Health

No longer at your convenience – BBC report confirms demise of public toilets

The BBC has published new research which shows that public toilet services have declined dramatically. Meanwhile, research also shows that more than 50% of people with gut health problems, including IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), fear not being able to get to a toilet in time and need to know where the toilets are located whenever they go out.

PrecisionBiotics, whose team first discovered the live 35624® culture present in the supplement Alflorex, which is clinically proven to reduce abdominable pain, bloating, gas and unpredicatable bowel movements, says the emotional impact of such fears cannot be underestimated.

The BBC reported that: “Public toilet provision has been declining for a number of years and the BBC has learnt that some UK high streets and tourist hot spots now no longer have any council-run public toilets. At least 673 public toilets across the UK have stopped being maintained by major councils since 2010, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information law.

“In 2018 there were 4,486 toilets run by major councils in the UK, down from 5,159 in 2010 and in 37 areas, major councils no longer run any public conveniences at all.”

The other study shows that 46.3% of UK respondents said their IBS has made them feel depressed, while 65.2% say their IBS has made them feel anxious and 53.6% say their self-confidence has been lowered.

According to PrecisionBiotics, this can mean a vicious circle and actually exacerbate the symptoms of the condition in many sufferers.

IBS sufferer Vikki Gael, who works for Nestle, said: “IBS was affecting my job and eventually it got so bad that it took over my life.  ​I would constantly be scanning my surroundings for a toilet to ensure that I wouldn’t be caught short. ​ One time at work, I was faced with a terrifying moment – we’re a small team and we only have one toilet between us.  I felt my usual cramps coming on and ran to the loo but it was occupied.  I knew I didn’t have long so had to run around the plant looking for another toilet to use. I was petrified I wouldn’t make it in time, but thankfully I found one just in time.”

IBS is a chronic and relapsing gut health disorder estimated to affect up to 1 in 7 people in the UK.   Symptoms can include unpredictable bowel movements, abdominal pain bloating and gas.

Health

Sunscreens don’t deliver the protection we think they do

A recent study shows we may be getting less than half the protection we think from our sunscreens — with huge numbers of Brits potentially suffering sunburn as a result.

Scientists at King’s College London found that 50-SPF sunscreen – applied in a typical way – would provide no more than 40% of the expected protection.

They are now recommending we all use a much higher SPF sunscreen than we think necessary to make sure we’re protected from sun damage.

Back in December, the same researchers revealed that seaweed could hold the answer to environmentally friendly sunscreen. 

Most current formulations contain synthetic UV radiation filters which can make their way into water systems and harm fragile marine life, such as fish, coral and micro-organisms.

But the palythine compound (a mycosporine-like amino acid) found in seaweed could could protect human skin from the harmful effects of the sun without damaging marine ecosystems.

Find out more here

Health

Chocolate and Love scoops six more Great Taste Awards

Congratulations go to our friends at Chocolate and Love in Edinburgh who have just scooped a further six Great Taste Awards to add to their growing collection.

The team won high praise for its two newly-launched flavours: Pomegranate and Madagascar, which scooped 2-star and 1-star awards respectively.

Rich Dark, Coffee, Creamy Dark, and Orange were also honoured in what is believed to be the world’s largest and most trusted food awards.

Chocolate and Love GTA Awards 2018 social post

This year’s win brings Chocolate and Love, which has also landed Silver and Bronze awards from the Academy of Chocolate, to a total of 29 Great Taste Awards.

The brand has nine different flavours in the range and all nine have now won awards.

To be in with a chance of winning one of two gift boxes from Chocolate and Love, pick up a copy of the August/September magazine or subscribe to have it delivered directly to your door.

Health

Link between diabetes and mouth cancer

New research has discovered that women who suffer from diabetes face a dramatically increased chance of developing mouth cancer.

The research published in Diabetologia found that women have a 13% higher chance of developing oral cancer if they suffer from diabetes.

Overall women faced a 27% increase of developing any form of cancer if they had diabetes, while men also faced a 19% increased risk according to the study.

With previous research showing close links between diabetes and the development of mouth cancer, as well as other forms of the disease, leading health charity the Oral Health Foundation, is calling on people to be aware of the close links between their oral health and their wider wellbeing.

CEO of the charity Dr Nigel Carter OBE, which campaigns tirelessly to raise awareness of mouth cancer, believes the research could help to identify individuals at risk of mouth cancer.

Dr Carter said: “This could be a very significant piece of research, and one that could help to save lives. Diabetes has previously been linked to poor oral health, but this new research shows a specific link to mouth cancer.

“This makes regular dental visits an absolute must. If your dentists know that you are diabetic, they will check your mouth accordingly. For many years we have known that diabetic patients are more likely to get gum disease and need extra dental care but this is yet another reason for regular checks.

“It is important, not just for diabetics but for everyone to be aware of what the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer are. Be alert to ulcers which do not heal within three weeks, red and white patches in the mouth and unusual lumps or swellings in the head and neck area.  If you experience any of these visit your dentist immediately.

“More people lose their lives to mouth cancer every year in Britain than from cervical and testicular cancer combined. Without early detection, the five-year survival rate for mouth cancer is only 50% but if it is caught early, survival rates can dramatically improve to up to 90%, as well as the quality of life for survivors being significantly increased.

“Smoking, drinking alcohol to excess, poor diet and the human papillomavirus (HPV), often transmitted via oral sex, are all lifestyle choices that will increase the risk of developing the disease. As diabetes has now been shown to be another potential risk factor, amending your lifestyle to make sure you take yourself out of harm’s way makes it more important than ever to be mouth aware.”

In the UK, it is estimated that over four million live with diabetes, with many cases going undiagnosed. Type-2 diabetes, which is closely linked to lifestyle and diet, has been rapidly increasing in recent years and is now one of the world’s most common long-term health conditions.

 

Health

Want to improve your cognitive function? Have a cup of green tea

Drinking green tea could help to improve memory and learning among those who consume a high fat and fructose diet, thanks to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).

That’s according to new research from the Tea Advisory Panel (TAP).

Tea scientist Dr Tim Bond said: “This laboratory study reviewed three different diets: a high fat diet, a high fructose diet, a high fat and high fructose diet, each with EGCG and a control diet. The subjects consuming EGCG sustained less memory loss than the other two groups and reduced the nerve cell damage caused by the high fat, high fructose diet. Of note, EGCG significantly ameliorated insulin resistance, which is associated with cognitive decline in older people, by increasing the activity of the insulin receptor and its associated biochemical pathways.

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“This study provides data findings on a potential mechanism for the observations made that green tea consumption can improve cognitive function in old age. A clinical study in elderly nursing home residents with cognitive dysfunction found that green tea powder, 2g daily for 3 months, improved cognitive scores on an established rating scale.

“An observational study in 1003 Japanese people found that drinking one cup of green tea each day was associated with a 38% reduction in risk for cognitive impairment, whilst drinking two or more cups of tea each day is linked with a 54% reduction in risk.

“In addition, several laboratory studies have shown that EGCG has a potential protective effect in Alzheimer’s disease through reducing inflammation in the nerve cells.Neuroprotective effects of EGCG have also been demonstrated in laboratory studies.

“This latest study points to the potential for tea to reduce cognitive decline and that EGCG, a major anti-inflammatory compound in tea, may provide protection through reducing inflammation in brain nerve cells.

“Tea is the second most commonly consumed beverage in the world after water. As a result, these latest study findings together with many other published studies continue to suggest that Britain’s favourite beverage is good for our health including our bones, heart, vascular system and skin to name just a few health and wellbeing benefits, whatever your age.”