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Food and Health Room

a place for talking about food, specially Kurdish food recipes

Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat May 20, 2023 6:11 pm

Millions without food

Millions of French people do not have enough food to eat

Twenty-seven percent of those already getting food assistance from Secours Catholique "do not eat for days at a time."

A new study revealed that 16% of French people say they did not have enough food to eat at the end of last year.

The ratio has risen dramatically in the last six months, rising from 12 to 16 percent, according to the Research Center for the Study and Observation of Living Conditions (Crédoc). This means that more than 10 million of France's 68 million people do not get enough food.

The center ascribed the discovery to an increase in the price of food products on store shelves, as well as inflation of more than 10% in some categories.

While the French have the wherewithal to eat their fill, roughly one in every two confesses they do not have access to all of the foods they enjoy, according to the report.

Since the ratio of food prices to people's wages is not proportionate, they are forced to forego meat, fish, and even fruits and vegetables.

While these exclusions remained relatively marginal when inflation was kept below 2 percent, according to the study, they have increased significantly in recent months as economic problems have intensified.

The French have had to adapt to changing circumstances by purchasing things that are not always of high quality as well as newer and more expensive products.

Concerning the health repercussions of food insecurity in families, Crédoc demonstrates that women and even young people are more vulnerable to food hardship in households with children. As a result, the study found that 24% of adults under the age of 40 are food insecure, while 7% of people in the age group 60-69 are.

In light of this report, Macron pitched the idea of implementing tax reductions for middle-class citizens in an interview with L'Opinion Daily. "We must continue the trajectory of lowering taxes on our middle class," Macron said.

The Middle-class in France refers to those with income which ranges from $1,600 to $2,700. Macron argued that these tax reductions would incentivize individuals to stay on the job despite tax raises in the past years.

https://english.almayadeen.net/news/eco ... to-eat:-re
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Jun 07, 2023 7:13 am

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11 Ways to Improve Memory

Whether you want to be a Jeopardy! champion or just need to remember where you parked your car, here are 11 things you can do right now to turn your mind from a sieve into a steel trap

1. Concentrate for 8 Seconds.

These days we’re all about things being faster. That’s why this advice is invaluable: When you really need to remember something, concentrate on it for at least 8 seconds. That can seem like a long time when you're running around trying to get a million things done, but it is worth it. Studies have shown that 8 seconds is the minimum amount of time it takes for a piece of information to go from your short-term memory to your long-term memory.

2. Don’t Walk Through a Doorway.

We’ve all walked into a room and suddenly realized we can’t remember why we needed to be there in the first place. Don’t worry, you’re not getting more forgetful—chances are it was the act of walking through a doorway that made you go completely blank. Researchers found that participants in both virtual and real-world studies were far more likely to forget what object they had just placed in a container if they were asked right after walking through a doorway than if they carried the object the same distance in a single room. Scientists have yet to figure out why, but something about entering a new place seems to restart our memory.

3. Make a Fist.

If you’re having trouble remembering things at work, get a stress ball. The act of clenching your fist, if done correctly, can significantly improve your ability to recall information. Studies show that if you are right-handed, you should make a fist with your right hand before you try to memorize a piece of information. Then when you need to remember it, clench your left hand (the process is reversed for lefties.) Be sure to hold that position for a little while though; the study that discovered this had the participants squeezing for a good 45 seconds before letting go.

4. Exercise.

At this point we should just accept it that science considers exercise the cure for absolutely any problem, and memory is no different. The physical act increases alertness and oxygen supply to the brain, and may even increase cell growth in the parts of your brain responsible for memory. One study found that right after light exercise, women were able to recall things better than they could before working up a sweat. And while a quick jog can help you out right now, it is even more effective over the long term. A different study found that women who kept fit over six months significantly improved both their verbal and spatial memory.

5. Sleep.

At some point in high school or college, almost everyone has tried to pull an all-nighter before a big test (or so pop culture would have us believe). But even if you left your cramming until almost the last minute, it is more beneficial to get a good night’s sleep than to study until dawn. Studies have found that the processes your brain goes through while you're asleep actually help you remember information better the next day. Your brain is bombarded with stimuli when you’re awake, and it uses the time you are asleep to process everything. That's when it gets rid of unnecessary information and doubles down on remembering important things, like all that stuff in your biology textbook. Sleep is when it consolidates that information into a long-term memory. If you stay awake, your brain can’t go through this process.

6. Use Crazy Fonts.

We’re all font snobs to some extent. When it comes to books, newspapers, or the internet, we want everything to be clear and easy to read. But researchers have discovered that one of the best ways to remember something you’ve read is to read it in a weird font. The size and boldness makes no difference, although the harder it is to read, the better. When something is unfamiliar and difficult to read, you are forced to concentrate on it more, allowing you to remember it easier.

Large, bold fonts may actually hurt your ability to remember, as studies found that when asked to memorize a list of words, people predicted they would recall bold words easier than non-bold words, and therefore studied them less, leading to the opposite result.

7. Chew Gum.

If you need to remember a piece of information for around 30 minutes, try chewing gum. Studies have found that people do better on both visual and audio memory tasks if they are chewing gum while they do them. Just the act of chewing seems to keep people more focused and improve concentration.

But if you have a pop quiz sprung on you, leave the Juicy Fruit in your pocket. People who didn’t chew gum did better on very short memory tasks, while masticating helped people stay alert during longer ones.

8. Write Things Out.

These days it’s far more common to type up almost all the writing you need to do on your phone or computer. Shopping lists are saved on your tablet, phone numbers and email addresses under your contacts—it’s hardly necessary to remember anything anymore. That is, until you forget your phone and realize you don’t remember if you need to pick up bread and eggs. In the future, if you want to recall something, write it out in longhand. It doesn’t matter if you never actually read back what you wrote: Studies have shown that just the act of writing something out allows you to recall it in a way that touching a keyboard does not.

