Sunday, January 20, 2013

The CACTUS fruit that could treat diabetes: Dragon fruit is named as the hot new superfood for 2013

The usual rubbish.  The fact that no health benefits have been proven just makes it more attractive to certain egotists

If you're bored of blueberries and have had enough of splashing the cash on goji berries, the pitaya could be the super fruit for you.

But the fruit isn't your average healthy treat. While it might look innocuous, the pitaya is harvested from a South American cactus - and has the spines to prove it.

But when you are able to get inside - it's worth the trouble. The fruit has been hailed as having remarkable health-giving properties, including the ability to regulate blood sugar levels in diabetes as well as providing a dose of anti-oxidants.

Although the fruit originates in South America, it is now grown in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the Philippines, where it's loved for its many health benefits.

Said to be rich in vitamin C, fibre and calcium, the pitaya - or dragon fruit as it's also known - gives you a bigger bang for your buck than similar super fruits such as acai berries.

Already available in Waitrose and Tesco, the bright pink fruit is full of edible black seeds and boasts flesh that tastes like a cross between a kiwi fruit and a pear.

Along with a mega-dose of vitamin C, pitaya is also thought to help lower cholesterol and is packed with skin-boosting antioxidants.

The tiny black seeds are a great source of healthy Omega-3 fat and there's plenty of magnesium and calcium in the flesh.

Pitaya is even believed to help help regulate blood sugar levels - in Taiwan, diabetes sufferers are urged to eat them by doctors.

Although the Taiwanese medical profession is convinced, as yet, the health benefits of pitaya haven't been confirmed by any European studies.

Nevertheless, with their beautiful rosy-pink colour and dramatic green fronds, they will at least look fabulous in your fruit bowl.


LOL!  Just two cups of coffee a day could cause male incontinence, warn researchers

There must be a lot of leaky American men about at that rate!

The amount of caffeine typically found in two cups of coffee could exacerbate, if not cause, male incontinence.  New research suggests men who consume the most caffeine are more likely to have the problem than those who drank the least.

Published in The Journal of Urology, it suggests caffeine may irritate the bladder, if not causing then exacerbating the problem.

Plenty of research has linked caffeine to incontinence among women. But little is known about whether there is a similar connection for men.  'We wanted to see if caffeine had an impact on them as well,' said Dr. Alayne Markland, the study's senior author, from the University of Alabama, told Reuters Health.

Dr Markland's team used responses from about 4,000 men to a national health survey between 2005 and 2008.

The researchers looked at how many had urinary incontinence and how much caffeine they ate or drank, as well as how much water they took in from both foods and drinks.

Overall, the men consumed an average of 169 milligrams of caffeine every day. The average cup of coffee contains around 125mg.

About 13 percent of the men reported leaky bladder, but only 4.5 per cent had a problem considered moderate or severe - which is more than a few drops of urine leakage during the course of a month.

After adjusting for the men's age and other risk factors, the researchers found that those who ate or drank 234mg of caffeine a day were 72 per cent more likely to have moderate to severe urinary incontinence than those who consumed the least caffeine.

Men who downed more than 392mg of caffeine daily were more than twice as likely to be incontinent.

Dr Markland said it was not simply a matter of how much fluid a person took in.  That's because total water intake, in contrast, was not linked to a man's risk of moderate to severe incontinence. This has led to the theory that caffeine irritates the bladder in some way.

She added: 'It's something to consider... People who are having problems with urinary incontinence should modify their caffeine intake.'

Dr. Bryan Voelzke, from the Department of Urology at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, said the medications men take, such as diuretics (which increase the frequency of urination) could also affect their bladder control.

'I think the findings are interesting,' he said. 'But this study on its own is not enough to say caffeine is the source of urinary incontinence.'


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