Saturday, December 31, 2005

Alcohol's health benefits doubted

Any heart gains from drinking alcohol in moderation are likely outweighed by the harm, say researchers.

The findings in The Lancet suggest that drinking a glass or two of wine a day may not be such a good idea.

Although past research suggests some heart benefits, the New Zealand team says the studies were flawed.

Indeed, there is more evidence that heavier drinking provides the most heart protection - alcoholics have relatively 'clean' arteries - they say.

Source - BBC News

Now that is what I call bad news!

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Vitamin D 'can lower cancer risk'

High doses of vitamin D can reduce the risk of developing some common cancers by as much as 50%, US scientists claim.

Researchers reviewed 63 old studies and found that the vitamin could reduce the chances of developing breast, ovarian and colon cancer, and others.

Experts said more research was needed to draw firm conclusions.

Source - BBC News

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Cancer team make 'super-broccoli'

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? NO! It's super broccoli!

Scientists are developing a "super-broccoli" which they hope will help people ward off cancer.

Broccoli has anti-cancer properties but an Institute of Food Research study has found some people's genetic make-up may minimise the protection they get.

IFR scientists say creating broccoli containing more of the key chemical - sulforaphane - may counter this effect.

They hope it will be ready in three years but recommend eating lots of different green vegetables until then.


High-veg diet 'wards off cancer'

Eating at least five portions a day of certain fruit and vegetables could cut the risk of developing pancreatic cancer by 50%, US researchers believe.

Onions, garlic, beans, carrots, corn, dark leafy vegetables and citrus fruits were among the most protective foods, according to the study.

A University of California team compared the diets of 2,200 people.

Cancer experts said previous studies had revealed similar findings, but more research was still needed.

Source - BBC News

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Fibre cancer benefits questioned

Scientists remain divided over whether eating a high-fibre diet can reduce the risk of developing bowel cancer.

An analysis of data from 13 studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found there was no added protection.

But UK experts said other research found a high-fibre diet was of benefit.

In addition, they say there is no evidence a high-fibre diet causes harm, and that it has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Source - BBC News


Vitamin D 'key for healthy lungs'

Vitamin D could play a role in keeping the lungs healthy, research suggests.

Patients with higher vitamin D levels in their blood had significantly better lung function, a University of Auckland team found in a study of 14,091 people.

The difference between the two was more marked than that between smokers and those who had quit, the study published in the journal Chest said.

Dietary supplements could boost lung function, the team suggested, but they added that more research was needed.

Source BBC News

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Chocolate may cut heart disease

Researchers have produced more evidence that dark chocolate may help to reduce the risk of serious heart disease.

They found eating a few squares a day may stave off artery narrowing and hardening in smokers by countering the disruption caused by their habit.

Smoking compromises the activity of both endothelial cells, which line the artery walls, and platelets, which are involved in blood clot formation.

The research, by University Hospital, Zurich, is published in Heart.