A Sign Of Omega-3 Deficiency In The Eyes

Omega-3 fatty acids in the diet can prevent this serious disorder.

Problems with vision can be a sign of omega-3 deficiency, research suggests.

Age-related macular degeneration disorder is an eye disease which is linked to omega-3 fatty acids deficiency.

Macular degeneration is a common medical condition, affecting a large group of the population at age 40 and older.

Deterioration of the macula, an area of the retina, can result in losing central vision but not complete blindness.

A review of nine studies on 90,000 people found that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids was associated with a 38 percent reduction in the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats considered to be essential as our body cannot produce them and so they are obtained from the diet.

These type of fats are mostly found in oily fish (fatty fish) and have many health benefits, therefore they known as “good” fats.

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) are the main types of omega 3 fatty acids.

Fatty fish such as salmon, trout, herring, sardines, and fish oils, including cod liver oil, are high in EPA and DHA.

ALA is found in fats from plant foods such as nuts and seeds — walnuts and rapeseed are good sources of this nutrient.

Age-related macular degeneration is a leading cause of sight loss which affects about 3 million people in the U.S. and more than 600,000 people in the UK.

Early signs of macular degeneration includes fuzzy, blurry and impaired vision, difficulty reading or seeing details like recognising faces or watching television.

A study found that having one or more servings of fish per week reduced the risk of age-related macular degeneration by 42 percent.

The authors said:

“This lower risk appeared to be due primarily to consumption of canned tuna fish and dark-meat fish.”

Dark-meat fish in this study included salmon, sardines, bluefish, mackerel, and swordfish.

Knowing how dietary essential omega-3 fatty acids work can be useful in treating and prevention of different disorders.

It appears that DHA is the key since it generates signaling molecules called docosanoids where there is a disruption within cells due to a disease or an injury.

Docosanoids can protect neurons by controlling specific genes in the brain and retina and asking the genes how to respond.

Moreover, DHA from the liver is concentrated in photoreceptors, a type of cell in the retina that responds to light.

Retinal degeneration including macular degeneration occurs when photoreceptors cannot get enough DHA.

When a gene that controls the DHA uptake is turned off then photoreceptors die and mutation of an amino acid in these cells leads to a disorder of the eyes that causes loss of vision known as retinitis pigmentosa.

Two studies were published in Arch Ophthalmol (Chong et al., 2008); (Christen et al., 2011); the other study was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (Asatryan et al., 2017).

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45,000 Suicides Every Year: The Sad Cause Which is On The Rise

One in five suicides around the world is caused by this and the figure is rising.

Unemployment is linked to 45,000 suicides around the world each year, a new study finds.

This represents around one in five of the total number of global suicides.

The research, published in The Lancet Psychiatry, gathered data from 63 countries between 2000 and 2011 (Nordt et al., 2015).

They found that the risk of suicide due to unemployment had risen between 20 and 30 per cent across all regions of the world.

Also, since the period included the start of the recession in 2008, they were able to look at its effect.

Dr. Carlos Nordt, who led the study, said:

“After the crisis year in 2008, the number of suicides increased short-term by 5,000 cases.

Therefore, suicides associated with unemployment totaled a nine-fold higher number of deaths than excess suicides attributed to the most recent economic crisis.”

It’s not just the unemployment itself that is linked to suicide, it’s the period leading up to it when employees can face an uncertain and stressful few months, or even longer.

Suicide and unemployment

In some countries the impact of unemployment is worse, as the team explains:

“…our data suggest that not all job losses necessarily have an equal impact, as the effect on suicide risk appears to be stronger in countries where being out of work is uncommon.

It is possible that an unexpected increase in the unemployment rate may trigger greater fears and insecurity than in countries with higher pre-crisis unemployment levels.”

Dr Wolfram Kawohl, one of the study’s authors, said:

“The development on the job market was obviously anticipated and the uncertainty regarding the development of the economic situation already seems to have negative consequences.

Training for specialists such as those in the human resources department is needed to recognize this increased suicide risk in people both in and out of work more effectively and to help deal with the problem.”


