Are you hooked on fish oil yet?

I was going to post this....  until I looked at the source!!

Proprietary Association of Great Britain
represents the manufacturers of over-the-
counter medicines and food supplements
in the United Kingdom.

So you will have to do without!

  • Why you SHOULD forgive and forget - it's good for your heart

    They say to err is human, to forgive divine. But new research has revealed that excusing people who have hurt you can actually boost your health.
    Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, found those people who let go of their anger were less likely to see spikes in blood pressure.
    They asked just over 200 volunteers to think about a time when a friend had offended them. Half of the group were told to think about how it had angered them while the other half were encouraged to consider it in a more forgiving way.  The particpants were then all distracted for five minutes after which they were told to think about the event again in any way they chose. The participants were wired  up to monitors, which took blood pressure and heart rate readings.
    The team, led by Dr Britta Larsen, found the angry group saw the greatest increase in blood pressure compared to the forgiving group after the first ruminating session. The effect was seen later on despite having the brief timeout period to calm down. However, there was no differences in heart rate.

    Source  - Daily Mail

    Man, 62, cures painful eye infection with 99p jar of honey

    A man who spent eight years searching for a cure for a chronic eye condition was amazed when he finally found the remedy in a 99p jar of Tesco Value honey.
    Frank Dougan, 62, lost his left eye when he was shot with a bow and arrow in a childhood accident and he later developed a painful infection called blepharitis. He visited doctors and eye specialists and spent a fortune on different drops over the years but nothing worked.
    But he was finally cured when he cut his hand while on holiday in Jerusalem and he was advised to put honey on it.
    Surprised by the results, when he returned home to Glasgow he bought a jar of Tesco Value Honey and tried it on his eyelid - and within weeks the infection had cleared.

    Source  - Daily Mail

    Yoga helps stroke patients to regain their balance

    Yoga may help stroke survivors improve their balance, according to a new study.
    Researchers found group yoga can improve balance in stroke survivors who no longer receive rehabilitative care.
    In a pilot study, scientists tested the potential benefits of yoga among chronic stroke survivors - those whose stroke occurred more than six months earlier.
    Lead researcher Doctor Arlene Schmid, a rehabilitation research scientist at Indiana University in the United States, said: 'For people with chronic stroke, something like yoga in a group environment is cost effective and appears to improve motor function and balance.'
    The study's 47 participants, about three-quarters of them male veterans, were divided into three groups: twice-weekly group yoga for eight weeks; a 'yoga-plus' group, which met twice weekly and had a relaxation recording to use at least three times a week; and a usual medical care group that did no rehabilitation.

    Source  - Daily Mail

    How just two apples a day could cut the risk of heart disease

    Just two apples a day could help protect women against heart disease by cutting their cholesterol levels, according to new research.
    Scientists found apples significantly lowered blood fat levels in postmenopausal women, the group most at risk of heart attacks and strokes. Snacking on the fruit every day for six months slashed cholesterol by almost a quarter.
    The biggest reduction was seen in low-density lipoprotein, the so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol that furs up arteries and raises the risk of a life-threatening clot forming near the heart or brain.
    The findings, by a team of researchers at Florida State University in the U.S, support previous evidence that apples could be good for the heart. But the latest study suggests they could benefit one of the highest-risk groups.
    Around 45 per cent of British women will suffer from heart disease or a stroke and it is the biggest single cause of death among post-menopausal women.

    Source  - Daily Mail

    How mindful meditation can ease your woes

    Older adults who suffer from loneliness are at far greater risk of health problems such as heart disease, Alzheimer's and premature death.
    Schemes to encourage social networking such as creating community centres have had limited effectiveness. Now scientists have come up with a new way for people to tackle the social ill - on their own.
    Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University found that teaching mindful meditation techniques was effective at reducing feelings of isolation, while at the same time boosting their ability to fight disease.
    Study leader J. David Creswell, said: 'We always tell people to quit smoking for health reasons, but rarely do we think about loneliness in the same way. We know that loneliness is a major risk factor for health problems and mortality in older adults. This research suggests that mindfulness meditation training is a promising intervention for improving the health of older adults.'
    The 2,500-year-old practice dating back to the time of the spiritual leader Buddha focuses on creating an attentive awareness of the present moment.

