Shorts

* Wear a helmet if you want to avoid serious injury while cycling. That's the conclusion of a new study of cycle injuries in the UK between 1991 and 1995. During that time, hospital admissions for head injuries fell by 12 per cent per month (BMJ, 2000; 321: 1055).

* A metaanalysis shows that people who consume garlic regularly (raw or cooked) are less likely than non garlic eaters to develop stomach or colorectal cancer (Lancet, 2000; 356: 1249).

* Regular exercise can reverse age related vascular changes, according to new data. A long held belief is that the ability of arteries to dilate declines with age. But when researchers studied 68 men (aged 22-76), they found that vessel elasticity in older men who exercised regularly was similar to that of younger men. When sedentary men undertook exercise, the ability of their arteries to dilate improved significantly (Circulation, 2000; 102: 1351-7).