Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Plain packets help smokers quit by killing brand identities

Smokers no longer derive a sense of identity from cigarette brands after plain packaging rule was introduced in Australia, helping them to kick the habit via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..

Was Kim Jong-nam killed by VX nerve gas? Doesn’t look like it

Malaysia says Kim Jong-nam - half-brother of North Korea's Kim Jong-un - was killed with VX nerve gas that was found on his face and hands. But chemical weapons experts are not convinced via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..

More Exercise, Fewer Pounds: Cut Your Heart Failure Risk

Link was stronger for common but difficult-to-treat type of heart failure

HealthDay news image

Source: HealthDay via Exercise and Physical Fitness New Links: MedlinePlus RSS Feed Read More Here..

Cell 'stickiness' could indicate cancer spread

A new study finds that cells that 'stick' less to surrounding cells are more likely to spread. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

BPA-free water bottles may contain another harmful chemical

A compound called BPA is being phased out of plastic packaging due to fears it may disrupt our hormones – but a replacement for it may be just as harmful via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..

Living with anxiety: 'I can't leave house'

John in Britain says he hasn't left his house this year due to his anxiety disorder, as politicians in the UK question whether the condition is a disability. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Four questions predict need for skin prick test

Four simple questions can help GPs identify patients who think they have allergy don’t, study finds

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Electric appliances can impact on pacemaker function

Household appliances have an effect but biggest risk from workplace machinery

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Short battery life of pacemakers puts patients at risk of serious complications
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The feeling you get when nails scratch a blackboard has a name

Spanish speakers use the word “grima” to describe the feeling when a knife scratches a plate. Now it seems English-speakers react in the same way via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..

Doctors describe impact on patients of bed shortages in shocking dossier

‘Least bad’ patients asked to sleep in corridors and investigations cancelled as units turned into makeshift ‘wards’

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A&E is the barometer for a health and care system under pressure
GMC warns of 'state of unease' amongst doctors
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A&E four-hour target only for ‘urgent’ patients
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via OnMedica News Read More Here..

500 patients may have suffered serious harm in data scandal

NHS England investigating cases of potential harm related to non-delivery of 500,000 documents

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12 bacteria posing greatest threat to human health named

List published by WHO highlights particular threat of gram-negative bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics

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Blood tests spot ovarian cancer early

There is no screening programme for the disease, so patients say it would be of "enormous benefit". via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Why we like to eat chocolate

It may seem simple - we like chocolate because it tastes nice. But there's more to it than that - and it relates to a balance that is set right from the very beginning of our lives. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Listen up

Scientists at the University of Ottawa have developed a way of growing human cells and tissue on apples. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

'But I'm slim'

Why women who are young, apparently healthy and often pregnant, suffer unexpected heart attacks. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Full disclosure

Saidy Brown discusses the extraordinary reaction after she disclosed her HIV status on Twitter. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Monday, 27 February 2017

WHO publishes list of bacteria for which new antibiotics are urgently needed

WHO today published its first ever list of antibiotic-resistant "priority pathogens"—a catalogue of 12 families of bacteria that pose the greatest threat to human health. via WHO news Read More Here..

This Chalkboard Wall Planter Lets You Grow Edible Art That Looks Good AND Tastes Good

This Chalkboard Wall Planter Lets You Grow Edible Art That Looks Good AND Tastes Good Blog Post

Wall Planter (Williams Sonoma)

Kick off the spring growing season with this living wall in your kitchen. Research shows that indoor plants may help brighten your mood, reduce stress and clean the air too. All you need is a sunny window.

via EatingWell Blogs - All Blog Posts More READ

Call for Nominations: EatingWell's 2017 American Food Heroes

Call for Nominations: EatingWell's 2017 American Food Heroes Blog Post

EatingWell is launching an annual list of our top heroes: people who are making food in America better right now. We need your help to make this work! We want to know who you think deserves to be added to our list.

