Research News

Here you can find a selection of the latest research news stories and medical breakthroughs. Take a look below to learn more!

No-Calorie Artificial Sweeteners May be Affecting Gut Health and Metabolism

Researchers investigated the effects of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and stevia on the human metabolism and microbiome.

Previously thought of as inert, the study showed that these sugar substitutes were able to induce individual and specific changes in glycemic response via modifying the gut microbiome.

All of the non-nutritive sweeteners that were tested altered the bacteria in the gut and also “distinctly impacted” the oral microbiome.

The long-term effects of such sweeteners are still unknown, and more research is needed.

Read more about the latest study here:


A Banana a Day may Reduce the Risk of Some Hereditary Cancers

An international trial has found that resistant starches found in bananas could help protect people with an elevated risk of hereditary cancers.

The study reported that resistant starch supplementation reduced cancers by over 60%. The protective effect was most evident with upper GI cancers, including stomach, bile duct, pancreatic, and duodenal cancers.

The long-term study showed that the protective effect of these starches lasted at least 10 years after stopping the use of the supplement.

Nevertheless, some experts are wary of recommending supplements and suggest eating whole plant foods to stave off cancer.

Read more about the benefits here:


Drinking 4 Cups of Tea Daily May Reduce Type 2 Diabetes Risk

A recent study found that drinking 1-3 cups of tea daily slightly decreased the risk of getting type 2 diabetes, whereas 4 or more cups of tea daily was linked to a 17% decrease in risk.

Tea is known to contain food polyphenols, which have been shown to reduce insulin resistance and improve endothelial function. This is important for regulating the immune response, blood clotting, and the dilation or constriction of blood.

The amount of polyphenols in any single cup of tea varies greatly depending on the type of tea.

Other studies have found that green tea may reduce blood sugar levels by increasing insulin production in mice. Meanwhile, black tea is known to have high levels of theaflavins, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Read more about the benefits of tea here:


Lung cancer in non-smokers: Scientists find how air pollution acts as a trigger

Researchers found that fine particulate matter triggers inflammation in the lungs and causes lung cells with pre-existing mutations to start forming a tumor.

Cells with cancer-causing mutations accumulate naturally as we age but are normally inactive. This study demonstrated that air pollution wakes these cells up in the lungs, encouraging them to grow and potentially form tumors.

In 2020, lung cancer was the most common cause of cancer death, accounting for 1.8 million deaths globally, yet 10-20% of these deaths are people who have never smoked.

These findings may pave the way for new potential approaches to lung cancer prevention and highlights the importance of reducing air pollution for human health.

Read more:


Vitamin D supplementation may help reduce depressive symptoms

Researchers found that vitamin D supplements have a small to moderate effect on depressive symptoms in adults.

The study showed that vitamin D supplementation equal to or exceeding 2,000 individual units (IUs) per day may help reduce depressive symptoms.

Depression has been associated with low-grade inflammation and there is evidence that vitamin D may modulate, or balance, parts of the immune system that are involved in inflammation.

According to the World Health Organization, around 5% of adults around the world live with depression and although there is no available cure, symptoms are often manageable.

Read the full article here:


‘Optimal’ Sleep Linked with 74% Lower Cardiovascular Risk

Researchers have found that improved sleep quality is linked to lower cardiovascular risk.

A study of more than 7,000 people over 8 years recognised that participants experiencing optimal sleep had a 74% lower risk for cardiovascular conditions, compared to those with the poorest quality of sleep.

Although there are many possible mechanisms that could affect the link between sleep and heart health, it can be seen that a lack of good sleep can lead to increased inflammation, the release of stress hormones, and decreased clearance of toxins from the brain.

This in turn can trigger fluctuations in heart rate and increased blood pressure.

Improved education on sleep duration and quality has the potential to improve people’s heart health.

To read more on this study, as well as expert tips on how to build healthier sleeping habits, click the link below:


Why are the Numbers on the Rise for People Getting Cancer Under 50?

Researchers recognised that lifestyle factors starting in early life and young adulthood likely influence early-onset cancer risk.

Lifestyle factors contributing to the higher number of cancer cases include eating a western diet, alcohol consumption, smoking, poor sleeping habits, physical activity etc.

Such factors increase cancer risk both directly and indirectly. They can cause increased inflammation and influence cellular regulatory processes thus directly increasing risk, and they can also cause other chronic diseases which then, in turn, increase cancer risk.

Cancer is currently the leading cause of death worldwide and occurs when genetic mutations cause cells to grow uncontrollably.

Read more this research and how to improve your lifestyle:


Loneliness May be Linked to a Higher Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes

A new, 20-year study found that individuals who feel lonely face a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

In a study of more than 24,000 people, individuals who felt the most lonely had a two-fold higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who did not feel lonely.

The researchers of the study theorise that loneliness may activate the body’s physiological stress response which leads to changes in the body’s cardiovascular system and production of cortisol. This, in turn, may lead to increased food intake.

Additionally, the researchers speculate that social support may influence an individual to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Read more about links between loneliness and type 2 diabetes here:


Women who are Physically Active May Live Longer Regardless of their Genes

After analysing health data of more than 5,000 older postmenopausal women, researchers found that higher levels of light, moderate, or vigorous physical activity correlated with a lower risk of all-cause deaths.

The study also uncovered more evidence that sedentary behaviours carry greater mortality risk, regardless of genetic propensity for longevity.

Life expectancy in the UK is currently 79 years for males and 83 years for females. Although genetics are a factor that influences longevity, studies are continuing to show that a healthy lifestyle is extremely influential for reducing disease and mortality risk.

Read more:


Dairy Products May Protect Against Type 2 Diabetes, but Red and Processed Meat Raise Risk

A new study links low fat dairy products with a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The study also correlated red and processed meats with a greater T2D risk, with a daily consumption of 100 grams being associated with a 20% higher risk of T2D.

About 90-95% of all diagnosed diabetes cases are type 2 diabetes and an estimated 1 in 10 people live with diabetes. Diabetes can increase the risk of health complications, including cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, stroke, blindness, and circulatory issues.

Some experts have said that T2D may be a reversible condition through diet and lifestyle interventions.

Read the full article here:


10 thoughts on “Research News

  1. Thank you for this useful information. I have COPD and these brief bursts of info are very comforting and reinforcing!

  2. 72 years of chronic asthma and now on lots of steroids. Not great but huge believer in keeping as active as possible and eating really well. Try to keep weight to 59kgs. Done yoga form over 20 years so really helps with sleep & relaxation although struggle with breathing now. Kept under review at Glenfield Hospital.

    1. It sounds like your doing really well Paula, in looking after yourself and keeping your weight down. Regarding doing yoga for this long, inspirational. And if this helps with sleep well I believe this should be taught to all school children starting at an early age. Along with other important life lessons. I know I wished I’d been taught this life may have turned different for me

  3. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to mention that I’ve
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