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Sacrifices Can Improve Your Relationship If They Are Done Willingly

Sacrifices Can Improve Your Relationship If They Are Done Willingly post imageSacrifices Can Improve Your Relationship If They Are Done Willingly post image

The way of thinking about relationship sacrifices that is linked to satisfaction.

People who make sacrifices in their relationship because they want to are more satisfied, research finds.

Those who make sacrifices because they feel pressured into it are less satisfied.

The difference could help to explain why some relationships work, and others don’t.

Sometimes couples appear to be working well together, but underneath the story is different.

Dr Heather Patrick, the study’s first author, said:

“It’s important to understand what makes positive relationships positive and what might undermine positive experiences.”

The conclusions come from a study in which 266 men and women documented their own and their partner’s pro-relationship behaviours for two weeks.

Pro-relationship behaviours are any sacrifices made out of consideration for the other person.

Partners who carried out more of these selfless behaviours because they wanted to felt closer to their mate and were more committed and more satisfied.

The study was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Patrick et al., 2007).

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Perfectionism Is Related To Higher Depression Risk – But It Can Be Reduced

How to reduce the damage done by this depressive personality trait.

The personality trait of perfectionism is linked to higher depression risk, a review of ten different studies finds.

People who are perfectionists are worried about making mistakes and they tend to be heavily critical of themselves.

They feel pressure from society to perform to a high standard and they think others are continually judging their performance.

When perfectionists fail to meet their lofty standards, they tend to get depressed.

Practicing self-acceptance or self-compassion is one of the best ways of dealing with perfectionist tendencies (see my ebook).

The conclusions come from research collecting together the results of 10 separate studies including 1,758 people.

The results showed that neuroticism, or ‘negative emotionality’ is the personality trait most strongly linked to depression.

However, being a perfectionist is associated with an additional risk.

The authors explain their results:

“In our meta-analysis of 10 longitudinal studies composed of undergraduate, community member, psychiatric patient, outpatient and medical student samples, neuroticism was the strongest predictor of change in depressive symptoms.

Even so, all seven perfectionism dimensions still predicted change in depressive symptoms beyond neuroticism.”

One aspect of perfectionism is feeling societal pressure.

The authors write:

“…socially prescribed perfectionism, concern over mistakes, doubts about actions, self-criticism, and perfectionistic attitudes add incrementally to understanding change in depressive symptoms beyond neuroticism.”

Perfectionism is problematic because high standards are so hard to reach consistently.

The authors write:

“…people high in perfectionistic concerns appear to think, feel and behave in ways that have depressogenic consequences [causing depression].

Such people believe others hold lofty expectations for them, and often feel incapable of living up to the perfection they perceive others demand.

They may agonize about perceived failures and have doubts about performance abilities because they experience their social world as judgmental, pressure-filled and unyielding.”

The study was published in the European Journal of Personality (Smith et al., 2016).

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City vs Countryside: How Where You Live Affects Your Happiness (M)

City vs countryside? Open vs closed-minded people? How does personality and place interact to affect life satisfaction?


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These Personality Types Are The Most Compatible

The main thing people look for in a partner.

People tend to look for the same personality type in a partner over-and-over again, research concludes.

One of the main things people look for is a similar personality to themselves.

So, extraverts prefer other extraverts, agreeable people prefer other agreeable people, and so on.

However, it is more than that, the researchers found.

There is also a lot of similarity between a person’s ex-partners.

One of the advantages of having similar partners is learning how to deal with a particular personality type.

Ms Yoobin Park, the study’s first author, said:

“In every relationship, people learn strategies for working with their partner’s personality.

If your new partner’s personality resembles your ex-partner’s personality, transferring the skills you learned might be an effective way to start a new relationship on a good footing.”

The conclusions come from a study of 332 people.

Researchers compared the personalities of their current partners with those of their past partners.

They were asked how much they agreed with statements like:

  • “I am usually modest and reserved.”
  • “I am interested in many different kinds of things.”
  • “I make plans and carry them out.”

