Just one glass of white wine a day can raise risk of developing skin cancer by 13%

A small glass of white wine a day could increase the risk of skin cancer by 13 per cent, a study suggests.

Drinking alcohol is associated with higher rates of invasive melanoma and white wine carries the greatest risk, according to the research. Those who drank a glass and a half of wine a day increased the risk of developing melanomas on the torso - a rare site of skin cancer - by up to 73 per cent compared with non-drinkers.

Each year, around 2,500 people die from malignant melanoma in the UK. While the link between sun exposure and skin cancer is well known, the fresh findings suggest white wine could lead to cancerous lesions in areas of the body which are less exposed to the sun.

Study author Professor Eunyoung Cho, from Brown University in the US, said: 'It was surprising that white wine was the only drink independently associated with increased risk of melanoma. The reason for the association is unknown. However, research has shown that some wine has somewhat higher levels of pre-existing acetaldehyde than beer or spirits.

Source  - Daily Mail

Drinking too much water is dangerous

Telling people to 'drink plenty of fluids' when unwell could be dangerous, doctors have warned.

Experts at King's College Hospital in south London questioned the recommendation after treating a 59-year-old woman who drank so much water that she became gravely ill. The woman, who is not named, overdosed on water after developing symptoms of a urinary tract infection.

She recalled being told by a doctor previously to drink lots of water - half a pint every 30 minutes - though she said she thought in this case, she had consumed more to 'flush out her system'.

The woman was admitted to A&E, where doctors found she was suffering from dangerously low levels of salt in her blood. This can occur if too much water is drunk over a short period of time. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting and headaches. In serious cases, the brain can swell, which can lead to confusion, seizures, coma and death.
A death rate of almost 30 per cent has been reported in patients with abnormally low salt levels. Writing in the journal BMJ Case Reports, doctors said there was little evidence to know how much water is too much.

Source  - Daily Mail

Why are probiotic yoghurts so good for us?

Scientists have finally dissected why probiotic yoghurts are good for our bodies.

We are all hounded by adverts and health alerts telling us probiotic yoghurts or supplements are packed with friendly bacteria that boost the body's defenses. But to date, the science behind that connection has been murky. Now, researchers have managed to shed light inside the black box of probiotics to uncover the mechanism by which these live bacteria confer health benefits to the gut. 

The benefits are down to the communication between the probiotic bacteria and the human host. This involves the bacterial secretion of a novel polysaccharide that tells the immune system to release certain immunity-stimulating chemicals.

The study looked at the bacteria strain Lactobacillus paracasei DG found in the one of Italy's most popular supplements Enterolactis on sale for the past two decades. In the experiments, researchers isolated the polysaccharide, which are large polymers of sugar molecules.

Source  - Daily Mail

Saturated fat is good for you, study claims

To eat butter or not to eat butter. That, believe it or not, has become quite the controversy in research circles this year.

One study by Tufts University made headlines in June declaring that one tablespoon of butter a day could make a small contribution to reducing the risk of diabetes.  That was swiftly followed by a Harvard University study that said saturated fat - like butter - increases one's risk of developing heart disease by 8 percent.

To complete the saga, the original report's author, Professor Dariush Mozaffarian, released another study in July that advised skipping the fatty spread where possible. 

Fast-forward to November and there is a new development: a Norwegian study has found that saturated fat is the key to boosting good cholesterol levels.
In fact, in the University of Bergen's randomized trial of 38 men with abdominal obesity, only the volunteers on a very-high-fat diet saw an increase in good cholesterol levels.  

Source  - Daily Mail

Vitamin D makes free-range eggs better for you

Eggs from free-range hens are healthier to eat, a new study has found.

Researchers discovered that yolks from birds that are allowed to wander outdoors contain up to 30 per cent more vitamin D than those from birds kept in sheds or cages. The vital hormone has been shown to help keep at bay a range of diseases including cancer, diabetes and heart disease, but is found naturally in only a handful of foods. And so millions of Britons become deficient in vitamin D over the winter as it’s mainly generated when the sun’s rays hit the skin.

Scientists from Reading University analysed the contents of 270 eggs on sale in UK supermarkets. They found that hens with access to outdoor runs – including those that meet 'free range' standards – produce yolks containing significantly more of the 'sunshine vitamin'.

But eggs from organic farms - which allow hens the greatest freedom of all - also have elevated levels of a form called 25-hydroxy D3, which is especially protective of human health.

The study, published in the journal Food Chemistry, states: ‘The vitamin D nutrition of birds is similar to that of humans; vitamin D is either synthesised by ultraviolet radiation from sunlight or consumed in the diet. Unlike the conventional indoor egg production system, free range and organic birds have more opportunity to be exposed to sunlight as they can access pasture continuously during the day.

Source  - Daily Mail

One or two glasses of wine per day could protect you from stroke

People who drink one or two glasses of alcohol per day are less likely to suffer the most common type of stroke, a controversial study has found. 

