Round-Up of Global News In Health and Complementary Medicine
WEEK BEGINNING 2 JULY 2001
Dieting Raises Risks For Your Baby
New research published this week confirms that if women go on diet before or during pregnancy then they ultimately harm their babies. These children in years to come are significantly more likely to suffer from strokes, heart diseases, hypertension and diabetes. Small and thin babies tend to have mothers who have poorer nutrition. Changing diet only during pregnancy is not enough to balance the mothers physical condition when she gives birth. A small baby that grows slowly during the first year of its life is more likely to become overweight later. Researchers at Southampton University have found that the result is a high quantity of body fat in relation to muscle. There is therefore a bigger risk factor for high blood pressure and heart disease. Women who constantly diet before conceiving could damage their babys health because their bodies would not have the reserves needed to pass on sufficient nutrition to a foetus.
Profound Criticism Of Claims For Anti-Cholesterol Products
There were harsh words for two manufacturers of anti-cholesterol products this week. Both companies produce and market cholesterol-lowering margarine and both have been reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) for making misleading claims about the health benefits of their products. The ASA ruled that Johnson and Johnson, which makes Benecol, had used larger than average servings when calculating that the spread could lower average cholesterol levels by 14 per cent, and that the figure was not true of all age groups. Unilever was similarly criticised over its product, Flora pro-activ. Both companies have agreed to revise their advertisements.
Smokers Tend To Leave It Too Late
Warning for all smokers. The latest research in the war against smoking-related disease indicates that smokers ignore health risk warnings on cigarette packets, television campaigns and from family members, and will only give up if their own health deteriorates. The study researchers who examined 8500 people over ten years found that people respond to their own worsening health by reducing their smoking or even quitting, but they dont respond in the same way to the declining health of other smokers, even if they live in the same household. The researchers of the report, Andrew Clark and Fabrice Etile for the Institute for Social and Economic Research, said: Health policy may work better if it targets smokers individually for example, through an interview with a doctor, rather than using depersonalised campaigns. The findings suggest that Government-backed anti-smoking campaigns, costing millions over the past few decades, have had little effect.
Growing Allergy Related To Kiwi Fruit
There has been an abrupt rise in the cases of Kiwi fruit-related allergies in the UK, according to a new study carried out in Southampton. Allergy specialists at Southampton General Hospital are concerned with the rise in allergy cases, which coincide with the increasing popularity of actinidia chinesis, also known as the Chinese gooseberry or kiwi fruit. Babies are suffering reactions from the exotic fruit, such as a tingling sensation in the mouth and to a life threatening shocks. Paediatric senior registrar at the University of Southampton, Dr Jane Luca, who is leading the 18-month study, said: In our clinics we have seen increasing numbers of patients over the last few years but at present, no one knows how common it is.
The Daily Telegraph
Boost Fertility With Daily Vits
New UK research suggests that women significantly boost their chances of conceiving, by up to 100%, if they take daily vitamin supplements. Women who took a multi-vitamin pill have a 40 per cent chance of pregnancy, compared to only 19 per cent for those not taking supplements. Although the reasons for the link are not fully understood, doctors from Leeds University believe that taking a daily vitamin pill may have helped produce better quality eggs and may be beneficial to all women trying for a baby.
Dr Sara Matthews, a gynaecologist and research study leader, advises: It is difficult to say whether this finding will apply to all women, because the studies have yet to be carried out, but my theory is that it might apply to anyone trying for pregnancy.
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