This Weeks Health News – 30/08/13

Welcome to the first Health News Weekly Round up by The Health Cloud. We know that sometimes you can just be too busy to keep up-to-date on all the...
Health News Weekly Roundup

Welcome to the first Health News Weekly Round up by The Health Cloud. We know that sometimes you can just be too busy to keep up-to-date on all the health news going on (especially after sifting through all the other news), so we have decided to help out and provide a round up of all the health news this week – keeping you up to date with health and nutrition.

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Researchers think broccoli slows arthritusBroccoli slows arthritis, researchers think (28th Aug)

The University of East Anglia team is starting human trials following on from successful lab studies. Tests on cells and mice showed that a broccoli compound – which humans can also get from Brussels sprouts and cabbage – blocked a key destructive enzyme that damages cartilage… read more here.

The important part of this article is the ‘researches think’ part – it is far from conclusive yet, although it is promising. Broccoli provides a very unique compound called sulforaphane, which has already been shown to protect the body against cancer, and now, preliminary studies on human cells and mice have shown that this compound inhibits the action of an enzyme which destroys cartilage. Some of the researchers are also think that sulforaphane may even be able to reverse the effects of cartilage damage – at the moment this is a long shot.

It is too early to start prescribing broccoli to people experiencing arthritis, and to date there is much more evidence supporting glucosamine/ chondroitin/ MSM combinations as an effective treatment for protecting joints and preventing cartilage breakdown. This shouldn’t put you off eating broccoli though – it is still one of the most nutrient dense vegetables out there, and if there is a possibility it can help with joint health – even better!

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Illegal tanning jabs are a big health risk‘Gambling with your health’ over illegal tanning jabs (29th Aug)

Health regulator the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) says it has shut down 74 websites selling the product Melanotan. It is also investigating gyms, beauty salons and tanning shops that it says illegally sell the product. “People should not be fooled in to thinking that this is a safe way to tan,” said the MHRA’s Lynda Scammel. She says possible side-effects could include stomach and heart problems, as well as “nervous system disorders”… read more here.

Injecting yourself with unlicensed melanotan is quite a big risk, is a really tan worth it? I was unaware that there was such a thing on the market like this until I read the article, and it is really shocking! There is no way I would consider this to be safe, and the practice of injecting melanotan is known to have over 70 negative side-effects. This most shocking thing about this is that it is illegal to sell melanotan, and so it must be bought through illegal channels, meaning you have no idea what you are actually injecting in your self. Don’t do it!

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Missing a certain protein can promote memory lossProtein clue to old-age memory loss (29th Aug)

Experiments on mice suggested low levels of a protein in the brain may be responsible for memory loss. It is hoped the discovery could lead to treatments to reverse forgetfulness, but it is a big leap from the mouse to a human brain. The study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, said age-related memory loss was a separate condition to Alzheimer’s disease… read more here.

Could losing brain function really be down to the presence/absence of one protein, or at least, partly to do with it? Brain chemistry is mind-blowingly complex, but are not the simple answers often the best to complex problems? With an ageing population it is becoming more and more important to more and more people to combat the negative effects ageing has on our lives – making the findings of this study very interesting and important to many people which is why I think it is a highlight for this week. I personally think that this is just one piece (albeit a very important piece) to the puzzle of memory loss. As with the majority of studies, there is still more research needed.

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Hospitals must offer real-food choiceHospitals must offer real food choice (29th Aug)

Mashed potatoes doled out with an ice cream scoop. Watery sliced carrots. Mince that looks like a dose of diarrhoea. All washed down with slimy yellow jelly with unidentifiable lumps. This is the kind of food that hospital patients routinely have to suffer… read more here.

I really do appreciate having the NHS, and I know they are doing hard work on a tiny budget, but please – feed sick people something nice and nutritious! I remember visiting an old girlfriend in hospital a few years ago, and once it was during meal times. I remember looking at the meal she was given and thinking ‘how is this going to help anyone recover from surgery/infection?’ I am a firm believer that food is the best cure, and it is well known that good nutrition will aid recovery from injury or infection. What would be really interesting to see is some calculation showing how much faster a patient could recover with proper nutrition, and how much the NHS could potentially save.

I decided to include this in the round up, because I wanted to warn you – keep healthy and don’t get ill, or you will be eating some dreadful food!

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Eating fruit cuts diabetes, drinking increases itEating fruit significantly cuts diabetes risk – but drinking juice INCREASES it, says study (30th Aug)

Eating blueberries, grapes, apples and pears cuts the risk of type 2 diabetes but drinking fruit juice can increase it, a large study has found. Experts including a team from Harvard School of Public Health in the US examined whether certain fruits impact on type 2 which affects more than three million Britons… read more here.

This is from the Independent online, and was only published online 2 hours ago. I was aware of this already though as I was asked to comment on the research in a local paper the other day (any chance to show off). Although the findings are true – fruit juices increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes where as eating whole fruits don’t, I don’t think this is news. We already know this don’t we?

The findings of these studies confirm and solidify what we already know about the affects of fruit juices and whole fruit on our health. If we look at an example of an orange vs orange juice – eating one orange will provide approximately 12g of fructose (sugar), along with pith, fibre etc all of which will slow down the absorption of the sugar and also contain are high in vitamins and minerals. 250ml of orange juice will provide up to 30g of fructose, and there is very little pith or fibre in the drink, meaning this sugar is rapidly absorbed, and there is very little nutritional benefit.

Fructose is unique in that it can only be metabolised and stored by the liver, meaning there is very limited storage in the body for fructose sugars. For sedentary people, the livers sugar storage capacity can quickly become full, when this happens, the liver will turn any excess fructose into fatty acids (which increases the risk of diabetes) and also causes the liver to become resistant to insulin, which is a characteristic of type 2 diabetes.

Whole fruit simply provides you with more nutrients, and less sugar, in a more natural way. In making a fruit juice, you take away much of the nutrients and effectively concentrate the sugars which has an adverse effect on the liver, and can increase insulin sensitivity.

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What do you think about this weeks health news? Leave your comments below!

Images courtesy of Eivind Z. Molværsk8geek…love MaeganbucaorgFotos GOVBA and Digital Wallpapers.

I hope you enjoy the site, and like what we have worked hard to create, any feedback is very much welcome, after all this site is for you! Graduate of Nutrition & Food Science (Bsc) at Reading Uni.
  • Jane

    Good news about the broccoli as I eat plenty of it! A bit shocked about the tanning injections, the lengths people will go to just to get a tan amazes me. Talking about tans, what is the situation with tanning beds? I know some are touted as healthy as they give you vitamin D, is this true? With the whole fruit or juice, as you said we already knew about this. I assume they are referring to concentrated drinks, not freshly blended, homemade drinks?

  • Craig

    Hi Jane 🙂

    I would avoid tanning bed, although you may get some vitamin D from it, the damage it does to your body far outweighs the benefits.

    Yes -with fruit juices it does refer to the concentrated juices, not the kind you will make if you blend fruit up. Homemade fruit smoothies are a great way to get lots of nutrients in your diet, keep them up! Thanks for bringing that up!

  • Pingback: Health News – Week Ending 30/08/13 | Occupational Health UK()

  • bubbles

    Nice round up, I’ll be checking back each week 🙂 I assume it will come out every Friday?

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