Energy saving light bulbs 'could trigger breast cancer'

Abraham Haim, a professor of biology at Haifa University in Israel, said that the bluer light that compact flourescent lamps (CFLs) emitted closely mimiced daylight, disrupting the body's production of the hormone melatonin more than older-style filament bulbs, which cast a yellower light.

Melatonin, thought to protect against some breast and prostate cancers, is produced and secreted by the brain's pineal gland around the clock. Highest secretion levels are at night but light depresses production, even if one's eyes are shut.

A possible link between night time light exposure and breast cancer risk has been known for over a decade, since a study was published showing female shift workers were more likely to develop the disease. Prof Haim explained that a recent study by himself and fellow colleagues had found a much stronger association than previous research between night-time bedroom light levels and breast cancer rates.

Source - Telegraph

Go tea-total!

To reap the health benefits of tea you need to drink three cups a day, according to Simon Gibbons, Professor of Phytochemistry at the University of London School of Pharmacy. He suggests drinking one cup in the morning, one at midday and one in the evening.

'You must leave the tea (whether a bag or leaf) to steep for at least five minutes to allow the hot water to extract the plant material,' he says.

There are four main types of tea leaves - black (including English Breakfast and Earl Grey), green, white and Oolong. They all contain antioxidants that have a host of health benefits. And herbal infusions, which do not contain tea leaves, also have many health-giving properties.

Source - Daily Mail



How central heating is making you fat:

Are you desperate to lose weight? It might be a simple case of opening a window or taking off your jumper, say scientists.

A new study suggests living in doubled-glazed homes with the central heating on is helping to send obesity rates soaring. It seems we no longer use up as much energy as we used to to ward off the cold and this is leading to weight gain.

Scientists from University College London said the problem was growing in the western world where average indoor temperatures are on the rise. The fact that more people are staying in and working from home or shopping online is only adding to the crisis. And when we do brave the cold outdoors it is only to jump into a heated car or temperature-controlled office.

Common weed petty surge as a skin cancer treatment

Sap from the common garden weed petty spurge appears to treat non-melanoma skin cancers, experts are reporting in the British Journal of Dermatology. But they tell patients not to "try it at home" since the treatment is still experimental and can irritate the skin.

Their study involved 36 patients with non-melanoma skin cancer lesions. Although not the most serious form of skin cancer, non-melanoma lesions are very common, accounting for a third of all cancers detected in the UK. They include basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and usually occur in older people.

Most cases of non-melanoma skin cancer can be easily treated and cured with surgical removal or freezing, or using a special kind of light therapy that kills the cancer cells.

Source - BBC


Forget five, now it's eight portions of fruit and veg a day

For years the advice has been clear: eating five portions a day of fruit and vegetables is the key to a healthy life. But five may no longer be enough.

A study has found that to get maximum defence against heart disease, you need to eat at least eight daily servings of fresh food. The Government’s five-a-day advice has its roots in World Health Organisation guidelines to include 14oz of vegetables in a daily diet.

But there have been doubts over whether eating more than this level of fruit and veg meant even greater health benefits. Now the new study suggests every extra portion provides added protection.

Significantly, those in the ­highest category – eating eight or more a day – have a 22 per cent lower chance of dying from heart disease than those who consume three ­portions, the UK average.

Source - Daily Mail


Statins 'may cause loss of memory and depression'

Cholesterol-lowering pills taken by millions of Britons may cause memory loss and depression, researchers warn. They say not enough is known about the level of harm posed by statins, prescribed to prevent heart disease and strokes. Leading doctors say that the drugs should only be taken by patients for whom the benefits of the drug outweigh any potential risks. More than seven million people in Britain now take statins – as many as one in three adults over the age of 40.

They are extremely effective in lowering levels of cholesterol, the fatty substance in the blood that clogs up arteries leading to heart attacks and strokes. Many people over the age of 45 are routinely prescribed statins by their GPs if they have slightly high blood pressure or cholesterol.

In addition low-dose pills are increasingly bought over the counter without a prescription. Although they have been proven to be extremely effective – saving up to 10,000 lives a year – researchers warn that not enough is known about their risks.

Source - Daily Mail

Why a hot curry could help to keep your winter cold at bay

If you feel yourself coming down with a cold you may be better off skipping ­paracetamol – and reaching for the curry powder instead.

