Researchers also compared how much bread or noodles were consumed, but the same link was not found.
Just how it works is not clear, but rice has a high glycaemic index or GI – a measure of how quickly carbohydrates are broken down into sugar in the blood. High GI foods increase levels of a protein called tryptophan that is used by the body to make the brain chemical serotonin, which is known to induce sleep.
Bread and noodles have a lower GI, which may be the key, concluded the researchers from Kanazawa Medical University, Japan.
Clip on nose filter to beat hay fever
A clip-on nose filter promises to block hay fever symptoms before they start.
The new device, made from thin, flexible plastic, clips onto the fleshy part between the nostrils. Two fine nets on either side of the clip cover the opening to the nostrils and stop pollen getting into the nose.
The Rhinix filters are on trial at Aarhus University, Denmark, with 1,500 patients.
An earlier study, which compared the filters with a placebo, suggests they can reduce hay fever symptoms such as sneezing, a runny nose, and an itchy nose and throat. Manufacturers say the filter has no effect on the wearer’s breathing.
Hay fever treatments such as antihistamine tablets counter the effects of the allergy once the pollen has already entered the body, by blocking the action of the chemical histamine, which the body releases when it thinks it is under attack.
Asthma can make it hard to conceive
Women with asthma find it more difficult to get pregnant, according to a Danish study that analysed data from 15,250 women.
Overall, it took women with asthma 21.6 per cent longer to conceive compared with those without asthma, with 27 per cent of the asthmatics taking more than a year to get pregnant. The delay was more pronounced in women whose asthma was poorly controlled.
‘Our assumption is that asthma in the lower airways can simultaneously cause inflammation in the womb which, if not treated correctly, can inhibit normal implantation of the fertilised eggs,’ say the researchers from Bispebjerg University Hospital.
Asthma causes the airways in the lungs to become inflamed and over-sensitive, so they narrow when in contact with a trigger, causing breathlessness, wheezing and a tight chest.