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Exercise 'can cut gallstone risk' PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 09 February 2010 00:00
Doing lots of exercise drastically cuts the risk of developing painful gallstones, UK researchers have found.

Gallstones are common but only 30% of cases have symptoms and complications.

A University of East Anglia study of 25,000 men and women found those who were the most active had a 70% reduced risk of those complaints.

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Bruce Ames: Vitamin insufficiency boosting age-related diseases PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 09 February 2010 00:00
It is literally all about living for today. By understanding that nature favours survival today over tomorrow, a theory that vitamin inadequacy is behind the rise in chronic diseases "makes sense... and it is almost certainly going to be right," says world-renowned scientist Bruce Ames.

In an exclusive interview with Stephen Daniells, Professor Bruce Ames from the University of California, Berkeley explains why his "triage theory" could have enormous implications for human health.

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Blueberries Counteract Intestinal Diseases PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 09 February 2010 00:00
It is already known that blueberries are rich in antioxidants and vitamins. New research from the Lund University Faculty of Engineering in Sweden shows that blueberry fibre are important and can alleviate and protect against intestinal inflammations, such as ulcerative colitis. The protective effect is even better if the blueberries are eaten together with probiotics.

The project originated as an attempt to see whether various types of dietary fibre and health-promoting bacteria, so-called probiotic bacteria such as lactobacillus and bifidobacteria, can help alleviate and prevent the risk of ulcerative colitis and colorectal cancer.

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Study links sugary soft drinks to pancreas cancer PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 08 February 2010 00:00
People who drink two or more sweetened soft drinks a week have a much higher risk of pancreatic cancer, an unusual but deadly cancer, researchers reported on Monday.

People who drank mostly fruit juice instead of sodas did not have the same risk, the study of 60,000 people in Singapore found.

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GM rice has long-term risks PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 04 February 2010 00:00
Genetically modified rice may potentially cause serious public health and environmental problems, experts warn.

Genetically modified organisms have genetic material, or DNA, that has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally. Genetic modification allows selected individual genes to be transferred from one organism into another, and also between non-related species, to create advantages, experts say. Such methods are used to create genetically modified plants, which are then used to grow genetically modified food crops.

Two major issues about GM rice are their tendencies to provoke allergic reactions and the uncertainty of gene transfers.

Fang Lifeng, Greenpeace's food and agriculture campaigner, told China Daily that the long-term risk of genetically modified rice should be taken into consideration.

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Omega-3 protects brain from Alzheimer's PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 02 February 2010 00:00
A diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids is known have an Alzheimer's-proofing effect on the brain, and Australian scientists believe they have figured out why.

Researchers at Melbourne's Deakin University have found its protective powers stem from an ability to regulate the brain's natural level of zinc, which can prove toxic at elevated levels.

Cellular biologist and project leader Professor Leigh Ackland said previous research had shown a reduced incidence of neurodegenerative diseases in populations with a diet rich omega-3 fatty acids.

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Environmental toxins and learning disorders PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 01 February 2010 12:22
At a recent family party, a friend asked me to introduce her to another friend about whom I had spoken in the past. I had mentioned that they both have sons with similar learning disabilities and she wanted to meet this other friend and compare notes. Strangely, it took me a moment to figure out who she was talking about. That's because - it suddenly occurred to me - almost half of the 20 or so families at our happy gathering included a son (yep, they were all boys) with a serious neurological issue. In fact, eight out of 38 children at the party, or about 21 percent of my contemporaries' children have a learning disorder (LD), defined by the Learning Disorder Association (LDA) of America as "a neurological disorder that affects one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using spoken or written language. The disability may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or to do mathematical calculations."

This can't be typical. Can it? It never used to be like this. Did it? Well, I certainly don't remember in my childhood that every other family had a kid who had serious problems with their schoolwork. Which seems to indicate that the incidence of learning disorders like ADHD, autism, auditory and various central processing disorders, dyslexia and apraxia, have skyrocketed in recent years. And, if that's true, why is this happening?

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Magnesium May Boost Brain Power PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 01 February 2010 00:00
Mice given extra doses of a new magnesium compound had better working memory, long-term memory and greater learning ability.

Before you go popping heavy doses of magnesium, however, know that much more testing is needed. Though rodent brains work similarly to ours, animal studies do not always predict what will happen in humans.

"If MgT is shown to be safe and effective in humans, these results may have a significant impact on public health," said Guosong Liu, director of the Center for Learning and Memory at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.

Magnesium is an essential element found in some fruits, spinach, and other dark leafy greens. It is known to be important for the immune system. Consume less than 400 milligrams a day and you may be at greater risk for allergies, asthma and heart disease.

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'Good' Bacteria Keep Immune System Primed to Fight Future Infections PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 30 January 2010 13:49
Scientists have long pondered the seeming contradiction that taking broad-spectrum antibiotics over a long period of time can lead to severe secondary bacterial infections. Now researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine may have figured out why.

The investigators show that "good" bacteria in the gut keep the immune system primed to more effectively fight infection from invading pathogenic bacteria. Altering the intricate dynamic between resident and foreign bacteria -- via antibiotics, for example -- compromises an animal's immune response, specifically, the function of white blood cells called neutrophils.

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Opiate painkillers raise fracture risk PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 30 January 2010 13:32
Older adults who take powerful prescription painkillers known as opioids face an increased risk of bone fractures, especially at moderately high medication doses, a new study finds.

Opioids are powerful narcotic pain medications that include morphine, oxycodone (Oxycontin and other brands) and hydrocodone (Vicodin and others).

The drugs work well against severe pain in the short term, but their longer-term effectiveness for chronic pain is less clear. Moreover, with longer use comes the risk of addiction, in addition to side effects such as nausea, constipation, dizziness and sedation.

That dizziness and sedation can also set opioid users up for falls, which, in older people especially, may result in serious fractures.

Last Updated on Saturday, 30 January 2010 13:34
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