9. Know When to Turn the Music On—and Off.

Many people like a bit of music playing while they work or study. And listening to music before you start reading something you need to remember does indeed give you better recall. But once you start work, take out those ear buds. Researchers have found that listening to almost any noise, including music, while studying is a distraction, and you will recall less of what you read in the future. It doesn’t matter if you love the music or hate it; it has the same distracting effect as someone yelling random numbers at you. It might seem strange at first studying in complete silence, but science says it pays off in the long run.

10. Visualize.

One of the weirdest and most effective ways to remember something is to associate it with a visual image. This can be taken to an extreme, where you can recall a huge number of pieces of information just by building up a detailed visual image in your brain. Let’s say you wanted to remember that J.K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter books. Rowling sounds like bowling, so visualize a bowling alley. Now add to this image a hairy potter. This hirsute man, his hands covered with clay, gets up to roll the ball down the lane. From there you could add other bits of information, for example the names of the different Harry Potter books. Eventually you have a place in your head full of information that you can access at any time. It sounds bonkers, but science says it works.

11. Doodle.

If you are sitting in a boring class or meeting, don’t be afraid to start drawing hearts and flowers in your margins. While it can look like doodlers are paying less attention than non-doodlers, in reality the act of drawing is helping to keep their brain active. Just sitting there when you are bored makes it easier for you to tune out and as a result you will remember less information. In studies, people who were given a doodling task while listening to a boring phone message ended up remembering 29 percent more of what was on the tape than people who just sat still and listened.

Kathy is a freelance writer whose work has appeared on various sites including Uproxx and Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket. She is also a regular contributor to Cracked (cracked.com/members/auroratudor). After pit stops in New Jersey, California, and the UK, Kathy now resides in Austin, Texas with her husband and evil bunny rabbit. Befriend her on Facebook (facebook.com/kab18), follow her on twitter (@KathyBenjamin), or read her daily musings about sobriety on tumblr (kathyissober.tumblr.com).

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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Jun 25, 2023 10:30 pm

Heatwave: how to cope in hot weather

Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it's too hot, there are health risks. During heatwaves, more people than usual get seriously ill or die. If hot weather hits this summer, make sure it does not harm you or anyone you know.
Why is a heatwave a problem?

The main risks posed by a heatwave are:

not drinking enough water (dehydration)

overheating, which can make symptoms worse for people who already have problems with their heart or breathing

heat exhaustion and heatstroke

Who's most at risk?

A heatwave can affect anyone, but the most vulnerable people are:

older people – especially those over 75 and female

those who live on their own or in a care home

people who have a serious or long-term illness including heart or lung conditions, diabetes, kidney disease, Parkinson's disease or some mental health conditions

people who are on multiple medicines that may make them more likely to be badly affected by hot weather

those who may find it hard to keep cool – babies and the very young, the bed bound, those with drug or alcohol addictions or with Alzheimer's disease

people who spend a lot of time outside or in hot places – those who live in a top-floor flat, the homeless or those whose jobs are outside

Tips for coping in hot weather

Keep out of the heat if you can. If you have to go outside, stay in the shade especially between 11am and 3pm, wear sunscreen, a hat and light clothes, and avoid exercise or activity that makes you hotter.

Cool yourself down. Have cold food and drinks, avoid alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks, and have a cool shower or put cool water on your skin or clothes.

Keep your living space cool. Close windows during the day and open them at night when the temperature outside has gone down. Electric fans can help if the temperature is below 35 degrees. Check the temperature of rooms, especially where people at higher risk live and sleep.
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Jun 26, 2023 10:30 pm

Vaccine cancer treatment

After decades of limited success, scientists say research has reached a turning point, with many predicting more vaccines will be out in five years

These aren’t traditional vaccines that prevent disease, but shots to shrink tumors and stop cancer from coming back. Targets for these experimental treatments include breast and lung cancer, with gains reported this year for deadly skin cancer melanoma and pancreatic cancer.

“We’re getting something to work. Now we need to get it to work better,” said Dr. James Gulley, who helps lead a center at the National Cancer Institute that develops immune therapies, including cancer treatment vaccines.

More than ever, scientists understand how cancer hides from the body’s immune system. Cancer vaccines, like other immunotherapies, boost the immune system to find and kill cancer cells. And some new ones use mRNA, which was developed for cancer but first used for covid-19 vaccines.

For a vaccine to work, it needs to teach the immune system’s T cells to recognize cancer as dangerous, said Dr. Nora Disis of UW Medicine’s Cancer Vaccine Institute in Seattle. Once trained, T cells can travel anywhere in the body to hunt down danger.

“If you saw an activated T cell, it almost has feet,” she said. “You can see it crawling through the blood vessel to get out into the tissues.”

Patient volunteers are crucial to the research.

Kathleen Jade, 50, learned she had breast cancer in late February, just weeks before she and her husband were to depart Seattle for an around-the-world adventure. Instead of sailing their 46-foot boat, Shadowfax, through the Great Lakes toward the St. Lawrence Seaway, she was sitting on a hospital bed awaiting her third dose of an experimental vaccine. She’s getting the vaccine to see if it will shrink her tumor before surgery.

“Even if that chance is a little bit, I felt like it’s worth it,” said Jade, who is also getting standard treatment.

Progress on treatment vaccines has been challenging. The first, Provenge, was approved in the U.S. in 2010 to treat prostate cancer that had spread. It requires processing a patient’s own immune cells in a lab and giving them back through IV. There are also treatment vaccines for early bladder cancer and advanced melanoma.

Early cancer vaccine research faltered as cancer outwitted and outlasted patients’ weak immune systems, said Olja Finn, a vaccine researcher at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

“All of these trials that failed allowed us to learn so much,” Finn said.

As a result, she is now focused on patients with earlier disease since the experimental vaccines didn’t help with more advanced patients. Her group is planning a vaccine study in women with a low-risk, noninvasive breast cancer called ductal carcinoma in situ.

