Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Curry good for headaches: "Eating curry may be a better cure for headaches than aspirin, according to research. A study funded by the Scottish Executive has found that salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin, occurs naturally in Indian food and that curry could help to treat migraines and prevent colon cancers. Spices such as cumin, turmeric and paprika, all of which are used in curries, are particularly rich sources of salicylic acid, the study said. Neither does Indian food cause some side-effects sometimes associated with long-term aspirin use, such as internal bleeding and ulcers, the study, conducted by the Rowett Research Institute, found. “One portion of vindaloo we examined contained 95mg of salicylic acid, more than the amount in an aspirin tablet. A low-dose aspirin tablet contains about 65mg of the acid.” Professor Garry Duthie, one of the study’s co-authors, said: “The dietary level of salicylic acid in curry is exceptionally high. I wouldn’t recommend a curry a day for headaches, but it is possible that someone with a headache who is a very good absorber of salicylic acid might find it went away if they had a vindaloo. “The hotter the curry is, the greater the possible benefits. A korma, with relatively low levels of spices, would be less effective than a vindaloo or a phal, the hottest curry widely available in Britain.” It is thought that curcumin, the component of turmeric that gives curry its distinctive yellow colour, is primarily responsible for its healthy effect."

Mouldy coffee is good coffee? "Don't turn your nose up to mouldy coffee - it tastes better, according to fungus experts. New Brazilian research has found that fungus in coffee crops makes for a flavoursome brew. More than 800 fungus experts from around the world will examine the recent findings and others at a week-long fungus conference this week in the far north Queensland city of Cairns. "The coffee research is exciting as it's likely to have implications on how coffee is grown and consumed in the future," says Professor Paul Gadek, a plant science researcher from James Cook University in Cairns. "Fungus naturally occurs on raw coffee beans and the Brazilian researchers found that the sweeter the species, the better the coffee tasted and smelt." Other topics to be discussed at the conference include fungi's ability to survive in space and its potential to destroy forests throughout the world."

Testosterone is good for you: "Low testosterone may boost the risk of death in men over 40, a new study has found. A U.S. team found that older men with relatively low testosterone had an 88% increased risk of death compared with men with normal testosterone levels. But they don't yet know why. The report was published in the Aug. 14/28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. As men age, their testosterone levels gradually decline. After age 30, levels decrease by about 1.5% per year. Low testosterone levels can result in decreased muscle mass and bone density, insulin resistance and low sex drive, as well as less energy, more irritability and feelings of depression, the researchers noted. In the study, Shores and her colleagues studied 858 men over 40 to see whether low testosterone levels were associated with an increased risk of death. Among these men, 19% had low testosterone levels, 28% had an equivocal testosterone level (meaning that their tests revealed an equal number of low and normal levels) and 53% had normal levels. "Low testosterone in older men was associated with an increased risk for mortality," Shores concluded. During 4.3 years of follow-up, 20.1% of men with normal testosterone levels died, compared with 24.6% of men with equivocal levels and 34.9% of men with low testosterone levels, Shores' team found."

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