Round-Up of Global News In Health and Complementary Medicine

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WEEK BEGINNING 9 JULY 2001

Big Rap On The Knuckles For Kids’ TV Ads

Gone are the days of childhood innocence, even when it comes down to TV. Now TV ads are being heavily criticised for encouraging our nation’s children to consume junk food. In research carried out by the health campaigners Sustain programmes on Children’s ITV and the Big Breakfast, for instance, carry far too many adverts for food containing unhealthy amounts of fat and sugar. Charles Powell, spokesman for Sustain, explained that such commercials were continuously undermining all the healthy eating drives initiated by the Government, and furthermore are greatly adding to the obesity epidemic which is hitting young people in the UK. The Advertising Association dismissed Sustain’s claims, adding that children were being provided with the opportunity to make mature choices in what is a highly commercial world.

Daily Mail

Sex And The Increased Risk Of Prostate Cancer

Calling all men, you have been warned. Play around and you will be heading for trouble in later life. That is according to new research published this week. The study showed that those men who are sexually promiscuous are more likely to contract prostate cancer. Unprotected sex with multiple partners in fact increases the risk by a whopping 100%. Could this also suggest a link between a sexually transmitted infection and the onset of the cancer? The researchers certainly believe it could. They found that previous gonorrhoeal infection increased the chances of prostate cancer by over 50 per cent.

However the key is not the amount of sex but the number of partners. Regular sex could actually protect the prostate – provided the same partner is involved. Multiple partners opens up the possibility of infection and therefore development of cancer of the prostate.

Professor Jonathon Waxman, Professor of oncology at the Hammersmith Hospital, comments: ‘There has been a long suspicion of this but it has never really been confirmed until now. It does point the way to there being an infectious, viral agent involved in the passage of the disease.’

The Daily Mail

Red Bull Under Investigation

Trouble is brewing in Sweden for the highly successful energy drink, Red Bull. The National Food Administration in Sweden has this week issued warning, advising members of the public against drinking the beverage after exercising or mixing it with alcohol.

In recent weeks the country has witnessed the shock deaths of three previously fit young people, shortly after drinking Red Bull. Two of these mixed the drink with vodka; the other consumed three cans after working out in a gym.

Red Bull contains both taurine and caffeine. The Swedish National Food Administration will now be examining closely the effect of mixing these two compounds with alcohol and the subsequent effects on the human body. Other evidence from Eire suggests that the ingredients of Red Bull combine to both dilate and constrict arteries in the body. Alcohol may heighten these effects.

The Times

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,2-2001240396,00.html

Violent Outrage With The Weed

Latest research suggests strongly that smoking cannabis greatly heightens the aggressive tendencies. The study found that young men who take cannabis are over 5 times more likely to be subsequently violent than those who abstain. Squashing the widely held belief that cannabis mellows you out man.

The research was carried out in New Zealand by psychiatrists investigating the overlap between drug abuse and mental illness.

Their finding showed that 34 per cent of young men with a cannabis habit went on to have a court conviction for violence. This violent behaviour is five times higher than that of the general population and is also higher than the three-fold risk increase associated with men suffering from schizophrenia or those dependent on alcohol. Of all the young men who participated in the study, 40 per cent had mental disorders and were 500% more likely to be violent than people without mental illness.

Dr Louise Arsenault from the Institute of Psychiatry in London, who led the research, commented: ‘Not all mentally ill individuals engage in violence. The link is limited to three groups – those dependent on alcohol, those dependent on cannabis, and adults with schizophrenia.’

The Independent

http://www.independent.co.uk/story.jsp?story=83248

Change Your Skin Easily

We have all heard how easy it is to change your hair colour nowadays. Just pick a colorant from the great array on sale at supermarkets and pharmacists and away you go, the new you. But I bet you didn’t know that in the future you could also be choosing your new skin colour off the shelf as well. Because scientists revealed a new cream this week that will enable people, just like you and I, to change skin colour at a whim. Wow I hear you saying, I could save hundreds by not having to go to the sun-kissed beaches of the Caribbean or the Med for my suntan – and you would be right. But just think of the breadth of possibilities. You could choose a colour to suit your mood or to really shock. The possibilities are endless it would seem. Hurrah!!

The cream has been produced by OSI pharmaceuticals, and they have a more serious agenda than us silly consumers. They don’t just see this as another cosmetic fad. They believe they have found a true solution for those people with unsightly birthmarks or skin blemishes. According to OSI’s vice-president, Eric Collington: ‘Conditions that affect skin pigmentation are not life threatening. On the other hand they can cause a lot of distress. Anything combating that kind of problem could make a real difference in people’s lives.’

But wait, don’t all go rushing out to your local chemist just yet. You will be sorely disappointed (and don’t say I didn’t warn you). Because the new wonder cream is unlikely to be available on the market for some time to come. Ah well, I guess it’s Bognor here I come for my tan this year. Drat and darn!

The Observer

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4221970,00.html

 

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