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Tackling anxiety issues

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According to a recent report art and craft is helping people tackle their mental health issues. A craft group is bringing people together to help tackle their mental health issues.Debbie and Charlie Seldon, from Devon, started the group after Debbie found that craft helped her manage her anxiety.

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Zika vaccine shows promise in early human trial

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Unlike conventional vaccines, which often use inactivated or killed versions of a virus, the Inovio-GeneOne shot is a synthetic vaccine made by reproducing sections of the Zika virus genome in a lab, and then loading them onto a ring of genetic material called a plasmid.This vaccine is then injected beneath the skin and followed up with a device that generates electrical impulses, creating small pores in cells that allow the DNA to pass into cells.After three doses of the Zika vaccine known as GLS-5700, all 40 healthy volunteers in the study developed Zika-specific antibodies.

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The impact of physical exercise on convergent and divergent thinking

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Anecdotal literature suggests that creative people sometimes use bodily movement to help overcome mental blocks and lack of inspiration. Several studies have shown that physical exercise may sometimes enhance creative thinking, but the evidence is still inconclusive. In this study we investigated whether creativity in convergent- and divergent-thinking tasks is affected by acute moderate and intense physical exercise in athletes (n = 48) and non-athletes (n = 48).

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