Round-Up of Global News In Health and Complementary Medicine
Week Beginning 30 September 2002
Cancer treatment from mushrooms
Cancer Research UK has produced a review of information on the use of medicinal mushrooms in Japan, China and South Korea, where they are thought to have anti-tumour properties. Evidence from research in the Far East also suggests medicinal mushrooms can help reduce side effects from radiotherapy and chemotherapy. A spokesman for Cancer Research UK says the information suggests that compounds derived from mushrooms could have a 'hugely beneficial influence' on the way cancer is treated.
Small-business people 'miss out on family life'
Parents who run their own businesses are leaving behind a generation of 'business orphans', according to Abbey National. A survey shows that one in 10 parents who runs their own company has missed their child’s birthday because of work, while a similar proportion has failed to attend a school play or sports day. The research indicates that 40 per cent of entrepreneurs find it hard to balance the demands of work and family life.
Office rage 'drives workers to brink of violence'
A survey indicates that more than half of all office staff in the UK have come close to hitting a colleague. Figures show that 53 per cent of workers have been brought to the brink of violence by 'office rage', with loud-mouthed colleagues found to be the main cause, while faulty computers, excessive workloads and interruptions during telephone conversations were also found to make employees’ blood boil. The research was carried out by recruitment agency Pertemps.
The Daily Mail
Work stress hard to leave behind
A survey by recruitment agency Office Angels shows that almost 7 out of 10 office workers say they have trouble coping with having nothing to do in the first few days of a holiday. The researchers have called the phenomenon Summer Office Withdrawal syndrome. Many sufferers try to compensate by creating stressful situations for themselves and 40 per cent achieve this by getting worked up about clinching a place by the swimming pool. A quarter admit to checking their mobile phones for work messages every day.
The Daily Mirror
Gene link to smoking risk
Certain children appear to be particularly vulnerable to health problems if their mother smoked during their pregnancy, it has been claimed. US scientists have found that some children carry a gene that makes them more susceptible to breathing problems if they were exposed to smoke in the womb. The study of almost 3,000 children from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California found those with variations in a gene called GSTM1 were much more likely to suffer from asthma and wheezing if their mothers smoked during pregnancy.
Birthmarks 'fade naturally'
New study findings suggest that many children with so-called 'strawberry birthmarks' on their faces and other parts of the body appear to do just as well when doctors let the mark disappear naturally as when it is treated using laser therapy. The study from the Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Trust in Birmingham found that children were just as likely to see their birthmarks disappear by one year of age whether they were given the laser therapy or not. Also parents of treated children were just as likely as other parents to claim the birthmarks were a problem by the time the children turned one. The study is reported in The Lancet.
The Daily Express
Depression may worsen age-related vision loss
Researchers from the Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania have said that depression is common among older adults whose vision is impaired by macular degeneration and the condition may make their eyesight seem worse than it is. In their study, they found that one-third of the patients with age-related macular degeneration had symptoms of depression. The team also found that worsening depression over time was related to a decline in self-reported visual functioning regardless of actual loss of vision. The study is published in the Archive of Ophthalmology.
Tremors linked to weight loss in the elderly
US researchers have found that tremors that commonly affect the elderly may spur weight loss by boosting their calorie expenditure. The study of older adults with a condition known as essential tremor found that patients had a lower average body mass index (BMI) than other adults their age, despite a similar daily calorie intake. The researchers from Columbia University in New York suggest that although the reason for patients’ lower BMI is not fully clear, it might be explained by a higher calorie burn due to the tremors. The study is reported in the Archives of Neurology.
The Daily Mirror
Sweet news for pudding lovers
Honey and almonds can help to reduce high cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease, scientists have discovered. Separate studies in the US and Canada have revealed that the two foods, normally associated with calorie-packed puddings rather than a healthy diet, can be as beneficial as fruit and vegetables.
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