More vaccines that prevent cancer may be ahead too. Decades-old hepatitis B vaccines prevent liver cancer and HPV vaccines, introduced in 2006, prevent cervical cancer.

In Philadelphia, Dr. Susan Domchek, director of the Basser Center at Penn Medicine, is recruiting 28 healthy people with BRCA mutations for a vaccine test. Those mutations increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. The idea is to kill very early abnormal cells, before they cause problems. She likens it to periodically weeding a garden or erasing a whiteboard.

Others are developing vaccines to prevent cancer in people with precancerous lung nodules and other inherited conditions that raise cancer risk.

“Vaccines are probably the next big thing” in the quest to reduce cancer deaths, said Dr. Steve Lipkin, a medical geneticist at New York’s Weill Cornell Medicine, who is leading one effort funded by the National Cancer Institute. “We’re dedicating our lives to that.”

People with the inherited condition Lynch syndrome have a 60% to 80% lifetime risk of developing cancer. Recruiting them for cancer vaccine trials has been remarkably easy, said Dr. Eduardo Vilar-Sanchez of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, who is leading two government-funded studies on vaccines for Lynch-related cancers.

“Patients are jumping on this in a surprising and positive way,” he said.

Drugmakers Moderna and Merck are jointly developing a personalized mRNA vaccine for patients with melanoma, with a large study to begin this year. The vaccines are customized to each patient, based on the numerous mutations in their cancer tissue. A vaccine personalized in this way can train the immune system to hunt for the cancer’s mutation fingerprint and kill those cells.

But such vaccines will be expensive.

“You basically have to make every vaccine from scratch. If this wasn’t personalized, the vaccine could probably be made for pennies, just like the covid vaccine,” said Dr. Patrick Ott of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

The vaccines under development at UW Medicine are designed to work for many patients, not just a single patient. Tests are underway in early and advanced breast cancer, lung cancer and ovarian cancer. Some results may come as soon as next year.

Todd Pieper, 56, of suburban Seattle is participating in testing for a vaccine intended to shrink lung cancer tumors. His cancer spread to his brain, but he’s hoping to live long enough to see his daughter graduate from nursing school next year.

“I have nothing to lose and everything to gain, either for me or for other people down the road,” Pieper said of his decision to volunteer.

One of the first to receive the ovarian cancer vaccine in a safety study 11 years ago was Jamie Crase of nearby Mercer Island. Diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer when she was 34, Crase thought she would die young and had made a will that bequeathed a favorite necklace to her best friend. Now 50, she has no sign of cancer and she still wears the necklace.

She doesn’t know for sure if the vaccine helped, “But I’m still here.”

https://triblive.com/news/world/next-bi ... a-vaccine/
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Jun 29, 2023 9:20 pm

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The artificial meat factory

Back in 2013, the world watched as food critics tucked into the first ever lab-grown burger. The small pink patty, prised out of a petri dish and fried in front of the media, was proof that it was possible to grow safe and edible meat without slaughtering a single animal. There was just one problem: the patty had taken two years and over $300,000 to produce

But since then the cost of producing this high-tech meat has plummeted. In January 2016, a company called Memphis Meats produced a ‘cultured meatball’ for around $1,000, and today start-ups and non-profit organisations are working on other lab-grown animal products including pork, chicken, turkey, fish, milk, egg whites, gelatin, and even leather.

Dr Mark Post, the Dutch scientist who created the $300,000 burger, believes it would be possible to make improved versions of the patties for around $10 each if his technology could be scaled up to the level of an industrial food process.
Dutch scientist Dr Mark Post with his lab-grown burger © Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

So how long will we have to wait until we’re able to buy artificial meat like sausages and steaks in our supermarkets? Will they taste like the real thing, and will anyone actually buy them?

Cultured meat

Lab-grown meat comes in many other names; cultured meat, in vitro meat, synthetic meat, and is made by growing muscle cells in a nutrient serum and encouraging them into muscle-like fibres. Simpler animal products, such as artificial milk or hen-free egg whites, can be created by yeast that has been genetically altered to produce the proteins found in milk or eggs, which are then extracted and blended in the right amounts.

In fact, using ‘cellular agriculture’, there’s no reason why scientists couldn’t grow artificial meat with characteristics from a combination of animals, or enhance lab-grown meat with healthier fats, vitamins or vaccines. We could even taste the flesh of rare animals that nobody would dream of slaughtering for food. Panda burger, anyone?

For now, the race is on to make the first affordable cultured meat products. The need to find credible alternatives to traditional meat is urgent. Livestock farming takes up a huge amount of land and water per calorie of food compared to crops, and in terms of greenhouse emissions, is as bad as burning fossil fuels, according to the UN.

Rising incomes in developing countries means that more people are eating meat than ever before, reducing the amount of land available for much-needed crops, and contributing to climate change. Of course, being able to grow meat artificially can only have a positive impact on animal welfare, too.

So when will we be able to buy animal-free meat? Both Memphis Meats and Mosa Meat, an offshoot of Post’s lab, hope to have competitively priced products by 2020. “In terms of commercial sales, I would say in four to five years,” says Post. “It will still be a somewhat expensive burger, around the $10 mark. Another few years of commercial production and the price will start to fall further.”

Manufacturing meat in vitro

The science behind growing meat without animals is fairly simple. Growing the cells that form cultured meat is not hugely different from other ‘cell culture’ methods that biologists have used to study cells since the early 1900s.

The process starts with a few ‘satellite’ cells, which can be obtained from a small sample of muscle taken from a live animal. These are stem cells that can turn into the different cells found in muscle. Just one cell could, in theory, be used to grow an infinite amount of meat. When fed a nutrient-rich serum, the cells turn into muscle cells and proliferate, doubling in number roughly every few days.

After the cells have multiplied, they are encouraged to form strips, much like how muscle cells form fibres in living tissue. These fibres are attached to a sponge-like scaffold that floods the fibres with nutrients and mechanically stretches them, ‘exercising’ the muscle cells to increase their size and protein content. The resulting tissue can then be harvested, seasoned, cooked and consumed as boneless processed meat.

