Round-Up of Global News In Health and Complementary Medicine

Monthly Archive

Week Beginning 19 November 2001

Teeth At Risk From Fruit Teas

New research from Manchester reveals that herbal teas may not all be as healthy as we might hope. Because those containing fruits such as lemon, raspberry and blackcurrant can dissolve tooth enamel, a study has shown. The University Dental Hospital of Manchester tested the effects of various teas on human teeth by placing extracted teeth in various teas for 14 days, the equivalent of three cups a day for 18 years. Researchers found that while ordinary tea was relatively harmless, fruit flavoured herbal teas dissolved a layer of enamel from the tooth. The results have been published in the Journal of Dentistry. The Chief Executive of the General Dental Practitioners’ Association, Dr Amolak Singh, said certain fruits, particularly citrus varieties, contain high acid levels. ‘Enamel is made of calcium carbonate. We often see the effects of acid on rocks, stones and marble – also made of calcium carbonate. The same damage can be done to tooth enamel,’ said Dr Singh. He added that herbal teas with no fruit content, such as camomile or peppermint, were not found to be danger to teeth.

The Daily Mail

Arthritis Eased By Ginger

We probably all know that ginger is great in fending off sickness but now there is fresh evidence for its power in overcoming arthritis symptoms. Professor Ray Altman, a Consultant rheumatologist at the University of Miami School of Medicine, tested 250 volunteers with osteoarthritis, the most common form of the arthritis. Over 60% of those given the ginger pill reported relief from pain. Professor Altman revealed his findings yesterday at the British Medical Association in London. He said: ‘The ginger extract reduced significant pain. Their pain after walking was almost twice as good an improvement as placebo. The effect seen is similar to that seen with trials using conventional drugs. Clearly this is a short-term study, and a longer-term study is needed.’ The product used in the trials, Zinaxin, is already used for arthritis in other parts of the world. In the UK, however, the condition is treated with anti-inflammatory drugs.

The Daily Mail

Fitness All In The Mind?

Good news for those of us who hate exercise but know too well that we should remain fit to remain healthy. For it seems now that you keep those muscles toned just by thinking about it. A group of US scientists claim to have discovered that merely by imagining yourself exercising you can significantly increase your muscle strength. The researchers at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio found 10 volunteers, who took part in mental workouts five times a week by imagining lifting heavy weights with their arms, increased their bicep strength by an average of 13.5 per cent. This gain in strength lasted for three months after the subjects had stopped performing the mental exercises. The discovery could help patients too weak to exercise to start recuperating from illnesses or injuries quicker. And for those of us who don’t fancy pumping iron or pounding the streets in our pumps, this could all be the godsend we have dreaming of!

The Independent

http://www.independent.co.uk/story.jsp?story=106171

Bypass Surgery Success Affected By Mood

More evidence for the link between mind and body in health this week. According to a new study from the US, medics should make greater efforts to treat depressed patients, who are more than twice as likely to fair poorly after heart bypass surgery. The research, conducted at the University of Maryland, found that twenty per cent of the 309 heart bypass patients studied developed depression at some stage. Furthermore this group of patients had a significantly higher risk of dying, or needing to return to hospital as a result of further heart problems. The study has been published in the Lancet.

The Times

Concerns About Folate Fortification

Big controversy abounds in the world of public health nutrition this week. Experts are showing growing concerns about the government’s edict that white flour should be fortified with folic acid as a means of widespread reduction of the incidence of spina bifida. They argue that such measures could have unforeseen consequences. Two years ago a Government watchdog approved the decision to include 240 micrograms in every 100g of flour, so that three or four slices of bread would carry the daily recommended dose. However, child health experts are know warning that folic acid supplementation could mask other health problems and interfere with epilepsy drugs. Folic acid is known to decrease the risk of spina bifida, a disorder of foetal spinal cord development. But child health experts Professor Brian Wharton and Professor Ian Booth are sceptical. They believe that clinical trials are needed to investigate the positive and negative aspects of folic acid supplementation.

Daily Mail

 

Monthly Archive


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