Saturday, May 31, 2003

Herbal tea 'damages teeth'

Drinking herbal tea may damage teeth, dentists have warned.

Researchers at the University of Bristol Dental School have found these teas erode the enamel or protective layer on teeth.

Some are even more harmful than orange juice, which is very acidic and is known to harm teeth.
The researchers said the findings should act as a warning to people who regard herbal teas as a healthy alternative to other drinks.

Source BBC News


Tea 'may fight tooth decay'

Drinking tea may ward off tooth decay and bad breath, according to scientists.

A study suggests chemicals in tea can destroy bacteria and viruses that cause throat infections, dental caries and other dental conditions.

It raises the prospect of adding tea extracts to toothpaste and mouthwash to protect the teeth.
The study, presented at a meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, is the latest in a string of health claims about tea.

According to research by US microbiologist, Milton Schiffenbauer, of the independent Pace University, green tea is better at fighting viruses.

"Our research shows tea extracts can destroy the organism that causes disease," he told a conference in Washington DC.

Source BBC News

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Herb treatment for herpes

A common herb may provide a new and effective treatment for the sexually transmitted infection herpes.

Scientists have successfully used an agent derived from the herb, Prunella vulgaris aka (self heal, heal all, common self heal), to prevent the disease in animals.

The herb, commonly found in Britain, Europe, China and North America, has been used in the past to treat sores in the mouth and throat.

There is also some evidence that it has been used as a crude anti-cancer drug and to lower high blood pressure.

Dr Song Lee and his colleagues from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada, extracted a compound from the plant.

This was then added to a cream and tested on mice and guinea pigs who had been infected with two types of the herpes simplex virus.

Use of the cream significantly cut the death rate among mice, and the development of skin lesions in guinea pigs.

Source BBC News

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Warning over vitamin doses

A Jersey health expert is warning that taking some vitamin and mineral pills in large quantities may damage people's health.

Jill Fa, senior dietician at Jersey's General Hospital, made her comments following the release of a report by the UK's Food Standards Agency (FSA).

The new warning follows a report from a panel of experts which conducted the most comprehensive review ever of supplements on sale in the British Isles.

The report concludes certain vitamins and minerals may have long-term health implications.

Source BBC News