"I had radiotherapy, which leaves you with problems because it’s so near the bowels and bladder.”
Chloe was diagnosed with hemangioma, a strawberry birthmark, which grew to the size of a grapefruit.
Enabling couples who cannot conceive naturally to have babies via artificial fertilisation is altering human evolution, a leading fertility researcher has claimed. In-vitro fertilisation (IVF) could alter the human genome by allowing defective genes that would normally die with the carrier to be passed onto future generations, according to Dr Hans Hanevik, who leads the fertility department at Norway's Telemark Hospital. Millions of babies born through IVF are likely to carry the genes that caused their parents’ fertility problems, meaning they might also need artificial help to conceive when they are eventually ready to have children.
With all the stresses that come with everyday life, it's no surprise the global wellness industry is now worth a cool £3.2 trillion. Luckily for us, wellness retreats have popped up across the world and while we have some stellar wellness retreats right here in the UK, with summer just around the corner, a visit to a European retreat is the best way to combine health with that much-needed vitamin D. Below, we've rounded up the best wellness retreats to head to in Europe this summer.
Drinking lots of fruit juice could increase your risk of an early death just as much as lemonade, cola or fruit squash, research suggests.Despite being widely seen as a healthy option, a US led study has found little benefit from sticking to 100 per cent fruit juices rather than other drinks with artificial or added sugar.People who drank a daily 350ml glass of juice had a 24 per cent greater chance of dying during the study, compared to an 11 per cent increase among those drinking any daily sugary soft drink.The researchers, led by Emory University, said their findings should challenge the assumption that fruit juice is healthier than other sugary drinks.“While 100 per cent fruit juices contain some vitamins and phytonutrients that are missing from most sugar-sweetened beverages, the predominant ingredients in both are sugar and water," the researchers wrote in the journal JAMA Open.While juice contains "natural" sugars, they are no different chemically to the sugars in other drinks when they enter the body and are processed.Despite international efforts to reduce sugar consumption and harmful child obesity, the authors said: "Less attention has been given to the role of 100 per cent fruit juice consumption, which tends to be perceived as a healthy beverage option."These findings suggest that consumption of sugary beverages, including fruit juices, is associated with all-cause mortality."The study involved 13,440 US adults over the age of 45 with no previous heart conditions and followed them for six years on average.Around 94 per cent said they drank fruit juices, compared to 80.9 per cent who drank other sugary drinks, and over the course of the study there were 1,000 deaths, 168 of them due to coronary heart disease.People in the group got 8.4 per cent of their calories from sugary drinks on average. But the risk of dying from heart disease was around 44 per cent higher in the heaviest sugary drinks users - who got 10 per cent or more of their calories from sweet drinks - or 14 per cent higher chance of dying any cause.The researchers said obesity, and related disease, was one obvious way it could be having this effect.But they found that sugary drink consumption increased the risk of heart disease and diabetes even in people who were a healthy weight, so it may be affecting blood pressure, inflammation or insulin resistance independently of obesity.The UK is one of many countries grappling with soaring adult and child obesity and introduced sugar taxes on sweetened drinks to combat this. But 100 per cent fruit juices are not affected by this as they don't contain added sugar.Dr Gunter Kuhnle, a nutrition researcher from the University of Reading, said the Emory study "would suggest purported health benefits of fruit juices are not sufficient to counteract their sugar content."Fruit juices can provide vitamins and even some fibre, but there is little health benefit beyond this: the amount of phytochemical found in juices is too low to have any further beneficial effect, and there is no beneficial health effect from so-called antioxidants," he added.“Fruit juices are a poor replacement for actual fruit consumption, in particular as they can be much more easily over-consumed.”While this is an important finding, the fact that it is the first to compare 100 per cent fruit and sweetened drinks means its findings also need to be replicated in other studies.The UK recommends one 150ml glass of fruit juice can count towards a person’s five a day, but that they shouldn’t drink any more.“This study is a reminder that consuming sugary drinks can contribute to dental caries, increased calories, weight gain, and associated ill health," Dr Alison Tedstone, Chief Nutritionist at PHE, said.Current advice is to swap sugary drinks for water, lower fat milks and lower sugar or diet drinks.
