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.
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.'


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.
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.