News / 

Health Tips

Save Story

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Jun 25, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- GROWTH HORMONE MIGHT HELP OBESITY

Researchers at St. Louis University say a dose of growth hormone could help people who are obese lose weight and have enough energy to exercise. When people are obese the amount of growth hormone in their bodies drops. Growth hormone can help control appetite and speed up metabolism to burn calories. Too little growth hormone allows the body to accumulate fat and lose muscle mass, which can sap energy to exercise. In their study, researchers gave 39 overweight volunteers enough growth hormone to boost their body levels to normal. The participants lost an average of 5 pounds in six months and saw improvements in good cholesterol levels.


The National Weather Service is teaming up with athletes to warn parents and children about the dangers of lightning. Summer is peak season for the misunderstood and very deadly weather phenomena, so Olympic Medalist Siri Mullinix, goalkeeper for the Women's United Soccer Association's Washington Freedom, is telling parents and children to take lightning seriously. Mullinix noted, "When lightning threatens a WUSA soccer game, play is called until the danger passes. If lightning threatens you, head indoors." Lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from a thunderstorm. Overall, 25 million cloud-to-ground lightning strikes occur in the United States each year and more than 70 people die from strikes annually -- more than either 68 tornadoes or hurricanes.


There are treatments to help travelers recover from jet lag but Brown University sleep researcher Mary Carskadon says patience is the best remedy. Ideas such as shining a light on the back of the knee to reset a person's biological clock have come and gone but for 94 percent of people who travel multiple time zones jet lag remains a problem. Along with fatigue and insomnia, jet lag also can raise stress hormone levels and blood pressure, and cause an irregular heartbeat and swollen limbs. The problem is a mismatch between the body's internal daily rhythm and the light cues it gets from outside. Clinicians still recommend bright light therapy to counter severe jet lag but it can overwhelm the eyes. Small doses of melatonin, a pace-setting hormone, appear to help by protecting biological clock cells from inadvertently being reset by bursts of activity in other brain cells. An incorrect dose, however, can aggravate jet lag, Carskadon says. Slow-release caffeine pills and exercise after a flight also help a little but taking one day for every time zone crossed to return to a normal sleep pattern still is the best cure, she adds.


Travelers should do more than pack a suitcase to prepare for vacation; they should drink extra water and increase fiber intake to ward off constipation. Many vacationers, particularly women, become constipated because of new schedules and altered eating habits. Registered dietitian Suzanne Henson, of the University of Alabama-Birmingham, says a little planning can go a long way to preventing the misery of constipation. She says first to prepare your body for the trip by increasing water intake and slowly increasing fiber intake before you leave. Then -- since rich vacation cuisine often doesn't provide enough dietary fiber -- work in extra fiber by packing quick and convenient snacks and breakfasts, such as peanut butter sandwiches on whole-wheat bread, melba toast, fiber-rich cereals and homemade trail mix. Then, while on vacation, be sure to drink plenty of water.


(Editors: For more information about OBESITY, contact Nancy Solomon at 314-977-8017. For LIGHTNING, Curtis Carey at 301-713-0622. For JET LAG, Mary Alice Carskadon at 401-421-9440 or For CONSTIPATION, Tracy Bischoff at 205-934-8935 or

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

Most recent News stories


Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast