COLITIS Aloe vera can ease symptoms
A new study has found that aloe vera may ease the pain of ulcerative colitis.
Of 44 patients with mild-to-moderate colitis, half were given 100 mL/day of aloe vera gel while the other half took a placebo for four weeks. Among those taking the aloe vera, 17 per cent reported improvement, with remission in 30 per cent of them compared with only 7 per cent of those taking the placebo (Aliment Pharmacol Ther, 2004; 19: 739-47).
PROSTATE Flaxseed can reverse precancer
A combination of flaxseed and a low-fat diet may reverse precancerous changes in prostate gland tissue.
Researchers in North Carolina tested 15 men, who all had possible early-stage prostate cancer according to biopsies. All were put on a low-fat diet, including 30 g/day of ground flaxseeds.
Of these men, two did not require a repeat biopsy, and only one had a possible cancer, according to the follow-up biopsy (Urology, 2004; 63: 900-4).
AIR CONDITIONING It's likely to make you sick
Women who work in air-conditioned offices are more likely to suffer from an ear, nose or throat problem and take time off work, a French study has found.
Of the 920 women studied, the 15 per cent who worked within air-conditioned premises were 2.3 times more likely to consult a specialist and 1.7 times more likely to be absent due to illness than those who worked in naturally ventilated offices (Int J Epidemiol, 2004; 33: 1-4).
MANGOES They're good for you, but don't tell
The Asda supermarket chain has been fined lb5000 for putting up a sign claiming that its mangoes have "antioxidant properties to help fight cancer".
According to Swindon's magistrates court, the sign contravenes 1996 regulations prohibiting claims that food can prevent, treat or cure a disease.
Having paid the fine, Asda is now seeking to have the regulations relaxed for claims that seem indisputable (The Guardian, 27 October 2004).