Round-Up of Global News In Health and Complementary Medicine

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News Beginning Wk 20 Aug 2001

The Power Of Lemon Juice Against DVT

Japanese research has revealed that drinking lemon juice may significantly reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) on long-haul flights. The team at Tokai Gakuen University, Nagoya City, gave 13 volunteers a drink that contained the juice from a large lemon: they found that blood in the volunteers’ veins travelled 19 per cent faster after consuming the drink. The scientists believe that citric acid and lemon polyphenol, contained in lemon juice, reduce the risk of blood clotting and help regulate blood circulation. Team leader Sukie Nishibori recommended that airline passengers have a lemon drink once every five hours.

The Times

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,59-2001296220,00.html

Anti-Social Behaviour Linked To Computer Gamesmanship

Yet further research from Japan this week suggests that children may develop anti-social and violent behaviour as a result of playing video games. The scientists analysed brain activity of hundreds of teenagers, comparing the activity of those playing a Nintendo game with that of other children doing simple sums. They found, unsurprisingly, that computer games involved use of the parts of the brain associated with vision and movement. However, they also discovered that the frontal lobe, believed to be responsible for keeping control of anti-social behaviour, was not stimulated. The frontal lobe continues to develop until the age of 20 and is stimulated by intellectual activities like reading, writing and performing arithmetic. Team leader Ryuta Kawashima of Tohoku University in Japan warned that: ‘The importance of this discovery cannot be underestimated. The implications are very serious for an increasingly violent society.’

Daily Mail

UK Body Size Survey Launched

Start measuring those vital statistics, folks! This week sees the launch of a nationwide survey to find out about people’s body size. The study, funded by the Department of Trade and Industry and 18 major retailers, will involve 10,000 male and female subjects. The volunteers will have to strip to their underwear and step into a body scanner, where 130 body measurements will be taken automatically. Hand and head sizes will then be measured manually. It is expected that sizes will have increased overall since the last survey of this kind was conducted. In the UK today, 20 per cent of women are categorised as obese, up from 8 per cent in 1980. For men, the current figure is 17 per cent, up from 6 per cent 20 years ago. In general, people nowadays are taller and more muscular, believed to be the result of better nutrition.

The Independent

http://www.independent.co.uk/story.jsp?story=89825

Beating Sleepless Nights With Light

Kiss goodbye to those nights counting sheep. That is if the latest findings in sleep research really do work. Scientists have concluded that exposure to a bright light source for 30 minutes in the morning or evening may be able to cure insomnia. Specially designed light therapy techniques can help to re-set the body’s internal clock enabling insomnia sufferers to sleep and rise at the right times. In Japan, 57 per cent of insomniacs tested benefited from the treatment. There are two types of insomnia, APSD (advanced phase shift disorder) where sufferers sleep and wake too early and DPSD (delayed phase shift disorder) where sufferers sleep and wake too late. Although insomnia can be influenced by stress and depression it is triggered more by the body’s internal ‘circadian’ rhythms which control the 24 hour body clock and use light and dark to keep time. The sleeping pattern is disrupted when this system drifts out of sync with the light and dark of the real world. The solution is a high intensity bulb, which can be mounted on a visor or in a light box and is shone into the eyes at different times of the day depending on the type of insomnia. APSD sufferers benefit from 30 minutes exposure after sunset which delays the onset of sleep and DPSD sufferers respond well to 30 minutes of exposure early in the morning which helps retrain their body clock.

Daily Mail

Boost Baby’s IQ Through Breastfeeding

Want an Einstein or a Mozart? Then better breastfeed your little ones. Scandinavian scientists have revealed that breastfeeding for less than three months could affect the mental development of a child, preventing them from reaching their full intellectual potential. The report, which has been published in the Archives of Childhood Disease, said the intimacy of breastfeeding and the nutrients found in breast milk could be factors in the increased intelligence. Biologically active peptides in human milk, which may influence brain growth as well as levels of long chain polyunsaturated acids, are thought to be important. IQ tests were conducted on 13-month-old babies and 5-year-old children and compared children who were breastfed for less than three months with those fed on their mothers’ milk for six months or more. The results showed that those breastfed for a longer period of time had higher mental skills. No difference was found in the development of motor skills, such as muscle co-ordination.

The Independent

http://www.independent.co.uk/story.jsp?story=89976

Temporarily Quitting Better Than Not Quitting At All

Struggling to kick the weed? Then there is a little comfort for you this week. Because new research has shown that stopping smoking temporarily is better than not quitting at all new research shows from the University of Kuopio in Finland. Giving up smoking even for a short time may minimise the risk of dying early by 20 per cent. In the survey, which included more than 1,000 men over a period of 30 years, the result is that even if smokers fail in their trials to quit smoking their chances for longer life increases.

Daily Express

 

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