The UK should consider introducing compulsory measles vaccinations before children can start school to prevent the disease from spreading, experts have warned.A group of researchers from the Bruno Kessler Foundation and Bocconi University in Italy said that far more people to be vaccinated or a schools policy should be introduced to keep the disease from becoming endemic.However, British experts cast doubt on the idea, saying enforcing vaccines could reduce parents’ trust in the NHS.The study found that about 3.7 per cent of the UK population was susceptible to measles in 2018 – well below the threshold at which the disease is at “elimination level” – 7.5 per cent.But the number of people susceptible is expected to rise by more than 50 per cent by 2050 if current vaccination policies remain the same. “Most of the countries would strongly benefit from the introduction of compulsory vaccination at school entry in addition to current routine immunisation programmes,” said the researchers.Co-author Dr Stefano Merler said that introducing compulsory vaccination before children start school would be particularly useful in the UK, Ireland and the US to prevent future outbreaks.The study analysed current vaccination trends in several countries, including the UK, Italy, Ireland, Australia, and the US, and was published in the BMC Medicine journal.Children need two doses of the MMR vaccine for protection, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends 95 per cent coverage to achieve herd immunity to stop the disease spreading.Uptake of the first dose in five-year-olds in the UK exceeded 95 per cent, but uptake of the second dose is 88 per cent.There were 259 measles cases in England in 2017, rising to 966 in 2018. Most were linked to people who brought back the disease after becoming infected travelling to other countries, including Israel, Ukraine, Southern Europe and the Philippines.But British experts expressed doubts that compulsory vaccination was the right way to tackle the rise in cases in the UK.“Before we even consider going down this route, we should ensure that we have efficient appointments systems and reminders and adequate numbers of well-trained staff, with time to talk to parents in family-friendly clinics,” said Dr David Elliman, Consultant in Community Child Health, Great Ormond Street Hospital, and RCPCH (Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health).“Compulsion may work in some countries, but it is not for us.”European countries and the US are experiencing record numbers of measles cases, as immunisation levels have declined because of a scare of the jab.Since 2018, 47 European countries have reported a record 100,000 measles cases and over 90 measles-related deaths, according to the WHO.In the US, measles cases have also set a new record since the disease was declared eliminated nationwide in 2000, with over 60 cases in one week in New York City alone.Additional reporting by PA
Women aged over 50 could reduce their risk of dying from breast cancer by eating smaller portions of meat and having one extra serving of fruit and vegetables a day.
Unless you’ve been living under a huge pile of old newspapers, empty fast food cartons and bags of your own waste, you can’t have failed to notice that one of this year’s big wellness trends is all about being clean. Not just in your body but in your home. Instagram is full of cleanspo (that’s cleaning inspiration), with a niche neat freak to suit every taste and style. From Japan there’s Marie Kondo, a kawaii manga heroine in neat pastel cardigans, whose Insta feed is minimalist perfection. Kondo’s Netflix show – Tidying Up With Marie Kondo – in which she applied her KonMari method to the homes of some of America’s biggest pack rats, saw charity shop donations in the Washington DC area leap 66% as viewers were inspired to declutter. Closer to home, there’s Lynsey Crombie, “the queen of clean”, a 40-something mother of three from Peterborough, offers more realistic aspirations for anyone with children and pets. Her Instagram feed, which has 140, 000 followers, is a riot of colour (mostly pink) and offers such gems as “happiness is a freshly cleaned house” and “being an adult is like folding a fitted sheet. No one really knows how”. I suspect Ms Crombie does. However the current Empress of the Spotless is Sophie Hinchcliffe, aka Mrs Hinch, a twenty-something homemaker from Essex. More than 2.4m people follow her Instagram account which documents her life with picture upon picture of her entirely grey home. Seriously, everything in her home is grey with the exception of her light brown cocker spaniel and the boxes of Zoflora the dog is occasionally posed alongside. I would have thought that the main advantage of a grey house is that it hides the dust, but Hinchcliffe has become the cleaning guru du jour with such tips as using an electric toothbrush to clean a wooden floor. The words “life’s too short” spring to mind but a few weeks ago, Hinchcliffe’s book of cleaning advice/memoir of her life, Hinch Yourself Happy, rocketed to the top of the hardback charts, shifting more than 100,000 copies in a week. It’s not just books that Mrs Hinch is shifting. Every time she features a new cleaning product, she creates a sell-out sensation. Her favourite product is a cloth called a “Minky” (pronounced Minkeh). By the time this column goes on line, they’ll be changing hands at £100 a pop.But the cleanstagrammers aren’t just about merchandising. Both Sophie