Light and moderate alcohol consumption,classed as up to two drinks per day, is associated with a 9 per cent reduced risk in suffering an ischemic stroke. Women who drink just one glass or less of alcohol per day were 12 per cent less at risk.

But the research, published in the BMC Medicine journal on Wednesday, admits that alcohol consumption is still associated with high cholesterol levels and hemorrhagic strokes.

"Previous research has found an association between alcohol consumption and lower levels of fibrinogen; a protein in the body which helps the formation of blood clots,” said lead author Dr Susanna Larsson. “While this may explain the association between light to moderate alcohol consumption and lower ischemic stroke risk, the adverse effect of alcohol consumption on blood pressure, a major risk factor for stroke, may increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke and outweigh any potential benefit.”

Dr Larsson, from the Karolinska Institutet near Stockholm, who conducted the research with the University of Cambridge, had a total sample of 18,289 ischemic stroke cases, 2,299 intracerebral haemorrhage cases and 1,164 subarachnoid haemorrhage cases.

Magic mushrooms may ease anxiety and depression in cancer patients

The psychedelic drug in “magic mushrooms” can quickly and effectively help treat anxiety and depression in cancer patients, an effect that may last for months, two small studies show. 

It worked for Dinah Bazer, who endured a terrifying hallucination that rid her of the fear that her ovarian cancer would return. And for Estalyn Walcoff, who says the drug experience led her to begin a comforting spiritual journey.  The work released on Thursday is preliminary and experts say more definitive research must be done on the effects of the substance, called psilocybin. 

But the record so far shows “very impressive results,” said Dr. Craig Blinderman, who directs the adult palliative care service at the Columbia University Medical Center/New York-Presbyterian Hospital. He didn't participate in the work. 

Psilocybin, also called shrooms, purple passion and little smoke, comes from certain kinds of mushrooms. It is illegal in the US, and if the federal government approves the treatment, it would be administered in clinics by specially trained staff, experts say. 

Nobody should try it on their own, which would be risky, said the leaders of the two studies, Dr. Stephen Ross of New York University and Roland Griffiths of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. 

Source  - Independent

Eating handful of nuts a day can keep the doctor away

A handful of nuts a day can help to keep the doctor - and the undertaker - away, research has shown.

Being nuts about nuts reduced the risk of heart disease by nearly 30%, the risk of cancer by 15%, and the risk of premature death by 22%. The same amount of nuts - equivalent to a handful - was also associated with a halving of the risk of dying from a respiratory disease. Diabetes risk was cut by nearly 40%.

Study co-author Dagfinn Aune, from Imperial College London, said: “In nutritional studies, so far much of the research has been on the big killers such as heart diseases, stroke and cancer, but now we're starting to see data for other diseases."

Are parsley and celery key to beating yo-yo diets?

For years, would-be slimmers have been stumped why they rapidly put on weight after a successful diet.

Now scientists believe that this 'yo-yo effect' may be caused by bacteria in our guts. While our body loses weight, the microbes living inside us used to a fatty diet remain for many months. And when they come across fatty foods again, they go into overdrive, making us pile on the pounds at an accelerated rate.
While this effect may once have been helpful – perhaps making us store extra fat after a time of famine – nowadays it is harmful.

Researchers believe the 'bad' gut bacteria cause a fluctuating weight by destroying natural compounds found in our food that encourage us to burn fat.
Instead we pile it up in our spare tyres.

This effect could be reversed, scientists believe, by taking a drink containing high levels of the substances which our found naturally in fruit and vegetables.
These compounds – flavonoids - encourage our cells to 'burn' fat rather than storing it. Although the research was in mice, scientists believe a similar mechanism may work in humans.

Source  - Daily Mail

Why eating carrots, kale and sweet potatoes could prevent dementia as you grow older

Eating carrots, kale and sweet potatoes could prevent dementia in older adults, new research suggests.
Consuming the compounds that give plants and vegetables their vibrant colours can bolster brain functioning in older adults. Those who had lower levels of carotenoids in their system had to rely on more brain power to complete memory-orientated tasks, scientists found. The powerful compounds can be found in a range of colourful vegetables and are known to improve cognitive ability.

Researchers from the University of Georgia used functional MRI technology to investigate how levels of carotenoids affect brain activity. They gauged the brain activity of more than 40 adults between 65 and 86 years old while they attempted to recall word pairings they were taught earlier. Brain activity was then analysed while the participants were in the MRI scanner.

They found individuals with higher levels of lutein and zeaxanthin didn't require as much brain activity to complete the task. However, those with lower levels had to use more brain power and relied more heavily on different parts of the brain in order to remember the words. 

Source  Daily Mail

Glass of wine a day 'cuts chances of the most common stroke'

A glass of wine a day can reduce the risk of the most common type of stroke by 10 per cent, researchers say.
Moderate drinking was found to help protect against the condition, in a study which the scientists admit is ‘controversial’. A small glass of red wine, or any drink of less than 1.5 units, is thought to cut levels of a protein that forms blood clots.

