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Sunlight protects against some cancers.

A study appeared in the journal Cancer recently, and was reported on the BMJ web site, which appears to show that people who live in northern latitudes run a greater risk of specific cancers. The study may indicate that a lack of natural sunlight causes a reduction in vitamin D and it's anti-cancer effects. Vitamin D is produced when skin is exposed to sunlight. Reproductive and digestive cancers relate particularly to latitude apparently.

Content from week commencing 11th March.

You'll have to excuse Dad, his hormones are playing up!

It's not just you women who suffer from irritability because of hormones, us blokes do too. Researchers at the Human Reproductive Sciences Unit in Edinburgh have developed a theory which may explain why men experience sudden changes in mood. It's all due to stress apparently. When men become stressed, they produce more corticosteroids which reduce testoterone in the body. This in turn causes irritability and low mood. Although studies have largely concentrated on sheep, deer and elephants, similar changes in mood occur in men receiving testoterone therapy. They've even got a name for it, "Irritable male syndrome". This from the BBC.

Can acupuncture cure hypertension?

Dr. Randal Zusman of Massachusetts General Hospital thinks it can, and he's long been an advocate of a medical approach. In fact he's so excited by the improvements he's seen in his patients, he's spoken out before final trial results are in. High blood pressure is a potentially fatal condition, if not treated with lifelong anti-hypertensive medication. Preliminary results in Zusman's trial appear to show that a course of twelve acupuncture treatments may actually cure some cases of hypertension, allowing a complete withdrawal of medication. But I wouldn't get caried away just yet, even though early signs are encouraging. To find out more visit abcnews.



Content from week commencing 4th March.

Nutrition drinks a better bet than bars.

One way to supplement your diet in a feverishly busy world, particularly if you are a sporty type, is with nutrition bars or drinks. Commonly recommended as energy boosters or meal replacements, these products have established themselves in a multi-million pound food industry. But you don't always get what the label says you should, and Consumerlab.com recently found that 60% of nutrition bars contained more fat and less protein than advertised. This is not the case with nutrition drinks however, the majority of which passed the test. To find out which came out best, click on the link.

Short-term memory loss a long-term problem for dope smokers.

The JAMA published research this week from Australia which looked again at the potential harm cannabis users may be doing to their mental faculties. 102 daily users were tested over a three year period for recall and attention and long-term users came out significantly behind the rest.



Content from week commencing 25th February.

Free health advice on the internet a thing of the past?

One of the most exciting things about the internet is finding the answers to your health queries. If you want to know about a particular drug, it's side effects and cautions there's a site for that. If your question is about a particular condition or complaint then you have this wonderful opportunity to get a second opinion to that of your G.P.

But of course it couldn't last forever. As the commercial viability of an increasing number of sites is called into question, the availability of worthwhile information comes at a price. Subscription is now taking the place of non-existent advertising revenue.

The Natural Pharmacist is a case in point. In my opinion, this was the best there was when it came to free natural health information you could trust. Reliable, evidence based, comprehensive, well written and well organised. The Natural Pharmacist is now a subscription service, a source of on-line content for a variety of other web sites and services, swallowed up by a media conglomerate.

It is with a heavy heart that I remove the Natural Pharmacist from our links page.



Content from week commencing 11th February.

Mental aerobics for memory.

Two studies appeared in the medical press this week which appear to show how mental stimulation guards against memory loss.

Reuters reported on the findings of Dr. Bruckner at Washington University in St. Louis. His team found that it is possible to reverse the process by which certain areas in the brain become defunct with advancing age. He gave participants a strategy which triggered the left frontal cortex and so improved their memory.

The Journal of the American Medical Association carried a seperate report on an investigation into mental stimulation and it's effect on the incidence of Alzheimer's. Researchers in Chicago studied over 800 elderly people and found that those who were the most active mentally, were significantly less likely to develop Alzheimer's.



Content from week commencing 21st January.

Apples beat Vitamin C for cancer protection.

Vitamin C has long been held in high regard by health experts across the globe, but new and exciting research which has been carried out at Cornell University in the U.S. appears to show how phytochemicals in apples may offer even more protection against cancer. This report from altmedicine.com

An overview of Yoga.

You can't switch on the T.V. these days without being bombarded by the latest get-fit-quick craze. Yoga is particularly popular at the moment with high profile celebrities such as Madonna and Geri Halliwell apparently enjoying it's benefits. I came across this series of articles and videos on the ABC network which explains the principles of yoga and looks at the broader picture of movement and posture therapies. Click here to find out more.



Content from week commencing 7th January.

The facts on probiotics.

There is a growing body of reliable evidence which shows the benefits of probiotics in the treatment of a variety of disorders. The use of helpful bacteria in the gut is the subject of an increasing number of scientific studies with promising results. The Natural Pharmacist reviews the evidence.

Is this remedy right for me?

When you decide to take a herbal remedy you might have the following questions in mind;
  • What are the side effects?
  • How long should I take it for?
  • Will it interact with other medication.

Dr.Ernst, of the University of Exeter, reviewed the research on six of the most popular herbal medicines; Ginseng, Ginkgo Biloba, Kava, Saw Palmetto, St. John's Wort, and Echinacea. His findings are reported on MSN.



Content from week commencing 31st December.

Spiritual practice for body and soul.

Evidence has recently emerged which shows how the recital of the rosary or the repetition of a mantra may benefit cardiovascular function. Researchers in Italy found such practices effectively reduced respirations to a steady six breaths per minute. This from the BMJ.

Melatonin a factor in migraine.

Those of us who have the misfortune to suffer from insomnia may have considered taking melatonin to promote sleep. Researchers in Brazil found that migraine sufferers also experience reduced levels of melatonin.



Content from week commencing 17th December 2001

Chief Medical Officer Reports...

In the last thirty years, there has been an unprecedented rise in deaths from liver disease and cirrhosis in the UK. Deaths in men have increased by 400% and in women by 300%. Health experts put this down to an increase in alcohol consumption, particularly binge drinking. They also believe that the spread of viral hepatitis is a significant factor.

High blood pressure is implicated in hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. A new definition of high blood pressure means that 30% of the adult population may have the condition. Half of those diagnosed with high blood pressure don't receive treatment and half of those that do are treated ineffectively.

Persistent health inequalities exist across the UK. The health of the poorest sections of society in some areas has barely improved since the 1950's. Being poor in the South East, is not as bad as being poor in the North West.

There were 850 cases of E Coli 0157 in 2000. The very young and the very old are particularly vulnerable when in contact with E Coli 0157. A relatively small number of organisms can cause an infection. Transmission occurs through physical contact with an infected animal, unpasteurised milk and undercooked meat.

Many people in UK who suffer from epilepsy don't get the help they need. They also have to suffer ignorance, stigma and inequality.

To view the full report, click here.



