Monday, June 06, 2011

Stressed at the office? Break out the pomegranate juice - it will make you more enthusiastic about your job

This would seem to be just corporate puffery -- research NOT done under double blind conditions. That the stuff contains anti-oxidants is a concern though, considering the evidence that such molecules SHORTEN your life

Pomegranate juice could help beat stress at the office, research claims. It has been shown to lower workers' heart rates and make them feel more enthusiastic about their jobs.

Scientists studied a group of volunteers who drank 500ml of the juice every day for two weeks. At the beginning and end of the study their pulse rate was measured and they filled in a questionnaire describing their mood and feelings about their job.

The research – funded by the Pomegreat juice company – showed almost all of the workers reported being more enthusiastic, inspired, proud and active. They were less likely to describe their feelings as distressed, nervous, guilty and ashamed compared with the beginning of the fortnight and most had lower pulse rates.

Experts claim increasing numbers of Britons are affected by work-related pressures. Figures from the charity Mind show around a fifth of employees called in sick at some point last year as they were stressed.

Lead researcher Dr Emad Al-Dujaili, of Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, said: 'On the basis of these findings there is a justified argument for busy workers to drink pomegranate juice to help alleviate chronic stress and maintain good health.

'There is growing evidence that pomegranate juice delivers wide-ranging health benefits that merit further research. 'It is very rare indeed for an all-natural juice to offer the range of health benefits that we are seeing in pomegranate juice.'

Last year the same researchers claimed that pomegranate juice could help to combat middle-aged spread. After just one month, volunteers who drank a bottle of pomegranate juice every day were found to be less likely to develop fatty cells around their abdomen.

They also had lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney disease. Scientists also claim pomegranate juice can help to fight cancer, heart disease and the aging process. It is high in antioxidants, chemicals which help neutralise harmful oxygen molecules – called free radicals.


Scientists discover 'werewolf' gene which could spell the end for baldness

A 'werewolf' gene which causes hair to grow all over the body has been found by scientists, who say the discovery could lead to a remedy for baldness. They have tracked down a genetic fault which is behind a rare condition called hyper- trichosis, or werewolf syndrome, where thick hair covers the face and upper body. They say they may be able to use drugs to trigger a similar gene mutation in people to encourage hair to grow on bald patches.

But the scientists stressed that tackling baldness was still many years away. They do not yet know how they would be able to trigger hair to grow in bald patches without causing excessive growth all over the body.

Werewolf syndrome is extremely rare, with only 50 recorded cases in the past 300 years. One is Supatra Sasuphan, an 11-year-old girl from Thailand who was named as the world's hairiest child in the Guinness World Records in March.

Men with the condition have hair all over their face, including eyelids, and upper bodies. Women tend to just have hair in patches although Supatra has it covering much of her face.

Scientists from the University of Southern California, working with researchers from Beijing, discovered the gene in a Mexican family and Chinese family who both had the condition – known in the medical world as CGH.

Professor Pragna Patel, of the university's Institute for Genetic Medicine, said certain genes appeared to have been 'turned on', which may trigger the excessive hair growth. In the future, scientists could use drugs to 'turn on' genes, which could trigger hair growth.

Professor Patel added: 'If in fact the inserted sequences turn on a gene that can trigger hair growth, it may hold promise for treating baldness.'


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