Dietary Timeline

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Vitamin A link to hip fractures. Vitamin A may interfere with absorption of calcium. Too much vitamin A in the diet may increase the risk of hip fractures in older women, according to research. Women eating at least 3,000 micrograms of vitamin A each day were at 48% higher risk of suffering a hip fracture than those who consumed less than 1,250 micrograms of the vitamin daily, the survey found. The adverse effects appear to be caused only by too much retinol – the true form of vitamin A, found in such products as liver, fish oils and supplements. © BBC


Fibre diet 'aids mental health'. Breakfast cereals can boost cognitive response. A dietary study has claimed that people who enjoy a high fibre diet are happier, more energetic and think more quickly. The study by Professor Andrew Smith at Cardiff University revealed that a diet which includes wholemeal cereals has a marked effect on mental health. © BBC

Fish 'reduces premature birth risk'. Mackerel contains healthy fish oils. Eating fish in pregnancy reduces the risk of having a premature birth, scientists have found. Every year over 13 million babies are born prematurely across the world – many in developing countries. The majority die shortly after birth and the survivors are at significant risk of childhood disabilities such as cerebral palsy, blindness and deafness and intellectual impairment. © BBC

Vitamins could help beat cataracts. Cataracts can be corrected by surgery. Eating properly could help preserve your sight, according to a new study linking vitamin C deficiency to cataracts. Researchers writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at nearly 500 women aged between 53 and 73. Cataracts are common among over 65s and form when cells in the lens of the eye become cloudy. The study suggested long-term vitamin C intake lowered the risk of cataracts, but was inconclusive. © BBC

Wheat may prevent colon cancer Wheat may be a vital weapon in the fight against cancer and other diseases, according to experts. Whole grain wheat contains powerful antioxidants which may help to prevent colon cancer and possibly diabetes and heart disease. © BBC

Alcohol 'can fight female heart disease' The risk of heart disease in older women may be reduced by alcohol, according to a new study. An American experiment indicates post-menopausal women who consumed moderate amounts of alcohol had lower cholesterol rates. © BBC


Soya diet may cut cancer pain A diet rich in soya which reduced pain and swelling in rats could help cancer patients manage chronic pain in the future, scientists believe. A study on rats found those given a diet high in soya protein were able to tolerate pain better than another test group given a milk protein. © BBC

Diet 'could reduce Alzheimer's risk' Eating the right diet could help stave off Alzheimer's disease, scientists have found. Two studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found people who ate foods rich in antioxidants such as vitamin E and C were less likely to develop Alzheimer's. © BBC

Life is sweeter for heart patients People at high risk of heart disease may not have to forfeit all sugary food, say experts from a London research centre.Despite fears to the contrary, an occasional sugary snack appears to have no significant effect on levels of fats circulating in the bloodstream, they say. © BBC

Baked beans 'count as vegetables' Government health advisors say tinned products can now count towards your recommended daily intake of five portions fruit and vegetables.The British Dietetic Association (BDA) has given Heinz the go-ahead to label more than 70 different canned products as counting towards the recommended portions.The products include soup, spaghetti hoops and baked beans.The move has astounded leading specialists in heart disease, who say they are appalled at the official endorsement of products which are often high in salt, sugar and fat. © BBC


Alcohol 'speeds cancer growth'Heavy drinking could hasten the progression of cancer, according to experiments in mice carried out in the US. While heavy drinking has been linked with the development of a number of cancers, there has been little research as to whether alcohol consumption has any bearing on the progress of the disease. © BBC


Experts examine 'food cancer' fears An emergency meeting of international health experts has begun in Geneva to discuss fears that crisps, chips and certain types of bread may cause cancer. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called the three-day meeting of 25 experts following the publication of a Swedish survey in April which showed that some starch-based foods contained the chemical acrylamide, which is thought to be linked to cancer. © BBC

Leafy veg diet cuts cancer risk Eating a diet rich in leafy green vegetables can cut the risk of colon cancer by nearly half.Researchers at Liverpool University found that a daily serving of broccoli, cabbage, lettuce and sprouts, can reduce the cancer risk by 46%.© BBC


Fishy diet may cut hunger hormone A study of African tribes found that the one with a fish-based diet had lower levels of a hormone which influences appetite. It suggests that people eating a fish-rich diet may find it easier to control their appetite – and perhaps their weight.© BBC

