WHAT'S THE BUZZ

Tai chi helps lower glucose levels

A regular tai chi exercise programme can help people better control their diabetes, says a new study.

In the University of Florida study of adults diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, those who participated in a supervised tai chi exercise programme two days a week with three days of home practice for six months significantly lowered their fasting blood glucose levels, improved their management of the disease, and enhanced their overall quality of life, including mental health, vitality and energy.

“Tai chi really has similar effects as other aerobic exercises on diabetic control. The difference is tai chi is a low-impact exercise, which means that it’s less stressful on the bones, joints and muscles than more strenuous exercise,” said Beverly Roberts, UF College of Nursing.

Diabetes occurs when the body does not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.

Cervical cancer jab is not safe

A leading expert who helped develop the cervical cancer vaccine has claimed that the jab may be more deadly than the disease.

Dr Diane Harper, University of Missouri-Kansas, warned the vaccine was being ‘over-marketed’ and the information about its potential side-effects was not as popular.
The researcher, who was involved in the clinical trials of the controversial drug Cervarix, said though the risks, ‘small but real’, could be worse than the risk of developing cancer itself.

“All this jab will do is prevent girls getting some abnormalities associated with cervical cancer which can be treated. It will not decrease cervical cancer rates at all,” she said.

Aspirin behind high death toll

The high death toll during the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic might be attributed to the misuse of aspirin, says an article.

Published in ‘Clinical Infectious Diseases’, the article sounds a cautionary note at a time when health experts are discussing their concerns about the novel H1N1 virus.
The write-up points out that high doses of aspirin were used to treat patients during the 1918-1919 pandemic.

Of late, such high dosing has been found to increase the risk of toxicity and a dangerous build up of fluid in the lungs.

This toxicity and fluid build-up in the lungs might have contributed to the incidence and severity of symptoms, bacterial infections, and mortality during the 1918-1919 pandemic.
Additionally, autopsy reports from 1918 are consistent with what is currently known about the dangers of aspirin toxicity, as well as the expected viral causes of death.

Biocontrol can help cut malaria

The transmission of malaria can be reduced by using biopesticides that contain a fungus that is pathogenic to mosquitoes, particularly in combination with insecticide-treated bednets (ITNs), according to a study.

Dr Penelope Hancock, Imperial College London, says that incorporating this novel vector control technique into existing vector management programmes may substantially reduce malaria transmission rates, and help manage insecticide resistance. In order to successfully control malaria transmission, single intervention strategies must be widely used across the community, whether the strategy involves fungal biopesticides or ITNs.

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