Content from week commencing 19th November 2001

Anti-malaria herb promising cancer treatment.

Researchers Lai and Singh, working at the University of Washington, Seattle, may have discovered a new application for the herb wormwood. The chinese have used wormwood (artemisinin) to successfully treat malaria. The parasites which cause malaria contain a large amount of iron which the herb reacts with. Artemisinin also reacted with the iron in breast cancer cells, killing them off. These early results, which were observed in the laboratory, may pave the way for a new cancer treatment in years to come. This from englemed.

Cocoa and dark chocolate good for the heart.

A report from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggest that drinking cocoa and eating dark chocolate may in fact be good for the heart. Cocoa is rich in anti-oxidant flavonoids. In the study, a modest reduction in harmful oxidation was recorded. Don't rush out and stock up on chocolate however, you might be eating more saturated fat.


Content from week commencing 12th November 2001

Anti-inflammatories against Alzheimer's.

Researchers in the Netherlands have found that apart from aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibruprofen (NSAIDs), may offer protection against Alzheimer's disease. In the study, people who had been taking NSAIDs for two years or more were 80% less likely to develop the condition. Unfortunately, the protective effect is confined to a period well before Alzheimers is diagnosed and is absent once symptoms appear. Given that NSAIDs have their side effects, a cost/benefit analysis may be the way forward. This from Reutershealth.

Test results on omega-3 supplements.

A quick visit to our archive will reveal previous stories we have covered which show the benefits of having a healthy intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Unfortunately, most people fail to eat enough omega-3 bearing fish, whilst consuming too much counteracting omega-6 in the form of some vegetable oils. It's no surprise therefore, that people are turning to dietary supplements to correct the balance. Consumerlab in the U.S. tested 20 branded omega-3 supplements and made recommendations. To find out which came out best visit Consumerlab.com.


Content from week commencing 5th November 2001

Homeopathy proven?

Scientists working in Korea may have accidentally discovered how the theory of homeopathy actually works. The basis of homeopathy is the dilution of a substance many times over. When this solution is given to the patient it stimulates a healing response in the body. In theory, the more a substance is diluted the more potent is the response.

Whilst acknowledging the benefits which homeopathy has for some people, conventional medicine has remained largely sceptical, mainly because there has been no evidence of the process involved. How could a substance which is so dilute that it can no longer be found in a solution have any effect?

The researchers Geckler and Samal, found that rather than particles becoming more distant through dilution, they actually formed clumps or "aggregates" which were five to ten times larger than in the original solution. The same process occurred with a variety of organic substances.

News of this discovery has been greeted with cautious optimism by Peter Fisher, director of medical research at the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital. The researchers themselves were astonished by their findings and have called upon others to replicate their results. This from The New Scientist.



Content from week commencing 29th October 2001

Reliable CAM information.

Here at Therapy-World we are dedicated to finding reliable information on alternative and complementary medicines and services. We review major sources of online information and keep you up to date with developments as they occur.

This week we revisited the site of The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the U.S. which funds and reports on CAM research. Although still in it's infancy this site has an expanding collection of reports and factsheets, which measure products against agreed standards. For example, which CAM products really are effective against cancer?

Although far from comprehensive, the NCCAM site continues to develop it's links with reliable sources of information and we think it should be a regular stopping-off point on your journey to better health.

Nutrition bars- The Facts.

Energy bars, protein bars, diets bars etc. have become a popular snack, particularly amongst the physically active. Unfortunately however, many bars simply don't match up to their wrappers. Consumerlab.com carries out tests on common dietary supplements and herbal remedies. They issue kite-marks to those products which come up to scratch.



Content from week commencing 14th October 2001

The power of prayer.

How would improve your chances of having a baby through IVF? By having prayers said for you?

In a unique, randomised, double-blind study, 219 Korean women who underwent IVF, were the subject of intercessory prayer in the U.S. Canada and Australia. The normal success rate for this treatment is 26%. The group who were the subject of prayer had a success rate of 50%. This from The Journal of Reproductive Medicine.

Ecstasy causes long-term memory problems.

Researchers in The Netherlands found that one-time regular ecstasy users who abstain for more than two years, can still expect to have memory problems. The link between memory loss and recent ecstasy use has previously been established. However, evidence of permanent damage is further cause for concern. Ecstasy stimulates a release of "feel good" serotonin in the brain and scientists are investigating the long term effects of this process. Reutershealth.com



Content from week commencing 1st October 2001

Online help for heavy drinkers.

There is now a confidential advisory service, based on the latest research and targeted at those people who are worried about their drinking. A collaboration between the NHS and The Alcohol Research Council has seen the launch of www.downyourdrink.org. They are running a six week course in safe drinking with a pragmatic approach, "We do not think alcohol is evil, on the contrary, we think that drinking a reasonable amount is good for most people."

Alternative Medicine on the NHS?

Here in the UK we enjoy health care which is free at the point of delivery. However, having this system may also also mean that we have fewer treatment options. If you have ever tried to arrange hypnotherapy through the NHS as I have, you will know what I mean. According to "The Foundation of Integrated Medicine", things are beginning to change. They believe that alternative medicine is available in ten percent of cases. This from The Mail on Sunday.



Content from week commencing 24th September 2001

Hypnosis boosts immunity.

A report in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology describes how hypnosis can alter the immunity of a person under stress. Researchers at Ohio State University found that those participants who regularly practised self-hypnosis had a better immune response than those who didn't. This from altmedicine.com.

What is the best treatment for chronic fatigue?

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) has long been controversial, as well as being a debilitating condition. Two reviews were carried out in the UK and US, which re-examined the available evidence on the treatment of CFS. The results show how a combination of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Graded Exercise Therapy produce the most satisfaction amongst patients. There is concern in some quarters that these findings will encourage those who believe CFS is all in the mind. This from the BMJ.

Call for curbs on herbal cancer "cures"

The vast majority of commercial internet sites which sell herbal treatments for cancer, make unsubstantiated claims. These are the findings of the Scripps Center for Integrated Medicine in La Jolla, Calif. More than half claimed their products could cure cancer. Whilst the number complementary medicine sites proliferates, there may come a time when the Government acts to put an end to the promotion of "miracle cures". This from Yahoo healthscout.



Content from week commencing 17th September 2001

Storing up family strife.

An ever increasing number of women juggle full-time working with raising a family. The drive to improve living standards has seen women opt for a full time job against their better judgement. These are the findings of a major survey of working mums.

Top Sante magazine in collaboration with BUPA, found that only nine percent of the mothers they interviewed would choose to work full-time. Not only are women underpaid as opposed to male colleagues, they work harder in the workplace and work harder in the home.

A mother who works full time is more likely to shout at the kids, to use alcohol to relax, to resent their partner and to have a poor sex-life. Click on the link to find out more.



Content from week commencing 10th September 2001

Can calorie restriction extend life?

