Olive oil 'reduces cancer risk'

Using olive oil in cooking may prevent the development of bowel cancer, research shows.

Writing in the medical journal Gut, a team from Barcelona say their findings suggest that olive oil may have some protective qualities. Their findings may explain why a Mediterranean diet appears to be so healthy. The researcher was carried out on rats who were fed a diet rich in olive, fish, or safflower oil. Each group was then divided into two and half of the animals were given a cancer-causing agent. Four months later the researchers found those rats on the olive oil diet had less pre-cancerous tissue and fewer tumours than those fed the other oils.

Source BBC News

Apples 'protect the lungs'

Eating an apple a day may be good for the lungs, researchers have discovered.

A team from St George's Hospital Medical School, London, studied the diets and lung function of more than 2,500 men aged 45-49.

The researchers measured the ability to breathe out sharply using a special test called an FEV1.

They found that good lung function was associated with high intakes of vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene, citrus fruits, apples, and fruit juices.

However, after they took into consideration factors such as body mass, smoking history and exercise the only food that seemed to make a significant difference was apples.

It was found that eating five or more apples a week was linked to a slightly better lung function. Those who ate apples had a lung capacity 138 millilitres higher than those who did not.

There was no evidence to suggest that the natural decline in lung function with age could be slowed by short term increases in the number of apples eaten. But the fruit might slow deterioration caused by other factors such as pollutants.

Eating a lot of apples might simply reflect a healthy diet, suggest the authors.

Source BBC News

Apple a day adage proves true

Scientists conducting a study in Wales have found there is some truth in the old adage - an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

It is certainly proving true for 2,500 Caerphilly men.

Scientists have discovered that those men who ate five or more apples a week improved their lung capacity. Professor Peter Elwood and his research team have been following the men's eating and lifestyle habits for the last 20 years.

Link

The link between apples and lung capacity came out from a five year study into their eating habits - they were not looking for the link.

Professor Elwood said it was first time that a link between antioxidants and improved lung performacne had been established.

"Apples contain antioxidants in particular richness," said Prof Elwood.

"I think the overall message is that we are not eating enough fruit and vegetables. "It is worth following up the research and looking at the extend of these benefits."

Healthy lungs

The conclusion about the benefits of apples to healthy lungs was just one of many findings the Cardiff University team found that influenced the group's health.

Professor Elwood said it was probably the first time that a link between antioxidants and improved lung performance had been established. "Apples contain antioxidants in particular richness," said Prof Elwood.

"I think the overall message is that we are not eating enough fruit and vegetables. "It is worth following up the research and looking at the extend of these benefits."

They discovered early on that aspirin was good in preventing heart attacks as was quitting smoking and taking more exercise.

Professor Elwood believes that it is the antioxidant properties in all fruit and vegetables that has a postive impact on health.

Source BBC News