Friday, December 10, 2010


I had to tell my children this is our last Christmas together

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 3:12 PM on 10th December 2010
A dying mother revealed today how she is preparing to spend a final Christmas with her two small children after she was diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Donna Young, 32, mother of five-year-old daughter Phoebe and two-year-old son Jack, has been given just months to live after being diagnosed with a rare, inoperable lung cancer that mainly affects young women.

The former NHS psychiatric nurse from Preston, said: 'I knew my cancer was inoperable, but deep down, I had hoped I would still be around for a few years and enjoy more time with my children.

'I did hit rock bottom when I realised I only had months left, but then I gave myself a good talking to, picked myself up, and decided to make the most of what time I had left.'

Donna Young was diagnosed with a rare, inoperable lung cancer that mainly affects young women. She has urged other women to push for tests if they think something is wrong
Donna Young was diagnosed with a rare, inoperable lung cancer that mainly affects young women. She has urged other women to push for tests if they think something is wrong

One of the most difficult things Donna has had to do is break the news about her diagnosis to her daughter Phoebe.

Donna said: 'It was a really difficult and agonising thing to have to do, as the last thing you want to do is upset your children.

'But a child's imagination can be far worse than the truth, and I knew I had to tell Phoebe now.

'I told her mummy had got more poorly, and that the doctors have said she will be going to heaven.

'Phoebe got very upset and said it wasn't fair, and that she would miss me and that she wouldn't be able to cuddle me any more.

'She sat there sobbing for about half-an-hour and then she asked me how I was going to get to heaven. I told her the angels would come and take me, and she then wanted to know if I would come back after they had made me better.

'I then had to gently explain that once I was gone, I wouldn't be coming back, but there would be lots of people to look after her and Jack.

'It was one of the hardest things I have had to do and it broke my heart.'

Donna remembers first suffering from a cough when she was pregnant with Phoebe, but when she mentioned it to a midwife, she was told not to worry about it as pregnant women produce more mucus, which can make them cough.

Then, when Phoebe was about six or seven months old, Donna woke up in agony with a searing pain in her side, and went to primary care where she was told she had pneumonia, but no tests or x-rays were carried out.

'Phoebe got very upset and said it wasn't fair, and that she would miss me and that she wouldn't be able to cuddle me any more.'

Donna carried on suffering from recurrent chest infections, and when she was eight-months' pregnant with Jack, she was admitted to hospital after she began coughing up blood.

However, because she was pregnant, doctors were unable to carry out too many tests.
But even after she gave birth to Jack, it wasn't until April last year that doctors did a biopsy of Donna's lung which revealed the cancer.

Donna said: 'It is a small cell type lung cancer which is particularly rare and predominantly affects young women. It is not related to smoking, but is a rare and genetic form of the disease.

'Since being diagnosed, I have been worrying about my children as I don't want them to get it in the future. I have been particularly concerned about Phoebe, as the type of cancer mainly affects women and she is very similar to me in a lot of ways.

'But doctors have told me that the kids will be screened when they are older, and this has helped put my mind at rest.'

Donna is planning to enjoy a quiet family Christmas and says she has spoiled her children more than usual, as she knows it will be her last Christmas with them.
She has already put together memory boxes for Phoebe and Jack for after she has gone. She has even bought them presents for their 18th birthdays, including a necklace with her fingerprint in it for Phoebe

Donna said: 'I know I am not lucky as I have this cancer, but I am fortunate as I have the chance to say my goodbyes and plan for my children's futures.

'Some people lose their life at my age suddenly, but I know what is coming and can do things before I go.

'I am just trying to stay as positive as possible, and hopefully prove the doctors wrong and still be here for next Christmas.'

She added: 'My advice to people would be that if you believe something is wrong, don't just get fobbed off, keep pushing and pushing until you are tested.'

Donna's mother Barbara Lawrensone, 53, said: 'We have shed a lot of tears. It is awful to see your daughter in this position.

'I look at her and just wish I could take it away from her. I wish it was me instead of Donna.'

