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

Forget painkillers, YOGA can cure aches and pains

Yoga and acupuncture really can relieve pain, according to new research.
Some of the most popular complementary health approaches - including yoga, tai chi and acupuncture - appear to be effective at managing painful conditions.
Scientists reviewed clinical trials in the US to come to their conclusions - which could help millions of people whose pain may not be fully relieved by conventional medications.

Until now, a lack of evidence around complementary approaches has meant health professionals have not been able to recommend them.  Researchers say the review will help doctors, who frequently see patients with chronic pain, be able to inform patients on which treatments will best help them manage their symptoms.  

The review was conducted by a group of scientists from the National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) at the National Institutes of Health. Lead author Dr Richard Nahin, of the NCCIH, said: 'For many Americans who suffer from chronic pain, medications may not completely relieve pain and can produce unwanted side effects.'

Source  - Daily Mail

Children who eat plenty of oily fish may be better readers than their peers

Children who eat oily fish may be better readers than their peers, a new study has revealed.
Researchers discovered that young people’s reading ability significantly improved following the consumption of Omega 3. Experts say the findings reiterate the importance of ensuring regular consumption of the fatty acid in children’s diets, through oily fish such as salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel and sardines.

The new research discovered that children who took Equazen, an Omega 3 and Omega 6 supplement, for three months showed a larger improvement in reading ability than those who were given a placebo. They showed significant enhancements in their reading comprehension ability, phonologic decoding time and visual analysis time.
Discussing the findings, Oxford University researcher, Dr Alex Richardson, said: ‘Should parents be trying to get their children to consume more Omega 3? Yes they should.'

Source  - Daily Mail

The proof a vitamin pill really CAN help you see better

Millions of people take them in a bid to boost their wellbeing, but when it comes to dietary supplements I have always been a sceptic.

Over the years, I’ve seen so many of these pills or potions hailed as the next big thing, only for them to come to nothing — or even in some cases to make your health worse.

Take beta-carotene. This antioxidant, found naturally in vegetables such as carrots, was very popular as a supplement. That is until a study, looking at whether it could help prevent lung cancer in smokers found that those taking high doses of beta-carotene were dying sooner than those who weren’t.

One possible problem with supplements is that once you start taking them, your body immediately thinks you no longer need that substance from your diet, so it stops extracting it from what you’re eating. Since your body is so good at compensating, it always seemed to me that unless you’re genuinely deficient in something, supplements are expensive and unnecessary.

That’s why I’ve shunned them, preferring instead to get all the nutrients I need from eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables. So, you can imagine how dubious I was when asked to take a supplement that would apparently improve my eyesight. And my complete surprise when it actually worked.

Source - Daily Mail

Vitamin D 'significantly reduces severe asthma attacks'

Taking Vitamin D supplements in addition to asthma medication appears to cut the risk of severe asthma attacks, a review of evidence suggests.
An independent review by the Cochrane research body of nine clinical trials found it also cut the rate of asthma attacks needing steroid treatment. But researchers say it is unclear whether it only helps patients who are vitamin D deficient. They say more studies are needed before they can give patients official advice. They recommend talking to a GP or pharmacist to get advice before taking a vitamin D supplement.
The Cochrane review's lead author, Professor Adrian Martineau, said they found vitamin D "significantly reduced the risk of severe asthma attacks, without causing side effects". They found taking vitamin D reduced the risk of severe asthma attacks requiring a hospital admission or a visit to A&E from 6% to 3%. They also found the rate of asthma attacks needing steroid treatment dropped from 0.44 to 0.28 attacks per person per year. But they found that vitamin D did not improve lung function or day-to-day asthma symptoms.

Eating dinner after 7pm increases heart attack risk

Eating meals late at night is putting millions of Britons at danger of suffering heart attacks, doctors have warned.
Having dinner within two hours of going to bed can leave the body on "high alert" and mean blood pressure does not fall properly overnight, increasing the risk to the heart.
Experts recommended that adults should eat ideally eat dinner before 7pm to allow the body time to wind down and rest, and warned that eating late can do more damage to the heart than having a diet high in salt, the Daily Telegraph reported. Cardiologists at a Turkish university studied more than 700 men and women with high blood pressure to establish what difference eating times and the consistency of their diet had on their health.
Eating dinner later was found to have the most significant impact on blood pressure during the night, with those doing so almost twice as likely to suffer from "non-dipper hypertension", when pressure fails to drop properly overnight.