A nationally representative survey shows that natural product use in the United States has shifted since 2007, with some products becoming more popular and some falling out of favor. Overall, natural products (dietary supplements other than vitamins and minerals) remain the most common complementary health approach.
Long stretches of DNA once considered inert “dark matter” of the genome — the over 98% of DNA that doesn’t code for proteins — appear to be uniquely active in a part of the brain known to control the body’s 24-hour cycle, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health. The findings appear in the August 14th edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences .
Thanksgiving often involves eating a big meal centered around turkey and then retiring to the easy chair or couch for a nap. Turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid that is a chemical precursor to melatonin, a neurotransmitter known to induce sleepiness. However, while the holidays can be exhausting, scientists say it’s a misbelief to blame turkey for the post-meal nap.
Research has shown that, following a large meal, less tryptophan will reach the brain than on an empty stomach. The real culprit is the types and quantity of food you’ve eaten. Blame your sleepiness instead on high-calorie, high glycemic index foods.
Here are a few easy science-based tips to ensure not only a delicious turkey but a healthy Thanksgiving.
After feasting on your Thanksgiving dinner today, a specific word may come to mind: tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid found in high levels in turkey. The main reason for the association between tryptophan and drowsiness is that tryptophan is a chemical precursor to melatonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in regulating the circadian cycle, the regular changes in mental and physical characteristics that occur over the course of 24 hours. Indeed, purified tryptophan is a mild sleep-inducing agent .