Read more:

Monday, December 6, 2010

Feeling angry? Why a spoonful of sugar sweetens your mood

Feeling angry? Why a spoonful of sugar sweetens your mood

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 1:14 AM on 2nd December 2010
The next time you are nearing the end of your tether, consider some time out with a chocolate bar. 
High sugar levels can help control aggression and prevent loss of temper, researchers have found.
Their study compared the behaviour of sugar-starved volunteers with those who had been given a sweet drink, and concluded the latter were less inclined to snap. 
The simple sugar glucose is thought to stem aggressive behaviour by providing more self-control
The simple sugar glucose is thought to stem aggressive behaviour by providing more self-control
Researchers believe the effect is caused by glucose, a simple sugar found in the bloodstream that provides energy for the brain.
Study co-author Professor Brad Bushman from Ohio State University said: 'Avoiding aggressive impulses takes self control, and self control takes a lot of energy. Glucose provides that energy in the brain.
'Drinking sweetened lemonade helped provide the short-term energy needed to avoid lashing out at others.'
Professor Bushman said the finding is more than just a medical curiosity. In two published papers, he and his colleagues did several studies showing that people who have trouble metabolizing, or using, glucose in their bodies show more evidence of aggression and less willingness to forgive others.
The problem is that the number of people who have trouble metabolizing glucose - mainly those with diabetes - is rising rapidly.

'Diabetes may not only harm yourself - it is bad for society,' Professor Bushman said.
'The healthy metabolism of glucose may contribute to a more peaceful society by providing people with a higher level of energy for self-control.'
Anger issues? Sugar can calm the nerves say scientists
Anger issues? Sugar can calm the nerves say scientists

In the study, which appears online in the journal Aggressive Behavior, 62 college students fasted for three hours to reduce glucose instability.

They were told they were going to participate in a taste-test study, and then have their reaction times evaluated in a computerised test against an opponent.
Half of the participants were given lemonade sweetened with sugar, while the others were given lemonade with a sugar substitute.

After waiting eight minutes to allow the glucose to be absorbed in their bloodstream, the participants took part in the reaction test.

Participants were told they and an unseen partner would press a button as fast as possible in 25 trials, and whoever was slower would receive a blast of white noise through their headphones.
At the beginning of each trial, participants set the level of noise their partner would receive if they were slower. The noise was rated on a scale of 1 to 10 - from 60 decibels to 105 decibels (about the same volume as a smoke alarm).

In actuality, each participant won 12 of the 25 trials (randomly determined).
Aggression was measured by the noise intensity participants chose on the first trial - before they were provoked by their partner.

Results showed that participants who drank the lemonade sweetened with sugar behaved less aggressively than those who drank lemonade with a sugar substitute.

Those who drank the sugar-sweetened beverage chose a noise level averaging 4.8 out of 10, while those with the sugar substitute averaged 6.06.
'To our knowledge, this is the first study to find that boosting glucose levels can reduce actual aggressive behavior,' Professor Bushman said.
'To be sure, consuming sugar should not be considered a panacea for curbing aggression. But the results do suggest that people who reportedly "snap" with aggression may need some way to boost their mental energy, so they can override their aggressive impulses.'

The findings were corroborated in another series of studies, published recently in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

In that paper, Professor Bushman and colleagues from the University of Kentucky had participants complete a commonly used and well-accepted checklist that measures the number and severity of Type 2 diabetes symptoms.

These include numbness in the feet, shortness of breath at night, and overall sense of fatigue. In three separate studies, the same participants completed different measures of their willingness to forgive others.
On all three measures, people with higher levels of diabetic symptoms were less likely to forgive others for their transgressions.

'These studies are more evidence that diabetic symptoms may cause difficulty in how people relate to each other on a day-to-day basis,' Professor Bushman said. 

'It's not an excuse – diabetes does not mean people have to act aggressively, but it may shed some light on why these behaviors occur."

'With the rate of diabetes increasing worldwide, it is something that should concern all of us.'

Read more:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Why People Like to Cheat

Why people are more likely to cheat or behave badly if it's easy to do

By Niall Firth
Last updated at 2:58 PM on 24th November 2010

People are much more likely to cheat or behave badly if it's easy
People are much more likely to cheat or behave badly if it's easy (picture posed by models)
People are much more likely to lie or cheat if it takes less effort than doing the right thing, new research suggests.