Those who drank this amount were 10 per cent less likely to have an ischaemic stroke, where a clot cuts off oxygen and blood to the brain, forcing many sufferers to re-learn how to walk and talk. Even up to two drinks a day, which could include almost two bottles of beer, was found by researchers in Cambridge and Sweden to cut the risk by 8 per cent.

More than 150,000 Britons a year suffer a stroke. Of these, 85 per cent are ischaemic. The scientists, who examined 27 studies, involving more than 21,000 stroke victims, pointed out drinking heavily still raises stroke risk. But they said small amounts may improve health by increasing ‘good’ cholesterol.

Source  - Daily Mail

Homeopathy 'treatments' must be labelled to say they do not work

There is a huge market in the US for homeopathic remedies. In 2007 alone, it was estimated Americans spent more than $3bn on a controversial system of alternative medicine created in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann, and which has long been dismissed by mainstream science.

Now, the US government is requiring that producers of such items ensure that if they want to claim they are effective treatments, then they need to make available the proof. Otherwise, they will need to point out that there is “no scientific evidence that the product works”.

“Homeopathy, which dates back to the late-eighteenth century, is based on the view that disease symptoms can be treated by minute doses of substances that produce similar symptoms when provided in larger doses to healthy people,” said a notice, filed earlier this month by the Federal Trade Commission.

Source Independent

Childhood obesity linked to irregular sleep and skipping breakfast

Skipping breakfast and irregular sleep patterns have been identified as key reasons why children may become dangerously overweight in research that sheds new light on the obesity epidemic.

The study, led by academics from University College London, challenges the widely-held view that soaring childhood obesity rates are caused solely by overeating.

Lifestyle factors and the environment a child is brought up in play a significant role in their chances of becoming obese, the researchers found from examining records of the health and circumstances of children born into 19,244 families across the UK between September 2000 and January 2002.

“This study shows that disrupted routines, exemplified by irregular sleeping patterns and skipping breakfast, could influence weight gain through increased appetite and the consumption of energy-dense foods,” said Prof Yvonne Kelly, from UCL’s department of epidemiology and public health, who led the research.

Source - Guardian

Eating lots of garlic makes men 'smell more attractive to women'

Men: want more success with the ladies? Think your body odour could do with a bit of care and attention? Well, forget about pricey colognes, and just start increasing your garlic consumption.

Yes, garlic, that stinkiest of foodstuffs, can apparently make men smell more attractive to women. It sounds entirely counterintuitive, but that was the verdict of a 2015 study, the findings of which have resurfaced online in recent days.

Researchers from the University of Stirling and Prague's Charles University asked 42 men in rotation to eat raw garlic, garlic capsules, or no garlic, and wear pads in their armpits for 12 hours afterwards to collect body odour.

Then, 82 women were asked to sniff the odour samples and judge them on their pleasantness, attractiveness, masculinity and intensity. The body odour of the men was perceived to be "significantly more attractive and less intense" when they had eaten the garlic in bulb and capsule form than when they (the same men) hadn't eaten it.

Children who drink full-fat milk end up slimmer than those on skimmed

Children should drink full-fat milk until the age of at least six, research suggests – as they are likely to grow up slimmer.

In recent years, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has recommended that toddlers switch to semi-skimmed milk from the age of two, as part of efforts to prevent obesity. But research on more than 2,700 children found those given full-fat versions ended up with a significantly lower body mass index than those given semi-skimmed varieties. Those taking part in the Canadian study were also found to have higher levels of vitamin D, which protects the bones and immune system. 

For decades, children in Britain were encouraged to drink full-fat milk, as part of post-war efforts to build the nation’s health. But in 2009, the FSA warned that children were now consuming so much fat that it was clogging their arteries. Parents are now advised to switch their children to semi-skimmed milk from the age of two.

A high fibre diet stops you from getting ill.

Eating plenty of fibre is not only good for your heart, it has been discovered to protect us from infection.
A bit of roughage, whether a stalk of broccoli or a slice of wholemeal bread, has been found to maintain the gut's first line of defence against invading nasties.

This layer of mucus may not sound very nice, but it helps keep out bugs like E.coli which can cause devastating food poisoning. And it relies on fibre to function because, when our digestive microbes do not have fibre to eat, they are now believed to start feasting on the protective barrier instead.

Scientists at the University of Michigan made the finding from putting human gut bacteria into mice, finding those deprived of fibre were more easily infected with E.coli.  It means more reason to eat your greens, porridge oats, lentils and nuts, with fibre already known to cut the risk of heart disease, stroke and bowel cancer. However most of us in Britain eat less than half of the 30g we should get a day.

Source  - Daily Mail

Struggling with incontinence?

Whenever you laugh, do you feel a desperate need to cross your legs? 

