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14 December 2007

Exercise as Good as Surgery for Knee Pain

Patients who suffer from chronic patellofemoral syndrome (PFPS), which causes pain in the front part of the knee, gain no extra benefit arthroscopic surgery.

In a randomized controlled trial, patients were divided into two groups. The first group was treated with knee arthroscopy and an eight-week home exercise program, and the second group was treated with the exercise program only.

After 9 months, both groups showed reduced pain and improvement in knee mobility. However, the improvements for patients treated with surgery and exercise were almost exactly the same as for the patients treated with exercise alone. A second follow up after two years showed the same results.

The average cost of treatment was more than $1,300 higher for patients who underwent both arthroscopy and exercise therapy.


* Science Daily December 13, 2007

Sugary Drinks Linked to Alzheimer's

Mice who were given a sugar solution as part of their daily diet showed increased signs of developing Alzheimer's disease.

After 25 weeks, the sugar-fed mice had worse learning and memory retention, and their brains contained over twice as many amyloid plaque deposits. Amyloid plaque is a symptom of Alzheimer's.

It is unknown whether the symptoms were caused by a high-sugar diet specifically, or by a high-calorie diet in general. Obesity and diabetes have both already been linked to Alzheimer's disease.


* December 10, 2007

Nearly 40 Percent of Smokers are Mentally Ill

A new report shows that almost 1.3 million Australians with a mental illness are smokers. This means that 38 percent of Australians who smoke are mentally ill.

People with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are three times more likely to smoke than other Australians, and there are few programs to help the large numbers who want to quit.

The mentally ill also tend to smoke more heavily than others, buying 42 percent of all cigarettes sold in Australia each year.

11 December 2007

Are Antibiotics Useless for Sinus Infections?

New research suggests that sinus infections aren't actually helped by antibiotics and other common medicines. In a British study, those suffering from sinus infections generally improved within about two weeks whether they took the standard antibiotic amoxicillin, a steroid nose spray or a placebo.

Researchers assigned 240 adults to one of four treatments: amoxicillin and a steroid spray, only amoxicillin, only steroid spray, or fake medicine. No group got better any quicker than the others.

Antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed medicines for sinus infections. Steroid sprays are also sometimes used.


* Yahoo New December 4, 2007

Sunlight May Save Kids' Sight

Exposure to sunlight stop children from becoming near-sighted. Researchers have found that the time children spend outdoors is a critical factor.

A comparison of children of Chinese origin living in Singapore and Sydney, Australia, showed that the rate of myopia in Singaporean children is 10 times higher. But the children in Sydney spent significantly more time in near-work activity such as reading books, which has long been held to be the principle cause of myopia.

However, the Sydney-based children were also outside almost four times longer than their Singapore counterparts.

Exposure to sunlight may cut myopia rates by encouraging the release of dopamine, which is known to inhibit eye growth; myopia is a condition caused by excessive eye growth.


* ABC Science Online December 5, 2007

Sugar - a Toxin?

YES! And it's also a very addicting DRUG!

Take a look at the definitions. A toxin is a chemical produced by
living organisms that causes harmful effects on the body at high
enough concentration. Sugar easily meets that definition. It is plant
derived and there are numerous studies that show a variety of harmful
health effects from excess dietary sugar.

OK, is sugar a drug? If you've ever had a feel-good high immediately
after eating sweet "comfort" foods, it's a psycho-active drug. If
you've ever had a "craving" for something sweet, it's an addicting
psycho-active drug.

So, my point is that we need to start thinking of refined sugar as a
toxin and drug. That makes sugar by far the most common and abundant
toxin and drug in the modern food world!