Scientists tested how willing people were to behave immorally and discovered that people will behave badly if it does not involve too much work on their part.
The researchers believe the findings could have implications for charities which rely on people’s good will for donations and help.

Rimma Teper, lead author on the study from the University of Toronto, said:  ‘People are more likely to cheat and make immoral decisions when their transgressions don't involve an explicit action.
‘If they can lie by omission, cheat without doing much legwork, or bypass a person's request for help without expressly denying them, they are much more likely to do so.’ 

In one study, participants took a maths test on a computer after being warned there were glitches in the system. One group was told if they pressed the space bar, the answer to the question would appear on the screen.

The second group was told if they didn't press the enter key within five seconds of seeing a question, the answer would appear.

‘People in the second group – those who didn't have to physically press a button to get the answers – were much more likely to cheat,’ says Associate Psychology Professor Michael Inzlicht, second author on the study, published online in Social Psychological and Personality Science.
The team also asked participants whether they would volunteer to help a student with a learning disability do the test. One group of participants had only the option of checking a 'yes' or 'no' box that popped up on the computer. 

The second group of people could follow a link at the bottom of the page to volunteer their help or simply press 'continue' to move on to the next page of their test.
Participants were five times more likely to volunteer when they had to expressly pick either 'yes' or 'no.' 

‘It seems to be more difficult for people to explicitly deny their help, by clicking 'no,' than it is for them to simply click 'continue' and elude doing the right thing. We suspect that emotion plays an important role in driving this effect,’ says Teper.

‘When people are confronted with actively doing the right thing or the wrong thing, there are a lot of emotions involved – such as guilt and shame – that guide them to make the moral choice.
‘When the transgression is more passive, however, we saw more people doing the wrong thing, and we believe this is because the moral emotions in such situations are probably less intense,’ said Teper.

The team's research on moral behaviour is unique in that it looks at how people behave in certain situations rather simply asking them to predict how they might behave.
‘Forcing people to make an active, moral decision – a 'yes' or 'no' to donating, for example – is going to be much more effective than allowing them to passively skip over a request,’ he said.

Read more:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Drinking too much pop can speed up the ageing process

Drinking too much pop can speed up the ageing process

By Fiona Macrae
Last updated at 2:08 AM on 28th April 2010

Phosphates in fizzy drinks were found to cause skin and muscles to wither in tests on mice

A liking for fizzy drinks could make you old before your time, scientists have warned.

Research shows that phosphate, which gives many soft drinks their tangy taste, can accelerate ageing.

The mineral, which is also added to processed meats, cakes and breads, was found to make the skin and muscles wither and could also damage the heart and kidneys.

Although the experiments were carried out in mice, the researchers – from the respected Harvard University – believe the results show the potential consequences of high doses of the mineral.

Gerald Weissmann, of the research journal FASEB, where the results were published, said: ‘Soda is the caffeine delivery vehicle of choice for millions of people worldwide, but comes with phosphorous as a passenger.

‘This research suggests that our phosphorous balance influences the ageing process, so don’t tip it.’

The study is not the first to raise concerns about the safety of the carbonated colas and juices enjoyed by billions every day.

Brittle bones, pancreatic cancer, muscle weakness and paralysis have been linked to soft drinks, with just two cans a week thought to be enough to raise the risk.

In the latest study, Dr M. Shawkat Razzaque, of Harvard’s dentistry school, looked at the effects of phosphate on three sets of mice.

The first group was genetically engineered to have a gene called klotho, leading to them having higher than normal levels of phosphate.

They lived between eight and 15 weeks, suffering a range of health problems linked to premature ageing.

The second group lacked klotho, with the result that their phosphate levels were closer to normal. They lived for 20 weeks.

The third was bred to be like the second group, except they were fed a high-phosphate diet. All of these mice died by 15 weeks, like those in the first group.

This, the scientists suggest, shows that the phosphate diet had toxic effects.

