Welcome to my February 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
Lost touch: how a year without hugs affects our mental health
2020 has been challenging, and COVID-19 has dominated our headlines for much of the year. But away from the pandemic, the world of health and medicine has continued to deliver fresh research, new treatments for old diseases, and surprising developments that will affect our health next year. Articles including ‘Honeybee venom kills aggressive breast cancer cells’, ‘2nd person cured of HIV thanks to stem cell transplant’, ‘Could AI replace the finger prick blood sugar test?’
Vitamin D: Good for Health, Fights COVID-19
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient, and recent research has suggested it may also help guard against severe COVID-19. But how much is enough, and how hard is it to get the right amount of vitamin D? “We know that a large percentage of the population has suboptimal levels of vitamin D. In fact, as many as half of the U.S. population may be deficient in vitamin D,” said Kristin Gustashaw, clinical dietitian at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
Sugar: The Gut-Wrenching Truth
For years, researchers have suspected that the typical Western diet plays a leading role in the high rates of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) observed in industrialized countries around the world. But what exactly about the Western diet — high in fat, animal protein, and sugar, and low in vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and fruit — is to blame? While fat and animal protein have traditionally been considered the prime suspects, a growing number of studies now point to sugar as a leading culprit.
Complementary Health & Smoking
Complementary Health Approaches for Smoking Cessation
There has been emerging interest in the use of complementary therapies such as hypnotherapy, yoga, or mindfulness meditation to aid in smoking cessation. To date, several of these interventions have shown some promise in preliminary, non-randomized studies, but there is not enough evidence to establish if mind and body practices are as efficacious as other evidence-based smoking cessation treatments.
Standing in solidarity with farmers in India
I am embarrassed to admit that it wasn’t until watching a session at the recent ORFC that I became fully aware of the farmers’ protests that have been happening in India. The protests have not had the media attention they deserve as the world continues to struggle with the ongoing pandemic and the dangerous and disruptive run-up to the inauguration of a new American President that dominated the news for the past few weeks.
Health Benefits of Yoga and Meditation
Can Yoga and Meditation ward off Alzheimer’s disease?
We’re all used to hearing that a course in yoga and meditation can make you feel better. Help you cope with stress. Now a new study headed by Helen Lavretsky of UCLA and published in the May edition of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Research indicates yoga and meditation may also forestall the cognitive impairment that often precedes the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The study involved 12 participants who over 12 weeks performed kundalini yoga and Kirtan Kriya meditation.
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
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