It's an embarrassing problem that stops some people from leaving the house or having a relationship. Yet millions suffer urinary incontinence in silence as they are too embarrassed to see their doctor about their symptoms.  Almost 50 per cent of women aged 45 to 60 are believed to have incontinence and Nadia Sawalha has recently announced that she too is a sufferer. But don't worry, it can be managed. Here, a range of leading nutritionists reveal exactly how dietary changes can help you to manage the condition.

Urge incontinence is where there is a sudden need to pass urine and the woman may not be able to get to the toilet in time.  An overactive or irritable bladder is often the cause. 
The bladder will often register the need to urinate when there is not much urine in there; it has become too sensitive and is telling that woman she needs to urinate when in fact she doesn't.  The solution for urge incontinence is retraining the bladder to go longer between toilet visits and using distraction techniques so that more urine is passed at each visit. 

How tomatoes beat wrinkles

Eating plenty of tomatoes could stave off wrinkles - and even skin cancer, say scientists.

The fruit is rich in an antioxidant called lycopene that helps shield the body from harmful UV radiation. A study says it isn't a substitute for sunscreen but offers another important line of defence. The German researchers said it could lead to people taking supplements containing the chemical for health - or cosmetic - purposes.

They also found another pigment known as lutein - abundant in spinach and kale - achieved similar results. They compared the skin of 65 people who were divided into two groups - one given a supplement called TNC (tomato nutrient complex) or a placebo and the other lutein or the dummy treatment.

At the beginning and end of each 12-week treatment phase their skin was exposed to two types of ultraviolet (UV) light, UVA1 and UVA/B in a process known as irradiation - with biopsies taken 24 hours later.

Source  - Daily Mail

Why kids with migraines may not need drugs

Sugar pills worked as well at preventing kids' migraines as two commonly used headache medicines - and even had fewer side effects, a study reveals. The findings may lead doctors to rethink how they treat a common ailment in children and teens.

It's the first rigorous head-to-head test in kids of two generic prescription drugs also used for adults' migraines: topiramate, an anti-seizure medicine, and amitriptyline, an anti-depressant.  The idea was to see if either drug could reduce by half the number of days kids had migraines over a month's time. Both drugs worked that well — but so did placebo sugar pills.

The results 'really challenge what is typical practice today by headache specialists,' said study author Scott Powers, a psychologist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital's headache centre.

'The fact that it shows that two of the most commonly used medications are no more effective than a placebo and have adverse effects makes a very clear statement,' said Dr. Leon Epstein, neurology chief at Ann & Robert Lurie H. Children's Hospital of Chicago

Scientists find no evidence they help to fight off bladder infections

Cranberries are often regarded as a superfood but they may not be as good as scientists first thought.

Experts say the fruit - which contains a high amount of beneficial compounds known as flavonoids - can improve heart health and the immune system. It is also thought to reduce urinary tract infections (UTIs) of the bladder, kidneys and the tubes among elderly women. But the berries had little effect on reducing any such infections, new evidence suggests. 

Researchers from the Yale School of Medicine, Connecticut, gave older women in nursing homes cranberry capsules or a placebo. The study randomly assigned 185 women with an average age of 86 two oral berry capsules or a fake pill. 

Both capsules contained 72mg of the active ingredient proanthocyanidin, equivalent to a pint of cranberry juice.  They found the berries made no significant difference in presence of bacteria and white blood cells in the urine (pyuria), a sign of UTIs.

Source  - Daily Mail

Why broccoli could reverse the signs of ageing

Physical signs of ageing could be slowed down by a compound found in broccoli, cabbage and avocado, scientists claim.

It slowed down the deterioration of liver and eye function, bone density and the metabolism, a new study found. While it was found to prevent laboratory mice from gaining weight as they aged - despite consuming more food. 

Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) compensated for the loss of energy production, which experts believe is a key driver of the body's ageing process. 

Researchers tested the compound on older mice to see if it helped to slow their physical ageing signs. They were also keen to find out if it could alter their metabolism to one expected in younger animals.

Study author Professor Dr Shin-ichiro Imai, from Washington University, St Louis, said: 'We have shown a way to slow the physiologic decline that we see in ageing mice. This means older mice have metabolism and energy levels resembling that of younger mice.'

Source  - Daily Mail

Vitamin D deficiency associated with heightened depression

A lack of vitamin D – common in the UK during the autumn and winter months – has been associated with increased symptoms of depression, according to a new study.
Earlier this year everyone in Britain was recommended to take supplements of the vitamin during the darker months. While it is found in a few foods like oily fish, most people get vitamin D from a natural effect on the body caused by sunlight. Low levels are associated with bone conditions such as rickets and osteoporosis, but it can also affect muscle tissue and has been found to be associated with normal levels of dopamine, a chemical linked to mood, in the brain.
In the new study, which was revealed at the International Early Psychosis Association in Milan, scientists tested vitamin D levels among 225 patients being treated for psychotic disorders and another 159 well people. They found a significant association between low levels of vitamin D and “higher levels of negative symptoms and of depression” among people with psychosis. They also found a significant link to reduced verbal fluency and cognitive impairments.

