Vegetarians develop fewer cancers

Vegetarians may be less likely than meat eaters to develop cancers of the blood, bladder and stomach, suggests a study.

Lead researcher Tim Key, however, insists that this may not be the case for all forms of the disease. Scientists from universities in the UK and New Zealand examined 61,566 British men and women, including meat-eaters, those who ate fish but not meat, and those who did not ate either.

The researchers found that while nearly 33 people in 100 in the general population would develop cancer during their lifetime, for those who abstained from meat the risk was reduced to about 29 in 100.

The study discovered considerable differences between meat-eaters and vegetarians in the propensity to cancers of the lymph and the blood, with the latter just over half as likely to develop these forms of the disease. But Key warned that the findings were not strong enough to draw absolute conclusions.

Using stem cells from own organ

Doctors at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute have for the first time repaired a heart damaged by a heart attack by growing specialised stem cells using tissue obtained from a patient’s own organ.

The minimally-invasive procedure was completed on the first patient on June 26, as part of a Phase I investigative study approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and supported by the Specialised Centres for Cell-based Therapies at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the Donald W Reynolds Foundation.

“This procedure signals a new and exciting era in the understanding and treatment of heart disease,” said Dr Eduardo Marban, who developed the technique and is leading the clinical trial.

Vit D deficiency high in South Asia

Vitamin D deficiency is on the rise across the globe, with the highest rates recorded in South Asia, say experts.

A study involving six regions Asia, Europe, Latin America, West Asia and Africa, North America, and Oceania showed that the highest rates of Vitamin D deficiency occur in South Asia and West Asia and the problem is widespread and on the increase.

It can have potentially severe repercussions for overall health and fracture rates.
Vitamin D is mainly produced in the skin upon exposure to sunlight, and, to a lesser extent, is derived from nutritional sources.

It plays an important role, through its influence on calcium levels, in the maintenance of organ systems, and is needed for normal bone mineralisation and growth.

Sweeteners vs natural sugars

Consumers are being misled on the nutritional differences between high fructose sweeteners and natural sugars, say experts.

Condemning several brands’ decision to drop high fructose corn syrup from certain products, experts say that both the sweetners are nutritionally the same.

A ‘Washington Post’ health reporter Jennifer LaRue Huget wrote: “...most nutrition experts now agree there’s really little material difference between high fructose corn syrup and other caloric sweeteners.”

She added: “They all deliver about 15-20 calories per teaspoon, and the human body appears not to know one from the other.”

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