Saturday, November 30, 2002

Garlic may repel prostate cancer

Garlic and onions could help prevent men developing prostate cancer, researchers have said.

Men who ate the most vegetables had a 50% lower risk of having prostate cancer than those who ate the least, it was found.

The benefits could be due to allium, a sulphur-based compound, which is responsible for the characteristic smell.

Source BBC News

Euro MPs back herbal crackdown

The European Parliament has backed proposals to impose strict rules on herbal remedies.

The proposed European Union directive will require all herbal medicines to be registered.

Packs will have to include a full list of ingredients and will have to prove they are not a threat to public health.

The proposals will have to be backed by EU health ministers before they become law.
MEPs said the measures will ensure the quality and safety of herbal medicines.

However, there are fears that the directive will restrict the number and type of herbal medicines available to the public.

Manufacturers have also warned that it threatens jobs and could put some companies out of business.

Source BBC News

Red wine 'could prevent cancer'

Red wine could form the basis of a cancer prevention drug, researchers say.

The drug, based on a natural compound found in the drink, is being tested at the University of Leicester.

Resveratrol is a natural agent found in grapes, peanuts and several berries.

It is present in fruit juice from these berries and in wine.

It has been suggested it could be the reason why countries in southern Europe, where a lot of red wine is drunk, have a low incidence of cardiovascular disease.

Research has already shown that resveratrol has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
The Leicester team, has been awarded £1m to carry out the research along with the University of Michigan by the US National Cancer Institute (NCI).

It is the first time that a group outside America has been funded by the NCI for the early clinical development of a drug that may prevent cancer.

Source BBC News

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Alcohol rapidly confuses the brain

Just two glasses of wine or a weak pint of beer can leave your judgment dangerously clouded, warn scientists.

Dutch researchers found that a blood alcohol reading of just 0.04% left people unaware that they were making errors.

Dr Richard Ridderinkhof, of the University of Amsterdam who led the research, said this should act as a warning over drinking before driving.

Even at a level of 40 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, the researchers found a significant decline in the brain's responses. The legal limit for driving in Britain is 80mg per 100ml.

Source BBC News

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Wine protects against dementia

People who drink wine occasionally may have a lower risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, research suggests.

Scientists found people who drank wine weekly or monthly were more than two times less likely to develop dementia.

The lead researcher was Dr Thomas Truelsen, of the Institute of Preventive Medicine at Kommunehospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark.

He said: "These results don't mean that people should start drinking wine or drink more wine than they usually do.

"But they are exciting because they could mean that substances in wine reduce the occurrence of dementia.

"If that's the case, we could potentially develop treatments or prevention methods based on these substances."

Source BBC News