Broccoli slows arthritis, researchers think

Eating lots of broccoli may slow down and even prevent osteoarthritis, UK researchers believe.
The University of East Anglia team is starting human trials following on from successful lab studies. Tests on cells and rats showed that a broccoli compound - which humans can also get from Brussels sprouts and cabbage - blocked a key destructive enzyme that damages cartilage. They are asking 20 patients to eat a daily dose of "super-charged" broccoli.
This special cruciferous vegetable has been bred to be extra rich in nutrients - it is a cross between standard broccoli and a wild relative from Sicily. Our body takes this glucoraphanin compound and turns it into another, called sulforaphane, which appears to protect the joints.

Which? attacks 'exaggerated' food supplement health claims

Consumers are wasting money on food supplements that use "exaggerated, misleading and sometimes unauthorised" claims to promote their alleged health benefits, a highly critical report has warned.
Some manufacturers – including well known names such as Boots, Seven Seas and Vitabiotics – are still helping to sell their products through "clever language" that confuses buyers, despite the EU having outlawed such practices, according to research by the consumer organisation Which?
It looked at a number of popular supplements and assessed whether the claims made on their packaging were in line with what the EU's European Food Safety Authority(Efsa) allows. In its opinion, three types of supplement – Bioglan Probiotic capsules, Bimuno Prebiotic powder and Seven Seas Cardiomax – "made unproven health claims on their packaging and websites". The packaging of the Bioglan and Bimuno products "make unproven claims relating to how they help maintain digestive health, such as 'helps maintain digestive balance'. These supplements don't contain any additional vitamins or minerals so don't actually have any approved health benefits," says the research.
The EU has rejected many examples of advertising designed to promote the idea that probiotic drinks help enhance the body's natural defences and boost the immune system, and all health claims of any sort related to prebiotic and probiotic drinks and tablets submitted for its approval by supplement-makers, Which? says.

How eating raspberries could increase your chances of becoming a father

Eating raspberries could help increase the chances of becoming a father, it has been claimed.
They contain high levels of Vitamin C, a key nutrient in male fertility, and magnesium, which is involved in the production of testosterone.  They are also thought to protect sperm from ‘oxidative stress’.
A study by the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that men over 44 with the highest intake of Vitamin C had 20 per cent less damage to their sperm DNA than men who did not eat those foods. It is also thought that after conception antioxidants may decrease the risk of miscarriage.
Juliet Wilson, a fertility nutritionist, said: ‘Raspberries provide essential nutrients that are known to enhance fertility in men and women.’
A recent study in the USA found that men over 44 with the highest intake of Vitamin C - found in foods such as raspberries, broccoli and potatoes - had 20 per cent less damage to their sperm DNA than men who did not eat those foods.

Source  - Daily Mail

How cheap honey is being sold as 'liquid gold'

Fraudsters are selling ordinary honey as exclusive manuka honey, the health supplement that has been nicknamed ‘liquid gold’ and can sell for up to £45 a jar.
The honey – championed by celebrities including singer Katherine Jenkins and tennis champion Novak Djokovic – comes from bees and hives in a remote part of New Zealand. Its antibacterial properties are thought to help combat various ailments, including skin problems and allergies.
However, rogue producers and stores have been accused of passing off cheap baker’s honey as manuka. The Food Standards Agency has now issued a nationwide alert to all trading standards departments asking them to watch out for fakes.
The main honey suppliers’ organisation in New Zealand believes 1,700 tons of manuka honey are produced there every year, but 1,800 tons are being sold in the UK alone.  And they estimated that 10,000 tons of what is supposed to be manuka honey are sold around the globe, suggesting that consumers are paying premium-level prices for misleading products.
John Rawcliffe, from the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association, said: ‘There is potentially huge fraud.  There are higher and ever-increasing volumes of honey being labelled as manuka that are not manuka.’ 