Results published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences appear to say it can. Researchers studied mice which were fed a reduced calorie diet. Roy Walford, professor emeritus of pathology at the University of California, Los Angeles, has supported this idea for forty years. He believes that humans could extend their lives well beyond 100 and devised a special diet with the acronym CRON.

Say no to Ginkgo in pregnancy.

The results of a study carried out in Detroit, found that women who were taking Ginkgo Biloba during pregnancy had a high level of the toxin colchichine. Colchichine has been linked to abnormal cell division and could harm the unborn child. This report from the BBC advises pregnant women to avoid herbal supplements.



Content from week commencing 3rd September 2001

Ephedra under fire.

Concern is growing in the US about the dietary supplement ephedra. A consumer group has called upon the government to ban a stimulant which has been linked to 81 deaths and many more complications. Ephedra, sometimes called Ma Huang, is popular with bodybuilders. Click on the link to CNN to find out more.

A cup of tea for your heart.

Therapy-World has been monitoring the growing body of evidence which indicates that tea is good for your health. Researchers in Boston found that drinking tea helped a group of heart patients by improving blood flow. Caffeine on the other hand, had no effect. This from yourhealthbase.com.

How safe is acupuncture?

Before you try any complementary therapy you will want to know if it is safe. Acupuncture is one particular alternative with a good safety record. This article in the BMJ looks at the evidence.



Content from week commencing 27th August 2001

Health advice at your fingertips.

As an employee of the NHS, and an entrepreneur, I am constantly surprised by all that is good and bad in the health service. There is chronic underfunding, hard work and dedication, a painfully slow response to innovation, a serious staffing crisis. The list goes on.

There is one NHS development which is I find hard to fault and that is NHS Direct. Here is a service which provides prompt and reliable advice by telephone and via the internet. Imagine the scenario, you have an infant who is listless and has a high temperature. Do you make an appointment with your G.P. for the following day? You don't want to waste their time but then again you are worried. Perhaps you could ask for a home visit?

You now have the option of calling a nurse and getting the advice you need, there and then. According to a recent survey, thousands of calls were made to NHS Direct by people from their holiday destinations in the UK during August.

The NHS Direct website has also evolved. You may have been newly diagnosed with a particular illness and want to know more. You may have a relative or friend who has turned to you for help and advice. NHS Direct online is a comprehensive source of reliable health information, with carefully devised questionnaires to help you narrow your search.

I remember my mum blowing the dust off a tatty "Pears" medical encyclopaedia when we were poorly as children. Things have come a long way since then...



Content from week commencing 20th August 2001

Is wine really good for you?

If you are like me, and congratulate yourself on having a regular intake of red wine because you believe that it does you good, you may have to think again. Researchers in Denmark carried out a cohort study to compare wine and beer drinkers. They wanted to find out if there may be another reason why people who drink wine enjoy better health than those who don't. They found that wine drinkers generally have a higher IQ, have higher incomes, are better educated and have fewer mental health problems. Their good health may be related to a host of factors other than wine. Almost a reason to give it up.

Soy formula milk not harmful.

Whilst there has been a growth in consumption of soy formula milk for infants, the potential long-term effects have not been known until now. Soy milk contains relatively large amounts of phytooestrogens which can effect hormones in the body. Researchers in the US found that young adult women who had been fed on soy formula milk experienced slightly longer and more painful menstruation. They found no other significant differences. From JAMA.

Eating curry may be good for your bowels.

It may not feel like it, but eating curry may be a recipe for avoiding bowel cancer. Turmeric, an common ingredient, contains curcumin, a known antioxidant. Researchers studied the effects which a daily intake of curcumin had on rats with early stage bowel cancers. To find out more visit the National Institute of Health.



Content from week commencing 30th July 2001

Vitamin E best in milk.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published details of a study which found that vitamin e is absorbed more effectively when in milk. Vitamin e is a well known anti-oxidant, protecting the body against cardiovascular disease.

Surfing the tranquility of the mind.

You may have come across "the Little Book Of Calm", and been inspired to experience meditation. Now you can learn to focus your mind through a web site which has grown from the popularity of the book. Audio and visual aids are specially designed to help you relax, gradually letting go of the crowded nature of the mind. Click on the link and enjoy.

Drinking tea and a healthy heart.

Much has been written about the positive effects which tea may have on the body. Researchers in the Netherlands studied a large group of people and measured their intake of tea, and compared this with the incidence of heart disease. A given consumption of tea appeared to relate to a reduced risk of heart attack. More from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.



Content from week commencing 16th July 2001

Latest test results on valerian.

If you have ever suffered from insomnia, you may have tried the herbal remedy valerian. Researchers at Consumerlab in the U.S. recently tested common brands and found that almost half failed to meeet their standards. Some of the samples contained significantly less valerian than stated on the label.

Margerine may trigger childhood asthma.

Asthma is a distressing and debilitating condition for a growing number of children. Whilst the reason for the upsurge remains a mystery, a study carried out in Australia may provide an important clue. Researchers found that a large proportion of asthma sufferers had a diet which was rich in polyunsaturated fats. From the BBC.

Caretenoids protect smokers against lung cancer.

In a collaboration between the University of Southern California and the Shanghai Cancer Institute, 18,000 Chinese men were studied for the incidence of lung cancer and the level of caretenoids in their blood. This from Docguide.com.


Content from week commencing 9th July 2001

Vegetarians eat natural aspirin.

Researchers at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary have found salicylic acid present in higher concentrations in the blood of vegetarians, than in meat eaters. Salicylic acid is better known as aspirin and is given as protection against heart attacks and strokes. Those people in the trial who took aspirin daily in tablet form had 100 times more salicylic acid in their blood than the vegetarians. Members of a Buddhist monastery took part in the trial.

Drug information on the internet.

Have you ever had a drug prescribed and wanted to know more before taking it? You don't have to be left in the dark any longer. Virtual Health Network now provide visitors to their site with detailed information on thousands of medicines. You can choose from Patient Information Leaflets or Summaries of Product Characteristics. The database is searchable by drug name, and in our opinion it's well worth going through the brief registration process in order have ready access to a wealth of information.



Content from week commencing 2nd July 2001

An official view of complementary and alternative medicine.

More needs to be done to provide an evidence base for alternative medicine according to a government report. They divided therapies into three groups. The first group consisted of chiropractic, osteopathy, homeopathy, acupuncture and herbal medicine. These therapies were seen as having a diagnostic component and being self-regulated.

The second group contains therapies which do not involve diagnosis and are often used to complement conventional medicine, i.e. massage, counselling etc.

The third group is made up of therapies which have have a diagnostic component, but which are more philosophical, often having their own theory of body systems, i.e. Ayurvedic Medicine. This group also contains therapies which have not been proven.

The report is a detailed assessment of the issues and practice of alternative medicine and looks at regulation, education, advertising, promoting research and the internet.

