Round-Up of Global News In Health and Complementary Medicine
Week Beginning 27 May 2002
Senses Disturbed By Modern Living
Modern life can seem, for most part anyway, a highly chaotic existence. Time flies by as we race around to complete all our working and domestic duties. The effects on our health are all too apparent in the increasing fatigue and depressive illness we are suffering. However, we may be losing even more than we suspect. This is according to a leading UK psychologist. He argues that the trend for pampering, massages, aromatherapy and exotic foods is an attempt to compensate for a worrying lack of touch and smell in modern lives, says a report. According to Dr Charles Spence, an experimental psychologist at Oxford University, sensory deprivation is a widespread problem with serious implications for health and well being. He is calling for the intelligent use of background smells, mood-enhancing music and tactile surfaces in the home and workplace to help restore the balance.
The Daily Telegraph
Prostate Cancer Set To Rise
Much is discussed about the risks of female cancers – breast cancer, uterine cancer, cervical cancer. But it seems that the leading male cancers, such as prostate cancer, which can be just as devastating, are often overlooked. However, we ignore the potential rise of prostate cancer at our peril. Because it is set to be a big issue in the very near future. According to a latest report, prostate cancer will soon become the most common cancer afflicting men in the UK, new figures suggest. Prostate cancer affected 22,000 men in the UK last year, and 10,000 died. The number of cases has been rising steadily since the 1970s, partly due to increased testing. The trend suggests it will overtake lung cancer as the commonest form of cancer in men within four years. The Institute for Cancer Research is announcing a new trial aimed at improving diagnosis and treatment.
The Daily Mirror
A Little Nap Helps Our Working Lives
The Spanish have already sorted it out. The Japanese have learnt of its benefits. What are we talking about? It’s the siesta, or to give it its more business-like moniker, the power nap. And it seems that we should all be adopting it as a therapeutic exercise – because new research, published this week, has highlighted how beneficial it is to our work. Sleeping on the job helps boost mental performance by preventing the brain becoming overloaded, the new study suggests. Without a 'power nap', too much information can flood the brain of a busy employee, leading to a loss of learning ability. Scientists at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who reported their findings in the journal Nature Neuroscience, found that sleep, and not merely resting with eyes closed, is necessary to produce the restorative effect. Naps lasting an hour or less have previously been shown to improve alertness, productivity and mood.
Fruit & Veg For A Longer Life
We in the UK often have a bad reputation for turning our backs on fruit and veg. This has not always been the case, of course, and our forefathers knew a good thing when they saw blackberries growing in the hedgerow and such like. And it is probably time that we started to realize once more the health benefits of fruit and vegetables. If the results of a study published this week are to be believed, it won’t take much to ensure our health. For only one or two extra apples or oranges a day could cut the risk of early death from heart disease or cancer by 20 per cent, researchers say. They have found that low blood levels of vitamin C are associated with higher death rates from heart disease and strokes and some cancers in men. The findings are from an ongoing study called the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, involving scientists in 10 European countries and more than half a million people.
Diet Holds The Key To Cancer Treatment
Following on from our previous story, and continuing on the them of "you are what you eat", the benefits of veggies were further highlighted this week. Research from the USA and France has shown that vegetables hold the key to treating and preventing one of the leading cancers, stomach cancer. A cancer which can be devastating in its effects. The basis of the new findings is a simple one indeed. A bacterium thought to be responsible for most cases of stomach cancer may be susceptible to sulforaphane, a chemical found in broccoli. Scientists at Johns Hopkins University in the US, and the French National Scientific Research Center, hope to demonstrate that a diet rich in vegetables containing sulphoraphane can help to relieve Helicobacter pylori infection. H. pylori can be killed with antibiotics in most cases but it frequently occurs in regions where they are not readily available.
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