Source  - Daily Mail

Chinese medicines contain 'dangerously high' levels of lead, mercury and arsenic

Health regulators have issued a warning over some Chinese medicines, saying they contain 'dangerously high' levels of lead, mercury and arsenic.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said the unlicensed traditional Chinese medicines included some meant for children. None have been authorised for use in the UK but investigators have found them readily available on the internet.
One product, which goes by a variety of names, was found to have 'extremely high' levels of arsenic by the Swedish National Food Agency, the MHRA said.
The product is called Niu-Huang Chieh-tu-pein, Divya Kaishore Guggul or Chandraprabha Vatiand and is used for treating mumps, sore throat, tonsillitis, toothache, skin infections, anorexia and fever in young children. Another product, Bak Foong Pills, is used to relieve period pain but has been recalled in Hong Kong after it was found to contain up to twice the level of lead permitted by the Hong Kong government.

Source  - Daily Mail

Stress DOES have an impact on cancer

Stress fuels cancer by triggering a 'master switch' gene which allows the disease to spread, according to new research.
The 'unexpected' discovery could lead to the development of drugs that target the protein and stop tumours spreading to other organs and causing death. Stress has long been linked to many forms of the disease including breast and prostate cancer, but the reason has remained a mystery. 
Now a team at Ohio State University say our own bodies help turn cancer against us by turning on a 'master switch' gene known as ATF3 which is expressed in response to stressful conditions in all types of cells. Usually, it causes normal and benign cells to commit suicide if they decide they have been irrevocably damaged.
But cancer cells somehow coax immune-system cells recruited to the site of a tumour to express ATF3. It is unclear exactly how, but the gene promotes the immune cells to act erratically and give cancer an escape route to other areas of the body.

Source  - Daily Mail

Become a volunteer... you might live longer!

Volunteers tend to be healthier and live for longer, according to a scientific review.
Researchers found that those who regularly help out in their community were 20 per cent less likely to die prematurely than those who never volunteered. A review of 40 international studies found helping others was also associated with a positive effect on mental health, reducing depression and increasing life satisfaction.
The study, published in the journal BMC Public Health, looked at the results from trials that had been running for between one and 30 years However scientists said they were still unsure whether healthier people were more likely to have the time and energy to volunteer, or whether volunteering to help other people actually improved their health.
Lead researcher Dr Suzanne Richards, from the University of Exeter Medical School, said: ‘Our review shows that volunteering is associated with improvements in health, but more work is needed to establish whether volunteering is actually the cause.

Source  - Daily Mail

Prickly weed in Scotland may be next superfood

Sea buckthorn, which grows in abundance around Scottish coasts, may be the next superfruit.
Despite often being viewed as an invasive prickly weed, the plant's bright orange berries are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Now, scientists from Edinburgh's Queen Margaret University are working on ways to use them in drinks and food. Sea buckthorn has more vitamin C than a kiwi and more vitamin E than a soya bean.
Previously, Scots have not exploited the nutritional benefits of Sea Buckthorn due to the problems associated with its harvesting and the often bitter taste of the berries. Popular in China, Norway and Russia, it is usually added to cereal and desserts. It can normally be found growing in Scottish coastal areas near sand dunes, particularly in East Lothian.

Don't swallow it.

We are constantly being bombarded with health advice, but not all of it is based on rigorous evidence. New Scientist debunks six common myths


Drink eight glasses of water a day.
It's the myth that just won't go away. Almost everyone thinks they don't drink enough water, but the idea that we all should drink lots of it – eight glasses per day – is based on no scientific data whatsoever.
No one really knows where the eight-glasses idea comes from. Some blame the bottled water industry but plenty of doctors and health organisations have also promoted it over the decades. The source might be a 1945 recommendation by the US National Research Council (NRC) that adults should consume 1 millilitre of water for each calorie of food, which adds up to about 2.5 litres per day for men and 2 litres for women.

