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~*Thamizhan*~

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Posted: 19 August 2007 at 11:41am | IP Logged
Exercise 'must be tough to work'
jogging hspace0
Jogging counts as vigorous activity
To be healthy, you really do need to break into a sweat when you exercise, say experts. American College of Sports Medicine members are concerned official advice to do 30 minutes of gentle exercise each day is being misconstrued.

Some may take this to include a mere stroll to the car, Circulation reports.

People should do at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week, or 20 minutes of vigorous exercise, like jogging, three days a week, they say...more

Source: BBC 

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~*Thamizhan*~

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Posted: 19 August 2007 at 11:43am | IP Logged
Nerve cell stretchiness uncovered
Nerve cell
A protein stops nerve cells from breaking, research suggests
US scientists may have discovered why long nerve cells do not break when you move or stretch your limbs. Experiments in worms showed that when a protein called beta spectrin is missing, nerve cells are brittle and break, leading to paralysis. The finding may help to explain why people with a condition called spinocerebellar ataxia progressively lose co-ordination and movement.

The University of Utah study is in the Journal of Cell Biology.

Humans have four genes responsible for the production of beta spectrin protein...more

Source: BBC 

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Posted: 25 August 2007 at 5:12am | IP Logged
Drug watchdog 'must get tougher'
pills hspace0
NICE makes recommendations to the NHS on treatments
The body assessing new therapies and drugs for the NHS could be approving too many treatments, a report has said. It claimed the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) judged "value for money" at a cost far higher than the NHS could afford. New approved treatments could mean more effective ones were sacrificed, added The King's Fund and City University report in the British Medical Journal. The report comes shortly after a row over a NICE decision on dementia drugs. NICE uses a complex series of equations to work out whether the NHS should be spending money on new drugs. The effectiveness of the drug, and its side-effects, are balanced with its cost to give a price per extra year of good health - called a Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY). In approximate terms, if the new treatment can deliver one QALY for 20,000 or less, then it is deemed cost-effective and heading for NHS approval. If the QALY costs up to 30,000, it may still be approved for NHS use by NICE. 'Less to spend' However, the latest research, from think tank The Kings Fund and City University, suggested that this 30,000 threshold was far too high when compared with how the rest of the NHS worked out which treatments to fund.
Even if 20,000 to 30,000 was the right threshold when NICE was set up, in the current NHS, where there is far less money to spend, it doesn't appear to be now
Professor Nancy Devlin, City University
Even in key areas such as circulatory disease, 12,000 was the limit a primary care trust would pay per QALY. Reducing the NICE threshold to this level could mean rejection for many more therapies and drugs it assesses in future. Professor Nancy Devlin, from City University, said that she would be in favour of NICE reducing its threshold to match the rest of the NHS. Threshold review She said: "It's all about value for money. There is no such thing as the correct threshold throughout time. "Even if 20,000 to 30,000 was the right threshold when NICE was set up, in the current NHS, where there is far less money to spend, it doesn't appear to be now." She said that primary care trusts told to fund a new drug approved by NICE under these criteria might end up sacrificing another treatment which actually offered better quality of life improvements for patients, for less money. NICE are believed to be looking at the threshold levels, although Chairman Sir Michael Rawlins has hinted that it may go upwards, rather than downwards. A spokesman for NICE confirmed that the limits were currently under review. Drugs row The suggestion that NICE should take a tougher look at the value for money of new drugs comes as further controversy erupted over the decision of charity the Alzheimer's Society to take NICE to court over its decision to deny a new drug to certain patients.

Sir Iain Chalmers, a member of NICE's research and development advisory committee, said that the charity's alliance with pharmaceutical companies to launch its legal challenge "eroded its own authority" and risked losing the confidence of the public.

A spokesman for the Alzheimer's Society responded: "To suggest a fictitious alliance with drug manufacturers is an insult to thousands of people across the nation who took to the streets in support of the campaign."

