Drinking lots of sugar-sweetened sodas and juices significantly increases the risk of chronic kidney disease, reports a new study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Using health questionnaires for 3,003 African-American adults in Jackson, Mississippi, covering a 13-year period, the researchers found that the top third of subjects, those consuming the most sugar-sweetened drinks, were 61 percent more likely to develop kidney disease than those in the bottom third.
Probiotics Ease Bipolar Disorder Research on 66 patients with bipolar disorder found that patients receiving probiotic supplements were three times less likely to be rehospitalized than those given a placebo. The study from the Sheppard Pratt Health System, in Baltimore, gave half of discharged patients a placebo and the other half a capsule containing two probiotics, Bifidobacterium lactis (BB-12) and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG). Within 26 weeks, 24 of the 33 people that received the placebo returned to the hospital, but only eight of the 33 on probiotics were readmitted. The probiotic treatment was especially effective for those experiencing considerable inflammation, say researchers.
Stress May Be Worse in the Evening Acute, late-day stress may be harder on our bodies, say researchers at Japan’s Hokkaido University. They measured the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in 27 young, healthy volunteers, and then put them through 15 minutes of stressful events that included making a speech and doing mental math. Half of the volunteers were tested two hours after awakening, the other group 10 hours after awakening. The subjects’ levels of cortisol, which helps provide the body with energy in the face of a perceived need for fight or flight, rose strongly in the morning, but not in the evening, suggesting that the human body is more equipped to deal with stress early in the day and becomes more vulnerable later. 18
Netflix Series Reveals Its Fragile Beauty
Ten years after the groundbreaking documentary Planet Earth, an eight-part sequel, Our Planet, shows even more rapturous scenes of our planet’s most precious species and fragile habitats. Premiering globally April 5 on Netflix, it was filmed during four years in 50 countries across every continent, involving more than 600 film crew members and 3,500 days spent in such habitats as the remote Arctic wilderness, the vast landscapes of Africa and the diverse jungles of South America. The series, narrated by world-renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough, is a joint venture of Netflix, the World Wildlife Federation and Silverback Films, whose director Alastair Fothergill was the creator of the critically acclaimed original Planet Earth and Blue Planet series. “Our Planet will take viewers on a spectacular journey of discovery showcasing the beauty and fragility of our natural world,” says Attenborough. “Today, we have become the greatest threat to the health of our home, but there’s still time for us to address the challenges we’ve created, if we act now. We need the world to pay attention.”
Sugary Drinks Linked to Kidney Disease
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