Yoga health benefits

Yoga could be as effective at combating heart disease as traditional aerobic exercise, say scientists – but they have no idea why.
Dismissed by some as hardly being exercise at all, yoga is an ancient practice that originated in India and incorporates physical, mental and spiritual elements. But a team of investigators have revealed that yoga “may provide the same benefits in [heart disease] risk factor reduction as biking or brisk walking”, as well as helping cut down on weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels when compared to those who do no exercise at all.
A group of scientists from the US and the Netherlands carried out a comprehensive “meta-study” of 37 randomised controlled trials – in total covering more than 2,700 test subjects.
The heart disease findings were the most dramatic, with even greater risk factor improvements observed when yoga was combined with medication.
The similarity of yoga and exercise's effect on cardiovascular risk factors, say the investigators, "suggest that there could be comparable working mechanisms, with some possible physiological aerobic benefits occurring with yoga practice, and some stress-reducing, relaxation effect occurring with aerobic exercise".
The study has been published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, and senior author Professor Myriam Hunink from Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, and Harvard School of Public Health, Boston said it represented the growing evidence of yoga’s health benefits.

Is SALT triggering your headaches?

Cutting down on salt could cut headaches by a third, according to new research.
People who reduced their salt intake to three grams a day suffered significantly fewer headaches, a study found. 
Three grams of salt is the equivalent of around half a teaspoon, or the amount found in a McDonalds Big Mac and large fries.  Experts said cutting salt could reduce headaches because it lowers blood and pulse pressure.
But even people with normal blood pressure saw a reduction in headaches when they cut their salt intake.  However, switching from a healthy diet to an unhealthy one had no effect on headaches, scientists said.
As part of the study almost 400 people were randomly assigned either a low-fat diet rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products or a typical Western diet as a control.
Participants ate food with almost nine grams of salt a day for a set period, reflecting average salt consumption in the USA.

Source  - Daily Mail

'Sugar worse than salt' row erupts

Scientists have clashed over claims that sugar may be worse for blood pressure and heart health than salt.
US experts say people need to place a greater focus on cutting sugar intake and suggest the benefits of lowering salt levels are "debatable." Their arguments are published in the journal Open HeartBut other researchers have said the claims are "disingenuous" and "scientifically unnecessary". They maintain both need to be reduced.
Researchers from St Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, and Montefiore Medical Centre in the USA reviewed a selection of evidence from basic science experiments, animal studies and human research. They came to the conclusion that sugar - particularly fructose - may play a stronger role in high blood pressure and other cardiac conditions than salt. And they say lowering salt consumption under certain levels may do more harm than good.
The research team suggests attempts to reduce salt in processed food may drive people to eat more. But Prof Francessco Cappuccio, at the University of Warwick, said: "The emphasis on reducing sugar and not salt is disingenuous. Both should be targeted at population level for an effective approach to cardiovascular prevention. The shift in attention from salt to sugar is scientifically unnecessary and unsupported."

What does your tongue say about your health?

For those feeling under the weather, the old adage of 'stick your tongue out', may betray the signs of the illness by which they are afflicted.
The tongue can signal signs of a cough, fever, jaundice, headache or bowel habits, and helps doctors make their diagnosis. A healthy tongue should be pink, clean and covered in papillae, which contain taste buds.
But inflamed, red, black or white tongues could be a sign of other conditions such as thrush, while a swollen tongue can be a sign of an allergic reaction. Meanwhile a black, discoloured tongue is indicative of extended antibiotic use, or a fungal overgrowth in HIV patients, say Indian scientists.
And long furrows on the surface are a sign of the sexually transmitted infection, syphilis. Ulcers should ring alarm bells, warning of Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. And a 'beefy and smooth' tongue might reveal vitamin B12, iron or folate deficiency, and anemia.
Moving on to more serious conditions, sores or lumps on the tongue - or unexplained bleeding - can be a sign of mouth cancer, warns Cancer Research UK.  

Source  - Daily Mail

Regularly drinking coffee 'cuts risk of dementia'

For millions a strong coffee is the perfect start to the day.
But today, new research suggests coffee could also protect against dementia.
Drinking between three and five cups a day could cut the chance of developing Alzheimer's disease by up to 20 per cent, scientists said.
Nutrition can play an important role in preserving memory and thinking skills, especially during the phase of Alzheimer's disease before symptoms of dementia occur.
This is according to a report published by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee, who are funded by major European coffee companies such as illycaffe, Nestlé and DE Master Blenders.
However, experts from leading charities Alzheimer's Research UK and Alzheimer's society today warned the research does not conclusively prove drinking coffee can prevent Alzheimer's, because no clinical trials have been carried out. 

Source  - Daily Mail

What is the Rolf Method?