They warned that the mineral could age the skin and muscles and might trigger or exacerbate kidney and heart problems.

They said: ‘Humans need a healthy diet and keeping the balance of phosphate in the diet may be important for a healthy life and longevity. Avoid phosphate toxicity and enjoy a healthy life.’

Earlier this year, a U.S. study found that two or more soft drinks a week could almost double the chances of pancreatic cancer.

Last night, drinks manufacturers questioned the latest research, pointing out that the study did not look specifically at soft drinks.

Richard Laming, of the British Soft Drinks Association, said: ‘Only 3 per cent of phosphorous in the overall diet comes from soft drinks.

‘People can continue to enjoy soft drinks in moderation as part of a balanced diet.’

Read more:

Monday, November 1, 2010

From garlic to bananas, don't bin the skin: Eating fruit and vegetable peel could combat cancer

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 10:46 PM on 1st November 2010

Drop the peeler — ­eating the skins of fruit and ­vegetables could boost your nutritional intake of vitamins, combat cancer and increase your energy levels.
Dr Marilyn Glenville, former president of the Food and Health Forum at the Royal Society of ­Medicine, says: 'All fruit and vegetables have a "bio-synergy", which means the nutritional ­benefits of each part are reinforced by the others.'
And the skin is not the only healthy bit we discard — stalks and cores can also be packed with nutrients.
Here, we reveal the fruit and vegetables you should try to eat whole...
Banana benefits: Eating the skin can ease depression
Banana benefits: Eating the skin can ease depression
Kiwi fruit
The hairy skin of the kiwi fruit is high in antioxidants and thought to have ­anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-­allergenic properties, says Dr Glenville.
‘The skin contains three times the anti­oxidants of the pulp; it also fights off bugs such as Staphylococcus and E-coli, which are responsible for food poisoning.’
HOW TO EAT IT: If regular kiwi skin is too tart for you, opt for ‘gold’ kiwi fruit (£1.99 for four,, which have sweeter, less hairy skins, but with the same benefits. Use the skin if you are juicing the fruit.
Don’t panic — it’s the tough core of the pineapple, not the prickly skin you should be tucking into.
Along with fibre and vitamin C, a pineapple’s real benefit lies in an enzyme called bromelain, which breaks down food and dead human tissues linger in the digestive ­system quickly, ­protecting the stomach.
‘The core of a pineapple contains twice the bromelain concentration of the surrounding fruit,’ says Dr Glenville.
HOW TO EAT IT: Press and crush the core and add the juice to smoothies. It can be stringy, but the left-over pulp can also be added to soups or casseroles for extra fibre.
Those neat little florets look more appealing, but there’s ­every reason to eat the stalks, too.
‘­Broccoli stalks can be less flavourful than the florets, but they are notably higher in calcium and vitamin C,’ says Dr ­Glenville. The stalks are also high in soluble fibre, so you’ll feel fuller for longer.
HOW TO EAT IT: Simply shred the stalks into thin strips and add to stir-fry or serve steamed.
Researchers in Taiwan ­discovered banana peel extract can ease depression as it is rich in serotonin, the mood-balancing chemical. The skin was also found to be good for eyes, as it contains the antioxidant lutein which ­protects eye cells from exposure to ultraviolet light — a leading cause of cataracts.
HOW TO EAT IT: The research team advises boiling the peel for ten ­minutes and drinking the cooled water or putting it through a juicer and drinking the juice.
Get fruity: Parts of the food we usually discard have cancer combating qualities
Garlic skin contains six separate antioxidant compounds, according to research from Japan. ‘Peeling garlic cloves removes the ­phenylpropanoid antioxidants which help fight the ageing ­process and protect the heart,’ explains Dr Glenville.
HOW TO EAT IT: Drizzle olive oil over half or even a whole garlic head, then add to your baking tray when cooking a roast dinner or oven-baked Mediterranean vegetables.
Citrus fruits
Orange and tangerine peel is high in powerful antioxidants called super-flavonoids, which can significantly reduce levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, without lowering the ‘good’ HDL levels.
The antioxidants obtained from the peel were 20 times more ­powerful than those from the juice, according to a U.S. study.
‘The same goes for all citrus fruits,’ says Dr Glenville. ‘The white pith ­contains high levels of pectin, a component of dietary fibre known to lower ­cholesterol and colonise the gut with beneficial bacteria.’
HOW TO EAT IT: Add grated citrus peel to cauliflower cheese or cakes and muffins for a zesty health kick — or throw the whole, unpeeled fruit into a juicer so you get all the benefits.
Pumpkin, butternut and other squashes
All squashes are high in zinc, which helps promote healthy skin and nails, and the antioxidant beta carotene which protects against heart disease and cancer.
‘The skin itself is obviously too tough to eat, but the closer you scrape it against the skin for the pulp — where it’s more of a rich, orange colour — the more nutrients you’ll get,’ Dr Glenville says.
And don’t ditch the seeds, either — these are an excellent source of Omega 6 and essential fatty acids that keep your brain healthy.
HOW TO EAT IT: Wash the seeds in warm water and bake with a drizzle of olive oil for about 20 minutes. Use to sprinkle on salads and soups.
Most people know potato skins are healthy, but few are aware of the reason why. It’s because the skin is a real nutritional powerhouse. Just one fist-sized potato skin provides half your daily ­recommended intake of soluble fibre, potassium, iron, phos­phorous zinc and vitamin C.
‘Pound for pound, potatoes ­contain more vitamin C than oranges, so are perfect for anyone looking to ward off colds,’ says Dr Glenville.
HOW TO EAT IT: Bake whole as ­jackets, boil and mash with the skin on, or slice into wedges, toss in a ­little olive oil and bake for potato wedges.