It was produced by the Select Committee on Science and Technology is available through The Stationary Office website.



Content from week commencing 25th June 2001

BACP guidelines for online counselling.

The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, (formerly the BAC), published it's advice this month for people who might be considering the use of online counselling services. The Association warns us to take sensible precautions before entering into a contract. This article on the BMJ website.

Cholesterol and high blood pressure in Alzheimers link.

Researchers in Finland have found strong evidence that the incidence of Alzheimers may be closely related to health problems which occur in mid-life. They found that people who had high blood pressure and high cholesterol were three times more likely to develop this devastating disease. This from englemed.demon.co.uk.

Can diet protect against Parkinson's Disease?

There is a growing body of research which appears to show that antioxidants can reduce the loss of dopamine producing cells, a process which is a characteristic of Parkinson's disease. A diet which is low in fats and sugars , whilst also being high in antioxidants may be a recipe for brain health. Click on the link to visit vvv.com.



Content from week commencing 18th June 2001

Sleep-walkers need more sleep.

Researchers at the University of Nebraska may have found a simple and effective treatment for children who walk in their sleep. In the study, which appears on the Reuters website, children who had previously taken medication because of the severity of parasomnia, were able to overcome their problems by increasing the total amount of sleep during a 24 hour period. Televisions and video games were removed from bedrooms in order to make them more conducive to sleeping. Click on the link to find out more.

Being single can be bad for your blood pressure.

You may not like the thought, but research has now shown that people who go home to a partner, have a significantly lower blood pressure. Being alone or with strangers, may mean an increased alertness which causes a rise in blood pressure. This from the BBC.

Education may be the key to long life.

764 men took part in a longitudinal study which compared the physical wellbeing of one-time Harvard students with men from the inner city. Those from the inner city group who underwent University education fared as well as the Harvard group, unlike their peers. Factors which appeared to influence a healthy outcome were "moderate alcohol use, no smoking, a stable marriage, exercise, appropriate weight, positive coping mechanisms, and no depressive illness." This article from the Altmedicine.com website.



Content from week commencing 21st May 2001

The Top Twelve Herbal Remedies

If you have been suffering with arthritis, struggling with insomnia, or sneezing with the common cold, you might have considered a herbal remedy. A visit to the local health shop could be the answer to your problems. The evidence suggests that a growing number of people are disillusioned with conventional treatments and are looking for a natural cure.

But are you doing the right thing?

Modern medicine has developed around a simple idea. The idea that a treatment has to be proved before it can be prescribed. This sort of rigorous testing has not been a cornerstone of herbal medicine until recent times. Anecdotal evidence may well have been a preferred encouragement to a new customer. "Meet Miss B....she had a wonderful recovery by using our products."

Accepting the fact that a degree of caution is a neccessary attitude to have, may be a sound basis for a healing experience using natural medicine. There are a number of products on the market which have been shown to be beneficial. St John's Wort, for example, has been found to alleviate mild but not severe depression. Gingko Biloba to improve blood circulation to the brain.

Michael Cirigliano, Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine gives his choice of the top twelve herbal remedies on the MSN network. Click here to find out more.



Content from week commencing 7th May 2001

Balancing Yin and Yang through Macrobiotics.

George Ohsawa first coined the term Macrobiotics in 1945. The macrobiotic philosophy however dates back to the Tao Te Ching. Yin is cool, flexible and fluid. Yang is hot, potent and dynamic. Yin and Yang oppose each other throughout nature, and it is when the balance of these opposites is disturbed that illness and disease arise.

A macrobiotic diet will aim to promote health by balancing Yin and Yang. But macrobitics is much more than a dietary regime. The development of a friendly and sociable attitude to others is also an important aspect of the philosophy, along with regular exercise and an absence of negative thoughts and emotions.

Macrobiotics.org is an excellent source of information on this ancient philosophy. Here you will find background information, treatment stories, lifestyle guides, recipes, spiritual and moral discussion and much more. We have added this site to our selection of health links.



Content from week commencing 30th April 2001

Which is the best health site in the UK?

How do you judge a website? Is it by the look of the site? The content? The access to data? The quality of the links? The reliability of the information? The speed that it downloads?

Whatever the combination of these or other factors, knowing exactly where to get the information you want can save hours of surf time. Imagine you have a chronic illness, and your G.P. has prescribed you some new medication. You want to know about the side effects. You wonder if there might be other options which have not been made available to you. Where would you look?

It Awards are trying to make things easier by having Internet Awards for the best health related sites. If at this point you are hoping to see an alternative medicine site, don't hold your breath.

The sites that have been nominated for a prize do however provide us with a considerable resource and you can view the full list by clicking here. As a website developer I was interested to see how things looked and worked.

I got quite excited at Healthinfocus.co.uk. They have page telling you what to expect from your G.P. and give practical advice on how to get the most from your appointment. We'll be adding a link to this to our links page.

Another site of some note is surgerydoor.co.uk. I was impressed by the power of their symptom checker. For advice on medicines,Virtual Health Network is hard to beat. It is worth battling through the registration process as the information available on medicines may well be beneficial to you.

Happy surfing, and remember, it may not be too late to vote.



Content from week commencing 23rd April 2001

The benefits of eating tomatoes.

The University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center, recently published a review of lycopene research on their Website. Lycopene is a substance which occurs in tomatoes and is believed to act as an anti-oxidant in the body, protecting it from damaging free radicals. In one particular study which examined levels of lycopene in the blood of prostate cancer sufferers, a strong link was found between low levels of lycopene and increased risk of cancer. On a broader note, the authors of this report caution us against reading too much into population based studies.

10 tips for a sound sleep.

The Mayo Clinic provide us with guidelines for helping to cure insomnia.

  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Only snack on carbohydrates/milk/tuna/turkey.
  • Have a quiet room, (a snoring partner may keep you awake).
  • Exercise in the afternoon.
  • A cool room.
  • A comfy bed.
  • Avoid daytime naps.
  • Sleeping pills are not the answer.
  • Nicotine and caffeine will keep you awake.
  • Don't sleep in at weekends.

For more on this story click on the link.



Content from week commencing 16th April 2001

Risk of Hepatitis from tatoos.

The US. site Docguide.com report on findings of a study which showed how people who have tatoos also have a greater liklihood of contracting hepatitis C. Epidemiologists found that people who had attended a commercial tatoo parlour were nine times more likely to have the disease than those who hadn't.

Hepatitis C is a potentially fatal illness which may be tranferred through invasive procedures. Researchers also discovered that coloured tatoos, or those which are more complex were also more risky. Participants in the study attended an orthopaedic clinic, and were unaware that they had been infected.

Vitamin C skin cream rejuvenates the skin.

Docguide.com also reported on findings from a study in France which measured the efficacy of vitamin C, applied topically to the skin. Researchers studied post-menopausal women who showed evidence of wrinkles as a result of exposure to ultra-violet light. These findings may lead to the mass production of effective anti-aging skin creams.

