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13 medical reasons you’re tired all the time

<p>You feel like you’re always going to bed early, but when your alarm goes off, it’s hard to open your eyes and you’re in a fog all day. You may feel like no matter how much sleep you’re getting, you’re still tired. But how do you know how much sleep you need?</p> <p>How much sleep you need varies by age. While newborns under three-months-old may need up to 19 hours of sleep and adults over 65 may need as little as five hours, most adults need about seven to nine hours of sleep a night. While not getting enough sleep can hurt your health in these sneaky ways, oversleeping and constantly being tired can be a sign of a problem.</p> <p>What’s best, according to Dr Jacob Teitelbaum, who specialises in sleep, fibromyalgia, and pain, is to sleep the amount of time that leaves you feeling the best. “If you are needing more than 10 hours of sleep to feel restored, however, then that suggests that your sleep quality is poor and needs to be addressed,” he says.</p> <p>If you’re getting enough sleep on a good schedule or are even oversleeping and still feel tired, it could be a sign of health problems.</p> <p><strong>You’re tired because…you’re oversleeping on weekends</strong></p> <p>You may think skimping on sleep during the week and oversleeping during the weekends will help you feel well-rested, but it’s actually hurting your sleep. This habit is called “social jetlag” which is brought on by shifts in your sleeping schedule during the week versus on the weekends. “Your body prefers routine, but still appreciates you making up the sleep, so it’s best to find a steady balance you can stick to,” adds Dr Teitelbaum.</p> <p><strong>You’re tired because…you’re anaemic</strong></p> <p>When you visit your doctor and complain of feeling tired all the time, the first things they’ll often check for is anaemia or thyroid disorder because you can detect those with a blood test, says Dr Amy Shah. “When a patient says ‘I’m tired,’ it’s such a broad term and could be so many things, but if someone says ‘I’m tired and feeling a little more short of breath,’ or, ‘I’m having trouble exercising,’ that tends to be anaemia.” Anaemia is when your blood doesn’t carry enough oxygen to the rest of your body and the most common cause of anaemia is iron deficiency. Anaemics may also experience feeling cold, dizzy, irritable, or have headaches in addition to feeling tired.</p> <p><strong>You’re tired because…you have a condition that causes chronic pain</strong></p> <p>People who suffer from conditions, such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidism, and anaemia, often require sleep. “For fibromyalgia, the person is not able to go into deep restorative sleep because the sleep centre (the hypothalamus) is not working,” explains Dr Teitelbaum. “For rheumatoid arthritis, the pain often disrupts deep sleep, so it takes more sleep to get the same recharging of your battery.” In hypothyroidism and anaemia, extra sleep over nine hours doesn’t really help.</p> <p><strong>You’re tired because…you have a thyroid problem</strong></p> <p>If you have a thyroid issue, like an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), in addition to feeling tired, you might also feel like your skin is really dry and you’re constipated a lot, along with the lack of energy, says Dr Shah. Hypothyroidism is a condition that occurs when your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of certain important hormones. While women are more likely to have hypothyroidism, thyroid function tests can diagnose hypothyroidism easily and if you have an issue, your doctor may prescribe a synthetic thyroid hormone.</p> <p><strong>You’re tired because you…may have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes</strong></p> <p>Most people who have high blood sugar due to type 2 diabetes have insulin resistance. “Insulin is the key that opens up our cellular energy furnaces called mitochondria and allows sugar to enter to be burned for fuel,” explains Dr Teitelbaum. “Because this key is not working, sugar cannot get into the furnaces to be turned into energy, leaving people tired.”</p> <p><strong>You’re tired because…you’re depressed</strong></p> <p>If you feel like you’re tired all the time, don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, and/or have trouble sleeping, you could be suffering from depression. Your primary care physician should do a depression screening during a regular visit, says Dr Shah. Your doctor can use a screening tool to determine if you’re experiencing an ongoing depressive disorder, or whether a life stressor or alcohol affects your emotional state. “Depression, alcohol abuse, and fatigue are very tightly knit,” says Dr Shah. Sometimes people will treat depression with alcohol and then be tired, she says.</p> <p><strong>You’re tired because…you may have gut issues or food sensitivity</strong></p> <p>Your gut is supposed to be a very closed system of cells where nothing from inside of the gut gets into the outside– like a pathway where the body absorbs what it needs without having things enter the rest of the body, says Dr Shah. “If you’re eating poorly, especially a lot of processed foods, the gut cells can become a looser, net-like structure instead of a tight structure and proteins that aren’t supposed to be in our bloodstream leak into our bloodstream, which creates an inflammatory response,” says Dr Shah. The inflammatory response is thought to possibly manifest as bloating, fatigue, moodiness, headaches, or weight gain. Some people call this leaky gut, although this condition hasn’t been clinically proven. If you have food sensitivities (to foods like wheat and dairy) you can feel fatigued, get rashes, and experience bloating or brain fog. “There’s no real good test for food sensitivities,” says Dr Shah. Following an elimination diet of possible food culprits and then slowly introducing them back in may help you identify what you’re sensitive to. If you remove all wheat from your diet and feel great, and then add it back and feel lethargic, that could be a tell-tale sign of a food sensitivity to wheat, Dr Shah says.</p> <p><strong>You’re tired because…you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue</strong></p> <p>“Adrenal fatigue isn’t a Western medicine term, it’s a functional medicine term, and a lot of Western doctors don’t recognise it as a medical [issue],” says Dr Shah. There’s a disconnect because it’s hard to show with lab testing, she says. These hormone imbalances could be brought on by a stressful situation in your life, like family problems, or it could be constant stress at work, lack of sleep, over-exercising, having a poor diet, or drug or alcohol abuse, says Dr Shah. Those circumstances can push your stress hormones high and then eventually leave you exhausted and depleted, like a bank account that you’re overdrawing on and not putting money back into.</p> <p><strong>You’re tired because…you have an infection</strong></p> <p>Doctors will often check for chronic infection as a cause of fatigue due to such infections as the Epstein-Barr virus (mononucleosis) or Lyme disease. Both of these medical issues can present with extreme fatigue.</p> <p><strong>You’re tired because…you have sleep apnea</strong></p> <p>If you have sleep apnea, your throat starts to close when you’re asleep, which is why people with the condition tend to snore. Not getting enough oxygen sounds scary, but your brain won’t let you suffocate. “Sleep apnea prevents you from going into the deep restorative stages of sleep, so people are unable to get rested and fall asleep frequently during the day,” explains Dr Teitelbaum. “Falling asleep easily during the day with a shirt collar size over 42 centimetres, high blood pressure, being overweight and snoring tell you that you should check for sleep apnea.”</p> <p><strong>You’re tired because…you have heart failure</strong></p> <p>When you have heart failure, your heart can’t keep up with the body’s needs for blood. Your body will start to bring blood away from body tissues so it can keep vital organs fully supplied. With less blood in your leg muscles, even everyday activities can feel exhausting. Plus, fluid gets backed up in your veins leading away from your lungs. This increases pressure and allows fluid to leak into the lungs, making you lose your breath suddenly. When you’re asleep, it could wake you up and make for a restless night.</p> <p><strong>You’re tired because…you have hypersomnia</strong></p> <p>Heneghan says oversleeping may be a sign of hypersomnia, a chronic neurological condition where you’re tired no matter how much sleep you get. According to the US Hypersomnia Foundation, you may have this condition if you’re tired during the day no matter how much sleep you get at night. The condition usually crops up in adolescence or early adulthood and can seriously affect sleep quality, as well as your ability to function during the day.</p> <p><strong>You’re tired because…you have haemochromatosis</strong></p> <p>Nearly 10 per cent of the Caucasian population carries a genetic marker for this condition, which causes the body to store too much iron. In addition to fatigue and weakness, haemochromatosis can also cause joint pain, stomach upset, depression, liver disease, heart trouble, and diabetes. While people are born with the condition, symptoms often don’t become obvious until people reach their 50s and 60s. Doctors can test for the condition using various blood screens; if you have any combination of these signs, talk to your GP about being tested.</p> <p><em>Written by Diana Kelly. This article first appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/13-medical-reasons-youre-tired-all-the-time?pages=1">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.com.au/subscribe"><span class="s1">here’s our best subscription offer</span></a>.</em></p>

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Quaden Bayles undergoes 11th major surgery at nine years old

<p><span>Quaden Bayles made headlines across the world after he was filmed reacting to his bullying experience.</span><br /><br /><span>Now, he is undergoing his 11th surgical procedure in just nine years of life.</span><br /><br /><span>Quaden has gone under the knife to remove eight teeth due to overcrowding, in the Queensland Children’s Hospital in Brisbane on Monday.</span><br /><br /><span>The 9-year-old is expected to return to his Brisbane home on Tuesday.</span><br /><br /><span>In 2013, the young boy had a similar procedure to remove seven teeth as a three year old.</span><br /><br /><span>“We all know Quaden has a big mouth, just not quiet big enough to fit all these teeth in that have been trying to push through,” his mother Yarraka Bayles wrote on Facebook.</span><br /><br /><span>Quaden was born with Achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism.</span><br /><br /><span>Unfortunately it has caused numerous health complications for him over the years.</span><br /><br /><span>He also has had major brain and spinal surgeries that have added up over the years.</span><br /><br /><span>Supporters of Quaden have posted their wishes for a speedy recovery on the Facebook page for dwarfism awareness group Stand Tall 4 Dwarfism.</span><br /><br /><span>Seven months ago, Yarraka Bayles shared a video that showed Quaden inconsolable after a bullying incident at school that went viral.</span><br /><br /><span>It sparked an outpouring of support for the nine year old, including from several celebrities, from around the world.</span><br /><br /><span>“I want people to know - parents, educators, teachers - this is the effect that bullying has,” Yarraka says in the video.</span><br /><br /><span>“This is what bullying does.</span><br /><br /><span>“So can you please educate your children, your families, your friends.”</span></p>