Why is EatingWell doing this? We're committed to shining a light on the most important food, sustainability and nutrition issues of the day. We help readers understand where their food comes from and its impact on the environment, family, health and community. Our list will recognize and celebrate the great work and change happening now.

via EatingWell Blogs - All Blog Posts More READ

UTIs could soon be life-threatening without new antibiotics

For the first time, the World Health Organization has named which bacteria we most urgently need new antibiotics to fight, and common gut microbes top the list via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..

‘How I regained my health after bikini competitions’

Feature Feb 27, 2017

After getting in the best shape of my life, I didn't know what to do next...

via Healthy Eating Read More..

World's most threatening superbugs ranked in new list

Top of the list to find new, effective antibiotic treatments are bacteria that poison the blood. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Why we are so bad at spotting if our kids are overweight

At least 80 per cent of parents of overweight children think their kids are a healthy weight, and the reasons for this blind spot are complex via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..

Live Healthy, Live Longer

Regular checkups, exercise, no smoking, better diet and balance between work and play can add years, health expert says
Source: HealthDay via Exercise and Physical Fitness New Links: MedlinePlus RSS Feed Read More Here..

Don't Sweat It: Gender Doesn't Dictate Perspiration Rate

Instead, your size and shape influence how the body releases heat and cools down, study finds

HealthDay news image

Source: HealthDay via Exercise and Physical Fitness New Links: MedlinePlus RSS Feed Read More Here..

Charity says GPs 'failing' patients with eating disorders

But RCGP defends doctors' treatment and referral procedures

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NHS investigating data loss 'scandal'

Mix-up meant some 500,000 documents, including test results, placed in storage

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Doctors urged to listen more and treat less

Scotland's CMO outlines her vision for 'realistic medicine'

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MPs raise concerns over STPs

Government must prove changes are 'not just a cover for cuts'

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Try these simple mental tests to see if you’re a good athlete

Your brain’s mental flexibility and capacity to focus could give you the skills to help make you a world class athlete via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..

Hospitals 'must' become tobacco-free

New campaign urges hospitals to do more to stamp out smoking

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Sunday, 26 February 2017

Friday, 24 February 2017

Sell-By Dates Have You Confused? Not Anymore

Sell-By Dates Have You Confused? Not Anymore Blog Post

We've all been there: you're digging through the fridge to find an ingredient for dinner and you stumble upon a yogurt you bought a few weeks ago. It was buried in the back and you forgot about it (oops!), so you check the expiration date. It was three days ago. What should you do? With more than 10 different types of date labels for food products—including sell by, best by, use by, expires by—it can be confusing. Do we take a whiff, nibble a small bite and hope for the best or just toss it?

via EatingWell Blogs - All Blog Posts More READ

Having a cigarette may make your body crave coffee too

People who smoke may metabolise caffeine differently to non-smokers, leaving them needing to drink more to get the same hit from their coffee via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..

Fasting diet may help regenerate a diabetic pancreas

"The pancreas can be triggered to regenerate itself through a type of fasting diet, say US researchers," BBC News reports.

Research in mice found a low-calorie diet may help in cases of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

The pancreas is an organ that uses specialised cells known as beta cells to produce the hormone insulin, which the body uses to break down sugars in the blood (glucose).

In type 1 diabetes the pancreas stops producing insulin. In type 2 diabetes either not enough insulin is produced or cells in the body fail to respond to insulin (insulin resistance).

Mice were fed for four days on a low-calorie, low-protein and low-carbohydrate but high-fat diet, receiving half their normal daily calorie intake on day one, followed by three days of 10% of their normal calorie intake.

Researchers repeated this fast on three occasions, with 10 days of refeeding in between. They then examined the pancreas.

They found in mice modelled to have both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, insulin production was restored, insulin resistance was reduced, and beta cells could be regenerated. Early lab study involving human cell samples showed similar potential.

These are promising results, but further studies are needed to validate these findings in humans.

If you have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you shouldn't attempt a fasting diet without first seeking medical advice. A sudden change in your calorie intake could have unpredictable effects and lead to complications.

