Round-Up of Global News In Health and Complementary Medicine
Week Beginning 4 February 2002
What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis?
News for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis this week. According to latest research there is only small genetic element involved. This is the conclusion of a group of Danish researchers. Which means that the cause of the autoimmune disease is unknown, but viruses, bacteria and fungi have long been suspected, with many experts also believing in a genetic component. However, in tests carried out on identical twins the gene theory failed to stand up, with no correlation between the pairs and the incidence of rheumatoid arthritis.
Bad news chaps. The gals beat us hands down (or should that be noses down?) when it comes to detecting smells. Furthermore, their greater ability could be linked to oestrogen, according to research. A US study shows women of reproductive age are far better at identifying odours than men. Researchers found women are able to detect odours at progressively lower concentrations over time, whereas male subjects do not improve their ability with experience.
Researchers suggest the results raise the possibility that female sex hormones have a role in enabling exposure-induced increases in odour sensitivity.
The Daily Mail
GM A Danger To Babes
The GM debate took yet another twist this week when leading scientists warned that babies given genetically modified (GM) food may be more vulnerable than adults to developing allergies. In a report on the safety of GM food, the Royal Society will say that products licensed for sale in the UK are safe. However, the report will question whether commonly used safety tests for modified food are adequate, and will call for more work to rule out possible links between GM crops and the development of allergic reactions. The report is expected to single out the use of GM soya in baby food as a cause for concern.
Slimming Pill In The Dock
There were grave warnings this week from the USA concerning a new slimming "pill". The US authorities are investigating a slimming pill advert, which caused distress to thousands of women in the UK. The ads, for Berry Trim, are designed to look like newspaper cuttings and they appear to come from a friend and carry the handwritten message: 'Try it, it works!’ Girls suffering from anorexia and depression received the ad as well as some women who were recovering from cancer.
Preventing Fat Babies - Breastfeed
There has been much research in recent years into the affects of early diet and nutrition and weight in infancy. Now the tendency towards breastfeeding received a big fillip this week, when it was announced that the risk of obesity in adulthood could be reduced by breastfeeding. Breast milk contains all that babies need for their first six months, say scientists in the US. They suggest that the over-use of formula milk can have effects that may last a lifetime, because the brain establishes appetite patterns in the first few months of life.
The Daily Mail
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