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Constant marital fights can cause leaky gut, depression

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Married people who have nasty fights are more likely to suffer from leaky guts — a problem that unleashes bacteria into the blood and can drive up disease causing inflammation, a new research has found.

It’s the first study to illuminate this particular pathway between bad marriages and poor health, said Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, from The Ohio State University in the US.

The research has pointed out a connection between bad marriages and poor health.

“We think that this everyday marital distress, at least for some people, is causing changes in the gut that lead to inflammation and, potentially, illness,” said Kiecolt-Glaser, lead author of the study.

As part of the study, The researchers recruited 43 healthy married couples, surveyed them about their relationships and then encouraged them to discuss and try to resolve a conflict likely to provoke strong disagreement.

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The researchers left the couples alone for these discussions, videotaped the 20-minute interactions and later watched how the couples fought.

They categorized their verbal and non-verbal fighting behaviors, with a special interest in hostility, things such as dramatic eye rolls or criticizing each other.

The researchers compared the blood drawn pre-fight to blood drawn post-fight and noticed that men and women who demonstrated more hostile behaviors during the observed discussions had higher levels of one biomarker for leaky gut than their mellower peers.

Evidence of leaky gut was even greater in study participants who had particularly hostile interactions with their spouse and a history of depression or another mood disorder.

Glaser said, “Marital stress is a particularly potent stress because your partner is typically your primary support and in a troubled marriage your partner becomes your major source of stress.”

The full findings are present in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.

With Agency Inputs

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New vaginal ring to prevent HIV, pregnancy is safe: Study

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An experimental vaginal ring designed to prevent pregnancy and HIV looks safe, according to an early stage study.

The ring is designed to provide 90 days’ protection at a time. The dual-purpose ring releases the antiretroviral drug dapivirine and the contraceptive hormone levonorgestrel, said researchers led by Dr Sharon Achilles, of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

This small, 14-day trial involving 24 women who were not pregnant and not infected with HIV was the first clinical study of the ring.

“We are very encouraged by our findings in this first-in-human study of the dapivirine-levonorgestrel ring,” said Achilles, an assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences.

Its use resulted in sufficient levels of levonorgestrel to prevent pregnancy and adequate levels of dapivirine to reduce risk of HIV infection, the researchers noted.

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There were no safety concerns, and the ring was well-tolerated, according to the Microbicide Trials Network study.

The researchers have started a second Phase 1 trial in which women will use the ring for 90 days.

“With a second study underway, we are another step closer to potentially having an easy-to-use product that can provide safe and effective, long-acting protection against both HIV and unintended pregnancy,” Achilles said in a network news release.

The research was funded by the US National Institutes of Health and presented Wednesday (Oct 24) at an HIV prevention conference, in Madrid, Spain.

Research presented at meetings is usually considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

Agencies

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