Stressed and struggling to sleep? Beeswax could help

An ingredient found in beeswax and wheat germ oil may reduce stress and induce a sound slumber, according to scientists. 

The chemical – found in a variety of plants including sugar cane and rice bran – was found to decrease levels of a major stress hormone in mice. Experts say the compound, called octacosanol – which is used as a supplement for lowering cholesterol – could now be used as a new therapy for stress-induced insomnia.
They also say it is safe for humans because it is a food-based compound.

Many studies have shown that poor sleep is linked to a host of health problems including increased risk of obesity, depression, heart attacks and strokes.
Insomnia is thought to affect around one in every three people, and is particularly common in elderly people.

A team from the International Institute for Integrative Sleep Medicine at the University of Tsukuba in Japan investigated the effect of octacosanol on sleep regulation in mildly stressed mice.

Daily magnesium supplements 'significantly' reduce blood pressure

Daily magnesium supplements significantly reduce blood pressure, new research reveals.

Taking a 300mg tablet, the recommended dose for males, lowers hypertension and boosts blood flow after just one month, a study review found. Researchers recommend magnesium supplements be considered for people suffering from, or at-risk of, high blood pressure. Yet, other experts argue dietary sources of the mineral, such as leafy greens, bananas and nuts, are sufficient to keep magnesium levels topped up. Excessive levels of the mineral can cause side effects, including diarrhea.

The researchers from Indiana University analyzed 34 studies with a total of 2,028 participants. Results reveal taking a 300mg magnesium supplement every day for one month is enough to significantly lower hypertension and improve blood flow. 

Lead author Dr. Yiging Song said magnesium supplements should be considered for lowering blood pressure in ‘high-risk persons or hypertension patients’.
The findings were published in the journal Hypertension

Source  - Daily Mail

Vegetarian diets can lead to higher risk of heart disease

Vegetarian food has been widely proclaimed to be healthier than a traditional ‘meat and two veg’ diet.

However, cardiologists have warned some vegetarian food can be just as bad for you after a study found eating a lot of sweet food and drink, refined grains and potatoes was linked to a higher risk of heart disease.

Writing in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the researchers described how they had looked at information on the diet and health of tens of thousands of medical professionals who took part in regular surveys. They examined the effects of three different types of ‘vegetarian’ diets: one which emphasized plants but included some meat, a healthy vegetarian diet consisting of whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables and an unhealthy version.

Dr Ambika Satija, of the Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health in Boston, said: “When we examined the associations of the three food categories with heart disease risk, we found that healthy plant foods were associated with lower risk, whereas less healthy plant foods and animal foods were associated with higher risk."

Source  - Independent