The challenge facing Post and others in the field is upscaling the process. To grow cells industrially requires a large ‘bioreactor’ – a high-tech vat that can provide the perfect conditions for growth but also the movement and stimulation to exercise the cells.

The largest existing bioreactor capable of doing this has a volume of 25,000 litres (about one-hundredth the size of an Olympic swimming pool), which Post estimates could produce enough meat to feed 10,000 people. It’s likely that many more of these would be needed to make a viable meat-processing plant.

    An alternative idea is to encourage shops and restaurants to grow their own meat on a smaller scale. In September 2016, SuperMeat, an Israeli biotech company, launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $100,000, which they more than doubled, to develop cultured-chicken-growing devices that could be “placed at grocery stores, restaurants, and ultimately in consumer homes”.
Another issue is the nutrient-rich ‘serum’ that feeds the cells. Successful serums have been a cocktail of sugars, amino acids and animal blood. Not only are blood-based serums a source of worry for vegetarians and vegans, but “there would not be enough serum in the world to grow all the cells you need to mass-produce,” says Post.

He and other cultured meat companies are working on blood-free alternatives – but it’s not simple. “We are working out which substances in blood are required for growth,” he says. “There are tens of thousands of different substances in blood and there are a few magical ingredients required for every different cell type.”

How good is a lab-grown burger?

Achieving a taste and texture that rivals real meat seems to be the easy bit. Following a comment from the critics who tasted his original burger and said it was a bit dry, Post has started to culture fat cells and tissue from cows, which add moisture when mixed in with the muscle fibres. He has also discovered that starving the cells of oxygen can increase the amount of flavour-giving proteins in the final product.

Marie Gibbons, a researcher from North Carolina State University working on cultured meat production, says there is no limit to what scientists could do with flavour. “There’s no doubt that [cultured products] can be manipulated to achieve good flavour – it’s just a case of what chemicals react with your taste buds,” she says. She thinks cultured meats could eventually be tastier than traditional meat, although she adds: “At the moment the priority is to produce edible protein on a large scale. Then you can work on flavour components.”

The first crop of cultured meat products will inevitably take the form of burgers, nuggets and other processed meats – unprocessed meat has a complex structure of bone, blood vessels, connective tissue and fat, and grows in specific shapes. Yet it should eventually be possible to grow complex tissue like this too, says Dr Paul Mozdziak, Gibbons’s colleague at North Carolina State University. He and scientists at various cellular agriculture organisations (such as New Harvest,

SuperMeat and Future Meat) are keeping an eye on developments in regenerative medicine, the branch of biomedical science concerned with growing replacement organs and tissue for procedures such as skin grafts.

Regenerative medicine involves encouraging cells to grow on a scaffold so the resulting tissue mimics the precise layout of a living organ, with different types of cells in the right position, creating interconnecting, functional parts. However, the complexity of living tissue means that only relatively simple tissues like skin have been made with any success.

Still, a lab-grown pork chop or rack of ribs is perfectly feasible, says Mozdziak. “When the cultured meat and scaffolding worlds collide, then the industry will take off exponentially,” he says.

As well as animal parts for food, scientists could even grow organic items such as rhino horns in order to help prevent poaching.

What’s the beef?

In the shorter term, with more basic cultured meat products predicted to be ready by the turn of the decade, a bigger question may be whether people are ready to eat the stuff. Will consumers drink synthetic milk and eat lab-grown meat, or will they be put off? Genetically modified (GM) foods, for example, are still mistrusted by many.

Organisations such as the Modern Agriculture Foundation are already preparing the ground for the arrival of in vitro meat, educating people about why we need it. The Foundation’s director, Shaked Regev, believes that cultured meat won’t have the same problem that existing meat alternatives face because it is so similar. “It’s the real deal – you can’t differentiate this from traditional meat under a microscope,” he says.

Polls suggest there’s a willingness to give this modern meat a go. One survey of the Dutch population indicated that 63 per cent of people were in favour of the concept of cultured beef, and 52 per cent were willing to try it. Another survey by The Guardian found that 69 per cent of people wanted to try cultured meat. Whether people reach for the cultured burgers week in, week out at the supermarket is a different matter entirely, though.

People will always be extremely sensitive about what is on their plate. Despite the welfare and environmental justifications for cultured meat, the thought of your burger coming from a lab rather than a farm is a strange idea. But if artificial meat lives up to its promise and becomes the environmentally friendly, safer, cheaper, and even tastier way to eat meat, the concept of raising animals in their millions for slaughter could very quickly seem much stranger.

https://www.sciencefocus.com/future-tec ... ic-supper/
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Jun 29, 2023 11:59 pm

Millions in UK facing hunger

Trussel Trust, a food bank charity, revealed on Wednesday that one in seven people in the UK experienced hunger last year as a result of a lack of funds

The poll reveals that this amounted to an estimated 11.3 million people, which is more than twice the population of Scotland.

Researchers have linked food insecurity to the UK's rising cost of living problem, which has disproportionately affected racial and ethnic minorities, the disabled, and caregivers. This crisis shows no signs of ending anytime soon.

In its network, The Trussell Trust operates more than 1,200 food banks, or almost two-thirds of all food banks in the UK.

According to the organization, it sent a record 3 million food parcels in the year ending in March, a 37% increase and more than twice the number it did five years prior. The most recent findings, it continued, were "just the tip of the iceberg."

Around 7% of the British population was provided with charitable food support during mid-2022, while 71% were facing food shortages with no access to support.

“Food banks are not the answer when people are going without the essentials in one of the richest economies in the world. We need a social security system which provides protection and the dignity for people to cover their own essentials, such as food and bills,” Trussell Trust chief executive Emma Revie said.

Living standards in the UK are being squeezed more severely than at any point since records have been kept in the 1950s as soaring inflation erodes wage growth for employees across practically all economic sectors.

