Dietary Timeline

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American Heart Association revises its recommended weekly dietary allowance for eggs to seven for a healthy person.


Olive oil 'reduces cancer risk'Olives may be good for your health. Using olive oil in cooking may prevent the development of bowel cancer, research shows. Writing in the medical journal Gut, a team from Barcelona say their findings suggest that olive oil may have some protective qualities. Their findings may explain why a Mediterranean diet appears to be so healthy. © BBC

Sex drive warning to vegetarians and elderly Balanced diet vital for good health Elderly and vegetarian men are being warned about the effect of low protein diets on their sex lives in later years. Researchers say people who do not eat enough protein are at risk of low testosterone levels which can cause a decline in sexual function as well as muscle loss, reduced red blood cells and damage to bones. © BBC

'Curry is cancer fighter'. Curry and rice: could be healthy A key ingredient of curries could help prevent or manage colon cancer, according to research being carried out in Leicester. The news comes just days after cold and flu experts recommended a spicy dish as the perfect antidote to winter sniffles. Researchers at the oncology department of Leicester University noticed that, out of 500 patients diagnosed with colon cancer, only two were Asian, despite 20% of the city's population being Asian. © BBC


Eat whole grain, live longer Everyone should ditch white bread for whole grain, says survey A simple bowl of cereal could reduce the risk of two of Britain's leading killers – heart disease and cancer – by a third, a survey suggests. A new health campaign called Whole Grain for Health (WGFH) shows consumption of whole grain food could save almost 24,000 lives each year in the UK alone. The problem is most Britons do not know what whole grain food is, do not eat it and are not aware of the significant health benefits. The campaign launch comes at a time when the government has put coronary heart disease and cancer at the top of its health agenda. The evidence is compelling that a diet rich in whole grain foods has a protective effect against several forms of cancer and heart disease And more than 50 scientific studies have show that eating whole grain can reduce risk of heart disease and cancer by up to 30% Professor Robert Pickard, director general of the British Nutrition Foundation, said: "Whole grain consumption could have a profound impact on the health of the nation. © BBC


Moderate drinking 'protects bones' Drinking may preserve bones A diet rich in calcium – and the occasional glass of wine – could protect some women from dangerous bone-thinning. Seven units of alcohol a week, equivalent to a glass of wine, half a pint of beer or a measure of spirits every night, can help reduce bone loss at the hip, researchers say. However, osteoporosis experts have warned that heavy drinkers are actually running a higher risk of the devastating bone condition. One in three women in the UK suffer from osteoporosis at some point in their lives. © BBC

High vitamin doses 'may harm' Thousands of people take vitamins and minerals A panel of US dietary experts has set safe limits for people taking vitamins C and E and the mineral selenium. It is the first time that upper limits have been put forward by the US National Academy of Sciences. Vitamins and minerals – recommended and maximum daily doses (from all sources) Vitamin C – 90mg men, 75mg women (max 2,000mg) Vitamin E – 15mg men and women (max 1,000mg) Selenium – 55mcg men and women (max 400mcg) And the experts said that large doses of some supplements may cause health problems rather than protect health. They said that the belief that large doses of vitamins were of extra benefit was a myth. A British advisory expert group reviewing vitamin dose levels is expected to take account of the American recommendations. © BBC

Cancer growths 'not prevented by fibre' Healthy eating alone 'not enough to prevent bowel cancer' High-fibre diets do not prevent growths which can develop into bowel cancer tumours, say researchers. The finding goes against previous thinking that high-fibre, low fat diets reduce the risk of colorectal cancer – disease of the large intestine and rectum. Colorectal adenomas – tumours – which are usually benign but can develop into cancer are not prevented by an increased intake of fibre, say the studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine. © BBC

Soya breast cancer link dismissed Soya has previously been linked to breast cancer There is no evidence to support fears that soya foods could lead to breast cancer, a study has concluded. A soya-rich diet can reduce the levels of harmful cholesterol, lowering the chance of developing heart disease. But there have been suggestions that soya could interfere with a woman's hormone levels, and encourage the growth of some breast tumours. This is because soya contains plant sex hormones called phytoestrogens, which mimic the action of human sex hormones. But the finding, at the University of Toronto's department of nutritional sciences, also suggests that women who believe that soya-rich diets could have a similar effect to hormone replacement therapy may be mistaken. © BBC


Fish deficiency 'could harm mental health' A fish-rich diet could protect from disease Oily fish is increasingly missing from the diets of young people – and a leading nutritionist says this could harm their mental health. The rates of mental illness and depression are increasing globally. There is evidence that a chemical, Omega-3, found particularly in oily fish such as mackerel, herring, salmon and sardines has some effect on brain development. And some believe that removing it from the diet could be partly contributing to the rise in mental problems. Professor Michael Crawford, director of the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition at North London University, said: "We need to get back to feeding our minds as well as our bodies, otherwise the future of the nation is grim. © BBC


Vegan diet 'cuts prostate cancer risk' A vegan diet may have health benefits A vegan diet might lower the risk of developing prostate cancer, say researchers. They have found that men who eat a vegan diet have lower levels of a growth factor that is associated with prostate cancer than either meat-eaters or vegetarians. The research's publication comes after controversy about claims that dairy-free diets prevent breast cancer. Earlier studies have suggested that the risk of prostate cancer is increased by high levels of the growth factor IGF-I. © BBC

