Latest research news

February 21, 2007

Women shed unwanted hair through mint tea
Hairy women could shed their unwanted growth by drinking mint tea, according to a study published. They are hirsute because they have abnormally high levels of "masculinising" androgen hormones. The study published in Phytotherapy Research shows that drinking two cups of mint tea a day for five days could reduce the level of androgens and counter the unwanted hair growth. "Current therapies use either oral contraceptives to suppress androgen production or medications but this study shows that spearmint could be a good natural alternative," said Professor Mehmet Numan Tamer at the Demirel University in Isparta, Turkey.
The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian

Study finds wrinkle-filler regenerates collagen
Restylane, a popular cosmetic treatment for temporarily plumping out wrinkles, actually makes the skin produce more collagen, the natural stuff that makes skin look young, researchers said on Monday. That means the product, which millions of people have had injected around their lips, cheeks and foreheads, has effects beyond even what its manufacturers claim, the team at the University of Michigan Health System reported. The researchers tested Restylane, marketed by Q-Med AB of Uppsala, Sweden and Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp. It and rival products use hyaluronic acid, which holds onto water in the skin.
The Scotsman

Lab-grown ligaments may help injured sports stars
Athletes and sports stars who suffer career-threatening knee injuries could one day benefit from replacement ligaments grown in the lab. US scientists bio-engineered anterior cruciate ligaments and used them to repair knee joints in rabbits. Eventually, the researchers hope to treat humans who suffer ruptured ligaments using the technique. The anterior cruciate ligament sits behind the kneecap and can tear when placed under excessive strain, making it a common sports injury. Each year, an estimated 200,000 people suffer this type of injury in the US alone.
New Scientist

Italians pay price for junk food revolution
Long revered as models of healthy living and eating, Italians are abandoning the fruit and vegetable-based Mediterranean diet in favour of fizzy drinks, cigarettes and deep fried food, and are paying for it with their lives, a new government study claimed. Italy's health ministry is planning to send emergency rations of fruit into schools, hospitals and offices after research revealed Italians are dying in their droves from diseases linked to alcohol, smoking and processed food. Southern regions around Naples are worst hit, said Walter Ricciardi of Rome's Catholic University, author of one study.
The Guardian

A 34inch waist doubles the risk of womb cancer
The average British woman - with a 34 inch waist - has double the risk of womb cancer compared to one with a waist just three inches smaller, says an international study. The current obesity epidemic means women now have a much higher risk of womb cancer than their counterparts 50 years ago. A wartime diet and more exercise protected women in the 1950s from this form of cancer, and gave them a profile that was, on average, six inches trimmer than today. Researchers say that losing three inches or more off the waistline would halve the chances of developing the disease.
The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph

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