No friend of the  heart 

No matter which way you look at it, popping supplements of omega-3 fatty acids - found abundantly in oily fish - does not seem to safeguard your heart. A large review of randomised trials - involving more than 77,000 people - found there was no positive effect of popping fish oil pills in curbing fatal heart attacks or preventing cardiovascular disease in any way. The analysis was published in JAMA Cardiology. The researchers also found that omega-3 supplements did not prove beneficial in people with prior coronary heart disease, those with diabetes, people with high lipid levels or people using statins. The American Heart Association recommends supplements for people with coronary artery disease who may not get enough omega-3s by diet alone, but the study provided "no support" for those guidelines, said the senior author, Dr Robert Clarke, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Oxford, UK.

Diabetes  and memory loss

If you have high blood sugar, it is eventually going to have a negative effect on your brain. Researchers studied a group of people for 10 years and found that while high blood sugar did not affect cognitive abilities in the beginning, over a period of time, their scores on tests of memory and executive function declined with increasing blood sugar levels. Lead author, Wuxiang Xie, a researcher at the Peking University Health Science Center, said that the underlying mechanism is still unknown. He speculated, "Diabetes-related microvascular complications might be, at least in part, the reason for the subsequent cognitive decline. Future studies are warranted." The study was published in the journal, Diabetologia.

Acne can lead to depression

People with acne are at higher risk for depression in the first five years after the condition appears, reports a study in The British Journal of Dermatology. Over the15-year study period, the probability of developing major depression was 18.5 per cent among patients with acne and 12 per cent in those without. People with acne were more likely to be female, young, non-smokers, of higher socioeconomic status and less likely to be obese or to use alcohol.

Prescribe pastimes, not pills 

Research in the UK has found that "social prescribing" - where family doctors prescribe activities such as gardening, tango dancing and fishing to the elderly - has cut visits to general practitioners and trips to hospital emergencies by more than a quarter. Half of pensioners now take at least five drugs a day - with levels quadrupling in two decades. The numbers of people taking antidepressants has more than doubled in the last 10 years, while reliance on common painkillers has increased by 40 per cent. "Family doctors tell us the best help they offer some patients is connecting them with local sports, arts and voluntary organisations," said Simon Stevens, head of the health service.



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