'Eating less may prevent Alzheimer's' Reduced-calorie diets can decrease aging in the brain Eating less may prevent the onset of diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, according to research. A study carried out at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in the US, found that reducing intake of food can improve the quality of life in older age and reduce the effects of ageing on the brain. Researchers suggest this could prevent the onset of diseases affecting the brain, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. They examined the genetic activity of two regions of the brain; the cerebral cortex, the part involved in the higher functions of thought, and the cerebellum, the part that co-ordinates motor and muscle function. © BBC


Red meat could be good for you A leading nutritionist has provoked controversy by suggesting people who do not eat red meat are risking their health. The suggestion has been dismissed as flying the face of scientific evidence by vegan and vegetarian groups. Professor Robert Pickard, director general of the British Nutrition Foundation, said a vegetarian diet was not natural for mankind. © BBC

Drinking coffee may increase the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, according to doctors. Research carried out in Finland suggests the number of cups of coffee drunk daily is linked to increased risk of developing the condition. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Vitamins 'should carry health warning' Beta-carotene has been linked to lung cancer Health warnings for smokers should be carried on bottles of vitamin supplements containing beta-carotene, says the Cancer Research Campaign. The charity's Director General Professor Gordon McVie said the warning is necessary because there is evidence that supplements of beta-carotene, which can be converted into Vitamin A, can raise smokers' risk of developing lung cancer. © BBC

An egg a day 'is good for you'. Eating an egg a day is good for most people, according to a US scientist. His study of more than 100,000 adults found that people who eat more than an egg a day are at no greater risk than those eating fewer than one egg a week. Dr McNamara said: "This research scotches a very old myth. For most people there is no risk and restrictions on products containing dietary cholesterol are not justified. © BBC


Junk food link to asthma Jeddah has adopted westernised diets Scientists believe junk food may be partly responsible for an increase in rates of childhood asthma in developed countries. Researchers examined communities in Saudi Arabia, where there are striking differences in lifestyle and rates of allergies across the country. They compared more than 100 children with the symptoms of asthma with 200 non-asthmatic children. © BBC

Spice treatment for diabetes. The spice cinnamon may ease diabetes. An extract of cinnamon could offer some protection against adult-onset diabetes, say scientists. The spice, more normally found on top of coffee or as an ingredient of apple pie, may help the body deal more effectively with sugar in the body. An expert behind the trials has even issued the recommendation that people could benefit now by adding the spice to their food. Adult-onset, or type II diabetes is far more prevalent than insulin-dependent diabetes, which normally begins earlier in life and requires a regimen of blood testing and insulin injections. © BBC


Olive oil 'protects against bowel cancer' Olives and olive oil can boost cell growth in the stomach Evidence is growing that olive oil can protect against bowel cancer. Research carried out by doctors at Oxford University has found that olive oil has protective benefits. They found that it reacts with acid in the stomach to prevent the onset of bowel and rectum cancers. Bowel cancer is the second-most common cancer in the UK and kills nearly 20,000 people every year. However, if it is diagnosed early it is easily treatable. © BBC


Extra fibre 'may increase cancer risk' Fibre might increase the incidence of polyps Giving fibre supplements to patients with a history of growths in their colon may actually increase rather than reduce the problem. Many doctors believe that most colorectal cancer develop out of polyps, or adenomas, which grow on the wall of the bowel. Previous studies had suggested that giving people extra soluble fibre in granule form, such as ispaghula husk, could reduce the growth of polyps, and thus colorectal cancer. However, the latest research, conducted in France, Denmark, Italy and Germany, suggests that new adenomas are actually more likely to grow in patients given this fibre supplementation. © BBC


Mental health: You are what you eat One in four feel better after eating chocolate Mental health can be significantly improved by a simple change in diet, according to mental health charity Mind. It has published a new guide to mood and food, highlighting how strong the relationship is between what people eat and how they feel. While it is well established that diet can affect physical health, the guide points out that there is also a strong link between food and mental wellbeing. In a survey to coincide with Mind Week, one-in-four people said that eating chocolate improved their mood – though for many this was short-lived. © BBC

Vegetables 'don't fight cancer' Veggies may not be as healthy as we thought A healthy diet full of fruit and vegetables may not be doing people quite as much good as they previously thought. Researchers conducting two of the world's biggest health studies have found that those who eat more fruit and vegetables do not have a lower risk of bowel cancer. The same researchers recently concluded that fibre also has no protective effect against the disease. © BBC

Coffee 'protects against Parkinson's' – A study in the US found that people who drink four or more cups of coffee each day are less likely to develop the disease. Neurology.


Drinking more than four cups of coffee a day during early pregnancy risks miscarriage, warn researchers. Professor Sven Cnattingius of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, led the research group which produced the study. He said: "We found that women who drank more than four cups of coffee per day had double the increase of spontaneous abortions."

Meat 'bad for bone health' Vegetable proteins could be good for bones Elderly women who get too much protein from animal products like meat and cheese risk fractures and bone loss, researchers are warning. They say women can improve their bone health by using vegetables as a greater source of protein. In a study, women who got a high ratio of their protein from meat or dairy products rather than vegetables, had three times the rate of bone loss than those at opposite end of the scale. © BBC