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New super A carrots boost vision

Farmers have grown a novel form of carrots that are 40 pc richer in antioxidants and can boost vision compared to normal varieties. The superfood, which is set to hit the market next week, is 40pc rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant the body converts into vitamin A and boosts health. It has been found to improve vision in dim light, strengthen body’s immunity to infections such as winter colds and flu, and helps maintain healthy skin.

The new Super A carrots that are intensely orange with a sweet taste were developed by growers in Shropshire. Dr Elisabeth Weichselbaum, of the British Nutrition Foundation, said a lack of vitamin A could lead to eye problems and even night blindness.

US to ban drinks containing alcohol, caffeine combo’

The US Food and Drug Administration has announced that drinks, which contain a combination of alcohol and caffeine, will be banned within months if proven to be unsafe.

The agency has asked for scientific evidence to prove it is safe, as they are worried that consuming the drinks, which can mask the effect of alcohol, could lead to rash behaviour, car crashes, violence and assaults.

The FDA issued the ultimatum last week in response to a request made by the National Association of Attorneys General.  The FDA allows caffeine concentrations of up to 200 parts per million in soft drinks, but adding caffeine to alcohol is unregulated.

New non-surgical skin-tightening procedure

The Department of Dermatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham is now offering a new non-invasive skin tightening procedure. The skin is tightened by the use of a device called Thermage that uses radio waves.

Marian Northington, assistant professor of dermatology at UAB and cosmetic expert, said: “Thermage emits radio waves that travel very deeply into the skin and the subcutaneous tissue to promote collagen remodeling and help tighten skin. It works well on patients who want a younger appearance and improved skin tone without relying on surgery, injections or chemical applications.”

Northington added: “It is safe for all skin types, light skin and dark skin, and it works well for all body areas.” Thermage treatments are done without anaesthesia and can be completed in one or two sessions.

Many pregnant African women avoid HIV testing

A large number of pregnant women in Uganda, Africa deliberately avoid being tested for HIV, increasing the risk of mother-to-child transmission, says a study. Anne Buve, a member of Faculty of 1000 Medicine, has discussed the recent and worrying findings of this study, which she describes as “quite sobering”. There is currently an opt-out policy for HIV testing even though the HIV prevalence in Uganda is 6.4 pc.

One year after the implementation of the opt-out policy, fewer than 60 percent of pregnant women were tested for HIV in 2007 in the majority of countries in Eastern and Southern Africa, the exception being Botswana where voluntary counselling and subsequent testing rates are higher. Programmes of syphilis screening during pregnancy already faced the same problem in Uganda.

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