Source: BBC News

~*Thamizhan*~

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Posted: 28 August 2007 at 3:57am | IP Logged
Expert says ban all alcohol ads
alcohol hspace0
Professor Gilmore proposes higher taxes on alcohol
A leading doctor says all advertising of alcohol must be banned in a bid to curb Britain's growing drink problem. The comments by the head of the Royal College of Physicians come as latest data show alcohol-related deaths in the UK have doubled in the past 15 years. Professor Ian Gilmore said the measure was necessary to protect children who were influenced by sporting heroes wearing branded clothing. Government said it was already introducing measures to help.
We should look at introducing a watershed, with a move towards a complete ban
Professor Gilmore
Professor Gilmore suggested a phased ban. "I think it would be hard to move to a total advertising ban straight away, but we can work towards it. "Most urgently we should look at introducing a watershed, with a move towards a complete ban." He said it made no sense to have a watershed for promoting unhealthy foods to children but then allow alcohol advertising during the day. Wrong messages Professor Gilmore said he had recently watched a football match on satellite television which had shown four alcohol advertisements over the course of a lunchtime. He suggested advertising within sporting events could be particularly influential upon children. He explained that how his nine-year-old nephew had a Liverpool shirt with the Carlsberg logo on it. He also said drink was too cheap to buy in supermarkets and called for higher taxes on alcohol.
We are committed to tackling this problem
A Department of Health spokeswoman
"We really are quite liberal in comparison with many countries. "I'm not teetotal and we are not calling for prohibition. But we want to see some evidence-based strategies to see a reduction in the alcohol-related harm which we see in our hospitals," he said. A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said: "We are concerned about the number of alcohol-related deaths and are committed to tackling this problem."

She said they had recently launched a high-profile responsible drinking campaign, Know Your Limits, aimed at 18 to 24-year-olds.

"We are also working closely with alcohol drinks industry and non-industry stakeholders on promoting more responsible drinking and preventing alcohol misuse."


Source: BBC News

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Posted: 28 August 2007 at 3:57am | IP Logged
Drink campaign 'has wrong focus'
Adult drinker
A recent study suggests 74.4% of Britons drink at home
Alcohol awareness campaigns focus too much on young binge-drinkers rather than older people drinking at home, senior doctors have said. The Royal College of Physicians believes adult alcohol intake is a much bigger health hazard - fuelled by an abundance of cheap alcohol. The college wants alcohol prices raised and its availability decreased. Health minister Lord Hunt said advice on sensible drinking was aimed at all drinkers - wherever they were. "I know that the recommendation is that people don't drink every night so the body does have a chance to recover," he said. "We're doing everything we can and I know that the colleagues I work with in this area want to get these sensible drinking messages out and, wherever you drink, it is important that you take note of that." Advertising plea Professor Ian Gilmore, head of the college, expressed concern over the number of adults turning to drink because of stress at work or difficulties at home.
ADULTS WHO DRINK AT HOME
UK 74.4%
France 66%
Germany 64.3%
Spain 44.5%

Source: Mintel
He called on the government to changed the "regulatory framework". "We're incredibly liberal in this country. You go 20 miles across the Channel to France, there's a ban on broadcast advertising, there's no sports sponsorship in France. "Their drinking is falling, their cirrhosis rates are falling." He said alcohol had "never been cheaper in real terms in our lifetime that it is now" and it had never been more available. 'Educating' drinkers Drinks firms said they were doing their bit to encourage responsible drinking.
The industry has been looking at education for the general consumer
Kate Coleman
Wine and Spirit Trade Association
David Poley, of the Portman Group, which speaks for the industry, Britain's drinking culture needed to be changed through a "co-ordinated programme including education". "That's why the drinks industry is supporting the Drinkaware Trust to carry out this consumer education over the next three years." And Kate Coleman, from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said the industry was committed to giving customers the relevant information about safe drinking levels. "The industry has been looking at education for the general consumer in terms of unit labelling and the government's sensible drinking messages for some time," she said.

Recent research by Mintel suggested more Britons drink alcohol than Germans or Spaniards.

Their study also concluded that Britons were far more likely to drink at home than their counterparts in mainland Europe.