A leading nutritionist claims fenugreek, a common ingredient in Indian cuisine, is a ‘winter elixir’ whose antiviral properties not only alleviate cold and flu symptoms but also prevent the conditions starting in the first place. The spice, also called Greek hay and wild clover, has been recognised as having medicinal properties for centuries.

The common cold strikes 930,000 Britons on average, on any day in winter. But a cure has long evaded doctors because the virus mutates rapidly from patient to patient.

During a three-month winter period 20 volunteers, ten with colds and flu symptoms and ten without, consumed half a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds twice a week in a curry. The cold-afflicted volunteers reported immediate and sustained relief from symptoms of runny nose, cough, sneezing, sore throat and tiredness. Volunteers who were fit and healthy at the outset remained that way for the duration of the trial, despite usually coming down with a cold at least once in the same period.

Source - Daily Mail

Southampton's fluoridation decision 'unlawful'

A health authority tried to illegally force the fluoridation of Southampton's water, the High Court has heard.

Resident Geraldine Milner is taking legal action to challenge the decision made in 2009 by the South Central Strategic Health Authority (SCSHA). The SCSHA, which believes the move will improve dental health, gave the go-ahead despite a public consultation showing 72% opposed the idea. The judicial review will decide if SCSHA properly considered the views.

Ms Milner's counsel David Wolfe told a judge that, if the scheme goes ahead, the mother of three teenagers would be left "with no choice but to drink water to which fluoride has been added".

As opponents of fluoridation demonstrated outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Mr Wolfe said approximately 195,000 people in Southampton and parts of south-west Hampshire "would have fluoride added to their water whether they liked it or not".

Source - BBC

Questions over statin prescribing

Healthy people may derive no benefit from taking cholesterol-lowering statins, according to a review of previous studies.

The report, published in The Cochrane Library, concluded that statins reduced death rates. But it said there was no evidence to justify their use in people at low risk of developing heart disease. The British Heart Foundation said the benefits of prescribing statins for those people was unclear.

Millions of people in the UK take statins, which reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke by lowering the level of cholesterol in the blood. They are available both on prescription and in low doses over the counter in pharmacies.

Source - BBC

Vitamin E pill 'eases pain of PMS by up to two-thirds'

A capsule containing a cocktail of ­essential oils and vitamins could make PMS less painful for millions of women – not to mention the men in their lives.

In tests, the natural supplement cut monthly symptoms by up to two-thirds, with minimal side-effects. It is thought the pills, which contain a mixture of healthy fats and vitamin E, make the body less sensitive to a hormone blamed for much of the misery of pre-menstrual syndrome.

Although PMS is often viewed as a minor inconvenience, it affects around three-quarters of women – and up to 40 per cent of those say it damages their quality of life. In extreme cases, women can become violent and suffer from severe depression.

There is also an economic impact, with research suggesting that time off and loss of productivity due to the syndrome annually costs employers around £3,000 per female employee. Treatments range from simple dietary changes to hormones and anti-depressants. But they do not work for all and, in the case of drugs, can have side-effects.


Organic milk is better for you, say scientists

Britain's beleaguered organic sector receives a boost today with a study that suggests organic milk is healthier than the ordinary variety.

The European Union-funded study analysed 22 brands sold in supermarkets and found that organic milk had lower levels of harmful saturated fats and more beneficial fatty acids than conventional milk. While the Newcastle University study stopped short of saying that consumers should switch to organic milk, the lead researcher, Gillian Butler, made that recommendation when discussing her research.

The peer-reviewed paper said the health benefits were present all year round rather than just during the summer, as indicated by research carried out by the same team three years ago into the quality of milk on 25 farms. It contradicts the Food Standards Agency's (FSA) verdict four years ago that organic milk could contain higher levels of short-chain omega-3 fatty acids but that they were of "limited health benefit" compared with the long-chain acids found in oily fish.

Source - Independent

Melatonin production falls if the lights are on

Having the lights on before bedtime could result in a worse night's sleep, according to a study to be published in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

The research shows that the body produces less of the sleep hormone melatonin when exposed to light. Sleep patterns have been linked to some types of cancer, blood pressure and diabetes. The US researchers also found lower melatonin levels in shift workers.

Lifestyles may have moved on from a day/night rhythm, but it seems the human body has not.The pineal gland produces melatonin through the night and starts when darkness falls. Researchers have shown that switching on lights in the home switches off the hormone's production.

