Health Updates 19 July 2011

  • Having allergies reduces the risk of getting cancer? “Researchers have long speculated that one of the benefits of having allergies is a vigilant immune system, which not only overreacts to common triggers, like pollen and dander, but also protects against serious threats like nascent cancer cells.”  A recent study indicates that “people with contact skin allergies had lower rates of breast and skin cancer”.  More studies are ongoing, but essentially,  the bottom line is that research suggests “having allergies may lower the risk of some cancers”.  (NY Times)
  • Benefits of garlic consumption for health, not just flavor: Garlic is more than a culinary mainstay that can add flavor to meals; it is a natural, traditional medicine that has antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties.”  Eating it regularly has been linked with: 1). altering how cholesterol is metabolized in the body, making it less likely to oxidize; 2). lowering blood pressure and decreasing clot formation, thereby reducing heart attack and stroke risk; 3). reducing fungal or yeast infections; and 4). combating respiratory infections (colds, simple sore throats &c.).   (
  • Chief of UN AIDS program calls for better access to drugs: “Sidibe called for better delivery on the ground, a reduction in the number of years it now takes to turn scientific discoveries into actual progress for the poor, and increased cooperation among states, pharmaceutical companies and international organizations.”  It’s about time! (Washington Post)
  • Doctors urge pregnant women to wait at least 39 weeks before delivery: “A full-term pregnancy lasts 40 weeks, but elective deliveries are often planned for two or three weeks earlier.  And even though 37 weeks is also still considered full term, studies show that babies born even a few weeks too early are at greater risk for health problems than those who are born later.  That has some doctors campaigning to curb the trend of scheduled labor and delivery.” (NPR)

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