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Science: Breast is best for Cancer

Health and Wellness Insights:

Image of Heart with StethoscopeI recall a few weeks ago reading a shocktastic magazine article of a woman evangelising about the virtues of her breast milk.  She preached of the benefits over consuming alternate mammal milks.   I have to say her arguments did make sense on a logical level, I breast fed my children, but I have to say I squirmed as I read how she makes and sells foods with her, although nature sent, own bodily fluid!  Eugh!

I stopped in my tracks this weekend when I noticed another piece in the The Daily Telegraph about breast milks potential to fight cancer.  Well actually it was about a chemical that occurs naturally in breast milk.  Swedish scientists are developing a cancer treatment that combines this chemical – alphalactalbumin – with oleic acid, found in babies stomachs.

Assistant Professor Roger Karlson of the Universtiy of Gothenburg highlights that this development adds to the debate as to whether ‘breast is best’  for babies as now we have a ‘link to actually reducing the risk of cancer in babies’.

Hamlet (short for Human Alpha-lactakbumin Made Lethal to Tumor cells) has tested to to kill 40 cancer types without damaging healthy cells.  Human trials have shown positive effects in 5 days with non of the nasty side effects associated with the normal chemotherapy treatments.

Next steps; researchers from the Universities of Lund and Gothenburg hope to run human trials on other cancer types.

Would you be buying baked goods made from breast milk if the research stacks up?  Maybe one of you will take it on as an entrepreneurial project!!


Saz Bailey

Science: Alcohol ages us inside-out

Health and Wellness Insights:

Image of Heart with StethoscopeAre you a lush?  I can be a bit of a lush sometimes….especially in the summer when it’s soooo nice out side and a glass of white wine temps me mid afternoon, and before I know it oooops I’ve had the bottle.  I’ve got to say – that’s not the norm but I’m going to be paying more attention to volume over time having read about how alcohol unravels us from inside on a cellular level.

It’s been found that Drinking alcohol to excess doesn’t just make us look visibly older, it actually has the effect of speeding up the ageing process at the cellular level.  Our DNA strands have Telomeres at the end of them to stop them from unravelling like old rope.  The shortening of Telomeres leads to dyeing cells. The University of Milan believes that this process occurs faster in people who consume higher quantities.  When they investigated varying consumption by a group of similarly aged subjects they found that the heaviest drinkers had Telomeres half the length of moderate drinkers.  Andrea Baccarelli told that ‘The decrease we found in Telomer length is vary sharp, and we were surprised to find such a strong effect”.  Reduction in the length of Telomeres has also been linked to cancer.

Now put that glass down and do some star jumps!

Saz Bailey