Research reveals

Research reveals

An apple a day holds true

Good old science has proven the adage, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away", to be true.

Researchers at Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford in the UK compared the effects of eating an apple daily to taking statins - medication used to lower cholesterol levels - among adults aged 50 and up.

The study, published in the British Medical Journal, said participants did not make changes to their diets or lifestyle and their mortality rates from heart attacks and strokes were recorded.

The scientists also estimate that if seven out of 10 of Britain's 50-something population simply ate one apple daily, 8,500 deaths due to heart attack or stroke could be avoided every year.

Give good health a shot

Tequila, the drink behind many a legendary, or messy, night out may actually do more good than harm.

The liquor is made from the blue agave plant. Mexican researchers say agavins - the natural sugars derived from the plant - protected a group of mice against Type 2 diabetes.

The findings were being presented at the American Chemical Society's annual meeting in Dallas.

The rodents were divided into seven groups and given a type of water. Plain or water supplemented with either aspartame, glucose, fructose, sucrose or agavins.

The agavins group showed a reduction in food intake and weight as well as a decrease in blood glucose levels.

Researchers believe the ingredient could be used as an alternative sweetening agent but further research will be needed to confirm this.

This does not mean that your doctor will be serving shots, rather than giving them.

Fat lot of good

To be filed under: Make Your Minds Up Already.

Researchers at the British Heart Foundation (BHF) are now saying that switching from butter to margarine may not lower heart risk.

They claim there is no evidence that changing the type of fat you eat from the "bad" saturated kind to "healthier" polyunsaturated fats cuts heart risk. Sigh.

Scientists looked at data from 72 studies - with more than 600,000 participants - and found too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which, in turn, increases the risk of coronary heart disease.

It is often stated that most people eat too much saturated fat, the kind found in butter, biscuits, fatty cuts of meat and sausages, as well as cheese and cream.

There was a big health drive to get more people eating unsaturated fats such as olive and sunflower oils and other non-animal fats instead, as these were thought to have a protective effect on the heart and blood vessels.

But while the BHF said its findings did not change the advice that eating too much fat continues to be harmful for the heart, it added that polyunsaturated fat intake did not offer any heart protection.

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