Low fat diet breast cancer hope

Following a low-fat diet may reduce the chance that breast cancer will return for some women, a study suggests.

The research found after five years, breast cancer had returned in 12.4 % of those on a standard diet - but in only 9.8% of those on a low-fat diet.

However, most women did not benefit, and experts say the findings may be due to other factors.

The Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute study was presented to the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Source - BBC News

Vitamin E cuts Parkinson's risk

A diet rich in vitamin E could protect against Parkinson's disease, believe researchers.

Good sources of vitamin E include green leafy vegetables, nuts and vegetable oils.

A study in Lancet Neurology pooled available data and found people who ate plenty of these foods in their diet were far less likely to develop Parkinson's.

The authors said it was impossible to tell if supplements would do the same.

Source - BBC News

Cannabis pain relief appeal fails

The Court of Appeal has rejected a bid to permit the use of cannabis for the relief of chronic pain.

Three judges ruled against the argument that unlawful conduct could be "excused or justified by the need to avoid a greater evil".

They also said necessity was no defence for using or supplying the drug.

Source BBC News

Yeast intake linked to longevity

Restricting the amount of yeast in the diet can increase life expectancy by 50%, research into fruit flies has shown.

It is not yet clear whether the same might be true in humans.

But the authors say their findings hint it might be what you eat rather than total calorie intake that influences longevity, contrary to current belief.

The University College London team told PLoS Biology how it could be down to metabolic pathways triggered by foods.

Source - BBC News

Portly pooch put on herbal diet

One of Britain's fattest dogs has embarked on a health food diet in a bid to reduce its waistline.

Zollie, who is tipping the scales at 22 stone, is combining a new dried pet food with herbal and homeopathic remedies.

The pedigree mastiff from Aberdeen is one of the first dogs to take part in the holistic diet featuring a recipe from Ayrshire businessman George Burns.

Source - BBC News

Strength of herbal remedy tested

Scientists on Tyneside are launching a study into the long-term effects of the popular Chinese herbal remedy ginseng.

A team at Northumbria University need volunteers to take part in the 20-week study into the herb's affect on memory, attention and mood.

A previous trial at the university's Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit (HCNU) found a single dose of the herb relieved fatigue and boosted memory.

Now they want to know the effects of gingseng on the body long-term.

PhD student Jonathon Reay, who is leading the research, said: "Volunteers will be asked to undertake a series of computerised cognitive assessments to monitor ginseng's effects on memory, attention and mood.

Drinking milk 'no risk to heart'

Milk's poor reputation as being an unhealthy drink may be unjustified, research suggests.

Scientists found drinking milk does not increase the risk of heart disease and stroke - in fact it may even have a protective effect.

The researchers, from the University of Bristol, found men who consumed at least 200ml a day were less likely to develop ischaemic heart disease.

The study is published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Natural relaxant may help asthma

Scientists say a substance which acts naturally to open airways could be used to protect against asthma.

Duke University Medical Center researchers found mice with asthma had too little of the chemical, which relaxes airways so people can breathe.

Asthma research has previously tended to focus on what might cause airways to become constricted.

The researchers, writing in Science, said their findings could lead to new ways of treating the condition. The natural compound, called nitrosoglutathione (GSNO), a molecule in the nitric oxide (NO) family, which keeps airways open.

Source BBC News

Herbal Medicine Awareness Week - 20 to 27 May 2005

Herbal Medicine Awareness Week is an annual campaign run by the National Institute of Medical Herbalists. It aims to highlight the power of plant-based medicine and help members of the public to make informed choices about their healthcare.

In 2005, it will focus on how herbs can aid digestion.

Vitamin 'cuts smoke harm to baby'

Vitamin C could counteract some of the harmful effects that smoking during pregnancy can have on unborn babies, scientists say.

High doses of the vitamin protected against nicotine-associated damage in monkeys, the Oregon Health & Science University team found.

Expert advice is still to quit smoking during, and ideally before, pregnancy.

The latest research findings appear in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Source - BBC News

Fake acupuncture 'aids migraines'

Fake acupuncture works just as well as the real thing in relieving migraines, scientists have found.

In a study of more than 300 patients, both genuine and sham acupuncture reduced the intensity of headache compared with no treatment at all.

But real acupuncture was no better than needles placed at non-acupuncture points on the body, the Journal of the American Medical Association reports.

It goes against recent research showing acupuncture works in its own right.

Exercise 'slows prostate cancer'

Regular vigorous physical activity could slow the progression of prostate cancer in older men, a study has found.

The findings suggest working up a real sweat may help prevent men over 65 dying from the disease.

But the team from Harvard School of Public Health found men had to work out vigorously for at least three hours a week for it to have a positive effect.

Source - BBC News