Health Bites

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 June, 2011, 12:00am


An apple a day keeps muscles OK

Researchers at the University of Iowa, United States, have discovered that a compound found in the fruit's skin - ursolic acid - may help prevent muscle wasting that can result from ageing and illness. Studies on mice showed that those that received the compound for a number of weeks became leaner and had lower blood levels of glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides. The findings, published in this month's issue of the journal Cell Metabolism, might lead to the development of new drugs if confirmed in humans, the study's authors suggest.

Cancer diagnosis: pee and see?

Possibly so, say researchers at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. They have identified key proteins in the urine of advanced cancer patients which suggest that cancers of the gut, stomach and pancreas could be detected much sooner with a simple urine test. In the study, published in the journal Proteomics-Clinical Applications, six particular proteins were found to be present in 98 per cent of the cancer cases, but absent in almost 90 per cent of samples from cancer-free patients. Two of these proteins have been narrowed down for future analysis. Only about 10 per cent of patients with the above-mentioned cancers are still alive five years after diagnosis.

Glam it up, gym rats

Edgy accents, studded trims, star embellishments and other fashionable features in the new G*POW athletic wear range ensures you'll always make a smooth transition from gym to cocktail hour. 'Throughout my years of training I could never find athletic wear that was comfortable and cutting edge in style,' says the line's Venezuelan-born designer, Charo Perez Giusti. 'I want women in the gym to not only feel sexy and comfortable, but to look it as well.' Check out the collection at Pure Retail IFC from June 23-26.

Two triathlons are better than one

If you believe that, then the 2XTRI on Sunday, August 28, at Science Park, Sha Tin, could be your thing. Swim 300 metres, cycle 12 kilometres, run 3km, repeat. Prize money will be offered to the first three men and women - HK$3,000, HK$2,000 and HK$1,000 respectively - across the line, as well as medals and prizes for top in age groups. Sign up at

Look before you jump on the barefoot wagon

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Runners looking to jump on the barefoot wagon should keep that in mind, according to Professor Stuart Warden, director of research the department of physical therapy at Indiana University, US. Barefoot running is a hot issue as it's said to promote a lower risk of injury. This, in theory, is because you're forced to land on the forefoot, which reduces impact forces on the body. If you're happy running in shoes and don't suffer repeated injuries, stick with it, is his advice. But injury-plagued runners who haven't improved through rehabilitation may want to consider a switch. 'If you transition to barefoot running slowly, and run correctly ... you could decrease the risk of injury over the long term,' Warden says.