Research Category


Like Mother, Like Daughter

Photo Credit: & The Huffington Post

According to a recent survey, mothers and daughters may have a somewhat surprising point of accord in their respective indoor tanning habits. Researchers appealed East Tennessee State University students, investigating their indoor tanning habits. The survey was formed such that two important facts were determined from participants: the age at which they began to tan artificially and who was present during their first visit.

Out of 227 female students surveyed, approximately 40% had gotten their first tan with their mothers present. On average, these women started tanning at age 14. Of the women who began tanning with some other partner (i.e. friend, acquaintance, independently), the average onset age was 16.

Another curious finding was that women who were introduced to tanning through their mothers were five times more likely to be frequent tanners later on in life. Frequent tanners were classified as those who tanned artificially two or more times per month.

Whether due to lack of awareness of the associated risks or a higher value placed on tanned skin, women are putting themselves at undue risk by using tanning beds. Exposing oneself to harmful UV rays drastically increases the odds of skin damage and disease, not limited to skin cancer. Additionally, skin damage increases the likelihood of premature ageing significantly.

In 2009, the World Health Organization classified tanning bed exposure as a Class 1 carcinogen, the same class as arsenic and tobacco. Much the same way that parents try to prevent their children from engaging in other harmful behaviours, so should they when it comes to tanning.


Not All Beer And Skittles

Photo Credit: Pabst Blue Ribbon

After a long day at the office, do you ever get the urge to go home, plant yourself on the couch and kick back with a cold beer? Sadly for women everywhere, this behaviour may increase the risk of developing psoriasis. Researchers at Harvard University and the affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital conducted a study testing the relationship between alcohol consumption and the incidence of psoriasis in women and whether the risk was associated with different types of liquor.

Using the data collected by nurses over a 15 year period, over 1000 cases of incident psoriasis were examined. The results showed that the risk of psoriasis was affected by the amount and type of alcoholic beverage. According to the statistical analysis used in the study, women who consumed more than 2.3 alcoholic beverages per week were at added risk of developing the disease, but only if the beverage was non-light beer. If the consumption increased to 5 or more non-light beers, women were 1.8 times more likely to develop psoriasis.

Wine, liquor and light beer were not significantly linked to increases in risk, leading researchers to believe that there are certain non-alcoholic components of non-light beers that account for the added risk. One such component may be barley, the starch source used for fermenting the beer. This particular method of fermentation is unique to few types of alcohols, including beer. Barley contains gluten, which has been previously shown to be connected with psoriasis. Although light beer also contains barley, lesser amounts of grain are used in its; thus the amount of gluten in the beer is also reduced.

No need to give up the bottle altogether, but as the saying goes, a non-non-light beer a day keeps the doctor away.