Why red peppers are good for you

In theory, there's no vegetable better than the red pepper for bringing Mediterranean sunshine to a dish, but the majority of red peppers on sale in Britain are the thick-skinned glasshouse-grown "bell" variety. A combination of growing method and variety means they are full of water. So roast or grill them to drive it off and concentrate their sweetness; try not to add any more liquid ingredients. If you have the time, leave red peppers at room temperature for a day or two to dry out and darken in colour; this improves them.
More elongated, thinner-skinned romano/ramiro variety peppers have a shade more of the taste profile you get in chillies, but without the piquant heat. They are the closest in flavour you'll get to those voluptuous, curvy red peppers on sale in southern European and Middle Eastern markets.
Why are peppers good for me?
Red peppers are one of the best sources of the red-coloured carotenoid pigment, lycopene. Some studies suggest that eating lycopene-containing foods could lower the risk of prostate, pancreatic and cervical cancers. They are also ideal for topping up your store of two other carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, which are naturally found in the retina. Some research suggests that eating foods rich in these pigments can help prevent macular degeneration, a condition that can impair the vision of older people.

Eating well boosts chances of fatherhood

Men may be able to protect their fertility from the effects of ageing by simple tweaks to their diet.
Those with a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, fish and nuts showed fewer signs of damage to the DNA of their sperm in a study than those who avoided these foods. Nutrients in these foods could  be the key, said scientists in California.
Previous research has shown that the older a man is, the more chance he has of DNA fragmentation and chromosomal rearrangements in his sperm.  These can lead to a higher chance of being infertile or having children with a disability. But a diet rich in Vitamins C  and E, zinc and folate could protect the DNA – especially for those above the age of 40. 
Professor Simon Fishel, managing director of CARE Fertility Group and one of the world’s leading fertility specialists, said that men who are struggling to father a baby should not underestimate the impact that diet could have. 
‘Diet can have good and bad effects,’ he said. ‘Compounds called free radicals can have a damaging effect on cells, and they can concentrate  in the testes.'

Source  - Daily Mail

Fresh berries or supplements can help with a number of health issues

The cold spring may be a distant memory but this year’s sluggish start could soon, quite literally, bear fruit. Our topsy-turvy weather means a flourishing crop of wild berries this autumn. Although fruiting is expected later than usual, it will yield an abundance of health-boosting goodies, says the Woodland Trust.
‘Berries are a critical part of our diet, thanks to their high levels of Vitamin C, fibre and antioxidants,’ explains nutrition scientist Bridget Benelam of the British Nutrition Foundation, who says three heaped tablespoons or 80g provide one serving.
Some berries are especially good at fighting certain conditions. Here we gather the latest research to show which could be best for you (and suggest  a supplement that gives the same benefit) .  .  .
BLUEBERRIES:-
GOOD FOR .  .  . protecting your heart
Eating three servings of blueberries a week can cut the risk of heart attack by a third, according to research from Harvard University and the University of East Anglia. The berries contain the super antioxidant dietary compounds called anthocyanins.
These may benefit the heart by improving blood flow and countering the build-up of plaque that can clog arteries and lead to a heart attack. Research also suggests blueberries can improve the health of the vascular system, helping to lower blood pressure. Those who had at least one serving of blueberries per week were ten per cent less likely to suffer hypertension.Source  - Daily Mail

Drinking watermelon juice could relieve muscle soreness

Drinking watermelon juice can relieve muscle soreness after exercise, new research suggests.
It is believed that the amino acid L-citrulline, which is found in watermelon, can cut an athlete’s recovery time and boost their performance. Watermelon juice has long been popular with sportspeople but scientists have now given them an excuse to continue indulging in the summer favourite.
In a report published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the researchers explained that there had already been research to show that watermelon juice had antioxidant properties and the potential to increase muscle protein and enhance athletic performance. However, this was the first time that scientists had explored the effectiveness of watermelon juice that is enriched with L-citrulline.
The team, led by Encarna Aguayo at the Technical University of Cartagena, in Spain, tested natural watermelon juice, watermelon juice enriched in L-citrulline, and a control drink containing no L-citrulline. The drinks were given to volunteers an hour before exercise.  Both the natural juice and the enriched juice relieved muscle soreness in the volunteers.

Source  - Daily Mail

Could singing stop snoring?