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How to keep your contact lenses clean (and what can go wrong if you don’t)

<p>You’re rushing and accidentally drop a contact lens on the bathroom floor. Should you:</p> <p>a) run it under the tap and pop it in?<br />b) spit on it and do the same?<br />c) use the cleaning solution your optometrist insists you use?<br />d) replace it with a new lens?<br />e) do any of the above. It doesn’t really matter.</p> <p>Don’t do what champion boxer and rugby league legend Anthony Mundine did in 2007 and go for (b) spit on your lens. He ended up in hospital with a severe eye infection.</p> <p>If you chose c), it’s true that rubbing your lens with the cleaning solution for 20 seconds will remove some microbes. But you would need to soak the lenses in the solution for a minimum four to six hours to disinfect the lens effectively.</p> <p>The best answer is d) replace with a new lens.</p> <p>Running the lens under the tap, option a), risks your lens and eye becoming infected with a microorganism found in tapwater that could lead you to losing your sight.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Not all eye infections are harmless</strong></p> <p>Aren’t all eye infections conjunctivitis? Like the kids get, bit of redness, icky discharge, drops from chemist, all good after a week?</p> <p>No. If your contact lens mixes with water, you could get a rare but severe infection called acanthamoeba keratitis.</p> <p>Of the 680,000 contact lens wearers in Australia, we estimate 10-20 a year are affected by the condition.</p> <p>Of these, we estimate about two to four people a year will need a transplant at the front of their eye to regain vision; about two to five people will need treatment for more than a year.</p> <p>The condition mostly affects people who wear soft contact lenses, the main type worn in Australia.</p> <p>We found about one-third of bathroom sinks in greater Sydney contain acanthamoeba. We assume it’s present in other parts of the country but no-one else has studied it so don’t know how common it is elsewhere in Australia.</p> <p>Acanthamoeba are free-living protozoa (single-celled microorganisms) that feed on bacteria and cells at the front of the eye, the cornea. This leads to inflammation, disorganisation and destruction of the cornea, blocking vision.</p> <p>The vast majority of acanthamoeba keratitis occurs in contact lens wearers.</p> <p>But you can minimise your chance of getting it. Avoid exposing your lenses to water, including running them under the tap, in the shower or while swimming.</p> <p>In fact, many new packs of contact lenses now carry “no water” warning stickers.</p> <p>Another of our studies shows this particular warning sticker can change behaviour. Contact lens wearers who see this sticker are more likely to avoid water. Their contact lens storage cases were also less likely to be contaminated with bacteria, meaning less chance of bacterial infection and less food for acanthamoeba.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>You can catch other eye infections too</strong></p> <p>While acanthamoeba infections are rare, bacterial eye infections are much more common, estimated to affect around four per 10,000 contact lens wearers a year.</p> <p>About 13% of people whose eyes or contact lenses are infected with bacteria lose substantial vision. That’s equivalent to two lines or more on the vision chart optometrists use.</p> <p>Most people’s infections improve in two to four weeks by using antibiotic drops.</p> <p>However, bacterial infections can be severe and fast-acting. The main bacterium responsible for contact lens related infections is pseudomonas, another water-loving microorganism. It can sometimes burrow through the eye surface in hours.</p> <p>There is no evidence to suggest wearing contact lenses increases your risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>So how do I avoid all this?</strong></p> <p>These evidence-based tips for healthy contact lens wear will help you avoid infections:</p> <ul> <li>wash and dry your hands before handling lenses or touching your eyes</li> <li>rub, rinse and store contact lenses in fresh disinfecting solution. Topping up old solution with new is an infection risk</li> <li>clean your storage case with the disinfecting solution and leave to air dry upside down between uses</li> <li>don’t use water with lenses or cases</li> <li>avoid wearing your lenses overnight.</li> </ul> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>How do I know if I have a problem?</strong></p> <p>If your eyes sting, are red and watery, blurry or are otherwise uncomfortable while wearing your lenses, remove them.</p> <p>If your symptoms get worse, visit an optometrist. GPs do not usually have equipment with enough magnification to diagnose potentially serious eye infections.</p> <p>Pseudomonas is resistant to the strongest over-the-counter drops, chloramphenicol. But most optometrists can treat eye infections by prescribing eye drops and can refer you to an ophthalmologist (a specialist eye doctor) if needed.</p> <p> </p> <p><em>Written by </em><em>Misha Ketchell</em><em>. This article first appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-keep-your-contact-lenses-clean-and-what-can-go-wrong-if-you-dont-141117">The Conversation</a>.</em></p>

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Incredible breakthrough in breast cancer treatment

<p>An incredible new study from an Aussie scientist has discovered that bee venom is effective in killing aggressive breast cancer cells.</p> <p>Results revealed the venom – from honeybees sourced in Western Australia, England and Ireland – rapidly destroyed triple-negative breast cancer and HER2-enriched breast cancer cells.</p> <p>The scientist behind the research, Dr Ciara Duffy, said a specific concentration of honeybee venom could kill 100 per cent of cancer cells.</p> <p>She said the treatment had minimal effects on normal cells.</p> <p>“The venom was extremely potent,” she said.</p> <p>Dr Duffy, from the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and The University of Western Australia, used the venom from 312 bees to test the effect on the clinical subtypes of breast cancer, including types with limited treatment options.</p> <p>The key ingredient was the compound melittin, naturally occurring in the venom, which Dr Duffy said can be reproduced synthetically.</p> <p>“We found that melittin can completely destroy cancer cell membranes within 60 minutes,” she said.</p> <p>“No-one had previously compared the effects of honeybee venom or melittin across all of the different subtypes of breast cancer and normal cells.”</p> <p>She said melittin in honeybee venom also had another remarkable effect: within 20 minutes, melittin was able to substantially reduce the chemical messages of cancer cells that are essential to cancer cell growth and cell division.</p> <p>“We looked at how honeybee venom and melittin affect the cancer signalling pathways, the chemical messages that are fundamental for cancer cell growth and reproduction, and we found that very quickly these signalling pathways were shut down,” she said.</p> <p>Western Australia’s chief scientist, Professor Peter Klinken, said it was an “incredibly exciting observation”.</p> <p>“It provides another wonderful example of where compounds in nature can be used to treat human diseases,” he said.</p> <p>Dr Duffy’s research was conducted as part of her PhD.</p> <p>“I began with collecting Perth honeybee venom,” she said.</p> <p>“Perth bees are some of the healthiest in the world.</p> <p>“The bees were put to sleep with carbon dioxide and kept on ice before the venom barb was pulled out from the abdomen of the bee and the venom extracted by careful dissection.”</p> <p><strong>IMAGE:</strong> Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research</p>

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25 ways to relax that don’t cost a cent

