Round-Up of Global News In Health and Complementary Medicine
Week Beginning 15 April 2002
Hearted Aided By Regular Calcium
Good news for proponents of nutritional health this week – and of course, good news for us all. Some antipodean research has thrown further light on the benefits of calcium supplementation. Indeed, New Zealand scientists have found a link between calcium supplements and improved cholesterol balance. Research shows that taking a calcium tablet daily improves cholesterol levels and could cut the risk of heart disease and stroke. The research, carried out at Auckland Medical School, is published in the American Journal of Medicine.
The Daily Express
Cholesterol Risk Reduced By Olive Oil
Great plaudits this week for the Mediterranean-style diet – in particular the use of olive oil. The health benefits of olive oil, especially the virgin oil, have been known for some time – those living in southern France, for instance, are testament to these benefits. However, until now there has been little specific scientific evidence. However, a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that extra virgin olive oil may help reduce cholesterol levels. Researchers at the University of Barcelona, Spain, found that adults who consume 25 millilitres, or nearly two tablespoons, of virgin olive oil daily for one week show less oxidation of LDL - 'bad' - cholesterol and higher levels of antioxidant compounds, particularly phenols, in the blood.
Severe Risk To Brain Of Binge Drinking
A word in your ear. If you woke up on Sunday with a splitting hangover following the alcoholic excesses of Saturday night, then there is something important you should know – and your brain will thank you for being aware of it. Why? Because new US research shows that the habit of binge drinking causes rapid damage to brain cells, contrary to the belief that neurodegeneration occurs over a long period when the brain has to cope with alcohol withdrawal. A new study on rats shows that just two days of binge drinking is enough to cause damage to an area of the brain called the olfactory bulb, which is responsible for smell. Damage to other regions of the brain occurred after just four days.
The Daily Mail
High hay fever predicted
Most of us look forward to the lengthening days of Spring and then Summer. Picnics in the sun, building sandcastles on the beach, the family barbecues. But before an increasing number of people spring brings nothing but misery. Thses are poor souls who suffer from hay fever each year. And this week the news was as bas as it could possibly get. For the National Pollen Research Unit has announced that pollen levels in the UK are almost five times as great as year ago, making it likely that hay-fever sufferers will be worse affected than usual this summer. The Unit says there have already been several 'excessively severe' pollen counts. Retailers confirm that they have already begun to sell more eyedrops, inhalers and nasal sprays. Hay fever is estimated to account for 2.5 per cent of GP visits and to cost more than £50 million a year in medications.
The Daily Express
Spider Attack On Eurostar
Poor old Eurostar. It has been plaqued with controversy ever since its inception. But this week it was party to the most bizarre news story of all. And even the most cynical of us would find it difficult to believe possible. In what seems like a script from a creepy B horror movie, an architect claims she was bitten by a tropical spider or a scorpion while travelling on a train through the Channel Tunnel. Gillian Burgis was warned that she might lose her leg, as doctors fought to stop the spread of infection. The 33-year-old from Brentwood, Essex, was barely able to walk and had to take a month off work, but has since made a full recovery. Ms Burgis said she was sitting in a first class Eurostar carriage on a business trip from Waterloo to Lille when she felt a sudden pain in her leg. Over the following days, the swelling and pain grew. A spokesperson said Eurostar was at a loss to see how it could have happened.
The Daily Telegraph
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