Sleep your way out of a cold, Latest Health News - The New Paper

Sleep your way out of a cold

When you have a cold, sleep may be the best medicine.

German researchers have found that one way sleep improves the body's ability to fight off a cold: It strengthens the potency of certain immune cells by improving their chances of attaching to and eventually destroying cells infected with viruses.

When T cells spot a virally infected cell, they activate a protein known as integrin that allows them to adhere to that cell. The researchers proved that lack of sleep, as well as long periods of stress, leads to higher levels of hormones that appear to block the master switch that activates the proteins.

If you want your immune system tuned up to fight off invaders, "get the needed amount of sleep every night and avoid chronic stress", said study leader Stoyan Dimitrov, a researcher at the University of Tübingen, Germany. - REUTERS

Push-up test may be good indicator of heart disease risk

The number of push-ups a man can do in the doctor’s office may be a good predictor of his risk of developing heart disease in the coming years, new research suggests.

In a study of more than 1,100 male firefighters followed for 10 years, researchers found the risk of atherosclerosis and of cardiovascular events, such as stroke and heart attack, was 96 per cent lower among men who could do 40 or more push-ups during timed tests compared with the men who could do fewer than 10.

The findings could lead to an easy test for heart disease risk, said the study’s lead author Justin Yang, a researcher at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

“Using push-ups could be a no-cost and simple method to assess one’s functional capacity and predict future cardiovascular event risk,” he said. – REUTERS