US. Government warns against certain herbs.

Yahoo Healthscout report that the Food and Drug Administration are stepping up their advice to consumers of "traditional medicines and dietary aids". There were two cases in the UK of people suffering kidney failure as a result of taking dietary supplements containing extracts of aristolochic acid. This came on the back of a hundred cases of kidney failure in Belgium in the early nineties, due to aristolochic acid poisoning. Consumers are warned that even small amounts may be dangerous and symptoms may not be immediately obvious. For more information on the products to watch out for, click on the link.



Content from week commencing 2nd April 2001

The argument against alternative medicine.

The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine published this article in the winter edition, arguing against the idealisation of "natural" products, treatments and lifestyles. Written largely from the viewpoint of public health, the authors propose that the good health which many of us enjoy, has been brought about by scientific research and development. For example, the production of bacteria free milk, public sanitation, improved farming techniques etc.

According to SRAM, we are in danger of turning back the clock on the advances we have made through scientific endeavour, in our haste to embrace an alternative paradigm. We may be accepting treatments which are unproven, taking supplements which are not standardised, accepting the words "health food" at face value.

You may or may not agree with the content of the Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine but Therapy-World has added a link to this publication to our links page, in order to have a balanced view.

You may also want to visit quackwatch.com, "Your Guide to Health Fraud, Quackery, and Intelligent Decisions", a site run by Stephen Barrat MD. which has an energetic approach to the exposure of bogus health care. This site invites people who have been the victim of poor treatment to write in. It has a database of information on treatments and products which are damaging to health. You can also subscribe to a free newsletter.



Content from week commencing 26th March 2001

World Cancer Research Fund has the perfect recipe.

Here at Therapy-World we are dedicated to bringing you the most reliable, concise and interactive natural health advice that we can find on the net. A visit to our links page will illustrate our journey to date. Every so often we come across a site which realises the full potential of the internet.

The World Cancer Research Fund is in it's own words "..the only UK registered charity dedicated to the prevention of cancer through healthy diets and associated lifestyles."

The WCRF website offers:

  • A test of your knowledge of cancer prevention.
  • An online personal healthcheck.
  • A calculation of the health benefits of a variety of beverages, vegetables and fruit.
  • Advice on the effects of your lifestyle on your health.
  • An online library.
  • A comprehensive list of healthy recipes.

Regular visitors to our site may remember the addition of The Natural Pharmacist to our links page, which remains one of our favourite places to find evidence based information on natural medicine. The WCRF site has achived a similar standard of robust health education.



Content from week commencing 19th March 2001

The healing powers of honey.

Altmedicine.com came up with this story on the beneficial effects of honey. Dentists in New Zealand have been testing honey as a treatment for tooth decay and gingivitis. Honey manufacturers in the Antipodeas routinely test batches of their honey to find samples which contain anti-microbial properties. Such qualities are not present in all honey, but where they do occur the honey is labelled "antiseptic". Healing honey can then be used to remove bacteria from wounds, causing less damage to healthy tissue than the alternatives. It has also been found to stimulate the growth of healthy tissue.

Vitamin E. Why checking the label might not be enough.

Therapy-World was alerted to a potential problem with Vitamin E supplements, by Consumerlab. They tested 28 commonly available US brands and found that three failed to meet their standards.

Vitamin E is naturally available in sunflower oil, olive oil, nuts, grains, fruits and meat. However, it is necessary to take dietary supplements in order to ensure a daily intake greater than 30mg a day. Vitamin E has been found useful in preventing prostate cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, male infertility and Alzheimer's disease. Taking too much Vitamin E can result in excessive bleeding. Click on the link to find out more.

Fatty fish for fitness.

Therapy-World has previously reported on the benefits of eating at least one portion of fatty fish per week. Omega-3 fatty acids are the health giving constituents of fish such as herring, mackerel, tuna or salmon. In this particular study on the Reuters website, eating fatty fish was shown to reduce the likelihood of fatal heart attack in the elderly by 44%.



Content from week commencing 12th March 2001

A generation changes it's diet.

The World Health Organisation advised us to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables per day in order to remain healthy. We are told to limit our intake of red meat, to consume fewer dairy products, to eat more oily fish, to have a glass of red wine with our meals. The list of do's and dont's seems to grow ever more complicated and contradictory.

But as a Nation, what effect does education have on our food consumption? Is the message getting through? The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Foods carried out the latest survey of a longitudinal study into the eating habits in the UK and published the results in December 2000. The British Nutrition Foundation summarised the main findings on it's website.

We are eating;

  • Fewer apples and oranges; more bananas and grapes.
  • Less cheese; more fromage frais.
  • Our consumption of potatoes continues to fall.
  • Margarine is largely a thing of the past, overtaken by low fat spreads.
  • Northern Ireland beats Scotland to the booby prize, being the area with the lowest consuption of vegetables. The South East stays at the top of the list.
  • We like ready made meals.
  • We eat fewer eggs.
  • We gain less energy from fat but also fewer vitamins and minerals as a result.
  • Since 1979 our consumption of canned, processed and shelled fish has risen by 60%.
  • Oily fish is increasingly on the menu, and fresh oily fish has overtaken the fish in "fish and chips".
  • Beer and lager are in decline.


Content from week commencing 5th March 2001

Doubt cast on reflexology diagnosis.

Reflexology took a step backwards recently when a British study examined the efficacy of reflexology diagnosis and found it wanting. Members of the Department of Complementary Medicine, School of Postgraduate Medicine and Health Studies, University of Exeter, found that two experienced reflexologists who examined a total 18 patients failed to accurately diagnose diseases which had previously been identified by conventional medicine. According to the theory of reflexology parts of the body are represented on the soles of the feet. Although this was a small study it does appear to have implications for reflexologists and their patients. The study also found that the practitioners were inconsistent with each other.

Alternative medicine for children?

Imagine a scenario; your five year old son suffers from chronic and distressing abdominal pain . Your G.P. has referred you to the local hospital where samples were taken, and x-rays performed. Test results come back negative. Your G.P. asks you to consider the fact that your son's pain may be a figment of his imagination. You get little sleep that night as your son is suffering again.

In this situation you may consider turning to alternative medicine for a cure. But what are the risks? Which treatments are effective? How do you lessen your child's anxiety? Will you get value for money?

WebMd.com provide a useful overview of the main issues for you to consider. Another source of general information is kidshealth.org, an online health magazine with a database of childhood complaints.



Content from week commencing 17th February 2001

New Link to Mental Health Charity.

It is estimated that mental illness effects approximately one in ten people and can have devastating effects on a person's ability to lead a normal life. It can take many forms, and can be both distressing and stigmatising.

