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Health Scan

A snapshot of the current thinking in medicine, fitness and lifestyle trends that impact your life.

health and fitness Updated: Jul 21, 2012 22:52 IST

A snapshot of the current thinking in medicine, fitness and lifestyle trends that impact your life.

Sports Drinks are a waste
You are wasting your money on sports drinks, protein shakes and high-end trainers, when avoiding sports drink altogether is more likely to help you stay thin and run faster, reports a study in the British Medical Journal.An investigation into the performance-enhancing claims of some popular sports products found “a striking lack of evidence” to back them up. What the study did confirm as that these drinks cause weight gain.

For the study, researchers assessed the evidence behind 431 performance enhancing claims in adverts for 104 different sports products including sports drinks, protein shakes and trainers. In the cases where evidence from adverts was not clear, they asked for information from manufacturers. Only 2.7% of the information supplied was found to be unbiased.


Shampoo well for shiny hair
Want good hair days? Dermatologists say how you wash your hair and the products you use could go a long way in maintaining shiny smooth hair. “When shampooing, concentrate primarily on cleaning the scalp, rather than the entire length of the hair. While conditioning, cover the tip of the hair and not the scalp or the length of the hair,” said dermatologist Zoe D Draelos. Oily hair should be washed frequently. Coloured hair should be washed less frequently as it tends to get drier with every wash. Protect hair from chlorine while swimming by either conditioning hair before swimming or wearing a tight-fitting cap.

Using egg to cure egg allergy
Omelettes and cakes could be back on the menu for children with egg allergies, after scientists developed an effective exposure therapy. In tests, more than a quarter of youngsters fed small amounts of egg lost the allergy altogether, while others showed higher tolerance to exposure to eggs, reports The New England Journal of Medicine. The findings add weight to the concept of oral immunotherapy — where the immune system is taught to tolerate something with small but increasingly growing exposures. Past studies have suggested the same approach could be useful in milk and peanut allergies.

Sleep more to lose a few more calories
Sleep loss has ramifications not only for how many calories we consume but also for how much energy we burn off, reports new research from Germany. The study found that people who do not get enough sleep have higher chances of weight gain and developing type-2 adult-onset diabetes, mainly because people who are sleep-deprived tend to eat more because insomnia increases the hunger hormone within the body.

Plants lower street pollution
Trees, bushes and other greenery in the concrete-and-glass canyons of cities can reduce levels of two most worrisome air pollutants by eight times more than previously believed, says a report in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.

The concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM) — both of which can be harmful to human health — exceed safe levels in many cities. Judicious placement of grass, climbing ivy and other plants in urban canyons can reduce the concentration at street level of NO2 by as much as 40% and PM by 60%. Past research suggested that trees and other green plants improved urban air quality by removing those pollutants from the air by about 5%.