A simple set of daily vocal exercises can strengthen the weak throat and palate muscles which are a major cause of snoring, experts believe.
The discovery was made after a singing teacher devised a way to help a friend stop snoring. Alise Ojay designed a programme of singing exercises which targeted the throat and stopped both chronic snoring and sleep apnoea, which causes people to stop breathing during deep sleep.
Her finding prompted a major study at Exeter University and the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust. It saw 30 snorers try the exercises for a few minutes every day for three months. By the end of the trial, their snoring had significantly improved compared to 30 others who didn't try the treatment.
Malcolm Hilton, a consultant otolaryngologist who led the research, said: 'Alise told me that a number of people had benefitted from the singing exercise programme she had devised to strengthen the throat muscles. I then set up this trial and the results have been really interesting. The conclusion that we came to was that the three month programme of daily singing exercises reduced the frequency and severity of snoring, and improved overall quality of sleep.’

Source  - Daily Mail

It's yoga for dudes

When you're lying on your back in a pool of sweat, looking up at the crotch of a man you've just met as you grip his ankles, local precipitation being a real risk, the last thing you want to be told is to inhale. But you do, because you need to breathe – deeply – because you're knackered and about to be hoisted into an "assisted wheel" by your yoga instructor, a heavyweight bodybuilder and American footballer whose nickname is "Miller the Pillar".

Matt Miller is the very large man behind Broga UK, a new network of classes infiltrating gyms to cater for a growing national demand for yoga that appeals to, well, bros (aka dudes, aka men). His target audience is me, a physically active man who understands very well the benefits of the downward dog but would sooner cultivate his horribly stiff hamstrings than walk into a room full of girls spouting mystical Sanskrit (om, no thanks).
My only previous brush with yoga came in a beachside gazebo in Brazil, in a class during a surfing holiday. As my terribly earnest instructor struggled with English while I sat with crossed legs – "feel the energy from the Earth. Feeeeel it come through the floor and touch your c***s [he meant coccyx] and travel up your colon [column, spinal]" – it took all my energy and focus not to break the awkward silence with a fit of giggles. I did not go back.

Laughology

Have you heard the one about the CEO and the comedian? No? Well, bosses and humour don't always mix. Their attempts to use laughter as a motivational tool, or to garner popularity, often fall somewhere between excruciating embarrassment and out-and-out inappropriateness. "Big" Nev Wilshire from BBC's fly-on-the-wall documentary The Call Centre is a case in point.

But when harnessed properly, humour and laughter can be powerful tools in and out of the boardroom. And that's where Stephanie Davies comes in. As a former stand-up comic, she is now a behavioural expert and founder of Laughology, a unique enterprise that uses the science of laughter and humour to develop psychology-based programmes that help people in a range of settings, several of which are the boardrooms of blue-chip companies.
Davies works with CEOs, executive teams and workforces in areas such as culture change, creating happy workplaces, staff engagement, communication and presentation skills, and executive coaching. Outside of the boardroom, she has applied her skills to a variety of groundbreaking projects. These include creating the country's first happy-centred school, developing an initiative to encourage resilience and community spirit in a divided area of Bradford and running a rehabilitation programme for service users in a secure mental-health unit.

Ditch coffee to live longer, says study

A coffee habit of more than four cups a day could be shortening your life, research suggests.

Drinking large amounts of coffee was found to raise the chances of men and women up to the age of 55 dying from any cause. Consuming more than 28 cups a week increased their death rates by more than half, while having no effect on older people.
Younger people in particular should avoid heavy coffee drinking, the US investigators warned.
The research, published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, was based on data from a lifestyle study of 43,727 adults in the United States aged 20 to 87.

Greek study shows benefits of a Mediterranean diet

A Mediterranean diet and diets low in carbohydrates can help to protect against type 2 diabetes, new research has shown.