Mental Health Services in the UK are largely run and funded through the NHS and Social Services and provide a comprehensive safety net of mental health professionals. But what do you do if you find you have been given a diagnosis by a doctor which doesn't help you understand the way you feel or make you feel any better? What if you are given contradictory advice? What if the services you need are not available when you need them? What if you think your right to choose has been taken away?

Mind is a national independent organisation which provides a range of advisory services to people who are suffering from mental illness. Their website has gradually developed into a comprehensive guide for individuals, their friends and their families. It provides advice on diagnoses, making sense of medical terminology and gives information on medicines and their side effects. It will tell you about your rights and entitlements. It will provide you with contact details of people who can help you in your area.

Therapy-World has decided to add the Mind Website to our list of carefully selected links because many people are looking for an alternative view of their situation than that provided by statutory services.



Content from week commencing 12th February 2001

The facts on Ginkgo Biloba.

Ginkgo Biloba is one of the most popular herbal remedies and is widely available in the UK. This week, Therapy-World takes a closer look at the research. Which conditions can you treat with Ginkgo Biloba? Is it as effective as conventional medicine?

Ginkgo Biloba is usually taken to improve blood supply to the bodies extremities, where age related disease of the blood vessels may cause poor circulation, particularly in the brain. This can often lead to memory and concentration problems. Exactly how Ginkgo works is not fully understood, and there is speculation that it does more than improve blood circulation . Our journey began at the National Institute for Health. Researchers in Switzerland compared Ginkgo with cholinesterase inhibitors which are commonly prescribed by conventional medicine for mild to moderate alzheimers disease. They found that an extract of Ginkgo Biloba is as effective as conventional medicine.

For a comprehensive overview of the evidence to date we turned to The Natural Pharmacist. Ginkgo Biloba is the most commonly prescribed herbal remedy in Germany where it is generally accepted as an effective treatment of mild to moderate alzheimers disease, non-alzheimers dementia, and age-related memory problems in younger people. There is also evidence that Ginkgo Biloba improves mobility in people with intermittant claudication, enhances the effects of anti-psychotic medication, reduces altitude sickness and vertigo, and conteracts some of the complications of diabetes.

As with all medications, caution is advisable if you have kidney or liver problems, are pregnant, or are already taking other medications with which there may be an interaction, (in particular blood thinning agents). Side effects which have been reported include gastrointestinal disturbances, headaches, dizziness and allergic skin reactions.

Click on the Natural Pharmacist link to find out more about dosage and standardisation.



Content from week commencing 5th February 2001

Hypnosis for some breathing difficulties.

Yahoo Healthscout covered this study of sixteen children with asthma/allergy related breathing difficulties. The children were found to have normal lung function after medical treatment but still reported breathing difficulties in relation to stressful events. All of the children in the study were trained in self-hypnosis and 13 of the sixteen found that their breathing improved. Hypnosis may provide a practical tool which some children can use to counter their anxiety. Although there is still a great deal we do not understand about the link between mind and body this study may fuel the debate and encourage further research. Visit our hypnotherapy page to find out more.

Do your kids have square eyes?

A recurrent topic of conversation amongst parents is the amount of television their children watch. Coupled with this is the ever increasing use of computer games for entertainment. Many a concerned Mum or Dad worry that their children are not getting the opportunity to develop social skills, and to enhance their physical development through play. There is also concern about the long term effects of violence on television. But how do you lure your children away from the hypnotic effects of the tube? Click on the link to discover one set of guidelines for doing just that. Michael Rich, professor in paediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Thomas N. Robinson, assistant professor of pediatrics and medicine at Stanford University, give their recipe for a healthier T.V. diet. Visit the onhealth website.

A binge on exercise.

This article appears on netdoctor. In an effort to cram a weeks exercise into one convenient week-end session, many people are apparently putting their bodies on line in a futile attempt to get fit. This way of exercising will not only fail to improve your fitness it will also make you vulnerable to injury. The right way to do it is through a little and often routine, using a variety of exercises. Click on the link to find out more.


Content from week commencing 29th January 2001

Therapy-World welcomes the British Allergy Foundation to it's links page.

I came across this website whilst carrying out some research into cell salts for a Therapy-World visitor . The British Allergy Foundation exists "to improve the awareness, prevention and treatment of allergy." It is a registered charity and is run by specialists in the field of allergy diagnosis and treatment. If you need to know about a specific allergy, to find out about allergy testing and locate a nearby testing centre, require the number of a helpline, or if you are a health professional who would like to undergo training in the care of allergy sufferers, then this site has all the resources you need.

Immunotherapy for hay fever and asthma sufferers has striking results.

The January Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI), reported research findings by Samantha M. Walker, Ph.D., Imperial College School of Medicine at the National Heart and Lung Institute in London, and colleagues in Italy, who performed a two year study into the effects of immunotherapy on people who suffer hay fever or asthma as a result of grass pollen allergy. In hay fever sufferers, symptoms dropped by 49% and medication use by 80% after treatment, whilst breathing difficulties amongst the asthma group fell by a staggering 90%. Immunotherapy consisted of an injection of a grass pollen vaccine at monthly intervals for two years. Although this was a small study and similar results would have to be repeated on a larger scale, relief may well be on the way for thousands of seasonal sufferers.

A definitive acupuncture factsheet.

In a continuing effort to bring the best that the Web has to offer in terms of information and advice, Therapy-World will be adding a brand new link to this NCCAM factsheet to our acupuncture page. The National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine is dedicated to providing evidence based research results and practical advice for professionals and public alike. They have recently added this comprehensive and informative acupuncture resource to their website. The article contrasts the theory of chinese medicine with a view of acupuncture held by western medicine. It provides a comprehensive summary of research which has demonstrated the beneficial effects of acupuncture for a variety of conditions and gives advice on how to find a competent acupuncturist and what to avoid. This may well be the best single source of unbiased information on acupuncture available on the web.


Content from week commencing 22nd January 2001

A herbal cure for premenstrual syndrome?

Researchers from the Institute for Health Care and Science in Huttenberg, Germany, found that extract from the fruit of the plant, agnus castus, performed at least as well as a typical hormonal treatment and had fewer side effects, when prescribed for pre-menstrual syndrome. The herb has been taken in some European countries for years but there has been little clinical evidence of it's worth until now. PMS effects between 30% and 50% of women and involves irritability, bloating and mood swings for some. However Doctors advise a cautious approach to the remedy, particularly in pregnancy and in conjunction with other medicines. This report from Healthscout.

The facts on Marijuana.

The growing use of marijuana as a recreational drug is well documented. But the fact that regular use can cause short term memory loss, poor concentration, impared intellectual functioning, bronchitis and cardiovascular problems may be less well known. This fact sheet from the National Institute of Health in the US gives us an insight into the nature of the drug and it's effects.

Red wine not so good after all.