Source: BBC News

~*Thamizhan*~

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Posted: 28 August 2007 at 3:58am | IP Logged
Call to stop children's drinking
Tray of drinks
The charity wants alcohol education in the National Curriculum
Parents who give alcohol to children aged under 15 should be prosecuted, a charity has said. The call comes in an Alcohol Concern report on the government's Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy. The study highlights figures that suggest a large increase in the amount of alcohol being drunk by 11 to 13-year-olds. Public Health Minister Caroline Flint told the BBC she did not think the proposals would be enforceable. Alcohol Concern also wants a 16% rise in alcohol taxes, a ban on brewers selling to retailers at a loss, and a crackdown on under-age alcohol sales. It is currently illegal to give an alcoholic drink to a child under five except under medical supervision in an emergency. The report's figures, published by the Information Centre (IC) last November, showed boys aged 11 to 13 who had drunk the previous week drank an average of 12 units of alcohol in 2006 compared to eight in 2000. The figure for girls increased from just under five units in 2000 to just over eight in 2006.
Our report shows that we are simply not doing enough to protect our children from alcohol
Srabani Sen
Alcohol Concern

A spokeswoman from the IC, which is a special health authority that provides information to the NHS, said: "It would be too early to say whether this most recent data was a blip or a genuine increase in drinking among this age group." Alcohol Concern chief executive Srabani Sen said: "Our report shows that we are simply not doing enough to protect our children from alcohol. "Binge drinking by children can have serious consequences for brain function, significantly raises the risk of alcohol dependency in later life and diminishes their life chances." Sensible message Ms Flint said there would be difficulties in enforcing a ban on drinking in the home. "I don't think passing a law to ban alcohol for those under 15 would be enforceable or necessarily effective. "But certainly one of the things that we do need to think about is how we all, as parents with families, do what we can do to have a sensible drinking message within our own homes." She also said the government was serious about tackling alcohol-related harm and that levels of binge drinking were no longer rising. "Recent figures showed there has been a 5% drop between 2001 and 2006, of young people aged between 11 and 15 who had drunk alcohol in the previous week. "The new alcohol strategy to be published this summer will continue to drive reductions in alcohol related offending and harmful behaviour through a combination of education, treatment and tough penalties." Ms Flint's views are supported by a Scottish charity which fears that putting alcohol completely out of bounds could make it more tempting. Alcohol Focus Scotland is in favour of the continental approach of educating children responsibly about drinking and thinks that the ban proposal is a step too far. 'New social reality' Alcohol Concern would include meal times at home in the ban on giving alcohol to young people. Frank Soodeen, a campaigns officer for Alcohol Concern, said: "We are facing a new social reality where children seem to be adopting older behaviour at a younger age.
HAVE YOUR SAY
It's better to introduce alcohol at a young age, remove its mystery
Hannah, Market Harborough

"One of the things we need to do is get parents on board." He also suggested there was a need to consider new legislation regarding the issue. The charity would like to see a ban on alcohol advertising before the 9pm television watershed and non-18 certificate films in cinemas. The National Curriculum should include alcohol education to teach about the dangers of binge drinking, it added. Alcohol Concern said the drink-drive limit should be lowered from 80mg to 50mg per 100ml of blood. The charity's Glass Half Empty report looked at the government's strategy which was published three years ago. Meanwhile, the BBC's Helen Neil said there were calls for alcohol education to be included in the national curriculum in order to raise awareness about the dangers posed by drinking.

She said tighter control on drinks advertising have also been suggested by campaigners.

Source: BBC News


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Posted: 17 October 2007 at 12:06am | IP Logged
Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 October 2007, 23:01 GMT 00:01 UK
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Obesity 'not individuals' fault'
burger
It is said we live in an 'obesogenic' environment
Individuals can no longer be held responsible for obesity so government must act to stop Britain "sleepwalking" into a crisis, a report has concluded.

The largest ever UK study into obesity, backed by government and compiled by 250 experts, said excess weight was now the norm in our "obesogenic" society.

Dramatic and comprehensive action was required to stop the majority of us becoming obese by 2050, they said.

But the authors admitted proof that any anti-obesity policy works "was scant".

Nonetheless every level of society, from individual to the upper echelons of government, must become involved in the campaign against a condition which carries such great social and economic consequences, they said.

In 2002, those who were overweight or obese cost nearly 7bn in treatment and state benefits and in indirect costs such as loss of earnings and reduced productivity.

In 40 years time, that figure could reach nearly 46bn, as health services struggle to cope with the ill health such as diabetes, cancer and stroke which can be associated with excess weight.

"There is a danger that the moment to act radically and dramatically will be missed," said Sir David King, the government's chief scientific advisor and head of the Foresight Programme which drew up the report.

"It is a problem that is getting worse every year."

So hard

Obesity, the authors concluded, was an inevitable consequence of a society in which energy-dense, cheap foods, labour-saving devices, motorised transport and sedentary work were rife.

