Round-Up of Global News In Health and Complementary Medicine
Week Beginning 19 August 2002
'Veg cuts chest illness risk'
Fruit and vegetable consumption may go some way to prevent serious chest illnesses in smokers. Researchers at Southampton University say in a study group of 300 smokers aged over 45 the risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – a progressive and incurable combination of bronchitis and emphysema – dropped by more than half when subjects ate more than 121 grammes of fruit and vegetables a day.
Study leader Dr Louise Watson says, 'No other food groups such as fish and dairy, or proteins, fats and snack items were significantly protective or harmful, which suggests the effect is specific to fruit and vegetables.'
The Daily Mail
Heart risk increased 'even for the slightly overweight'
US scientists say being even modestly overweight increases the chance of heart failure. Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine have found that the risk, which is doubled in obese people, is as much as 34 per cent higher for those who are even slightly overweight. Their findings are based on a review of data from the long-running, government-funded Framingham Heart Study.
Passive smoking 'can kill your cat'
US researchers claim to have discovered that passive smoking affects cats as much as it does human beings, and hope that endangering the family pet might shame some smokers, immune to the effect they are having on their immediate family, into kicking the habit. Researchers at Tufts University, in Massachusetts, reporting in the American Journal of Epidemiology, say living in a household of smokers considerably increases a cat's risk of acquiring feline lymphoma, which kills three-quarters of its victims within a year.
Chemicals in everyday items 'present risk'
Campaigners warn today (01/08/02) that people in developed countries are at risk from around 300 man-made chemicals that pollute the human body. Some of the chemicals used routinely have harmful effects on hormones and have been linked to breast and testicular cancers, a reduction in sperm counts and impaired development of the immune and nervous systems. Some seemingly harmless items, like toys, cosmetics, air fresheners and shower gel, contained harmful substances that could stay in the body for years, according to The Consumers’ Association.
The Daily Mail
Benefits of soya-rich diet
New research shows that a soya-rich diet can reduce the risk of breast cancer and improve memory. Cancer Research UK, the National University of Singapore and the US National Cancer Institute have found that those who eat the most soya are 60 per cent less likely to have 'high risk' breast tissue than women with the least soya in their diet. Another study, by the Psychopharmacology Research Unit and the Nutrition Department at King's College Hospital, London, found that a high-soya diet can improve memory and mental flexibility.
Stammerers’ brains 'may be different'
German scientists believe they have identified the area of the brain that malfunctions in people who stammer. The problem may lie with cells which link two areas in the left hemisphere. The results, by a team from Hamburg University, are likely to complement other studies that have noted structural differences in the brains of people with the condition. However, Dr Trudy Stewart, who works at St James’ University Hospital in Leeds, says more work is needed before the finding can be of practical benefit.
The Daily Telegraph
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