The dietary habits and long-term health of more than 22,000 people living in Greece were studied by researchers at the University of Athens, with the results published in the journal Diabetologia.  People with a consistent Mediterranean diet - made up mostly of vegetables, fruit and nuts, fish and seafood and olive oil - were 12 per cent less likely to develop diabetes than those whose diets varied from traditional Mediterranean fare.
Researchers also found that those with a high amounts of carbohydrate in their diet were 21 per cent more likely to develop diabetes and advised that a combination of a Mediterranean and a low-carb diet plan was an effective protection against diabetes - reducing incidence by as much as 20 per cent.
The benefits of Mediterranean food went beyond merely keeping people's weight down. In fact the study's authors said that adherence to the diet did not tend to affect whether someone was overweight - which would predispose them to type 2 diabetes.
“This suggests that the protection of the Mediterranean diet against diabetes is not through weight control, but through several dietary characteristics of the Mediterranean diet,” the study's authors said.
The use of extra virgin olive oil, which led to a high ratio of mono-unsaturated fats to saturated fatty acids, may be the cause they said, but added that information on this was still conflicting.

Bee venom can ward off diseases such as cancer to arthritis

Patients in China are swarming to acupuncture clinics to be given bee stings to treat or ward off life-threatening illness, practitioners say.
More than 27,000 people have undergone the painful technique - each session can involve dozens of punctures - at Wang Menglin's clinic in Beijing, says the bee acupuncturist who makes his living from believers in the concept. But except for trying to prevent allergic reactions to the stings themselves, there is no orthodox medical evidence that bee venom is effective against illness, and rationalist websites in the West describe so-called 'apitherapy' as 'quackery'.
'We hold the bee, put it on a point on the body, hold its head, and pinch it until the sting needle emerges,' Wang said at his facility on the outskirts of the capital. The bee - Wang said he uses an imported Italian variety - dies when it stings.
Bee stings can be used to treat 'most common diseases of the lower limbs,' he added, and claimed they also work as a preventative measure. 
But sciencebasedmedicine.org, a US-based website, says that such claims of panaceas and cure-alls are 'always a red flag for quackery'.
'There is no scientific evidence to support its use,' it says of 'apitherapy', or treatment with bee products.

Source  - Daily Mail

Eating salmon once a week 'reduces risk of rheumatoid arthritis by half'

Eating salmon at least once a week could halve the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
Oily fish such as salmon or mackerel had the most marked effect, reducing the risk by 52 per cent, a study found. The same benefit comes from eating four portions a week of lean fish such as cod or plaice. The difference is in the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, which are present in much higher level in oily fish.
Even eating just one portion of any type of fish each week for 10 years leads to a 29 per cent cut in risk of arthritis, compared with those eating less fish.
Middle-aged and older women are traditionally more at risk of rheumatoid arthritis. The Swedish study, published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, involved 32,000 women born between 1914 and 1948. They completed surveys on what they ate, in 1987 and again in 1997. During this period, 205 of the women developed rheumatoid arthritis.
After adjusting for factors such as smoking habits, alcohol intake and age,  researchers at the Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm found women with consistently high daily intake in both 1987 and 1997 of omega-3 fish oils had a 52 per cent lower risk of developing the condition.

Source  - Daily Mail

Is sugar an invisible killer?

Even 'safe' levels of sugar could be having invisible adverse effects on our health, say American researchers. 
Researchers gave mice the equivalent of a healthy human diet plus three cans of fizzy drink a day and found the female animals died twice as fast as those whose food was not largely composed of sugar. Male mice consuming the sugary diet were less able to hold territory and reproduce, leading scientists to speculate that sugar has a damaging effect on the health of mammals, including humans.
Scientists from the University of Utah said the mice showed no sign of suffering serious physical changes in their bodies. Writing in the online edition of the journal Nature Communications, the researchers said: 'Our results provide evidence that added sugar consumed at concentrations currently considered safe exerts dramatic adverse impacts on mammalian health.'
Mice on the experimental diet received 25 percent of their energy intake in the form of added sugar, no matter how many calories they ate. In human terms this was equivalent to a person eating a normal healthy diet plus three cans of sugar-sweetened fizzy drinks a day. After 32 weeks, more than a third of the female mice fed extra sugar died - twice the number fed a non-sugary diet. 
The death rate of males was not affected, but their survival behaviour was.  Males on the sugary diet acquired and held on to 26 percent fewer territories than their normal diet nest-mates and produced 25 percent fewer offspring.

