Friday, February 28, 2003

Green tea could cut arthritis risk

Drinking green tea could help keep arthritis at bay, say scientists.

The tea, first discovered in China nearly 5,000 years ago, has long been thought to be beneficial to health.

It has been linked to preventing coronary heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer.
But now researchers in Sheffield have found that two compounds found in green tea, EGCG (epigallocatchin gallate) and ECG (epicatechin gallate) can help prevent osteoarthritis by blocking the enzyme that destroys cartilage.

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Vegetables ward off Alzheimer's

Eating a diet rich in vegetables may be one way to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, research suggests.

US scientists found that a diet high in unsaturated, unhydrogenated fats - found in vegetables and some oils - may help lower risk.

However, a separate study found antioxidant vitamins - widely touted as good for general health - offer no such protective effect against Alzheimer's.

Source BBC News

Herbal stimulant 'should be banned'

US researchers are calling for the herbal stimulant ephedra to be banned, suggesting using it is hundreds of times riskier than other remedies.

Products containing ephedra, or ma-haung, are used to promote weight-loss and boost energy.
But it is known to cause side-effects including anxiety, insomnia, raised blood pressure and heart rate, and even potentially fatal heart attacks and strokes.

Researchers from the San Francisco VA Medical Center say their findings suggest the US Food and Drug Administration should either better regulate ephedra or ban it altogether.

In the UK, the sale of ephedra is already restricted so products containing less than 1,800 milligrams can only be sold following a consultation with a herbal medicine practitioner.

Products containing higher doses of ephedra can only be sold in pharmacies.