Health & Beauty: Health News

Article excerpt

IN winter time the body finds it harder to absorb Vitamin D - produced naturally through daylight. And while this useful vitamin is often overlooked, it can help to protect us against a variety of illnesses and complaints.

A lack of it can lead to osteoporosis, brittle bones, faintness and mood swings, and according to a Harvard University study, women who take Vitamin D supplements are 40 per cent less likely to develop multiple sclerosis.

Found naturally in foods such as tuna fish and cod liver oil, it can also be obtained through multi-vitamins. But there is currently no recommended dietary allowance for adults, so it is difficult to judge how much a person actually needs.

The best source is still considered to be sunlight, with most people able to produce the right amount of the vitamin even during winter. Women are advised not to take Vitamin D supplements during pregnancy or when they are breast-feeding.

A NEW type of brain scan could tell doctors whether or not a cancer treatment is working weeks earlier than is currently possible, researchers have reported in the British Journal of Cancer.

Scientists found the technique, known as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), was able to predict at an early stage how a brain tumour called a glioma was responding to drug treatment.

Doctors currently learn whether or not the drug is proving effective in a patient by monitoring the size of tumours after months of treatment.

Now researchers, funded by Cancer Research UK, have found they get this information much more quickly by using an NMR machine which can monitor subtle chemical changes in tumours brought about by the drug. …