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Archive for September, 2016

Beetroot juice

Posted on: 29th September 2016

Is it good for blood pressure?

A glass of beetroot juice every day improves your blood pressure, even if you’re elderly and you’ve already suffered heart failure. The juice, rich in inorganic nitrates, also improves your endurance for aerobic exercise.


How much should I drink?

Drinking around 2.4 ounces of juice, which contains 6 millimoles of inorganic nitrate, every day improved aerobic endurance by 24 per cent after just one week, and reduced systolic blood pressure by 5 to 10 mmHg.


Source – JACC: Heart Failure, 2016


Radiotherapy increases chances of secondary cancers in men with prostate cancer

Posted on: 21st September 2016

What are the risks?

Treating prostate cancer with radiotherapy increases the risk of a secondary cancer by almost 70 per cent.


Researchers say that men with slow-growing prostate cancer shouldn’t be given radiotherapy; the treatment increases the risk of bowel cancer by 68 per cent, rectal cancer by 62 per cent and bladder cancer by 39 per cent.

Source – BMJ, 2016

Vitamin D significantly reduces severe asthma attacks

Posted on: 6th September 2016

Supplements and asthma medication

Taking Vitamin D supplements in addition to asthma medication appears to cut the risk of severe asthma attacks, a review of evidence suggests. An independent review by the Cochrane research body of nine clinical trials found it also cut the rate of asthma attacks needing steroid treatment. But researchers say it is unclear whether it only helps patients who are vitamin D deficient. They say more studies are needed before they can give patients official advice. They recommend talking to a GP or pharmacist to get advice before taking a vitamin D supplement.

The Cochrane review’s lead author, Professor Adrian Martineau, said they found vitamin D “significantly reduced the risk of severe asthma attacks, without causing side effects”. They found taking vitamin D reduced the risk of severe asthma attacks requiring a hospital admission or a visit to A&E from 6% to 3%. They also found the rate of asthma attacks needing steroid treatment dropped from 0.44 to 0.28 attacks per person per year. But they found that vitamin D did not improve lung function or day-to-day asthma symptoms.



Vitamin D

  • Known as the “sunshine” vitamin, it is found in food and is made in the body when the skin is exposed to sunshine
  • One in five adults and one in six children in England are thought to have low levels of vitamin D
  • Limited amounts of the vitamin are found in foods such as oily fish, eggs and fortified cereals
  • For most people the bulk of their vitamin D comes from sunlight
  • Low vitamin D levels can lead to brittle bones and rickets in children
  • Vitamin D can boost immunity and dampen down inflammation
  • It is possible to overdose from vitamin D – but that would be five times the amount of vitamin D that was given in these trials