<p>Relaxation isn’t just a fun thing to do, it’s necessary to your overall health and wellbeing, says psychologist, Lisa S. Larsen.  Yet despite this basic need, many of us are really bad at relaxing.</p> <p> </p> <p>You can thank our modern go-go-go society, she says. “A high-stress lifestyle, which many people lead, puts you constantly in ‘fight or flight’ mode, which can be damaging to your health if there is nothing to actually fight or flee from,” she explains. “But when you employ the relaxation response, your parasympathetic nervous system takes over and helps you rest, digest, and repair yourself.”</p> <p> </p> <p>Relaxation is different for every person – one person’s relaxing day at the beach is another person’s sunburned, sand-in-their-shorts nightmare – so Larsen recommends trying out a variety of things to figure out what gets you into prime relaxation mode. And contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t take an expensive spa day or a trip to another country to make you relax.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Go to the botanical gardens</strong></p> <p>Every city offers many local attractions free to the public. And what’s more relaxing than a stroll through a beautifully curated and expertly maintained garden? You get to enjoy all the flowers, trees, and shrub animals without ever having to pull a weed.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Build a fort and take a nap in it</strong></p> <p>Forts are a childhood staple, and for good reason: they’re fun! There’s just something so relaxing about snuggling up in a cozy little spot. Make an adult version with a nest of soft blankets, your favourite book, and decadent snacks. For extra magic, string fairy lights across the top.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Soak your tired tootsies</strong></p> <p>Foot baths are one of life’s best little luxuries, allowing you to relax in body and spirit. Your feet do all the heavy lifting in your day to day life so don’t you think they deserve a little extra love? You can use a bubbly foot bath if you already own one or simply sit on the edge of a bathtub filled with a few inches of relaxing hot water. Finish off with a little foot massage with scented lotion. (Bonus relaxation points if you can talk someone else into massaging your feet!)</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Take a swing at your local park</strong></p> <p>Nothing soothes and relaxes a baby like a swinging sensation and, contrary to popular belief, you don’t just grow out of that. Give yourself a gentle rock by heading to the park and swinging under the stars.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Go forest bathing</strong></p> <p>‘Forest bathing’ is one of the hottest new wellness trends as simply being outdoors, in nature, offers a host of health benefits, including a deep state of relaxation. Take advantage of this all-natural remedy by walking or hiking through a scenic spot near you.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Admire the sunset</strong></p> <p>Sure, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west every day of your life – but this doesn’t mean it isn’t a glorious experience. It’s all too easy to overlook the daily aerial light show, especially as it normally happens during the busiest times of day. So make an effort to sit down, take a deep breath of fresh air, relax, and just watch the sun set on another day.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Look through old photo albums</strong></p> <p>Nostalgia can bring back some powerful feelings. Looking through old family pictures or photos can remind you of the comforting sound of your mother’s voice, the safety of your father’s hug, the laughter of your friends, or the peace you found on that island you discovered on that amazing vacation you took years ago. Remembering how quickly life really goes by can help put your daily struggles into perspective, allowing you to relax and go with the flow more.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Have some milk and cookies</strong></p> <p>Milk and cookies are a tried-and-true relaxation method and it turns out there’s a scientific reason for that. The carbohydrates in the cookies combine with tryptophan, a calming amino acid found in dairy foods, to induce a powerful feeling of relaxation, according to a study published in Nutritional Health.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Tell a favourite childhood story</strong></p> <p>Sharing a favourite memory with a cherished friend or loved one is a great way to relive happy moments while creating new ones. Not only will this bring a smile to your face and help you relax but it’s a great way to help children relax before bedtime.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Call a friend</strong></p> <p>Hearing your mum or best friend’s voice has a way of instantly relaxing you in a way a text message or an email just can’t. So, if you need a quick moment of zen, take a moment to call and say hi to a loved one. They’ll appreciate that you’re thinking of them and you’ll get a quick reminder of why you adore them.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Sing some YouTube karaoke</strong></p> <p>Happy music triggers happy memories, instantly boosting your mood and relaxing you, according to a study published in Memory &amp; Cognition. Double the effect by singing along to your favourite tunes. You don’t even need a fancy karaoke machine these days, thanks to the millions of free sing-a-long videos on YouTube.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Meditate</strong></p> <p>Meditation is one of the most powerful relaxation methods we have, according to a growing body of research. And the best part is that all you need is a quiet place and your mind (and once you get good at it you don’t even necessarily need quiet).</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Walk your dog</strong></p> <p>Owning a pet has many health benefits, including stress relief and increased relaxation. Simply sitting and petting your furry friend can help you unwind but for the biggest relaxation benefits – for you and for them – take your pup on a walk outdoors.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Head to the library</strong></p> <p>Libraries are a free and incredibly useful resource – yet so many of us don’t even have a library card. Going to a quiet, clean library is calming on its own but add in a good book and you’ve got a recipe for hours of relaxation.</p> <p>Even if your local library hasn’t reopened yet, several libraries have apps that allow virtual lending.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Fold your laundry</strong></p> <p>Clutter increases anxiety, according to a study published in Current Psychology. So while chores may not be your go-to strategy to relax, doing some light cleaning will allow you to better relax. Plus, some repetitive chores, like folding laundry, can induce a relaxing ‘flow state’ that leads to less stress and greater creativity.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Sketch a doodle</strong></p> <p>You don’t have to be an artist to enjoy sketching, doodling, painting, or some other artistic endeavour. One of the main reasons people enjoy it so much is that creating art is innately relaxing, according to a study published in The American Journal of Public Health.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Play a sport</strong></p> <p>While some people prefer a solitary run or hike, many people love to relax with others. Playing a group sport, like tennis or a neighbourhood basketball game, can be a great way to get some happy endorphins flowing and have some fun social time.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Make some music</strong></p> <p>Do you play the piano? Have a violin sitting in your cupboard? Love the harmonica? Every person has the capacity to make some kind of music. Even if you’re no Mozart or Itzhak Perlman, you can still find a great deal of satisfaction and relaxation in playing your own music. For example, playing the piano changes the way the brain works, helping even amateur pianists become better at tuning out distracting stimuli and helping them to relax, according to a study published in PNAS.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Listen to a podcast</strong></p> <p>Podcasts are a huge trend right now, and while some shows (think true crime) may keep you up at night, others are designed to help you relax. Look for a podcast focused on meditation, music, learning, or even bedtime stories to help you find your chill.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Have a good belly laugh</strong></p> <p>The process of laughing actually reduces the levels of stress hormones in your body, according to a Japanese study. This makes having a good giggle one of the quickest and easiest ways to relax. Watch a funny video, ask a friend to tell you a joke, look up funny memes, or read your favourite comic.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Play a game with a kid</strong></p> <p>You know who never has a problem relaxing? Small children. We are all born with an innate sense of how to chill out but somehow lose that ability as we get older. Get a relaxing reminder by playing a fun game with your kids. It can be physical, like tag, or strategic, like Monopoly, or just silly, like Candy Land. Just make sure you’re not distracted by your phone so you can fully relax in the moment.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Have a cup of tea</strong></p> <p>Tea-lovers have known how to relax for millennia. Whether you choose tea or an herbal blend, the combination of warm water and herbs has an immediate soothing effect. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to sit down and take a moment to yourself – just two of the proven health benefits of green tea.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Write in a journal</strong></p> <p>Have a hard time relaxing after a stressful day? Pull out your journal! Simply writing out your feelings eases negative feelings and relieves stress, according to a study published in Behaviour Research and Therapy.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Read a good book</strong></p> <p>Between texts, emails, and the never-ending stream of content on the internet, most of us read a lot every day. But when it comes to relaxing there’s a difference between reading for work and reading for fun. By picking up a book you allow yourself to get lost in a good story without the risk of distracting electronic notifications.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Take a bubble bath</strong></p> <p>Warm water combined with bubbles and perhaps some candles and music are a go-to way to relax after a hard day for a good reason: it works! A bubble bath is the perfect way to shut out the world and let your body and mind unwind.</p> <p> </p> <p><em>Written by Charlotte Hilton Andersen</em><em>. This article first appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/culture/25-ways-to-relax-that-dont-cost-a-cent">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.com.au/subscribe">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</em></p>

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Completely natural ways to nip spring allergies in the bud

<p>If spring’s blossoms have left you red-eyed and runny-nosed, don’t rush straight to the medicine chest. Many drugs simply treat the symptoms of allergic reactions, which can often be easily prevented in the first place. Here are a few natural ways to keep your allergies at bay.</p> <ol> <li><strong> Avoid pollen </strong></li> </ol> <p>Most plants pollinate in the early hours of the morning, so try to postpone outdoor activity to the afternoon. Also, try taking a quick shower and changing your clothes every time you come home to rinse off stray pollen.</p> <ol start="2"> <li><strong> Find the triggers in your home </strong></li> </ol> <p>Mould, dust mites and pollen in your house can all inflame allergies. Use a diluted bleach solution to clean mould in basements, garages and on old patio furniture.</p> <ol start="3"> <li><strong> Avoid using window fans to cool rooms </strong></li> </ol> <p>They can suck pollen indoors.</p> <ol start="4"> <li><strong> Turn on the dehumidifier </strong></li> </ol> <p>You should keep humidity levels below 50 percent to kill dust mites, but above 30 percent to avoid making your home too dry.</p> <ol start="5"> <li><strong> Improve the air indoors</strong></li> </ol> <p>Invest in a good air filter and change it every two to three months.</p> <ol start="6"> <li><strong> Stay contained in the car</strong></li> </ol> <p>Keep windows closed when driving. If it’s hot, use the air conditioner instead.</p> <ol start="7"> <li><strong> Consider your diet</strong></li> </ol> <p>Eat foods rich in omega-3s to aid with allergies. These include fish, eggs, walnuts and flaxseed oil.</p> <ol start="8"> <li><strong> Love your laundry</strong></li> </ol> <p>Wash bed linens at least once a week in 50 degree-plus water. That’s how hot it should be to kill dust mite eggs.</p> <ol start="9"> <li><strong> Don a mask</strong></li> </ol> <p>Wear a mask while doing housework, which can stir up allergens.</p> <ol start="10"> <li><strong> Get wrapping</strong></li> </ol> <p>Bedroom items that can’t be washed, such as pillows, mattresses and box springs, should be covered in tightly woven, hypoallergenic dust-mite covers. Stuffed animals and throw pillows should be eliminated or kept to a minimum.</p> <ol start="11"> <li><strong> Pet protection</strong></li> </ol> <p>Clean your pets. Wipe off their paws when they come home and wipe down their fur after they’ve been outside.</p> <ol start="12"> <li><strong> Rinse and repeat. </strong></li> </ol> <p>Rinse out your nose with a simple saline solution. Clear the pollen from your passages using a Neti pot or a spray bottle.</p> <ol start="13"> <li><strong> Turn to herbs</strong></li> </ol> <p>Instead of drugs, take a few herbs. To alleviate a runny nose and sinus congestion, try freeze-dried stinging nettles. Eyebright can soothe red, itchy, watery eyes. And the supplement quercetin, a bioflavonoid often found packaged with Vitamin C, can also be an effective antihistamine. Butterbur can alleviate symptoms of grass allergies.</p> <p><em>This article first appeared on <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/allergies/zap-spring-allergies-with-these-natural-remedies" target="_blank">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a rel="noopener" href="http://readersdigest.com.au/subscribe" target="_blank">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</em></p>

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The game-changing molecule that can support energy for a fuller life

