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Research Archive

Welcome to our Chinese medicine and acupuncture research news pages. We add to the content of these pages continuously as more research news comes in. Browse through the complete archive below or use the category links on the right.

Please note that the most twenty recent research archive items are free to view but access to the thousands of items in the archive require a journal subscription.

An Australian team has discovered that smell and taste receptors normally found in the nose and mouth are also present in heart tissue ...

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Another mother and child study, this time from the Spanish island of Menorca, supports a potential protective effect of ‘fruity’ vegetables and fish intake during childhood on wheeze and atopy respectively. The mothers of 460 children

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A five-year pilot study has shown that a comprehensive lifestyle intervention package may help reverse aging processes at a cellular level.

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A 30-year long study has found that men with healthy lifestyles enjoy increased disease-free survival and reduced cognitive impairment as they age.

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Apigenin, a flavonoid found in fruits and vegetables, could be behind the anti-cancer effects of the Mediterranean diet, according to researchers from the USA. The compound, which is most abundant in chamomile tea, parsley and celery, was show

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In Chinese herbal medicine, walnuts are ascribed the function of tonifying the Kidneys which, among other things, govern sexual function and fertility.

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Saturated milk fats in the modern Western diet could be responsible for gut problems such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colitis, according to American researchers.

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A meta-analysis by Chinese authors suggests that Xuezhikang (a partially purified extract of fermented red yeast rice) has a lipid-regulating effect and is safe and effective in reducing cardiovascular events in coronary heart disease patients (CHD).

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A high urinary concentration of the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A (BPA) has been positively associated with obesity and insulin resistance in older Chinese adults.

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A large, prospective cohort study carried out in Japanese seniors has found that consumption of green tea is significantly associated with a lower risk of developing functional disability (problems with daily activities, such as bathing or dressing).

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Having a high diversity of bacterial species in the gut may protect babies against developing allergies, according to a comprehensive study of intestinal microflora in allergic and healthy infants, conducted in Sweden.

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Pu'er Tea extract can help treat the metabolic syndrome that is the precursor to type 2 diabetes, according to the results of a Chinese study.

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Fatty foods can make people less vulnerable to sadness, even if they are unaware of the fat content in the food they are eating.

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A UK study has shown that vegetarians are a third less likely to suffer from diverticular disease than meat eaters.

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An extreme eight-week diet can reverse type 2 diabetes in recently diagnosed patients, say British researchers.

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The cooking method used to prepare broccoli can make a significant difference to its cancer-fighting abilities.

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A study from Columbia has linked vitamin D deficiency with childhood obesity.

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A British team has examined whether adhering to the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI) can help reverse metabolic syndrome (a cluster of risk factors for heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes)

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Daily consumption of dried apple has been shown to help weight loss and improve levels of cholesterol and inflammatory markers in post-menopausal women.

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A supplement containing a mix of essential fatty acids has been shown to significantly reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), by a Brazilian team.

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The antibacterial effects of honey have long been recognised in traditional medicine. A new UK study has found that medical grade manuka honey can hamper the attachment of bacteria to tissues, which is an essential step in the initiation of bacterial infection.

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The children of mothers who drink milk containing a probiotic supplement during and after pregnancy have a significantly lower risk of developing eczema, according to a Norwegian study.

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A probiotic supplement has been shown to significantly relieve the symptoms of infantile colic, compared to placebo.

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Drinking several cups of tea daily can cut your risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) by more than a third, according to Dutch researchers.

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A systematic review by British authors has concluded that eating a diet rich in green leafy vegetables may lower the risk of developing type-2 diabetes. Combining the results of six studies (a total of more than 220,000 participants), the authors fou

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Postmenopausal women who take fish oil supplements may reduce their breast cancer risk, suggests an American study. The Vitamins and Lifestyle (VITAL) cohort study followed 35,016 postmenopausal women (50 to 76 years), who were asked to answer questi

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Individuals at high risk of psychosis appear less likely to develop psychotic disorders following a 12-week course of fish oil capsules containing high amounts of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Eighty-one adolescents with subthreshold p

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A study from Sweden shows that butter leads to considerably less elevation of blood fats after a meal, compared with olive oil and canola-flaxseed oil. Forty-seven individuals ate three test meals containing canola-flaxseed oil, butter, or olive oil.

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A new systematic review refutes the association between dietary saturated fat intake and increased risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and cardiovascular disease (CVD). The paper by American authors identified 21 prospective e

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Drinking blueberry juice has a measurable effect on learning and world list recall in older adults. An American group investigated the effects of daily consumption of wild blueberry juice on a sample of nine older adults with early memory changes.

