HealthWise at 5 From 12.1 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/1/05

HealthWise at 5 From 12.1

  • Blinding Sperm

A new federal grant is revving up research that could lead to a non-hormonal contraceptive for men. Reproductive biochemists at Norfolk State University have identified fertility related enzymes on the surface of sperm cells that attract them to eggs. By turning off one or more of these sensing molecules, sperm can not find or see the egg essentially blinding them from reaching their target. New computer assisted drug design systems are helping reduce the time it takes to perfect this contraceptive but estimates are it could be available birth control for men in two years.

  • Premature Heart

Babies born prematurely could be at risk for high blood pressure when they grow up. A new study of over 300,000 men found those born at least 10 weeks early had twice the risk of high blood pressure than full term babies. Even babies born as little as four weeks early had a 24% increased risk of high blood pressure. Researchers don't know exactly why this happens, but they suggest doctors regularly check the blood pressure of children and teens, who are born premature.

  • Sweet Stress

Here is a reason to be tempted by those holiday cookies. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have found that eating sugary food can cut down the production of a stress-related hormone. At least it works in rats. Of course, researchers note that even though the rats had lower levels of the stress hormone, their body weight went up. So, it's a catch 22. That nervous eaters probably already suspected, but scientists hope the proof in this could someday lead to better treatment in helping the body deal with stress. The stress related hormone is "glucocorticoid." researchers say the key is real sugar, not artificial sweeteners.

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