Migraines could be caused by gut bacteria, study suggests

Migraine sufferers have a different mix of gut bacteria that could make them more sensitive to certain foods, scientists have found.

The study offers a potential explanation for why some people are more susceptible to debilitating headaches and why some foods appear to act as triggers for migraines. The research showed that migraine sufferers had higher levels of bacteria that are known to be involved in processing nitrates, which are typically found in processed meats, leafy vegetables and some wines.

Antonio Gonzalez, a programmer analyst at the University of California San Diego and the study’s first author, said: “There is this idea out there that certain foods trigger migraines - chocolate, wine and especially foods containing nitrates. We thought that perhaps there are connections between what people are eating, their microbiomes and their experiences with migraines.”

When nitrates in food are broken down by bacteria in the mouth and gut they are eventually converted into nitric oxide in the blood stream, a chemical that dilates blood vessels and can aid cardiovascular health by boosting circulation. However, around four in five cardiac patients who take nitrate-containing drugs for chest pain or heart failure report severe headaches as a side effect.

How placebos can work even when patients know they're not real

Taking a placebo helps to ease pain even when patients know it isn't the real thing, scientists claim.
Fake medication was found to cut initial back discomfort and disability by a third, a study found.  While patients who had their usual drugs - which have previously found to be ineffective - reported no reduction in their pain.  Experts say the findings could be an end to the ethical issue of deceiving patients by telling them they are taking fake drugs. 

Back pain causes more disability than any other condition, with 40 per cent of working-age Britons suffering from the complaint in the past year. Treatment costs the economy £1 billion a year and when lost earnings are factored in, the bill reaches £12 billion. 

Portuguese researchers studied 97 adults with low back pain lasting for around three months. They were randomly assigned to three weeks of treatment of their usual medications alone, or with placebos on top. But unlike usual studies, patients knew they were taking a placebo and were explained about how their body may respond to the sham pills anyway. Measures of back pain and disability were compared between both groups.

Source  - Daily Mail

Vitamin D deficiency associated with heightened depression, study finds.

A lack of vitamin D – common in the UK during the autumn and winter months – has been associated with increased symptoms of depression, according to a new study.
Earlier this year everyone in Britain was recommended to take supplements of the vitamin during the darker months. While it is found in a few foods like oily fish, most people get vitamin D from a natural effect on the body caused by sunlight. Low levels are associated with bone conditions such as rickets and osteoporosis, but it can also affect muscle tissue and has been found to be associated with normal levels of dopamine, a chemical linked to mood, in the brain.
In the new study, which was revealed at the International Early Psychosis Association in Milan, scientists tested vitamin D levels among 225 patients being treated for psychotic disorders and another 159 well people. They found a significant association between low levels of vitamin D and “higher levels of negative symptoms and of depression” among people with psychosis. They also found a significant link to reduced verbal fluency and cognitive impairments.
In a paper in the journal Schizophrenia Research, the researchers, from Norway, suggested vitamin D could be used to help treat patients. “In a clinical setting, this could support vitamin D as adjuvant therapy in treating co-morbid depressions in psychotic disorders,” they wrote.

Trying to get pregnant? Avoid diet drinks.

Diet drinks may reduce a woman's chance of getting pregnant during IVF, a study suggests.

Would-be mothers who opted for pop with artificial sweeteners, or put sugar substitutes in hot drinks, produced poorer eggs and embryos, researchers said.  
While it is widely believed taking artificial sweeteners is healthier than taking sugar, both options raised the risk of an embryo being found to have at least one deformity.

The findings were based on a study of women undergoing fertility treatment at an IVF clinic and presented at the congress of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, in Salt Lake City.

The 524 women were asked about their dietary habits, and whether those who drank diet drinks and coffee with either sugar or artificial sweeteners. Over two years, the researchers looked at 5,548 egg cells taken from the women undergoing fertility treatment. They noted whether any form of shape defect was present or absent in the egg.

Source  - Daily Mail

Revealed, the 5 reasons which make porridge the healthiest breakfast option.

Whether you enjoy it with almonds, blueberries or a sprinkle of cinnamon - porridge is one of the healthiest breakfast options.
Other than being low in fat, the oatmeal dish is a great source of minerals, fibre and slow-releasing carbohydrates. Researchers from Harvard University previously found wholegrains, such as oats, were the key to living longer. 

Here Cassandra Barns, a London-based nutritionist, reveals the 5 reasons why porridge makes the best breakfast:-

Source  - Daily Mail

Do you really need 8 glasses of water a day?

Doctors, scientists and our loved ones all remind us of the need to drink eight glasses of water each day. But is there any truth behind the tale that it's good for us?

