Monthly Archives: June 2015

Can a smart insulin patch mean no more diabetic injections?

“A ‘smart’ insulin patch could replace painful injections to help millions of people with diabetes keep their blood sugar levels in check,” the Daily Mirror reports; though the technology has only been tested on mice.
Insulin is a hormone that plays a vital role in regulating blood glucose levels. People with type 1 diabetes, as well as advanced type 2 diabetes, require regular insulin injections, as their body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or reacts to it in the wrong way.
Researchers have developed a new type of glucose-sensing patch, which is worn on the skin and delivers insulin in response to sensing high levels of glucose.
The study showed that the patch was capable of reducing blood glucose levels to normal in mice with chemically induced diabetes over about four hours.
This research is at an early stage, so we therefore don’t know if it will be both safe and effective in humans. Before any human testing can occur, researchers will need to study the longer-term effects on animals. Researchers will also need to work out whether they can deliver enough insulin to regulate blood glucose levels in humans, and how often the patches need to be changed.
All in all, we wouldn’t expect to see these patches at your local chemist in the near future.

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Is Being a ‘couch potato’ linked to increased anxiety risk

Is “Being a couch potato bad for your mental health,” the Mail Online reports. However, the evidence gathered by a new review is not as clear-cut as the headline would lead you to believe.

The review summarised the results of nine studies on the link between anxiety symptoms and sedentary behaviour, such as using a computer or watching TV.
Overall, five of the nine studies found a positive link – that as time spent sitting went up, so did the risk of anxiety symptoms.
However, the results of a review are only as reliable as the studies it includes, and in this case they weren’t very good. The majority of studies looked at sitting and anxiety at one time.

This can’t prove cause and effect, as we are faced with the classic “chicken and egg” dilemma: does sedentary behaviour cause anxiety symptoms, or are anxious people likely to spend more time sitting?
Importantly, we don’t know whether the studies took account of other factors that could be influencing the results, and most looked only at anxiety symptoms, not a diagnosis of anxiety.

Overall, this review doesn’t provide conclusive proof of a definitive link. The occasional boxset binge is probably not going to trigger general anxiety disorder by itself, but it is important to balance this out with regular exercise. Aside from the physical health benefits of exercise, it can also often reduce feelings of depression and anxiety.

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