Source  - Daily Mail

Milk – no good for bones, bad for cancer

For years I’ve been saying that dairy products are not an essential food, nor part of our evolutionary design. Now, top US nutrition experts are challenging the ‘official’ guidelines about dairy products in diet recommendations and highlighting cancer risks.
Dairy products are listed in both UK and US recommendations as one of the top four food groups that make up a ‘well-balanced diet’. Children are encouraged to consume three daily servings of low-fat milk in the US on the basis that it has less calories than full-fat milk. Milk is also recommended because it has a high protein and calcium content.
However, in this month’s Journal of the American Medical Association (Pediatrics) two top nutrition experts, Professors David Ludwig and Walter Willets, question this advice. They point out that research shows either no difference in weight gain, or greater weight gain, in children who opt for low-fat versus full-fat milk.
They also say ‘humans have no nutritional requirement for animal milk, an evolutionarily recent addition to diet.’ They also point out that ‘throughout the world, bone fracture rates tend to be lower in countries that do not consume milk compared to those that do. Moreover, milk consumption does not protect against fracture in adults, according to a recent  meta-analysis.’

How Changing Your Breathing Can Change Your Life

The best way to calm down is so innate to our lives, we often take it for granted: Taking a breath.
Focusing on your own breathing can have a significant impact on your well-being and stress levels, and can even create physiological changes like lowering your blood pressure. But for many of us, when it comes to improving our health, changing our breathing somehow doesn’t spring to mind as readily as changing our diet or exercise habits.
"We take our breath for granted the way we take our heart beat for granted," Carla Ardito, a breathing expert at Manhattan's Integral Yoga Institute and creator of the Breathing Lessons app , told The Huffington Post. "The difference is we can work on our breathing."
And there’s plenty of precedent. For thousands of years, the yogic practice of pranayama (Sanskrit for "extension of the life-force") has been used as a method geared towards reducing stress and healing the body and mind through targeted breathing exercises. (There is a lovely infographic - follow the link)

Why blueberries are good for you

Since blueberries are a year-round fixture on supermarket shelves, it may not be obvious that they are at their seasonal best right now. Through winter we've been sold expensive, jetlagged blueberries from the southern hemisphere. Sometimes they do have that marvellous pop-in-the-mouth quality, but more often they are a mushy let-down. In early summer, the more reliable Polish, Spanish and French crop appears. But this month the English blueberry season really hits its stride, offering field-fresh, firm-skinned fruits that can beat all foreign competition with their winning sweet-sharp balance. Weather allowing, the UK season continues until the end of September, even into early October.  
Why are blueberries good for me?   Blueberries are a rich source of anthocyanins, flavonoids and phenols, such as chlorogenic acid, quercetin, lutein and kaempferol. These are anti-inflammatories and antioxidants which strengthen the body's defences against free radicals. So eating blueberries could help protect against cancer, heart disease and age-related degenerative diseases. Their store of vitamin C also boosts the immune system.

'Super honey'

A new honey has been produced that has had ‘amazing’ results treating wounds and infections.
The bio-engineered product Surgihoney was tested on babies, new mothers, cancer patients and the elderly for over a year in Hampshire hospitals. Wounds and ulcers, including those infected with the superbug MRSA, healed within days, while the number of women who suffered infections after giving birth by caesarean section has halved. It has also healed the wounds of soldiers returning from Afghanistan, and been used to treat acne and to protect the skin of cancer patients fitted with a catheter for chemotherapy.
Dr Matthew Dryden, consultant microbiologist at the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘It will revolutionise wound care around the world.’
Honey has been used for its healing powers for thousands of years, although doctors favour penicillin and antibiotics. However, Surgihoney, which is stored in 10g sachets, can kill bacteria, parasites and fungal infections while also encouraging wounds to heal.
Dr Dryden said: ‘I have conducted numerous laboratory tests and compared it with honeys from around the world. I found Surgihoney better for treating every type of bug. So for the past year I have been using it on patients and the results have been amazing.