<p>We all know that maintaining our health and energy levels as we get older is not easy. But many people aren’t aware that part of the blame lies squarely with some of the tiniest foundational molecules in your cells – and once you take care of these, it allows the rest of your body to follow suit. One such molecule that’s crucial to our health is called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide – or NAD+.</p> <p>Scientists have been aware of NAD+ since it was first discovered back in 1906, but only more recently has its importance to health come to the forefront due to its central role in biological functions.</p> <p>The human body is miraculous and composed of trillions of cells, with each cell having its own purpose. NAD+ is a vital molecule that all cells are reliant on to generate the energy they need to function properly. NAD+ is involved in hundreds of reactions within the cell and importantly, provides the mitochondria with fuel to turn nutrients into energy.</p> <p>All of the cells in the body, whether they be heart, liver, muscle or brain cells, are dependent on NAD+ to help support energy levels, cellular repair and regeneration.</p> <p>However, NAD+ levels are known to decline with age, so it’s important to keep an eye on them. Between the ages of 40 and 60 NAD+ levels can decline by up to 50 per cent, which leaves the mitochondria to compete for a shrinking supply of this vital resource.<sup>(1)</sup><span> </span>Without sufficient NAD+, mitochondria are unable to optimally power our cells, making the body vulnerable to cellular damage.</p> <p>Along with ageing, lifestyle stressors like overeating or excessive drinking are also things known to cause a decline in NAD+. Yet despite its importance, it’s not entirely understood why NAD+ declines as you age, so scientists are urgently investigating ways to maintain your NAD+ stores.</p> <p>Making sure you have an adequate intake of NAD+ precursor nutrients is vital to making sure that your body’s needs are being met through your diet. But this becomes slightly difficult when you’re unable to easily obtain some nutrients through food at the quantities required to have a beneficial impact.</p> <p>One such nutrient scientifically proven to boost NAD+ levels is a novel form of vitamin B3 called nicotinamide riboside (NR).</p> <p>It was in 2004 that scientists discovered that NR was a unique and overlooked form of vitamin B3 and that it was a natural precursor to NAD+. This means that once ingested it’s taken up and converted to NAD+ in our cells, thus supporting cellular energy, repair and regeneration.</p> <p>If you’re wondering why you can’t just take a pill of NAD+ and be done with it, it’s because NAD+ is not bioavailable. This means that you can’t take it orally as it won’t survive the digestion process intact.</p> <p>However, don’t despair – NR has recently become available to Australian consumers as a patented dietary supplement called<span> </span><a href="https://www.truniagen.com.au/">Tru Niagen®</a><u>.</u></p> <p>A daily intake of 300mg of Tru Niagen® boosts NAD+ levels which supports energy levels, cellular repair and general health and wellbeing.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7837497/truniagen_060.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/b32ff1cc0f934786af828e96323d74b5" /></p> <div id="primary" class="contentAreaLeft"> <div class="Maincontent"> <p>So take a moment to consider “the little things” that are powering busily away inside your body at a molecular level, and take steps today to see that you are making the most of every advantage to support your inner health and wellbeing.</p> <p><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.truniagen.com.au/" target="_blank"><em>Use code NIAGEN20 at checkout for $20 off your first order.</em></a></p> <p><em>This article was produced in partnership with<span> </span></em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.truniagen.com.au/" target="_blank"><em>Tru Niagen®</em></a></p> <p><em>Always read the label. Follow the directions for use.</em></p> <p><em><sup>(1)</sup></em> <em>Massudi H, Grant R, Braidy N, Guest J, Farnsworth B, Guillemin GJ (2012) Age-Associated Changes In Oxidative Stress and NAD</em><em><sup>+</sup></em><em> Metabolism In Human Tissue. PLoS ONE 7(7): e42357.</em></p> </div> </div>

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Old-time home remedies that actually work

<p>Researchers have produced hundreds of studies in the past five years about the effectiveness of home remedies, but not all the old-time solutions really help. That’s why this list focuses on treatments with evidence to back them up. Remember that even natural cures can interact with medications. If you take pills regularly or have a chronic health condition, check with your doctor before trying these.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Buttermilk for age spots</strong></p> <p>You can skip the expensive skin creams. This rich by-product of butter contains lactic acid and ascorbic acid. One study showed that this combination lightened age spots more effectively than lactic acid alone. Apply to the spots with a cotton ball, then rinse with water after 20 minutes.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Comfrey for back pain</strong></p> <p>This medicinal plant has been used for centuries to treat joint and muscle pain. A study of 215 patients found that applying concentrated comfrey cream to the lower and upper back reduced muscle pain. You can buy it in health food stores and online.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Aloe for burns</strong></p> <p>“Aloe is a very soothing remedy for burns,” says dermatologist, Dr Purvisha Patel. One study demonstrated it was more effective than other treatments for second-degree burns. Make sure you use pure aloe, not a scented version. If you own an aloe plant, simply cut open a leaf and apply the liquid directly to the affected area. For serious burns, you should still see a doctor.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Ground flaxseed for constipation</strong></p> <p>“It’s almost as if nature tailor-made ground flaxseed to relieve constipation,” says gastroenterologist Dr Will Bulsiewicz. “It is a great source of both insoluble and soluble fibre, which add bulk to the stool and promote the growth of good bacteria.” Ground flaxseed is an excellent source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to help soften stool and relieve constipation. Aim for two to three tablespoons a day as part of a fibre-rich diet.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Thyme tea for coughs</strong></p> <p>Thyme is a natural expectorant that relaxes the respiratory tract and loosens mucus. Studies have found that using thyme in combination with primrose or ivy relieves the frequency and duration of coughs. To make thyme tea, place two tablespoons of fresh thyme (or one tablespoon dried) in a cup of hot water. Allow it to steep, then drain out the herb. Add honey to taste.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Blackberry tea for diarrhoea</strong></p> <p>Blackberries are rich in tannins, substances that can tighten mucous membranes in the intestinal tract. They have long been used as a treatment for diarrhoea. Make blackberry tea by boiling one or two tablespoons of fresh or frozen blackberries or dried blackberry leaves in one and a half cups of water for 10 minutes, then strain. Drink several cups a day. You can also buy blackberry tea, but make sure that it contains blackberry leaves and not just flavouring.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Lavender oil for foot odour</strong></p> <p>Lavender essential oil not only smells good but also has antibacterial properties that help kill germs. Before bed, rub a few drops of oil onto your feet and massage it in. Pull on a pair of socks to protect your sheets.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Globe artichoke extract for GORD and heartburn</strong></p> <p>Compounds in artichoke leaves called caffeoylquinic acids stimulate the release of bile from the gallbladder, which helps relieve nausea, gas, bloating, and other symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD) and heartburn. Since the leaves are mostly inedible, look for artichoke extract capsules in health food stores or online.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Cherries for gout</strong></p> <p>People who ate about 20 cherries every day were less likely to experience flare-ups of gout, according to a study of 633 patients with the condition. Cherries contain compounds that help neutralise uric acid.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Peppermint oil for headaches</strong></p> <p>Peppermint essential oil cools the skin, numbing the pain of a tension headache as well as acetaminophen does, according to two small studies. Mix a few drops with olive oil to prevent skin irritation, then gently massage onto your forehead and temples.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Sugar for hiccups</strong></p> <p>A spoonful of sugar doesn’t just help the medicine go down – when it comes to hiccups (contractions of the diaphragm), it is the medicine. “Eating the grainy sugar crystals forces you to swallow harder than normal, and this resets your diaphragm” to stop the spasms, says nutritionist, Claire Martin.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Fennel for indigestion</strong></p> <p>Those tiny seeds that you often see in bowls at Indian restaurants are fennel. They contain carminative agents, which help expel gas from the intestinal tract. Chew a pinch of fennel to help prevent after-dinner belching.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Valerian for insomnia</strong></p> <p>Valerian, an herb, helps people fall asleep faster without the ‘hangover’ effect of some sleeping pills. It binds to the same receptors in the brain that tranquilisers such as Valium do. Take one half to one teaspoon of valerian tincture or two valerian root capsules 30 minutes before bed.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Lemon juice for kidney stones</strong></p> <p>The most common type of kidney stone occurs when oxalate – a compound found in foods such as spinach, bran, and French fries – builds up in urine and ‘sticks’ to calcium, forming crystals. Drinking at least 120ml of lemon juice per day could help, researchers say, as citric acid can prevent the crystallisation of calcium and oxalate that creates these stones.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Avocado for razor burn</strong></p> <p>Avocado is rich with vitamins and oils that soften and hydrate skin to relieve the tenderness of razor burn. Apply mashed fruit or avocado oil directly to the irritated skin.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Clove oil for tooth and gum pain</strong></p> <p>“Oil of cloves can sometimes soothe an inflamed tooth,” says dentist, Dr Saul Pressner. Clove oil has bacteria-slaying properties and also a numbing effect. Mix a few drops with olive oil to avoid irritation, then swish it in your mouth.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Cranberry juice for urinary tract infections</strong></p> <p>A study of 373 women with a history of urinary tract infections (UTIs) showed that those who drank a glass of cranberry juice daily had a 40 per cent reduction in the number of UTIs compared with those who drank a placebo. While other studies have been mixed about the effect of cranberry juice on UTIs, scientists think a compound in cranberry juice can prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Cod liver oil for vision problems</strong></p> <p>This oil is a rich source of omega-3 fats, which increase blood flow to the eyes and decrease the risk of developing glaucoma and possibly macular degeneration. Take one teaspoon daily.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Duct tape for warts</strong></p> <p>Although doctors aren’t sure why it works, one study found that putting duct tape on warts and replacing it every six days was 25 per cent more effective than freezing them – and much cheaper.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Honey for wounds</strong></p> <p>Since ancient Egyptian times, people have used honey as a salve for wounds. Pure honey contains the enzyme glucose oxidase, which causes a chemical reaction that releases hydrogen peroxide, an antiseptic. Honeys range widely in their antibacterial potency, however. For best results, scientists recommend manuka honey, from New Zealand, which contains an additional compound that increases its effectiveness. Apply honey directly to a wound every 12 to 24 hours and cover it with sterile gauze.</p> <p> </p> <p><em>Written by Jen McCaffery and Tina Donvito. </em></p> <p><em>This article was originally published on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/culture/20-old-time-home-remedies-that-actually-work">Reader's Digest</a>.</em></p>

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The science behind what makes us put on weight

<p><strong>It really is genetic<br /><br /></strong>When scientists first discovered the gene in certain chubby mice, they called it the fatso gene. Years later, when they scoured the human genome for markers that increased vulnerability to type 2 diabetes, the fatso gene (now more politely called FTO) showed up there, too. Turns out, people with two copies of the gene were 40 per cent more likely to have diabetes and 60 per cent more likely to be obese than those without it. Those with only one copy of the gene weighed more, too.<br /><br />Scientists now suspect that there are lots of fat genes. “There could be as many as 100,” says Dr Claude Bouchard, executive director of the Pennington Biomedical Research Centre. “Each add a couple of pounds here and a pound or two there. That’s a noticeable difference when it comes to how much more fat we need to burn off.”<br /><br />As much as 16 per cent of the population has two copies of the FTO gene, and half of us have one copy. So far, scientists suspect that the other possible obesity-promoting genes have a small effect compared with FTO. The good news? “A genetic predisposition isn’t necessarily a life sentence,” says Bouchard. Also, even though FTO gene carriers are more likely to be obese, the gene doesn’t prevent you from losing weight, according to a 2016 study from Newcastle University.  “Our study shows that improving your diet and being more physically active will help you lose weight, regardless of your genetic makeup,” said lead researcher John Mathers.</p> <p><br /><br /></p> <p><strong>Some people just have more fat cells<br /><br /></strong>And the range is enormous, with some people having twice as many fat cells as others have, says Dr Kirsty Spalding, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. Even if you’ve lost a few kilograms (or gained some), your fat-cell count remains, holding tight to the fat already inside and forever thirsting to be filled up with more. To add insult to injury, the fat cells of overweight and obese people hold more fat, too.<br /><br />New fat cells emerge during childhood but seem to stop by adolescence. Those of us destined to have a lot of these cells probably start producing them as young as age two. The cells’ rate of growth may also be faster – even if kids cut right back on kilojoules.<br /><br />Strangers have written to Spalding, telling her how depressed they are by her research. But she says her news isn’t all bleak. You’re better off with more fat cells, she says, than with fewer fat cells that become overstuffed and enlarged. New research suggests that the overstuffed group are more vulnerable to obesity – related health complications. So while you can’t reduce your total number of fat cells, there are things you can do to keep them small.<br /><br /><br /><strong>You can change your metabolism<br /><br /></strong>Another Scandinavian team looked into what happens at the cellular level when you gain weight. Assistant professor of nutrition, Dr Kirsi Pietiläinen, studied sets of twins where one was fat and the other thin, and learned that fat cells in heavier twins underwent metabolic changes that make it more difficult to burn fat. Pietiläinen’s team suspects that gaining as little as five kilograms can slow metabolism and send you spiralling into a vicious cycle: as you gain more fat, it becomes harder to lose it.<br /><br />How to get back on track? “The more I learn on the job, the more I’m convinced we need physical activity,” Pietiläinen says. Once a chubby child herself, she now runs regularly and is at a healthy weight.<br /><br /><br /><strong>Stress fattens you up<br /><br /></strong>The most direct route is the food-in-mouth syndrome: stressful circumstances (your bank account, your boss) spark cravings for carbohydrate-rich snack foods, which in turn calm stress hormones. When researchers in one study took away high-carb food from stressed mice, their stress hormones surged.<br /><br />Stress hormones also ramp up fat storage. For our prehistoric ancestors, stress meant drought or approaching tigers, and a rapid-storage process made sense; we needed the extra energy to survive food shortages or engage in battle. Today we take our stress sitting down – and the unused kilojoules accumulate in our midsection.<br /><br />To whittle yourself back down to size, in addition to your usual workout routine, make time for stress relief – whether it’s a yoga class or quality time with family.<br /><br /><br /><strong>Mum's pregnancy sealed your fate<br /><br /></strong>A mother’s cigarettes increase the risk of low birth weight, and alcohol can damage her baby’s brain. So why wouldn’t unhealthy foods wreak similar havoc? A growing body of science suggests that sugary and fatty foods, consumed even before you’re born, do exactly that. A Pennington study on rodents reports that overweight females have higher levels of glucose and free fatty acids floating around in the womb than in normal-weight females. These molecules trigger the release of proteins that can upset the appetite-control and metabolic systems in the developing brain.<br /><br />What’s true for mice is often true for humans as well. Doctors from State University of New York Downstate Medical Center compared children born before their mothers had gastric bypass surgery with siblings born later. Women weighed less after the surgery, as expected, but their children were also half as likely to be obese. Because siblings have such similar genetic profiles, the researchers attributed the weight differences to changes in the womb environment. Mums-to-be, take note: you can give your kids a head start by eating well and steering clear of sugary drinks before they’re born.<br /><br /><br /><strong>Sleep more, weigh less<br /><br /></strong>When patients see Dr Louis Aronne, past president of the Obesity Society, they’re just as likely to have their sleep assessed as their eating habits. If patients are getting less than seven to eight hours, Dr Aronne may prescribe more shut-eye rather than the latest diet or drug. With more sleep, he says, “they have a greater sense of fullness, and they’ll spontaneously lose weight.”<br /><br /><br />Why? University of Chicago researchers reported that sleep deprivation upsets our hormone balance, triggering both a decrease in leptin (which helps you feel full) and an increase of ghrelin (which triggers hunger). As a result, we think we’re hungry even though we aren’t – and so we eat. Indeed, sleep may be the cheapest and easiest obesity treatment there is.<br /><br /><br /><strong>Your spouse's weight matters<br /><br /></strong>When Jodi Dixon’s 188-centimetre, 163 kilogram husband lost 57 kilos, she had mixed feelings. She was the one who always watched her weight and exercised; she was always the one trying to get her husband to be more active. Mort, a medical sales rep, was always the life of the party, says his wife, a 43-year-old mother of two. But when he lost the weight, it was different.<br /><br />“Men and women would flock to him, drawn to his charisma,” she recalls. “I felt jealous.” Dixon comforted herself with food and gained 10 kilos before she decided to take action. She began bike riding with her husband and enrolled in a diet program. Eventually she trimmed down, too, shedding 15 kilos, and has her sights on losing more.<br /><br />Dixon credits the weight gain, and the loss, to her jealousy. But research shows that weight gain and loss can be, well, contagious. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that if one spouse is obese, the other is 37 per cent more likely to become obese, too. The researchers concluded that obesity seems to spread through social networks.<br /><br />As in Dixon’s case, slimming down seems to be catching, at least within the family: when Dixon launched her weight-loss plan, her eldest daughter, also overweight, followed her mum’s healthy habits and lost 18 kilos.<br /><br /><br /><strong>Achoo! A virus can cause obesity<br /><br /></strong>Adenoviruses are responsible for a host of illnesses, from upper respiratory tract problems to gastrointestinal troubles. The link to fat was uncovered when researchers at the University of Wisconsin injected chickens with the viruses and found that certain strains fattened them up.<br /><br />Stem cells, known for their chameleon-like abilities to transform, also turned into fat cells when infected with the viruses. “The virus seems to increase the number of fat cells in the body as well as the fat content of these cells,” says associate professor Dr Nikhil Dhurandhar.<br /><br />Human studies, including comparisons of twins, suggest that obese people are indeed more likely to harbour antibodies for a particular virus, known as adenovirus-36.<br /><br />We have flu shots; could an obesity vaccine be the next step? It may sound far-fetched, but “that’s what they said about cervical cancer ,too,” says Dhurandhar.<br /><br /><br /><strong>Biscuits really are addictive<br /><br /></strong>While food is not addictive the way cocaine or alcohol is, scientists in recent years have found some uncanny similarities. When subjects at Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia were shown the names of foods they liked, the parts of the brain that got excited were the same parts activated in drug addicts. It may have to do with dopamine, the hormone linked to motivation and pleasure, say researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory in the US. If obese people have fewer dopamine receptors, they may need more food to get that pleasurable reaction.<br /><br /><br /><strong>Ear infections can taint your taste buds<br /><br /></strong>For years, the team at Linda Bartoshuk’s taste lab at the University of Florida wondered why people who tasted food less intensely than others seemed more likely to be fat. Researcher Derek Snyder had a theory: could an ear infection, which can damage a taste nerve running through the middle ear, be the missing link? After tabulating 6584 questionnaires, the team discovered that those over 35 who had suffered several ear infections had almost double the chance of being obese.<br /><br />Responses to additional questions provided clues as to why. Former ear-infection patients were a little more likely to love sweets and fatty foods – perhaps because the damaged nerve causes them to have a higher threshold for sensing sweetness and fattiness. Even a small increase in kilojoules from bad food choices adds up over time.<br /><br />Childhood ear infections are as hard to avoid as the colds that tend to bring them on, but limiting passive smoke seems to drive down incidents of ear infection. If you’re an overweight adult who suffered a severe ear infection as a child, it may be worth paying attention to the taste and texture of your food. Simply finding healthier substitutes, such as fruit instead of sweets or olive oil instead of butter, may help drive you towards eating better and weighing less.<br /><br /><br /><strong>Antioxidants are also anti-fat<br /><br /></strong>Free radicals are now blamed not only for making you look old but also for making you fat. Dr Zane Andrews, neuroendocrinologist at Monash University, says these oxidizing molecules damage the cells that tell us we’re full. Free radicals emerge when we eat, which is something even the keenest dieter must do to survive, but they’re especially prevalent when we gorge on chocolate bars, chips, and other carbohydrates. With every passing year, these fullness signifiers suffer wear and tear – causing the ‘stop eating!’ signal to get weaker and appetites (and possibly our stomachs) to get bigger. The best way to fight back? Avoid the junk and load up on colourful, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables.<br /><br /><br /><strong>Pick a diet, any diet<br /><br /></strong>As established diet books constantly reinvent themselves to sell copies and win converts, a curious phenomenon has emerged: Ornish, Atkins, and everyone in between are sounding remarkably similar. The low-fat gurus now say that certain fats are okay, while the low-carb proponents are beginning to endorse whole grains. With every new guideline and selling point, each diet acknowledges that there are really four basic rules to healthy eating (drumroll, please):</p> <ul> <ul> <li>Consume carbs in the form of whole grains and fibre.</li> <li>Avoid trans fats and saturated fats.</li> <li>Eat lean protein.</li> <li>Fill up on fruits and vegetables.</li> </ul> </ul> <p> </p> <p>The low-carb South Beach Diet, for example, now espouses the virtues of eating the Mediterranean way-including lots of carbohydrate-rich fruits and vegetables. The latest Atkins book emphasises the ‘good carb’ message, too. Weight Watchers, a champion of the points system, is now offering a ‘no counting’ option based on healthy choices like those above. Jenny Craig is pushing Volumetrics, a high-volume, low-kilojoule strategy. And everyone gives a thumbs-down to processed and sugary carbohydrates, which cause insulin to spike and can lead to more fat and even diabetes.<br /><br />Low-fat-diet guru Dr Dean Ornish, says, “It’s the end of the diet wars.” His most recent book, The Spectrum, even offers recipes that can be prepared in various ‘degrees’ – from a vegetable chilli served plain (low-fat) to one served with olives (more fat) to still another served with turkey breast sausage (still more fat).<br /><br />The key to all of this, of course, is moderation rather than deprivation – eating in a way you can live with. And for some people, an important side effect of eating more plant-based foods is that it’s better for the environment and good for your health.<br /><br /><br /><strong>You can be fat and fit<br /><br /></strong>A growing body of literature suggests that size doesn’t matter when it comes to your health. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine surveyed 5440 American adults and found that 51 per cent of the overweight and almost 32 per cent of the obese had mostly normal cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, and other measures of good health.<br /><br />Further defying conventional wisdom, the article also reported that 23.5 per cent of trim adults were, in fact, metabolically abnormal, making them more vulnerable to heart disease than their heavier counterparts.<br /><br />The latest Australian Department of Health recommends accumulating 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities each week.<br /><br />Try some tricks for sneaking in fitness throughout your busy day like forgoing the elevators for the stairs, getting off one train or bus stop earlier, and parking your car a few blocks away.<br /><br />Remember exercise scientist Steven Blair, the self-described short, fat, bald guy? At age 69, his blood pressure is in check, his cholesterol levels are normal, and his heart is strong. What’s more, he may have even more positive vital signs, according to his recent study in the journal Obesity: men who are fit (determined by their performance on a treadmill) have a lower risk of dying of cancer than out-of-shape guys, regardless of their body mass index, waist size, or percentage of body fat.<br /><br />The news is heartening, says Blair, “We don’t have great tools to change people’s weight, but we know we can change their fitness levels.”<br /><br /><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/13-things-you-never-knew-about-your-weight-until-now">Reader's Digest</a></em><a href="https://www.rd.com/list/13-things-you-never-knew-about-your-weight-slideshow/"><em>.</em></a></p>

