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Watch the salt

health-and-fitness Updated: Nov 06, 2010 23:49 IST

Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Banning companies from adding too much salt in processed food can lower heart disease by 20%, found a major study that said such bans are 20 times more effective than dietary advice. Many foods — including ready meals, pizzas and sandwiches — contain well over half the recommended daily amount in a single portion, according to the journal, Heart. Saltiness is not an indicator as salt is added to processed food to enhance taste. Guidelines recommend that people eat no more than 5 grams of salt a day. Average daily consumption in India is 8.5 gram.

Diabetes drug for cancer

Commonly used diabetes drugs such as Metformin can help control lung cancer, and may help prevent it. People who took the drugs to control diabetes were much less likely to have lung cancer spread shows research at Cleveland Clinic, Ohio. Metformin had a more powerful effect than newer drugs called Thiazolidinediones or Glitazones. Lung cancer is among the number one cancer in the world, killing 1.2 million people around the world a year.

Trauma at birth boosts aggression

Babies who have a difficult birth and are delivered using forceps or vacuum extraction are more likely to be aggressive compared with those born by Caesarean section, reports a study from China.
The researchers link behavioural problems -- withdrawn, anxious, depressed, and delinquent behaviour — to high levels of cortisol, a hormone the body produces during a stressful and difficult birth.
Cortisol levels in cord blood are lowest in babies born by elective Caesarean, followed by normal births.

Cold comfort

Couch potatoes are twice as likely to catch a cold and have worse symptoms compared with people who keep fit. Bouts of exercise unleash a temporary rise in immune defences.

American researchers tracked 1,002 adults and found that people who exercised up to five days a week or more had between 4.4 and 4.9 “cold” days on average in one year.

Those who exercised only one day a week or less, the tally was between 8.2 and 8.6 days. An average adult has a cold two to four times a year, and children between half a dozen and 10 colds a year.