Anna Collins is her own best advertisement. The London-based practitioner  of the Rolf Method of Structural Integration first received structural integration herself a few years ago. She had been in constant pain from an accumulation of tennis and ski injuries for some time. “To suddenly wake up one day and realise it didn’t hurt was a very big thing.”
There are 10 sessions in total: the first seven deal with different parts of the body (including, most notoriously, in the seventh, the inside of the mouth); the final three “integrate” you so that you become the best possible version of yourself, structurally speaking. So remarkable were Collins’s end results that she vowed to train, and pass on to others the gift of pain-free living and superlative posture.
What we need to understand, says the 36-year-old, is that what surrounds the skeleton is of more importance than the skeleton itself. “Think of your bones simply as spaces. It is by working on the fascia, the silvery stuff you see in raw steak – which is what surrounds your bones, surrounds everything – that the way you move, the way you feel, can be profoundly changed.”

Can meditation help you lose weight?

Mindfulness is a mental state that can be achieved by focusing on an awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings. 
The practice was reserved only for 'hippy' and 'bohemian' types, but thanks to stars like Miranda Kerr and Daisy Lowe, it has become synonymous with success, fortune and, quite frankly, all things cool.
Many credit the simple form of meditation with helping them to manage daily life and even land a job - but can it help you lose weight?  Well, two women certainly think so - and they've even created a diet based around the Buddhist practice.
Patrizia Collard, a psychotherapist, mindfulness teacher and stress management consultant has teamed up with Helen Stephenson, a mindfulness-based cognitive therapist, to create The Mindfulness Diet.  The duo claim their new book teaches readers how to tune into their bodies and eat the foods they really need to achieve their ideal weight.
The book blurb reads: 'Mindfulness is the new attitude to living.'

Source  - Daily Mail

How becoming a vegetarian can cure diabetes.

Switching to a vegetarian diet could help reverse diabetes, a new study claims.
Millions of people battling the killer disease could improve their blood sugar levels by eradicating meat from their weekly shop.
Scientists believe removing animal fats could help cure the condition, leaving patients free from the disease. They said changes to diet could be used as an alternative treatment for type 2 diabetes.  An analysis of previous studies revealed removing animal fats from diet helps improve insulin sensitivity. 
Eating a vegetable-based diet reduced levels of a key blood-protein called glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c).
For people with diabetes, the higher the HbA1c in their blood, the greater the risk of developing diabetes-related complications such as nerve damage, eye problems, and heart disease.  The study found a vegan or vegetarian diet lowered HbA1c by an average of 0.4 percentage points, and up to 0.7 points.

Source  - Daily Mail

Could coconut oil help fight ageing?

Eating a diet high in fat could stave off Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease and other signs of ageing, new research claims.
High-fat diets postponed signs of ageing including impaired hearing and weight loss, and also stopped ageing of the brain, a study found. Scientists discovered medium chain fatty acids, like coconut oil, were particularly effective.  They believe the fats help slow down the ageing process, by helping to repair cells and DNA damaged as a result.  
As part of the new study, researchers analysed mice with a defective DNA repair system.  In humans, this defect causes the disorder Cockayne syndrome, where patients prematurely age as children and have a life-expectancy of between 10 and 12 years. Researchers found placing a mouse with this defect on a high-fat diet postponed ageing processes such as impaired hearing and weight loss.
It also postponed the ageing of the brain, giving hope to children who age prematurely and patients suffering Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
The study's lead author Professor Vilhelm Bohr, of the University of Copenhagen, said: 'The study is good news for children with Cockayne syndrome, because we do not currently have an effective treatment.

Source  - Daily Mail

An expert explains the benefits of reflexology massage

"Some of my clients have been coming for nearly 20 years… First they feel better, then they feel well, then they stay well,” laughs the reflexologist Rosanna Bickerton. “A new client will tell me they haven’t had a cold this year for the first time ever, that they have more energy. Reflexology definitely helps the body, even if we don’t quite understand how.”
What you notice during a session with the charmingly perspicacious Bickerton, 53, is that she can send even the most thought-addled brain into delicious shutdown. “The anxiety state is what I see most often. Which means that all the energy is in the head, so the rest of the body doesn’t have enough energy. My work triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing anxiety, stopping the fight-or-flight response, and letting the body heal.”  The aim of reflexology is to “create homeostasis, which means that the organs in the body are all working together and at their best.”

Sugar doesn’t just make you fat

Sugar may be sweet - but it's effects on the body are far from it. 
According to new research, too much sugar doesn't just lead to weight gain, but also depression, anxiety and stress. Eating a diet high in fructose as a teenager makes depression and anxiety worse, scientists found. It also alters how the brain response to stress, they said.  Fructose is a sugar found naturally in fruits and vegetables but is also added to processed foods and drinks - from biscuits to ice cream.
Scientists have found fructose appears to be linked to serious modern epidemics such as cancers, heart disease, hypertension, kidney damage, type 2 diabetes and even dementia. But now researchers say it also stimulates pathways in the brain that affect how it responds to stress, which have important effects for behaviour. It can worsen the symptoms related to depression and anxiety, they said.
These effects are particularly concerning during the teenage years, when a person’s stress response develops. If the body’s stress response becomes too sensitive, teenagers risk growing up susceptible to high levels of stress.
Prolonged exposure to stress can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, contribute to infertility, and speed up the aging process. 