Where did the story come from?

The study was carried out by researchers from the University of Southern California and the Koch Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US, and the IFOM FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology in Italy.

It was funded by grants from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the US National Institute on Aging (NIA).

The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal, Cell. It's available on an open access basis and is free to read online (PDF, 6.74Mb).

The UK media coverage of the research is generally accurate. BBC News provided useful advice from one of the authors, Dr Longo, who cautioned: "Do not try this [fasting] at home. This is so much more sophisticated than people realise". 

What kind of research was this?

This animal study examined whether a diet mimicking fasting cycles is able to promote the generation of new pancreatic beta cells in a mouse model of diabetes.

Beta cells are found in the pancreas. The cells' primary function is to store and release insulin in response to changes in blood glucose concentration.

In people with diabetes, the beta cells are either destroyed by the person's own immune system (type 1) or are unable to produce a sufficient amount of insulin (type 2).

Beta cells are reported to be highly sensitive to the availability of nutrients. The researchers wanted to see whether prolonged fasting and refeeding could regenerate pancreatic cells.

Animal studies like this one are useful early-stage research to help better our understanding of cellular mechanisms.

However, the human body has complex biology and we're not identical to mice, so further studies would be needed to see whether the same effects are observed in humans.

What did the research involve?

The first phase of the study involved male mice aged 10-16 weeks, some of whom had injections of a chemical to destroy their beta cells to mimic type 1 diabetes. Others were genetically bred to have type 2 diabetes, and normal mice acted as controls.

The researchers put the mice on a four-day fasting regimen consisting of a low-calorie, low-protein, low-carbohydrate and high-fat (FMD) diet.

They were fed 50% of their standard calorie intake on day one, followed by 10% of their normal calorie intake on days two to four.

At the end of the four days, the mice were fed regularly for up to 10 days to ensure they regained their body weight before the next fasting cycle. They underwent three dietary intervention cycles.

Blood glucose measurements were taken regularly. Pancreatic cell samples were taken to look at gene activity and investigate whether there were any changes.

The second phase of the study involved analysing human pancreatic cell samples collected from people with type 1 diabetes. 

Researchers also recruited healthy human adult volunteers without a history of diabetes, who underwent three cycles of a similar five-day fasting regimen. The blood samples from these people were applied to the cultured pancreatic human cells.

What were the basic results?

In the mouse model of type 2 diabetes, after the FMD cycles insulin secretion was restored and insulin resistance was reduced. The FMD cycles seemed to induce beta cell regeneration.

In the mouse model of type 1 diabetes, FMD cycles were able to reduce inflammation and promote changes in the levels of cytokine proteins, which may indicate the restoration of insulin secretion. There was an increase in the proliferation and number of beta cells generating insulin.

The results in the human cell samples suggested similar findings to those seen in mice. FMD cycles – that is, in blood samples from fasted individuals applied to human pancreatic cells in the laboratory – may be able to promote reprogramming of cell lineages and generate insulin in pancreatic islet cells.

How did the researchers interpret the results?

The researchers concluded that, "These results indicate that an FMD promotes the reprogramming of pancreatic cells to restore insulin generation in islets from T1D [type 1 diabetes] patients and reverse both T1D and T2D [type 2 diabetes] phenotypes in mouse models." 

Conclusion

This animal study examined whether a diet mimicking fasting cycles would be able to promote the generation of new insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells in a mouse model of diabetes.

Overall, researchers found in mice models of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, insulin secretion was restored and insulin resistance and beta cells could be regenerated or have their function restored. Very early laboratory study on human cell samples suggested similar potential.

These results show promise, but further research is needed to validate these findings in humans.

Professor Anne Cooke, professor of immunology at the University of Cambridge, commented: "This is good science and does give promise for the future treatment of diabetes, but we need further studies to see whether this works in people as well as it has in mice."

