Archive | June, 2008

More evidence that waist size is a much better measure of health than the BMI

The body mass index (BMI) is the standard and most commonly-used method for assessing body weight by health professionals. It is calculated by dividing an individual’s weight in kg by the square of their height in metres. The fact that some arithmetic is required to ascertain the BMI makes it look quite scientific and robust. […]

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Evidence links low vitamin D levels with increased risk of death

I have written more than once about the benefits of sunlight. There is, for instance, quite a body of evidence which links sun exposure and the heightened vitamin D levels in the body this tends to bring with a reduced risk of cancer. It’s one major reason why, although I avoid burning, I seek the […]

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Why might a leading diabetes charity offer dietary advice that is likely to increase the need for medication?

Diabetes UK is the UK’s largest and most prominent diabetes charity. Have a look here and you will se the charity proudly proclaiming that: We stand up for the interests of people with diabetes by campaigning for better standards of care. However, I’m doubtful that Diabetes UK is fulfilling its brief in this respect, seeing […]

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BMJ article explores the cosy relationship that drug companies often have with doctors considered ‘key opinion leaders’

Go to any medical educational meeting, and you’ll usually find individuals giving Powerpoint presentations that, when you boil down to it, sell the merits of a drug or device. Such presentations are usually delivered by doctors who are sometimes known as ‘key opinion leaders’ or ‘KOLs’. Being doctors, one might imagine that these doctors give […]

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Artificial Sweetener Fails to Fool the Brain

The implicit advantage that artificial sweeteners have over sugar is that, being virtually devoid of calories, they’re a better option for those wanting to control their weight. However, as I described in a recent blog post here, there is no good evidence that artificial sweeteners promote weight loss compared to sugar. Plus, there is actually […]

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Coffee-drinking associated with a reduced risk of death in women

Generally, people tend to have quite firmly established ideas about weather a food is healthy or not. And they may even have some idea about which conditions a food is supposed to protect against or promote. So, for instance, when asked to comment on red meat, most people will express the view that this food […]

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BMJ editorial casts doubt on the notion that sunlight causes malignant melanoma

I am a big believer in the therapeutic properties of sunlight, at least some of which is related to its ability to stimulate vitamin D production in the skin. Sunlight exposure and/or heightened vitamin D levels have been associated with a range of health benefits including a reduced risk of several forms of cancer and […]

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FDA acknowledges that the jury is still out on whether mercury amalgam fillings can be hazardous to health

Late last month one of my posts focused on the eating of fish during pregnancy. On the one hand this may be a good idea on the basis that the omega-3 fats certain fish can supply may have benefits for the developing foetus. On the other hand, fish (particularly tuna, marlin and swordfish) can be […]

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Study suggests that low-carb diets can bring long term benefits for type 2 diabetics

The body likes to keep its internal environment quite stable, and this includes the amount of sugar circulating in the bloodstream. The chief blood sugar lowering hormone is insulin. In diabetes, there can be a problem here leading for blood sugar levels to be higher than is healthy. Diabetics either don’t have enough insulin, or […]

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Pesticide exposure linked with increased risk of diabetes

When it comes to impact environmental chemicals such as pesticides have on health, there is generally two schools of thought. One of these is that there’s no evidence of harm, and there is therefore nothing to be concerned about. Others, though, are more circumspect bearing in mind the very alien-to-nature nature of these compounds and […]

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