Health Briefs

January 01, 2014

Alcohol with tobacco, a cocktail for esophageal cancer

It’s a fact that alcohol and tobacco play important roles in developing esophageal cancer, but a recent study published in The American Journal of Gastronomy found that the combination of both doubles the risk compared to those who either smoke or drink.

Researchers from the University of Michigan, United States, have assembled data from various databases including many studies concerning patients with esophageal cancer and how tobacco and alcohol affect their conditions. After systematic review, they confirmed that smoking and drinking are both independent and dependent risk factors for esophageal cancer.


Survival rate of bowel cancer increases with vitamin D

A recent study from the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, finds that patients with bowel cancer supplied with enough vitamin D have distinctly higher chances of surviving the disease, especially those in stage 2, at which point the tumor may be quite large but the cancer has not yet spread.

Researchers tested blood samples from almost 1,600 patients after surgery for bowel cancer and found that three quarters of patients with high vitamin D levels are still alive after five years while those with low vitamin D survive at a rate of less than two thirds. This has evidently proved that vitamin D helps increase the survival rate, though the nature of the relation still remains unclear.

However, the study also says that the research only observes natural vitamin D intakes such as from sunlight or food. Further study is still needed to know whether vitamin D supplements yield the same effect.

Training toddlers to eat veggies should begin before the age of two
“My child does not eat vegetables.” This is a cause for concern for parents in many households worldwide. No matter how many tricks parents have up their sleeves, they find it difficult to get their children to say yes to those green leaves. Many have given up on trying, but a recent study by a cooperative effort at universities in England, France and Denmark has found the latest trick for parents to try: have your children eat vegetables as early and as continually as possible.
The study had 403 preschool children, aged 4 months to 3 years, eat 100 to 200 grams of artichoke puree 5 to 10 times by serving it as meals or afternoon snacks and observed how much each child ate. The result is 40 percent of all children were likely to eat more vegetables each time, 21 percent consumed most of what was offered every time, 16 percent still refused the food even after five attempts and the rest are those whose patterns were too variableto specify.

“Younger children are less picky about their food,” a researcher involved in the study says. “We found that training children to eat vegetables should begin before the age of two. You also need to be consistent and the result should show after 5 to 10 times.”

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