BMI SCALE
Underweight: Less than 18.5
Normal: 18.5 to 24.9
Overweight: 25 to 29.9
Obese: 30 or more

In this environment it was surprising that anyone was able to remain thin, Dr Susan Jebb of the Medical Research Council said, and so the notion of obesity simply being a product of personal over-indulgence had to be abandoned for good.

"The stress has been on the individual choosing a healthier lifestyle, but that simply isn't enough," she said.

From planning our towns to encourage more physical activity to placing more pressure on mothers to breast feed - believed to slow down infant weight gain - the report highlighted a range of policy options without making any concrete recommendations.

Industry was already working to put healthier products on the shelf, the report noted, while work was advanced in transforming the very make-up of food so it was digested more slowly and proved satisfying for longer.

But it was clear that government needed to involve itself, as on this occasion, the market was failing to do the job, Sir David said.

Shock tactics?

Public Health Minister Dawn Primarolo said the government would be holding further consultations to decide how to proceed.

Graphic

She said it was too early to say whether the same "shock" approach seen in public health warnings against smoking would be adopted with obesity, or whether a tax on fatty foods, highlighted in the report but widely dismissed as unworkable, would be considered.

"The most important thing is there has to be public consent and understanding of the issues you're trying to challenge," she said.

"A mandate for change will be difficult because it has to be preceded by an understanding of the dangers of obesity."

The Royal College of Physicians said the report was "encouraging".

"The emphasis on cross-governmental initiatives is particularly welcome, as is the importance of addressing issues across society whilst avoiding blame," said its president, Professor Ian Gilmore.

The Food and Drink Federation said it understood its role in tackling the problem.

"Our industry is now widely recognised as leading the world when it comes to reformulating products; extending consumer choice; and introducing improved nutrition labelling," a spokesperson said.

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Posted: 08 January 2008 at 2:48pm | IP Logged

Headache Relief

Need some help with headache relief? Here are some solutions before you pop those pills.
Headache Relief
Ever suffered from such a bad headache that you just wanted to pull your hair out? Where you felt like doing anything to make that pain that seems to be pulsating from the inside of your brain all the way to your eyes, just to go away? Yes those blasted headaches…! Most of us suffer from them, and most of us wish we didn't!

Most of us suffer from headaches and most of us get it because of one main reason...stress. But at the bottom, it doesn't matter when or how a headache can strike…what matters is that pain and discomfort it causes. Headaches can be either migraine, stress induced or tension headaches, but what is important here is getting headache relief. The simplest solution is to pop a pill to make that pain disappear within 20 minutes or so, but have you stopped to wonder how good those pills are to your body? What kind of damage can it do to your body in the long run? Why not try some alternative solution before reaching out for that bottle of aspirin?

Headache Relief solutions
  • One of the main causes of a tension headache is poor posture. So the minute you feel a tension headache coming up, why don't you straighten your posture? Stretch your body and its muscles; this is a great relief for tension headaches.
  • Take a towel and soak it in hot water, and apply this to your head for 10 minutes. This should give you instant relief from a headache.
  • Some women get severe headaches a day or two before they get their period. This headache typically starts behind the eyes and moves upwards, the best way to deal with this headache is to start eating foods rich in zinc and also lean meats.
  • Most people suffer from stress headaches; the best way to get relief from a stress headache is to relax. Do some breathing exercises and if possible take a nap to relive the pain. And if you know some acupressure, then try pressing on the pressure points to alleviate the pain.
  • Typical tension headaches start in the neck and shoulders and leave you feeling uncomfortable, the best way to combat it is to get a massage around the shoulder and neck area. Also try massaging the scalp as well to relieve some of the tension.
  • Another reason for headaches is hunger pangs. Eating something, preferably a wholesome meal if you have skipped one, can relieve such a headache.
  • Water is the best solution for most problems. Drink plenty of water to relieve yourself from the grips of a headache. Water cools the body and helps reduce the headache.
  • Take a break, yes literally take a break. Lie down and close your eyes and remove all thoughts from your mind for at least 20 minutes. This will give you instant relief from a headache.
  • If your headache is very severe and isn't being relieved by alternative ways, then take a pain killer or analgesic to help. If the headache persists for days, you need to visit a doctor.
  • For those who suffer from migraines, the best solution is to avoid certain foods that can trigger a migraine, and if nothing else works, reach out for your migraine medication.

Source: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/headache-relief.html

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