News on Health & Science

Moderate drinking may prolong life

Moderate drinking may lengthen your life, while too much may shorten it, researchers from Italy report. Their conclusion is based on pooled data from 34 large
studies involving more than one million people and 94,000 deaths…… & see

According to the data, drinking a moderate amount of alcohol    up to four drinks per day in men and two drinks per day in women  reduces the risk of death from any cause by roughly 18%, the team reports in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

However, “things radically change” when consumption goes beyond these levels, study leader Augusto Di Castelnuovo, from Catholic University of Campobasso, said in a statement. Men who have more than four drinks per day and women who have more than two drinks per day not only lose the protection that alcohol affords, but they increase their risk of death, the data indicate.

The reason why men are protected at up to four drinks per day, while women lose the
protection after two glasses has to do with how men and women metabolize alcohol,
researchers say. It’s been shown that when men and women who drink the same amount of alcohol, women experience higher blood alcohol levels than men.

Therefore, women who consume more than two glasses of alcohol per day may be at increased risk for diseases of the liver and certain types of cancer.

“Our findings, while confirming the hazards of excess drinking, indicate potential windows
of alcohol intake that may confer a net beneficial effect of moderate drinking, at least in
terms of survival,” the Italian team concludes.

“Heavy drinkers should be urged to cut their consumption
, but people who already regularly consume low to moderate amounts of alcohol should be encouraged to continue,” they add. The manner in which alcohol is consumed also appears to be important.

“Little amounts, preferably during meals, this appears to be the right way,” said Giovanni
de Gaetano of Catholic University, another author on the study

Source:The Times Of India

News on Health & Science

‘Sexsomniacs’ puzzle medical researchers

Researchers are struggling to understand a rare medical condition where sufferers unknowingly demand, or actually have, sex while asleep, New Scientist magazine reported on Wednesday.

Research into sexsomnia   making sexual advances toward another person while asleep   has been hampered as sufferers are so embarrassed by the problem they tend not to own up to it, while doctors do not ask about it.

As yet there is no cure for the condition, which often leads to difficulties in relationships.

“It really bothers me that I can’t control it,” Lisa Mahoney told the magazine. “It scares me because I don’t think it has anything to do with the partner. I don’t want this foolish condition to hurt us in the long run.”

Most researchers view sexsomnia as a variant of sleepwalking, where sufferers are stuck between sleep and wakefulness, though sexsomniacs tend to stay in bed rather than get up and walk about.

While sleepwalking affects two to four percent of adults, sexsomnia is not thought to be as common a problem, according to Nik Trajanovic, a researcher at the sleep and alertness clinic at Canada‘s Toronto Western Hospital.

But an Internet survey of sexsomniacs carried out in 2005 that drew 219 reliable respondents concluded it was more prevalent than medical case reports alone might suggest.

“Most of the time sleep sex occurs between people who are already partners,” Mark Pressman, a sleep specialist at Lankenan Hospital in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, told the New Scientist.

“Sometimes they hate it,” added Pressman of the reactions of sexsomniacs’ partners. “Sometimes they tolerate it. On rare occasions you have stories of people liking it better than waking sex.”

With no cure, addressing triggering factors — stress or sleep deprivation — can help, while Michael Mangan, a psychologist at the University of New Hampshire in the US has set up a Web site,, to help sufferers.

(As published in The Times Of India)