“This consistent upward trajectory exposes that it is weaknesses in the social security system that are driving food bank need, rather than just the pandemic or cost-of-living crisis,” the report said.

In May, food inflation in the world's sixth-largest economy was running at 18.3% and 14.6% in June, according to recent official data.

Despite government efforts to reduce inflation, consumer price increases in Britain continue to be high. Government officials and trade unions accuse supermarkets of "greedflation" and profiteering at the expense of customers.

https://english.almayadeen.net/news/Eco ... er:-survey
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Jun 30, 2023 8:17 pm

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Aspartame cancer-causing

Aspartame, which can be found in products ranging from Coca-Cola diet sodas to Mars' Extra chewing gum and Snapple drinks, will be classed next month as "possibly carcinogenic to humans" for the first time by the World Health Organization's (WHO) cancer research department, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Reuters reported, citing two informed sources

The news agency noted that the IARC ruling however does not take into account the safe quantity that a person can consume. This information would come from a separate WHO expert committee on food additives -- the JECFA (the Joint WHO and Food and Agriculture Organization's Expert Committee on Food Additives), Reuters indicated.

JECFA began reviewing Aspartame at the end of this month and will be announcing its findings on the same day the IARC releases its decision on July 14.

JECFA has considered Aspartame safe to consume within accepted daily limits since 1981 and has been widely shared by national regulators in the US and Europe. For instance, an adult weighing 60 kg (132 pounds) would have to drink, depending on the quantity of Aspartame, between 12 and 36 cans of diet soda daily to be at risk.

Although the findings of both the IARC and JECFA were confidential until July, an IARC spokesperson said they were "complementary", with IARC's conclusion representing "the first fundamental step to understand carcinogenicity". The JECFA committee "conducts risk assessment, which determines the probability of a specific type of harm (e.g., cancer) to occur under certain conditions and levels of exposure."

Warnings against 'leaked opinion'

Nozomi Tomita, an official from Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, wrote to WHO's deputy director general, Zsuzsanna Jakab, in a letter on March 27: "We kindly ask both bodies to coordinate their efforts in reviewing Aspartame to avoid any confusion or concerns among the public".

In 2015, the IARC committee concluded that glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic". Germany’s Bayer firm back in 2021 lost its third appeal against US court verdicts that awarded damages to consumers blaming cancer on the use of its glyphosate-based weedkillers.

IARC decisions have faced criticism in the past over needless alarms such as putting overnight working and consuming red meat into its "probably cancer-causing" class and mobile phones as "possibly cancer-causing".

Frances Hunt-Wood, the secretary general of the International Sweeteners Association (ISA), considered that the "IARC is not a food safety body and their review of Aspartame is not scientifically comprehensive and is based heavily on widely discredited research".

The ISA, whose members include Mars Wrigley, a Coca-Cola unit, said it had "serious concerns with the IARC review, which may mislead consumers".

The International Council of Beverages Associations' executive director, Kate Loatman, raised the alarm that health authorities should be "deeply concerned" by the "leaked opinion", warning that it "could needlessly mislead consumers into consuming more sugar rather than choosing safe no-and low-sugar options."

The myth of sweetener and weight loss?

Aspartame has been a previous study subject as an observational study in France last year showed that those who consumed large amounts of artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame had a slightly higher cancer risk.

The study, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, said that higher cancer risk was particularly seen with sweeteners Aspartame and acesulfame potassium -- both used in many soft drinks including Coke Zero.

However, experts not involved in the research said there is not enough proof to consider changing current health advice.

Aspartame is authorized for global use and major food and beverage firms have defended using it for decades.

    However, PepsiCo removed Aspartame from its sodas in 2015, bringing it back a year later, and removing it again in 2020
Sources close to the IARC state that listing Aspartame as a possible carcinogen will motivate further research which in turn will help agencies, consumers and manufacturers draw stronger conclusions. It will potentially ignite debate once again over the IARC's role and the safety of sweeteners in general.

The WHO published last month's guidelines advising against the use of non-sugar sweeteners for weight control which caused outrage in the food industry since they argue that it can be helpful for those wanting to reduce sugar in their diet.

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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Jul 15, 2023 9:33 pm

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Cancer hospital in Duhok

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – On Saturday, Saman Barzanji, the Health Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), accompanied by Ali Tatar, Governor of Duhok, visited the project site of a major international hospital currently being built in Duhok

The hospital is one of the strategic projects planned by the KRG Ninth Cabinet.

At the project site, the minister of health and the Duhok governor met with investors. They stressed the importance of completing the project in the face of persistent challenges.

The three-building hospital, which covers 11,300 square meters and consists of 17 floors, will also include 40 clinics, six operating rooms, 80 single-patient rooms, 130 emergency care beds, and 12 recovery beds.

In 2022, 9,000 cases of cancer were recorded in the Kurdistan Region, with the majority of cases being in Erbil Province.

Among the most common causes of cancer are chronic diseases, environmental pollution, smoking, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, unhealthy eating, lack of exercise, and obesity.

The disease is still one of the leading causes of death worldwide, as health establishments grapple with finding treatments and developing better diagnostics. Early diagnosis of the disease is widely advised by health officials to prevent the condition from worsening.

Previously in April 2023, the concert 'Hope and Strength for Children with Cancer' was held in Erbil. A number of artists from across Kurdistan participated in the concert to raise money for cancer patients.

And in May 2022, Erbil Province hosted the Cancer and Oncology Research Endeavour Symposium with 500 academics and 200 international guests in attendance. Tishk International University (TIU) and Salahaddin University-Erbil supervised the medical event, which was attended by cancer experts from Germany, Poland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Jul 27, 2023 12:20 am

Olive Oil Lowers Risk of Dementia

A new study shows that adding more olive oil to your diet may decrease the risk of dementia-related death. The findings were presented at NUTRITION 2023, the flagship meeting of the American Society for Nutrition

Dementia including Alzheimer’s disease affects more than 55 million peopleTrusted Source have dementia worldwide and is one of the top causes of death in the U.S. and around the world.