Source  - Daily Mail

Dunking your bread in olive oil could cut your heart attack risk

Dunking your bread in olive oil could cut your heart attack risk in just six weeks, say scientists.
Sophisticated new tests found regular consumption of olive oil dramatically improved chemical signals in the body linked to coronary artery disease.
A study led by Glasgow University confirms the health benefits of a cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet, especially for those who don’t normally eat olive oil.
The study added just 20mls a day – about four teaspoons - to the diet of healthy adults, which is the amount used in a salad dressing or mopped up by bread during a meal. But a range of signals for heart disease measured in the urine improved in only six weeks, says a report published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Dr Bill Mullen, of the Institute of Cardiovascular and  Medical Sciences, said ‘If we are able to identify the early signatures of diseases before they have had a chance to take hold we can start to treat them before they become a problem requiring costly medical intervention.

Source  - Daily Mail

Chronic Vitamin D lack from winter sunshine shortage is linked to diseases


British people - and others living in the Northern Hemisphere - need five to 30 minutes of sunlight on bare skin a few times a week to generate enough Vitamin D to prevent against diseases like cancer.
Those who had chronically-low levels of the vitamin have 30 per cent more mortality rates and are also 40 per cent more likely to get tumorous growths, a research of 96,000 people shows.
The study - which followed Danish people for 40 years to take blood samples and track their lifestyle and diet - shows that, in a country where the sun sets as early as 3.30pm in December, most people get one fifth of their Vitamin D from food and four fifths from direct sunlight. Decreased levels of Vitamin D can also contribute to risks of heart disease, diabetes, depression and bone pain, the National Health Service says.
As the sun is not at its peak during the winter, those low in the vitamin are advised to eat Vitamin D-packed foods such as omega-3 rich fish, milk and eggs and potentially take supplements that are available from chemists or with a doctor's prescription for higher doses.
Researchers at Copenhagen University Hospital said, although additional Vitamin D is proven to be beneficial from cold months October to March, it is not yet known which way is best to produce or administer it.

Brazil nuts can boost a woman's fertility

An element found in nuts, red meat and seafood could increase a woman's chance of conceiving.
Scientists found that selenium, a natural antioxidant, plays a crucial role in the early stages of conception - and of all foods, Brazil nuts have the highest level. 
Selenium is crucial in the development of healthy ovarian follicles, which are responsible for the production of eggs in women.
Melanie Ceko, from the University of Adelaide, who carried out the research, said: 'Selenium is an essential trace element found in protein-rich foods like red meat, seafood and nuts. It is important for many biological functions, such as immune response, thyroid hormone production, and acts as an antioxidant, helping to detoxify damaging chemicals in the body. We've known for some time that selenium is important to men's fertility, but until now no one has researched how this element could be involved in healthy reproduction in women.'

Source  - Daily Mail

Peruvians recommend freshly-blended FROGS as a cure for stress

Peruvian villagers living in the Andean mountains have shunned modern medicine in favour of a traditional cure-all which is used to treat all manner of maladies, from a slow sex drive to high levels of stress: blended frog juice.
While there is no scientific evidence to support the juice's medicinal benefits, many locals living in Peru and Bolivia believe that it is the ultimate fix for almost any illness, including asthma and bronchitis.
The most popular recipe calls for the use of whole frogs, which are beaten to death and skinned before being put into the blender. 
Many local food vendors then add a number of other healthy ingredients, such as carrots, Peruvian maca root and honey, before blending the mixture until it is smooth. The finished product is usually light green in colour and is served to customers then and there.

Source  - Daily Mail

Eating walnuts every day could reduce the chance of prostate cancer

A daily handful of walnuts may stave off prostate cancer, according to new research.
Scientists have found diets rich in the nut, or its oil, slowed tumour growth in mice.
They also reduced cholesterol and increased sensitivity to the hormone insulin which helps prevent diabetes.
Walnuts are a 'superfood' naturally high in a host of health boosting chemicals, including omega-3 fatty acids, and have already been shown to protect against breast cancer and heart disease. The latest findings showed they cut levels of the hormone IGF-1, which has been implicated in both prostate and breast cancer.
Dr Paul Davis, of the University of California at Davis, said: 'For years, the United States government has been on a crusade against fat, and I think it has been to our detriment. Walnuts are a perfect example. While they are high in fat, their fat does not drive prostate cancer growth. In fact, walnuts do just the opposite when fed to mice.'
Some 35,000 Britons are diagnosed with it each year, and 10,000 die.
The new study, published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, was aimed at finding out if the beneficial properties were unique to walnuts, or whether it was a particular ingredient such as omega-3 fatty acids found in other foods.