Doctors from the American Heart Association joined forces with the British Heart Foundation in cautioning against the consumption of alcohol for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. The positive effects of consuming one or two glasses of wine per day are sometimes outweighed by the risk of over-indulgence. They also cast doubt over previous research which concluded that people in France had lower rates of cardiovascular disease because they drink more red wine. Although more than sixty studies have measured the beneficial effects of red wine on HDL levels in the blood, the AHA says that similar benefits can be gained from regular exercise, weight reduction and a diet rich in fruit and vegetables. Click on the link for the BBC Website.


Content from week commencing 15th January 2001

A strict vegetarian diet may be bad for children.

Researchers in the Netherlands found that Vitamin B-12 deficiency is a possible outcome of a child eating a meat-free diet. Sciencenews.org report that a lack of vitamin B-12 can lead to intellectual impairment in the developing child. The study also found that even when milk and eggs are introduced the deficiency can still linger for years.

The medicalisation of distress.

The BMJ published a thought provoking article by Derek Summerfield, honorary senior lecturer, St. George's Medical School, on the issue of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Those who have experienced the lasting effects of a psychological trauma, or professionals in the mental health field may find this interesting. The author suggests that the medical world may have gone to far in applying a technical terminology and frame of reference to human suffering. He argues that the creation of the diagnosis, "PTSD" was a sociological response to the Vietnam war in the USA. Click on the link to find out more.

Little evidence that alternative medicine reduces asthma.

Reuters Health report a study which questions the value of treating asthma with alternative medicine. Blaiss and Graham, from the University of Tennessee, reviewed the research and found that although some treatments are considered safe, they may well be ineffective. Despite this fact, approximately one third of sufferers in the US have tried complementary therapies.


Content from week commencing 8th January 2001

There is more to a carrot than beta-carotene.

There is growing evidence that taking dietary supplements alone is significantly less effective in protecting against cancer than eating whole foods. This study compared the cancer protecting properties of beta-carotene in tablet form, with carrots themselves. Better protection appears to occur when a variety of whole fruits and vegetables are eaten as they contain other compounds such as alpha-carotene and lycopene.

Click on the link above to view this story, you may find the footnote to this article interesting.

The treatment of high blood pressure with diet.

Finding out that you have high blood pressure and you must therefore spend the rest of your life on medication can come as a shock. People often ask their doctors if there are alternatives. This study, reported on the CNN website, found that by carefully controlling salt, and reducing the fat in the diet, blood pressure could in fact be reduced. The article suggests that people can protect their health by making these changes sooner rather than later.

Remember yuppie flu?

This condition has been described differently over the last couple of decades, but sufferers got a raw deal when this rather catchy but slightly scornful description arose in the mid-eighties. Chronic fatigue syndrome is a more fashionable term, which appears to have replaced myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). Living with the symptoms however is no joke, with unrelenting fatigue, short-term memory loss, joint pain and nausea among the symptoms. New guidelines have recently been produced to guide doctors in diagnosis. Therapy-World came across this article on the BBC website late last year.


Content from week commencing 1st January 2001

The best of the Web.

Dr. Weil is a common sight on the T.V.'s of many in the U.S. His Website, on which we are invited to "Ask Dr. Weil", is currently undergoing reconstruction. Nevertheless, I can recommend a visit to the site, in particular the page which provides dietary tips to overcome common complaints. Click on the link above to see for yourself.

Early to bed for students.

Reuters Health carries a report on a study which measures a possible relationship between the sleeping patterns of students and their results. Apparently, students who spend more time asleep in the morning and go without breakfast do less well.

Medicine and the alternatives go hand in hand.

Healthscout looks into the growing use of complementary medicine in the treatment of people in hospital. In one pilot study, acupuncture, massage and guided imagery were made available. Anecdotal reports suggest that patients responded more positively throughout treatment, requiring less medication for pain for example. The increasing number of people who use alternative medicine has prompted some hospitals to open specialist clinics in recognition of their patients' emotional and spiritual needs.


Content from week commencing 18th December 2000

Therapy-World on the T.V.

Therapy-World took a further step towards the development of significant traffic through the site when the cable television company NTL expanded it's television internet service to the Manchester area this week. Viewers previously had only limited access to a small number of sites, but now for �5.99 a month they can enjoy an unmetered and unrestricted connection.

This development is good news for visitors to Therapy-World for several reasons.

  • NTL currently has over 900,000 subscribers to it's cable television channel in the UK.
  • Therapy-World appears seventh overall in a search for "Alternative Medicine UK".
  • Although NTL makes use of a simple browser (Netscape V3.0), the Therapy-World site displays clearly on the screen. Practitioner listings are easily read, with active links to personal websites.

Dietary supplements for sports men and women to be banned.

The Government is set to order the withdrawal of some dietary supplements which are known to contain precursors of the banned steroid nandrolone, according to this article on the Reuters Website.

Yoga for health.

The Washington Post recently published an article which reviews the practice of Yoga. Whether you are a novice or an experienced practitioner, this resume of the various traditions may be of interest.


Content from week commencing 11th December 2000

New addition to our links page.

In an effort to bring you the very best that the web has to offer on Alternative Medicine, I have added The Natural Pharmacist to our links page. This US site is a great resource of up-to-date research information on herbs, vitamins, minerals and supplements. You will be given impartial advice on the best treatments for a given condition, along with jargon free information on the condition itself. Each topic has links to related articles so that you can compare and contrast the options. There is no registration process and the site is aimed at professionals and public alike.

Back problems for computer kids.

Are children at risk of RSI in this computer age? Poor posture, lack of physical activity and repetitive movements are giving cause for concern to researchers in an Australian study. This report from the BBC speculates that if allow things to carry on the way they are, we are storing up ill health for our children.

The benefits of Pizza.

There is an article on Yahoo Healthscout which evaluates the nutritional value of Pizza. It argues that eating pizza is not necessarily a bad thing, as all the food groups are present.


Content from week commencing 4th December 2000

"I can't come in today, I'm stressed out."

Stress has apparently overtaken the common cold as the biggest cause of employee sickness. Furthermore, travelling to and from work are the most stressful parts of the day for many people. This article, published on the BBC website to coincide with National Stress Day, examines the issues and provides us with some helpful tips.

Vitamin C protects against Cancer.

This report on the "yourhealthbase.com" website, reports an earlier study which appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in July 2000. A longitudinal study of several thousand men and women found that those who regularly took multivitamin tablets had a significantly better chance of avoiding cancer. Click on the link to read the article.

A tale of two reports.

There was an article in The Observer this weekend, which reports on a study evaluating the effects of tablets, counselling and cognitive therapy on depression. The article concludes that the two talking treatments are more effective than the prescription of anti-depressant medication. I was interested to find the same study on the BMJ Website , which concluded that after three months, the talking treatments were indeed more effective, but that after twelve months there was no difference.


Content from week commencing 27th November 2000

Winter casts a shadow.