Read more:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dose of vitamin C could help A&E patients to feel happier

Dose of vitamin C could help A&E patients to feel happier

By Claire Bates
Last updated at 3:12 PM on 24th September 2010

Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits, was found to improve the state of mind of A&E patients in a new study

Doctors could improve the emotional state of their Accident and Emergency patients simply by giving them a dose of vitamin C.

Canadian researchers randomly assigned acute hospital patients to receive either vitamin C or vitamin D supplements for seven to 10 days.

They found that those who were administered with vitamin C showed a rapid and clinically significant improvement in their state of mood. However, no such change was reported in the vitamin D patients.

The double-blind clinical trial took place at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, Canada and the results were published in the journal Nutrition.

Team member Dr L John Hoffer, of the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, said: 'The lack of any effect of vitamin D on mood is good evidence we are not dealing with a placebo response.

'This looks like a true biological effect. Our finding definitely requires follow up in larger studies in other centres,' he said.

'The treatment is safe, simple and cheap, and could have major clinical practice implications.'

Vitamin C rich foods include citrus fruits, green peppers, strawberries, tomatoes and broccoli.

Earlier studies revealed that the majority of A&E patients have below average levels of vitamins C and D in their blood.

'About one in five acute-care patients in our hospital have vitamin C levels so low as to be compatible with scurvy,' said Dr Hoffer.

'But patients are rarely given vitamin supplements. Most physicians are simply unaware of the problem. Subclinical deficiencies of vitamin C and D have each been linked to psychological abnormalities, so we examined that aspect in our clinical trial.'

Read more:

Friday, September 24, 2010

Rigorous exercise can sabotage cancer therapy

'Sabotage': Rigorous exercise one or two days before having chemotherapy or radiation could undermine the treatment (file picture)

Rigorous exercise before cancer therapy 'highly risky' and can sabotage treatment

By Jenny Hope
Last updated at 8:54 AM on 22nd September 2010

Rigorous exercise can sabotage cancer therapy, a new study has found.

Psychological or physical stress one or two days before having chemotherapy or radiation could undermine the treatment.

Scientists found that cancer cells are more likely to resist treatment because the body’s stress responses had been primed for survival.

They suggest people about to undergo chemotherapy or radiation treatment should try to relax and avoid intense activity for around 48 hours.
A woman exercising at the gym

Lead researcher Dr Govindasamy Ilangovan, from Ohio State University, said: ‘I am not against exercise, but the timing is critical.

