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Health & Fitness

  • Lack of vitamin D ‘could be a direct cause of MS’

    Lack of vitamin D ‘could be a direct cause of MS’

    Lack of vitamin D may be a direct cause of multiple sclerosis (MS), a genetic study has found. The discovery may have “important public health implications” since so many people have insufficient levels of the essential vitamin, say...

  • Skipping blood pressure pills may raise risk of heart failure

    Skipping blood pressure pills may raise risk of heart failure

    Patients who frequently fail to take prescribed blood pressure-lowering medications may be more likely to wind up hospitalised for heart failure than people who only miss pills occasionally, an Italian study suggests. While plenty of previous...

  • ‘Holy Grail’ of universal flu vaccine soon within reach

    A universal vaccine that offers protection against multiple flu strains could soon be within reach of scientists searching for the ‘Holy Grail’ of immunology. Two teams of researchers have reported major progress towards creating a vaccine that...

  • Taking a low-dose painkiller daily can cut bowel cancer risk

    Taking a low-dose painkiller daily can cut bowel cancer risk

    Taking a low-dose painkiller every day can reduce the risk of bowel cancer, a new study has found. The research shows that a daily 75 to 150 milligram dose of aspirin taken for at least five years cut the chances of developing the disease by 27...

  • Fish oil supplements ‘do not slow mental decline’

    Fish oil supplements taken by millions to protect their brains from the ravages of age do nothing to slow natural mental decline, research suggests. Scientists who monitored the progress of 4,000 study participants over five years found no...

  • ‘Let food be your medicine’

    ‘Let food be your medicine’

    Last week we looked at the complexities of feeling tired, in particular the way our bodies are affected by chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Today, we will look at how we can try to combat this tiredness by making small changes to our lifestyles. As...

  • Champion approach to exercise

    Champion approach to exercise

    Perhaps the coolest birthday gift I ever received was a gym membership on my 16th birthday. Prior to that, I was an avid parti-cipant in track athletics, the sprints in particular. My first forages into any sort of gym environment took place in...

  • Heart attack patients ‘at risk by not following lifestyle advice’

    Heart attack patients ‘at risk by not following lifestyle advice’

    Many heart attack patients are not taking the correct steps to look after their heart health and prevent another attack from happening, experts have warned. Cardiologists said they see a noticeable gap between what lifestyle changes patients need...

  • Birth control pills may offer lasting endometrial cancer protection

    Birth control pills may offer lasting endometrial cancer protection

    Women who use oral contraceptives during their reproductive years may gain long-term protection against endometrial cancer, a review of previous research suggests. Researchers analysed 36 studies including more than 140,000 women from around the...

  • Heaviest smokers may face biggest weight gain after quitting

    Heaviest smokers may face biggest weight gain after quitting

    Smokers who keep smoking, and those who quit, will all gain weight over time, but those who smoked the most before quitting may gain more, a new study suggests. How much more might also be predicted by the smokers’ starting weights, researchers say.

  • Coffee and alcohol linked to reduced risk of Alzheimer’s

    Statins, anti-inflammatory drugs, alcoholic drinks and coffee have all been linked to a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s, scientists have said. But diabetes, depression and high blood pressure can increase it in certain groups, according to...

  • Fears of explosion in numbers of Alzheimer’s sufferers ‘somewhat overblown’

    Fears of explosion in numbers of Alzheimer’s sufferers ‘somewhat overblown’

    Fears of an Alzheimer’s explosion are unfounded, according to new research showing that dementia rates may be stabilising in the UK and other parts of Europe. Scientists found that the proportion of British people aged 65 and above with dementia...

  • ‘Female Viagra’ seen more a pace-setter than moneymaker

    ‘Female Viagra’ seen more a pace-setter than moneymaker

    The first US treatment for low sexual desire in women, dubbed “female Viagra”, is more likely to help build a market for better future rival drugs than achieve the sales seen for Pfizer Inc’s famous little blue pill for men, industry experts...

  • A look at the pink pill

    How does it work? Addyi, known generically as flibanserin, acts on brain chemicals associated with mood and appetite, similar to antidepressant drugs. In fact, it was originally studied as a treatment for depression before being repurposed into a...

  • Working long hours can increase stroke risk

    Working long hours can increase stroke risk

    Staying late at the office for even an hour or two can increase the chances of suffering a stroke, according to research. Working long hours might impress the boss or even win promotion –  but clock-watchers are likely to have the last laugh, a...

  • Mother’s height linked to length of pregnancy and baby size

    Mother’s height linked to length of pregnancy and baby size

    Shorter mothers have genes that increase their chances of giving birth to smaller or prematurely born babies, research has shown. A study of 3,485 women and infants from Finland, Denmark and Norway found that every centimetre of extra height...

  • Number of cot death babies in the UK rises for first time in five years

    Number of cot death babies in the UK rises for first time in five years

    The number of babies dying from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) rose in 2013 for the first time in five years, official figures in the UK show. The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed 249 babies died in an...

  • ‘Brain’ grown in laboratory dish will help research for Alzheimer’s

    A near-complete human brain comparable with that of a five-week-old foetus has been grown in a laboratory dish. The brain “organoid” was created from reprogrammed skin cells and is about the size of a pencil eraser. Scientists hope the lumpy mass...

  • Smokers ‘more likely to develop pot bellies’

    Smokers ‘more likely to develop pot bellies’

    Heavy smoking may lead to a fatter stomach, new research suggests. While many smokers cite fear of weight gain as a reason for not giving up, scientists have found they are more likely to develop pot bellies than non-smokers. Scientists at the...

  • Light drinking linked to increased cancer risk

    Light drinking linked to increased cancer risk

    People who engage in light or moderate drinking every day are at an increased risk of cancer, a study has found. Research carried out in the US and published by the British Medical Journal only found the link in men who had smoked at some point in...

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