Cocoa 'might prevent memory decline'

A study of 60 elderly people with no dementia found two cups of cocoa a day improved blood flow to the brain in those who had problems to start with. Those participants whose blood flow improved also did better on memory tests at the end of the study, the journal Neurology reported. Experts said more research was needed before conclusions could be drawn.
It is not the first time cocoa has been linked with vascular health and researchers believe that this is in part due to it being rich in flavanols, which are thought to have an important role. 
In the latest study, researchers asked 60 people with an average age of 73 to drink two cups of cocoa a day - one group given high-flavanol cocoa and another a low-flavanol cocoa - and consume no other chocolate.

'Hot yoga' does NOT burn more calories, study claims

Its devotees emerge dripping with sweat, exhilarated after a challenging workout in searing heat.
But new evidence suggests that Bikram, and other types of hot yoga, is no better for you than normal yoga.
And worse, for its many fans who believe it helps them lose weight, it doesn't burn any more calories than traditional yoga.
A new study at an American university has found that while performing hot yoga is not harmful if done properly, it does not make the body work harder than any other type of yoga.
Dr Cedric Bryant, chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise (ACE) said: 'The benefits are largely perceptual.  People think the degree of sweat is the quality of the workout, but that's not reality. It doesn't correlate to more calories.'
ACE sponsored a small study at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, in which researchers who monitored two dozen healthy adults during regular and hot yoga classes found no difference in the increase in core temperature or heart rate between the two 60-minute sessions. Dr Bryant said that people enjoyed hot yoga because it allowed them to feel more flexible.
But as far as physical benefits, including muscular strength, endurance, flexibility and balance, you can get those from a standard yoga class,' he said.

Source  - Daily Mail

Eating raw garlic twice a week HALVES the risk of developing lung cancer

Eating raw garlic just twice a week can almost halve the risk of lung cancer, new research shows.
A study carried out in China found adults regularly consuming raw garlic as part of their diet were 44 per cent less likely to suffer the disease.
Even when researchers allowed for whether people smoked - the biggest single cause of lung cancer - they found garlic still seemed to reduce the dangers by around 30 per cent. Around 40,000 people a year are diagnosed with lung cancer in England and Wales alone. Smoking is thought to cause at least 80 per cent of cases and fewer than one in ten sufferers are still alive five years after their diagnosis. Previous studies have suggested garlic can protect the lungs against various conditions, as well as ward off other malignancies such as bowel cancer.
One study at the University of South Australia suggested the popular herb could slash the risk of bowel tumours by nearly a third. In the latest investigation, scientists at Jiangsu Provincial Centre for Disease Control and Prevention compared 1,424 lung cancer patients with 4,500 healthy adults.
Each one was quizzed on their dietary and lifestyle habits, including how often they consumed garlic and whether they smoked. The results, published online in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, showed those who ate raw garlic at least twice a week were significantly less likely to get lung cancer, even if they smoked or were exposed to high-temperature cooking oil fumes, thought to be another trigger for the disease.

Source  - Daily Mail

Why courgettes are good for you

At this time of year, courgettes grow fast and furious. If gardeners or allotment holders overlook them for a few days, modestly proportioned specimens will rapidly reinvent themselves as marrows. But small is beautiful. British courgettes are best now, when they are finger-slim, sweet, and slightly nutty-tasting, before they turn into bloated water bombs.
Courgettes appear to keep well in the fridge, but they become bitter over time, so it's more important to eat them fresh than you might think.  The less liquid added to them, the better. Courgettes are excellent cooked on a cast-iron grill or barbecue, then drizzled with olive oil and herbs. A crumbly garnish of salty white cheese doesn't go amiss. They make the basis for an interesting veggie main course grated in a Greek or Turkish-style fritter, with lots of chopped dill.
Why are courgettes good for me?
Courgettes contain very few calories and have a high water content, which makes them a dieter's friend. They aren't a powerhouse of micronutrients, but they do provide useful amounts of immune system-boosting vitamin C, and significant levels of potassium, which is key to controlling blood pressure. The soluble fibre in the skin slows down digestion, and so stabilises blood sugar and insulin levels. Soluble fibre also helps prevent constipation and relieves irritable bowel symptoms.

