ISLAMABAD (Online) Eating nuts may help lower cholesterol levels, US research suggests. The review of 25 studies, involving nearly 600 people, showed eating on average 67g of nuts - a small bag - a day reduced cholesterol levels by 7.4%. The US Loma Linda University team believes nuts may help prevent the absorption of cholesterol. UK experts said the research showed nuts were an important part of a healthy diet, but warned against eating nuts covered in sugar or salt. Previous work has indicated eating nuts regularly is beneficial, but the Archives of Internal Medicine study set out to put an accurate figure on the effect. The people involved ate 67g of nuts a day on average, over a period of three to eight weeks. As well as improving cholesterol levels, it also reduced the amount of triglyceride, a type of blood fat that has been linked to heart disease. However, the impact was least pronounced among the overweight. It is not yet clear why nuts have this effect, although one suggestion is that it is down to the plant sterols they contain, which are thought to interfere with cholesterol absorption. Lead researcher Joan Sabate said increasing nut consumption as part of a healthy diet should be recommended. He added: The effects of nut consumption were dose related, and different types of nuts had similar effects. Ellen Mason, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, agreed, but she urged people to go for unsalted nuts. Apart from salted peanuts at the pub, nuts in sugary cereals or the traditional Christmas selection, nuts have been largely lacking in our diets in the UK, she added. The study was carried out by independent researchers, although it was partly funded by the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research and Education Foundation. Working overtime increases heart risk: Study People who regularly put in overtime and work 10 to 11-hours a day increase their heart disease risk by nearly two-thirds, research suggests. The findings come from a study of 6,000 British civil servants, published online in the European Heart Journal. After accounting for known heart risk factors such as smoking, doctors found those who worked three to four hours of overtime a day ran a 60% higher risk. Experts said the findings highlighted the importance of work-life balance. Overall, there were 369 cases where people suffered heart disease that caused death, had a heart attack or developed angina.And the number of hours spent working overtime appeared to be strongly linked in many cases. The researchers said there could be a number of explanations for this. People who spend more time at work have less time to exercise, relax and unwind. They may also be more stressed, anxious, or have depression. A career-minded person will also tend to be a Type A personality who is highly driven, aggressive or irritable, they say. Employees who work overtime may also be likely to work while ill - that is, be reluctant to be absent from work despite illness, they add. Leading researcher Mianna Virtanen, an epidemiologist at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in Helsinki and University College London, said: More research is needed before we can be confident that overtime work would cause coronary heart disease. Cathy Ross, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, which part-funded the research, said: This study raises further questions about how our working lives can influence our risk of heart disease. Although the researchers showed a link between working more than three hours overtime every day and heart problems, the reasons for the increased risk werent clear. Until researchers understand how our working lives can affect the risk to our heart health, there are simple ways to look after your heart health at work, like taking a brisk walk at lunch, taking the stairs instead of the lift, or by swapping that biscuit for a piece of fruit. Dr John Challenor, from the Society of Occupational Medicine, said: In many ways it confirms what we as occupational health doctors already know - that work/life balance plays a vital role in well-being. Employers and patients need to be aware of all of the risk factors for coronary heart disease and should consider overtime as one factor that may lead to a number of medical conditions. Sleep well to prevent obesity Inadequate sleep is no longer the problem of old age alone. Due to growing study pressures, school going children are also suffering from sleep disorder. Sleep disorder effects health and the most disastrous effect is weight gain. This may also lead to childhood obesity. The Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS), has presented their research on the subject. In the study, the research have conducted a study on 723 adolescents (mean age 14.7 years) about how long they slept on weeknights and weekends, and how frequently they experienced sleep problems. The report of their previous day food habits was also taken. The participants were asked to wear a accelerometers on their belts for seven days. The device unlike pedometers, measured the participants weight, body mass index (BMI) and percentage of body fat. Results showed that shorter sleep duration or disturbed sleep was related to higher BMI. The relation between sleep and BMI was more prevalent among the boys. The girls showed minor relation between sleep and BMI. Sleep has long been recognized as an important health behavior. We are just beginning to recognize its relationship to overweight and obesity in children and adults alike, said one of the researchers.