Hinchcliffe and Lynsey Crombie have spoken about how cleaning has helped them to overcome personal challenges. Hinchcliffe turned to polishing as a way to squash feelings of anxiety and beat panic attacks. Lynsey Crombie used cleaning as a substitute for expensive therapy after her marriage broke down when she discovered that her now ex-husband was a paedophile. Scientific research bears out their experience of finding solace in order. A study by Dr Darby Saxbe, assistant psychology professor at University of Southern California discovered that female subjects who described their homes as “cluttered” were more likely to report feeling depressed than those who described their homes as being tidy. The women who felt their homes were untidy also showed higher levels of cortisol, the hormone linked to stress. Those findings make sense to me. Two and a half years ago, after the sudden death of my father, I found unexpected solace in Marie Kondo’s Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, her first book about the joy of decluttering. It was a difficult time. My grief at losing Dad was compounded by career worries. While life felt like it was on a constant spin cycle, I couldn’t concentrate for long enough to read a novel. Those self-help books that were actually about taking control of life felt too strident. In contrast The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up was as soothing as a children’s story. What Kondo’s book offered was the promise of a feeling of control achieved in the simplest of ways. Even at my saddest, I could fold a sock into thirds. I could still do some ironing. Seeing a pile of flat T-shirts wasn’t quite the same as seeing a pile of pages for a new novel spew from the printer, but I built a staircase out of a pit of despair on those tiny achievements. > Even at my saddest, I could fold a sock into thirds. I could still do some ironing. Seeing a pile of flat t-shirts wasn’t quite the same as seeing a pile of pages for a new novel spew from the printer, but I built a staircase out of a pretty deep pit of despair on those tiny achievementsThere was one piece of advice in Kondo’s book that made a particular difference. She recommends that you “thank” any items you decide to chuck out while on a decluttering spree. I found this idea touching and very helpful when it came to deciding what mementoes of my beloved dad to keep. Dad could never visit me in London without bringing with him something from his shed, garage or attic. Like so many war babies, whose earliest memories were of ration books, Dad had an aversion to throwing away anything that might come in handy one day. When he wanted to tidy up his space, the easiest way was to send the things he didn’t want to live at my sister’s house or in my attic instead.Among the many “gifts” Dad had given me over the years was a bag of random cables to devices long since lost or broken beyond repair – CD players, video recorders, old kettles... he suggested I might need some of them for my tech. Since Dad made them my problem, they’d been living in a cupboard under the stairs, taking up premium real estate and gathering dust while awaiting my next visit to the tip. But as daft as it sounds, after Dad’s death that bag of cables might as well have been a bag of puppies. They were suddenly strangely alive to me. I couldn’t just chuck them away! With Marie Kondo’s help, I managed a trip to the dump, where I recycled as much as I could while muttering KonMari style mantras. “Thank you for your service, cable to a CD player I don’t think we ever owned. Thank you for making my family happy, out-dated video connector. Thank you, cable to a long lost Amstrad.”With the cables thanked and passed on, I could focus my attention on taking proper care of the things that mattered, like the birthday cards and books signed in Dad’s handwriting. Handwriting is a funny thing, isn’t it? It seems to be as unique and personal as the iris of an eye. Anyway, suffice to say that even if it only gave me the illusion of control, cleaning my house KonMari style helped me more than my cynical heart might have imagined. Of course I wouldn’t recommend tidying up as a substitute for the advice and care of a mental health professional but for me, knowing that my sadness and frustration was entirely down to the circumstances in which I found myself, it helped enormously. Though naturally as a novelist, I’m going to ignore Marie Kondo’s recent suggestion that one only keeps a handful of books, but if I had to narrow my book collection down, then The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up would definitely make the cut.
The summer swap comes after new research reveals cucumber is one of the easiest ways to up children's fruit and veg intake.
This combined with long commutes and even longer working hours mean we spend most of our week drowning in emails and to-do lists – but this “always on” workplace culture could be taking a detrimental toll on our mental health. Data from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) reported that in 2018 there were around 595,000 workers in the UK who suffered from work-related stress, depression or anxiety. Furthermore, work-related stress accounts for 57% of all working days lost and workplace-induced panic attacks are becoming more commonplace.
“If Tess Holliday goes to a doctor, he doesn’t celebrate her 300lb size, he says to her you’re morbidly obese and you’re going to die if you don’t do something about your weight.”