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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: Sep 22, 2012 22:39 IST

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

Yoga for back pain
Group yoga classes under supervision could provide a cost-effective way of treating patients with chronic or recurrent low back pain, according to the UK's largest ever study of the benefits of yoga. The results published in journal Spine, not only found yoga to help people manage their back pain, but that it is also cost effective, and results in fewer sick days. It is another option for people who are struggling to manage their condition, and one that encourages the move to self-management.

Vitamin D boosts infants' development
Babies score higher on development tests if their moms get enough vitamin D during pregnancy, reports a study of 1,820 mother-baby pairs that linked inadequate vitamin D to poorer mental and movement skills in infants.

The body makes its own vitamin D on exposure to sunlight, but people who are overweight or obese, spend a lot of time indoors, or have darker skin need more sunlight exposure than the recommended 30 minutes of direct sun a day.

Healthy oils and yoghurt in your diet lower BP
Making a blend of sesame and rice bran oil or making low-fat yoghurt a small part of your diet can lower blood pressure and boost heart health, report two new studies.

The first study showed a blend of sesame and rice bran oils reduced blood pressure almost as well as medication, while the second one found that people who routinely eat yoghurt are less likely to develop high blood pressure.

Painkillers cause headaches, too
Millions of people who have completely preventable headaches suffer from it by taking in too many painkillers, said the UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellences (NICE).

Headache due to medication-overuse feel the same as other common headaches or migraines. Most people affected started with either tension-type headaches or migraines and it worsened further as they treated themselves at home.

There are more than 200 types of headaches, of which tension headaches, migraines and cluster headaches are the most common. One in 20 people have frequent headaches, reports the World Health Organisation.

Ginger tea reduces stress, aids digestion
Even one sniff of ginger tea can improve your mood, relieve stress, a latest study has claimed. Hot water with a slice of lemon and chopped ginger stimulates digestion, as it contains a potent antioxidant, gingerol that helps cleanse the harmful chemicals our bodies produce when we're worried, so ginger can help psychological stress too.

Smokers get less hours of sleep than non-smokers
Smokers get fewer hours of sleep than non-smokers, found a survey in Germany. Of the nearly 1,100 smokers surveyed, 17% of them got fewer than six hours of sleep and 28% reported 'disturbed' sleep quality, compared with 7% cent and 19% among more than 1,200 non-smokers. Poor sleep makes your waking hours tougher and it also causes health problems like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.