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."