Regularly drinking coffee 'cuts risk of dementia'

For millions a strong coffee is the perfect start to the day.
But today, new research suggests coffee could also protect against dementia.
Drinking between three and five cups a day could cut the chance of developing Alzheimer's disease by up to 20 per cent, scientists said.
Nutrition can play an important role in preserving memory and thinking skills, especially during the phase of Alzheimer's disease before symptoms of dementia occur.
This is according to a report published by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee, who are funded by major European coffee companies such as illycaffe, Nestlé and DE Master Blenders.
However, experts from leading charities Alzheimer's Research UK and Alzheimer's society today warned the research does not conclusively prove drinking coffee can prevent Alzheimer's, because no clinical trials have been carried out. 

Source  - Daily Mail

What is the Rolf Method?

Anna Collins is her own best advertisement. The London-based practitioner  of the Rolf Method of Structural Integration first received structural integration herself a few years ago. She had been in constant pain from an accumulation of tennis and ski injuries for some time. “To suddenly wake up one day and realise it didn’t hurt was a very big thing.”
There are 10 sessions in total: the first seven deal with different parts of the body (including, most notoriously, in the seventh, the inside of the mouth); the final three “integrate” you so that you become the best possible version of yourself, structurally speaking. So remarkable were Collins’s end results that she vowed to train, and pass on to others the gift of pain-free living and superlative posture.
What we need to understand, says the 36-year-old, is that what surrounds the skeleton is of more importance than the skeleton itself. “Think of your bones simply as spaces. It is by working on the fascia, the silvery stuff you see in raw steak – which is what surrounds your bones, surrounds everything – that the way you move, the way you feel, can be profoundly changed.”

Can meditation help you lose weight?

Mindfulness is a mental state that can be achieved by focusing on an awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings. 
The practice was reserved only for 'hippy' and 'bohemian' types, but thanks to stars like Miranda Kerr and Daisy Lowe, it has become synonymous with success, fortune and, quite frankly, all things cool.
Many credit the simple form of meditation with helping them to manage daily life and even land a job - but can it help you lose weight?  Well, two women certainly think so - and they've even created a diet based around the Buddhist practice.
Patrizia Collard, a psychotherapist, mindfulness teacher and stress management consultant has teamed up with Helen Stephenson, a mindfulness-based cognitive therapist, to create The Mindfulness Diet.  The duo claim their new book teaches readers how to tune into their bodies and eat the foods they really need to achieve their ideal weight.
The book blurb reads: 'Mindfulness is the new attitude to living.'

Source  - Daily Mail

How becoming a vegetarian can cure diabetes.

Switching to a vegetarian diet could help reverse diabetes, a new study claims.
Millions of people battling the killer disease could improve their blood sugar levels by eradicating meat from their weekly shop.
Scientists believe removing animal fats could help cure the condition, leaving patients free from the disease. They said changes to diet could be used as an alternative treatment for type 2 diabetes.  An analysis of previous studies revealed removing animal fats from diet helps improve insulin sensitivity. 
Eating a vegetable-based diet reduced levels of a key blood-protein called glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c).
For people with diabetes, the higher the HbA1c in their blood, the greater the risk of developing diabetes-related complications such as nerve damage, eye problems, and heart disease.  The study found a vegan or vegetarian diet lowered HbA1c by an average of 0.4 percentage points, and up to 0.7 points.

Source  - Daily Mail

Could coconut oil help fight ageing?

Eating a diet high in fat could stave off Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease and other signs of ageing, new research claims.
High-fat diets postponed signs of ageing including impaired hearing and weight loss, and also stopped ageing of the brain, a study found. Scientists discovered medium chain fatty acids, like coconut oil, were particularly effective.  They believe the fats help slow down the ageing process, by helping to repair cells and DNA damaged as a result.  
As part of the new study, researchers analysed mice with a defective DNA repair system.  In humans, this defect causes the disorder Cockayne syndrome, where patients prematurely age as children and have a life-expectancy of between 10 and 12 years. Researchers found placing a mouse with this defect on a high-fat diet postponed ageing processes such as impaired hearing and weight loss.
It also postponed the ageing of the brain, giving hope to children who age prematurely and patients suffering Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
The study's lead author Professor Vilhelm Bohr, of the University of Copenhagen, said: 'The study is good news for children with Cockayne syndrome, because we do not currently have an effective treatment.

