Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Hay fever 'could be cured by sex', say Iranians

Wishful thinking?

Hay fever symptoms could be alleviated by sexual intercourse, scientists have hypothesised, while admitting their recommendation does suffer from practical obstacles.

Researchers claim that sex constricts the blood vessels which unblocks bunged up noses and clears streaming eyes. Iranian scientists found the nasal system is linked to the reproductive system. So far experts at the Tabriz Medical University have not performed clinical trials to test their theory.

But if they are proved right then male sufferers need no longer rely on antihistamine drugs, some of which have been known to cause high blood pressure and blocked noses.

Neurologist Sina Zarrintan claims his method would be a lot more pleasurable, cheaper and need only be done whenever the symptoms become really bad. He said: "It can be done from time to time to alleviate the congestion and the patient can adjust the number of intercourses depending on the severity of the symptoms."

Not everyone agrees though. Mohammed Amin Abolghassemi Fakhree from Tabriz University poured scorn on the idea. He added: "There are some limitations in using ejaculation as a treatment of nasal congestion, such as not being applicable out of home and not having any sex partner."


Last night a lipstick saved my life: How a spot of lippy could prevent a fatal fall

Says cosmetics company. Maybe women who are healthy have more incentive to take care of their appearance and so would have fewer falls whatever they did

It may infuriate their waiting husbands, but women who insist on applying make-up before going anywhere could be saving themselves from disaster. Scientists have found that the ritual of applying lipstick and blusher acts as a type of stretching exercise which can improve balance and coordination. This is particularly important for older women, for whom a fall can cause serious injury or even death. Each year, more than 700,000 people over 65 in the UK have to go to hospital after a fall. Those who break a hip have a 20 per cent chance of dying within a year and falls are the leading cause of death for the over-75s.

The apparent benefits of make-up emerged from a study of 100 women from 65 to 85 at the University of St Etienne in France. They were fitted with special insoles to test their centres of gravity and a belt to monitor their posture. The researchers found that those who put on make-up every day had much better balance and posture, and suffered fewer falls.

Dr Patricia Pineau, who led the study, said: 'These women stood up straight and suffered fewer falls. They held themselves differently to those who did not wear make-up.' Dr Pineau, director of research communications at the cosmetics company L'Oreal Group, added: 'It could help to prevent many debilitating falls.' The findings are to be presented at the World Congress of Gerontology in Paris. Last year, a study concluded that gentle yoga exercises can cut the risk of painful falls in old age.

Just two months of classes improved muscle strength, balance and flexibility, making falls and fractures less likely. Women who took part in the programme of exercises, designed specifically for over-65s, also felt more confident, the U.S. research found. Even if falls do not cause broken bones or head injuries, they can leave older people fearful and dependent on others for everyday chores.

One reason the elderly are most at risk is that the nerves most distant from the brain, such as in the foot, tend to decline in activity as part of the ageing process. Damage from a fall is often made worse by underlying osteoporosis, the brittle bone disease.


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