Weather doesn’t make bones and joints ache
That a change in weather can make bones and joints ache is just an old wives’ tale, found a study in BMJ. Researchers looked at medical records of 11,673,392 medicare outpatient visits. Matching the dates of the visits to local weather reports, they found 2,095,761 of them occurred on rainy days. After ruling out several other factors — such as chronic conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis — they found that more visits for bone and joint pain happened on dry days than wet ones, a difference so small as to have no clinical significance. “The weather doesn’t cause joint pain,” said Anupam Jena, lead researcher at Harvard University.
Sugar leads to asthma in kids
The children of women who consumed a lot of sugar during pregnancy may be prone to asthma, especially if it came from soft drinks or fruit juices. Previous studies have suggested that poor diet and obesity are linked to the current increases in childhood asthma. This study, in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society, implicates sugary drinks and fructose, or fruit sugar. Harvard researchers studied 1,068 women during their pregnancies and checked children’s diet and asthma diagnoses at ages 3 and 7. Compared with the children of women who consumed the least sugar — 21 grams a day — the children of those who had the most — 46 grams a day — had a 58 per cent higher risk for asthma. A lead author, Sheryl L. Rifas-Shiman, of the department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School, US, said that the mechanism for the association remains unknown.
Tea protects from glaucoma
Researchers have found that a daily cup of tea reduces the risk for glaucoma, a disease in which a build-up of fluid in the eye can damage the optic nerve and lead to vision loss. The study, in The British Journal of Ophthalmology, found that people who drank tea were 74 per cent less likely to have glaucoma. This study does not prove causality, but the researchers write that tea contains phytochemicals and flavonoids with anti-inflammatory properties that may protect the optic nerve.
Antioxidants and soreness
Many people load themselves with antioxidants — pomegranate juice, cherry juice, vitamins C and E — in the belief that this prevents muscle soreness. A thorough review of the scientific literature has found no evidence that it works. The pooled data, in the Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews, showed anti-oxidants are no better than placebos. A hot bath works better.