Scientists have been investigating ways to improve dementia symptoms, which include dietary and lifestyle habits.

In the new study, researchers examined dietary questionnaires and death records from more than 90,000 Americans over 30 years. Over the course of three decades, 4,749 people died from dementia.

The findings demonstrated that participants who consumed more than half a tablespoon of olive oil per day had a 28% lower risk of dying from dementia compared to those who never or rarely consumed olive oil.

“Typically, people who use olive oil for cooking or as a dressing have a better overall diet quality, but interestingly, we found the association to be regardless of this factor,” Anne-Julie Tessier, study author and research fellow of nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan, told Healthline.

“Our study contributes to supporting current dietary guidelines recommending choosing vegetable oils such as olive oil. And beyond heart health, our findings extend current recommendations to cognitive-related health,” said Tessier.

Additionally, researchers found that switching out one teaspoon of margarine and mayonnaise with olive oil per day was linked to an 8-14% lower risk of dementia-related death.

For the next research steps, Tessier explained that intervention studies are needed to provide insights into the biological mechanisms that explain the potential impact of olive oil on brain health.

“Olive oil is a powerhouse when it comes to flavor and nutrients,” said Mackenzie Burgess, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist and recipe developer at Cheerful Choices

One tablespoon of olive oilTrusted Source provides 13% daily value for vitamin E and 7% daily value for vitamin K. Olive oil is also a good source of monounsaturated fats (aka fats that can help lower LDL “bad” cholesterol). Getting enough fats in our diet is important for proper nutrient absorption and can help us feel fuller longer.

ResearchTrusted Source has shown that including olive oil in your diet may help lower cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of heart disease, and lower blood pressure. Plus, this new observational study shows promising evidence for brain health, Burgess added.

“Compared to other vegetable oils, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) contains the highest percentage of monounsaturated fats, which helps reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, colon cancer and cancer,” Dolores Woods, RDN, a nutritionist with UTHealth Houston School of Public Health, stated.

Overall, EVOO is high in antioxidants and fat-soluble vitamins, all of which promote good health and longevity, Woods explained.

“Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and contains compounds with antioxidant activity that may play a protective role for the brain,” Tessier stated. “Some of these can cross the blood-brain barrier, potentially having a direct effect on the brain. It is also possible that olive oil has an indirect effect on brain health by benefiting cardiovascular health.”

While we know olive oil offers numerous health benefits, further research is needed to understand specifically how it impacts the brain.

“The exact reasons for this connection between olive oil consumption and brain health are not yet known,” said Dr. Nate Wood, an instructor of medicine and medical education fellow in the section of general internal medicine at the Yale School of Medicine. “It’s possible that the olive oil protects the vessels in the brain just like it protects the vessels in the heart.”

It’s also possible that the antioxidants in olive oil cross into the brain and protect those cells as they do in other parts of the body. More research will be needed to elucidate the exact mechanisms, Wood added.

There are plenty of ways to incorporate olive oil into your daily diet. Burgess recommends the following:

    Cooking oil – Try sauteing veggies or roasting colorful veggies in olive oil.

    Salads – Drizzle olive oil over caprese salads or stir into homemade vinaigrettes.

    Dips – Use high-quality extra virgin olive oil combined with Italian seasoning as a foolproof dip for crusty bread. You can also blend it into homemade bean dips, such as hummus, and serve with crudité.

    Proteins – Use olive as a marinade for meats or incorporate it into other proteins like morning scrambled eggs.

    Baking – Incorporating olive oil into baked goods can add a delightful richness and depth of flavor. Swap out vegetable oils or part of the butter with olive oil in recipes like muffins, cakes, and cookies.
Woods suggests making your own oil-based vinaigrettes. This is a simple vinaigrette that you can also use to marinate chicken or fish:

Use 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar (balsamic, red wine, white wine, or lemon juice), add your favorite fresh herbs, minced shallot, salt and pepper.

Also, be sure to choose a good quality, flavorful EVOO to make sauces and spreads, such as chimichurri, pesto, salsa verde or chutney. These are great options to pair with grilled meats, vegetables and as dips.

A gazpacho is the perfect summer appetizer for these hot days. A key ingredient is a bold EVOO to add a punch of flavor.

For a quick meal, toss cooked pasta in a EVOO, lemon zest and grated parmesan cheese.

A new study shows that incorporating more olive oil into your diet may lower the risk of dying from dementia.

Results indicated that participants who had more than half a tablespoon of olive oil per day had a 28% lower risk of dying from dementia compared to those who never or rarely consumed olive oil.

The study also showed that replacing one teaspoon of margarine and mayonnaise with olive oil per day was linked to an 8-14% lower risk of dementia-related death.

Although olive oil provides a wide variety of health benefits, more research is needed to learn its effects on the brain.

To add more olive oil into your diet, you can use it as a base for cooking, and an ingredient in dips and salad dressing.

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/ ... entia-risk

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I use garlic infused olive oil and it is delicious
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Jul 28, 2023 11:17 pm

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Indian-made cold syrup kills

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A cold syrup manufactured in India and sold in Iraq has been found to contain toxic chemicals, Bloomberg reported on Friday

In March, a bottle of Cold Out purchased at a Baghdad pharmacy was found to have 2.1% ethylene glycol, according to a test carried out by independent US laboratory called Valisure LLC.

This amount is approximately 21 times higher than the widely accepted safe limit, the Bloomberg report added.

Ethylene glycol is a compound that can be lethal to humans even in small quantities, and it was linked to the mass deaths of children in Gambia and Uzbekistan last year, caused by Indian-made cough syrups.

The previous year in Gambia at least 70 children lost their lives due to kidney failure caused by the medicine.

In October, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned against four cough syrups made in India.

