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posted: 6/16/2014 5:30 AM

Your health: Men value a limited paternity leave

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  • New fathers want to spend some time home with baby, but not at the expense of a paycheck.

      New fathers want to spend some time home with baby, but not at the expense of a paycheck.

 

Men value a limited paternity leave

Most dads think a man should get respect for taking a few days off after his child is born. Many also think the operative phrase there is "a few days," a new TODAY survey shows.

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Researchers say Americans' conflicted views over paternity leave are a potent symbol of how tough it is to figure out what it means to be a good man, and a good dad, these days, CNBC reports.

"The definition of what is a real man is really very much still in flux," said Brad Harrington, executive director of the Boston College Center for Work & Family.

Harrington's new research finds that most professional men place an incredible value on paternity leave. Nearly all -- 99 percent of the approximately 1,000 well-educated, white-collar dads the center studied -- said companies should offer paid paternity leave.

Also, 60 percent of the dads, who all had at least one child under age 18, said paternity leave is a very or extremely important consideration when evaluating a new employer.

And yet, the Boston College study also showed that many of these professional men are wary of giving up their breadwinning duties to be home with their partner and child. About half said they would require to be paid in full to take their paternity leave.

Harrington said that shows that many families simply can't afford to have both mom and dad take time off to be parents without bringing in a paycheck.

Fasting regenerates immune system

Fasting for as little as three days can regenerate the entire immune system, even in the elderly, scientists have found, the Telegraph reports.

Although fasting diets have been criticized by nutritionists for being unhealthy, new research suggests starving the body kick-starts stem cells into producing new white blood cells, which fight off infection.

Scientists at the University of Southern California say the discovery could be particularly beneficial for people suffering from damaged immune systems, such as cancer patients on chemotherapy.

It could also help the elderly whose immune system becomes less effective as they age, making it harder for them to fight off even common diseases.

The researchers say fasting "flips a regenerative switch" which prompts stem cells to create brand new white blood cells, essentially regenerating the entire immune system.

It gives the 'OK' for stem cells to go ahead and begin proliferating and rebuild the entire system," said Prof Valter Longo, Professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the University of California.

"And the good news is that the body got rid of the parts of the system that might be damaged or old, the inefficient parts, during the fasting.

"Now, if you start with a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or aging, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system."

Prolonged fasting forces the body to use stores of glucose and fat but also breaks down a significant portion of white blood cells.

During each cycle of fasting, this depletion of white blood cells induces changes that trigger stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells.

In trials humans were asked to regularly fast for between two and four days over a six-month period.

Scientists found that prolonged fasting also reduced the enzyme PKA, which is linked to aging and a hormone which increases cancer risk and tumor growth.

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