Source  - Daily Mail

An expert explains the benefits of reflexology massage

"Some of my clients have been coming for nearly 20 years… First they feel better, then they feel well, then they stay well,” laughs the reflexologist Rosanna Bickerton. “A new client will tell me they haven’t had a cold this year for the first time ever, that they have more energy. Reflexology definitely helps the body, even if we don’t quite understand how.”
What you notice during a session with the charmingly perspicacious Bickerton, 53, is that she can send even the most thought-addled brain into delicious shutdown. “The anxiety state is what I see most often. Which means that all the energy is in the head, so the rest of the body doesn’t have enough energy. My work triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing anxiety, stopping the fight-or-flight response, and letting the body heal.”  The aim of reflexology is to “create homeostasis, which means that the organs in the body are all working together and at their best.”

Sugar doesn’t just make you fat

Sugar may be sweet - but it's effects on the body are far from it. 
According to new research, too much sugar doesn't just lead to weight gain, but also depression, anxiety and stress. Eating a diet high in fructose as a teenager makes depression and anxiety worse, scientists found. It also alters how the brain response to stress, they said.  Fructose is a sugar found naturally in fruits and vegetables but is also added to processed foods and drinks - from biscuits to ice cream.
Scientists have found fructose appears to be linked to serious modern epidemics such as cancers, heart disease, hypertension, kidney damage, type 2 diabetes and even dementia. But now researchers say it also stimulates pathways in the brain that affect how it responds to stress, which have important effects for behaviour. It can worsen the symptoms related to depression and anxiety, they said.
These effects are particularly concerning during the teenage years, when a person’s stress response develops. If the body’s stress response becomes too sensitive, teenagers risk growing up susceptible to high levels of stress.
Prolonged exposure to stress can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, contribute to infertility, and speed up the aging process. 

Source  - Daily Mail

Dunking your bread in olive oil could cut your heart attack risk

Dunking your bread in olive oil could cut your heart attack risk in just six weeks, say scientists.
Sophisticated new tests found regular consumption of olive oil dramatically improved chemical signals in the body linked to coronary artery disease.
A study led by Glasgow University confirms the health benefits of a cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet, especially for those who don’t normally eat olive oil.
The study added just 20mls a day – about four teaspoons - to the diet of healthy adults, which is the amount used in a salad dressing or mopped up by bread during a meal. But a range of signals for heart disease measured in the urine improved in only six weeks, says a report published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Dr Bill Mullen, of the Institute of Cardiovascular and  Medical Sciences, said ‘If we are able to identify the early signatures of diseases before they have had a chance to take hold we can start to treat them before they become a problem requiring costly medical intervention.

Source  - Daily Mail

Chronic Vitamin D lack from winter sunshine shortage is linked to diseases

British people - and others living in the Northern Hemisphere - need five to 30 minutes of sunlight on bare skin a few times a week to generate enough Vitamin D to prevent against diseases like cancer.
Those who had chronically-low levels of the vitamin have 30 per cent more mortality rates and are also 40 per cent more likely to get tumorous growths, a research of 96,000 people shows.
The study - which followed Danish people for 40 years to take blood samples and track their lifestyle and diet - shows that, in a country where the sun sets as early as 3.30pm in December, most people get one fifth of their Vitamin D from food and four fifths from direct sunlight. Decreased levels of Vitamin D can also contribute to risks of heart disease, diabetes, depression and bone pain, the National Health Service says.
As the sun is not at its peak during the winter, those low in the vitamin are advised to eat Vitamin D-packed foods such as omega-3 rich fish, milk and eggs and potentially take supplements that are available from chemists or with a doctor's prescription for higher doses.
Researchers at Copenhagen University Hospital said, although additional Vitamin D is proven to be beneficial from cold months October to March, it is not yet known which way is best to produce or administer it.