'It looks like any intense or prolonged physical activity a couple of days before the start of cancer therapy is highly risky and has potential to reduce the benefits of the treatment.’

The research team carried out a series of experiments in the laboratory, but say the findings are a clear indication that a stress-sensitive protein can aid the survival of cancer cells.

The protein called heat shock factor-1 normally helps tissues and cells cope with stress, and previous research shows it enables heart tissue to survive when threatened by toxic agents.

But this led researchers to suspect it may perform the same function when breast cancer cells are threatened with extinction by treatment.


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Experiments show that heat shock factor-1 activated another protein, known as Hsp27, that kept the tumour cells alive even after they were exposed to radiation and chemotherapy.

Hsp27, which helps to block cell death, interacts with a third protein, p21, which allows cells to repair themselves and keep dividing.

‘We are doing something to kill the cell, but cells have their own compensatory action to oppose that,’ said Dr Ilangovan.

One of the known inducers of heat shock factor-1 is exercise, says a report published in the journal Molecular Cancer Research.

When the cells were put under stress, levels of Hsp27 reached their height within 48 hours, suggesting the protein is highly active in the two days following any stressful event that activates heat shock factor-1.

Dr Ilangovan said ‘The process that sets these activities in motion takes a couple of days.

‘It is not proven in a clinical setting but our hypothesis leads us to strongly caution cancer patients about avoiding stress because that stress might trigger recurrence of cancer cell growth.’

He suspects the wide distribution of heat shock factor-1 in the body means the protein could have an impact on many different cancers.

The research points to possible ways of preventing stress making cancer harder to treat.

A ‘gene-silencing’ molecule called siRNA restored the process of programmed cell death that kills cancer, the scientists found.

However, siRNA is not suitable for patients and no drug currently exists that mirrors its effects.

Arlene Wilkie, director of research and policy, Breast Cancer Campaign said ‘This early research should be treated with caution as it has only been tested on cells in a laboratory and not on cancer patients.

‘It is unrealistic that people who are about to undergo cancer treatment will be able to avoid stress. If you have any concerns talk to your doctor or nurse.’

Read more:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Water on the brain: Grey matter literally shrinks without hydration

Water on the brain: Grey matter literally shrinks without hydration

By Fiona Macrae
Last updated at 8:33 AM on 20th May 2010

Rehydration: Starved of water the brain is forced to work harder

Failing to drink enough water can make your grey matter shrink, making it harder to think, experts have warned.

Research shows that dehydration not only affects the size of the brain but also how it works.

Just 90 minutes of steady sweating can shrink the brain as much as a year of ageing, researchers believe.

Starved of water, the grey matter is also forced to work harder to process the same information.

Over days and weeks, lack of fluid could impact on performance at work and school - and on exam results. But there is no need to panic - because after a glass of water or two the brain quickly returns to normal.

A team of scientists from around the UK scanned the brains of teenagers after an hour and a half of cycling

Some exercised in three layers of sweat-inducing clothing - including a binliner worn next to the skin, a hooded chemical warfare suit and a track suit. Others were much more lightly clad in shorts and t-shirts.

Those who were wrapped up lost around 2lb in sweat - and their brain tissue had shrunk away from their skulls.

Researchers Matthew Kempton and Ulrich Ettinger, of the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London, said: 'We saw a general shrinking of the brain tissue.

'Fluid-filled cavities in the middle of the brain expanded and there was a corresponding shrinking of the brain tissue.

'The people who lost the most weight had the most shrinkage of the brain.'

Read more:

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Right Vegetable For Health

'Pick the right veg' for health

Papaya is a fruit rich in beta-cryptoxanthin

Obvious choices of fruit and vegetables are not necessarily the healthiest, say researchers.

According to US experts, making simple swaps like eating sweet potatoes instead of carrots and papaya rather than oranges could make a difference.

Foods, like raspberries, watercress and kale, are richer in phytonutrients which may help prevent disease, they told a US meeting.

UK nutritionists said a balanced diet is essential to good health.

The British Nutrition Foundation warned that relying on eating a few select food types to boost health was ill-advised and said there was no such thing as a "superfood".

