Round-Up of Global News In Health and Complementary Medicine

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News Beginning Wk 24 Sept 2001

Autism Aided By High Fat Diet

New research from Scotland, published this week, suggests that as many as two-thirds of autistic children may be deficient in essential fatty acids. This deficiency may indeed be at the heart of some their symptoms and behaviour. The Scottish research team led by Dr Gordon Bell, of Stirling University, asked the parents of 55 autistic children and the parents of the same number of non-autistic children to look out for signs of a fatty acid deficiency. He found that 65 per cent of autistic children showed symptoms of the nutritional imbalance, compared to only 12 per cent of non-autistic children. He recommended that parents give their children fish-oil supplements, such as an over-the-counter product called Eye Q. He said: ‘When we treat some of these kids by replacing depleted fatty acids we see improvement in some of the behaviours and characteristics of autism. Their parents report that their children are more attentive, their concentration improves and their sleep patterns stabilise.’

Daily Mail

Diabetes Reaches 20% Level

An astonishing one in five Britains now suffer from diabetes it was revealed this week in a report describing the results of a new survey. Furthermore, many of those with symptoms are unaware that they have diabetes. Researchers tested a random sample of 3500 men and women and found that one in five was diabetic. The condition can cause blindness, heart disease, kidney failure and lead to amputations. Diabetes is more common among the elderly, but poor diet and lack of exercise are said to increase the risk of developing the disease. Epidemiologist Dr Kennedy Cruikshank, commented: ‘I think there are various factors, including the fact that lifestyles over the last 20 to 25 years have distinctly changed. The amount of exercise has drastically dropped. Physical activity, at work and at leisure, has also declined and obesity has become common.’ Early symptoms include excessive thirst, hunger or weight loss, frequent urination, tiredness, blurry vision, dry mouth and dry or itchy skin.

Daily Mail

Music The Food Of Love

The classical romantics knew of its powers and now it is official – music really is the food of love. According to new research, music stimulates those areas of the brain which are also stimulated by food and sex, according to scientists. One of the researchers, Dr Anne Blood from the Massachusetts General Hospital in Charlestown, says music makes people better able to deal with sadness and fear as it affects parts of the brain that make them feel happy. Dr Blood and her co-author Dr Robert Zatorre from McGill University in Montreal have used positron emission tomography, PET scans, to detect areas in the brain that are stimulated by music. The two researchers wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that the happiness experienced by music touches the same parts of the brain as food and sex. Dr Blood reported that when the people who participated in the tests heard music that gave them the ‘chills', the scans found activity in the parts of the brain that are stimulated by food and sex.

The Daily Telegraph

http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2001/09/26/wmus26.xml

Fruit For Schools Criticised

Bad news for the government’s groundbreaking National School Fruit Scheme – it is now being heavily criticised by leading nutritionists for its inadequacies. The National School Fruit Scheme was launched November 2000 in the hope of encouraging healthy eating among the nation’s youngsters. Research has shown that eating five portions of fruit or vegetables a day can reduce deaths from cancer, heart disease and strokes by 20 per cent, but the average British child eats only two pieces a day. Top nutritionist at King’s College London, Professor Tom Sanders, strongly argues that the scheme does not target the most important issues surrounding child nutrition, namely mineral deficiencies and obesity. He said: ‘This scheme is an easy target because no one is going to disagree that fruit is good for you, but whether it will be an effective measure for improving children’s nutrition is very debateable. This is not the panacea for all ills.’ The chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, Nick Seaton, believes the scheme is ‘an extreme example of the nanny state’. He said: ‘Pushing fruit will put some children off it for life.’

The Mail on Sunday

 

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