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A US team has identified the molecular mechanism that enables cranberry juice to fight off urinary tract infections. A virulent form of Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria is the primary cause of most urinary tract infections. This strain of E. coli

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Chinese nutritional theory has always held that beetroot has Blood-nourishing properties. A British team has now found that beetroot juice can boost athletic stamina by increasing the nitrate concentration of the blood. In a double-blind, placebo-con

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Apple juice has a positive effect on the mood states of people who suffer from Alzheimer's disease (AD). During the American study, 21 institutionalised AD patients consumed two 120ml glasses of apple juice a day for a month. Although participants de

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Astaxanthin, the pigment that gives salmon and flamingos their pink colour, can protect kidney cells from oxidative damage in vivo and may therefore help prevent the development of diabetic nephropathy. Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant (about 50

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Essential oils from six different herbs have been demonstrated to reduce the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2, the rate-limiting enzyme in prostaglandin biosynthesis), which plays a key role in inflammation. Japanese researchers screened a wide

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A facial cream containing turmeric can significantly reduce fine lines, age spots and wrinkles, according to two studies by scientists at cosmetic company Proctor and Gamble. In one ‘split-face’ study, 89 caucasian women (aged 40-60) applied eith

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Irish scientists have discovered that curcumin, a component of turmeric which is a common curry ingredient, can kill oesophageal cancer cells in vitro. The team found that curcumin treatment reduced the viability of all oesophageal cell lines tested

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Adding rosemary extract to ground beef decreases the formation of carcinogens that result from the cooking process, according to American researchers. Heterocyclic amines (HCA) are mutagenic compounds that form when meat and fish are cooked at hig

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Bitter melon (Ku Gua, Momordica charantia), a vegetable commonly used in Chinese cooking and medicine, shows promise as an anti-breast cancer agent. Studies carried out by US scientists have shown that treatment of human breast cancer cells with bitt

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Italian researchers have found that in men with type two diabetes, stricter adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower prevalence of erectile dysfunction (ED). Five hundred and fifty-five men completed questionnaires on food-frequen

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A diet rich in the phenolic components of virgin olive oil can suppress the expression of genes involved in inflammation, which may explain the reduced risk of cardiovascular disease seen in people who follow a Mediterranean diet. In a crossover stud

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By following a low-carbohydrate Mediterranean diet, newly diagnosed diabetics may be able to postpone their need for medication. An Italian study involved 215 sedentary overweight adults (mean age 52) newly diagnosed with type two diabetes, who were

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People who follow a Mediterranean diet (rich in monounsaturated fats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains and fish) have a reduced risk of developing depression, according to Spanish research. A cohort of 10,094 healthy participants completed a fo

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UK researchers have discovered a link between processed foods and depression. People who consume a diet rich in high-fat dairy products and fried, refined and sugary foods are at increased risk of developing depression, whereas those whose diet is ri

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The addition of flaxseed oil to the diet could reduce the risk of osteoporosis in post-menopausal and diabetic women. Egyptian researchers looking at mouse models of the two conditions found that the presence of flaxseed oil in feed over a two month

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Spanish researchers have determined that a diet rich in polyphenols and polyunsaturated fatty acids (termed the LMN diet) stimulates neurogenesis – the production and differentiation of the brain’s stem cells into various types of new neurones

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A diet high in fat and sugar has a double-whammy effect on the waistline, because it switches on genes that cause fat to be stored, according to new research. This study of mice found that foods that are high in fat and sugar stimulate the kappa opio

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The Chinese belief that meal timing is important to health is being backed up by Western science. Animal experiments have revealed that the daily expression patterns of thousands of metabolic genes in the liver are more dependent on the timing of foo

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A large Greek prospective cohort study (23,349 participants) has investigated the relative importance of the individual components of the Mediterranean diet. The dominant components of the Mediterranean diet that score as a predictor of lower mortali

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A systematic review of the evidence for links between dietary factors and coronary heart disease shows that strong evidence supports the association of intake of vegetables and nuts and a Mediterranean diet as protective factors, while intake of tran

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A study comparing the bone health of vegan Buddhist nuns with non-vegetarian women has found that their bone density was identical. The cross-sectional study showed that, although vegans had lower dietary calcium and protein intakes than omnivores, v

