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Early menopause increases risk of bladder cancer for smokers

Early menopause increases the risk of bladder cancer for smokers, according to findings from Viennese researchers. The research team explored whether hormonal processes in the female body play a role in the development of bladder cancer. To do this they analysed data from 230,000 participants taking part in the Nurses’ Health Study, which has been running since 1976 and is the largest women’s health study in the world.

It has produced important findings relating to nutrition and cancer risks by means of questionnaires and clinical examinations of women. Their findings showed that hormonal factors have no influence on the incidence of bladder cancer, but smokers who start the menopause before the age of 45 have a more than 50 per cent higher risk of developing it.

Support shown for sugar tax

The introduction of the sugar tax last year appears to have helped to curb our sweet tooth, a new survey has revealed. Since the implementation of the sugar tax on 6 April 2018, the percentage of the UK public who say they consume too much sugar has fallen from 46 per cent to 38 per cent, reports insight agency Opinium.

Furthermore, a third of respondents (33 per cent) think the introduction of the tax has been successful in reducing the amount of sugar young people consume, while 34 per cent believe the same for the UK population as a whole. Just under half (45 per cent) of the British population think the current levy, which applies exclusively to soft drinks, should be expanded to other types of food and drink.

Raspberries may help those with diabetes

Two new studies published in Obesity and Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism have suggested that eating raspberries could significantly help prevent and manage diabetes. The first study, which investigated people with ‘pre-diabetes’ and insulin resistance, found that people who ate berries for breakfast had reduced glucose levels two hours later. Similarly, the second study also suggested that eating berries was linked to lower blood sugar levels.

Around 4.7 million people in the UK currently have diabetes and if nothing changes these figures are projected to rise to 5.5 million by 2030. Of those with diabetes in the UK, about 90 per cent have type 2 diabetes. This is a condition in which the pancreas can fail to produce enough insulin – the hormone which regulates blood sugar levels. Dr Emma Derbyshire, Public Health Nutritionist and adviser to British Summer Fruits commented: “What we need now is more research along with information about how these findings could be used in practice, for example dietary strategies for those at risk of type 2 diabetes or advice on the best way to get five-a-day for those at risk of poor metabolic health.”

Diet rich in animal protein is linked with a greater risk of death

A diet rich in animal protein and, in particular, meat, is not good for the health, a new study from the University of Eastern Finland has found. The research showed that men who favoured animal protein over plant-based protein in their diet had a greater risk of death in a 20-year follow-up than men whose diet was more balanced in terms of their sources of protein. The findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Men whose primary sources of protein were animal-based had a 23 per cent higher risk of death during the follow-up than men who had the most balanced ratio of animal and plant-based protein in their diet. A high intake of meat in particular seemed to be associated with adverse effects: men eating a diet rich in meat, i.e. more than 200g per day, had a 23 per cent greater risk of death during the follow-up than men whose intake of meat was less than 100g per day.

Earlier studies have suggested that a high intake of animal protein, and especially the consumption of processed meats such as sausages and cold cuts, is associated with an increased risk of death. However, the big picture relating to the health effects of protein and different protein sources remains unclear.

Over-65s are most active age group, research shows

New research has revealed that the over-65s are now one of the most physically active age groups in the UK.

A survey of more than 7,600 UK adults, conducted by Decathlon, shows that 44 per cent of over-65s take part in sports eight times or more in a typical month.

The next most active age group still fell within the older cohort – 41 per cent of those aged between 55 and 64 said they participate in sports or exercise eight times or more in a month.

The top three activities favoured by the over-65s were swimming (38 per cent), fitness/gym (29 per cent) and cycling (21 per cent).

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