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Checkup Medical Column for Nov 4

AAP logoAAP 4/11/2016 By Sarah Wiedersehn

A WEEKLY ROUND-UP OF NEWS AFFECTING YOUR HEALTH

CANOLA OIL MAY CUT BELLY FAT

If you want to get rid of that spare tyre then canola oil may do to the trick.

Including canola oil in a healthy diet may help reduce abdominal fat in as little as four weeks, according to health researchers.

Penny M Kris-Etherton, a distinguished professor of nutrition, Penn State says, monounsaturated fats in canola oil decrease the visceral fat around the abdomen area.

Kris-Etherton and colleagues found that after one month of adhering to diets that included canola oil, in the form of two smoothies during the day which contained the specified treatment oil, participants had lost 11 kilograms of belly fat.

They also found that the weight lost from the mid-section did not redistribute elsewhere in the body.

The researchers reported their results at The Obesity Society's Annual Scientific Meeting in the US.

"As a general rule, you can't target weight loss to specific body regions," said Kris-Etherton. "But monounsaturated fatty acids seem to specifically target abdominal fat."

In order to incorporate canola oil into the diet, Kris-Etherton suggests using it when sauteing foods, in baking, adding it to a smoothie and in salad dressings.

CRACK OPEN AN EGG TO REDUCE STROKE RISK

New research shows eggs are associated with a significant reduction in the risk of stroke.

A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found the consumption of up to one egg per day had no association with coronary heart disease (CHD) and a 12 per cent reduction of stroke risk.

"Eggs do have many positive nutritional attributes, including antioxidants, which have been shown to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. They are also an excellent source of protein, which has been related to lower blood pressure," said principal investigator on this study, Dr Dominik Alexander.

One large egg boasts 6 grams of high-quality protein and antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, found within the egg yolk, as well as vitamins E, D, and A.

SEX AS SLEEP THERAPY?

Aussies are being asked to open up about their experiences with sleep and sex, through a new confidential survey.

CQUniversity Adelaide researcher Dr Michele Lastella and colleagues are embarking on phase one of a project evaluating the potential of "sex as sleep therapy".

"The project is based on some preliminary research evidence that, after humans have sex and achieve orgasm, we have a massive release of a hormone called oxytocin," Dr Lastella says.

"This hormone among many other feel-good hormones has been said to act as a sedative to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep."

The Are you getting enough: Sex as sleep therapy survey, accessible via 'CQUniversity Adelaide - The Appleton Institute' on Facebook, is open to all adults.

"Sex and sleep are among our most basic of needs and essential for our overall health, so it's interesting to find out to what extent they can have provide mutual benefits," said Dr Lastella.

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