Source - BBC

Herbal remedies face licence rule

Hundreds of traditional and imported remedies on the shelves of health food shops and herbalists are set to be banned under new licensing rules.

The EU directive aims to protect users from any damaging side-effects that can arise from taking unsuitable medicines. Only high quality, long-established and scientifically safe herbal medicines will be sold over the counter. Some traders who sell products imported from outside the EU say their business will be hit.

Popular

Herbal medicines - with names such as Cascara Bark and Horny Goat Weed - have become popular.

But from the first of May an EU directive will be enforced, under which all such products must be licensed, following fears that some products could cause harm.

Source - BBC

Magic bean? Soya could help to fight two cancers

Soya could boost the battle against prostate and breast cancer, scientists believe. The potential health benefits of the bean have been highlighted in two ­separate studies.

In one, researchers from Northwestern University, ­Chicago, found that one pill a
day of genistein, a natural ­isoflavone chemical in soya, seemed to slow or stop the spread of prostate cancer. Although it was tested on a small group of only 38 men, scientists say the results could lead to the first non-toxic treatment that prevents cancer cell movement.

Professor Raymond Bergan said: ‘The first step is to see if the drug has the effect that you want on the cells and the prostate, and the answer is yes, it does. If this drug can effectively stop prostate cancer from ­moving in the body, theoretically a similar therapy could have the same effect on the cells of other cancers. This could be the first therapy for any cancer that is non-toxic and targets and inhibits cancer cell movement.'

In the second study, of almost 1,300 women, researchers from the University at Buffalo, New York, showed isoflavones from soya can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.

Source - Daily Mail

How high-pitched music could cure tinnitus by 're-booting' the brain

Scientists may have developed a cure for tinnitus, the persistent ringing in the ears that blights the lives of hundreds of thousands of Britons.

In tests, researchers were able to stop the irritating noises by stimulating a nerve in the neck while playing a high-pitched tone into the ears. The technique – which ‘reboots’ the brain – has been successfully tested on rats. Clinical trials on humans are due to start in the next few months.

Around one in ten adults in the UK suffers from permanent tinnitus and around 600,000 have it badly enough to affect their quality of life. It can affect one or both ears and is usually described as a ringing noise, although it can also take the form of high pitched whines, rattling, low beeps or a rushing sound.

Tinnitus is often triggered by exposure to loud noise, which destroys cells in the inner ear that transmit sound signals to the brain.

Source - Daily Mail


How your sense of smell could predict when you're going to die

As we age, it's not unusual to need reading glasses and hearing aids as our senses wane. But a surprising study has now claimed that losing your sense of smell when you're older could mean that your time is nigh.

Scientists from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago found that the more everyday odours a person can identify, the more likely they are to be alive several years later. The team gave more than 1,000 volunteers, aged between 53 and 100, a standard 12-item smell test.

Study leader Dr Robert Wilson told Mail Online: 'We used a scratch and sniff test for each odour where the participant had a choice of four options.The odours were fairly familiar such as smoke, lemon, black pepper, chocolate and cinnamon.'

The researchers then followed the participants, none of whom had dementia or Parkinson's disease at the time, for four years.

Source - Daily Mail


Get away from office desk for better health

Desk-bound workers need to get up and move more, scientists say today.

Too much sitting is bad for you but the ill-effects can be mitigated by taking frequent breaks to stretch your legs, research has shown. People who spend long periods sitting down have larger waists and poorer heart health, even if they spend some time taking exercise.

But a study of 4,700 workers in the US found that among those who spent a long time sitting down, the more breaks they took, even just for one minute, the smaller their waists and the better their heart health.

Some workers took 10 times as many breaks as others. The least number of breaks over seven days was 99 and the most 1,258. The increase in sedentary lifestyles has led to soaring rates of obesity and conditions such as diabetes.

Genevieve Healy, of the University of Queensland, Australia, who led the study, published in the European Heart Journal, said: "Our research showed that even small changes, which could be as little as standing up for one minute, might help to lower this health risk. 'Stand up, move more, more often', could be used as a slogan to get the message across."

Source - Independent

Popular painkillers can increase heart attack risks, study shows

Popular painkillers can increase heart attack risks, study shows.

