Round-Up of Global News In Health and Complementary Medicine

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Pear Shape Not All Bad

Ladies, got a big bottom? If so then here’s some good news – you’re more likely to live longer. A study at Gothenburg University in Sweden has found that women who are pear-shaped rather than apple-shaped (with any fat lying over their hips rather than abdomen) are less likely to suffer from heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and angina. Scientists measured the hips of 1400 women aged 38-60 in 1968 and followed them up 25 years later. Those with a hip measurement greater than 41in were likely to live longer.

Although many women will be delighted by the findings, Dr Wendy Doyle of the British Dietetic Association said: ‘We must not take this as a green light to be complacent and still need to watch our weight.’

Daily Mail

Herbal Response To Obesity

The battle against the bulge continues. Now a new herbal remedy that could aid weight loss has gone on sale in Britain. Zotrim, which contains three South American herbs, is the culmination of 19 years’ work by Danish scientist Dr Lasse Hessel. In recent clinical trials, Zotrim helped those taking it to shed 11lb in six weeks, while those taking the placebo lost only 1lb. Ultrasound scanning revealed that Zotrim slows down the rate at which food leaves the stomach, which means the person taking it feels fuller and consequently eats less. Nutritionist Dr Anthony Leeds of King’s College London welcomed the findings: ‘At a time when overweight and obesity are rising, all possible approaches to weight reduction and maintenance need to be examined objectively.’

Daily Mail

Why Peanuts Kill

Peanut allergies are on the increase and now a team of British scientists has commenced research to determine how and why peanuts can kill. Ten Britons die every year as a result of peanut allergy, which can cause a severe anaphylactic reaction in 2 per cent of people. Professor John Warner of Southampton University plans to investigate the chemical makeup of the peanut to determine which component is responsible. ‘Peanuts contain many proteins of which up to 30 can stimulate an allergic reaction, but we believe only two or three of them are associated with the more severe reactions,’ he said. Identifying the proteins responsible could lead to the development of more sensitive food screening kits, treatments and even a vaccine. ‘We believe it will be possible to reassure a large number of peanut allergic people that their next meal will not be their last,’ said Professor Warner.

The Guardian,4273,4194004,00.html

Weight Problems Still Rising

The world is getting fatter and fatter, doctors have warned. The number of obese Britons has tripled in the last 20 years, and the cost of related illnesses is between 2 and 8 per cent of the total healthcare budget. Around 2000 experts are attending a conference in Vienna this week to discuss the role of genetics, metabolism and physiology in the development of obesity and how drugs and lifestyle changes can be used to prevent and treat it. The conference’s chairman, Dr Hermann Topiak, predicted that pharmaceutical companies will develop new drugs to help people eat less or to absorb less fat.

Daily Mail

Sunglasses Not Good For You

Your stylish shades might not be as chic as you suppose. For now a warning has been delivered regarding the dangers associated with wearing coloured sunglasses. The fears have arisen after tests showed that some shades of blue glasses can block out the colour red. The research team at Boots’ laboratory in Nottingham found that a red traffic light was completely indistinguishable under some circumstances.

The rise in the number of people wearing coloured sunglasses has been fuelled by celebrities making them fashionable, with Liz Hurley, Geri Halliwell, Bono from U2 and Kim Basinger all opting for the shades. Matthew Dransfield from Boots said: ‘Not all blue lenses, but a minority of blue lenses, could block out red light.’ Mr Dransfield also suggested that sunglasses that make driving dangerous should be labelled as such. He refused to divulge the makers of the dangerous glasses, but said: ‘This obviously could have awful consequences in terms of driver and pedestrian safety. The essential message that we are trying to get over is that people should buy glasses for the appropriate use.’

Experts have warned that people should wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sun, as long-term exposure to the sun’s rays can cause damage to the retina, and cause cataracts. Boots have recommended that customers look for the CE mark, which guarantees the user protection.

Daily Mail

Eat More Fruit & Veg

Shame on us. Nutrition experts are now warning the nation that we are not eating enough fruit and vegetables. A fact highlighted by a Gallup poll of 1000 people which showed that six out of ten members of the public mistakenly thought they ate at least the recommended five portions every day. In fact, only about half that number – about 30 per cent – eat the daily-recommended amount. Reasons given for eating too little of the life-enhancing food included expense, difficult preparation and an unpleasant taste. People in the poll did not know what constituted a portion, and many people thought that food counted towards their daily total when in fact it did not. One example is the potato, which does not count as it is regarded as a starchy food. Other foods that cannot count in a person’s fruit and vegetable intake are pasta, fruit squash, jam or tomato ketchup.

The Daily Telegraph

Britons Not Good About The Two D’s

Should I or shouldn’t I? It seems I am not alone in being unable to make up my mind because Britain has now been branded a nation of procrastinators, especially when it comes to delaying visits to the dentists and starting diet. The survey of 500 people, commissioned by Abbey National, found that three-quarters of those questioned had put off a dental appointment and a fifth had not visited the dentists for more than five years. In addition, more than half wanted to diet, but kept postponing it and 60 per cent knew they should exercise, but always put it off. Co-director of the Centre for Stress Management, Gladeana McMahon, said: ‘People tend to procrastinate for two reasons. The first is fear. When they’re frightened or anxious about something, its perfectly natural to put it off and do an alternative. The second is when they’re not bothered. Being lazy gives them an excuse not to do something. But if you actually go and do then you feel better knowing you’ve achieved something.’

The Daily Express



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