Men, chicken is your new best friend

Eating poultry is good for male fertility and saturated fats are lesser evil than trans fats—facts to make you healthier, starting today


Poultry intake is positively associated with fertilization rates. Photo: iStock
Poultry intake is positively associated with fertilization rates. Photo: iStock

Chicken is better than meat for male fertility

Eating poultry meat is good for male fertility, new research from the US suggests. The aim of the study, conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital from 2007 to 2014, was to assess the relationship between men’s meat intake and clinical outcomes in couples undergoing infertility treatment. “Poultry intake was positively associated with fertilization rates, whereas processed meat intake was negatively associated with fertilization rates among couples undergoing conventional IVF,” said the report, which was published in the journal Fertility and Sterility in early August. It revealed that men in the highest quartile of poultry intake achieved a 78% fertilization rate, compared with 65% by those in the lowest quartile – a 13% improvement. Read more here.

Not meat but vegetables needed for optimal health

A new study, co-written by researchers from the University of Sydney, challenges the belief that meat deserves all the credit for good health. Rather, the researchers say, starchy carbohydrates “were essential for the evolution” of the human brain nearly 1 million years ago. The human brain uses as much as 25% of the body’s energy and up to 60% of blood glucose, the researchers say. Such a glucose and energy-hungry brain was unlikely to develop on a low-carbohydrate diet. “The research is a blow to advocates of the Paleo diet, which shuns starch-rich vegetables and grains,” the University of Sydney says. Instead of the low-carb, no-grain Paleo diet for optimal health, the authors highlight the importance of including old-school starchy foods such as potatoes, taro, yams and sweet potatoes. They also advocate eating more recently introduced starchy grains such as wheat, rye, barley, corn, oats, quinoa and millet. Read more here.

Trans fats, but not saturated fats, linked to risk of death

Trans fats — used in margarine, snack foods and packaged baked goods — may increase a person’s risk for heart disease and mortality, new research has claimed. Saturated fats, on the other hand, are not associated with an increased risk of death, heart disease, stroke, or type 2 diabetes, researchers found. The findings show that trans fats are associated with greater risk of death and coronary heart disease, they said. The study by researchers at several Canadian institutions including McMaster University in Ontario, confirms previous suggestions that industrially produced trans fats might increase the risk of coronary heart disease and calls for a careful review of dietary guidelines for these nutrients. Saturated fats come mainly from animal products, such as butter, cows’ milk, meat, salmon and egg yolks, and some plant products such as chocolate and palm oils. Trans unsaturated fats (trans fats) are mainly produced industrially from plant oils (a process known as hydrogenation) for use in margarine, snack foods and packaged baked goods. The study was published in The BMJ. PTI Read more here.

Texting while walking can be injurious to health

Mobile phone texting is a common daily occurrence with a paucity of research examining corresponding gait characteristics. To date, most studies have participants walk in a straight line vs. overcoming barriers and obstacles that occur during regular walking. A study at the University of Bath Department for Health Ethics Advisory Panel examined the effect of mobile phone texting during periods of cognitive distraction while walking and negotiating barriers synonymous with pedestrian traffic. Its conclusion: texting while walking and/or being cognitively distracted significantly affect gait characteristics concordant to mobile phone usage resulting in a more cautious gate pattern. Read more here.

Music eases pain after surgery

Listening to music before, after and even during surgery reduces anxiety and the need for painkillers, according to a study published Wednesday. In a review of more than 70 clinical trials involving nearly 7,000 patients, researchers found music to be a powerful analgesic under almost all circumstances. On a scale of one to 10, post-operative pain was reduced on average by about a fifth compared to standard treatment, said lead author Catherine Meads of Brunel University in Uxbridge, England. According to the study, the benefits held true regardless of the kind of music or who selected it. The sampling also covered all types of procedures except surgery on the brain or central nervous system. Surprisingly, even listening to music under general anaesthetic resulted in feeling less pain, though the effects were larger when patients were conscious during an operation. Read more here.

Compiled by Pooja Chaturvedi

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