Vitamin D could prevent rheumatoid arthritis

Vitamin D may prevent inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, new research reveals. 

The so-called 'sunshine supplement' strengthens the immune system, which helps to prevent the body from attacking healthy cells and causing autoimmune conditions, such as arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis, which causes joint swelling, may also benefit from vitamin D's anti-inflammatory effects. 

Yet, as the painful joint condition reduces a sufferer's vitamin D sensitivity, patients may not benefit from taking such supplements once they have developed the disorder, or at least not at recommended doses, according to the researchers.

Study author Dr Louisa Jeffery from the University of Birmingham, said: 'Our research indicates that maintaining sufficient vitamin D may help to prevent the onset of inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
'However, for patients who already have rheumatoid arthritis, simply providing vitamin D might not be enough. Instead much higher doses may be needed'.

Source  - Daily Mail

Three cups of coffee a day 'may have health benefits'

Moderate coffee drinking is safe, and three to four cups a day may have some health benefits, according to a large review of studies, in the BMJ.

It found a lower risk of liver disease and some cancers in coffee drinkers, and a lower risk of dying from stroke - but researchers could not prove coffee was the cause. Too much coffee during pregnancy could be harmful, the review confirmed. Experts said people should not start drinking coffee for health reasons.

The University of Southampton researchers collected data on the impact of coffee on all aspects of the human body, taking into account more than 200 studies - most of which were observational. Compared with non-coffee drinkers, those who drank about three cups of coffee a day appeared to reduce their risk of getting heart problems or dying from them.

Source  - BBC

Coffee drastically lowers your risk of heart failure and stroke

Everyone can decrease their risk of stroke and heart failure just by drinking an extra cup of coffee a day, according to new research.

A study found that with every cup, the addictive beverage lowers the risk of stroke by eight percent and heart failure by seven percent. Adding just one extra cup of coffee a day may be enough to reduce the risk, and the research published by the American Heart Association found no limit to how much you can consume. This study adds to the growing body of evidence that the drink has valuable health benefits, as previous research has found it to fight certain cancers, relieve headaches, help lose weight and make you live longer. 

Researchers used a machine to analyze data from the long-running Framlingham Heart study, which has investigated heart disease for more than 60 years. The analysis by the University of Colorado was then compared with two other traditional studies to get the overall trend. 

Source  - Daily Mail

Woman, 48, develops high blood pressure after drinking three cups of liquorice tea every day

A 48-year-old woman developed high blood pressure due to her love of three cups of liquorice tea each day, a case report reveals.

The unnamed patient, believed to be from Sheffield, was plagued by dull headaches, nausea and dizziness for four months before becoming 
concerned. Doctors warned her daily habit for liquorice tea was to blame as it caused her to develop hypertension and low levels of potassium in her blood.

As soon as she stopped drinking so much of the sweet brew, all of her symptoms disappeared, medics wrote in the BMJ Case Reports

Upon initial inspection, doctors struggled to find a root cause for her high blood pressure. They sent her home with medication. However, drugs proved to have no effect and doctors grew increasingly concerned that her condition was worsening rapidly. That was when the woman realised her headaches, a symptom of hypertension, was likely due to her love of liquorice tea.
 She said her husband uncovered the link between liquorice and high blood pressure which made her highlight her habit to the doctors. 

Source  - Daily Mail

A type of vitamin E found in nuts may prevent asthma attacks by reducing airway inflammation

A type of vitamin E found in nuts may prevent asthma attacks by reducing airway inflammation.

Sufferers of the common breathing condition taking it as part of a US study were also found to have less sticky mucus in their lungs.  Experts say the findings raise the possibility of asthma being kept under control by changing diet or taking a supplement. 

The form of vitamin E that brought these beneficial effects is gamma-tocopherol, which is abundant in nuts such as walnuts and pecans and in the legume peanut, as well as seed oils such as corn, soybean and sesame.
This type has drawn little attention compared with alpha-tocopherol, the form most commonly found in vitamin E supplements.

'We started looking into vitamin E because epidemiologic data suggested that people with high amounts of vitamin E in their diet were less prone to asthma and allergic disease,' said senior study author Professor Michelle Hernandez from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine

Source  - Daily Mail

Dog ownership lowers early death risk

Dog owners have a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease or other causes, a study of 3.4 million Swedes has found.
The team analysed national registries for people aged 40 to 80, and compared them to dog ownership registers. They found there was a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in owners of dogs, particularly of hunting breeds.
While owning a dog may help physical activity, researchers said it may be active people who choose to own dogs. They also said owning a dog may protect people from cardiovascular disease by increasing their social contact or wellbeing, or by changing the owner's bacterial microbiome.
The microbiome is the collection of microscopic species that live in the gut. It's thought a dog may influence its owner's microbiomes as dogs change the dirt in home environments, exposing people to bacteria they may not have encountered otherwise.