Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Aloe vera may treat battle wounds

The aloe vera plant could give trauma victims such as soldiers the fluid needed to stay alive until they can get a blood transfusion, a study suggests.
Rapid blood loss on the battlefield is hard to replace quickly and can lead to organ failure in wounded soldiers.

University of Pittsburgh scientists found juice from aloe vera leaves preserved organ function in rats that had lost massive volumes of blood.

They report their findings in the journal Shock.

Aloe vera has been hailed for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is used to sooth inflammation of the skin from things like burns.

Scientists have also been looking at its ability to treat internal inflammatory diseases like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Source BBC News

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Wine leftovers 'fight bacteria'

Grapes left over from the wine-making process could become the latest weapon against bacteria.

Scientists in Turkey have discovered that these leftovers, or pomace, are effective against a range of bugs.

It follows tests on 14 types of common bacteria, some of which can cause food poisoning or serious illness.

Writing in the Journal of Science of Food and Agriculture, the scientists said adding grape pomace to food could reduce the risk of ill health.

The grapes left over from the wine making process generally consist of nothing more than seeds, skin and stems. They are often used to make vinegar.

Researchers from Erciyes University and Suleyman Demirel University used two types of Turkish grapes for their tests.

Source BBC News


More proof of vitamin-cancer link

It may not only be the lack of vitamin D that increases a woman's breast cancer risk but also the way in which the body utilises it, say researchers.

Studies have shown vitamin D protects against breast cancer and a lack may contribute to the disease.

Now scientists have found women with certain versions of a gene involved in the vitamin's breakdown have a nearly twofold greater risk of breast cancer.

The St George's Hospital findings appear in Clinical Cancer Research.

Dr Michelle Guy and her team, funded by Breast Cancer Campaign and World Cancer Research Fund, looked at the vitamin D receptor which controls the action of vitamin D in the body.

Source BBC News

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Monday, August 30, 2004

Native American Remedy finds favour in medical circles

An ancient Native American treatment for cancer has been shown to have a beneficial effect despite scepticism from the medical establishment. Chaparral an evergreen desert shrub has long been used by Native Americans to treat cancer, colds, wounds, bronchitis, warts and ringworm. But experts dismissed its worth and warned it could be dangerous.

Now, researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina have shown an extract from this plant may shrink tumours.

Source BBC News

Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil could be a solution to the energy crisis. UK scientists have developed a method of making hydrogen from sunflower oil, which could prove to be an eco-friendly source of energy. A team from the University of Leeds said the development could make hydrogen-powered vehicles a more realistic proposition. The researchers envision a small unit inside a car that would pull hydrogen out of the oil to drive a fuel cell. The team has presented details of their research to the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Source BBC News


Blueberries could provide an alternative way to lower cholestrol, according to US researchers. A compound in the fruits was found to act as effectively as a commercial drug used to reduce levels of the bad form of cholestrol in rodents. Although the results are preliminary the Department of Agriculture team thinks the anti-oxidant ingredient could be developed as a treatment. They presented their findings to an American Chemical Society meeting.

Source BBC News