Over-the-counter painkillers used for treating inflammation, such as ibuprofen, may double or treble the risk of heart attacks and strokes in vulnerable people, researchers warn.

People who take the drugs occasionally for a headache or period pains are unlikely to be affected, but older people with arthritis and heart problems who take the drugs regularly and in large doses are at a higher risk.

Researchers in Switzerland analysed 31 trials involving 116,429 patients to estimate the cardiovascular risks of all non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) against placebos. Previous research has suggested an increased risk of cardiovascular problems linked with the drugs. They found that ibuprofen increased the risk of stroke threefold, while diclofenac and etoricoxib had four times the risk of causing death from heart attack or stroke. Naproxen was the least harmful among the seven drugs analysed. The study is published in the British Medical Journal.

Tai Chi prevents elderly falls say geriatrics societies

Tai Chi lessons and reduced medication should be used to prevent falls in the elderly, according to experts in the UK and the US.

The latest thinking on tackling falls is included in new guidelines for doctors, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Falls are one of the leading causes of death for old people. Age UK said implementing the recommendations was crucial for improving services.

A third of over 65s and half of over 80s will fall each year, and it is thought that 14,000 people in the UK die as a result. Treatment costs the NHS in England around £4.6m a day.

Source - BBC

Cases dropped against malaria homeopaths

Officials have dropped charges against pharmacies alleged to have advised people to take homeopathic remedies to protect them against malaria instead of anti-malarial drugs.

The General Pharmaceutical Council's decision has been described as "shabby and irresponsible" by some who helped bring the case against the pharmacies. Charges were bought after an undercover investigation by campaigning group Sense about Science and BBC Newsnight. Experts advocate anti-malaria drugs.

Speaking about the latest decision, Tracey Brown, director of Sense about Science said "we may as well have no regulation of pharmacists at all".

Source - BBC

A fat tummy shrivels your brain

HAVING a larger waistline may shrink your brain.

Obesity is linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, which is known to be associated with cognitive impairment. So Antonio Convit at the New York University School of Medicine wanted to see what impact obesity had on the physical structure of the brain. He used magnetic resonance imaging to compare the brains of 44 obese individuals with those of 19 lean people of similar age and background.

He found that obese individuals had more water in the amygdala - a part of the brain involved in eating behaviour. He also saw smaller orbitofrontal cortices in obese individuals, important for impulse control and also involved in feeding behaviour (Brain research, in press). "It could mean that there are less neurons, or that those neurons are shrunken," says Convit.

Eric Stice at Oregon Research Institute, Eugene, thinks that the findings strengthen the"slippery slope" theory of obesity. "If you overeat, it appears to result in neural changes that increase the risk for future overeating," he says. Obesity is associated with a constant, low-level inflammation, which Convit thinks explains the change in brain size.

Source - New Scientist

Music 'releases mood-enhancing chemical in the brain'

Music releases a chemical in the brain that has a key role in setting good moods, a study has suggested.

The study, reported in Nature Neuroscience , found that the chemical was released at moments of peak enjoyment.

Researchers from McGill University in Montreal said it was the first time that the chemical - called dopamine - had been tested in response to music. Dopamine increases in response to other stimuli such as food and money.

It is known to produce a feel-good state in response to certain tangible stimulants - from eating sweets to taking cocaine. Dopamine is also associated with less tangible stimuli - such as being in love.

In this study, levels of dopamine were found to be up to 9% higher when volunteers were listening to music they enjoyed. The report authors say it's significant in proving that humans obtain pleasure from music - an abstract reward - that is comparable with the pleasure obtained from more basic biological stimuli.

Music psychologist, Dr Vicky Williamson from Goldsmiths College, University of London welcomed the paper. She said the research didn't answer why music was so important to humans - but proved that it was.

Source - BBC

Babies given antibiotics before six-months 'have a higher asthma risk'

Babies given antibiotics before the age of six months are up to 70 per cent more likely to develop asthma later in childhood, according to a study.

Researchers found infants treated with the drugs faced a 40 per cent rise in risk of the incurable condition if they were prescribed a single course of treatment in the first few months of life. But the dangers increased by 70 per cent if they were given a second batch of drugs for hard-to-treat infections.

The findings from Yale University scientists, are the latest in a series of studies linking commonly used medicines with childhood asthma. But experts have been divided over whether the drugs really are to blame, or whether the children studied would probably have developed asthma anyway.