The results showed that people tend to have a ‘type’, said Ms Park:

“It’s common that when a relationship ends, people attribute the breakup to their ex-partner’s personality and decide they need to date a different type of person.

Our research suggests there’s a strong tendency to nevertheless continue to date a similar personality.

The effect is more than just a tendency to date someone similar to yourself.

The degree of consistency from one relationship to the next suggests that people may indeed have a ‘type’.

And though our data do not make clear why people’s partners exhibit similar personalities, it is noteworthy that we found partner similarity above and beyond similarity to oneself.”

In some circumstances, though, sticking to the same personality type all the time can be damaging, said Ms Park:

“So, if you find you’re having the same issues in relationship after relationship, you may want to think about how gravitating toward the same personality traits in a partner is contributing to the consistency in your problems.”

The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Park & MacDonald, 2019).

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Diabetes Symptoms: An Early Warning Sign That Happens At Night

Correcting this disorder in diabetics would benefit them as well as many anti-diabetes drugs.

Poor sleep can be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, research finds.

Poor sleep quality, or changes in circadian rhythms caused by night-shift work, have been linked to alterations in insulin levels.

Other signs of type 2 diabetes include feeling thirsty all the time, losing weight, going to the toilet a lot and even blurred vision.

When poor sleep continues, the body makes less insulin, a hormone that allows the body to use glucose (sugar) as energy.

Blood sugar level is regulated by insulin and so depletion of insulin can lead to type 2 diabetes.

Moreover, poor sleep through the night increases levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol.

Cortisol weakens insulin productivity by increasing the blood sugar levels and the consequence is too much sugar pumping into the bloodstream.

High blood sugar, which is known as hyperglycemia, is a sign of developing type 2 diabetes.

High blood glucose levels can harm the blood vessels resulting in nerve damage, poor vision or even blindness, kidney failure, heart disease and stroke.

Studies suggest that people with diabetes who have poor sleep have higher insulin resistance and so more difficulty in managing the disease.

Dr Kristen Knutson, the lead author of a study published in the journal Diabetes Care, said:

“People who have a hard time controlling their blood glucose levels have a greater risk of complications.

They have a reduced quality of life.

And, they have a reduced life expectancy.”

This study monitored sleep duration and quality in diabetics.

They also reported if they suffered from any sleep disorders like sleep apnea, snoring or insomnia.

Their results showed that diabetics subjects with poor sleep had 82% higher insulin resistance compared to those who had diabetes, but were normal sleepers.

Dr Knutson said:

“For someone who already has diabetes, adding a sleep treatment intervention, whether it’s treating sleep apnea or treating insomnia, may be an additional help for them to control their disease.”

Improving sleep is a powerful intervention — it can be as effective as common drugs for type 2 diabetes.

Professor Eve Van Cauter, co-author of the study said:

“This suggests that improving sleep quality in diabetics would have a similar beneficial effect as the most commonly used anti-diabetes drugs.”

Diabetes is predominant in the US and it is increasing rapidly worldwide.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2015 more than 100 million US adults were suffering from diabetes or prediabetes.

The study was published in Diabetes Care (Knutson et al., 2011).

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The Diet That Lowers Heart Disease Risk

Adopting this diet reduces a substance in the body that is connected to heart disease and heart attack risk.

Going on a plant-based diet reduces the risk of coronary heart disease risk, research finds.

This is because the consumption of animal products causes some damage to the gut microbiome.

The gut flora or gut microbiome is a complex system in which micro-organisms, including bacteria, live together and work in harmony.

These microbes are important and help our immune system and our metabolism in order to convert food to energy and absorb nutrients.

When we eat animal products such as red meat, as part of the digestive process gut bacteria produce a substance called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO).

TMAO has been shown to increase the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and heart attack.

Changing to a vegetarian or vegan diet and maintaining it would diminish the TMAO levels in the body.

A study of 760 healthy women over a 10-year period found that high levels of TMAO in the blood increase the odds of CHD.

Participants who were omnivorous and had elevated TMAO levels were at a 67 percent greater risk of CHD.

