Publshed at: http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/
Wednesday, December 14th, 2011 by Sam Khan-Mcintyre
BESTSELLING crime writer Peter James is offering a `dead good’ dinner to one lucky donor to the University of Dundee’s`Million For A Morgue’ campaign.
There are 15 million cases of colds and flu in the UK each year. There are no cures for the actual virus, but there are numerous treatments designed to alleviate the symptoms. The latest research shows zinc is helpful in megadoses for a short period before and during the cold, as it helps to boost the immune system.
Dr John Beattie is an expert in zinc nutrition. He is currently researching biomass markers of zinc status at the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, and says, “zinc has a major effect on the immune system, and is one of the factors affecting a cold.” Foods high in zinc are red meat, chicken, fish, milk, cheese and eggs.
He explains that, “there are two types of responses by a body, the innate and adaptive responses. The body’s first reaction to a cold will be symptoms such as a sore throat, which is the innate system response.”
“Cells of the immune system will tell body of infection. Zinc will have an impact on production of chemicals to show the problem is going on.”
‘’[The] next stage is defence, the adaptive immune system realises the innate system is activated. Zinc helps facilitate the immune system, allowing chemicals to activate it, then this adaptive immune system produces antibodies.’’
Dr Beattie continues by adding that ‘’megadoses of zinc will have a significant impact‘’ on a cold, with ‘’between 75 and 100g […] suggested to be effective. However it should only be taken for a few days.”
‘’The daily recommended dose is between 12 mg and 15 mg, depending on whether you’re male or female.” Dr Beattie states that a person would normally get this from their diet.
A more enjoyable treatment could be regular sex, as it appears that this can also help ward off colds and flu. Psychologists in Pennsylvania found those who have sex between one and three times a week have a higher production of immunoglobin A (igA), which strengthens the immune system.
For other possible treatments, we spoke a pharmacist and a health food shop for their views on the subject. David of Boots in Haddington said ‘’there’s many commercial medications, but Paracetamol and a hot drink [should help] because medications only treat the symptoms of a cold’’.
Raj from the Health Food Shop, also in Haddington, had a different view, recommending alternative therapies. He said ‘’there are different types of homeopathic remedies. Echinacea is a really good one. It’s quite popular […] it’s a natural remedy that fights bacteria and bugs’’.
Other factors affecting a cold would be low levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D is mostly obtained from sunlight and is able to boost the immune system. The best way of keeping levels of vitamin D high in winter would be to eat oily fish and eggs, or by taking supplements.
Other remedies include chicken soup and relaxation, as stress plays havoc with the immune system. Plenty of fluids help to fight colds, and help mucous production, which traps the cold virus.
November 17, 2011 By Sam Khan-Mcintyre
What appears to be a single face, however it is a mix of multiple different people.
Psychologists at the University of Edinburgh have found that levels of facial symmetry
can show mental decline in men between the ages of 79 and 83.
Researchers have discovered that those with less symmetry in their faces are more likely to have an increased slowdown of brainpower.
Subjects’ results in reasoning and reaction time tests at the university were used alongside the Scottish Mental Health Survey from 1932.
Dr Lars Penke, who led the work, said: “This kind of research is not meant to lead to new treatments, though facial symmetry could become a diagnostic indicator in the long run.”
He added: “Facial symmetry is only an indirect indicator of insults to developmental stability that accumulated over the lifespan, so there’s no expectation that treating symmetry could ever help against mental decline.”
Developmental stability is the ability of an organism to undergo stable development of the observable characteristics (or phenotype) under given environmental conditions.
Disease (such as diabetes or high blood pressure); toxins; alcohol and illicit drugs; lack of activity (mental or physical); stress; malnutrition; or genetic mutations during development, all contribute to developmental stability and therefore mental decline.
Robin Morton, a scientist at Edinburgh University added that stresses on a mother could affect the baby while in the womb and affect symmetry. He also explained that fingerprints can also become asymmetrical in this way.
He said: “Those with higher mental ability tend to age better due to higher thinking ability. Therefore they will have less of a decline. This could help inform a patient’s clinician.”
Comparable results have not yet been found in females, but research is on-going. Dr Penke said: “We still do some work on this topic, but there are no new results worth reporting yet.”