Dull daylight deals out dreary depression for many of us poor souls under the shadow of the winter solstice. In fact women are four times more likely to suffer from seasonal affective disorder than men. This lack of light affects the body's internal timepiece and can cause a type of depression which disappears when the sun returns in spring. Click on the link to find out how the "light box" offers some relief to sufferers in this article on the Dr. Blonz website.

Is melatonin a cure for sleeplessness?

The CNN website provides us with news of a study which re-evaluates the common hormonal supplement melatonin. Scientists have known for some time that levels of melatonin in the body vary throughout the day and night, but conclusive evidence that taking melatonin in tablet form relieves insomnia is hard to find. However, a small scale study of the blind appears to demonstrate that a careful regime may be the answer.

Ginseng. The facts.

Therapy-World came across this article on the usapharmacist.com site. This is a comprehensive review of research relating to ginseng. Does ginseng enhance athletic performance? Can it improve a man's sex life? Does it enhance the body's ability to fend off the common cold?


Content from week commencing 20th November 2000

New website for breast health.

www.breastassured.com provides women with a range of information about breast cancer screening, living with breast cancer, nutrition, fashion, lifestyle, discussion and support. A link to this site is now part of our links page, and will be scanned regularly for interesting and informative articles. To find out for yourself, click on the link.

Assess your level of activity.

Are you getting enough of the right kind of exercise for your age and fitness? Whether you are just beginning an exercise programme or consider yourself physically active, www.active.org.uk provides an exercise calculator, as well as helpful tips and advice to help you acheive your goals. This site is now listed on our links page.

What about complementary medicine?

E. Ernst, Director of the Department of Complementary Medicine at the University of Exeter, published an article in the BMJ which was based on a presentation for the Millenium Festival of Medicine. He gives us his interpretation of a number of recent surveys. Did you know that the UK lags well behind France and Germany in the prevalence of complementary medicine? Or that it's growing popularity "amounts to a biting criticism of conventional medicine"? Although hard evidence of it's effectiveness is apparently scarce, people value the hands-on, low tech, holistic approach. Click on the link to read the article in full.


Content from week commencing 13th November 2000

5 antioxidants for health.

Lester Packer, author of "The Antioxidant Miracle", recommends 5 dietary supplements from the age of thirty to protect against ill health in later life. They are vitamin C, vitamin E, glutathione, lipoic acid, and co-enzyme Q10. This article from usaweekend.com.

Bad breath doesn't mean bad habits.

A recent presentation at the American Dental Association's annual conference, looked at the issue of bad breath. 25% of the population are said to suffer from this embarrassing condition, which is apparently caused by sulphur producing bacteria. Here are some helpful tips for sufferers, including brushing the back of the tongue.

Sugar and the ageing process.

Researchers have demonstrated how part of the ageing process can be reversed. Advanced glycation causes the hardening of arteries, stiff muscles and failing organs. This article from the Scientific American, details how a substance called ALT 711 can break sugar-protein bonds and reverse the damage they cause. Click on the link to find out more.

Content from week commencing 6th November 2000

Passive smoking can lead to passivity in bed.

Yahoo's Healthscout published this story at the end of October. It relates to a ten year study comparing rates of male impotence in smokers, non-smokers and passive smokers. The study found that a man's chance of becoming impotent doubled if he was exposed to a smoky atmosphere on a regular basis. Click on the link to find out more....

Wart cream cures some types of skin cancer.

Professor Robin Marks, an Australian dermatologist, has recently published his findings that a cream normally prescribed to treat warts also cured 9 out of 10 cases of basal cell carcinoma. Further test are being carried out in Britain, but these early results may preclude minor surgery or laser tretament for some people.


Content from week commencing 30th October 2000

Are herbal remedies effective against asthma?

This report recently appeared on The Telegraph's website. It relates to a study of seventeen previous trials which evaluated the effects of a variety of herbal remedies. It concludes that more needs to be done before these treatments can be safely recommended for asthma sufferers.

Take the asthma test.

If you suffer from wheeziness, but have never been diagnosed as having asthma, complete this online asthma test to find out if you have the symptoms.

The worrying facts about Soya.

A report from The Guardian's Website sets about exploding popular myths about soya. New research shows that consuming large amounts of soya may be bad for your health. Soya apparently contains certain toxins, such as phytoestrogens, which mimic the human hormone oestrogen. It may also inhibit the uptake of minerals from the gut and have harmful effects on red blood cells.


Content from week commencing 23rd October 2000

Skin creams to make you look older.

European legislation is expected in the light of new findings which appear to contradict manufacturers claims that anti-ageing creams can rejuvenate the skin. Anita Roddick of the Body Shop recently distanced herself from these products which act by removing the top layer of the skin. Once again the BBC's Website brings us bang up to date.

What does an Eskimo have which we don't?

CNN reports on American Heart Association guidelines which recommend two servings of omega-3 bearing fatty fish per week. That's Salmon and Tuna to you and me. To find out more, click on the link.

Time for a cuppa....as long as it's green tea.

Unlike black tea which is popular in the UK, green tea contains more of the health giving polyphenols which have been found to be effective in protecting against diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Click on the link to read a thorough review of the latest research, recently published on www.thorne.com.


Content from week commencing 16th October 2000

FOCUS ON ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE.

Many people will know just how devastating this degenerative condition can be. Beginning with an impairment in short term memory and leading to irreversible loss of intellectual functioning, increasing disorientation, an inability to care for oneself and eventually to death. Alzheimer's disease affects 2-5% of people over the age of 65 and 20% of those over the age of 80.

Therapy-World found the following stories and sites related to Alzheimer's.

Can an inability to recognise smells be an early sign of Alzheimer's disease?

A simple smell test may provide a reliable and cost effective way of identifying the early onset of Alzheimer's, according to this report on worldhealth.net.

Researchers are encouraged by the drug "Aricept".

This story from the BBC describes how tests confirmed the beneficial effects of a drug previously available in the US and prescribed on a limited basis in the UK.

www.alzheimers.org.uk

Help and support for carers and sufferers can be obtained from this website.


Content from week commencing 9th October 2000

Is it the "blues" or is it clinical depression?

If you have ever wondered whether you, or someone you know, is suffering from depression, depression-screening.org has an online tool which might give you the answer.

Stinging nettles for arthritis.

A team of researchers from Plymouth University have produced the first known test results which confirm ancient anecdotal evidence that stinging nettles relieve the pain of arthritis.

Two sites which provide reliable information about supplements.

Therapy-World has come across two websites which review the efficacy of common supplements. Visit consumerlab.com, and consumerrreports.org, to find out more.

The US Food and Drug Administration backs up claims that some margarines actually help to reduce cholesterol.

Margarines which contain plant sterol ester have been found to significantly lower blood cholesterol. Benecol and Take Control carry such health giving benefits.