Wednesday, December 18, 2013

14p-a-day tablet could ease pain for millions of arthritis sufferers without dangerous side effects

This appears to be a very early result from an uncontrolled study

Scientists believe they can help millions of people suffering from arthritis with a new 14p-a-day tablet.  Spironolactone, usually used for high blood pressure and heart failure, could help people with osteoarthritis, it is claimed.

The research at Dundee University has shown it could be a breakthrough for the six million people suffering from the debilitating condition across the country.

Initial tests showed it has painkilling potential and now the scientists are setting up more trials to see its full potential, the Express reports.

Professor Alan Silman, medical director of Arthritis Research UK, has put £135,000 towards the cost of the research.  He said: 'Spironolactone has been around for decades so we know it is safe.'

Osteoarthritis is most common among older people and causes swelling and stiffness in joints.  There is no cure for the extremely painful condition and long-term treatment can include having artificial joints.

Researchers found Spironolactone, which lowers blood pressure, also works to lessen pain in arthritis sufferers.

The study, lead by Professor Marion McMurdo, head of ageing and health at Dundee University, gave 25mg of the drug every day for five months and found it helped sufferers.

Researchers are now bringing in 86 patients, all aged 70 or over, to carry out further tests.

These patients will either be given the drug or a placebo over a 12 week period and the results will help determine if their theory is correct.


A lip balm good enough to eat... literally! (No beetles were harmed making this edible, beetroot-infused strawberry lippy)

"Natural" ingredients guarantee nothing.  Ricin is natural but also highly toxic

We've all stood in Body Shop and wondered if the strawberry bubble bath tastes as good as it smells. I dare say some of us have given it a whirl (and swiftly regretted it...).  But now there is a beauty product that really is good enough to eat.

Australian natural skincare brand MooGoo have created a range of lip balms made entirely of ingredients that are chemical-free, completely vegetarian and wholly edible - especially important in lip products where most of the substance does end up eventually being eaten.

The range features three lip balms, Cow Lick, Tingling Honey, and Strawberry Tinted, the last of which gets its lasting red hue from red beetroot extract rather than the usual cochineal insect dye.

A MooGoo spokesperson said: 'When we were looking at how to add a subtle and natural colour to our Edible Lip Balms, we found that most other brands used "Cochineal" as their natural red colouring.

'This can also be called "Carmine", "Natural Colours" or "Natural Red Number 4". This is made by boiling Cochineal insects in water and extracting the red dye from the insects as it breaks down.

'Although there is nothing wrong with this (except if you are a Cochineal beetle), it made us feel a bit funny about having bug residue on our lips, and so we looked for something nicer.'

After searching, MooGoo found that red beetroot extract gave a much more natural looking colour, and was totally bug-free and healthy when ingested.  And instead of tasting like beetroot, MooGoo use a natural strawberry flavour for the taste.

The brand's all-natural balms were formulated after reading the ingredients on a lip balm they were used during a long car trip.

'The feel of the lip balms we used to use were great. The chemicals used were not. Especially on lips where most of the product is eventually eaten.  'Chemicals can build up in the body over time.  What for years might be harmless, can all of a sudden cause a reaction.

'We have made a lip balms that feel similar to our favorite lip balms from before. However, because we make it for our own use, the ingredients are all edible.'


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