KATHMANDU — Days after the Facebook data scandal came out in the public, a group of researchers at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, has found out that quitting Facebook makes the user de-stressed.
The research, led by Prof. Eric Vanman, who is a senior lecturer at the university’s School of Psychology, stated that if you abstain from Facebook activity, stress hormone cortisol drops.
Data of millions of Facebook users was used to influence the choice of voters during the 2016 United States Presidential elections by Cambridge Analytica.
According to the results published in the Journal of Social Psychology, the cortisol level dropped among the members of the group which was asked not to use the Facebook app.
To study the impact of the app of the social networking giant, Prof. Vanman and his team formed two groups, comprising 138 study participants in total.
The researchers then took saliva samples from the participants and asked one of the groups to abstain from the Facebook activity for five days while told the other to continue using the app.
After five days, their samples were again taken.
“Taking a Facebook break for just 5 days reduced a person’s level of the stress hormone cortisol,” Medical News Today quoted Prof. Vanman as saying.
Too much cortisol, which is known to soar when a person is stressed, can compromise immune system, impair memory and make us susceptible to obesity.
Their study also suggested that staying away from Facebook might also make you sadder – at least in the beginning.
“While participants in our study showed an improvement in physiological stress by giving up Facebook, they also reported lower feelings of well-being,” Prof. Vanman says.
Also the findings, according to the researchers, may apply to all social networks.
So if you are hooked to WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram etc. abstaining from social media platforms might reduce your stress levels.
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Drinking 3 cups of coffee or tea daily may keep stroke risk at bay
KATHMANDU — There have been several conflicting studies on the health benefits of drinking coffee and tea and their various varieties. But drinking up to three cups of coffee or tea in a day is safe because it reduces irregular heartbeat and stroke risk, according to a new study published in the journal JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology.
Coffee has previously been believed to worsen abnormal heart rhythms, as doctors generally discourage patients suffering from the condition. However, the results of this particular study say that a daily consumption of upto 300 mg of caffeine may be safe for arrhythmic patients.
This is because the caffeine acts as a stimulant to the central nervous system and blocks the effect of adenosine. Adenosine is a chemical which causes Atrial Fibrillation (AFib).
A single cup of coffee contains about 95 mg of caffeine. It acts as a stimulant to the central nervous system and works to block the effects of adenosine — a chemical that causes AFib.
AFib is the most common heart rhythm disorder, causes the heart to beat rapidly and skip beats, and if left untreated, can cause strokes.
“There is a public perception, often based on anecdotal experience, that caffeine is a common acute trigger for heart rhythm problems,” said lead author Peter Kistler, Director at Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital.
But, “caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea have long-term anti-arrhythmic properties mediated by antioxidant effects and antagonism of adenosine,” he added.
A meta-analysis of 228,465 participants showed that AFib frequency decreasing by 6 per cent in regular coffee drinkers, and an analysis of 115,993 patients showed a 13 per cent reduced risk.
Another study of 103 post-heart attack patients who received an average of 353 mg of caffeine a day showed improvement in heart rate and no significant arrhythmias — or abnormal heart rhythms, that cause the heart to beat too fast, slow or unevenly.
However, in two studies, where patients drank at least 10 cups and nine cups of coffee per day, showed an increased risk for ventricular arrhythmias (VAs) – a condition in which the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles) beat very quickly.
On the other hand, patients with pre-existing heart conditions who consumed two or more energy drinks — that contains concentrated caffeine — per day reported palpitations within 24 hours.
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