Iron link to heart disease A new study from the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington found that consumption of heme iron, found only in meat, increases the risk for coronary heart disease by 57 per cent. No such association was found between non-heme iron, which is in plant and other non-meat sources such as lentils and iron-fortified foods.
The researchers examined 21 previously published studies and data involving 292,454 participants during an average 10.2 years of follow-up. Iron is a mineral essential for many body processes such as oxygen transport and cell function. The body treats the two kinds of iron differently. Heme iron is absorbed at a much greater rate in comparison to non-heme iron (37 per cent versus 5 per cent), the researchers say in their report in the Journal of Nutrition.
Once absorbed, it may contribute as a catalyst in the oxidation of "bad" cholesterol, causing tissue-damaging inflammation, which is a potential risk factor for coronary heart disease.
The hips don't lie Women who have wider hips are more inclined to have one-night stands, according to a study by the University of Leeds in Britain. Researchers recruited 148 women between 18 and 26 years old who have had at least one sexual partner previously. The subjects' hip width and hip-to-waist ratio were measured, and they also completed a questionnaire about their sexual histories. Overall, women with hips wider than 36cm had more sexual partners and more one-night stands than women with hips under 31cm wide.
The women for whom one-night stands accounted for 75 per cent of their sexual relationships had hips at least 2cm wider than women who had a lower rate of one-night stands. The researchers surmise that women with wider hips are more likely to engage in sex because the birth process is easier and less traumatic for them than for smaller-hipped women. "Women's hip width has a direct impact on their risk of potentially fatal childbirth-related injury. It seems that when women have control over their own sexual activity, this risk is reflected in their behaviour. Women's sexual activity is therefore at least in part influenced by hip width," says Dr Colin Hendrie.
Vitamin trial falls flat Vitamin D supplements have little effect on risk of falls in older people
There is insufficient evidence to support prescribing vitamin D to reduce falls, says a meta-analysis published The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology . Researchers at the University of Auckland in New Zealand analysed findings from 20 randomised controlled trials which tested the potential of vitamin D supplements to reduce falls in nearly 30,000 people.
The findings show that supplements do not reduce falls by 15 per cent or more, meaning its effect at a population level is relatively insignificant. The researchers add that ongoing trials to test this theory are unlikely to change this result.
Studies have produced conflicting results, and there has been enough positive evidence to support its recommendation by some health organisations to prevent falls in the elderly. How the vitamin has such an effect remains unknown.