    Source  - Daily Mail

    Eating almonds, peanuts and dried apricots could cut the risk of liver cancer

    Eating food rich in vitamin E intake could cut the risk of liver cancer, a study has found.
    Researchers discovered taking vitamin E supplements or snacking on foods such as almonds, peanuts, pine nuts and dried apricots lowered the risk in middle-aged or older people.  It is also known to help protect against heart disease and eye damage in old age. 
    Dr Wei Zhang, of the Shanghai Cancer Institute, analysed data from 132,837 individuals - including 267 liver cancer patients - in China where 54 per cent of all liver cancers in the world occur.
    After gathering information on participants’ dietary habits they compared liver cancer risk to participants who had a high vitamin E intake to those that did not. 

    Reducing salt 'would cut cancer'

    Cutting back on salty foods such as bacon, bread and breakfast cereals may reduce people's risk of developing stomach cancer, according to the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF).
    It wants people to eat less salt and for the content of food to be labelled more clearly. In the UK, the WCRF said one-in-seven stomach cancers would be prevented if people kept to daily guidelines. Cancer Research UK said this figure could be even higher.
    Too much salt is bad for blood pressure and can lead to heart disease and stroke, but it can also cause cancer. The recommended daily limit is 6g, about a level teaspoonful, but the World Cancer Research Fund said people were eating 8.6g a day.

    Source  - BBC

    Regulating alternative practitioners may give them false credibility

    Estimates vary, but there are about 40,000 alternative healthcare practitioners in Britain. Most are subject to little or no regulation. This clearly amounts to a public health issue: the main purpose of regulation must be to maximise consumer safety and, if we cannot be sure that these therapists are properly educated, experienced and obliged to abide by generally accepted standards of good clinical practice, many patients' health is at risk.
    Adequate regulation has been in the pipeline for many years. In the 1990s, chiropractors and osteopaths were regulated by statute – that is to say, they are now regulated in a similar way to doctor or nurses. Statutory regulation of herbalists is currently being finalised and acupuncturists may follow soon. Is this a good or bad thing?
    On the one hand, it ought to be an excellent idea which might ensure that alternative practitioners do not harm their patients. On the other hand, it could be a fairly nonsensical action which merely provides credibility to professions that do not deserve it. To decide which of the two scenarios is more likely, we might ask how well such regulation worked in the past, for instance, in the case of chiropractic.
    Did it prevent chiropractors from making false therapeutic claims? No, it did not. On the contrary, when Simon Singh challenged the British Chiropractic Association  for "happily promoting bogus treatments", rather than getting their act together, they sued him for libel. Even today, chiropractors have by no means stopped using and advertising questionable procedures.

    Source  - Guardian

    Nutritional benefits have increased in past 30 years

    If you enjoy telling younger members of your family that food just isn't as wholesome as it used to be, you might need to make an exception.
    Eggs are far more nutritious and beneficial for our health than they were 30 years ago, scientists claim.
    Not only have they found that eggs are lower in fat, cholesterol and calories, but they also contain more vitamin D than previously thought.
    A major study, funded by the Department of Health, found that the average medium-sized egg now has nearly 25 per cent less saturated fat – which is linked to heart disease – than one sold in the 1980s. They contain 1.3 grams, rather than 1.7 grams. We are advised to eat no more than 20 grams of saturated fat a day.
    The study also found they contain 177 micrograms of cholesterol, the substance which clogs arteries, just over 10 per cent less than the 202 micrograms previously recorded. They have fewer calories than experts originally thought, too – there are 66 in a medium egg, not 78.

    Source  - Daily Mail

    Eating oily fish regularly ‘can significantly cut risk of prostate death’

    A diet rich in oily fish can significantly improve prostate cancer victims’ chances of surviving the disease, research shows.
    The findings in the American Journal of Epidemiology revealed sufferers who regularly ate the highest amounts of omega-3 fish oil were between 34 and 40 per cent less likely to die from the disease, which kills 10,000 men every year in the UK.
    The long-term study at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston also found the patients who consumed the highest amounts of saturated fats were twice as likely to die from their tumour as those who ate smaller amounts.
    The US scientists tracked 525 men who had an average age of 70 and signed up to the study in 1989. By last year, 222 had died from prostate  cancer and 268 from other causes.
    Nearly 40,000 cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed every year in the UK and 10,000 men die from it - the equivalent of more than one an hour.

