Smoking less helps a bit
Of course everyone knows the health risks of smoking these days. It was not always so. It was only in the 1950’s that smoking was proven to be bad for your health. Of course many people had spoken against it but the proof was missing until 1954 when doctors Hill and Bell published a study that proved that lung cancer was linked to smoking.
Quitting is best of course, but many smokers these days have decided to ‘cut down’ instead. Now the men in white coats at Minnesota University have done a study to calculate how beneficial this is to your health. The news isn’t great. Carcinogens (substances that encourage cancer) do not drop proportionally to the amount you cut down. Smokers who cut their smoking by 90% only cut down their intake of carcinogens by 46%. In a study published in the Journal of National Cancer Institute, it was also shown that smokers who ‘cut down’ tend to ‘drag harder and longer’ on every cigarette.
The point of all this: The rewards for quitting are far better value for the effort than those for cutting down.
The Grapefruit Diet
Now here is some interesting news for slimmers. A study in San Diego has shown that grapefruit helps you lose weight. Grapefruit apparently contains a chemical that works on the insulin-glucose metabolism in the body and this ‘allows the body to process food more efficiently for use as energy’ enabling weight loss. The 12-week study at the Metabolic Research Center in San Diego, California, on 100 men and women showed that the ones who ate the grapefruit lost 3.6 pounds. Doesn’t seem like a lot to me. And guess how much grapefruit they had to eat? Half a grapefruit with every meal!
The two stories above were first noticed by me in the excellent health supplement body&soul to the Times (on Saturday). This is a little newspaper in itself, packed with useful, well-written information. I highly recommend it. It is not without humour as a recent article on ‘Saddam Sympathy Syndrome’ shows. In an article by a psychoanalyst, Darren Leader, it was pointed out that many people felt sorry for the captured dictator being forced to open his mouth and be examined by a medic. Actually it hadn’t occurred to me that this particular medical investigation was painful or humiliating but apparently the public, or some of the public, felt that it was wrong to ‘invade his space in this way’. Well perhaps invasion of personal space is a lesser sin than the hostile invasion other countries. Still we do need more compassion in this world.
body&soul also give out some interesting health awards. Some examples:
The most spurious attempt to generate publicity award: To the Priory Clinic for discovering a new psychiatric condition called ‘compulsive text messaging’. Apparently some people obsessively spend 7 hours a day texting and need treatment for this. Y? ;-)
Homeopathic Tip of the Week
If you are interested in being treated homeopathically, you don’t have to be ill at all to consult a homeopath. A homeopathic doctor will spend about an hour learning all about you and your health. S/he may then decide to give you what we call a ‘constitutional prescription’ which simply acts as a general tonic to your health. In addition s/he will have your case on record and if you get an acute illness, this background information will prove to be very useful in helping her/him make an accurate prescription.