Source  - Daily Mail

Mediterranean diet is best way to tackle obesity, say doctors

A Mediterranean diet may be a better way of tackling obesity than calorie counting, leading doctors have said.
Writing in the Postgraduate Medical Journal (PMJ), the doctors said a Mediterranean diet quickly reduced the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
And they said it may be better than low-fat diets for sustained weight loss. Official NHS advice is to monitor calorie intake to maintain a healthy weight.
Last month NHS leaders stressed the need for urgent action to tackle obesity and the health problems that often go with it. The PMJ editorial argues a focus on food intake is the best approach, but it warns crash dieting is harmful.
Signatories of the piece included the chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Prof Terence Stephenson, and Dr Mahiben Maruthappu, who has a senior role at NHS England.
They criticise the weight-loss industry for focusing on calorie restriction rather than "good nutrition".

Honey: The Solution for Antibiotic Resistant “Super Bugs”?

Antibiotic resistance is a true crisis, one that is growing and is even recognized by the federal government as a near-future crisis. An over-dependence on antibiotics and the sanitization of everything has helped bacterial evolve into unstoppable “super bugs”, or those that are capable of resisting conventional drugs designed to kill them. The solution is complex and involves reducing our use of antibiotics, but it may also include the use of something as beautifully simple as honey.
“The unique property of honey lies in its ability to fight infection on multiple levels, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance,” said Susan M. Meschwitz, Ph.D. , leader of a study presented at the 247th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.  Honey, Dr. Meschwitz went on, acts using a combination of components toxic to bacterial cells, including osmotic effect, high sugar content, polyphenols, acidity, and hydrogen peroxide.
 “Honey may also disrupt quorum sensing, which weakens bacterial virulence, rendering the bacteria more susceptible to conventional antibiotics,” Meschwitz saidHer research isn’t the only to identify honey as a powerful antibiotic. On the contrary, numerous studies have found the natural substance to fight a variety of infection types.

Can music therapy really beat Prozac?

When Orsino utters the famous words, “If music be the food of love, play on”, in Twelfth Night, it is in the hope that a melody might ease his aching heart.
But had he lived in modern times, Shakespeare’s lovesick duke might have discovered it to be the cure for insomnia, depression and anxiety, too. Especially if he had met composer John Levine. The 60-year-old former rocker has created a special type of healing music called Alphamusic Therapy, which he claims can help treat all of these conditions and more. It works by using sound to tune in to the alpha waves in the brain that control mood, and has actually been scientifically shown to alter brain chemistry.
“We underestimate the power of music,” says John, “yet we only have to recall the last time a song made us laugh or cry to realise how much it can affect the way we feel. What I do is basically an extension of this.”
John, who played piano from the age of three, came up with the idea of making therapeutic recordings when his father became extremely ill with stress-related conditions in 1984.
“You name it, he had it,” John recalls. “Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease – he even suffered a stroke. Stress was slowly killing him and no matter how often doctors told him he needed to learn to relax more, he just wouldn’t listen.”

What is naturopathy?

It is perhaps easier to list what the naturopath Katrin Hempel doesn’t offer her clients than what she does. “Bioresonance and live blood analysis, acupuncture, biopuncture, infusion therapy, oxyvenation…”
In her native Germany, the 37-year-old tells me, it is normal for one individual to offer such a wide range of therapies, normal too that they should be used alongside conventional medical treatment.
“Germany has a long tradition  of natural medicine, so it’s more common to find conventional doctors who have also studied natural medicine and use these modalities. Here we are at least 20 years behind.”
As diagnosis tools Hempel uses live blood analysis or a bioresonance machine. “Every cell in the body puts out a certain electromagnetic frequency, that can be measured – a healthy stomach cell sounds different to a healthy brain cell – and the machine can put the right resonance back in, to trigger deep healing.”
The most common problems she sees are related to the digestive and nervous systems: “These are the two fundamental imbalances in the civilised world.” Their cause? “Stress, mental and emotional – it has such a big impact on every cell in the body.”

Cup of cocoa could give the elderly the memory of a 'typical 30 or 40-year-old'

Cocoa can help to slow and even reverse age-related memory loss, according to a study pointing to the previously unknown mental benefits of the chocolate ingredient.
Scientists believe that flavanols, the antioxidants inside cocoa beans, can give people in their sixties the memory of a “typical 30 or 40-year-old”.
The study, by the Columbia University Medical Centre in New York, is thought to be the first evidence that age-related memory decline – a common problem that can cause older people to forget small things like the names of acquaintances or where they have placed their keys – can be countered through dietary changes.
The trials involved 37 volunteers, aged between 50 and 69, divided into two groups. One group was administered daily drinks with a high (900mg) dosage of flavanols, while the other was offered just 10mg a day. After three months, the group that drank the high intake showed signs of faster and clearer recognition of visual patterns. 