    Source  - Daily Mail

    Egg allergies 'treated with egg'

    Omelettes, meringues and pasta could one-day be back on the menu for some people with egg allergies after they are treated with the very food they are allergic to, say US researchers.
    The only option for patients is to completely avoid foods containing egg. A study on 55 children showed some were able to eat egg after minuscule amounts were gradually added to their diets. However, the treatment is still experimental and doctors say it should not be tried at home.
    Egg allergies are one of the most common allergies and are thought to affect up to 2.5% of children.
    Gradually introducing the food which causes an allergic reaction has been successful in other foods such as peanuts.
    Parents were given powdered egg to mix into their children's food, building up to about a third of an egg

    Source BBC

    People feel 'healthier' on the English coast

    People living on the English coast are more likely than those living inland to say they are fit and well, an analysis of census data suggests.
    The researchers said living in areas such as Skegness, St Ives or Scarborough was linked to a "small, but significant" improvement in health. Lower stress and more opportunities to exercise were suggested as possible explanations. The findings were published in the journal Health and Place.
    The researchers looked at data from 48 million people in England from the 2001 census. They compared how close people were to the bracing sea air and their answer to a question about their own health.
    The study was conducted by the European Centre for Environment and Human Health at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Exeter.
    It found people living less than 1km from the sea were more likely to say they were in "good health" than people living further away.

    Source  - BBC

    Doctors' basic errors are killing 1,000 patients a month

    Almost 12,000 patients are dying needlessly in NHS hospitals every year because of basic errors by medical staff, according to the largest and most detailed study into hospital deaths ever performed in the UK.

    The researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and colleagues found something went wrong with the care of 13 per cent of the patients who died in hospitals. An error only caused death in 5.2 per cent of these – equivalent to 11,859 preventable deaths in hospitals in England.
    Helen Hogan, who led the study, said: "We found medical staff were not doing the basics well enough – monitoring blood pressure and kidney function, for example. They were also not assessing patients holistically early enough in their admission so they didn't miss any underlying condition. And they were not checking side-effects... before prescribing drugs."

    Source  - Independent

    The changing tastes in disease

    Why is it that some diseases like Aids and Sars capture the public's attention while other serious illnesses remain stubbornly under the radar?
    This is the question being addressed in a ground-breaking new research project at Northumbria University.  Dr Clark Lawlor and his team plan to find out why some medical conditions  have become fashionable and even viewed as 'attractive' in the past. They hope this could give an insight to today's policymakers as well as help affected patients.

    Dr Lawlor: 'From consumption and gout in the 18th century to 'thinspiration' websites praising anorexia and SARS or Swine Flu more recently, diseases come and go – sometimes with alarming rapidity. This project will address a cultural and medical phenomenon that is still little understood, particularly in its historical dimensions. No major project has yet answered the question of how fashionable diseases come to be formed, maintained and removed from history.'

    Source  - Daily Mail

    Which doctor would you choose?

    Last summer, Julie Mathias collapsed suddenly, paralysed down the right side of her body. She was suffering a severe form of a condition called a hemiplegic migraine. It is not fully understood, but the paralysis is caused by a communication failure between the nerves.
    In most sufferers – it affects between 8,000 and 10,000 Britons – these terrifying episodes often last for hours or days. But Julie, 47, did not recover. She was left barely able to walk without a stick, her speech was slurred and she had to give up working at her hair salon. Her neurologist prescribed an anticonvulsant drug called Topiramate, yet the symptoms remained.

    In a scene when Julie returns to see the doctors, she walks without a stick, and is moving and speaking normally. She beams with relief as she announces that she is back at work.
    ‘The physiotherapist has been working on my neck and it seems to be releasing muscles that were causing tension,’ she says. ‘I had the start of a migraine in my eye and just by doing a few simple neck stretches I controlled it. I’ve got my life back.’
    So why did conventional interventions fail where complementary ones succeeded?
    ‘Doctors are essentially trained to prescribe medicine,’ says Chris. ‘Patients often fall outside diagnostic criteria so treating something we’re not sure about with a toxic drug isn’t very sensible. Julie’s was not a very real diagnosis – she probably had some nasty drug reactions [from the Topiramate]. 