Don't suddenly try fasting, or any other radical change to your diet, without first consulting the doctor in charge of your care. Sudden changes to your diet could cause complications.

Links To The Headlines

Fasting diet 'regenerates diabetic pancreas'. BBC News, February 24 2017

Hope for millions of diabetics as condition could be reversed with yo-yo starvation diet. Daily Mirror, February 23 2017

Fasting diet could prove the cure for type 2 diabetes. The Times, February 24 2017 (subscription required)

Links To Science

Cheng C, Villani V, Buono R, et al. Fasting-Mimicking Diet Promotes Ngn3-Driven β-Cell Regeneration to Reverse Diabetes. Cell. Published online February 23 2017

via NHS Choices: Behind the headlines More READ

Was Kim Jong-nam killed by VX nerve gas? Doesn’t look like it

Malaysia says murdered Kim Jong Nam - half-brother of North Korea's Kim Jong Un - had VX nerve gas on his face and hands. Chemical weapons experts are not convinced via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..

Fasting diet 'regenerates diabetic pancreas'

Restoring the pancreas through diet could be "immensely" beneficial, doctors say. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Straight women have fewest orgasms

US study explores "orgasm gap" between genders and different sexual orientations. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Patient access to GPs in Wales has soared

Welsh health secretary praises GPs but asks other professionals to help relieve pressure

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NHS 111 redirects callers from A&E to general practice

Advises 60% of callers to go to GP not A&E; a third would have done so without advice

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Prescribing daily step count benefits patients’ health

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Schizophrenia risk higher with poor maternal nutrition

Inadequate weight gain during pregnancy linked to higher risk of schizophrenia in children

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Depression raises risk of developing psoriatic arthritis

Psoriasis patients over a third more likely to develop psoriatic arthritis if depressed

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Thursday, 23 February 2017

Cheshire woman pregnant with late husband's baby

Sarah Beattie lost her husband to cancer but is now expecting his child after IVF treatment success. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Ten portions of fruit and veg key to longer life

But doctors warn upping the five-a-day recommendation 'creates unrealistic expectations'

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Plain packets help smokers quit by killing brand identities

Smokers no longer derive a sense of identity from cigarette brands after plain packaging rule was introduced in Australia, helping them to kick the habit via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..

Effective altruism is re-inventing how we do good – can it work?

Philanthropy is full of fuzzy uncertainties. A new approach promises a scientific revolution in the art of giving. Are there hidden dangers? via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..

Four in ten European doctors consider leaving the UK

BMA survey reveals perilous state of UK healthcare post Brexit

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WEBSITE MAINTENANCE

www.onmedica.com will be offline this afternoon between 4pm and 5pm
via OnMedica News Read More Here..

Adopted Romanian orphans suffering decades later

Unique study reveals problems faced by children who came to the UK in the 1990s

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Care of the dying compromised by NHS pressures

Nurses say they do not have enough time to provide quality care

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Older people miss out on psychological therapies

Dementia Tsar says more must be done to help old people with depression

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Fruit and veg: For a longer life eat 10 a day

More fruit and veg might prevent nearly eight million premature deaths each year, researchers say. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Adopted Romanian orphans 'still suffering in adulthood'

Despite being adopted by caring UK families in the early 90s, the mental scars are often visible. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Canadian researchers set to study cannabis oil

A Canadian hospital will study the effects cannabis oil on a severe form of epilepsy via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

You should be eating 10 pieces of fruit or veg every day, not 5

A review of 95 studies suggests we should be eating 10 portions of fruit and veg a day to reduce our chances of dying from a heart attack or cancer via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Desert people evolve to drink water poisoned with deadly arsenic

People living in the Atacama desert of Chile evolved specific gene mutations over the past 7000 years that make them better at detoxifying the heavy metal via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..

Global alliance now needed to drive down obesity, argue experts

UK government has failed to tackle issue properly; and voluntary measures won’t cut it

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Exercise a Powerful Ally for Breast Cancer Survivors

Those who worked out were about 40 percent less likely to die from disease, review suggests

HealthDay news image

Source: HealthDay via Exercise and Physical Fitness New Links: MedlinePlus RSS Feed Read More Here..