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The surprising step you've been missing from your oral care routine

<p>Three quarters of Australian adults were warned against chewing gum as a child. But recently, Australian dentists have been saying quite the opposite.<br /><br />According to new YouGov data on the chewing habits of Australians, almost a third of Australian adults were told as children that chewing gum was rude, and nearly a quarter were told it was bad for your teeth. But leading dentists say sugarfree gum actually plays a key role in looking after your dental health.<br /><br />In the midst of a global pandemic it would be no surprise some of us are hesitant to keep up regular dental checks.<br /><br />In fact, the ADA's Oral Health Tracker found that just under half (48.8%) of adults surveyed had visited a dentist for a check-up in the last 12 months - a number that is anticipated to get worse as Australians avoid the dentist due to fears of proximity to others, job losses result in people spending less on their health and people are stuck at home eating sugary foods more regularly.<br /><br />Sydney dentist Dr Jalal Khan says there are some simple ways all Australians keep up their oral health even during the COVID-19 pandemic.<br /><br />Dr Khan says more Aussies should consider chewing sugarfree gum after eating or drinking when brushing isn’t possible, because it helps to neutralise plaque acid and maintain tooth enamel.<br /><br />“Oral hygiene and looking after our teeth isn’t something we should do just once or twice a day, in the morning and night, because we eat and snack so frequently throughout the day,” Dr Khan said. “Chewing sugarfree gum helps to fill the gaps between brushing and flossing creating a healthy environment for our teeth.”<br /><br />A recent scientific literature review by King’s College found chewing sugarfree gum could help reduce the incidence and growth of dental caries by up to 28 per cent.<sup>  <br /><br /></sup>Despite being preventable, tooth decay is one of Australia’s most common oral health problems and is on the rise among Australian adults and children. Maintaining good oral health is fundamental to overall health, reduces risk of chronic diseases and improves mental wellbeing.<br /><br />This week, Dr Jalal Khan drilled down into new YouGov research on Australia’s chewing habits to bust some long-held myths about chewing gum:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Bad manners or healthy habit? </strong>- The main reason Aussies don’t chew gum is because they think it’s rude (29% of adults).<br /><br /></li> </ul> <p><br />Dr Khan: “The fact is chewing sugar-free gum is a healthy habit that helps look after your teeth. The act of chewing gum stimulates saliva flow, which clears food particles, and protects the teeth by neutralising any acidity in your meal. Only 17% of Aussie adults chew gum after eating and drinking to look after their teeth.” <br /><br /></p> <ul> <li><strong>Not all gums are equal -</strong> A quarter (25%) of Australian adults avoid chewing gum because they believe it contains sugar.</li> </ul> <p><br />Dr Khan: “Most gum (93%) on the market is sugarfree and endorsed by national dental bodies. I recommend looking for gum that displays the Australian Dental Association or FDI World Dental Federation logos on the back of pack.”<br /><br /></p> <ul> <li><strong>Is there a right (or wrong) time to chew? -</strong> While 17% of adults chew before eating to prevent snacking or over-eating, dentists say chewing after a meal has more benefits.<br /><br /></li> </ul> <p>Dr Khan: “If you are on the go, it’s best to chew gum after you’ve finished a meal to stimulate saliva flow, which clears food particles and protects the teeth by neutralising any acidity in your meal. It’s important to chew for at least 20 minutes as this has been shown to help maintain the enamel on your teeth.”<br /><br /></p> <ul> <li><strong>What happens if you swallow gum? </strong>As children, over half of us (55% of Australian adults) were told that if you swallow gum it stays in your stomach.</li> </ul> <p> </p> <p>Dr Khan: “It’s an old wives’ tale that’s been passed down by each generation. The truth is if you swallow gum it will NOT stay in your stomach. Although chewing gum is not designed to be swallowed, it simply passes through your body’s digestive system after a few days.”</p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Brushing and flossing isn’t enough to maintain fresh breath </strong>- Almost three quarters (74%) of people that chew gum, do it to freshen their breath.</li> </ul> <p> </p> <p>Dr Khan: “Brushing, flossing and chewing gum all help to keep your breath fresh but so does your diet. I’m not just talking about avoiding garlic.<sup>  </sup>Our mouth is the front end of our gut and it’s lined with bacteria. The mix of the bacteria in your mouth and gut can directly influence the smell of your breath.”</p> <p><br />To keep your teeth healthy, Dr Khan recommends five simple steps:</p> <ol> <li>Get <strong>regular check-ups </strong>from your <a href="https://www.ada.org.au/Find-a-Dentist">dentist</a> (once every six months is generally recommended)</li> <li><strong>Brush</strong> twice a day</li> <li><strong>Floss</strong> daily</li> <li>Eat a healthy, balanced <strong>diet </strong></li> <li>Chew <strong>sugarfree gum </strong>after eating or drinking and when on-the-go<br /><br /><br /></li> </ol> <p><em>Issued on behalf of the Extra Oral Healthcare Program</em></p> <p><strong>Dr Jalal Khan</strong> is a Sydney-based dentist and a member of the NSW Australian Dental Association. Dr Khan has a North Sydney dental clinic and runs a mobile dental truck to provide dental services to regional communities in need.</p>

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What is happening with the COVID-19 vaccine?

<p>Coronavirus cases around the world have now reached over a staggering 20 million, with 737,000 tragically dying from the disease.</p> <p>And the only way to beat the illness is to create a vaccine.</p> <p>But creating a vaccine is no easy feat, as the entire process requires vigorous testing meaning it’s still a long way away.</p> <p>At the moment, there are 139 candidates in the very early stages of pre-clinical trials - which means they’re not ready to be tested on humans.</p> <p>But it’s not all doom and gloom, as there is plenty of positive progress happening.</p> <p>Twenty-five students have moved into Phase One - that means they are doing small-scale safety trials on human volunteers.</p> <p>Seventeen have progressed to Phase Two - which includes expanded safety trials.</p> <p>Phase Three involves large-scale efficacy trials - and right now, there are seven studies around the globe tracking on that level.</p> <p>For those in Phase Three, the vaccine and placebo are tested on thousands of people to ensure it’s safe and to whether or not there are any side effects.</p> <p>“The most promising one is the one in the UK with the Oxford-developed vaccine,” said Professor Peter Collignon.</p> <p>“We need a vaccine that’s about 90-plus per cent effective to really have a big impact.”</p> <p>There are also hopes that a vaccine could be approved as early as Christmas this year.</p> <p>However, Professor Collignon warned that vaccinating enough of the population to climate the virus altogether is the biggest challenge.</p> <p>“If you look at diseases where we’ve been very successful - German measles, for instance - we really still need 90 per cent of the population either having had the infection or be vaccinated to be able to eliminate the disease - in other words, to not have it circulating,” Collignon said.</p> <p>To put that in a global context, we would need close to two billion doses worldwide.</p> <p>Australia also has their own trials underway, with Dr Paul Griffin overseeing Phase One for the University of Queensland’s vaccine and promising Novavax study.</p> <p>Dr Griffin agreed with experts saying people will have to most likely wait till the end of next year before they can get vaccinated.</p> <p>And we’re yet to see how it will be distributed.</p> <p>But Dr Griffin hopes that those who are at most risk - the most vulnerable - will be the first priority.</p> <p>“I would like to think that it’s going to be a bit of a prioritisation process,” Griffin said.</p> <p>“The parts of the world and the populations that derive the greatest benefit would get access first.</p> <p>“What that might look like would be vulnerable populations and the elderly and aged care homes - and perhaps our frontline healthcare workers.”</p>

