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Monday 30 July 2012

Health

Independent newspaper

Issue No .4

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The obese more likely to have colon cancer

There is evidence that bowel cancer can run in families. Around 20% of people who develop bowel cancer have a close relative (mother, father, brother or sister) or a second-degree relative (grandparent, uncle or aunt) who have also had bowel cancer. It is estimated that if you have one close relative with a history of bowel cancer, your risk of getting bowel cancer is doubled. If you have two close relatives with a history of bowel cancer, your risk increases four-fold.

Obesity is linked to an increased risk of bowel cancer. Obese men are 50% more likely to develop bowel cancer than people with a healthy weight. Morbidly obese men, who have a body mass index (BMI) of over 40, are twice as likely to develop bowel cancer. Obese women have a very small increased risk of developing the condition, and morbidly obese women are 50% more likely to develop bowel cancer than women with a healthy weight.

Exercise and Meditation for the prevention of respiratory tract infection A new study finds that regular exercise and meditation may be among the best ways to mitigate the risk of acute respiratory infection. The Web site ‘Health Day News,’ says that U.S. researchers at the University ‘of Wisconsin-Madison’, have found through their studies, which included

149 adults aged over 50 years, that those who participate in the daily exercise routine suffer less infections of the respiratory tract. Scientists found that the practice of meditation also gives added protection against the disease. The researcher in charge of the study, Bruce Barrett said that the results were :

“Remarkable. We have found a decline between 40 to 50% in respiratory tract infection ‘. It was not known why the physical and mental exercises helped to fight against respiratory tract infection, but the study found a link between mental and physical activities and a lower incidence of the disease.

Internet use good for the brain

A team of scientists in the United States believes that the use of the Internet activates the brain, at least in people middle-aged or elderly. The team from the University of California in Los Angeles found that browsing on the internet raises decision-making and complex thinking in the brain. The scientists said the study, published in the magazine of the American Psychiatric Association, Showed that browsing the Internet may help delay the onset of physical changes

related to age. With age, a number of changes occur, including reduced activity in cells, which can in turn affect a person’s performance. The study was conducted on 24 volunteers aged between 55 and 76, half of whom were highly knowledgeable internet users. The volunteers were asked to answer an online survey, while they were surfing. This showed activity in the brain regions that control language, reading, memory and sight.

Study : Quitting smoking increases weight in the first three months

Ex-smokers were found to gain nearly twice as much weight as was predicted in quit advice leaflets. Former smokers gain up to 11lbs in weight after they kick the habit, research suggests. Researchers, based in the UK and France, found that former smokers gained an average of 10lbs in the 12 months after they quit. Most of the excess weight is gained during the first three months, they found. It is nearly double the typical 6.6lbs quoted in quitting advice leaflets. Analysing the results from 62 studies, the authors discovered that in the first three months after giving up, former smokers gain an average of 6.3lbs. However, researchers found a large variation in weight change, with 13 per cent of people gaining more than 22lbs and 16 per cent losing some weight. The study, published on bmj.com, is accompanied by an editorial which suggests that health benefits from quitting outweigh the excess weight gain. Esteve Fernandez, from the University of Barcelona, and Simon Chapman, professor of public health at the University of Sydney, said: ‘The relative long-term health effects of weight gain and smoking cessation also need to be considered with respect to the ultimate public health message that we should derive from this and future studies. ‘Although obesity is positively associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality, cohort studies indicate that modest weight gain does not increase the risk of death; smoking does.’ Ex-smokers gain weight because nicotine is an appetite suppressant and the activity slightly increases metabolism: ‘When you go smoke-free, your appetite and sense of taste may improve, tempting you to snack more often. Make sure you have plenty of healthy snacks, like fruit or nuts, in the house and hide the crisps. Any weight gain need only be temporary. Once you’ve stopped smoking, you’ll find it easier to be active and lose any extra weight.’


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