Apparently not, as experts have now warned refreshing yourself when you're not thirsty could actually kill you.  Drinking excess liquid activates a protective swallowing inhibition within the brain, a study found. But forcing yourself to drink more than what your body needs overrides the mechanism and puts people at risk of water intoxication, scientists claim.

Hyponatremia - where vital levels of sodium in the blood become abnormally low - occurs when too much of the liquid has been consumed. It can cause lethargy, nausea, convulsions and even lead to a coma and if left untreated, it can lead to death within just a matter of hours.

Lead researcher Dr Michael Farrell, from Monash University, Melbourne, said: 'If we just do what our body demands us to we'll probably get it right - just drink according to thirst rather than an elaborate schedule.
Source  - Daily Mail

Could bee venom halt arthritis?

A jab made from bee venom could help millions of arthritis sufferers.

Scientists have developed tiny nanoparticles that can be injected straight into painful knees, using a peptide found in the insects’ poison. The peptide, called melittin, has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect that halts the destruction of cartilage, the body’s built-in ‘shock absorber’.

Experts who tested the jab on mice think the sooner it is given after a sporting injury or accident, the less likely it is the joint will later be affected by osteoarthritis. But they are also hopeful the bee venom particles will help those who have suffered the painful condition for years.

An estimated nine million people in Britain have some degree of osteoarthritis.
As the body ages, major joints like the hips, knees and wrists suffer wear and tear. But other risk factors include being overweight, having a family history of the condition and suffering sports-related injuries. Cartilage soaks up the impact from walking, running or lifting, so that bones do not rub together and disintegrate.

Source  - Daily Mail

Should you really stop wearing deodorants because of cancer risk?

As breast cancer rates continue to rise, experts have debated about where to lay the blame. 

Certainly, there is the obesity crisis, the fact that women drink more alcohol than before and that we tend to be less active than women of previous generations — all known risk factors. With the introduction of a breast screening service in the late Eighties, more cancers are now detected, too.

But could some of the blame lie with the use of antiperspirants? Most use aluminium-based compounds to prevent sweat, probably by inhibiting sweat glands. 

This is different from deodorants, which don’t stop sweating but mask its odour, and may contain chemicals to kill bacteria, but don’t contain aluminium.

Source  - Daily Mail

Coffee really can help to prevent dementia

It's tasty, warm and gives you a much needed energy boost - just about everybody loves a cup of coffee.

But now scientists claim the hot drink is more than just an enjoyable treat, it can actually help to prevent the onslaught of dementia. Women over the age of 65 who had a normal caffeine intake were 36 per cent less likely to develop a cognitive impairment, a study found.

However, experts haven't quite put their finger on why just two cups of coffee a day can help to prevent dementia. Researchers, from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, assessed 6,467 women over the age of 65 and their daily self-reported caffeine consumption. Intake was estimated from questions about coffee, tea and cola consumption, including frequency and serving size. 

Source  - Daily Mail

Could Chinese medicine cure leukaemia?

A Chinese herbal medicine has blasted leukaemia into submission.
Seriously ill patients given homoharringtonine, a drug made from the leaves of the plum yew tree, made remarkable recoveries. 

Some had already been treated unsuccessfully with conventional drugs. All were suffering from a hard to treat form of acute myeloid leukaemia – an aggressive cancer of the white blood cells.

Twenty of the 24 patients treated with homoharringtonine, plus a conventional medicine that boosted its effect, went into remission – meaning all signs of their cancer had gone. One 76-year-old woman remained in remission for over a year, despite being given the herbal drug for just five months.

Source  - Daily Mail

Why porridge really is a super food.

It's the warming breakfast staple enjoyed by many over the winter months.
Now researchers say there is further evidence porridge oats really do offer the best start to the day.

Oats have long been known to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. But previously researchers focused on how oats help reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) — or 'bad' cholesterol — which collects in the lining of the arteries, potentially blocking them.  But there is growing evidence that two other markers provide an even more accurate assessment of heart attack risk. 

These are non-HDL cholesterol, which is total cholesterol minus the 'healthy' part and lipoprotein, which carries bad cholesterol through the blood.  The checks are particularly useful to people with type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome as patients with these conditions typically do not show high LDL cholesterol levels. And the good news is eating oat fibre can reduce all three markers, according to a large study review. The study was led by Dr Vladimir Vuksan, a research scientist and associate director of the Risk Factor Modification Centre of St Michael's Hospital.

Source  - Daily Mail

Why does the NHS spend money on homeopathy?

The NHS says there's "no good-quality evidence" that homeopathy is effective as a treatment for any health condition, yet it funds it. Why and to what extent?

Homeopathy is an extremely controversial issue - so it's no surprise it came top of our poll of readers when we asked what they would like us to investigate. The Department of Health doesn't hold any figures for England - nor do the other devolved nations - so instead I've had to go to a variety of different sources to get a picture of what is happening.

