Your taste for coffee may be in your genes. An analysis of genetic data and coffee drinking habits on more than 1,200 Italians revealed that individuals with a gene variant called PDSS2 drank one less cup of coffee per day on average than those without the gene variation. Researchers say that PDSS2 reduces a cell’s ability to break down caffeine, which means caffeine stays in the body longer. The study adds to existing research that suggests our drive to drink coffee may be embedded in our genes. Scientific Reports, August 2016
Improper contact lens use can lead to serious eye damage.
Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed nearly 1,100 cases of eye infections related to contact lens use and found that nearly 1 in 5 patients had either a scarred cornea, required a corneal transplant, or had other types of eye damage due to infection. Furthermore, over 10% of the patients had to go to the emergency room or urgent care for immediate treatment. Examples of unsafe use of contact lenses include: wearing contacts overnight, failing to clean and replace lens solution frequently, and getting contact lenses wet while swimming or in the shower. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly, August 2016
Swimming benefits those with fibromyalgia.
fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness in localized areas. A new study indicates that swimming may be more effective than walking for relieving pain and improving quality of life among patients with the condition. The study involved 75 sedentary women who had fibromyalgia who either practiced freestyle swimming or performed moderate open-air walking 3 times a week for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, pain levels fell significantly among both groups, but the swimmers experienced greater improvements. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, August 2016
Looking for more energy?
Making nutritious and healthy food choices can help you power through the busiest days. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests the following to improve your diet: eat every three to four hours to boost metabolism and to keep from becoming too hungry; watch portion sizes and avoid overeating; eat a balanced diet that includes lean proteins, whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and healthy fats; avoid foods such as sodas, energy drinks, and coffee loaded with sugar that can make energy levels sag; and drink plenty of fluids, such water or tea without sugar. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, August 2016
Daylight may counter screen time effects on sleep.
Past research suggests that evening exposure to blue light from smartphones, tablets, and computers can reduce sleep quality. Now, a new study claims that exposure to bright daytime light may reduce the sleep-disrupting effects of too much screen time. In the study, researchers evaluated how evening use of a tablet computer affected 14 young people who had been exposed to bright light during the day and found that use of a tablet for 2 hours resulted in no changes in sleep quality. The findings suggest that daytime exposure to bright light through outdoor activities may help reduce sleep disruptions caused by blue light exposure. Sleep Medicine, August 2016
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