Milk might not be as good for us as we thought

Drinking milk may not protect our bones from fractures - and could even increase a person’s risk of dying from heart disease, according to a major new study in Sweden.
In surprising results, an investigation into dietary habits of more than 100,000 people found those who drank more milk were no less likely to break a bone. Among women, higher milk consumption was actually linked to an increased risk of hip fractures.
Even more strikingly, people who drank more than three glasses of milk – around 680ml – per day, were more likely to die over the course of the study, which tracked 60,000 women for 20 years, and 45,000 men for 11 years.
The effect was most pronounced among women, who were nearly twice as likely to die, with heart disease the condition with the strongest links to higher milk consumption.
Although potentially alarming, the authors of the study from Uppsala University urged caution and said their evidence was not strong enough for dietary recommendations to change.

Landmark 35-year study proves active lifestyle and wholesome diet are key to healthier old age

If you have been looking for a reason to skip the gym today then bad luck, as a 35-year-long study has revealed that a healthier lifestyle could prepare for good health in old age.
A total of 2,500 men in  the 1979 HALCyon experiment were asked to eat well, take regular exercise, drink less alcohol, keep trim and never smoke.
Only 25 participants stuck to the health regime more than three decades later and they have dramatically cut their risk of cancers, diabetes, heart-attack, stroke and dementia. Their overall fitness was far better than the 2,475 pensioners that had given up on the experiment, part funded by Alzheimer's Society, and the development of heart disease was slowed by up to 12 years and dementia six years.
The volunteers, all from Caerphilly in Wales, gave researchers regular updates every five years on their diet and levels of recommended physical activity such as walking, cycling and sports.

Honey can be WORSE for you than sugar

Honey; it's a sweetener that's been around since the time of cavemen, but recently it's barely been out of the news.
First there was the announcement that, after six decades of being called Sugar Puffs, the breakfast cereal will now be called Honey Monster Puffs - seemingly to get away from the negative connotation of the word 'sugar'.
Then came news that honey sales had overtaken jam for the first time in Waitrose supermarkets, a trend attributed to a perception that honey is healthier. Market research company Mintel estimates honey sales totalled a staggering £112 million last year.
Having written a book about quitting it, I am no fan of sugar. A diet rich in sugar wrecks our children's teeth, increases our waistlines and ruins our skin, it also alters our moods and even our sleep patterns.
It's commonly accepted that honey is better for us, but is that really the case? The short answer is because it is made of 55 per cent fructose (fruit sugar), eating honey is little more beneficial for our bodies than eating granulated sugar. And here's why.
HONEY IS STILL SUGAR
Refined table sugar (sucrose) is processed in our bodies by insulin, which is produced by the pancreas. Honey is about 55 per cent fructose, a fruit sugar that's processed by the liver. Despite the chemical difference, our bodies still react to honey in much same way as it reacts to refined sugar - with a blood-sugar spike.
This encourages the pancreas to produce insulin, which leads the body to store fat and gain weight. When eaten to excess, products containing fructose contribute to obesity, heart problems and liver disease, just like products with granulated sugar. Other research has shown fructose drains minerals from your body.

Source  - Daily Mail

Forget paracetamol - listening to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody is voted the perfect pick-me-up

Forget paracetamol or honey and lemon. Listening to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody is the best way to feel better when unwell, according to a new survey.
As part of a new poll, almost 90 per cent of people agreed that listening to a good tune can make people feel better when they are sick or facing difficult times.
More than 80 per cent said that in the past, music had made them personally feel better when they were sick or feeling low.
Bohemian Rhapsody, from British rock band Queen, is the nation’s favourite song for listening to when struck down by illness, or the blues, the poll revealed.
The 1975 hit is almost six minutes long and moves through several sections, including a ballad segment ending in a guitar solo, an opera passage and a hard rock section.
It was written by lead singer Freddie Mercury for the band's Night at the Opera album, the most expensive single ever made at the time it was recorded. 

Source  - Daily Mail

Cup of cocoa could give the elderly the memory of a 'typical 30 or 40-year-old'

Cocoa can help to slow and even reverse age-related memory loss, according to a study pointing to the previously unknown mental benefits of the chocolate ingredient.
Scientists believe that flavanols, the antioxidants inside cocoa beans, can give people in their sixties the memory of a “typical 30 or 40-year-old”.
The study, by the Columbia University Medical Centre in New York, is thought to be the first evidence that age-related memory decline – a common problem that can cause older people to forget small things like the names of acquaintances or where they have placed their keys – can be countered through dietary changes.
The trials involved 37 volunteers, aged between 50 and 69, divided into two groups. One group was administered daily drinks with a high (900mg) dosage of flavanols, while the other was offered just 10mg a day. After three months, the group that drank the high intake showed signs of faster and clearer recognition of visual patterns. Brain scans before and after the trial showed more blood within the dentate gyrus part of the hippocampus, one of the few regions known to generate fresh brain cells.

