Monday, March 26, 2012

Two cups of tea a day boost your chances of having a baby (?)

Good to see an admission below that tea itself may not be the causative factor

Two cups of tea a day may help boost a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant, according to a study. It found women were 27 per cent more likely to become pregnant if they regularly drank tea compared with those who did not.

However, the same research found consuming two cola-style fizzy drinks daily seems to reduce a woman’s prospects of conceiving – and it makes no difference if the cola is a diet or sugary version. Women who drank these soft drinks at least twice a day reduced their chances of becoming pregnant by 20 per cent.

There was no effect on the chances of pregnancy for women who preferred to drink coffee.

The findings were based on a group of 3,600 women who were actively trying to have a baby.

The study’s author, Professor Elizabeth Hatch, of Boston University in the United States, wanted to determine if caffeine intake had any effect on women trying for a baby. While there have been other studies on the subject, their results have not been conclusive.

They have also used methods which are thought to be unreliable, based on interviews with pregnant women who were asked to remember the amounts of tea, coffee and soft drinks they consumed before they conceived.

Instead, Prof Hatch monitored each of the volunteers for a year.

Danish women were chosen for the research because every Danish citizen is given a civil registration number at birth, allowing health officials to recruit and then screen individuals through the internet.

The women, with an average age of 28, formed the largest group ever studied to evaluate a link between caffeine consumption and pregnancy.

Prof Hatch said: ‘We found that women who drank tea two or three times a day did have a 27 per cent increased chance of becoming pregnant. We don’t know how they took the tea or if they added milk or lemon, but they had this increased chance of getting pregnant over women who did not drink tea at all.

‘It may be linked to caffeine but clearly there may be other factors linked with the women’s lifestyle or there may be beneficial properties in tea itself.’

She added: ‘I think drinking two or three cups of tea a day for anyone wishing to get pregnant will be fine. I would love to say tea is a miracle cure to get pregnant but that is not realistic. There may be other factors. The tea drinkers tended to be older women and there may be something else in their diet or lifestyle that helped.’

'Tea contains a lot of antioxidants which are very good for male and female fertility'

Green tea has previously been linked with increasing women’s chances of becoming pregnant.

However, in this study women were asked to record their consumption of green or herbal tea in the same section and no link with increased chance of pregnancy was found.

Further research will seek to identify whether drinking green tea helps women became pregnant.

Follow-up work will establish more about the health and size of the babies born to the tea-drinking mums and if the women endured shorter or longer pregnancies or suffered miscarriages.

Maha Ragunath, consultant in reproductive medicine at the Care Fertility Centre in Nottingham, said special properties in tea aided fertility. She added: ‘Tea contains a lot of antioxidants which are very good for male and female fertility. ‘But I don’t think women trying for a baby should now drink lots of tea – it’s everything in moderation.’

Laurence Shaw, associate director at the Bridge Fertility Centre in London, said: ‘I would say to any woman over 35 trying to become pregnant to get proper advice and don’t start drinking ten cups of tea a day.’


British scientists develop 80p-a-day pill that can slow progress of osteoarthritis to some degree

Even a little helps

A pill that slows the progression of crippling arthritis has been developed by British scientists.

The 80p a day costing treatment has been found to reduce the damage caused to knee joints by osteoarthritis by a third. Studies have also shown that it drastically lowers pain and improves patient's movement.

Oxford scientists behind the treatment believe it may be available on the NHS within the next year.

Around eight million people in Britain suffer from osteoarthritis and 140,000 hip and knee replacements are performed on the NHS as a result of the illness. It causes the cartilage lining the bones to wear away which leads to damage to the joints, particularly the knee and hip. There is no cure at present and patients with mild symptoms are normally given exercises or painkillers. Those with more severe forms of the disease may need hip or knee replacements.

Scientists at the University of Oxford and University of Southampton carried out a trial on 1,683 patients with osteoarthritis that had caused damage to their knee.

Half were given this new pill called Protelosa and the other half a placebo. Over the next three years the scientists measured their pain, their ability to move the knee joints and any deterioration of the cartilage.

They found that those on the pills suffered an average of a third less damage to the cartilage. So if they were taking them for three years the progression of the disease would be slowed by one year.

The pills contains the chemical strontium ranelate which is thought to encourage the body to produce cartilage.

Professor Cyrus Cooper who presented his findings at the European Congress on Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis in France said: 'This is a major breakthrough.

'Osteoarthritis is a painful and debilitating condition, and for over 20 years we have been searching for a treatment that would allow us to alter the course of the disease, rather than just manage the symptoms.

'The results today are it, and could totally change the way we treat osteoarthritis.

'For the first time we have a treatment that can slow the development of this debilitating disease and could reduce or even eliminate the need for expensive and painful joint replacement surgery.'

The drug is already used to treat osteoporosis - thinning of the bones.

But it is expected to be licensed by the drugs watchdog, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, for use on arthritis patients within the next few months.

After that the NHS rationing body NICE will consider whether it should be available on the NHS.

But as the drug is so cheap and it has been found to be so effective, the scientists are confident it will be given the green light.


1 comment:

John A said...

Protelosa sounds promising for osteoarthritis, and has an advantage in that it is alreay made and prescribed for osteoporosis so a new manufacturing/distribution line need not be started up - merely permission to prescribe it for what is now an "off-label" use.

Did I just write "merely?" Oh well.