There are now only two NHS centres offering homeopathic treatments - in London and Glasgow. Another two former ones - in Bristol and Liverpool - have moved into the private sector, but still see NHS patients (although it was announced this week the last health body funding the Liverpool one was going to stop sending patients).

However, the way money flows around the health service makes it hard to work out exactly how much is spent across these sites.

For example, patients receiving fertility treatment or being given support for pain or anxiety may get referred to these centres, but are not necessarily recorded as receiving homeopathic care. Nonetheless, the Good Thinking Society, which has been campaigning for the NHS to stop funding homeopathy, estimates spending is in the region of £5m a year.

Source - BBC

Omega-3 oils in farmed salmon 'halve in five years'

Levels of beneficial omega-3 oils in farmed salmon have fallen significantly in the past five years, a study shows.

BBC News has learned that, on average, levels of omega-3s halved in the fish over that period. Despite this, the analysis shows that farmed salmon is still one of the richest sources of these fatty acids.

But the industry is exploring new ways to arrest the decline - which appears to be due to the type of feed given to the farmed fish.

The study was carried out by researchers at Stirling University. Prof Douglas Tocher, who led the research, told BBC News: "About five years ago, a portion of Atlantic salmon of 130g was able to deliver three-and-a-half grams of beneficial omega-3. This is actually our weekly recommended intake. Now, the level of omega-3 has halved," he said. "Therefore, instead of eating one portion of farmed salmon, we would need to eat two portions of farmed salmon," he explained.

Source - BBC

Alternative medicine treatment put four-year-old boy in A&E

The plight of a four-year-old boy who nearly died after his parents gave him 12 alternative medicines has prompted doctors to warn against the treatments.

Doctors at Newham Hospital in east London said the parents were "devastated" that their good intentions had made him so unwell. The boy took a dozen supplements supposedly to help treat his autism.

The National Autistic Society said it was crucial for doctors to talk through the risks of alternative therapies. The boy developed a potentially fatal condition after taking supplements from a naturopath (natural health practitioner) for a number of months, which included vitamin D, camel's milk, silver and Epsom bath salts.

He was admitted to A&E after losing 6.5lbs (3kg) over three weeks, suffering from symptoms including vomiting and extreme thirst.

Source - BBC

Can deodorants cause cancer?

Women who regularly use deodorants containing aluminium salts could be at greater risk of developing breast cancer, a new study has claimed.

Swiss researchers argue long-term exposure to aluminium chloride can trigger the development of tumours which spread to other parts of the body. But previous studies have denied there is any link - and manufacturers insist products are entirely safe.

The latest study, by scientists at the University of Geneva, suggests there may be an increased risk due to the use of aluminium compounds in antiperspirants.
These compounds temporarily block sweat glands – but can build up in breast tissue and produce some oestrogen-like effects.  

While some simple deodorants, designed just to mask odour, do not contain them, most do.  AndrĂ©-Pascal Sappino, co-author of the study, looked at isolated human mammary cells and later replicated it in studies on mice.

The study found long term exposure resulted in tumours which metastasise - or spread.  He said there was  compared people's scepticism over its potential cancer-causing properties to asbestos.
'Asbestos is cheap, has very attractive industrial potential, and it took 50 years to ban it."

Source  - Daily Mail

Why eating healthily really could save your life

A healthy diet is just as effective as statins in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, scientists found. 
The daily pills - which cost less than 6p a day - offer the same amount of protection as a diet low in salt, fat and sugar, a study claims.
Both lower the levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in the blood which helps to prevent strokes, heart attacks and heart disease.   But despite the findings, statins should still be issued as the number one therapy, experts say.

Researchers from Harvard University reviewed 49 previous trials which had more than 312,000 participants combined. They noted 39,645 major vascular events had occurred and nine different interventions were used to lower LDL-C.
These therapies were then split into four groups, depending on how they worked to reduce LDL-C levels.

Source  - Daily Mail

Dilute honey 'may fight urine infections'

Honey and water might be a useful weapon against urine infections in hospital patients, say UK researchers.

Patients often have a catheter fitted, either to drain urine stuck in the bladder or to monitor urine output. But these flexible tubes can harbour nasty bugs and cause infection.

Scientists at University of Southampton have shown in the lab that diluted honey stops some common bacteria from forming sticky, hard-to-remove layers on surfaces such as plastic. In theory, a honey solution might be useful for flushing urinary catheters to keep them clean while they remain in the bladder.

Many more trials would be needed to check it would be safe to use in humans, however.

Source - BBC

Red wine could boost brain power due to compound found in grapes

A research team at Northumbria University are examining resveratrol, which is found in red wine, and its effect on blood flow.

The team believes the substance may boost mental function by increasing blood flow to the brain and wants to test the theory with the help of healthy volunteer subjects.  A study on people aged 18-35 has already been carried out, with some participants demonstrating improved performance when their mental function was tested. They believe a stronger correlation indicating a more pronounced benefit may be found with older participants.

