Thursday, September 30, 2004

Cancer remedy claims dismissed

Experts have dismissed claims a herbal remedy can treat cancer.

Complementary and cancer specialists said it was "irresponsible" to suggest Carctol, a mixture of eight remedies, was linked to 'miraculous' recoveries.

The claims were made by Dr Rosie Daniel, the former head of the Bristol Cancer Centre, which promotes holistic treatment of the disease.

But she admitted she could not be certain it was the remedy which was responsible for patients' recoveries.

Carctol is based on traditional Hindu treatments. People taking it are also advised to adhere to a non-acidic diet and drink large quantities of water - up to five litres a day.

Carctol was devised by Dr Nandlal Tiwari from Rajasthan, who has been giving it to patients for 25 years.

It is suggested it works by creating an alkaline environment in which acidic cancer cells cannot survive.

Dr Daniel, who prescribes Carctol before and after patients have had chemotherapy, said Dr Tiwari's theory was that it worked by helping the excretion of acids from the body.

She said it was a "detox" remedy, which pushed the kidneys, liver and bowel to excrete.

Source BBC News

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The truth about vitamins

Every day millions of people in Britain take vitamin supplements.

It is an industry that is worth £300 million a year, but the pills are surrounded by controversy.
Some people claim that by taking them in large doses, they will prevent or even cure illnesses
like cancer and heart disease.

But others fear that taking large doses of some vitamins could in certain cases be dangerous.
"For most people there's absolutely no benefit in taking high dose vitamin supplements," said Catherine Collins, chief dietician at London's St George Hospital.

"At best they are a waste of money and at worst they could seriously affect your health."

Source BBC News

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Diet gets healthier as people age

Contrary to popular opinion, adults do eat more healthily than they did as children.
Newcastle University researchers looked at the diets of 200 children aged 11 and 12, then again 20 years later.

They found as adults, they ate around twice the amount of fruit and vegetables and less fat and sugar as they had as children.

But the study, in Appetite, found some saw barriers, such as a perceived lack of time, to healthy eating.

This group often believed fruit and vegetables needed time for preparation and cooking and were more likely to have smaller intakes in fruit and vegetables.

Source - BBC News

(I never realised that those carrots in the fridge were a sign of aging!)


Vitamin E 'can restore hearing'

Vitamin E can help restore hearing in people who become deaf suddenly for no known reason, research suggests.

This natural antioxidant has already been hailed as a potential cancer therapy by preventing or slowing damage caused by certain oxygen compounds.

A study of 66 patients with sudden hearing loss, by the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, found those given vitamin E made the best recovery.

The work was presented at an Ear, Nose and Throat surgery meeting in New York.

Source BBC News

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Herbal remedies do work

Scientific tests on a range of traditional remedies have shown they have "real benefits", researchers say.

Experts from King's College London said the treatments from around the world had properties which may help treat conditions such as diabetes and cancer.

The remedies included India's curry leaf tree, reputed to treat diabetes.

However complementary medicine experts said full clinical trials would have to be carried out to confirm the treatments' benefits.

Source BBC News

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'Cattle feed' athlete's foot cure

A cream containing a common ingredient in cattle feed could treat athletes foot, researchers believe.

A team at London's King's College, working with Polish scientists, found the alfalfa plant contained compounds that fight fungal skin infections.

The scientists told a British Pharmaceutical Conference in Manchester the active agents could potentially be used as herbal antifungal remedies.

But experts said it would be some time before these could be available.

Source BBC News

Hibiscus Magic

An extract from the Hibiscus flower could have the same heart health benefits as red wine and tea, researchers suggest.

A team from the Chung Shan Medical University in Taiwan says the flower contains antioxidants that help control cholesterol levels.

They said animal studies showed the extract could reduce cholesterol in animals, so it may help humans.

The study is published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

Source BBC News

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Turmeric - The spice of life?

Turmeric may cut leukemia risk. Lower rates of childhood leukemia in Asian countries could be due to wide use of turmeric, researchers suggest. A team from Loyola University Medical Centre in Chicago said the spice, often used in Asian cooking, may have a protective effect against the cancer. Their research was presented to the 'Children with Leukemia' conference in London.

However, UK leukemia experts said other reasons, such as genetics, could be behind lower incident rates in Asia.

Source BBC News