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Food additive in fried foods, frozen meat weakens immune system, worsens flu

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A common food additive found in many products, including frozen meat, crackers and fried foods, could weaken the human immune system against flu, which accounts for 290,000-650,000 deaths globally every year, say researchers.

Besides increasing the severity of flu symptoms, the study found exposure to the compound — tert-butylhydroquinone (tBHQ) — could reduce effectiveness of flu vaccine through its effects on T cells, a vital component of the immune system.

During the study, mice fed tBHQ-spiked diet were slower to activate both helper T cells and killer T cells, causing slower clearance of the virus.
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“Our studies showed mice on a tBHQ diet had a weakened immune response to influenza (flu) infection,” said Robert Freeborn, postdoctoral candidate at the Michigan State University.

“In our mouse model, tBHQ suppressed function of helper and killer T cells. It led to more severe symptoms during a subsequent influenza infection,” Freeborn said.

When the mice were re-infected with a different but related strain of influenza, those on the tBHQ diet had a longer illness and lost more weight. This suggests that tBHQ impaired the “memory response” that typically primes the immune system to fight a second infection, Freeborn said.

tBHQ is an additive used to prevent spoilage, with a maximum allowed concentration of 200 parts per million in food products.
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Since tBHQ is not always listed on ingredient labels, the best way to limit tBHQ exposure is to be conscious about food choices. A low-fat diet and less consumption of processed snacks will help reduce tBHQ consumption, he suggested.

Annual flu shot significantly reduces the length and severity of the illness and prevents influenza infection.

The study will be presented at the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics annual meeting in Orlando.

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Limiting exposure of smartphones can solve sleep problem!

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Smartphones, Tablets, Computers, Sleep problem, Fatigue, Concentration, Bad mood, Teenagers, Health news, Lifestyle news

London: Limiting evening exposure to blue-light emitting screens on smartphones, tablets and computers can reverse sleep problems and reduce symptoms of fatigue, lack of concentration and bad mood in teenagers, after just one week, says a study.

 

Smartphones, Tablets, Computers, Sleep problem, Fatigue, Concentration, Bad mood, Teenagers, Health news, Lifestyle news

 

The researchers found that those who had more than four hours per day of screen time had on average 30 minutes later sleep onset and wake up times than those who recorded less than one hour per day of screen time, as well as more symptoms of sleep loss.

“Adolescents increasingly spend more time on devices with screens and sleep complaints are frequent in this age group,” said study co-author Dirk Jan Stenvers from Amsterdam UMC hospital in the Netherlands.

 

Smartphones, Tablets, Computers, Sleep problem, Fatigue, Concentration, Bad mood, Teenagers, Health news, Lifestyle news

 

Recent studies have indicated that exposure to too much evening blue light emitted from devices can affect the brain’s clock and the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, resulting in disrupted sleep time and quality.

The lack of sleep does not just cause immediate symptoms of tiredness and poor concentration but can also increase the risk of more serious long-term health issues such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

 

Limiting phone use can reverse sleep problems in few week!

 

“Here we show very simply that these sleep complaints can be easily reversed by minimising evening screen use or exposure to blue light. Based on our data, it is likely that adolescent sleep complaints and delayed sleep onset are at least partly mediated by blue light from screens,” Stenvers added.

 

Smartphones, Tablets, Computers, Sleep problem, Fatigue, Concentration, Bad mood, Teenagers, Health news, Lifestyle news

 

For the study, the researchers conducted a randomised controlled trial among a small group of smartphone users to assess the effects of blocking blue light with glasses and no screen time during the evening on the sleep pattern.

Both blocking blue light with glasses and screen abstinence resulted in sleep onset and wake up times occurring 20 minutes earlier, and a reduction in reported symptoms of sleep loss in participants, after just one week.

 

Smartphones, Tablets, Computers, Sleep problem, Fatigue, Concentration, Bad mood, Teenagers, Health news, Lifestyle news

 

The findings were presented at the European Society of Endocrinology annual meeting, ECE 2019 in Lyon, France.

 

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