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© 2006-2009


People who regularly eat soup could be raising their risk of stomach cancer, warns a new study.

According to Dr Rachel Thompson, science programme manager for the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), servings of some well-known brands contained half the recommended daily limit of salt intake.
She claimed that soups are one of the "worst culprits" for hidden salt, and recommended people make their own low-salt versions.
Salt is known to increase blood pressure and the risk of stroke and heart disease, but scientists also believe it is a cause of stomach cancer.
Apart from watching the salt content in soups, Thompson said that, another way to keep salt levels down was to reduce intake of salt-preserved foods, such as hams and sausages, as well as pizza, some ready meals and breakfast cereals.
The recommended intake of salt for adults is no more than 6g a day, although people currently consume an average of 8.6g daily, reports the Daily Express.
Dr Thompson said: "Soups are one of the worst culprits for hidden salt. Some brands of soup have as much as half the recommended daily intake per serving.
"Fresh vegetable-based soups tend to have less salt than tinned cream-based soups that include bacon or ham, but even some of the healthier brands of vegetable soups still contain over a third of our recommended daily intake. This is why it's so important for people to always check the labels of products."



'Ultimate Vanity
The 360 Degree View

It may not be high-tech but has provided solution to a problem that's been bugging ladies for ever - please put your hands together for the ultimate vanity mirror that gives a 360 degree view of its users' head!
The invention, which is the answer to every woman's prayers, is made up of seven individual mirrored panels that wrap right around the body giving a perfect view.
One main mirror is fixed to the wall and the others are attached to two extendable arms on either side, reports the Telegraph.

Each of the six inch arms have a concertina mechanism that helps them to bend around the person who stands in the middle. When opened out, the seven panels, which are four inches high, display every single angle of their head - including the very back.
The mirror can then be folded back up like an accordion and into the main panel for storage.
The 360 degree Mirror, which costs 18 pounds, lights up and can be screwed to the wall or stuck on bathroom tiles with suction pads.
It can be bought via the internet and shipped to Britain by distributing company Old Fashioned Values, based in Kansas City, US.
Sam Marcos, from Old Fashioned Values, said: "The target audience for this product is mainly women but men do like it as well."



Use of 'Avandia', a drug taken by millions of diabetic patients, for a longer period may be dangerous because of its adverse effect on bones, suggests a new study.
According to the study, conducted on mice, the drug may increase the chances of osteoporosis - a disease of bone that leads to an increased risk of fracture.
Earlier this year, Avandia and four other diabetes drugs from the same class were given a "black box" warning by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The warning advises users of an increased risk of heart failure while on the drug. The black box message is the FDA's strongest label warning.
The scientists in the latest study suggest that long-term Avandia (rosiglitazone) usage in the treatment of type II diabetes may cause osteoporosis due to both increased bone resorption and decreased bone formation, reported health portal HealthDay.
They, however, did not recommend people to stop their treatment, as Avandia is effective in controlling glucose and restoring the body's sensitivity to insulin.

"You must balance the benefits against the complications," said study senior author Ron Evans, a professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California.
"Anyone who is already at risk for osteoporotic fractures should consider an alternative anti-diabetic drug," the researcher added.

-[December 2007]-



Now it would be easier to detect hidden explosives, drugs and human cancers, using a new x-ray technique devised by scientists at the University of Manchester.
Professor Robert Cernik and colleagues from the School of Materials have built a prototype colour 3D X-ray system that allows material at each point of an image to be clearly identified.

The technique is known as tomographic energy dispersive diffraction imaging or TEDDI. It harnesses all the wavelengths present in an x-ray beam to create probing 3D pictures.
This technique aids in improving existing methods by allowing detailed images to be created with a single, very simple scanning motion.

The method uses an advanced detector and collimator engineering pioneered at Daresbury Laboratory, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and The University of Cambridge.
It is believed that this advanced engineering will drastically reduce the time taken to create a sample scan from hours to just a few minutes. This shorter period would eliminate the problem of radiation damage, allowing biopsy samples to be studied and normal tissue types to be distinguished from abnormal.

-[November 2007]-



If you want your kids to be healthy and fit, teach them the basic etiquettes of saying, "thank you,” says a new study.
According to psychologists at the University of California and University of Miami, youngsters who took part in daily gratitude exercises reported higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy.

The researchers also reported that the children were also more likely to help someone than members of a control group who focused on daily hassles.
Sue Chain, a mother of two kids, started a family tradition at Thanksgiving in which everyone around the table takes a turn reflecting on what they're most thankful for over the past year.

"It's a way to take a minute to think about what we're really appreciative of and share it with the rest of the family," the New York Daily News quoted Chain, as saying.
"They surprised me. They weren't telling us about new toys or treats, but friendships and activities we'd done together," she added.
A New York etiquette expert and founder of, Lyudmila Bloch said that the exercise of teaching kids to be grateful was very healthy.
"This exercise is very useful. The first parenting lesson is to model by example, especially when it comes to gratitude and good manners. If a toddler can say a few words, one of the most important words they need to learn is 'thank you,'" Bloch said.
"It's also important that children learn to thank people even for the gifts that they don't enjoy or don't need. Often children will say, 'But I don't like this book,' or 'Grandma gave me a red sweater that I don't like.' It's important they understand why we're grateful and why we're thanking someone for a gift,” she said.
She added that with a little parental guidance, kids can reap the benefits from understanding the significance of gratitude.

"Children need to understand that we're not thanking people for the value of the gift, or for what we're getting. It's for their thought and kindness and the time that people have invested in us,” she said.




Hormone therapy taken in the first few years after menopause does not appear to affect a woman’s memory, but may lead to increased sexual interest, according to a study published in the September 25, 2007, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
The study, the largest to date examining the effects of hormone therapy in early post-menopausal women, involved 180 women between the ages of 45 and 55 who had finished their last menstrual cycle in the past one to three years. The women were randomly given placebo or hormone therapy consisting of daily estrogen and progesterone for four months. The women also underwent tests on memory, attention, cognitive function, emotional status, sexuality, and sleep.
The study found no significant difference in cognition among women taking hormone therapy compared to women taking placebo.
“These results are similar to previous studies suggesting hormone therapy has minimal effect on a woman’s memory when taken many years after menopause,” said study author Pauline Maki, PhD, with the University of Illinois in Chicago. “While our results are inconsistent with smaller studies that found improvement in verbal memory for women who only used estrogen, it may be that progesterone modifies the protective effects of estrogen on verbal memory.”

The study also found an increase in sexual interest and thoughts in the women taking hormone therapy. “The level of sexual interest reported by women on hormone therapy increased 44 percent and their number of sexual thoughts increased 32 percent compared to the placebo group,” said Maki.
In addition, women with vasomotor symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats, showed a decrease in such symptoms and an improvement in general quality of life, but no cognitive benefits over placebo.

-[September 2007]-



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