Peanut allergies could be 'cured' ... with probiotics

Peanut allergies could be cured by an 18-month course of probiotics taken with protein from the nut to minimise risk of a fatal reaction, Australian researchers have found.
A group of 28 peanut-allergic children aged up to 10 were given increased doses of the peanut protein every two weeks with a fixed amount of probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus that is said to equate to about 20kg of yoghurt a day.
By the end of the treatment at Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, at which a maintenance dose of 2 grams of the protein was administered, more than 82 per cent of the children were able to tolerate peanuts within two to five weeks.
A total of 23 out of the 28 were able to include products made from peanuts into their diet and researchers in Victoria, Australia, concluded that the success rate was seven in nine.
A placebo group of another 28 children only had one case of success at the end of the trial.
Peanut allergy affects around half a million people in the UK and more than 10 million globally.

Head off skin cancer with a coffee a day

Just a single cup of coffee a day could help ward off skin cancer, said a study.
Four cups daily, however, would be the most protective against malignant melanoma, said researchers.
This is the most deadly form of the cancer, which usually starts in a mole and is triggered by short, sharp bursts of sunlight, such as on holiday.
Scientists from the US government’s health research department tracked 450,000 men and women for a decade. The volunteers had an average age of 63 at the start of the study when all were free of malignant melanoma. By the end, almost 3,000 had been diagnosed with the skin cancer.
Those who drank coffee – 90 per cent of the group – were less likely to have the disease. The more they drank, the lower their odds, reported the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Source  - Daily Mail

Now health officials say we SHOULD go out in the sun

Public health officials are urging the public to spend short bursts in the sun from April to October to ensure they get enough Vitamin D.
NICE, the health watchdog, has issued guidance which says Vitamin D is crucial for protecting the bones, yet figures show that 1 in 6 adults are deficient.
The guidelines do not specify how long but previously experts have recommended that 13 minutes between 11am and 3pm in summer would be sufficient. 
Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director of health and social care at NICE, said: ‘Although exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays for too long can increase your risk of developing skin cancer, being out in the sun can be good for you too – it provides both a good source of vitamin D and the opportunity to be physically active. A balance needs to be struck. This depends on a number of factors including geographical location, time of day and year, weather conditions, natural skin colour and time spent in the sun.'
Those likely to be at higher risk of skin cancer include people with lighter skin who may burn more easily, as well as babies and people who work outside.

Source  - Daily Mail

Is detoxing really worth it?

How’s it going then, the January purge? Are you finding Dry January a bit? Veganuary plans wilting fast? Statistics say that this is the week most of us will ditch the detox and pour ourselves a large drink as the January blues really start to take hold. Yeah, we’ll be disappointed in ourselves, too - all our plans to survive on green juice and good intentions out the window. But it’s quite possible that abandoning the detox is the best thing we could do for ourselves.
It is as much of a ritual as sweeping up the pine needles. With January come resolutions and retribution for the gluttony of December. We are bombarded with ads for diets, beseeched to embark on a detox. We know it’s all nonsense - weight-loss firms cashing in on our guilt. Yet we willingly don the sackcloth and sign up for the annual purge.

Source  - Independent

Your fate really COULD be written in the stars.

Your fate could be written in the stars – or at least our sun.
In an unusual study, Norwegian scientists claim people born during periods of solar calm may live around five years longer than those born when the sun is feisty.
They argue peak solar activity brings higher levels of ultraviolet radiation to Earth, which may increase infant mortality by degrading folic acid, or vitamin B9.  Both of these are key to rapid cell division and growth that happens during pregnancy. The bizarre conclusion was reached when the team overlaid demographic data of Norwegians born between 1676 and 1878 with observations of solar activity.
The lifespan of those born in periods of solar maximum - interludes marked by powerful solar flares - was '5.2 years shorter' on average than those born during a solar minimum, they found.
'Solar activity at birth decreased the probability of survival to adulthood,' thus truncating average lifespan, according to the paper published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Source  - Daily Mail

An avocado a day could keep bad cholesterol at bay.

An avocado a day could help improve bad cholesterol levels, claim researchers.
The ‘avocado diet’ also improves other blood fat scores linked to heart disease – even in the overweight. Researchers say a daily helping of avocado can replace unhealthy fats in the diet with a healthier version.
Study leader Penny Kris-Etherton, chair of the American Heart Association’s nutrition committee, said: ‘In the United States avocados are not a mainstream food yet and they can be expensive, especially at certain times of the year. Also, most people do not really know how to incorporate them in their diet except for making guacamole. But guacamole is typically eaten with corn chips, which are high in calories and sodium. Avocados, however, can also be eaten with salads, vegetables, sandwiches, lean protein foods (like chicken or fish) or even whole.’

Source  - Daily Mail

Porridge could be key to a healthy life.

Goldilocks clearly had it right all along, as it turns out that a bowl of porridge each day could be the key to a long, healthy life.
Harvard University conducted a major study which found that whole grains reduce the risk of heart disease, along with other major chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Researchers tracked more than 100,000 people for over than 14 years, monitoring diets and health outcomes. Everyone involved in the study was healthy in 1984 when they enrolled, however when they were followed at the end of the research in 2010 more than 26,000 had died.
Those who ate the most whole grains, such as porridge, brown rice, corn and quinoa seemed protected from several illnesses, particularly heart disease. Scientists found that for each ounce (28g) of whole grains eaten a day – the equivalent of a small bowl of porridge – the risk of all death was reduced by five per cent. Oats are already the breakfast of choice for many athletes, who find the high fibre levels helps to maintain energy levels. Whole grains contain 25 per cent more protein than refined grains, such as those that make pasta, white rice and white flour.

Incredible fruit & veg art

It started with a picture posted on Instagram of her weekly groceries last year, but now Amber Locke is being commissioned to create her ‘veg art’ by the likes of Jamie Oliver and Android.
She creates intricate designs by photographing fruit and vegetables arranged on a sheet, which she posts both on her Instagram and her website. The idea came to her one day when she put her shopping down on her flagstone doorstep and some leaves blew onto them.
“I thought it would make a pretty picture. So I took a photo and put it on Instagram – it got a huge response,” she told The Independent.
“I am not an artist,” she said, revealing that the last piece of art she made before ‘veg art’ was for her art A level. “But after the Instagram picture, I received so many responses and questions in the last year that I was encouraged to sell them as prints. Social media is incredible.”