“Laboratory analysis of samples of each of the four products confirms that they contain unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants,” the WHO said in a press release.

“To date, these four products have been identified in The Gambia, but may have been distributed, through informal markets, to other countries or regions.”

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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Jul 30, 2023 7:20 pm

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Largest dairy factory in Kurdistan

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – As part of the strategic plans of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ninth Cabinet, the largest dairy factory will soon be opened in the Simele District of Duhok Province, according to a statement from the KRG

Raqib Abu Bakr, director of the dairy factory, said that the project has cost $60 million and includes 2,000 to 3,000 dairy cattle, which can produce 120 tons of milk per day.

Abu Bakr also revealed that this will be the first dairy factory in history to produce such an amount of milk in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.

Furthermore, he added that 80% of the dairy factory has been completed so far, and the remaining full-capacity construction will be completed by the end of 2023.

Previously on May 30, Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani inaugurated a dairy factory in Erbil Province’s Mergasor District in an effort to diversify the oil economy and protect domestic livestock resources.

The KRG Ninth Cabinet, since its inauguration in 2019, has made it its top priority to develop other sectors of the economy in order to safeguard its heavily hydrocarbon-based economy from oil price fluctuations.

Last year, the first batch of homegrown Kurdish pomegranates was exported to four Gulf and European markets. This marked the first international Kurdish produce export in history.

Other domestic agricultural products, including figs, honey, and apples, will also be shipped to regional markets in the near future.

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/32 ... k-Province
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Jul 31, 2023 7:01 pm

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McDonald's seek Kurdish potatoes

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Bawar Sabir Khoshnaw, a businessman in Erbil, on Monday told Kurdistan 24 that due to the superior quality of Kurdistan Region potatoes, McDonald's restaurant chains in the Gulf countries and Jordan have requested its supply

On Saturday, eight containers containing 300 tons of potatoes produced by farmers in Erbil province were exported to the United Arab Emirates with the support of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Representatives from various Arabian Gulf and Jordanian McDonald’s restaurants have regularly demanded 500 to 1,000 tons of Kurdish potatoes in total per week, according to Khosnaw.

The businessman also noted that Kurdish potatoes are priced at more than $80 a ton because of their high quality compared to those grown in Egypt and Pakistan.

“The fruits and vegetables will be delivered from Erbil to the port of Um Qasr in Basra and from there exported to Dubai markets,” Khoshnaw added.

Moreover, he explained that they want to facilitate the export of potatoes from the Kurdistan Region to Azerbaijan because the price of potatoes in Azerbaijan reaches $800 per ton, and that will benefit Kurdistan Region farmers.

Meanwhile, Khoshnaw revealed that they also plan to export onions, cucumbers, and zucchini to the Gulf markets. The Kurdistan Region also plans to export a surplus of dairy products, olive oil, and other products that exceed the demand of the local population.

The McDonald’s Corporation has never officially granted a franchise license for a public restaurant in Iraq. Despite numerous applications, the corporation has allegedly denied requests due to security concerns and logistical constraints in the country.

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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Aug 21, 2023 9:08 pm

Safe Medicine Disposal

In a bid to combat environmental pollution, the Ministry of Health in the Kurdistan Region launched a new initiative on Monday, focusing on the responsible disposal of expired and unwanted medicines

During a press conference held on Monday, Erbil Governor Omed Khoshnaw unveiled a novel approach to address this issue. Specially designed trash bins will soon become integral components of garbage trucks, making it convenient for households to dispose of expired medicines safely. The official urged residents to package unwanted medications securely in sealed plastic bags before disposal.

Embracing this innovative project, the Kurdistan Region's Environmental Commission head reiterated the government's commitment to tackling environmental pollution head-on.

Beyond these efforts, medical facilities and clinics scattered across the Kurdistan Region will introduce designated disposal units for expired medications. This step acknowledges the critical need for proper disposal to prevent both misuse and environmental harm.

Governor Khoshnaw pointed out that dedicated cleanup teams would be entrusted with managing the destruction of expired medical items. Specialized facilities in Erbil have been selected to facilitate this critical task.

https://www.basnews.com/en/babat/820746
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Sep 25, 2023 9:50 am

Do You Need To Wash Rice

Yes, but likely not for the reason you are thinking

Washed Rice

Washing may have nothing to do with the stickiness of rice.

Rice is a staple food for billions of people in Asia and Africa. It’s also a versatile ingredient for many iconic dishes from around the world, including dolmades from Greece, risottos from Italy, paella from Spain and rice puddings from the United Kingdom.

Despite its universal appeal, the question asked in every kitchen, be it a professional one or your own home, is whether you should pre-wash (or rinse) your rice before cooking.

What do chefs and cooks say?

Culinary experts claim pre-washing rice reduces the amount of starch coming from the rice grains. You can see this in the cloudy rinse water, which studies have shown to be the free starch (amylose) on the surface of the rice grain produced by the milling process.

In culinary circles, washing is advocated for some dishes when a separated grain is sought after. Yet for other dishes such as risottos, paella and rice puddings (where you need a sticky, creamy effect), washing is avoided.

Other factors, such as the type of rice, family tradition, local health warnings and even the perceived time and effort required will influence whether people pre-wash their rice.

Is there evidence that washing rice makes it less sticky?

A recent study compared the effect of washing on the stickiness and hardness of three different types of rice from the same supplier. The three types were glutinous rice, medium grain rice and jasmine rice. These different rices were either not washed at all, washed three times with water, or washed ten times with water.

Contrary to what chefs will tell you, this study showed the washing process had no effect on the stickiness (or hardness) of the rice.

Instead, the researchers demonstrated the stickiness was not due to the surface starch (amylose), but rather a different starch called amylopectin that is leached out of the rice grain during the cooking process. The amount leached differed between the types of rice grains.

So, it’s the variety of rice – rather than washing – that’s critical to the stickiness. In this study, glutinous rice was the stickiest, while medium grain rice and jasmine rice were less sticky, and also harder as tested in the laboratory. (Hardness is representative of the textures associated with biting and chewing.)