For every additional increase in TMAO there was a 23 percent increase risk of developing CHD.

But the research team noticed that by changing the dietary pattern to higher intake of vegetables and cutting down animal foods TMAO levels were considerably reduced.

Dr Lu Qi, the study’s senior author, said:

“Diet is one of the most important modifiable risk factors to control TMAO levels in the body.

No previous prospective cohort study has addressed whether long-term changes in TMAO are associated with CHD, and whether dietary intakes can modify these associations.

Our findings show that decreasing TMAO levels may contribute to reducing the risk of CHD, and suggest that gut-microbiomes may be new areas to explore in heart disease prevention.”

The study was published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology (Heianza et al., 2020).

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Weight Loss: These Foods Help Burn Belly Fat

Certain foods help people sleep better and lose more weight.

A high-protein diet drives weight loss and the burning of belly fat, studies reveal.

Eating more lean meats and low-fat dairy leads to more weight loss than a standard calorie restricted diet, researchers have found.

Protein makes people feel more satisfied so they subsequently eat less.

Diets that have more protein are also linked to better sleep.

Sleeping better can also lead to more weight loss.

For the study, 130 overweight women were put on a calorie restricted diet.

Half, though, ate a restricted diet that was high in protein and dairy.

Dr Ellen Evans, study co-author, said:

“Essentially we substituted lean meats and low-fat milk, cheese, yogurt, etc., for some of the high-carbohydrate foods in the food-pyramid diet.

Participants also ate five servings of vegetables and two to three servings of fruit each day.”

The results showed that the women lost weight without losing bone mass.

Dr Evans said:

“This is an important finding because many people, especially women in mid-life, are concerned with both obesity and osteoporosis.

Furthermore, treating obesity often increases risk for osteoporosis.

Many people lose bone mass when they lose weight.”

People in the high protein group had better bone health despite their weight loss.

Dr Matthew Thorpe, the study’s’ first author, said:

“In the higher-protein group, bone density remained fairly stable, but bone health declined over time in the group that followed the conventional higher-carbohydrate diet.

A statistically significant treatment effect favored the higher-protein diet group.

The combination and/or interaction of dietary protein, calcium from dairy, and the additional vitamin D that fortifies dairy products appears to protect bone health during weight loss.”

The study was published in the Journal of Nutrition (Thorpe et al., 2008).

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The Popular Supplement That Does NOT Protect Against Dementia

The results are based on a review of over 70 different studies.

Vitamin D probably does not help protect people from dementia or other brain-related disorders, research finds.

While vitamin D is essential for the body, there is no solid clinical evidence that it benefits brain health.

Ms Krystal Iacopetta, the study’s first author, said:

“Our work counters an emerging belief held in some quarters suggesting that higher levels of vitamin D can impact positively on brain health.”

The results are based on a review of over 70 different studies.

There was no evidence vitamin D protected against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or other brain diseases.

Ms Iacopetta said:

“Past studies had found that patients with a neurodegenerative disease tended to have lower levels of vitamin D compared to healthy members of the population.

This led to the hypothesis that increasing vitamin D levels, either through more UV and sun exposure or by taking vitamin D supplements, could potentially have a positive impact.

A widely held community belief is that these supplements could reduce the risk of developing brain-related disorders or limit their progression.

The results of our in-depth review and an analysis of all the scientific literature however, indicates that this is not the case and that there is no convincing evidence supporting vitamin D as a protective agent for the brain.”

However, there may be evidence that sunlight is good for the brain.

Professor Mark Hutchinson, study co-author, explained:

“We have presented critical evidence that UV light may impact molecular processes in the brain in a manner that has absolutely nothing to do with vitamin D.

It may be that sensible and safe sun exposure is good for the brain and that there are new and exciting factors at play that we have yet to identify and measure.

Unfortunately however, it appears as if vitamin D, although essential for healthy living, is not going to be the miracle ‘sunshine tablet’ solution for brain-disorders that some were actively hoping for.”

The study was published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience (Iacopetta et al., 2018).

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