Health Bites

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 December, 2013, 6:10pm
UPDATED : Monday, 23 December, 2013, 6:12pm

Tomatoes may lower breast cancer risk

Post-menopausal women who eat plenty of tomatoes and tomato-based products have a lower breast cancer risk, finds a study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Rich in the phytochemical lycopene, the fruit is believed to work by raising levels of adiponectin, a hormone that regulates fat and sugar metabolism. For two separate 10-week periods, 70 post-menopausal women ate daily either tomato products with at least 25 milligrams of lycopene, or at least 40 grams of soya protein. Before each test period, the women abstained from eating both products for two weeks. The tomato-rich diet raised levels of adiponectin by 9 per cent, while the soya diet was linked to a reduction in the hormone.

Doubts raised over hip implant effectiveness

The current regulation process for hip implants "seems to be entirely inadequate", say Oxford University researchers who reviewed medical literature for evidence of clinical effectiveness of various hip implants. The review, published in the BMJ (British Medical Journal), showed nearly 8 per cent of more than 136,500 components used in primary hip replacements in 2011 in England and Wales were implanted without readily identifiable evidence of clinical effectiveness.

Moderate alcohol consumption boosts immune system

In a study by Oregon Health & Science University, published in the journal Vaccine, 12 rhesus macaques were vaccinated against smallpox, then allowed access to either alcohol or sugar water, along with pure water and food. They were vaccinated again seven months into the test, and all showed comparable responses to the vaccination. After 14 months, the monkeys were split into heavy and moderate drinkers. The moderate drinkers showed enhanced responses to the vaccine compared to the control group, while the heavy drinkers had greatly diminished vaccine responses.