Could walnuts prevent heart attack?

Two handfuls of walnuts a day could help stave off heart disease, a new study has revealed.
The tree nuts lower total cholesterol levels in the body, thus reducing the chances of a person suffering a heart attack. The snack contains important nutrients such as unsaturated fats, protein, vitamins and minerals, researchers said.
Dr Michael Falk, one of the authors from the Life Sciences Research Organisation, said: 'Our study results further support the growing body of research that tree nuts, such as walnuts, can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

'Tree nuts contain important nutrients. Walnuts are the only nut that provide a significant amount - 2.5g per one ounce serving - of alpha-linolenic (ALA), the plant-based form of omega-3.'

Dr Falk and his team conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 61 controlled trials to arrive at their conclusions. They found walnuts are effective in lowering total cholesterol, LDL, so-called 'bad' cholesterol, and ApoB, the primary protein found in LDL cholesterol. These are key factors that are used to evaluate a person's risk of cardiovascular disease.

Source  - Daily Mail

Could an ear piercing cure migraines?

Living with migraines can make daily life a nightmare for some. Now, sufferers claim they have found relief through a simple treatment that doctors have likened to acupuncture.
A £50 piercing of the inner ear – known as a daith piercing – helped reduce the symptoms of migraines or cured their headaches altogether, some people claim. They have taken to social media to share stories of how the piercing helped ease their headaches.
Dr Thomas Cohn, a US doctor who specialises in pain relief, said a daith piercing may cure migraines in the same way as acupuncture can help the headaches.
Acupuncture is the ancient Chinese medicine in which fine needles are inserted into specific points on the body to ease pain. It works by stimulating nerves under the skin and in muscle tissue, according to the NHS. This results in the body producing pain-relieving substances, such as endorphins.
Writing on his blog, Dr Cohn said: 'Visit an acupuncturist and see if needles in certain parts of your cartilage provide some relief. If you find that it works, maybe it's worth considering a permanent piercing. For those of you who are needle-adverse, locating the daith piercing location may still help provide relief.
If you begin to have a migraine, take your thumb and middle finger and gently massage that location on your ear. Switch ears after a few minutes, or massage both at the same time. If you notice significant relief, and you deal with regular headaches, a daith piercing could be a worthwhile solution.'

Homeopathy 'could be blacklisted'

Ministers are considering whether homeopathy should be put on a blacklist of treatments GPs in England are banned from prescribing, the BBC has learned.
The controversial practice is based on the principle that "like cures like", but critics say patients are being given useless sugar pills. The Faculty of Homeopathy said patients supported the therapy.
 A consultation is expected to take place in 2016. The total NHS bill for homeopathy, including homeopathic hospitals and GP prescriptions, is thought to be about £4m.
Homeopathy is based on the concept that diluting a version of a substance that causes illness has healing properties. So pollen or grass could be used to create a homeopathic hay-fever remedy. One part of the substance is mixed with 99 parts of water or alcohol, and this is repeated six times in a "6c" formulation or 30 times in a "30c" formulation.

Why red meat can be good for your health

Worried by the flurry of warnings about eating meat? Have you vowed to cut down on bacon sarnies and steak or even contemplated going veggie?
One in ten adults - and one in five 16 to 24-year-olds - follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, according to research published last year by market research firm Mintel.
Many more have turned 'flexitarian' - limiting their meat intake, but not reducing it entirely, or giving up red meat, but still eating white. Indeed, chicken accounts for around half of all meat intake in Britain, up from a third in the early Nineties. The numbers are likely to rise further following last week's alarming report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which classified processed meat such as bacon and sausages as 'carcinogenic to humans' and red meat as 'probably carcinogenic'.
And yesterday, researchers at Oxford University warned that just two portions of red meat a week increases the risk of bowel cancer by a fifth. But before you rush off to stock up on tofu and quinoa, it's worth noting that the average risk of developing bowel cancer is 6 per cent - so the increase in risk calculated by the WHO and by the Oxford researchers would mean an overall risk of around 7 per cent. Furthermore, many health experts advise against giving up red meat altogether. That's because in its natural state it is a rich source of energy and essential nutrients.

Source  - Daily Mail

Pet dogs 'may help children avoid asthma'

Young children who have a pet dog in the home are less likely to go on to develop asthma, a large Swedish study has found.
Exposure to a dog in the first year of life was linked to a 13% lower risk of asthma in later childhood among the 650,000 children the authors tracked. The findings, in JAMA Pediatrics, support the idea that pets can bolster the immune system and prevent allergy. More evidence is still needed - past studies have found conflicting results. Certainly, for a child who is already allergic to dogs, buying a puppy would not be a good idea, say the Swedish researchers.
Pets are a common cause of allergy, with half of all asthmatic children allergic to cats and 40% allergic to dogs, according to the charity Allergy UKWhen animals groom themselves, they lick. Skin cells covered in saliva - animal dander - are shed along with loose fur. It's the dander to which some people become sensitised.
The findings of this latest study suggest exposure to dog dander in infancy might actually be beneficial. Children who had grown up with a dog in their home were less likely to have asthma at the age of seven than children without dogs. Living on a farm with lots of animals seemed to confer even more protection, cutting the risk of asthma by about 50%.
Lead scientist Prof Tove Fall, from Uppsala University in Sweden, said: "Our results confirmed the farming effect and we also saw that children who grew up with dogs had about 15% less asthma than children without dogs."