The graveyard shift could bring you closer to the grave.
Working the late-night shift might not only be a drag, but according to a recent study at the Sleep Research Centre in Surrey, it could also literally unravel the way your body works on the genetic level. "Over 97% of rhythmic genes become out of sync with mistimed sleep, and this really explains why we feel so bad during jet lag, or if we have to work irregular shifts," Dr. Simon Archer, one of the researchers involved in the study told the BBC. Your body is fine tuned to be up during the day, and asleep during the night. When that delicate rhythm gets thrown out of sync, the fine-tuned inner workings of your body fall into chaos, potentially increasing the risk of cancer, heart attack, and type-2 diabetes. [BBC]
Vitamin D supplements are completely unnecessary for healthy people.
A New Zealand study has found that contrary to popular belief, vitamin D might not provide any additional health benefits for people who aren't sick. Recently lauded as a shield against serious illness like heart attack, cancer, and even bone fracture, the research team dispelled these theories claiming that there was no evidence to suggest vitamin D supplements had any preventive effect on these diseases. The team further remarked that that fact probably wasn't going to change with further research. [MNT]
Big changes coming for food labels.
The FDA says it's time for the nutrition info found on packaged food to get a much needed face-lift. It's been a long time since major changes were made—20 years—and the info most labels provide isn't really relevant to the status quo of the evolved nutrition lexicon. Among other changes, calorie info will be made much more prominent, measurements will be changed from metric grams (which most Americans haven't the slightest clue about) to teaspoons, and those odiously deceptive serving sizes will be made to be much more realistic. [boston.com]
Could a peddling machine at your desk keep off the weight?
Penn State College of Medicine researchers say that a unique little elliptical contraption could help with weight control by encouraging light exercise while sitting at work or at home watching TV. The team found that daily use of the machine could help people lose 5.2 pounds per year and better control their weight year-round. [ScienceDaily]