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Health & longevity news archive: January-February 2009





hands on keyboard
'Brain training' claims dismissed
(Feb 27, 2009)


People who spend money on brain trainers to keep their mind sharp may well get the same benefit from simply doing a crossword, experts conclude. Consumer group Which? asked three experts to check claims made about several devices, including the Nintendo DS, on memory and staving off dementia. They found the evidence behind such claims was non-existent or "weak".

Read more. Source: BBC

teeth
Gene could allow lab-grown teeth
(Feb 24, 2009)


Scientists believe they have found a way to grow teeth in the laboratory, a discovery that could put an end to fillings and dentures. The US team from Oregon have located the gene responsible for the growth of enamel, the hard outer layer of teeth which cannot grow back naturally. Other scientists are already growing the inner parts of teeth in animals – but they have no hard enamel coatings.

Read more. Source: BBC

mole rat
Mole rats may hold secret to long life
(Feb 24, 2009)


They may not be the prettiest creatures, but naked mole rats may hold the secret to longevity. They can live for nearly 30 years longer than any other rodent.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

vitamin pills
Multivitamin supplements a 'waste of time'
(Feb 11, 2009)


Middle-aged women who swallow multivitamin supplements are not doing their health any favours, and are just creating expensive urine, according to the world's largest study into the subject. Researchers who examined the pill-popping habits of nearly 162,000 American women aged 50 to 79 found that although they swallowed dietary supplements by the bucketload, there was no sign that they reduced common cancers, heart disease or deaths.

Read more. Source: The Independent

sunshine
The great health debate: is sunshine a miracle cure?
(Feb 8, 2009)


Our bodies make vitamin D when the sun shines, and new research suggests the positive effects on health are greater than we ever guessed. But too much sun causes skin cancer. It's a dilemma provoking fierce discussion among scientists.

Read more. Source: The Guardian

fruit and vegetables
Cutting calories 'boosts memory'
(Jan 27, 2009)


Reducing what you eat by nearly a third may improve memory, according to German researchers. They introduced the diet to 50 elderly volunteers, then gave them a memory test three months later. The study, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, found significant improvements.

Read more. Source: BBC

sources of vitamin D
Vitamin D 'is mental health aid'
(Jan 23, 2009)


Vitamin D, found in fish and produced by sun exposure, can help stave off the mental decline that can affect people in old age, a study has suggested. UK and US researchers looked at 2,000 people aged 65 and over. They found that compared to those with the highest vitamin D levels, those with the lowest were more than twice as likely to have impaired understanding.

Read more. Source: BBC

bone marrow stem cells
Body repair 'could be ramped up'
(Jan 14, 2009)


A combination of drugs could trick the body into sending its repair mechanisms into overdrive, say scientists. The technique could be used to speed the healing of heart or bone damage, they claim. The bone marrow of treated mice released 100 times as many stem cells – which help to regenerate tissue.

Read more. Source: BBC

detox product
Scientists dismiss 'detox myth'
(Jan 5, 2009)


There is no evidence that products widely promoted to help the body "detox" work, scientists warn. The charitable trust Sense About Science reviewed 15 products, from bottled water to face scrub, and found many detox claims were "meaningless". Anyone worried about the after-effects of Christmas overindulgence would get the same benefits from eating healthily and getting plenty of sleep, they said.

Read more. Source: BBC

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