UK women expected to live until 85 and men to 82 by 2030

But South Korean women will live longest, potentially surpassing 90 years of age

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Plague! How to prepare for the next pandemic

Globalisation makes the spread of a worldwide killer disease inevitable. The last Ebola outbreak nearly got out of control, but it showed what we need to do via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..

European cancer death rates falling faster in men

Trends largely explained by decline in cancers associated with tobacco use

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GPs poorly informed about degenerative eye disease, survey suggests

Timely information and support vital to help stave off progression, say researchers

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Large shortfall in mental health care for new mums, UK survey reveals

Only a handful of referrals made, and long waits for treatment common

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Brain scans 'may spot teen drug problems'

Brain scans may help predict which teenagers go on to develop drug problems, a study suggests. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Life expectancy to break 90 barrier by 2030

Women in South Korea will be the first in the world to live an average of 90 years. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Putting cancer patients in hibernation could help tackle tumours

Tumour growth would slow right down or cease while healthy cells in the body become more resistant to radiation via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..

Is this snail the next medical breakthrough?

The Conus regius is a species of cone snail that paralyses its prey with venom. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Exercise reduces death from breast cancer relapse by 40 per cent

A quarter of women with breast cancer will die from cancer spreading around the body – exercise is the most important lifestyle factor in preventing this via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..

Testosterone replacement for men 'trade-off with risks'

In those deficient, the therapy may improve bone health, but at what cost? via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

There's Fun and Fitness in the Pool for Asthmatic Kids

High humidity in indoor pools can also help keep airways open and prevent attacks, doctor says
Source: HealthDay via Exercise for Children New Links: MedlinePlus RSS Feed Read More Here..

Jeepers Creepers

After the actress ate a spider's leg, we look at whether the UK should embrace eating insects. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

GP teams reach finals of BMJ Awards 2017

Teams show ‘inspiring and pioneering teamwork with patient outcomes at their core’

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STP proposals to cut beds not credible without community investment

Process ‘rushed and behind closed doors’; funding to carry out plans simply not available

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Dishing the dirt: How clean does your home really need to be?

Cleanliness is next to godliness – or perhaps not. New Scientist looks at the evidence around hygiene to find out if there is a sweet spot via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..

"Everything changes and nothing remains still, you cannot step twice into the same stream" vs. Occidentali's Karma

Francesco Gabbani won Festival di Sanremo 2017 with his catchy song “Occidentali’s Karma” (“Westerners’ Karma”) and will represent Italy during Eurovison 2017 song contest. You don't often hear quotes from William Shakespeare and Erich Fromm in the the first two lines of a song:



Excerpts from the lyrics:

"Internet experts,
Honorary members of the selfie-addicted anonymous
Cleverness is out of fashion,
Easy answers,
Pointless dilemmas.

Whatever happens, panta rhei
And 'Singing in The Rain'."

The phrase panta rhei, "everything flows" either was spoken by Heraclitus or survived as a quotation of his. This famous aphorism used to characterize Heraclitus' thought comes from Simplicius, a neoplatonist, and from Plato's Cratylus. The word rhei is the Greek word for "to stream", and is etymologically related to Rhea according to Plato's Cratylus.

The philosophy of Heraclitus is summed up in his cryptic utterance:

"Ever-newer waters flow on those who step into the same rivers."

The quote from Heraclitus appears in Plato's Cratylus twice:

"All entities move and nothing remains still"

and

"Everything changes and nothing remains still ... and ... you cannot step twice into the same stream".

More from his YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/GabbaniVEVO/videos

Another clip of the song:



References:

Italy sends rising star Francesco Gabbani - and an ape - to win Eurovision 2017 http://buff.ly/2loRH10
"Occidentali's Karma" lyrics - Francesco Gabbani (Italy, Eurovision 2017) http://buff.ly/2loSNd2 via CasesBlog - Medical and Health Blog More READ

What future for E numbers after Brexit?