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Hugh Bonneville’s remarkable transformation

<p><span>Hugh Bonneville has surprised fans after he reappeared from quarantine looking unrecognisable from his old self.</span><br /><br /><span>The beloved <em>Downton Abbey</em> actor made waves when he appeared on UK TV show, The One Show this week in a live cross from his home after months of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.</span><br /><br /><span>Bonneville, 56, also reappeared with a completely new hairstyle which added to his radical transformation.</span></p> <p><img id="__mcenew" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7837281/hugh-downtown-abbey-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/96410fbfb59448fbba851f1bfad01b2f" /><br /><br /><span>Rocking a trim buzzcut, the actor who plays Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham in Downton Abbey had some fans and presenters doing a double-take.</span><br /><br /><span>Viewers took to social media to share their shock over seeing Hugh.</span><br /><br /><span>Fans wrote that he was showing off a “major glow up”.</span><br /><br /><span>“Almost didn't recognise Hugh Bonneville on #TheOneShow. Lost so much weight,” one viewer said via social media app Twitter.</span><br /><br /><span>“He looks totally different!” another said</span><br /><br /><span>“Wow, I didn't recognise Hugh Bonneville on #TheOneShow to start with! What a transformation!” gushed a third fan.</span><br /><br /><span>Hughis best known for playing Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham in hit drama series <em>Downton Abbey.</em></span><br /><br /><span>His other notable roles include Mr Henry Brown in the <em>Paddington</em> movies and Ian Fletcher in the series <em>W1A.</em></span></p>

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New study places postmenopausal women at higher risk of COVID-19

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>A groundbreaking study has found that post-menopausal women with lower levels of estrogen appear to be at higher risk of developing severe coronavirus.</p> <p>The study, which was led by researchers at King's College in London found that higher levels of estrogen may have a protective effect against coronavirus.</p> <p>Estrogen interacts with the immune system in various ways, including how many immune cells are produced and how they respond to infection. </p> <p>Using data from the COVID Symptom Study App, researchers examined the rate of predicted COVID-19 among post-menopausal women, pre-menopausal women taking the combined oral contraceptive pill and post-menopausal women taking hormone replacement therapy.</p> <p>Results were taken from more than 500,000 women in the UK between May 7th and June 15th in 2020.</p> <p>Researchers hypothesised that estrogen could serve as a protectant against COVID-19.</p> <p>The study quickly found postmenopausal women had a higher rate of predicted COVID-19 than other studied women.</p> <p>Women in the 45-50 age group were most likely to be at risk, with reported symptoms of anosmia (inability to smell), fever and a persistent cough.</p> <p>Women who were using the combined oral contraceptive pill between 18-45 had a lower rate of predicted COVID-19 and corresponding reduced frequency of symptoms.</p> <p>The rate of hospitalisation was also significantly lower in this group.</p> <p>Hormone replacement theory in post menopausal women between 50-65 years was associated with an increased rate of predicted COVID-19 but not with hospitalisation. </p> <p>The researchers advised that hormone replacement therapy should be considered with caution due to the lack of information, route of administration as well as duration of treatment.</p> <p>Joint lead author Dr Karla Lee, from King’s College London, said: “We hypothesised that pre-menopausal women with higher estrogen levels would have less severe COVID-19 when compared to women of the same age and BMI who had been through the menopause, and our findings supported this.</p> <p>“Additionally, when we compared a younger group of women on the combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP) with a similar group not taking the COCP, we saw less severe COVID amongst those taking the COCP - suggesting hormones in the COCP may offer some protection against COVID-19.</p> <p>“More research is certainly needed to further our knowledge.”</p> </div> </div> </div>

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Adele shows off incredible new figure in rare post

<p>Adele has shown her support for Beyoncé’s brand-new experimental album<span> </span>Black is King<span> </span>in her latest Instagram post, however her transformation almost overshadowed the sweet sentiment.  </p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CDWzJe8A5Xz/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CDWzJe8A5Xz/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Adele (@adele)</a> on Aug 1, 2020 at 11:09am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>On Friday, Beyoncé’s much-anticipated visual album finally dropped at midnight on Disney+.</p> <p>The 85-minute film which is based on the music of last summer’s The Lion King: The Gift, it is a “a celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience.”</p> <p>Adele, who is a proud fan of the performer, took to social media to broadcast her excitement.</p> <p>“Thank you Queen for always making us all feel so loved through your art,” she wrote.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B_1VGc5AsoZ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B_1VGc5AsoZ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Adele (@adele)</a> on May 5, 2020 at 9:38pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>She also wore the same body suit as Beyonce in the album, which showed off her beautiful figure.</p> <p>A beach picture in January surfaced this year, revealing that the artist lost around an estimated 40 kilograms.</p>

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Fit and healthy Melbourne nurse shares unexpected COVID-19 symptom

<p>A young and health nurse who works in the emergency department at the Royal Melbourne Hospital has revealed that she suffered from an unusual symptom before testing positive for coronavirus.</p> <p>Emily Morris, 32, told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-07-27/more-than-700-victorian-healthcare-workers-with-covid19/12494330" target="_blank" class="_e75a791d-denali-editor-page-rtflink"><em>ABC's 7:30 Report</em></a><em> </em>that she felt a strange pain in her lower legs a week and a half ago.</p> <p>She knew it was different from anything she ever experienced as she was used to being on her feet for hours on end.</p> <p>"I was at work when I developed some aching to my lower legs and I spoke to my manager and she got me tested straight away," she said.</p> <p>She said she self-isolated herself until she got her results 24 hours, which confirmed she had coronavirus.</p> <p>Other common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, dry cough and tiredness.</p> <p>"I was absolutely devastated. I think that as a health care worker, there is a little bit of shame and stigma around being diagnosed as COVID positive," she said.</p> <p>"I'm young, I'm fit, I'm healthy. I was doing the right things and I got coronavirus."</p> <p>She is now isolating in a government apartment so she doesn't risk exposing her housemates to coronavirus.</p> <p>"I feel terrible. I haven't felt like eating and have difficulty keeping down fluids," she said.</p> <p>Morris suspects she contracted the virus within the community.</p> <p>"I work in the respiratory emergency department, which means that I wear an N95 mask. Then on top of that, I wear a face shield, hair coverings as well as a full length gown," she said.</p> <p>"Considering the high quality of the PPE that we have and the procedures that we have in place, I am very certain that this was a community acquired transmission."</p> <p>Morris is sharing her story and is urging others to follow social distancing measures as well as wearing a mask.</p> <p>"The discomfort that you think you feel wearing [a mask] does not compare to the discomfort that you will experience if you test COVID-positive," Ms Morris warned in a video posted on social media. </p> <p>"[To] become short of breath that even walking from the couch to the toilet is a mammoth effort.</p> <p>"Wear a mask, wash your hands, engage in social distancing. There is nothing more inconvenient and uncomfortable than catching corona. </p> <p>"I can tell you. I know from experience."</p>

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Bunnings anti-mask woman strikes again

<div class="body_text "> <p>A new video has emerged of a woman trying to bait an Australia Post worker into a confrontation over wearing a face mask in Victoria.</p> <p>The woman in the video is believed to be the same person responsible for refusing to wear a mask inside a Bunnings store in Melbourne.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Wait til this Karen finds out about 'no shoes, no shirt, no service'. <a href="https://t.co/2dvLE90dOa">pic.twitter.com/2dvLE90dOa</a></p> — cam smith (@sexenheimer) <a href="https://twitter.com/sexenheimer/status/1287174291138572288?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 25, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>The newly resurfaced clip shows the Australia Post worker wearing a mask, but does not say anything during the video.</p> <p>It's believed that the male employee asked the woman to put on a mask before approaching the desk. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none"> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://t.co/TfCZaZREJX">pic.twitter.com/TfCZaZREJX</a></p> — cam smith (@sexenheimer) <a href="https://twitter.com/sexenheimer/status/1287252585301172224?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 26, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>"I do not need a mask," the woman can be heard saying. </p> <p>"If you could stamp that, that would be wonderful.</p> <p>"I suggest you update yourself on what the Department of Human Services have put on with regards to masks and who needs to wear them."</p> <p>The woman was previously in a confrontation with Bunnings staff, as it was asked if she had a mask yesterday.</p> <p>"You are not authorised to ask me or question me about it," the shopper told the female staff member, who directed her to a manager.</p> <p>The woman was told she would need a medical certificate to be exempt from wearing a mask, while another staff member explained it was a condition of entry into the store.</p> <p>"You're discriminating against me," she said in footage uploaded online, and then claimed that being asked to wear a mask was in breach of her human rights.</p> <p>"It is in breach of the 1948 charter of human rights to discriminate against men and women," she said.</p> <p>The staff member explained that the rule applied to everyone and that the woman was not being targeted.</p> <p>"I don't care it doesn't apply to me," she said.</p> <p>"I am going to continue going in here and getting what I need because it is unlawful to do that.</p> <p>"It is my right as a living woman to do whatever I want."</p> <p>Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth has said that the incident in Bunnings was "intolerable and completely unacceptable".</p> <p>"That sort of behaviour has to stop. I acknowledge that wearing a mask can be difficult," Dr Coatsworth said yesterday.</p> <p>"It may take a while to get used to but in all seriousness, it is just having a mask on."</p> <p>"We understand that social distancing and testing is important, but if the icing on the cake is to wear masks and cut that transmission rate down so Victorians can get on that other side of the curve as quickly as possible."</p> </div>

