The Health News United Kingdom October 4 2017

  • A recent study by the University of Surrey found that the majority of milk alternatives do not have adequate levels of the mineral iodine, with concentrations at around 2% of that found in cow’s milk. Dairy products and whitefish are the important dietary sources of iodine in the UK and the low levels in teenage girls may be due to the trend of cutting out dairy, especially cow’s milk.
  • According to statistics body NHS Digital, at any one time, a sixth of the population in England aged 16 to 64 have a mental health problem. Mental health problems prompt thousands of people to take their own lives. In fact there are about 6,000 suicides in the UK each year and it’s the biggest killer of men up to the age of 49.
  • Doctors are investigating whether advances in HIV research could lead to a breakthrough in saving the lives of smokers with lung cancer. Advanced lung cancer is one of the deadliest cancers, with patients typically surviving for only 18 months to three years once the tumour starts moving around the body.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 4th of  October 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2017/oct/01/cutting-out-cows-milk-iodine-intake

Cow’s milk seems deeply unfashionable at the moment with sales of soya, almond and other milk substitutes growing year on year. Dairy producers are hitting back with the introduction of a fizzy fruit and milk drink. But a recent study by the University of Surrey found that the majority of milk alternatives do not have adequate levels of the mineral iodine, with concentrations at around two percent of that found in cow’s milk (although some are fortified). That is a worry because we need iodine to make thyroid hormones that regulate metabolism and are essential for brain development in the womb and early life. Babies born with low levels of these hormones (hypothyroidism) may have learning difficulties in later life. All newborn babies in the UK are currently screened at five days old for the condition and given prompt treatment if diagnosed. But evidence suggests that teenage girls and pregnant women are increasingly likely to have low iodine levels and it is unclear what repercussions this may have on them or their children.

Dairy products and whitefish are the important dietary sources of iodine in the UK and the low levels in teenage girls may be due to the trend of cutting out dairy, especially cow’s milk. Many countries add iodine to salt but not in the UK, as excess iodine is also bad for thyroid function.

Adults need one hundred fifty micrograms a day and pregnant or breastfeeding women need two hundred micrograms a day. One portion of white fish, two cups ( four hundred milliliter cow’s milk) or two yogurts a day should cover it. Vegans should consider supplements. Everyone else might consider going back to cow’s milk – although maybe not the fizzy type.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-41125009

According to statistics body NHS Digital, at any one time, a sixth of the population in England aged sixteen to sixty four have a mental health problem.  With Prime Minister Theresa May expected to announce plans to improve care next week, these are some of the issues that show the extent of the challenge:

Evidence from the NHS Digital study in England shows the rise has been driven by an increase in women with illness. Experts point to the way self-harm in particular is recognised in a way it was not twenty or thirty years ago. But it is also clear twenty first century life is taking its toll on some people. Economic uncertainty, social media, the influence of the media and rising expectations of what life should be like have all been suggested as possible causes.

Women are now much more likely to have a common mental illness. One in five report they have, compared with one in eight men in England. If you include only those with severe symptoms, the difference is less acute, but still apparent.

A number of theories have been put forward for this. The economic uncertainty of the past decade has particularly affected the young, making it harder to get on the career ladder.
And psychiatrists and mental health campaigners are increasingly raising questions about whether social media increases peer-group pressure and online bullying. Whatever the reason, the one thing experts are agreed on is that the figures are shocking. But men are more likely to take their own lives. Mental health problems prompt thousands of people to take their own lives.
In fact there are about six thousand suicides in the UK each year and it’s the biggest killer of men up to the age of forty nine. Men account for three-quarters of the total figure. The best overall measure is the number of suicides per one hundred thousand people. That’s because, with a rising population, the absolute figure is almost bound to go up.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/health/progress-in-fighting-hiv-could-save-lung-cancer-victims-too-a3646566.html

Doctors are investigating whether advances in HIV research could lead to a breakthrough in saving the lives of smokers with lung cancer. Advanced lung cancer is one of the deadliest cancers, with patients typically surviving for only eighteen months to three years once the tumour starts moving around the body.  Cancer Research UK has awarded two London experts, Professor Charles Swanton and Doctor Jonathan Hare, two hundred fifty thousand to study whether similarities in the way the Aids virus and lung cancer evade the immune system could lead to the first improvement in survival rates in the latter in two decades.

By chance, Doctor Hare, of the International Aids Vaccine Initiative at Imperial College London, met Professor Swanton at a lecture and approached him to mention how similar the evolution of HIV and lung cancer were.
….
Professor Swanton said the ability of some cancer cells to diversify as they divided meant some became “fitter than the rest” and could survive drugs or the body’s attempts to destroy them.
In HIV, the virus mutates to avoid detection by the immune system.

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