Source - Daily Mail

Green tea 'can fight off dementia and could guard against cancer'

Green tea could protect the brain against Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, say scientists.

The drink, which originated in ancient China, may also play a vital role in guarding against cancer, their study suggests. Scientists at Newcastle University set out to discover whether the protective properties of the tea – previously shown to be present in the freshly brewed form – are still active once it has been digested.

Dr Ed Okello, from the university, said: ‘What was really exciting was that we found when green tea is digested, the resulting chemicals are actually more effective against key triggers of Alzheimer’s. The digested compounds also had anti-cancer properties, significantly slowing down the growth of tumour cells which we were using in our experiments.’

Two compounds are known to play a significant role in the development of Alzheimer’s – hydrogen peroxide and a protein known as beta-amyloid.

Source - Daily Mail

Play your part and learn to rest easy

I am lying on my bed while an American man I don’t know talks quietly into my ear. “I want you to say, 'I’m resting for my shoulders now,’” he instructs in a voice as smooth as honey. “I’m resting for my shoulders now …” I intone, focusing intently on the tension across my upper back that has been causing a crick in my neck.

This man – speaking to me over the phone from his coaching practice in Salt Lake City – is Dan Howard, a hippyish former businessman and founder of an intriguing technique called the Intentional Resting method. Dan believes that “resting” certain parts of the body can help you regain strength and perspective, and even ease pain. It sounds crazy, but he already has a worldwide following of thousands who practise what he preaches.

“People are not taught how to rest any more,” he says. “We’re shown the opposite: stress more, work harder, keep going. What that then does is create frenetic energy which is fruitless.”

Source - Telegraph


Counting down to calm

When I was at university, hypnotists were regular features at the May ball. One summer, I was lured on to a stage, somewhat the worse for drink, and persuaded that I was a lovelorn kangaroo in search of a marsupial mate. I’m not sure how effective the hypnosis was – I certainly remember acting like an idiot, but I suppose it did give me an excuse for doing so.

Clinical hypnotherapy is something different altogether. By accessing your unconscious mind, and deconditioning established habits, hypnotherapists claim to be able to treat everything from smoking addiction and depression to impotence. Increasingly accepted by the medical profession, they are regulated by the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis, membership of which requires proper training and an adherence to their code of conduct – which includes an undertaking not to perform hypnosis as a means of entertainment.

One of the fastest growing areas for hypnothrapists is the treatment of stress. Doug Osborne, a clinical hypnotherapist and self-proclaimed “modern-day shaman” has combined these two disciplines into a course teaching busy professionals the art of stress-free living.

Source - Telegraph

Walk briskly, live longer: How pacing more than 3ft per second could add years to your life

Pensioners who walk quickly are more likely to live longer than their slower peers, research has found.

A faster walking pace was linked to an increased life expectancy for both sexes at all ages over 65, according to an analysis of data from nine studies.

The researchers looked at how the walking pace of 34,485 adults aged 65 or older varied over several years and how this related to survival rates, after accounting for age and sex.

The average gait speed of the participants was 0.92metres [3ft]/second, with those who walked faster than this tending to live longer than the average.

Walking pace after age 75 was found to be a particularly good indicator of how long someone would live.

Dr Stephanie Studenski of the University of Pittsburgh led the study, which was published in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Source - Daily Mail

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1344127/Walking-briskly-add-years-life.html#ixzz1ABMBREdl

Herbs to ward off the cold

Health experts in India are advising people to include certain herbs in their daily food to prevent cold-related ailments.

Head of department of dravyaguna, at the Banaras Hindu University, KN Dwivedi, says a wide range of medicinal and herbal plants provide respite from the cold and can be easily prepared at home. Cloves and ginger are natural cold fighters with anti-pyretic properties and any preparations involving them can provide relief from the cold. They can even be added to tea and used in other preparations.

Similarly, turmeric can be mixed in milk to provide relief from pain as it has strong antiseptic and analgesic properties.

Tulsi leaves are easily available in India, and can be used to counter the cold. Preparations involving tulsi leaves can be easily prepared at home. And amla, a citrus fruit rich is vitamin C, was also beneficial in these conditions.

Source: Eat herbs, keep warm - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/varanasi/Eat-herbs-keep-warm/articleshow/7180338.cms#ixzz1A3kuwAzR

Love yourself slim!

