Health news: the lat­est in med­i­cal re­search

Thérèse Henkin re­ports on wine, cheese saunas and mo­bile phones.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS -

SAUNA BEN­E­FITS

It seems sauna ses­sions can do more than re­lieve aching mus­cles. Fin­nish re­search claims fre­quent saunas could also re­duce the risk of de­men­tia. The 20-year study of more than 2000 mid­dle-aged men found those who had be­tween four and seven saunas a week were 66 per cent less likely to de­velop de­men­tia than those who had one a week or less. This could be be­cause saunas help lower blood pres­sure and im­prove cir­cu­la­tion.

MELANOMA LINK

White wine is the lat­est al­co­hol to be put in the fir­ing line, with ev­i­dence sug­gest­ing that drink­ing it could in­crease a per­son’s chances of melanoma by 13 per cent. Re­searchers sus­pect this is be­cause white wine con­tains ac­etalde­hyde, an or­ganic chem­i­cal com­pound that can dam­age DNA and pre­vent DNA re­pair. The study, re­ported in the med­i­cal jour­nal Can­cer Epi­demi­ol­ogy, Biomark­ers & Preven­tion, looked at the drink­ing habits of more than 200,000 Cau­casian peo­ple and also found that melanomas in white wine drinkers were of­ten lo­cated in body ar­eas that don’t get much ex­po­sure to the sun. The find­ings are not strong enough to sug­gest peo­ple stop drink­ing white wine al­to­gether, but the re­searchers ad­vise mod­er­a­tion in wine con­sump­tion.

Screen ef­fects

The list of rea­sons against ex­ces­sive mo­bile phone use just got longer with emerg­ing re­search find­ing that the blue light emit­ted from our phone screens can po­ten­tially cause more dam­age to our skin than sun­burn. Re­search into this area is still de­vel­op­ing, but stud­ies sug­gest the blue light pen­e­trates skin more deeply than the sun’s UV rays. While not harsh enough to in­crease the risk of skin can­cer, the blue light is be­lieved to halt the skin’s heal­ing process and po­ten­tially ac­cel­er­ate age­ing.

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