    Source  - Daily Mail

    Cranberry juice 'can protect against urine infections'

    Drinking cranberry juice to prevent urine infections does work say medical experts who have found scientific backing for this folk remedy.
    The review in Archives of Internal Medicine looked at 10 head-to-head trials of cranberries versus no treatment in 1,500 volunteers. But experts warn that the amount people must consume to gain this benefit - a couple of glasses daily for months or years - may be unacceptable to some. And it doesn't work for everyone.
    Cranberries contain a substance that can prevent certain bacteria from sticking on the walls of the bladder, studies show. These bacteria, called E. coli, cause over 80% of all urinary tract infections.
    The researchers who carried out the latest review found cranberry juice and other products containing cranberries that are sold in pharmacies can ward off some of these E.coli infections. But they don't necessarily work every time or for all individuals. They tend to work best in women experiencing recurrent urine and bladder infections.
    And juice appeared to be slightly better than capsules or tablets containing cranberry, although more efficacy studies are needed to confirm this.
    The National Taiwan University Hospital researchers who conducted the review said more work was also needed to discover the optimum dose.

    Source  - BBC

    Mediterranean diet 'can help women get pregnant'

    New research indicates a diet containing lots of monounsaturated fat - found in the fleshy green fruit, olive oil, as well as peanuts, almonds and cashews - can as much as triple the chance of success in women resorting to fertility treatment to conceive.
    Specialists believe such a diet could help the majority of women wanting to get pregnant naturally as well.
    By contrast eating lots of saturated fat, found in dairy products and red meat, appears to damage women's fertility. High saturated fat intake has already been linked to lower sperm counts.
    Dr Jorge Chavarro and colleagues at the Harvard School of Public Health in the US, looked at how intake of different types of fats affected success of IVF treatment in 147 women, mostly in their 30s. They found the women who ate the most monounsaturated fat had up to three times the chance of giving birth via IVF as those who ate the least. 

    Eating 40% less food could extend your life by 20 years

    Eating 40 per cent less food could extend a person's life by 20 years, according to scientists.
    Researchers at the Institute of Health Ageing at University College London are developing a treatment they hope will combat the 'disease' of getting older. They are looking into how genetics and lifestyle can be adapted to offset the effects of ageing and add years, possibly decades, to a person's life. Age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and neurodegeneration can also be combated, it is claimed.
    One line of inquiry that the team is developing is how the life of a rat can be increased by up to 30 per cent simply by reducing its food intake.
    Lead researcher Dr Piper told the Independent: 'If you reduce the diet of a rat by 40 per cent it will live for 20 or 30 per cent longer. So we would be talking 20 years of human life. This has shown on all sorts of organisms, even labradors.'

    Source  - Daily Mail

    Does it pay to eat organic?

    It's an argument that continues to exercise consumers and growers across the UK - organic produce may be good for the environment, but is it any better for your health?
    A new study has found that when it comes to tomatoes at least, it really may pay off to fork out for the more expensive organic produce.
    Researchers from the University of Barcelona have found the pesticide-free version of the fruit contains higher levels of disease-fighting chemicals than the conventional kind.
    Known as polyphenols, the chemical compounds protect plants against disease and are thought to also benefit human health.  The nutrients have a natural antioxidant effect and studies have suggested they could help halt the spread of certain cancers as well as protect against chronic conditions such as arthritis. Other research has found they can protect against heart disease due to their anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting properties.
    The conclusion challenges the Food Standards Agency, which has long dismissed the health gains of organic food.

    Source  - Daily Mail

    Seaweed 'could fight tooth-decay'

    Microbes found on seaweed could provide an unexpected weapon in the fight against tooth decay, scientists have said.

    They used an enzyme isolated from the marine bacterium Bacillus licheniformis which they were originally researching for cleaning ships' hulls. Instead, the Newcastle University team will tell the Society for Applied Microbiology Summer Conference that it could have a range of medical applications, including teeth cleaning.
    While toothpastes are effective, there are still hard-to-reach areas between teeth where the bacteria in plaque can erode enamel, causing cavities.
    Dr Nicholas Jakubovics of Newcastle University's School of Dental Sciences believes better products offering more effective treatment can be made using the enzyme.
    He said: "Plaque on your teeth is made up of bacteria which join together to colonise an area in a bid to push out any potential competitors. Traditional toothpastes work by scrubbing off the plaque containing the bacteria - but that's not always effective - which is why people who religiously clean their teeth can still develop cavities. Work in a test tube has shown that this enzyme can cut through the plaque or layer of bacteria and we want to harness this power into a paste, mouthwash or denture cleaning solution."