Acupuncture: a GP's view

Do you prescribe acupuncture?  I don't prescribe it per se, but I refer patients for a physiotherapist assessment with the expectation that acupuncture will be offered to them. I can't refer directly via the NHS provision in my area, and it's variable across the UK. It's available in a limited way and is usually accessed via chronic pain clinics or some physiotherapists.
What for?  The only recommendation we've got at the moment is to refer patients with lower back pain. There are certainly some pain clinics that use it for all other forms of chronic pain. That said, many of my patients ask my advice because they're contemplating trying a course of acupuncture privately for other problems.
Would colleagues prescribe more readily than yourself?  A lot of doctors think it's worth giving acupuncture a go for any sort of chronic pain but the evidence base isn't there for anything outside of pain management. You'll find GPs who practise acupuncture themselves, for all manner of things, but conversely a lot of GPs are more wary than I am of referring patients for accupuncture.

Why saffron is good for you

No spice is more special than saffron. Its scent is haunting, its unmistakable flavour earthy yet aristocratic and subtle. It straddles sweet and savoury effortlessly, and it bestows a striking golden hue on every dish it graces. A few strands of saffron will transform a long list of dishes, adding an x-factor to everything from risottos and milk puddings to rich curries and fish stews.
Avoid the powdered sort: it's liable to fraud and adulteration and generally disappoints. Get the maximum from your saffron stigmas (strands) by warming them very gently for a few seconds, pounding them lightly and then infusing them in liquid for a minute or two to help release their glorious colour and aroma.
Why is saffron good for me?
It has long been used in traditional medicine around the world, and modern scientific study suggests that saffron could also have a role to play in fighting disease. Research suggests that the carotenoid compounds responsible for saffron's striking colour (safranal, crocetin, crocin) could play a part in inhibiting the growth of tumours. The active constituents in saffron could help alleviate gastric problems, heart disease, insulin resistance, depression, premenstrual syndrome, insomnia and anxiety. Eating saffron also appears to help vision by retarding the degeneration of the retina that occurs with age.

Broccoli's a wonder veg

Next time your child asks why they have to eat broccoli, you can give them the reason – thanks to scientists who made people eat it every day for three months.
They discovered that a chemical found solely in the vegetable helps maintain the health of the tiny ‘batteries’ which power the body’s cells.  This, it is thought, helps ward off health problems including cancer and heart disease.
Scientists from the Institute of Food Research in Norwich ran detailed blood tests on men and women before and after they ate the vegetable. Nineteen volunteers ate 400g of broccoli a week – three florets a day – alongside their normal food for three months.  Another 19 ate a ‘super-broccoli’ called Beneforte, which is bred to be extra-rich in glucoraphanin, a plant chemical. The final group ate peas.
Eating the glucoraphanin-rich broccoli led to improvements in the various chemical reactions that go on inside mitochondria, the ‘batteries’ in cells.  They also have several other vital functions, which all need to be in balance for good health. 
While researchers believe the same benefits could be obtained by eating normal broccoli, there’s some bad news if you’re not a fan of it – they think you’d need to eat three times as much.

Source  - Daily Mail

Omega-3 oils found to destroy harmful tumour cells

Eating salmon twice a week could protect against skin cancer, according to new research.
Omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish -  which include sardines, mackerel and trout - destroy malignant cells in skin and mouth tumours while leaving healthy ones alone, experiments show. The finding could even lead to the development of aerosols or gels containing the molecules that zap skin and mouth cancers. Experiments found the omega-3 fatty acids stopped induced cell death in both early and late stages of the diseases.
Professor Kenneth Parkinson, of Queen Mary, University of London, said: ‘We found the omega-3 fatty acid selectively inhibited the growth of the malignant and pre malignant cells at doses which did not affect the normal cells. Surprisingly, we discovered this was partly due to an over stimulation of a key growth factor (epidermal growth factor) which triggered cell death. This is a novel mechanism of action of these fatty acids.'
Britons are currently advised to eat fish at least twice a week, including one portion of oily fish. A portion is 140g or six ounces.
The finding published online in the journal Carcinogenesis suggests they could be used in both the treatment and prevention of certain skin and oral cancers.

Source  - Daily Mail