Brazil nuts can boost a woman's fertility

An element found in nuts, red meat and seafood could increase a woman's chance of conceiving.
Scientists found that selenium, a natural antioxidant, plays a crucial role in the early stages of conception - and of all foods, Brazil nuts have the highest level. 
Selenium is crucial in the development of healthy ovarian follicles, which are responsible for the production of eggs in women.
Melanie Ceko, from the University of Adelaide, who carried out the research, said: 'Selenium is an essential trace element found in protein-rich foods like red meat, seafood and nuts. It is important for many biological functions, such as immune response, thyroid hormone production, and acts as an antioxidant, helping to detoxify damaging chemicals in the body. We've known for some time that selenium is important to men's fertility, but until now no one has researched how this element could be involved in healthy reproduction in women.'

Source  - Daily Mail

Peruvians recommend freshly-blended FROGS as a cure for stress

Peruvian villagers living in the Andean mountains have shunned modern medicine in favour of a traditional cure-all which is used to treat all manner of maladies, from a slow sex drive to high levels of stress: blended frog juice.
While there is no scientific evidence to support the juice's medicinal benefits, many locals living in Peru and Bolivia believe that it is the ultimate fix for almost any illness, including asthma and bronchitis.
The most popular recipe calls for the use of whole frogs, which are beaten to death and skinned before being put into the blender. 
Many local food vendors then add a number of other healthy ingredients, such as carrots, Peruvian maca root and honey, before blending the mixture until it is smooth. The finished product is usually light green in colour and is served to customers then and there.

Source  - Daily Mail

Eating walnuts every day could reduce the chance of prostate cancer

A daily handful of walnuts may stave off prostate cancer, according to new research.
Scientists have found diets rich in the nut, or its oil, slowed tumour growth in mice.
They also reduced cholesterol and increased sensitivity to the hormone insulin which helps prevent diabetes.
Walnuts are a 'superfood' naturally high in a host of health boosting chemicals, including omega-3 fatty acids, and have already been shown to protect against breast cancer and heart disease. The latest findings showed they cut levels of the hormone IGF-1, which has been implicated in both prostate and breast cancer.
Dr Paul Davis, of the University of California at Davis, said: 'For years, the United States government has been on a crusade against fat, and I think it has been to our detriment. Walnuts are a perfect example. While they are high in fat, their fat does not drive prostate cancer growth. In fact, walnuts do just the opposite when fed to mice.'
Some 35,000 Britons are diagnosed with it each year, and 10,000 die.
The new study, published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, was aimed at finding out if the beneficial properties were unique to walnuts, or whether it was a particular ingredient such as omega-3 fatty acids found in other foods.

Source  - Daily Mail

Mediterranean diet is best way to tackle obesity, say doctors

A Mediterranean diet may be a better way of tackling obesity than calorie counting, leading doctors have said.
Writing in the Postgraduate Medical Journal (PMJ), the doctors said a Mediterranean diet quickly reduced the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
And they said it may be better than low-fat diets for sustained weight loss. Official NHS advice is to monitor calorie intake to maintain a healthy weight.
Last month NHS leaders stressed the need for urgent action to tackle obesity and the health problems that often go with it. The PMJ editorial argues a focus on food intake is the best approach, but it warns crash dieting is harmful.
Signatories of the piece included the chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Prof Terence Stephenson, and Dr Mahiben Maruthappu, who has a senior role at NHS England.
They criticise the weight-loss industry for focusing on calorie restriction rather than "good nutrition".

Honey: The Solution for Antibiotic Resistant “Super Bugs”?

Antibiotic resistance is a true crisis, one that is growing and is even recognized by the federal government as a near-future crisis. An over-dependence on antibiotics and the sanitization of everything has helped bacterial evolve into unstoppable “super bugs”, or those that are capable of resisting conventional drugs designed to kill them. The solution is complex and involves reducing our use of antibiotics, but it may also include the use of something as beautifully simple as honey.
“The unique property of honey lies in its ability to fight infection on multiple levels, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance,” said Susan M. Meschwitz, Ph.D. , leader of a study presented at the 247th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.  Honey, Dr. Meschwitz went on, acts using a combination of components toxic to bacterial cells, including osmotic effect, high sugar content, polyphenols, acidity, and hydrogen peroxide.
 “Honey may also disrupt quorum sensing, which weakens bacterial virulence, rendering the bacteria more susceptible to conventional antibiotics,” Meschwitz saidHer research isn’t the only to identify honey as a powerful antibiotic. On the contrary, numerous studies have found the natural substance to fight a variety of infection types.