Anger as charity promotes 'quack' Vitamin C cancer therapy

A charity endorsed by celebrities including Jerry Hall and Jerome Flynn was last night accused of promoting a Vitamin C therapy which falsely claims to ‘kill cancer’.
Doctors listed on the Yes To Life (YTL) website charge patients – many of whom are dying – up to £3,000 to administer high doses of intravenous Vitamin C, despite it being clinically unproven against any form of cancer. Yet a description on the website makes it sound like a virtual panacea, suggesting it can be used against all kinds of conditions.
Medical experts last night described the claims as ‘quackery’ and called for the Charity Commission to investigate.  One has already reported YTL to the Advertising Standards Authority.
Until last week, YTL’s website carried a glowing endorsement from actress Maureen Lipman, but when it was drawn to her attention by The Mail on Sunday she said she had no memory of the words ascribed to her.
‘I looked at their website and I got the idea they were saying, “This cures cancer”,’ she said, ‘so I asked them to remove it, which they did.’
Last night, leading cancer consultant Agamemnon Epenetos described the YTL claims as ‘inaccurate’ and ‘false’. He said: ‘There is no evidence at all. Major studies have been done and have shown that there is no evidence that it works in cancer.’

Source  - Daily Mail

High blood pressure? You can't beat eating beetroot

Something that is good for us can also be bad for us. It may sound illogical, but it's why one week we can read that something is a universal panacea only to become a powerful carcinogen the next.
Take oily fish. It's full of good things such as long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, but also contains pollutants. How good or bad it is depends on who you are and how much you eat. (Check out the NHS Choices website for information on oily fish).
And what about the claims for 'superfoods' such as blueberries and goji berries? 
Read the smallprint of the research and inevitably it will say something like, 'at some unspecified point in the future the chemical in this superfood may provide benefit to some patients'.
That's fine, but all this means is that by now many of us have a healthy scepticism about the next claim to come along. We start to suspect that quite apart from making the people who eat them hugely dull, foods that are 'good for us' may not be quite as good for us as we've been lead to believe.
So when beetroot hit the headlines a few years ago with claims about improved athletic performance and lower blood pressure, many probably dismissed them. I certainly did.
Then I met Dr Andrew Webb.

The five biggest physio myths BUSTED

If you thought you had to stretch before and after exercise to prevent injury, then you wouldn't be alone.
But this is just one of a number of common practices that actually don't do anything beneficial for your health. The top five physiotherapy myths have been publicly busted by the world's largest physiotherapy clinical research website, PEDro (Physiotherapy Evidence Database). 
Based at the George Institute for Global Health in Sydney, researchers have studied reports of more than 28,000 guidelines, trials and reviews. And surprisingly what are commonly known as effective practises, are actually misconceptions and have no hard evidence to back them up.
'The most amazing things are so common place,' PEDro manager Anne Moseley told Daily Mail AustraliaAny recommendations are really based on best guesses or marketing rather than hard evidence.  That's the thing with myths, the downside of following a myth is that you're wasting your time and money.'

TOP 5 PHYSIOTHERAPY MYTHS BUSTED

1. The type of mattress you sleep on prevents back pain
 'We couldn't find any well conducted trials to evaluate this,' said Anne Moseley from PEDro
2. Stretching prevents injury and muscle soreness in recreational runners
 'Stretching before and after a run makes no difference to injuries and muscle soreness'
3. You should wear a neck brace if you have a whiplash neck injury
 'If there is no fracture and just whiplash, research has found that wearing a brace is detrimental'
 4. Ultrasound for the recovery of ankle sprains
5. An incentive spirometer - a device which patients use to help them take deep breaths to prevent complications during upper abdominal surgery or cardiac surgery
'Unnecessary treatments which can cost a considerable amount'
Source  - Daily Mail

'This proves homeopathy DOESN'T work'

Homeopathy has long been slated as witchcraft, due to the lack of proper scientific evidence that it works.
Now, one scientist has taken matters into her own hands to prove the point.
Yvette d’Entremont, a forensic chemist from southern California, filmed herself downing 50 homeopathic sleeping tablets in one go to prove they were nothing but 'sugar pills' with no active ingredients.
Ninety minutes later, she reported feeling no different - and says this proves thousands of people the world over are being misled. 
Her experiment was part of her campaign to  stop national pharmacy retailers in the U.S. selling homeopathic products, which, as she puts it 'have no f***ing medicine' in them. 
Ms d’Entremont, who goes under the alias Science Babe, wrote in a recent blog: '[The theory is] that diluting a substance makes it more powerful. By this line of thinking, the dilutions continue in succession several times. 
'In the homeopathic remedies that are sold over the counter, they dilute the medications to the point where there is no measurable dose of the alleged active ingredient.