    Source  - Independent

    If you don’t think it, you won’t diagnose it

    There are so many tests nowadays – blood tests, X-rays, angiograms, scans of all sorts – that they can too readily be a substitute for critically reflecting on what is really going on or, if negative, give a false impression that there is nothing seriously amiss.
    The importance of the adage ''if you don’t think it, you won’t diagnose it’’, is illustrated by a woman whose complaint of dizziness on exertion warranted a referral to a cardiologist. First off she had an echocardiogram, which revealed some inflammation around the heart, known as pericarditis, which was felt to be ''non significant’’. Next up she had an angiogram of the arteries to the heart, which proved entirely normal.
    All this took around six months, after which the cardiologist discharged her, even though her symptoms were unchanged. Despairing, she sought a medical opinion abroad at her own expense – and within a couple of weeks she was informed she had a positive blood test for the tick-borne infection lyme borreliosis. Though not common, this type of infection is well recognised as the cause of persistent if poorly defined symptoms. It is thus always worth ''thinking’’ about.

    Source  - Telegraph

    Beating arthritis is all in your head

    Arthritis sufferers could have their pain eased by learning to cope with the condition through counselling, scientists have claimed.
    Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) could help rheumatoid arthritis victims manage their pain by allowing them to control their debilitating symptoms. Experts believe psychotherapy treatment works because it helps people focus on overcoming negative thoughts, which alter the way they feel. A resulting positive outlook helps keep pain and adversity in context, allowing arthritis sufferers to cope with the condition.The 104 rheumatoid arthritis sufferers who took part in a recent study were selected for one of several treatments.
    The study, carried out by Louise Sharpe from the University of Sydney and published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, compared CBT with its separate components of cognitive therapy and behavioural therapy.
    Patients who took part were analysed at the start, post-treatment and six months later on, where disease activity, joint function, disability and psychological functioning were measured.

    Source  - Daily Mail 

    Just how safe is a can of Coke?

    [Not strictly complementary I know, but important given the amount consumed]

    The world is addicted to Coca-Cola. Each day, 1.6 billion cans and bottles of the sickly brown liquid are gulped down, making it the globe’s most recognised brand.
    But ever since it was first concocted as a brain tonic in 1886 (designed to treat ‘sick headaches, neuralgia, hysteria and melancholy’), the makers of Coca-Cola have been secretive about what goes into their drink.
    American pharmacist and Coke founder Asa Chandler was so concerned that the recipe could fall into the wrong hands he reportedly never wrote it down.
    That secrecy lives on today. Coca-Cola insists only two people alive know the formula, that they never travel on the same plane in case it crashes and that the list of ingredients is locked in a bank vault.
    But while the recipe for Coke is surrounded by the kind of mystique that marketing men dream of, the company found its formula under less welcome scrutiny this week.
    For it has emerged that Coca-Cola in the U.S. has reduced levels of one of its ingredients following fears that it could cause cancer.
    The chemical — 4-methylimidazole (4-MI) — helps to give the drink its colour, but is listed by Californian health officials as a potential carcinogen. 

    Source  - Daily Mail

    Drinking coffee lowers risk of most common skin cancer

    A cup of coffee a day can help keep skin cancer at bay, according to a new study.
    Researchers found increasing the number of cups of caffeinated coffee you drink could lower your risk of developing the most common form of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma.
    Doctor Jiali Han, associate professor at Brigham and Women's Hospital in the United States, said: 'Our data indicate that the more caffeinated coffee you consume, the lower your risk of developing basal cell carcinoma. I would not recommend increasing your coffee intake based on these data alone. However, our results add basal cell carcinoma to a list of conditions for which risk is decreased with increasing coffee consumption. This list includes conditions with serious negative health consequences such as type 2 diabetes and Parkinson's disease.'
    Even though basal cell carcinoma is slow-growing, it causes considerable illness and places a burden on health care systems. There are an estimated 80,000 new cases in the UK every year.

    Source  - Daily Mail