Can music therapy really beat Prozac?

When Orsino utters the famous words, “If music be the food of love, play on”, in Twelfth Night, it is in the hope that a melody might ease his aching heart.
But had he lived in modern times, Shakespeare’s lovesick duke might have discovered it to be the cure for insomnia, depression and anxiety, too. Especially if he had met composer John Levine. The 60-year-old former rocker has created a special type of healing music called Alphamusic Therapy, which he claims can help treat all of these conditions and more. It works by using sound to tune in to the alpha waves in the brain that control mood, and has actually been scientifically shown to alter brain chemistry.
“We underestimate the power of music,” says John, “yet we only have to recall the last time a song made us laugh or cry to realise how much it can affect the way we feel. What I do is basically an extension of this.”
John, who played piano from the age of three, came up with the idea of making therapeutic recordings when his father became extremely ill with stress-related conditions in 1984.
“You name it, he had it,” John recalls. “Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease – he even suffered a stroke. Stress was slowly killing him and no matter how often doctors told him he needed to learn to relax more, he just wouldn’t listen.”

What is naturopathy?

It is perhaps easier to list what the naturopath Katrin Hempel doesn’t offer her clients than what she does. “Bioresonance and live blood analysis, acupuncture, biopuncture, infusion therapy, oxyvenation…”
In her native Germany, the 37-year-old tells me, it is normal for one individual to offer such a wide range of therapies, normal too that they should be used alongside conventional medical treatment.
“Germany has a long tradition  of natural medicine, so it’s more common to find conventional doctors who have also studied natural medicine and use these modalities. Here we are at least 20 years behind.”
As diagnosis tools Hempel uses live blood analysis or a bioresonance machine. “Every cell in the body puts out a certain electromagnetic frequency, that can be measured – a healthy stomach cell sounds different to a healthy brain cell – and the machine can put the right resonance back in, to trigger deep healing.”
The most common problems she sees are related to the digestive and nervous systems: “These are the two fundamental imbalances in the civilised world.” Their cause? “Stress, mental and emotional – it has such a big impact on every cell in the body.”

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. 

Milk might not be as good for us as we thought

Drinking milk may not protect our bones from fractures - and could even increase a person’s risk of dying from heart disease, according to a major new study in Sweden.
In surprising results, an investigation into dietary habits of more than 100,000 people found those who drank more milk were no less likely to break a bone. Among women, higher milk consumption was actually linked to an increased risk of hip fractures.
Even more strikingly, people who drank more than three glasses of milk – around 680ml – per day, were more likely to die over the course of the study, which tracked 60,000 women for 20 years, and 45,000 men for 11 years.
The effect was most pronounced among women, who were nearly twice as likely to die, with heart disease the condition with the strongest links to higher milk consumption.
Although potentially alarming, the authors of the study from Uppsala University urged caution and said their evidence was not strong enough for dietary recommendations to change.

Landmark 35-year study proves active lifestyle and wholesome diet are key to healthier old age

If you have been looking for a reason to skip the gym today then bad luck, as a 35-year-long study has revealed that a healthier lifestyle could prepare for good health in old age.
A total of 2,500 men in  the 1979 HALCyon experiment were asked to eat well, take regular exercise, drink less alcohol, keep trim and never smoke.
Only 25 participants stuck to the health regime more than three decades later and they have dramatically cut their risk of cancers, diabetes, heart-attack, stroke and dementia. Their overall fitness was far better than the 2,475 pensioners that had given up on the experiment, part funded by Alzheimer's Society, and the development of heart disease was slowed by up to 12 years and dementia six years.
The volunteers, all from Caerphilly in Wales, gave researchers regular updates every five years on their diet and levels of recommended physical activity such as walking, cycling and sports.