The Conversation

Vitamin C Could Help Older Adults Retain Muscle Mass – New Research

Food

  By Alisia Welch and Richard Hayhoe in The Conversation.   As we get older, our skeletal muscle mass, strength and power to move gradually decline, which may lead to a condition called sarcopenia. Sarcopenia affects more than 50 million people over the age of 50 years worldwide, and contributes to type 2 diabetes, frailty, physical disability, loss of independence […]

Parks And Green Spaces Are Important For Our Mental Health – But We Need To Make Sure That Everyone Can Benefit

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    By Wendy Masterson, Hannah Carver and Tessa Parkes in The Conversation.   How does walking through a forest make you feel? Peaceful? Blissful? Reflective? For many people, lockdown brought a new appreciation of nature and what it means for our well-being. The health benefits of immersing ourselves in “greenspace” are now widely accepted. […]

Coconut Oil Production Threatens Five Times More Species Than Palm Oil – New Findings

Coconut

  By Erik Meijaard in The Conversation.   Born in the Netherlands and brought up in Germany, it wasn’t until I was 21 that I met my first coconut. It was on a beach in Thailand where I ended up during a one-year sojourn away from home, trying to grow up. With nothing better to do, […]

Does Vitamin D Ward Off Coronavirus ? Don’t Reach For The Supplements Yet

Vitamin D

  By David C Gaze in The Conversation.   It has been suggested that taking vitamin D may protect people from getting COVID-19. But should we be using supplements to ward off the virus? We need to separate fact from fiction. Vitamin D is essential for maintaining overall health, especially for bones, teeth and muscle. It regulates the […]

Nine Dog Breeds At Higher Risk Of Heatstroke – And What You Can Do To Prevent It

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By Emily J Hall, Anne Carter and Dan O’Neill in The Conversation. As temperatures begin to warm up, it might be tempting to take your dog for a long walk or run to soak up the weather while it lasts. But it’s important to exercise caution, as dogs can easily develop heatstroke in hot temperatures. […]

Healthier Food Can Contain More Contaminants – But There’s A Simple Way To Stay Safe

Food

  By Ruth Fairchild in The Conversation.   A recent study found that brown and organic rice sold in the UK tends to contain significantly more arsenic than white inorganic varieties that are often considered less healthy. Arsenic is found in many foods but can be especially concentrated in rice, particularly in the husk, which is removed to […]

Planting Trees Must Be Done With Care – It Can Create More Problems Than It Addresses

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  By Lulu Zhang in The Conversation.   Thanks to the climate crisis, we are fast approaching the “point of no return”, according to world leaders. We are also in the midst of the sixth mass extinction. And the state of worldwide land degradation has also reached a critical level: ever-increasing demands for food production, urbanisation and economic […]

Do Drugs Go Off ? What Happens To Medicines After Their Use-By Dates

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  By Michael Cole in The Conversation.   It is estimated that there is a staggering £300m worth of medicine unused in the UK every year. But is it safe to take these medicines if they are past their expiry date? Expiry dates are put in place after rigorous trialling and controlled experiments to ensure the safety […]

Do Drugs Go Off ? What Happens To Medicines After Their Use-By Dates

pills-main

  By Michael Cole in The Conversation.   It is estimated that there is a staggering £300m worth of medicine unused in the UK every year. But is it safe to take these medicines if they are past their expiry date? Expiry dates are put in place after rigorous trialling and controlled experiments to ensure the safety […]

Older People Need To Stay Hydrated – Here’s How

Water

  By Cini Bhanu in The Conversation.    Dehydration is associated with a higher risk of ill health in older people, from having an infection, a fall or being admitted to hospital. But an appetite for food and drink can diminish as people age, so older people should drink regularly, even when they’re not thirsty. Older women […]

Antibiotics: Even Low Use In Children Can Have A Negative Impact On Health – New Research

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  By Oliver van Hecke in The Conversation.   GPs in the UK carry out over 300m patient consultations every year and at least a quarter of these deal with children. Almost two-thirds of such appointments are for coughs, sore throats, or earaches – illnesses which young children commonly get. Doctors and nurses group these types of illnesses […]

