Welcome to my December news update with the pick of the most interesting stories in health and wellbeing over the last month. Please explore these new findings and be sure to share them with your friends, families and colleagues.
With warmest good wishes,
Dr Rosy Daniel
Renewable energy defies Covid-19 to hit record growth in 2020
Global renewable electricity installation will hit a record level in 2020, according to the International Energy Agency, in sharp contrast with the declines caused by the coronavirus pandemic in the fossil fuel sectors. The IEA report published on Tuesday says almost 90% of new electricity generation in 2020 will be renewable, with just 10% powered by gas and coal. The trend puts green electricity on track to become the largest power source in 2025, displacing coal, which has dominated for the past 50 years. Growing acceptance of the need to tackle the climate crisis by cutting carbon emissions has made renewable energy increasingly attractive to investors. The IEA reports that shares in renewable equipment makers and project developers have outperformed most major stock market indices and that the value of shares in solar companies has more than doubled since December 2019.
More than 2.5m people in England to get free vitamin D
More than 2.5 million people in England are to be offered a free supply of vitamin D by the government, officials have said. Care homes in England will automatically receive supplies of the supplement for their residents in plans announced on Saturday. People on the clinically extremely vulnerable list will be sent a letter offering them the chance to opt in for a supply to their homes. The free deliveries will start in January, providing four months’ worth of vitamin D to up to 2.7 million people.
Exercise and Health
Every move counts towards better health – says WHO
Up to 5 million deaths a year could be averted if the global population was more active. At a time when many people are home bound due to COVID-19, new WHO Guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviour, launched today, emphasize that everyone, of all ages and abilities, can be physically active and that every type of movement counts. The new guidelines recommend at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity per week for all adults, including people living with chronic conditions or disability, and an average of 60 minutes per day for children and adolescents. WHO statistics show that one in four adults, and four out of five adolescents, do not get enough physical activity. Globally this is estimated to cost US$54 billion in direct health care and another US$14 billion to lost productivity.
Cancer Research Updates
Study of “exceptional responders” yields clues to cancer and potential treatments
In a comprehensive analysis of patients with cancer who had exceptional responses to therapy, researchers have identified molecular changes in the patients’ tumors that may explain some of the exceptional responses. The results demonstrate that genomic characterizations of cancer can uncover genetic alterations that may contribute to unexpected and long-lasting responses to treatment, according to the researchers. The results appeared in Cancer Cell on Nov. 19. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, conducted the study in collaboration with investigators from other institutions, including NCI-designated Cancer Centers.
Complementary and Natural Healthcare
CNHC exhibit at The Integrative Health Convention
On Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 October CNHC exhibited at the Integrative Health Convention which took place in London at the Park Plaza Hotel. Dr Michael Dixon opened the event and discussed many ways that integrated healthcare can benefit patients through programmes such as social prescribing or personal health budgets. He explained that an approach to integrative healthcare provides more personalised care, addresses inequalities and increases social capital and the potential for a health creating community. Across the two-day convention there were four CNHC registrants who presented, speaking on Massage Therapy, Reflexology and Reiki.
Dietary Supplements and Cognitive Function, Dementia, and Alzheimer’s Disease
Concerns about forgetfulness and whether it is the first sign of Alzheimer’s disease are common, particularly among older patients. Your patients may also ask questions about use of dietary supplements, which are often marketed with claims that they enhance memory or improve brain function and health. This issue of the digest summarizes current information on what the science says about several dietary supplements that have been studied for cognitive function, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Although a few trials of natural products for the prevention of cognitive decline or dementia have shown some modest effects, direct evidence is lacking.
To see lots more exciting news and evidence go to www.health-e-learning.org.uk and see the health-e-information platform.
Researcher – Sophie Daniel, Health and Wellbeing Trust
Images bought from iStock Getty images – https://www.istockphoto.com