The Mid-Autumn Festival extended vacation is a time when many people gorge themselves on food and drink. However, new medical research indicates that excessive consumption of sugar can increase the chances of the onset of depression. Returning to work at the end of the holiday coincides with the arrival of seasonal northeasterly winds, which bring overcast and rainy weather that can also affect people’s mood.
Research published in the University of Kansas journal Medical Hypotheses indicates that excessive consumption of sugar can trigger a metabolic and inflammatory biological response, which has been linked to the onset of depression. According to the study, reduced exposure to sunlight during the winter months disrupts the body’s circadian rhythm and sleep patterns, which typically tips between 5 to 10 percent of the US population into a depressive state. The study found that a common characteristic of “winter-onset depression” is a craving for sugar.
While sugar will provide an initial mood lift for people suffering from depression, researchers found that excessive consumption of sugary foods can cause mood swings, exacerbate inflammation and lead to weight gain. The study also found that inflammation is the most important physiological effect of sugar consumption, and it is linked to mental health and depressive disorders.
Photo: Peter Lo, Liberty Times 照片：自由時報記者羅沛德
Chang Gung Memorial Hospital psychiatrist Liu Chia-yih says that when serotonin levels in the brain become imbalanced, intake of sugar will provide a temporary boost of serotonin and alleviate the symptoms of depression in the short term, but over the long term excessive consumption of sugar will lead to inflammation of the brain and affect one’s mood.
Liu says that winter-onset depression has been linked to reduced sunlight exposure and frequently occurs within high latitude areas of the globe where the hours of daylight are short and the nights are long. Although Taiwan undergoes distinct atmospheric changes at this time of year, Liu says that Taiwan is a subtropical climate, so only a relatively small number of people suffer from winter-onset depression. In addition to increasing exercise, altering one’s diet can also help to prevent depression, Liu, who advises avoiding foods that contain the “three highs” — high levels of sugar, fat or salt, says. Liu recommends increasing intake of omega-3 oilcontaining fish, vegetables and foods high in fiber. Maintaining a balanced diet will have a definite beneficial effect, Liu adds
(Translated by Edward Jones, Taipei Times)
Photo: CNA 照片：中央社
Since its premiere on Oct. 2, US comedy series Emily in Paris has caused a sensation across the world. The Web TV series, starring actress Lily Collins, tells the story of Emily, a young woman who moves from Chicago to Paris for a job, as she struggles both at work and in love while experiencing culture shock. The show has topped streaming giant Netflix’s global chart and is the most-watched show in Taiwan. But the American perspective of the lead character has offended some French critics, who say that the “City of Lights” is not just about berets, croissants and cafes,
This isn’t going to be an easy climb (2/5) 這趟路並不輕鬆（二） A: That was nice of that guy to help you up the slope, extending his hand and pulling you up. B: It was. I’m glad someone put that knotted rope there, but I would still have found it challenging pulling myself up that rock. A: I know. It’s a steep slope, the ground is slippery underfoot and there are hardly any footholds to help you. B: Perhaps we shouldn’t have come up this way so soon after the rains. It’s quite dangerous. A: 那個人真好，你爬上坡的時候還助你一臂之力 ，拉你一把。 B: 沒錯。幸好有人把打結的繩子綁在上面，可是我還是覺得爬上那塊岩石很難。 A: 我知道你的意思。這坡很陡，地又滑，腳下幾乎沒有著力點。 B: 我們或許不應該在下過雨之後這麼快就爬上來這裡。這還蠻危險的。 （Paul Cooper, Taipei Times／台北時報林俐凱譯） English 英文: Chinese 中文:
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A: We can rest here. This is a good place to catch our breath, drink some water and enjoy the waterfall. B: It’s not the highest waterfall I’ve ever seen, but I like the way the water is cascading down those fallen boulders. A: Can you see that rock halfway up the waterfall? Is that two people sitting on it? B: I think you’re right. It’s a great vantage point to see the top of the waterfall. I wonder how they got up there. A: 我們可以在這裡休息一下。這地方很適合喘口氣、喝點水，還有欣賞瀑布。 B: 雖然不是我見過最高的瀑布，但是我喜歡瀑布落在這些倒下的大石塊的樣子。 A: 你看到瀑布往上中間的石頭嗎？那是兩個人坐在上面嗎？ B: 說的對，那是看瀑布頂端的絕佳位置。不知道他們是怎麼爬上去的？ （Paul Cooper, Taipei Times／台北時報林俐凱譯） English 英文: