One coffee and four cups of green tea a day

When it comes to choosing between tea or coffee, the best answer may be to opt for both.
Scientists have found that individuals who enjoy a daily cup of coffee were 20 per cent less likely to have a stroke compared to those who shunned the drink.
And those that drank at least four cups of green tea a day also benefitted from a similarly reduced stroke risk. But as the popular beverages are thought to protect against the often fatal condition in different ways, the study suggests regularly drinking both could provide the greatest benefit.
Researchers looked at the drinking habits of almost 84,000 Japanese adults over a 13-year period.
'This is the first large-scale study to examine the combined effects of both green tea and coffee on stroke risks,' said lead author Dr Yoshihiro Kokubo, from Japan's National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Centre'You may make a small but positive lifestyle change to help lower the risk of stroke by adding daily green tea to your diet.' 
The study, published in American Heart Association's journal Stroke, found that the greater amounts of coffee or green tea consumed, the lower their stroke risk. The report found that 'combination of higher green tea and coffee consumptions contributed to the reduced risk of stroke as an interaction effect for each other.'  

Source  - Daily Mail

The humble root which fights cancer, boosts endurance and lowers blood pressure

With its sweet, earthy taste and ruby-red interior, beetroot is a favourite of foodies, but there’s far more to it than that.  We explain how the secret weapon of sports stars increases fitness and can help stave off cancer...
The majority of beetroot’s benefits stem from the unusually high levels of nitrates it contains – gram for gram it possesses about 20 times more than most other vegetables. Nitrates have suffered a bad reputation because of their use as a food additive.
Animal experiments had linked their commercial use to  cancer and in the Sixties the World Health Organisation set upper limits on their use. However, recent studies have shown that nitrates in beetroot lower blood pressure.
A 2010 study carried out by Queen Mary’s University in London found that drinking just one 250ml glass of beetroot juice a day dramatically lowered blood pressure for several hours.  It also found that the higher the blood pressure, the greater the drop observed.
A new study carried out by the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia, found that a 500ml glass of the juice led to a significant drop in blood pressure  after six hours. If beetroot juice was consumed widely, researchers say we could see a ten per cent reduction in death from cardiovascular disease.
Nitrates lower blood pressure because bacteria in the mouth and gut convert it into the gas nitric oxide, which relaxes and widens the blood vessels, allowing blood to circulate more freely.

Source  - Daily Mail 

Salt linked to immune rebellion in study

The amount of salt in our diet could be involved in driving our own immune systems to rebel against us, leading to diseases such as multiple sclerosis, early laboratory findings suggest. Several teams of scientists have simultaneously published data in the journal Nature suggesting a link. Salt may activate a part of the immune system which can target the body.
Experts said the findings were very interesting and plausible, but were not a cure for people with MS. The body's defence against infection can go horrible awry, turning on the body and leading to autoimmune diseases including Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
Genetics is thought to increase the risk of such diseases, but the world around us also has a major impact. One of the leading theories behind multiple sclerosis is a viral infection, but smoking and a lack of vitamin D may make the condition more likely. Now researchers believe they have the first evidence that the amount of salt in our diet may also be contributing.

Source  - BBC

Is your doctor giving you a 'cure' that doesn't work?

Stone Age man was pretty good at trepanning — boring holes into the skull, which supposedly cured headaches and epilepsy.
Tudor England was full of doctors insisting that blood letting could get rid of ‘humors’ — bodily substances such as bile on which our health supposedly depended.  We now know this is rubbish. So modern medicine gets it right?
Not necessarily — in fact, there are many tests and treatments being used that don’t actually work. Indeed, the problem is so enormous that in the U.S., dozens of major medical associations — including the American College of Cardiology — have launched a campaign to encourage doctors and patients not to use any of the 90 widely used procedures it has found to be useless.  This includes routine ECGs (electrocardiograms) to check the heart’s electrical activity in patients with no symptoms, or antibiotics for many kinds of ear infection.

Source  - Daily Mail

Will changing my diet help me to sleep better?

We are what we eat, and now researchers are saying that our diet affects how we sleep. A study, published in the journal Appetite, found differences in the diets of people who slept for seven to eight hours a night compared with those snoozing for five. Since less sleep is associated with high blood pressure, poorer blood-glucose control (increasing the risk of diabetes) and obesity (as is more sleep in some studies), shouldn't we eat the foods that are most likely to help us sleep a healthy amount? And does anyone know what foods these are?

Source  - Guardian

Sound therapy can help relieve tinnitus

Noel Gallagher recently revealed he suffers from an annoying whine in his ear. No, not his brother Liam – it’s tinnitus, caused by 20 years of cranking up the volume.
Many music fans will be familiar with that ringing sensation in the head after a rock concert; for most this is a temporary inconvenience. Not, though, for 52-year-old Robert McIndoe from Sydenham, Kent, who stabbed himself to death in November 2011, after a concert at Brixton 18 months earlier left him with such bad tinnitus he was unable to sleep. The tragedy was a personal wake-up call: it shocked me into buying ear plugs, after 20 years of going to gigs as both a music journalist and performer had left me with a constant whistling in my right ear.
Tinnitus is an occupational hazard for musicians. Beethoven complained “my ears whistle and buzz all day and night”, and Coldplay singer Chris Martin, Will.I.Am from the Black Eyed Peas and Embrace’s Danny McNamara rank among many artists who live with it. Now that trio are to feature on an album, I Am the One in Ten, which aims to raise awareness about a condition that afflicts not just rock stars, but 10 per cent of the population.

Two glasses of wine a day could help heart attack patients live longer

For years, research has suggested a daily tipple of wine may help to prevent heart disease. Now it seems it even has benefits for those who have already suffered a heart attack.
New research shows patients who have had a heart attack are less likely to have another one - and stand a better chance of living longer - if they enjoy wine in moderation, rather than abstaining.
The study, published in the International Journal of Cardiology, is one of the first to look at how wine affects mortality in those who already have serious heart disease.
Men and women drinking around half a litre of either red or white wine a day - equivalent to two large glasses - were 13 per cent less likely to suffer another cardiac 'event', such as a heart attack. They also reduced their chances of dying from heart disease by around 17 per cent compared to non-drinkers.
But the researchers, from Harvard Medical School, and a number of research centres across Italy, stressed the findings only apply to patients who were already drinking wine on a regular basis when they joined the study.

Source  - Daily Mail