Round-Up of Global News In Health and Complementary Medicine
WEEK BEGINNING 18 JUNE 2001
The Needle So Good For Autism
A form of acupuncture, tongue acupuncture, could well help children with autism, according to latest research presented to the World Congress of Neurology held in London this week. A scientific team based at the University of Hong Kong utilised brain imaging technology to assess patients as points on their tongues were stimulated, points corresponding to specific areas of the brain. Their results indicated significant improvements in the areas affected by autism, areas which included those governing language skills, social skills, cognition and attention.
Autism, affecting up to one in 500 people, is characterised by impairment of normal development in children. The new findings for the role of acupuncture arose from research led by Professor Virginia Wong. She says, in support of an integration of Western and Chinese medicines, ‘Our study shows that an interdisciplinary approach involving both can provide a new framework for helping children with autism’.
Top Marks For The Ladies
A new study has shown that women win hands down when it comes to holding onto their faculties. The conclusion that women stay mentally sharper than men even in their old age was born out of a study of 600 men and women aged over 85. It revealed that 33 per cent of the ladies had good mental speed, compared with only 28 per cent of the poor old men. Furthermore, over 40 per cent of the women had a good memory compared with only 29 per cent of the men. According to the scientific researchers at Holland’s Leiden University it seems that biological differences as opposed to social ones make all the difference. So what do we make of this in terms of health? Well older women are less likely to contract artery disease and consequent reductions in the blood supply to their brains.
That Cup Of Java Not A Cancer-Beater After All
The great debate concerning coffee’s cancer-beating affect has reached a new conclusion this week with the publication of a new survey. Previously it was suggested that drinking up to four cups of coffee each day could have a protective affect against cancer of the bowel. However, the latest research from Sweden has blown this suggestion well out of the water. The Swede’s nine-year study, involving over 60,000 people, showed no significant link between the drinking of coffee and the risk of bowel cancer. Yet further confusing and conflicting news from that muddled world of nutritional research.
The Daily Telegraph
Beef Up Your Heart Health With Greens
Do you eat up all your greens? If you do you are on to a winner in the health stakes. That is according to US researchers convinced they now have conclusive evidence of the positive link between veggies and the health of your heart. The California-based team has now identified a substance called lutein in green vegetables that has been shown to actively assist in preventing hardening of the arteries and consequent heart disease. Lutein gives green vegetables, such as peas, lettuce, cucumber, cabbage and celery, their distinctive green colour. The scientists assessed the arteries of over 400 men and women with no history of or risk factors for heart disease. They found that those who ate lutein-rich foods were significantly less likely to have evidence of arterial disease, compared to those patients who consumed low levels of lutein. The take home message? Make sure you eat at least 5 portions of veg and fruit each day.
Smoking And Drinking Combine In Cancer Risk
This week it was revealed that people who drink more than a bottle of wine a day and in addition smoke 20 or more cigarettes, increase their risk of contracting cancer of the throat by an astounding 50 times. Furthermore, a new European study of diet has shown that consuming 500 grams or more of fruit and vegetables per day decreases the risk of throat cancer by over 50 per cent. The throat cancers identified in the research are cancer of the oesophagus, the pharynx, which lies behind the nasal passages and the mouth, and the larynx, more commonly known as the voice box. Collectively these are known as the aerodigestive tract. In the Western world, and particularly amongst men, aerodigestive cancer has risen dramatically in the last couple of decades.
The Daily Telegraph
Poor Diet Linked To Cancer – Latest Evidence
More evidence for the role of diet in health this week. New evidence shows that at least one in three cases of cancer could be attributed to dietary factors. Those are the findings of a brand new large-scale study from that gastronomic empire, France. Researchers took upon themselves to study the dietary habits and health of over 500,000 people throughout Europe. Their aim? To establish absolute evidence for the role of diet in the prevention of cancer development. Their findings were highly revealing. First off, eating high-fibre foods reduces bowel cancer risk by a whopping 40 per cent. Next, an excessive consumption of preserved meats, pate and salami for instance, increases the risk of colon cancer. However, eating fish has a significant protective effect.
The Sunday Times
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