There’s nothing like the first week of the new year to start a diet and exercise regime, but if your motivation is ­disgust at the size of your waistband, you could be setting yourself up to fail.

Successful slimming, according to Lisa Jackson, is all about banishing ­negativity and concentrating on loving everything you possibly can about ­yourself — even the Christmas excess. In her new book, Adore Yourself Slim, she sets out a sensible eating and ­exercise plan packed with clever tips to ensure weight loss is steady and ­effective.

But the real twist that makes her plan promise to work where so many others fail, she insists, is her emphasis on ­getting ­yourself in the right frame of mind before you start.

Source - Daily Mail

Placebos can work even when you know they're fakes

There is little doubt that the placebo effect is real, but it has always been argued that a person feels better because they think the pill is the real deal. But what if it works even when you know it's a fake?

According to Ted Kaptchuck at Harvard Medical School and his colleagues at least one condition can be calmed by placebo, even when everyone knows it's just an inert pill. This raises a thorny question: should we start offering sugar pills for ailments without a treatment?

In the latest study, Kaptchuk tested the effect of placebo versus no treatment in 80 people with irritable bowel syndrome. Twice a day, 37 people swallowed an inert pill could not be absorbed by the body. The researchers told participants that it could improve symptoms through the placebo effect.

While 35 per cent of the patients who had not received any treatment reported an improvement, 59 per cent of the placebo group felt better. "The placebo was almost twice as effective as the control," says Kaptchuk. "That would be a great result if it was seen in a normal clinical trial of a drug."

Source - New Scientist

Junk science alert: researchers declare alternative therapies dangerous to children based on scant evidence

(NaturalNews) The headline emblazoned across a new British Medical Journal (BMJ) press release proclaims this alarming warning: Complementary medicines can be dangerous for children! But when you look at the proof that's supposedly been found documenting life-threatening dangers of complementary and alternative therapies, guess what? It simply isn't there.

Here are the facts: Australian researchers have just published their findings in the BMJ's Archives of Disease in Childhood showing complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is inherently dangerous for youngsters. Their supposed evidence consists of this: a few poorly documented reports of CAM side effects that were turned in to the Australian Pediatric Surveillance Unit between 2001 and 2003.

During these years, only 46 instances of adverse events (ranging from side effects like constipation, allergic reactions , mouth ulcers, and vomiting to seizures and four deaths ) associated with alternative and complementary therapies were reported. And out of these, there were only 39 questionnaires about treatments and symptoms that were completed by parents and/or doctors.

Source - Google


Alternative Medicine Tied to Adverse Events in Children

The use of complementary and alternative medicine among children is associated with significant morbidity and mortality, according to a study published online Dec. 22 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Alissa Lim, M.D., of the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues conducted an active surveillance study of adverse events associated with the use of CAM reported to the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit between January 2001 and December 2003.

Source - Google

Eating almonds 'could help prevent diabetes'

Eating almonds could help prevent diabetes and heart disease, according to a study.

The research found incorporating the nuts into our diets may help treat type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 90%-95% of all cases.

As well as combating the condition, linked to obesity and physical inactivity, it could tackle cardiovascular disease, the report published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition said.

Diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases in the world, and sufferers have a shortage of insulin or a decreased ability to use the hormone that allows glucose (sugar) to enter cells and be converted to energy. When diabetes is not controlled, glucose and fats remain in the blood and over time, damage vital organs.

The study found consuming a diet rich in almonds may help improve insulin sensitivity and decrease LDL-cholesterol levels in those with prediabetes, a condition in which people have blood glucose levels higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.

Source - Independent

Europe to ban hundreds of herbal remedies

Hundreds of herbal medicinal products will be banned from sale in Britain next year under what campaigners say is a "discriminatory and disproportionate" European law.

With four months to go before the EU-wide ban is implemented, thousands of patients face the loss of herbal remedies that have been used in the UK for decades.

From 1 May 2011, traditional herbal medicinal products must be licensed or prescribed by a registered herbal practitioner to comply with an EU directive passed in 2004. The directive was introduced in response to rising concern over adverse effects caused by herbal medicines.

The UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued more than a dozen safety alerts in the past two years, including one over aristolochia, a banned toxic plant derivative which caused kidney failure in two women.

Source - Independent