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Over 40% of bowel and breast cancer cases in the UK would be prevented by healthy diet, physical activity and weight maintenance, according to a landmark report that sets out recommendations for policies to reduce the global number of cancer cases. T

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Older people who follow a Mediterranean diet are less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and less likely to progress from MCI to Alzheimer's disease (AD). US researchers analysed data from 1393 cognitively normal individuals and 484

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An American research team has demonstrated that intellectual work leads to a substantial increase in calorie intake. The team measured the spontaneous food intake of 14 students after three tasks: seated relaxation, summarising text, and completing a

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Daily consumption of fizzy diet drinks is associated with significantly greater risks for metabolic syndrome (MetSyn) and type-2 diabetes, according to an observational study carried out in the USA. Compared with participants who did not drink diet s

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Danish scientists have shown that dark chocolate is far more filling than milk chocolate, lessening subsequent cravings for sweet, salty and fatty foods. The investigators used a crossover design to compare the effects of dark and milk chocolate on a

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Very low-carbohydrate diets, consisting of foods with the lowest-possible glycemic index rating, lead to greater improvement in blood sugar control. In a six-month comparison, 84 volunteers with obesity and type-2 diabetes were randomised to either a

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A diet rich in antioxidant compounds from berries and grapes has been shown to reverse cognitive decline and improve memory in laboratory animals of advanced age. In an in vivo study, American scientists tested the effects of seven berry and grape ex

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Dark chocolate contains high concentrations of flavonoids and may have anti-inflammatory properties. An Italian cohort study of 4849 subjects has shown that consuming moderate amounts of dark chocolate can significantly reduce levels of the inflammat

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A Swedish cohort study of 4921 infants has found that introducing fish into the children’s diet before nine months of age decreased their likelihood of developing eczema by 24%. Having a bird in the home also had a protective effect, reducing the r

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Adherence to a Mediterranean diet can provide protection against major chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, according to a new systematic review and meta-analysis by Italian investigators. They analys

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Regular consumption of coffee (and possibly black tea) is associated with a lower risk for type 2 diabetes according to the results of a cohort study involving 36,908 Singaporean Chinese men and women. Compared with participants who reported not drin

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A combination of eating until full and eating quickly may increase the risk for becoming overweight by three-fold. 3287 Japanese adults aged 30 to 69 years participated in surveys on cardiovascular risk. Factors surveyed included overweight status an

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Eating broccoli could reverse diabetes-induced damage to coronary blood vessels, according to a British research team. The scientists tested the effect of sulforaphane, a compound found in the vegetable, on human vascular endothelial cells that had b

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A large clinical study carried out in China, on patients who had suffered a heart attack, found that an extract of Chinese red yeast rice (hong qu mi) significantly reduced the rate of a second heart attack. Red yeast rice is a produced by fermentati

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Eating soya-based food may lower sperm count and play a role in male infertility, especially in obese men, according to Harvard researchers. Intake of 15 soya-based foods in the previous three months was assessed for 99 male partners of subfertile co

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Higher coffee consumption is associated with lower liver cancer risk. A cohort of 60,323 Finns completed a questionnaire about their medical history, socioeconomic factors and dietary and lifestyle habits. Participants were divided into five categori

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Drinking large quantities of coffee or tea every day appears to protect male smokers against stroke. A large cohort study (26,556 subjects) of male Finnish smokers (aged 50 to 69), showed that those who consumed eight or more cups of coffee per day h

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Eating a gluten-free vegan diet could protect rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients against heart attacks and stroke. Sixty-six Swedish patients with active RA were randomly assigned to either a vegan diet free of gluten or a well-balanced non-vegan die

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Another cohort study from the UK has found that higher plasma vitamin C levels are associated with a decreased risk for type 2 diabetes. 21,831 people aged 40-75 underwent baseline measurement of plasma vitamin C levels and were then followed over tw

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A Mediterranean diet provides significant protection against type 2 diabetes. A cohort of 13,380 Spanish graduates completed food frequency questionnaires over a 4.4 year follow-up. Participants who adhered closely to a Mediterranean diet (rich in ol

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Modest wine consumption, defined as one glass a day, may decrease your chances of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). 7,211 non-drinkers and 945 modest wine drinkers were screened for elevated liver enzyme levels associated with

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Tests in a device that simulates the human digestive system have concluded that almonds can act as an effective prebiotic, stimulating growth of the probiotic bacteria that are beneficial to the body. (Potential prebiotic properties of almond (Amygda