The university, based in Newcastle, is now looking for healthy male or female participants aged between 50-70 years to assess the effects of resveratrol.

Source - Independent

How a teaspoon of Turmeric may ward off cancer

Turmeric was once nothing more than a spice in the cupboard you might add to the occasional curry. Yet it's being hailed as the new superfood that will cure everything from heartburn to food poisoning.

I am not normally won over by such claims about specific foods, but there is something potentially persuasive about this humble spice. 

In countries such as India, where they consume a lot of turmeric, they have lower rates of bowel cancer. It did make me wonder: could the two be linked?
Until now, most of the research into the effects of turmeric has been conducted on mice rather than humans, using doses far higher than you would find in an average diet.

But findings have been intriguing: for instance, one U.S. study involving mice found the active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, can help slow down the progression of breast cancer in mice. Other studies have found it may help destroy the plaques that form in the brain associated with Alzheimer's disease. 

Source  - Daily Mail

Rain may make pain worse

 People have long complained the weather makes their chronic aches and pains play up, with some even suggesting they can tell when it’s about to rain as a result. And now the preliminary results of a major new study suggest they might have been onto something.

Researchers enlisted more than 9,000 people who suffer from chronic pain, such as arthritis, back problems and migraines, getting them to log their symptoms on a daily basis using a smartphone app. The app also monitors the weather conditions every hour, enabling the scientists to match the weather to how much pain the people are feeling.

Examining a group of 100 participants in three different cities — Leeds, Norwich and London — the researchers found that as the number of sunny days increased from February to June, the amount of time people experienced severe pain fell.  But when there was a period of wet weather in June and fewer hours of sunlight, the level of pain increased once again.

The 18-month project, called Cloudy with a Chance of Pain, is currently at its halfway stage, but the researchers decided to report their preliminary findings at the British Science Festival.

Why gardening could be the best medicine

Outdoor activities such as gardening and countryside strolls should be prescribed on the NHS to help tackle the obesity crisis, council bosses say.

'Green prescriptions' setting out physical activities for overweight people could help them become more active, according to the Local Government Association.

Rather than simply prescribing medicines, doctors should consider persuading them to get outdoors. A similar programme in New Zealand has been running since 1998, where it has been used by 80 per cent of GPs.

A recent survey of patients given green prescriptions in the country found 72 per cent noticed positive changes to their health, 67 per cent improved their diet and more than half felt stronger and fitter.

Source  - Daily Mail

Meditating their way to medals!

Team GB's star army of athletes, who produced the country's most successful haul ever in Rio, have frequently talked about their gruelling training regimes.

However, it's thought that mindfulness - the art of being aware of the present moment - could have helped Britain's top athletes eke out the crucial marginal gains that mean the difference between winning and losing. 

Bronze-medal winning Tom Daley spoke out about the powers of meditation ahead of the Olympics and other top athletes including Max Whitlock and Jack Laugher are thought to have employed the help of mindfulness.  

Daley revealed that he'd used the Headspace app to help him prepare for the Rio Olympics. He told ESPN in July that meditation had become a crucial part of his training regime.  He said: 'It's called Headspace. I massively recommend it. Lots of the English Institute of Sport guys are actually using it. It's helped me massively.'

Daily Mail

Would you ditch your morning coffee for a green tea?

When it comes to improving your health through your diet, matcha green tea is the drink of the moment.
The tipple is fast becoming the ultimate must-have morning cuppa for health-conscious celebrities and nutritionists. And all for good reason. 

Green tea – and matcha tea in particular – has been shown to have health benefits that go above and beyond those of regular tea or coffee. 

Matcha tea is a type of green tea in a powdered form. It originates from Japan, where it’s best known for its use in tea ceremonies.  Matcha, other green teas and regular (black) tea are actually made from the same plant – Camellia sinensis. Most green teas are simply made by steaming fresh Camellia leaves, but making matcha tea involves a more complex process. 

Source  - Daily Mail

How much does old-age wisdom really work when sickness strikes?

Grandma's advice to 'feed a cold and starve a fever' might have an element of truth, scientists claim.
New research shows that the old adage appears to be based on sound science when a fever is caused by bacterial infection. Scientists put the folk wisdom to the test using laboratory mice with bacterial and viral infections.

They found that mice with flu - like the common cold, caused by a virus - were helped to recover and survive when they were fed.  In contrast, feeding animals infected by bacteria only hastened their death.

Lead researcher Professor Ruslan Medzhitov, from the Yale School of Medicine in the US, said: 'We were surprised at how profound the effects of feeding were, both positive and negative.

'Anorexia - not eating - is a common behavior during sickness that is seen in people and all kinds of animals.  Our findings show that it has a strong protective effect with certain infections, but not with others.'

In the first of a series of experiments, mice were infected with Listeria bacteria - a common cause of food poisoning. The animals stopped eating naturally, and eventually recovered. However, when they were made to eat, they died.

Source  - Daily Mail