Round-Up of Global News In Health and Complementary Medicine
Week Beginning 7 October 2002
Agent Of Cancer Revealed In Food
US scientists say a naturally-occurring amino acid called asparagine may be behind the chemical reaction that causes some fried or baked starchy foods to build up high levels of acrylamide, a potential cause of cancer. The US Food and Drug Administration has made a priority of studying acrylamide risk and determining how to reduce its levels in foods. Earlier this year, Swedish scientists announced that the possible carcinogen is found in numerous everyday foods, including: chips, crisps, some breakfast cereals and bread.
The Daily Mail
Health Risks Reduced By Delaying Pregnancy
New research suggests the risk of developing pre-eclampsia may be reduced if women wait six months after starting a sexual relationship before trying for a baby, because after this time sperm and maternal antibodies establish a tolerance for one another. Mike Rich, chief executive of Action on Pre-eclampsia, says although the finding, by South African scientists, is not new, it adds to a growing body of research. Pre-eclampsia is caused when the woman’s blood pressure increases sharply during the final weeks of pregnancy, and can be fatal.
Chicken Antibiotics Fear
According to the Daily Telegraph most of the 14 million chickens sold every week in the UK are likely to be reared on antibiotics, despite fears that drugs overuse may create resistant 'superbugs'. After pressure from vets, the poultry industry’s watchdog has gone back on a pledge made two years ago to ban growth–promoting drugs in chicken feed. The industry says the decision to allow two antibiotic growth promoters will improve welfare and lead to a reduction in antibiotic use on farms.
The Daily Telegraph
Food Poisoning Worries Amongst Students
Students could be at risk of food poisoning because they do not follow basic food safety recommendations. A survey by the Food and Drink Federation found that 61 per cent of 15- to 24-year-olds said they did not always follow manufacturers’ instructions on labels while only 7 per cent mentioned under-cooked food as a cause of food poisoning. More than half did not wash their hands before eating and 12 per cent said they did not always do so after using the toilet. A quarter said they had eaten food that was past its sell-by date, the poll showed.
The Daily Express
Positive Outlook For Herbs
Hundreds of herbs used for centuries by traditional healers in India could soon be on Western pharmacy shelves. The Indian Council of Medical Research has launched a series of studies to test the health claims surrounding a variety traditional medicines. Clinical trials have shown that herbal remedies for asthma, diabetes and even sexually transmitted diseases may be effective.
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