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Good Sleep

Missing a good night's sleep could increase your risk for ulcers. Medical scientists in Britain found an ulcer-fighting protein pro-duced by the stomach and small intestine is most prevalent at night and suppressed after a meal. High levels of this chemical, TFF2, are found around breaches in the gut lining, such as those caused by ulcers. Investigators believe this protein triggers the repair of tissue damage. The physicians studied 12 healthy non-smokers, ages 20 to 24, for 24 hours. The volunteers all ate early or mid-afternoon, went to bed at 11:30 p.m., and were asleep by 1 a.m. Samples of their digestive juices were collected every two hours during the study. TFF2 levels were highest after 1 a.m., peaking at 5 a.m. The levels of the healing protein were lowest during the afternoon and after meals. The researchers conclude that inactivity or sleep is when TFF2 secretion is most active. They reported their findings in the journal Gut.