No one food can give you everything you need
Dr Emma Williams of the British Nutrition Foundation

Experts recommend five portions a day of fruit and veg in a healthy diet.

Plant foods are known to contain "phytonutrient" chemicals that can protect the heart and arteries and prevent cancers.

But the most popular varieties may not be the best, according to US researchers.

They analysed data from US health surveys of people's dietary habits to look at the most common sources of phytonutrients.

They found that for 10 of the 14 phytonutrients studied, a single food type accounted for two-thirds or more of an individual's consumption, regardless of how much fruit and veg they ate overall.

Carrots were the most common source of beta-carotene, oranges and orange juice the most common source of beta-cryptoxanthin, spinach the most common source of lutein/zeaxanthin, strawberries the most common source of ellagic acid and mustard the biggest provider of isothiocyanates.

However, for each of these phytonutrients there was a richer food source available.

Richer foods

Switching from carrots to sweet potatoes would nearly double beta-carotene intake, say the researchers.

Similarly papaya contains 15 times more beta-cryptoxanthin than oranges, while kale has three times more lutein/zeaxanthin than spinach.

Raspberries have three times more ellagic acid than strawberries and one cup of watercress contains as much isothiocyanate as four teaspoonfuls of mustard.

Study leader Keith Randolph, who is a technology strategist for the supplement company Nutrilite, said: "These data highlight the importance of not only the quantity but also the significant impact the quality and variety of the fruits and vegetables you eat can have on your health."

Dr Emma Williams of the British Nutrition Foundation said: "They are right that some foods are richer sources of phytonutrients.

"But at the end of the day, to be healthy you need to make sure you have a varied and balanced diet.

"No one food can give you everything you need."

The findings were presented at the 2010 Experimental Biology conference in Anaheim, California.

Source :

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

Monday, March 29, 2010


Keadaan bayi sebelum digoncang

Bayi berada di hospital selepas
beberapa jam digoncang

SBS merupakan kecederaan otak bayi disebabkan goncangan atau pergerakan
kepala yang kuat. Boleh berlaku dalam tempoh sesingkat 5 saat pergerakan
yang kuat.

Kecederaan yang serius boleh menyebabkan kecacatan otak yang

lama, serius dan kekal pada bayi.. Ianya berlaku apabila kepala bayi
digoncang atau dihentak dengan objek walaupun objek lembut seperti

Ada teori mengaitkan dengan pergerakan seperti menimang bayi,

menaiki buaian serta memegang bayi ketika seseorang sedang marah atau
bergaduh boleh menyebab berlakunya SBS. Sebab lain ialah penderaan bayi
(child abuse) dan selalunya mempunyai kesan-kesan penderaan yang lain.

Perkara ini berlaku kerana kepala bayi mempunyai nisbah yang lebih besar
berbanding badan mereka, leher yang lemah dan struktur otak yang masih
belum matang serta lebih kandungan air berbanding orang dewasa.

Amalan menimang atau menggoncang sering dilakukan oleh penjaga terutama
bila bayi tidak mahu berhenti menangis.

Ada yang menimang bayi kerana

untuk menenangkan bayi dan ada juga melakukannya ketika marah atau penat
menjaga bayi.....( occupational stress ).

Ini bukanlah kes SBS pertama yang saya rawat. Sebelum ini saya juga
pernah merawat seorang bayi di wad kanak-kanak yang mempunyai kecederaan
otak yang serius dikhuatiri berpunca daripada menaiki buaian.


1. Jangan sesekali menggoncang bayi anda ketika marah atau untuk

2. Jangan memegang bayi anda ketika marah.

3. Jikalau anda tidak dapat menenangkan bayi anda, lebih baik anda
tinggalkan bayi anda untuk sementara waktu di dalam katil bayi atau
kepada orang lain.

4. Minta bantuan orang lain.

Maka, saya sangat berharap agar ibu bapa dan penjaga semua dapat
mengambil serius dan peka tentang Baby Shaken Syndrome ini.

bukanlah kes terpencil malah di Amerika Syarikat sebanyak 1500 kes
dilaporkan setiap tahun. Mereka juga telah mengharamkan sebarang bentuk
alat menggoncang bayi seperti buaian.