You may still want to wash your rice, though

Traditionally rice was washed to rinse off dust, insects, little stones and bits of husk left from the rice hulling process. This may still be important for some regions of the world where the processing is not as meticulous, and may provide peace of mind for others.

More recently, with the heavy use of plastics in the food supply chain, microplastics have been found in our foods, including rice. The washing process has been shown to rinse up to 20% of the plastics from uncooked rice.

This same study found that irrespective of the packaging (plastic or paper bags) you buy rice in, it contains the same level of microplastics. The researchers also showed plastics in (pre-cooked) instant rice have been found to be fourfold higher than in uncooked rice. If you pre-rinse instant rice, you could reduce plastics by 40%.

Rice is also known to contain relatively high levels of arsenic, due to the crop absorbing more arsenic as it grows. Washing rice has been shown to remove about 90% of bio-accessible arsenic, but it also rinses out a large amount of other nutrients important for our health, including copper, iron, zinc and vanadium.

For some people, rice offers a small percentage of their daily intake of these nutrients and hence will have a small impact on their health. But for populations that consume large amounts of heavily washed rice daily, it could impact their overall nutrition.

Another study looked at other heavy metals, lead and cadmium, in addition to arsenic; it found that pre-washing decreased levels of all these from between 7–20%. The World Health Organization has warned of the risk of arsenic exposure from water and food.

Arsenic levels in rice vary depending on where it’s grown, the cultivars of rice and the ways it is cooked. The best advice remains to pre-wash your rice and ensure you consume a variety of grains. The most recent study in 2005 found that the highest level of arsenic was in the United States. However it is important to keep in mind that arsenic is present in other foods including products made from rice (cakes, crackers, biscuits and cereals), seaweed, seafood and vegetables.

Can washing rice prevent bacteria?

In short, no. Washing rice will have no effect on the bacterial content of the cooked rice, as high cooking temperatures will kill all bacteria present.

What is more concerning is how long you store cooked rice or washed rice at room temperature. Cooking rice does not kill the bacterial spores from a pathogen called Bacillus cereus.

If wet rice or cooked rice is kept at room temperature, this can activate the bacterial spores and they begin to grow. These bacteria then produce toxins which can not be deactivated by cooking or re-heating; these toxins can cause severe gastrointestinal disease. So, make sure you avoid keeping washed or cooked rice at room temperature for too long.The Conversation

Evangeline Mantzioris, Program Director of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Accredited Practising Dietitian, University of South Australia

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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Oct 04, 2023 12:20 am

How to keep bones strong

Just as our muscles lose strength as we get older, so do our bones. This can have a serious effect on our lifestyle, and boosts risk of fractures – which are linked with an increased risk of death. Fortunately, just as we can build the strength in our muscles, we can build strength in our bones

Bones are far more than a simple scaffold within our bodies. Bone is a complex organ which comes in a multitude of shapes and sizes. It’s made up of a diverse mixture of organic and inorganic components – such as collagen and calcium. Combined together, these components create a structure that’s malleable enough that muscle can pull against it so we can move, while simultaneously being strong enough to protect critical organs.

Bone is not the solid, immovable, permanent structure that many might assume it to be. Healthy, living bone remains strong because it’s constantly being turned over, with old and damaged bone being excavated out and replaced with fresh bone.

This internal quality control sees our skeleton being replaced approximately every ten years in healthy people – though this is slower in people who are older or sick. Certain health conditions can also cause excessive bone loss – such as cancer and hormonal changes during the menopause.

Unlike many other tissues, such as cartilage, tendon and muscle – where only a small number of different cell types occur – bone is comprised of a multitude of different cells. These include bone cells, immune cells, fat cells, nerve cells and blood cells, to name a few.

The combined action of these cell types help our body maintain adequate bone volume throughout life, so we can continue to be active.

Specialised bone cells (called osteoblasts and osteoclasts) help modify our bones to repair damage and increase volume depending on the demands placed on them. So a tennis player who repeatedly serves with the same arm will have higher bone volume in their serving arm as a result.

Looking after your bones

Maintaining your bones throughout life is essential for good health and wellbeing. A sudden loss in mobility as a result of fracture has considerable knock-on effects to lifestyle – where walking around the shops, visiting friends and performing even the smallest daily tasks around the house can be painful.

Bone density (strength) can be preserved no matter your age with good diet and exercise.

A balanced diet rich in calcium (a crucial mineral within your bone) is recommended. Aim to consume 700mg a day. Milk, yoghurt and cheese are all great sources of calcium. If you’re vegan, foods such as tofu, beans and lentils all contain calcium. You may need to take a supplement if you aren’t able to get the recommended amount of calcium in your diet.

Importantly, our bodies need vitamin D to fully absorb calcium, so spending time outside is key as our skin makes vitamin D when exposed to the sun. Try to get up to ten minutes twice a day. In the winter, when there tends to be less sunlight, you may want to consider a vitamin D supplement.

Exercise is another way you can keep bones strong – specifically weight-bearing exercises. Walking and climbing the stairs are great options to begin with if you don’t regularly exercise. But more rigorous activities – such as jumping rope or weight training – are better, as they stimulate more bone growth. This is because when the muscles pull hard on the attached bone, it stimulates growth.

These kinds of exercises can be done by anyone of any age. Just be sure to adapt the exercise you do to your fitness level and ability. It’s also recommended you gradually build up the amount you exercise to avoid injury.

Reducing pollutants in your body (such as smoking and alcohol) will also help give your bone cells the best chance of working properly throughout life.

If you’re concerned about how strong your bones are – or if you have certain health conditions that may decrease your bone mineral density (such as coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes and cancer) – you can always speak to your GP about your concerns. They will be able to give you personalised advice on the best ways of looking after your bones.

https://theconversation.com/bones-play- ... wtab-en-gb
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