Veg-eating smokers 'cheat illness' Smoking makes you prone to serious chest illnesses – but eating plenty of fruit and vegetables is likely to cut the risk, say experts. Scientists have always wondered why some heavy smokers fall ill as a result of their habit, but others stay in reasonably good health.It is suspected that genes may play a role, along with diet and other lifestyle factors. © BBC


Honey and nuts fight cholesterol People aiming to lower their cholesterol should turn to honey and almonds as well as fruits and vegetables, scientists say. Two separate studies suggest the foods could be beneficial because both help lower cholesterol.Researchers discovered honey contained as many antioxidants – which combat the free radicals which can damage cells – as spinach, apples, oranges or strawberries. © BBC

Bananas 'could prevent strokes' A banana a day could prevent a deficiency which, scientists say, might increase the risk of stroke. The tropical fruit is rich in potassium, and a study of 5,600 people aged over 65 suggested that those with the lowest intake of the mineral were 50% more likely to suffer a stroke. © BBC


Starchy diet 'linked to cancer' Women who eat a diet high in white bread, white rice and potatoes are at increased risk of pancreatic cancer, a study suggests. Researchers in the United States believe women who combine this diet with being overweight and exercising rarely are most at risk of developing the disease. They believe that this kind of diet boosts insulin levels in the body. High levels of insulin have been linked to pancreatic cancer.© BBC

Obesity linked to kidney cancer Rising levels of obesity in women could be causing a significant increase in cases of kidney cancer, research suggests.New figures from Cancer Research UK show that cases of kidney cancer have increased by 22% over the last 10 years. This rate overtakes the rise in female breast, skin and lung cancers during the same period. © BBC

Cold left-overs ward off cancer Cold potato, baked beans, rice and porridge may not sound appetising – but they might be just the thing to ward off cancer. Scientists have discovered that indigestible crystalline starch found in these types of types of cold food may have a protective effect. © BBC

Tea 'to join health menu' Tea could soon join fruit and vegetables on the list of must-have health foods. Recent studies have suggested the traditional cuppa protects against a range of conditions including cancer, heart disease and Parkinson's. But scientists in the United States now believe that the health benefits are so great that everyone should be urged to drink tea. Experts believe antioxidants in tea help to repair cells in the body which have been damaged by sunlight, chemicals, stress and many foods. © BBC


Vitamin E may ward off Parkinson's Increasing the amount of vitamin E in the diet may help reduce the risk of developing Parkinson's disease, research suggests. Previous studies have suggested that the degenerative brain disorder may in some way be linked to cell damage caused by oxidation, the process by which oxygen is converted into energy. Vitamins E and C and the carotenoids are known to help minimise this effect by mopping up free radicals, the particles released by oxidation which cause damage.© BBC

Child cancer link to pregnancy drinking Women who drink while pregnant may increase their daughter's risk of developing breast cancer later in life, researchers have warned. Tests on rats by US doctors showed that the offspring of those exposed to moderate to high doses of alcohol had a higher number of breast tumours than other animals. © BBC


Flaxseed 'blocks prostate cancer' A diet rich in flaxseed appears to reduce the size and severity of prostate tumours in mice, say scientists. However, the amount given to the mice was far too high to be a realistic prospect in a human diet. It also contains large amounts of dietary fibre and a chemical called lignan which controls the metabolism of both oestrogen and testosterone. © BBC

Garlic may repel prostate cancer Garlic and onions could help prevent men developing prostate cancer, researchers have said.Men who ate the most vegetables had a 50% lower risk of having prostate cancer than those who ate the least, it was found.© BBC


Vegetarian diet 'cuts heart risk' Eating more vegetables and soya-based products may be as effective at reducing cholesterol as medication. Researchers in Canada have developed a vegetarian combination diet which they say cuts cholesterol by almost a third in just one month. The diet includes vegetables, such as broccoli and red peppers; soy milk and soy sausages; oat bran cereal and bread; and fruit and nuts. © BBC

Oily fish 'could cut asthma risk' Eating oily fish such as mackerel or salmon regularly could protect against asthma, researchers claim. It is the latest in a long list of benefits ascribed to this type of fish. The research project, at Cambridge University, looked at more than 750 people, some with asthma, and some without. They were asked about their diets, and in particular how much oily fish they ate each week. This revealed that people with diagnosed asthma who were experiencing symptoms such as wheeze, breathlessness, or waking up with a tight chest, recalled eating far less oily fish than those who were recognised asthmatics, but not greatly troubled by their symptoms.© BBC