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Health & Fitness

  • Action needed to reduce global suicide rate

    More than 800,000 people each year worldwide commit suicide − around one person every 40 seconds − with many using poisoning, hanging or shooting to end their own lives, the World Health Organisation said. In its first global report on suicide...

  • WHO ‘gives misleading view on e-cigarettes’

    WHO ‘gives misleading view on e-cigarettes’

    A World Health Organisation-commissioned review of e-cigarettes contains errors, misinterpretations and misrepresentations, meaning policymakers may miss their potential health benefits, a group of tobacco addiction experts said. In a critique of...

  • E-cigarettes ‘gateway to harmful drugs’

    E-cigarettes ‘gateway to harmful drugs’

    Like conventional cigarettes, electronic cigarettes may function as a ‘gateway drug’ that can prime the brain to be more receptive to harder drugs, US researchers said. The findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, add to the...

  • New hope for MS treatment

    Scientists say they have discovered how to ‘switch off’ autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and type 1 diabetes. Researchers at the University of Bristol, who describe the work as an ‘important breakthrough’, say it could improve...

  • Eating more fruit boosts heart health

    Eating more fruit boosts heart health

    Eating fruit every day can reduce the risk of heart and artery disease by up to 40 per cent, a study has found. Compared with avoiding fruit altogether, daily consumption also cut the overall risk of death by nearly a third in at-risk individuals,...

  • ‘Breakfast link’ to diabetes

    A healthy breakfast may protect children against the risk of type 2 diabetes, research has shown. Scientists studied more than 4,000 British primary schoolchildren aged nine and 10 who answered questions about what they ate for breakfast, and how...

  • Movies ‘make you eat more snacks’

    Movies ‘make you eat more snacks’

    Watching an action movie is worse for your waistline than tuning into a talk show, research has shown. A study found that viewing choice has a direct effect on the amount of snacks people consume in front of the TV. Volunteers gobbled twice as...

  • At obstacle course gyms, exercisers run fitness gamut

    At obstacle course gyms, exercisers run fitness gamut

    Tired of treadmills? Bored with bicep curls? It may be time to scale a wall, climb a rope and drag a tyre. Fitness experts say obstacle course gyms offer a fun, goal-oriented workout that cultivates endurance, strength and agility. Christine King,...

  • Diet and health controversies

    Diet and health controversies

    Recommendations about the relationship between which foods (and supplements) and good or bad health seem to change every so often, confusing not only lay people but also doctors. There seems no end to this problem – in fact, scientific...

  • MS – find the trigger

    MS – find the trigger

    MS afflicts around 2.5 million people worldwide and is believed to be a disease of the central nervous system. This includes the brain and spinal cord. Nerve cell branches, or axons, in the central nervous system are protected by a fatty coating...

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy

    We have gone a long way from believing that the mind and the brain are two distinct systems, one being the repository of the soul, the other being purely a physical/mechanical mechanism. This duality has long ago been challenged and put to...

  • No pain, no gain

    No pain, no gain

    No inductee to the world of fitness or exercise could have possibly escaped the famous 1980s mantra, ‘No pain, no gain’. Granted, we don’t actually hear it all that much anymore in the here and now, but I believe it to be one of the grand-daddies...

  • Tomatoes may do wonders

    Tomatoes may do wonders

    Men who eat more than 10 portions of tomatoes each week have an 18 per cent lower risk of developing prostate cancer, research suggests. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide. Researchers from the Universities of...

  • Non-allergic peanut moves closer to commercial reality

    Non-allergic peanut moves closer to commercial reality

    A new method for removing allergens from peanuts means help could soon be on the way for millions suffering from a potentially life-threatening allergy to the popular food, the US Department of Agriculture said. In a blog post, the agency said...

  • Bacteria ‘may help food allergies’

    Bacteria ‘may help food allergies’

    Bacteria from a family that includes potentially deadly infectious bugs may protect against food allergies, research has shown. Clostridia encompasses around 100 bacterial species, some of which live harmlessly in the gut. Others are responsible...

  • Breastfeeding linked with mental health

    Breastfeeding linked with mental health

    New mothers who successfully breastfeed their babies are less likely to get postnatal depression, research suggests. Expectant mothers who plan to breastfeed after they have given birth but are unable to are at the highest risk of developing the...

  • Marley’s skin cancer was ‘not sun-driven’

    Marley’s skin cancer was ‘not sun-driven’

    A rare type of skin cancer that killed reggae star Bob Marley causes distinct genetic faults not driven by the action of sunlight, research has shown. Acral melanoma most often affects the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, nail beds and other...

  • ‘Don’t call me while on holiday’

    ‘Don’t call me while on holiday’

    Being bothered by the boss while on holiday is more stressful than bungee jumping, according to a study. Communication with the office while away is also more bothersome than being stood up on a date, the study from lastminute.com found. The study...

  • Sleep stealers and sleep givers

    Sleep stealers and sleep givers

    In our fast and hectic lifestyles much of our health suffers, but nothing more than our ability to get a good night’s sleep. If I meet anyone who has the ability to sleep right through the night, for at least eight hours, I feel admiration for...

  • Losing weight and mental health

    Losing weight and mental health

    When someone loses or gains weight, what we see on the surface can often be only the tip of the iceberg. Size and appearance can be indicative of our state of physical health, so it’s fair to assume that if someone looks healthy, then they...

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