Prince Charles defends complementary therapies

Prince Charles has said "proven" therapies should be integrated with conventional medicine.

He told the World Health Assembly in Geneva: "The proper mix of proven complementary, traditional and modern remedies, which emphasises the active participation of the patient, can help to create a powerful healing force in the world."

He added: "Many of today's complementary therapies are rooted in ancient traditions that intuitively understood the need to maintain balance and harmony with our minds, bodies and the natural world.

"Much of this knowledge, often based on oral traditions, is sadly being lost, yet orthodox medicine has so much to learn from it."

He called on countries to look at how they could improve the health of their populations, using a more integrated approach.

Source: BBC News

Doctors attack 'bogus' therapies

Some of Britain's leading doctors have urged NHS trusts to stop using complementary therapies and to pay only for medicine "based on solid evidence".

The group raised concerns that the NHS is funding "unproven or disproved treatments", like homeopathy.

One doctor told the Times the NHS was funding "bogus" therapies when patients struggled to get drugs like Herceptin.

Source: BBC News

Eye warning call for cigarettes

I can only say "I told you so."

Experts are calling for cigarette packets to carry a warning that smoking can cause blindness.

The move comes as new evidence suggests smoking - and passive smoking - can cause age-related macular degeneration - the UK's leading cause of blindness.

The, as yet, unpublished European Eye Study of 5,000 AMD patients in the EU found 27% had disease that was directly attributable to smoking.

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists said urgent action was needed.

Source: BBC News

Music 'can reduce chronic pain'

Research has confirmed listening to music can have a significant positive impact on perception of chronic pain.

US researchers tested the effect of music on 60 patients who had endured years of chronic pain.

Those who listened to music reported a cut in pain levels of up to 21%, and in associated depression of up to 25%, compared to those who did not listen.

The Journal of Advanced Nursing study also found music helped people feel less disabled by their condition.

Clue to grapefruit drug reaction

Scientists say they have the best evidence to date pinpointing the substance in grapefruit that can interact dangerously with some drugs.

Grapefruit is known to increase the rate at which some drugs - including cholesterol and blood pressure medications - enter the blood stream.

It was thought the flavonoids that make grapefruit taste bitter were to blame.

But a US study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests other chemicals - furanocoumarins - are key.

Source - BBC News