How Brexit might create complications for the way food in the UK is labelled. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Faster drugs?

How cloud computing is speeding up the development of potentially life-saving drugs. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

NHS set to miss target deficit cuts by over £300m

NHS providers ‘experiencing one of the toughest winters on record’ with record demand

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The meerkats helping disabled people

The therapy comes from watching the meerkats play and interact with each other in their playpen via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Mystery eye disease is latest blow for Australia’s sick turtles

Green turtles on the Great Barrier Reef have developed a strange eye disease, which could be a result of a recent herpes outbreak or high levels of cobalt via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..

Welsh government invests £95m in healthcare professionals’ training

Package includes £500,000 to support community healthcare and primary care clusters

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The man championing wheelchair tourism in Brazil

Brazilian Ricardo Shimosakai is a tourist agent who specialises in finding holiday packages for people with mobility issues. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Stem cell transplant shows promise for MS outcomes

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The wrong words

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Fearne Cotton talks about her struggle with depression

The TV and radio host has written a personal book on coping with depression. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Inside 'outstanding' children's hospital

This Birmingham hospital is the first of its kind to get top marks from inspectors. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Snail venom compound 'offers chronic pain therapy'

It could open the door to a new type of medicine for preventing and treating pain. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Monday, 20 February 2017

Magical Color-Changing Tea You Need to See to Believe (and It's Totally Natural)

Magical Color-Changing Tea You Need to See to Believe (and It's Totally Natural) Blog Post

Blue Color-Changing Tea

You've heard of green tea, black tea and white tea. But a blue tea that changes color—naturally? Now that's something you've got to see.

Related: Why Naturally Blue Foods Are Good for Your Health

via EatingWell Blogs - All Blog Posts More READ

‘Meditating mice’ reveal secrets of mindfulness training

Mice are less on edge if their brainwaves are coaxed to resemble those patterns that meditation boosts in humans via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..

Risky treatment can stop multiple sclerosis for years

Doctors say only some patients will be suitable to try it, being so high risk. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Comedian David Baddiel talks about his father's dementia

Comedian David Baddiel has made a documentary about his father's rare form of dementia. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Breast cancer diagnosed after breastfeeding problem

When her baby boy stopped breastfeeding, Sarah Boyle insisted on a hospital scan. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Hospital beds numbers down 20% in a decade

BMA warns that high bed occupancy reveals an NHS 'at breaking point'

Related items from OnMedica

State of NHS 'reminiscent of Mid Staffs'
A&E four-hour target only for ‘urgent’ patients
via OnMedica News Read More Here..

Councils warn of 'deep' cuts to social services

Survey reveals council tax rises will not fix local government funding crisis

Related items from OnMedica

Social care collapse by next year will hurt NHS, warn experts
Spike in excess deaths linked to NHS and local authority spending cuts
Government ‘in denial’ about state of NHS funding crisis, say doctors’ leaders
Missed A&E targets reflect cuts in social care and NHS funding
Spending on public mental health is ‘negligible’
via OnMedica News Read More Here..

Smoking cessation services face cuts

Survey reveals cash-strapped councils and commissioners restricting drugs and counselling

Related items from OnMedica

The role of e-cigarettes to help smokers quit
Stop Smoking services under threat due to budget cuts
Stop Smoking Services
'Extinction therapy' could help smokers quit
E-cigs strong risk for future smoking in teens
via OnMedica News Read More Here..

Extra help for struggling GP surgeries

New service will provide expert help to tackle workforce and workload pressures

Related items from OnMedica

GPs face nearly 10% rise in patient contacts in two years
CCGs must extend access to benefit from extra funding
Tired GPs greatest threat to patient safety
Poor CQC ratings linked to poor practice funding
Extra GP-targeted investment would benefit whole NHS
via OnMedica News Read More Here..