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Adherence to the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke among middle-aged women. Researchers followed the food choices and health status of more than 88,000 American wo

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Western diets rich in protein, cereal grains and other acid-producing foods lead to the development of metabolic acidosis with age, triggering muscle wastage. American researchers looked at links between lean body mass and dietary intake of potassium

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A case-control study of 558 lung cancer cases has found that lung cancer is inversely associated with the consumption of antioxidant plant flavonoids among tobacco smokers, but not among non-smokers. In addition, consumption of vegetables, tea, and w

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Consumption of sugar sweetened soft drinks and fructose is strongly associated with an increased risk of gout in men. In a study of Canadian health professionals, 46,393 men with no history of gout at baseline provided information on intake of soft d

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A review of recent research strongly supports the link between eating oatmeal and lowering cholesterol levels. The authors report that studies conducted during the past 15 years have, without exception, shown that consumption of oats and oat-based pr

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Some cooking methods can preserve, and even boost, the nutrient content of vegetables. Italian scientists evaluated the effects of three commonly used cooking methods - boiling, steaming, and frying - on the nutrient content of carrots, courgettes an

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Eating a Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of death from all causes, including cardiovascular disease and cancer. Researchers assessed conformity with the Mediterranean diet in 380,296 of the participants of the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, with

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Data from a very large US health study are providing convincing information on the links between various diet and lifestyle factors and a variety of diseases. Researchers used data from a cohort study, which began in 1995 (the National Institutes of

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Honey is more effective at soothing children’s night-time coughs than over-the-counter antitussive medication. An American study of 105 children aged 2-18 years compared the effects of a single nocturnal dose of buckwheat honey or honey-flavoured d

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Being overweight increases the risk of developing many forms of cancer. A meta-analysis by UK researchers combined data from 221 studies, including over 250,000 cases of cancer, to determine the risk of cancer associated with a 5kg/m2 increase in bod

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Eating regular meals is better for health than eating one large meal a day. In a crossover study carried out in the USA, a small group of volunteers participated in two eight-week meal-treatment periods, consuming either all their required weight-mai

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Vitamin D deficiency is already known to be associated with osteoporosis, now two new studies suggest that it may also be associated with heart disease and poorer prognosis for some cancers. A US cohort study of 1739 people with no cardiovascular dis

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Too much caffeine during pregnancy may double the risk of miscarriage. In an American cohort study, 1,063 pregnant women were interviewed about their caffeine intake. An increasing dose of daily caffeine during pregnancy was associated with an increa

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Another mother and child study, this time from the Spanish island of Menorca, supports a potential protective effect of

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Intake of apples and fish by women during pregnancy may reduce the risk of their children developing atopic conditions, according to the results of a longitudinal cohort study of nearly 2000 Dutch children. Mothers completed a food frequency question

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Following a ‘fertility diet’ may favourably influence fertility in otherwise healthy women. A cohort of 17,544 American women, without a history of infertility, were followed for eight years as they tried to become pregnant. Researchers calculate

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A new meta-analysis suggests that taking Echinacea can cut the chances of catching the common cold by 58% and reduce its duration by 1.4 days. American researchers combined the results of 14 randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trials involving ne

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New research suggests that Mormons' habit of fasting for one day a month may benefit their hearts. A study in Utah, where the religion is based, surveyed 515 elderly people undergoing coronary angiography for suspected heart disease about their li

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A brain-imaging study of genetically obese rats has added to existing evidence that dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with reward, pleasure, movement and motivation, plays a role in obesity. Investigators found that obese rats had lower le

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Caloric restriction has previously been shown to extend lifespan in animal models. New research shows that it can also maintain physical fitness into old age. A study on rats that had been maintained on a severely calorically restricted diet since bi

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Research into the impact of diet on diabetes is showing that a variety of nutritional interventions can help prevent or ameliorate both forms of the disease, confirming TCM theories. A meta-analysis which pooled data for six cohort studies including

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Coffee drinking seems to increase the risk of requiring antihypertensive drug treatment. Researchers determined daily coffee consumption via questionnaire in 24,710 Finnish subjects and observed them prospectively over 13 years. They concluded that c

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People who eat more refined carbohydrates have a higher risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the retinal disease that is the leading cause of blindness. A prospective study of 4000 people, aged 55-80, in the USA examined the relationship

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A recent article by Canadian authors highlights associations between dietary choices and risk of dementia. According to the authors, diets high in fat, especially trans and saturated fats, adversely affect cognition, while those high in fruits, veget

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