Friday, July 20, 2012

Eating oily fish regularly ‘can significantly cut risk of prostate death’

This only shows that people who SAY they eat a lot of fish do better.  It is a long way from a double blind trial.  And it's a data dredging finding anyway.  Of the many dietary factors examined, one could show up as significant by chance alone

A diet rich in oily fish can significantly improve prostate cancer victims’ chances of surviving the disease, research shows.

The findings in the American Journal of Epidemiology revealed sufferers who regularly ate the highest amounts of omega-3 fish oil were between 34 and 40 per cent less likely to die from the disease, which kills 10,000 men every year in the UK.

The long-term study at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston also found the patients who consumed the highest amounts of saturated fats were twice as likely to die from their tumour as those who ate smaller amounts.

The US scientists tracked 525 men who had an average age of 70 and signed up to the study in 1989.  By last year, 222 had died from prostate  cancer and 268 from other causes.

To see exactly how different types of fat affect survival, scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, USA, tracked 525 men from Orebro County in Sweden who had signed up to a long-term study back in 1989 after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

At the time, the men, who had an average age of 70, were quizzed on their dietary habits, including consumption of different types of fats.  For the next 20 years, all the men were followed up to monitor survival rates.

The results showed that, by March 2011, 222 of the men had died from prostate cancer and 268 from other causes.  When the researchers compared the causes of death with dietary habits they found the men who regularly ate fish with high oil content were between 34 and 40 per cent less likely to have died from their prostate cancer.

In a report on their findings the researchers said diet appears to have a powerful effect on tumours that are in the early stages of development.  ‘Fish consumption may have a modest protective effect on prostate cancer risk and progression, as well as disease-specific mortality.

‘These results suggest early stage tumours may be more responsive to dietary factors and that diet may influence prognosis following a diagnosis of early stage prostate cancer.’

Last year’s study, carried out at the University of California at Los Angeles, found fish oil reduced the number of rapidly dividing cells in the prostate cancer tissue, potentially reducing the chances of the disease spreading to other parts of the body.


Tea acts as antidote for deadly  poisons, including  ricin

This appears to be a study in laboratory glassware only.  It may not work in practice

Scientists believe a simple cup of tea could be a secret weapon to fight terrorism.  A chemical in tea can deactivate ricin - a highly-toxic ingredient in deadly terrorist attacks.

Professor Les Baillie said: ‘We already knew that tea had the ability to inhibit anthrax - as long as it is black tea with no milk.

‘Our new findings suggest that if the security services want to counter the threat of ricin, they may find the answer in their morning cup of tea.’

Since the First World War ricin has had a gruesome reputation as a bioweapon. Even a tiny amount can kill a person within two to three days after getting into the bloodstream.

And it comes from the humble castor oil bean, a powerful laxative, used medicinally for centuries, that is available in many health food shops and online.

Academics at Cardiff University’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences discovered the use for chemical polyphenol called Epigallocatechin gallate - a principal property of tea.

It inactivated ricin - a highly-toxic substance used in scores of attempted terrorist attacks.

Ricin is used in an arsenal of terrorist weapons, and has already been at the centre of a number of attempted terrorist attacks in the US.  It was famously used to kill Bulgarian dissident writer Georgi Markov as he waited for a bus on Waterloo Bridge in London.

Markov was injected with ricin using a poison-tipped umbrella by a suspected KGB agent.

The new discovery follows on from research done by Cardiff scientists which showed tea has an unexpected array of talents outside the morning cuppa.

A team showed chemicals in English breakfast tea - known as polyphenols - were able to kill bacillus anthracis, the organism which causes anthrax and was used in the 2001 US anthrax mail attacks.

Prof Baillie said: ‘These toxins, such as ricin, have been shown to have been used by nasty people, and nasty countries, to do nasty things.

‘With a number of overseas guests arriving in the UK for the Olympics, we think this research could encourage them to drink tea - our national drink - but also naturally encourage their resistance to potentially damaging toxins.’



John A said...

That fish story is fishy.

"The US scientists tracked 525 men who had an average age of 70 and signed up to the study in 1989. By last year, 222 had died from prostate cancer and 268 from other causes."

So nearly half of the deaths were of prostate cancer? The selection criteria must have had quite a skew.

John A said...

Oops, I missed that the patients had already been diagnosed with prostate cancer to be included in the study.