(Forwarded email)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Could bacteria have caused your back pain? (And will a simple dose of antibiotics cure it for good?)

By Roger Dobson
Last updated at 9:26 AM on 09th February 2010

Antibiotics are being investigated as a new way to treat chronic lower back pain.

It's thought that up to one in four cases may actually be caused by infection and not by mechanical problems such as poor posture or improper lifting.

In a Danish study, more than half the patients were either cured or much improved after 90 days of daily antibiotics. A much larger trial is now under way, with results expected later this year.

Lower back pain is one of Britain's biggest health problems. Every year, nearly one in 12 adults consults a GP about it.

Many patients improve within three months of this initial visit, but up to 50 per cent continue to suffer pain and disability.

Carrying heavy items and sleeping on soft mattresses are common causes, but in many cases the problem is a herniated or slipped disc.

The discs, which are slotted between each of the vertebrae, are made up of a hard, fibrous outer ring with a soft inner part called the nucleus.

The discs can degenerate with wear and tear; the outer part then cracks, forcing the pulpy centre to bulge into the spinal canal.

This can irritate the nerves running from the spinal cord down the leg, causing back pain and pins and needles down the leg.

Conventional treatments range from lifestyle changes and physiotherapy to painkillers and surgery.

However, it's thought bacteria may be implicated, after MRI scans of patients with herniated discs have shown key changes in the vertebrae - the bone itself around the affected area swells.

The scans showed that this occurs in up to seven out of ten patients with a herniated disc. Patients with normal healthy discs do not develop these changes.

In the pilot study, 29 patients with lower back pain and these bone changes were given the antibiotic amoxicillin-clavulanate for three months.

Following treatment, 52 per cent of the patients reported that they were much better or cured and 24 per cent were moderately better.

Nobody's symptoms worsened, although symptoms had been getting more severe in the months before treatment.

Doctors Giving Patient MRI MRI scan

MRI scans of patients with herniated discs have shown key changes in the vertebrae - the bone itself around the affected area swells

Researchers believe that when a disc becomes herniated, bacteria can enter and cause an infection. That results in an immune system response - the visible bone changes.

Other laboratory-based studies support this theory. In tissue removed from damaged discs, more than half were infected with the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes and Corynebacterium propinquum.

Neither was found in tissue from patients who underwent surgery for other back problems.

But where could the bacteria come from? Bacteria is found on the skin and in the mouth, and frequently gets into the bloodstream through the gums; brushing your teeth too vigorously can cause gums to bleed.

Usually the bacteria causes no problems - it is anaerobic, which means it cannot grow in the presence of oxygen.

But disc material, which has no blood supply and hence no supply of oxygen, is an ideal breeding ground.

'When bacteria gets into the bloodstream, it can travel to the site of a damaged disc; the body then reacts to the infection, resulting in lower back pain,' says Dr Hanne Albert who has been leading the larger clinical trial at the Back Research Centre in Denmark.

David Blake, professor of bone and joint medicine at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, Bath, says: 'If these results are replicated and are significant in the placebocontrolled trial, it will be a big step forward and comparable with the relatively recent discovery that stomach ulcers can be caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori.

That was another big surprise to the medical profession, and it has transformed the lives of millions.'

Chronic pain sufferers have tested a treatment which kept pain at bay for almost five weeks, writes Jenny Hope.

The intravenous therapy, called IVIG, is normally prescribed for immune-system disorders.

But doctors at the Pain Research Institute, Liverpool University, found it helped almost 50 per cent of patients with complex regional pain syndrome, a type of nerve injury that persists for months after an injury or trauma to a limb.

Twelve patients were given a single, low-dose infusion of IVIG, antibodies taken from donated blood plasma.

Almost half had a 30 per cent reduction in their pain lasting five weeks, and two patients had a 50 per cent reduction, says a report in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researcher Dr Andreas Goebel, senior lecturer in pain medicine, says it is thought the treatment interferes with pain messages.

Monday, February 8, 2010


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