Is owning a dog good for your health?

Dogs really are our best friends, according to a Swedish study that says canine ownership could reduce heart disease.

A study of 3.4 million people between the ages of 40 and 80 found that having a dog was associated with a 23% reduction in death from heart disease and a 20% lower risk of dying from any cause over the 12 years of the study. Previous studies have suggested dogs relieve social isolation and depression – both linked to an increased risk of heart disease and early death.

Source  - Guardian

Spain plans to ban alternative medicine in health centres

The Spanish government has announced plans to eradicate alternative medicine such as acupuncture or homeopathy from health centres.
The proposal, unveiled by the science and health ministers, aims to avoid the “potential harmful effects” of the practices when they are used as an alternative or a complement to treatment that is itself based on “proof and scientific rigour”, the government said in a statement.
It did not make clear what it regarded as alternative medicine, but gave the examples of acupuncture and homeopathy. “Many people still believe that some treatments work despite there being no scientific proof available,” the statement said.

Sipping acidic fruit teas can wear away teeth

Sipping acidic drinks such as fruit teas and flavoured water can wear away teeth and damage the enamel, an investigation by scientists has shown.

The King's College London team found that drinking them between meals and savouring them for too long increased the risk of tooth erosion from acid. The research, in the British Dental Journal, looked at the diets of 300 people with severe erosive tooth wear.

It said the problem was increasing as people snacked more. Fruit squashes, cordials, fruit teas, diet drinks, sugared drinks and flavoured water are all acidic and can cause wear and tear to teeth, the researchers said. And continuously sipping or holding these drinks in the mouth before swallowing increased the risk of tooth erosion.

Dr Saoirse O'Toole, the lead study author, from King's College London Dental Institute, said: "If you drink things for long periods of time, greater than five minutes, or if you play with things in your mouth or if you nibble on fruit over a few minutes rather than eating them as a whole fruit - these are things that can really damage your teeth. If you're going to have an apple as a snack at lunchtime, then try not to have anything acidic later on in the evening. If you are going to have a glass of wine in the evening, then don't have your fruit tea in the morning."

Source - BBC