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Study reveals most at-risk drinkers in Australia

<p><span>According to newly released studies, older Aussies are drinking alcohol at risky levels while the wealthy are consuming more than the average person.</span></p> <p><span>La Trobe’s University’s Centre for Alcohol Policy Research conducted an analysis of 7976 Australians aged over 60 based on 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey Data.</span></p> <p><span>The research discovered those aged 60 and above were drinking more alcohol in comparison to those who earn a lower income.</span></p> <p><span>“In the current study, the odds of risky drinking increased alongside annual household income levels, with those in the higher income bracket more likely to be risky drinkers,” the report reads.</span></p> <p><span>The highest proportion of risky drinkers was found in the highest income bracket at 31 per cent, while about 22 per cent of low-income participants drank at risky levels.</span></p> <p><span>The wealthier over 60s who fell into the risky drinking category were in the highest income bracket of $128,388 to $217,048, and 54 per cent had experienced at some form of harm in a one year period.</span></p> <p><span>Research found that 17 per cent of Australians over 60 are drinking more than the recommended amount.</span></p> <p><span>“Approximately 54 per cent of risky drinkers experienced a negative outcome as a result of their drinking in the last year,” the report reads.</span></p> <p><span>The study also found 93 per cent of over 60s in the risky drinking category, and 80 per cent of lower risk drinkers over 60 listed their homes as their most popular place to drink.</span></p> <p><span>The study concludes by saying interventions aimed at those who are in the senior age bracket need to focus beyond socio-economically disadvantaged groups, as is often the case.</span></p>

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An open letter to lovers of tea: Do you know what’s in your cuppa?

<p>Greetings from Sri Lanka, where we make the world’s finest tea. My name is Dilhan, son of the most passionate and experienced Teamaker in the world, Merrill J. Fernando. Together with my brother Malik, we are a family of tea growers, now in the second generation with a third in training. You may know our father as Mr. Dilmah. He was the first tea farmer to offer his tea, picked, perfected, packed and shipped from where it’s grown, direct to tea drinkers around the world. When he first launched <span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.dilmah.com.au/" target="_blank">Dilmah</a></span> <span>33 years ago in Australia, he offered the great taste of Single Origin Tea, the natural goodness in garden-fresh tea, and the ethical purpose of a family business formed on family values. Nothing has changed since then and we maintain an uncompromising commitment to our father’s founding principles.</span></p> <p>However, much has changed in the world of tea, with profit too often replacing quality. For us, as tea growers, that compromise is not an option. As you choose your tea in stores or online, we would like to explain exactly what’s in your cup of Dilmah Tea and why it is important.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Foversixtys%2Fvideos%2F279629359932751%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Taste – </strong>My father made a commitment to Single Origin Tea from Ceylon, now called Sri Lanka, and we honour that commitment with no compromise. Tea is blessed with terroir – the sense of place that expresses sunshine, wind, rain and the fingerprint of Nature to produce great taste, aroma and character – the personality of a tea. Purity of origin – provenance – is important in tea because it is Nature that is the real Teamaker, and our role is simply to nurture her perfect work. There is no reason to blend or mix teas from different places and it is generally done for profit – to reduce cost.</p> <p>That comes at the cost of quality. Terroir is the reason our Dilmah Premium Ceylon expresses the heart of Ceylon Tea through the strength and brightness of tea grown in the Dimbula Valley, while our Dilmah Extra Strength Tea is so very different – grown at around 2,000 feet above sea level and therefore malty, intense and strong.</p> <p><strong>Goodness – </strong>is how tea was first discovered. The people who picked tea 5,000 years ago, were physicians, who recognised the health benefits that the leaf offers, and considered tea a medicine. The reason for that is the antioxidants in tea, which scientists say may be responsible for the wellness in a cup of tea. Your tea needs to be garden fresh though, as fresh tea is richer in flavour and natural goodness. As tea ages in ships, warehouses and is blended, it absorbs moisture which can offset the natural goodness and taste in tea. That is why my father fought a colonial economic system for 37 years – to be able to grow and offer his Dilmah Tea direct from our tea gardens.</p> <p><strong>Purpose –</strong> We are a family business, and we exist because of my father’s love for tea but equally because of his desire for integrity. He wanted to share the success of his dream of a genuinely ethical tea, with tea pickers and their families, people with disabilities, and marginalised people in the wider community. He made a commitment – a minimum 15% of our pre-tax profits – to be used by his Merrill J. Fernando Charitable Foundation to address inequality, promote education, strengthen communities and a lot more. An additional amount – now around a million dollars each year – to Dilmah Conservation for climate change research &amp; adaptation, environmental education, species conservation, sustainable agriculture and more. Please have a look at <span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.dilmahconservation.org" target="_blank">www.dilmahconservation.org</a></span>.</p> <p>My father was blessed to reach the age of 90 in May, and he also commemorated 70 years in tea – making him the most experienced Teamaker in service today. His greatest joy is the work of his Foundation. We have established over 2000 entrepreneurs, empowering them with dignity to overcome poverty, gender inequality, and disability. This and other programmes have touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of less privileged children, youth, women and men. Have a look here if you want to know more <span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.mjffoundation.org" target="_blank">www.mjffoundation.org</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>Great Taste, natural Goodness, ethical Purpose. That’s what’s in your cup of Dilmah Tea.</strong></p> <p><em>Written by Dilhan Fernando, tea grower and CEO of </em><span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.dilmah.com.au/" target="_blank"><em>Dilma</em><em>h Tea</em></a></span><em>.</em></p> <p><em>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with </em><span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.dilmah.com.au/" target="_blank"><em>Dilma</em><em>h Tea</em></a></span><em>.</em></p>

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Rebel Wilson sparks controversy after “appalling” stunt

<p><span>Rebel Wilson has been making headlines for her rigorous fitness routine as she works towards her weight loss goal.</span></p> <p><span>But her latest workout has caused outrage after she used wombats instead of dumbbells in a video posted by Sydney Zoo.</span></p> <p><span>While many loved the adorable addition, the World Animal Protection organisation critiqued the star. </span><br /><span>Speaking to </span><em>news.com.au</em><span>, the World Animal Protection expressed their concern and said the native Aussie animal “experience distress when handled by humans” and slammed the actresses “disregard” for their wellbeing.</span></p> <p><span>The video sees Wilson doing “15 kilo squats” while holding a large wombat close to her chest as she faces the camera.</span></p> <p><span>“Wombat squats! Thanks to the team @thesydneyzoo for organizing this fun workout and education sesh about some amazing rescue animals,” the actress wrote to her 8 million followers.</span></p> <p><span>Executive director Simone Clarke said wildlife experts from World Animal Protection were “disappointed” to see the footage.</span></p> <p><span>“We are disappointed to see Rebel Wilson handling Australian wildlife with such disregard for their wellbeing,” she wrote in a statement.</span></p> <p><span>“Wombats are not a photo prop or plaything; they are sentient beings, and experience distress when handled by humans.</span></p> <p><span>She went on to condemn the zoo for allowing the workout content to be filmed.</span></p> <p><span>“It’s appalling that Sydney Zoo endorse this type of promotion – quite frankly they should know better.”</span><br /><span>Some people in the comments shared the same thoughts. </span></p> <p><span>“Is it really needed to grab a hold of a wombat!?!,” one said.</span></p> <p><span>“Yeah....I felt a little uncomfortable for it....,” another responded, while one more weighed in: “(100 per cent) animal exploitation. I thought better of her. Maybe just a silly mistake and not thinking!”</span><br /><span>Rebel has not currently issued a statement on the matter.</span></p>

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Another strange symptom linked to COVID-19

<p><span>Spanish researchers are suggesting there is another symptom of COVID-19 not previously considered.</span><br /><br /><span>Health experts believe rash-like mouth lesions are another side effect of having coronavirus, after 21 patient’s mouths with COVID-19 were examined at Ramon y Cajal University Hospital in Madrid.</span><br /><br /><span>They were investigating whether each patient who had rashes on their skin would determine if they might have enanthem - a rash inside the body on the mucous membrane.</span><br /><br /><span>The study's findings - published in JAMA Dermatology - found six of the patients with skin rash had some form of enanthem in their mouths.</span><br /><br /><span>The patients were aged between 40 and 69 and four of the six were female.</span><br /><br /><span>"This work describes preliminary observations and is limited by the small number of cases and the absence of a control group," researchers wrote in the study.</span><br /><br /><span>"Despite the increasing reports of skin rashes in patients with COVID-19, establishing an etiological diagnosis is challenging.</span><br /><br /><span>“However, the presence of enanthem is a strong clue that suggests a viral etiology rather than a drug reaction, especially when a petechial pattern is observed.”</span><br /><br /><span>Researchers noted many patients suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 have not had their mouths examined due to the worrying safety concerns around the infection.</span><br /><br /><span>The study noted enanthems were previously found in some Italian COVID-19 patients.</span><br /><br /><span>The mouth lesions join a growing list of strange coronavirus symptoms detected by health experts.</span><br /><br /><span>They follow the discovery of clumsiness disturbance in mental functioning, loss of taste and smell and migraine as odd COVID-19 side effects.</span></p>

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