Round-Up of Global News In Health and Complementary Medicine
Week Beginning 2 September 2002
Caffeine may in crease 'stressed' feeling
A study by US researchers indicates that the effect of caffeine can be to amplify feelings of stress throughout the day. James Lane, of Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, says, 'The measurable effects of drinking four cups of coffee are the difference between working a stressful job at a hospital and spending the day at home.' However, scientists at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions argue that the effects of caffeine are more difficult to calculate. They say other common characteristics of coffee drinkers, such as alcohol and tobacco use, tend to increase the apparent effects of coffee.
Britons fail in skin risk awareness
A survey showed yesterday (05/08/02) that most Britons are ignorant about commonly occurring skin marks that can lead to cancer. More than nine out of ten people questioned had not heard of actinic keratoses, which appear as dry scaly patches of skin and occur most frequently on areas exposed to sunlight. The research, by NOP, also found that more than 75 per cent of those asked had not had their skin checked in the last five years.
The Daily Mirror
Breakthrough in obesity struggle
Three severely overweight Turks have become among the first people in the world to benefit from an experimental technique that is showing great promise in helping the severely obese to shed weight. The treatment is based on injections of leptin, a hormone that appears to play a central role in suppressing appetite by informing the brain when the stomach is full. Byrom Domsak and two cousins flew to the US after doctors at the University of California at Los Angeles heard of their case. Each has each lost more than half their body weight in the 10 months they have been receiving leptin injections.
Low birth-weight becomes more widespread
An increasing number of low birth-weight babies are being born in the US. Researchers at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, say in the last 10 years of the twentieth century all health indicators except birth weight improved. The situation is more acute in cities than in suburban areas, the report found. Experts say the increase in low birth-weight babies is due to a number of factors, including the fact that more very small babies now survive, and so are included in the statistics.
Over-confident may make poor partners
People with excessive self-esteem can be a poor choice as partners, according to new US research. Keith Campbell, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Georgia, says that although such people can at first appear to be confident and attractive, their negative characteristics emerge eventually. The findings go against the predominant message of recent years – that one must love oneself in order to be able to love another. The study, which appears in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, found that sex is not a major factor, with men only slightly more likely than women to behave in a narcissistic or manipulative way.
Pesticides 'getting into food chain'
A large proportion of the fruit and vegetables in UK supermarkets contains pesticide residues, according to a study by Friends of the Earth. The environmental pressure group used information from the Pesticides Safety Directorate to compile a 'league table' of food retailers on the basis of the amounts of potentially harmful chemicals in their produce. Supermarket chain Somerfield came out worst, with an alleged 60 per cent of its fruit and vegetables containing residues. A spokeswoman for the company said, 'The products we sell all comply with UK regulations and are safe.'
The Daily Mirror
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