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Archive Health News: July 2009
  Back to 2009 Archives
  Total News For This Month: 10 records

   Nitrite factor
  - The Star, July 29, 2009


Nitrites and its related compounds may be a factor in the rising rate of diabetes, Parkinsonís disease, and Alzheimerís. Already known to cause cancer, a new study suggests that low doses of these chemicals can also have serious effects on the brain.

Sodium nitrite is used to preserve and colour fish, meat and other processed foods, especially hot dogs and bacon.  Nitrates are often found in fertilizers and end up on produce, particularly root vegetables such as potatoes and beets.

Nitrites can be converted to nitrosamines, which are potent cancer-causing chemicals, when cooked over high heat or in the acidic conditions of the stomach. 

Experts say the link is still in the hypothesis stage as there could be more than just one explanation for a host of complicated diseases.


   Eat the crusts, they are really good
  - The New Straits Times, July 26, 2009


Scientists say bread crust is good for the health.  They say a chemical released during the baking process can protect against bowel cancer.  The antioxidant prevents changes in the body that can lead to a tumour.  Experiments with animals showed that regular intake of the  chemical, pronyl-lysine, appears to halt the development of pre-cancerous lesions in the colon.

According to the researchers, it is still too early to say how much crust was needed to reap the full benefit but their results suggest the body needs daily doses of the disease-busting antioxidant in order to protect against cancer.

Almost all tumours can be successfully treated if detected early enough.  The main warning signs include toilet habits and abdominal pains.  Experts recommend eating high-fibre foods such as wholemeal bread, to reduce the risks.


   Help from Chinese herbal medicine
  - The Sun, July 20, 2009


British researchers have found evidence that Chinese herbal medicine may relieve the symptoms of endometriosis, a common gynaecological disorder that affect one in six women of reproductive age.  Symptoms of endometriosis include pelvic pain, painful and irregular periods and infertility.

In two separate trials performed by Cochrane Researchers, Chinese herbal medicine showed symptomatic relief similar to the relief provided by the hormonal drugs gestrinone and danazo, but with fewer side effects.

Previous studies have shown that Chinese herbal medicine is effective for treating menstrual problems and has helped in treatments of breast cancer.


   A healthy use for tobacco in the works
  - New Sunday Times, July 19, 2009


There may be a healthy use for tobacco after all.  European researchers have produced  genetically modified tobacco plants which contain a strong anti-inflammatory protein called interleukin-10 (IL-10) that could help patients with insulin dependent type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune diseases.  The researchers also want to test whether repeated small doses could help prevent diabetes in people, when given with another compound called glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD65),  also produced in tobacco plants.


   Migraines may cause lesions in the brain
  - The New Straits Times, July 14, 2009

  Migraines headaches may inflict long-term damage to a part of the brain important to coordination and the senses. Researchers from the US Uniformed Services University, and the National Institute on Ageing said lesions in the brainís cerebellum were prevalent in almost one-quarter of older women who were afflicted in middle age by migraine headaches that were accompanied by an Ďauraí. The aura is experienced as flashing lights, zig-zag lines or loss of vision before the painful, debilitating headaches strike.

Migraines afflict three times as many women as men, and there was an increased frequency of lesions discovered in the men who suffered from migraines. There was also no increase in lesions among women who suffered migraines without the aura.

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