2nd Jan 2019

2018 Digest Review

2nd Jan 2019

Curated by Linda Zhang, Simona Gulbinaite, and Samantha Levell

Happy New Year! We have successfully entered 2019 and holidays are over for many of us.  We know, you were probably busy with opening Christmas presents and you must have missed science like a crazy scientist, so here is a quick heads-up of the 3 most popular Sparrho Digests of last year. Check them out below in case you have missed any!

Linda's story why you might want to avoid artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners and a cup of coffeeResearch suggests that your sugar replacement can be toxic for your gut bacteria, which regulate hunger and how you store fat. Crucially, the mix of these microbes also affects whether you develop diabetes or become obese.

Several studies linked food and drinks with these sweeteners to obesity, metabolic syndromes, and Type 2 Diabetes. It’s particularly a great risk for people who are not entirely aware of the ingredients in their food.

Read Dr Linda May-Zhang’s Digest about the hidden risks of artificial sweeteners

Simona's story about how air pollution can cause childhood obesity

 Child's feet on a scale New research suggests childhood obesity doesn’t only depend on the parents’ genes, but also on the quality of air the pregnant mum breathes in. Other studies suggest that exposure to air pollution such as from the roadside are linked to an increased body mass index (BMI) in children, before or soon after birth.

And the danger is all around us: air pollution does not occur only in the street but in homes too, if they use polluting fuels for cooking, heating and lighting.

Read Simona Gulbinaitė’s Digest about the air pollution and childhood obesity

Samantha's story on tobacco smoke and a son's fertility

Sperm and tobacco smoke from a cigaretteResearchers have found that men whose fathers smoked
during the mother’s pregnancy had around 50% less sperm and sperm concentration than men with non-smoking fathers. The reason is that tobacco contains substances that cause mutations in the DNA which are passed on to the offspring. 

But don’t panic if you are a smoker or if you smoked before! There is a way to alleviate the effects of tobacco smoke - care to know how?

Read Samantha Levell’s Digest about the affect of tobacco on sons’ fertility


(Psst, Linda, Simona and Samantha have distilled 46 research papers together to save you 1944.5 min)