* Dietary cholesterol has little effect on blood cholesterol levels. Changes in saturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids account for about four-fifths of the associated change in serum total cholesterol (Townsend Lett Docs, Nov 1997).
* Selenium can eventually reduce your chances of catching hepatitis, according to a Chinese study. During the first year, table salt containing selenium has little effect on the incidence of viral hepatitis (A and B), but in the second and third years, the incidence of hepatitis was 60 per cent less in those taking selenium. Selenium is supposed to be good at preventing other viral diseases, although high doses can be toxic. The present recommendation is 200 mcg/day (Townsend Lett Docs, Nov 1997).
* Spinal epidurals do not decrease the caesarean delivery rate, according to a study conducted in United States hospitals. When lumbar epidurals were compared with spinal epidurals, it was found that a similar number of babies were delivered by caesarean section (N Engl J Med, 1997; 337: 1715-9).