Today in medicine: Video game violence dulls pain

Playing video games may weaken sensitivity.

Video game violence dulls pain
Study subjects: 40 people
Location of study: U.K.
Results: Keele University found that after 10 minutes of playing video games, participants experienced a 65-percent increase in tolerance to pain stimuli — holding their hands in iced water — than before they played.
Significance: The researchers think the higher tolerance to pain could be the result of our fight-or-flight response to stressful situations, and a quicker heartbeat.   

Latinos have higher diabetes risk
Study subjects: Overweight white, black and Latino adults
Location of study: U.S.
Results: A multiracial study at Cedars-Sinai Hospital found that Latinos were more likely to store fat in the pancreas and were less able to produce adequate amounts of insulin.
Significance: The study is part of research to prevent diabetes and to find out why some obese people develop Type 2 diabetes and others don’t. One factor could be that a healthy pancreas creates more insulin to compensate for high blood sugar levels.   

Cocoa’s benefits
Study subjects: 2,575 people
Location of study: U.S.
Results: Research out of Harvard found that eating cocoa may decrease blood pressure, improve blood vessel health and improve cholesterol levels. Consumption of cocoa, which is rich in flavonoids, may also lessen one’s risk of diabetes.
Significance: Don’t unwrap that Hershey’s bar just yet: Lead researcher Eric Ding advises “low calorie sources of cocoa flavonoids or supplemental cocoa flavonoids” to get your fill.

Infertility and BMI

Study subjects: 276 mature in vitro fertilization-resistant human eggs  
Location of study: U.S.
Results: Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that 60 percent of eggs from obese women tested had more than one spindle (one is the norm), while 35 percent from the normal BMI group had more than one. Even among the  single-spindled eggs, 30 percent from the obese group had disorganized chromosomes versus 9 percent of the healthy-weight women.
Significance: “This study is the first to shed light on how BMI might adversely affect egg quality in women,” says study leader Dr. Catherine Racowsky.


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