Source  - Daily Mail

Health fears over BPA chemical in plastic food packaging

Food and drinks packaging helps food to stay fresh and enjoy a longer shelf life.
Plastic is commonly used in food containers, bottles and wrapping materials as well as in the linings of tin cans. But plastic packaging containing Bisphenol A (also known as BPA) has come under increasing scrutiny.
In France the decision has been taken to ban BPA from food packaging from 1 January 2015 as a result of health fears. However, other government scientists around the world say it is safe to consume food and drinks from BPA plastic packaging at low levels.  Reporter Rachel Royce looks at the controversy over BPA and asks if it should be banned from food packaging in the UK.

How olive oil reverses heart disease threat

Eating a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil could help reverse symptoms which can lead to heart disease, research has revealed.
A study found people who followed a diet of fruit, vegetables, fish and wholegrains, with either added olive oil or nuts, reduced their obesity and blood glucose levels – both symptoms of metabolic syndrome. Following a low-fat diet did not have the same effect.
Metabolic syndrome affects a quarter of the world's adult population and is a combination of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity which puts patients at higher risk of heart disease and strokes.

Spanish researchers studied nearly 5,800 men and women aged 55 to 80 who were at risk of heart disease for nearly five years.
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Remarkably, while 64 per cent of participants had metabolic syndrome at the start of the study, more than a quarter no longer had symptoms of the condition after following the diet.

Source  - Daily Mail

How a 'plant-based' diet can help women fight breast cancer

Women should eat a plant-based diet to boost their odds of beating breast cancer, experts have said.
The world’s biggest study into surviving the disease has concluded that patients should make fruit, vegetables and wholegrains the focus of their meals. Some meat is fine in moderation, but processed products such as sausages and bacon should be ‘avoided or eaten as little as possible’.
Other foods high in saturated fat, such as dairy, cakes and pastries, and are out but soy, including tofu and soya milk, is recommended. The 550,000 British women who have breast cancer or believe they have recovered from it should also try to stay slim and active, the experts said. 
However, the World Cancer Research Fund stopped short of giving detailed advice. It says that while breast cancer prevention is well studied, the science of surviving it is much newer, and more research is ‘urgently’ needed.

Source  - Daily Mail

Aluminium could be poisoning our brains and causing Alzheimer's

Aluminium found in food, cosmetics and medicines could be poisoning our brains and causing Alzheimer’s disease, a professor has claimed.
Aluminium builds up in the brain, eventually causing contamination that may cause Alzheimer’s disease, Professor Christopher Exley, of Keele University has argued.
The metal compound is found in most processed foods, tea, wine, fizzy drinks, cosmetics and drugs like aspirin. He said the very fact that studies have revealed aluminium deposits in the brain should serve as a warning that we are being contaminated.
He said: ‘The presence of aluminium in the human brain should be a red flag alerting us all to the potential dangers of the aluminium age. We are all accumulating a known neurotoxin in our brain from our conception to our death. Why do we treat this inevitability with almost total complacency?’
His latest report builds on his previous work, in which he suggested there was a link between the aluminium found in deodorants and cancer.
Aluminium is the most abundant metal in the earth's crust, and is naturally found in food because plants absorb it from water and the soil. While 50 years ago we may have ingested small amounts of aluminium from vegetables and the pots they were cooked in, today it is added to almost everything we consume.


Source  - Daily Mail

Beets Are So Healthy That Even Pharmaceutical Giants Want To Harness Their Antioxidant Potential

There has been enormous research interest in beets because of the the unusual mix of antioxidants that they contain. The unique combination of nutritional and nutriceutical components establishes the red beet as a marvellous vegetable, easy to grow and process its natural products. Its strong vasodilation properties, imparted pigments, flavonoids and organic nitrogen have lead to deep investigations by pharmaceutical companies to reap the enormous array of health benefits. Fortunately, a vegetable can’t be patented, so the beet will always remain as a very useful dietary tool in both the prevention and treatment of disease.
When it comes to antioxidant phytonutrients that give most red vegetables their distinct color, we’ve become accustomed to thinking about anthocyanins. (Red cabbage, for example, gets it wonderful red color primarily from anthocyanins.) Beets demonstrate their antioxidant uniqueness by getting their red color primarily from betalain antioxidant pigments (and not primarily from anthocyanins). Coupled with their status as a very good source of the antioxidant manganese and a good source of the antioxidant vitamin C, the unique phytonutrients in beets provide antioxidant support in a different way than other antioxidant-rich vegetables. While research is largely in the early stage with respect to beet antioxidants and their special benefits for eye health and overall nerve tissue health, we expect to see study results showing these special benefits and recognizing beets as a standout vegetable in this area of antioxidant support.

How grapefruit really can help us lose weight

Dieters have long sworn that grapefruit helps them lose weight.
Now, scientists are beginning to believe them.
A study has found that drinking grapefruit juice when eating fatty food lowers the amount of weight put on by up to a fifth. The research also suggested that grapefruit could be as good as prescription drugs at keeping blood sugar levels under control – a key part of managing diabetes. The experiments were conducted on mice – but researchers say the results justify studies on humans. 
Professor Joseph Napoli, of the University of California, Berkeley, said: ‘We see all sorts of scams about nutrition.  But these results, based on controlled experiments, warrant further study of the potential health-promoting properties of grapefruit juice.’
The Grapefruit Diet, also called the Hollywood Diet, dates back to the 1930s and has a host of celebrity fans including singer Kylie Minogue.  It involves having grapefruit or grapefruit juice with every meal while cutting back on calories.
The researchers found that when the mice were fed fatty food for three months, those given grapefruit juice to drink gained up to 18 per cent less weight than those given water. They also had lower blood sugar and insulin levels – despite eating the same number of calories and doing the same amount of exercise as the mice who drank water.  In fact, grapefruit juice was as good at controlling insulin as the widely used diabetes drug metformin, the journal PLOS ONE reports.

Source  - Daily Mail

Green tea could helps scientists develop new cancer fighting drugs

It has been shown to lower cholesterol, improve blood flow and protect against heart disease. And now scientists believe green tea could be used to develop new drugs to fight cancer.
A chemical extracted from the beverage is an ideal carrier of proteins that combat the disease, according to research by the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, Singapore.
Green tea is made up of a class of chemicals called catechins, the most abundant of which is EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate). It is believed EGCG is responsible for green tea's health benefits and could have anti-cancer effects.
Dr Joo Eun Chung and his colleagues have shown anticancer protein Herceptin can combined with EGCG to form a stable and effective complex to deliver a drug to a tumour site.
He said: 'When designing drug carriers, the drug to carrier ratio is an important consideration because the use of high quantities of carriers can result in toxicity as a consequence of poor metabolism and elimination of the carriers.'

Source  - Daily Mail

Does the Australian rainforest hold the key to curing cancer?

Australian scientists believe a seed from a rainforest plant could hold the key to curing cancer.
Researchers say initial tests of the Blushwood tree has found is was effective 70 per cent of the time. An experimental drug based on the seed was even found to be effective in treating pets with cancer.
Scientists at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute found a single injection of the drug EBC-46 led to rapid breakdown of tumours in a range of human tumour models.
The study, published in the journal PLOS One, was led by Dr Glen Boyle. 
He says the findings suggest the drug could be effective in human patients.
'We were able to achieve very strong results injecting EBC-46 directly into melanoma models, as well as cancers of the head, neck and colon,' Dr Boyle said. 'In most cases the single injection treatment caused the loss of viability of cancer cells within four hours, and ultimately destroyed the tumours.'
Dr Boyle says EBC-46 works in part by triggering a cellular response which effectively cuts off the blood supply to the tumour.

Source  Daily Mail

Antioxidant in red wine could help reduce acne, study says

The health benefits of resveratrol have been debated for some time, however a new study has suggested that the antioxidant, which is found in grapes, red wine and chocolate, could help to clear acne.
Scientists from UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles), used the blood of healthy volunteers and those without skin conditions to test resveratrol’s ability to inhibit the growth of acne-causing bacteria.
The researchers’ paper, Resveratrol Demonstrates Antimicrobial Effects Against Propionibacterium acnes In Vitro,  was published in the journal  Dermatology and Therapy, describing acne as a skin disease that affects 85 per cent of adolescents and 10 per cent of adults. They also said that the "economic burden" to fight acne totals more than $3 billion each year and said that monotherapy and overuse of antibiotics had created a resistance against the treatment, while retinoids and benzoyl peroxide (found in creams and gels) often cause irritation.

Olive oil could help to reverse heart failure

Olive oil could help reverse a patient’s heart failure "immediately", scientists have claimed.
Oleate - the fat found in the golden liquid - could help a diseased heart pump blood more effectively and use body fat as fuel, researchers at the University of Illinois have found.
The most common reason a person may suffer from heart failure is when the muscle becomes damaged, including after a heart attack, through drug or alcohol abuse, and high blood pressure. Shortness of breath, both during activity or rest; swelling of the feet, ankles, stomach and lower back; and fatigue are all symptoms of heart failure.
Currently, there is no way to reverse heart disease, and a combination of medication and lifestyle changes help patients manage their symptoms and keep their condition stable.
Scientists made their findings based on previous studies which show that a healthy heart absorbs fat to keep pumping, but if damaged the muscle can no longer process or store far – starving it of energy. This means the heart is unable to work hard enough, and toxic fat deposits are left to clog up arteries.
Scientists believe that oleate helps the body produce enzymes which break down fat so the heart is once again able to absorb it.