How England’s Broken Planning System Has Created (Not Reduced) The Risk Of Floods

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  By Lee Bosher in The Conversation.   Recent floods in England have been described as unprecedented or even “biblical” events, often with the misguided assumption that they were unavoidable or unpredictable. That is not the case. Over the past few decades, development practice in England has led to more than 300,000 homes being built in […]

Fake Drugs That Could Kill Are On The Rise In Western Countries – Here’s Why

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    By Susanne Lundin and Rui Liu in The Conversation.   Fake medicines – illegal and substandard pharmaceuticals – have until now largely been a problem in low and middle-income countries. Ranging from lifestyle products to lifesaving medicines, such products are now also on the rise in the Western world. The spread is concerning, […]

Gut Microbes Can Be Picky Eaters – Here’s Why It Matters

Gut

    By Tim Spector in The Conversation.   We choose our food for a variety of reasons, including personal preference, availability, cost and healthiness. But we should also take our gut microbes’ preferences into account, a new study published in Cell suggests. The bacteria in our guts, collectively known as the microbiota or microbiome, live on […]

The Victorians Caused The Meat Eating Crisis The World Faces Today – But They Might Help Us Solve It

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    By Paul Young in The Conversation.   Increasing consumption of meat rich diets throughout the world in the 21st century raises pressing concerns about human health, animal welfare and environmental sustainability. Too much mass-produced meat is bad for us, bad for the livestock we eat, and bad for the planet on which we live. […]

Why The Way Healthcare Professionals Measure Patient Pain Might Soon Be Changing

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    By Richard Day in The Conversation.   The last time you went to see a doctor, it was probably because you were in pain – it’s by far the main reason people access the health service. And if you did go because of pain, your doctor probably asked you to rate it on […]

Are Shared E-Scooters Good For The Planet ? Only If They Replace Car Trips

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  By Jeremiah Johnson, Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering, North Carolina State University.   Shared dockless electric scooters, or e-scooters, transport riders over short distances in cities. Ride share companies promote them as an environmentally friendly choice that reduces dependence on cars. To properly assess these claims, it’s important to consider all relevant environmental factors, including the materials and energy […]

Heatwaves And Flash Floods: Yes, This Is Britain’s ‘New Normal’

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  By Hayley J. Fowler in The Conversation.   “It’s hard to believe, isn’t it, that we had a heatwave just last week?” Those words were spoken by a BBC news presenter, in front of graphic images of fire service rescues, as heavy rain caused floods and landslides which closed many roads and railway lines. In […]

Waterfall Illusion: When You See Still Objects Move – And What It Tells You About Your Brain

brain-power

  By Niia Nikolova and Nick Wade in The Conversation.     Humans are fascinated by visual illusions, which occur when there is a mismatch between the pattern of light that falls on the retina, and what we perceive. Before books, films, and the internet allowed illusions to be shared widely, people were captivated by illusions in nature. Indeed, it is […]

Older And Poorer Communities Are Left Behind By The Decline Of Cash

Money

  By Daniel  Tischer, Jamie Evan’s and Sara Davies in The Conversation.   A future without cash seems almost inevitable. Recent statistics paint a damning picture: while cash accounted for 62% of all payments by volume in 2006, this dropped to 40% in just a decade and is predicted to fall yet further to 21% by 2026. […]

Scientists Alone Can’t Solve The Antibiotic Resistance Crisis – We Need Economists Too

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By Laurence Roope, Richard Smith and Sarah Wordsworth in The Conversation.   Driven by widespread antibiotic use, bacterial infections are becoming increasingly resistant to treatment, and the pipeline for new antibiotics is running dry. Recent reports estimate that, without action, by 2050 resistance to antimicrobial drugs will cause up to 10m deaths a year globally and reduce […]

Easter: eggs, hares, lamb and the return of warmth and sunshine – a Christian festival that feels pagan

Easter

  By Jane Stevenson in The Conversation.   There’s a lot of confusion about Easter – not least because this most important of all Christian festivals moves around so much from year to year, decided by a complex set of calculations based on the vernal equinox and the phase of the moon. Easter symbols – […]

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