HEALTH NOTES: Milk’s the cool way to turn off the heat
Milk really is the best drink to cool down the mouth after eating a hot chilli. Although milk has long been regarded as the perfect antidote to a fiery dish, little or no research has actually been carried out to test the idea.
But a team from Pennsylvania State University asked 72 adults to down a chilli-based tomato juice and then try various drinks, including milk, water, cola and non-alcoholic beer, to dampen the heat.
The results, reported in Physiology And Behaviour, showed the best results came from milk. Scientists said whole and skimmed milk were equally effective, and they believe the cooling effect comes from proteins in the dairy product.
Although milk has long been regarded as the perfect antidote to a fiery dish, little or no research has actually been carried out to test the idea (stock image)
Lonely Britons find a friend – in a smart app
A Smartphone app could help to combat loneliness in older Britons. At the press of a button, the MobileAge app lists clubs, activities and volunteering opportunities in the local area. It also gives details on public transport, the weather forecast and even whether the route to an event is walkable.
The app was developed by researchers at Lancaster University and is being piloted among 80 users in Cumbria, who have been provided with free tablets to access it.
Researchers believe it could be used more widely if the pilot scheme proves effective.
Studies suggest that loneliness increases the risk of premature death by up to 30 per cent.
Zumba classes could ease the misery of painful periods, a study shows. Researchers from Cairo University studied 98 women with primary dysmenorrhea – cramping in the lower abdomen just before or during menstruation. Half of the women undertook hour-long Zumba classes twice a week for eight weeks, while the rest did no extra exercise.
The results, reported in the Journal Of Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology, showed those attending Zumba classes suffered significantly less menstrual pain after the eight-week course. Even when pain did strike, it eased more quickly.
Sleep? It’s a passion killer
Spending too much time in bed may damage a man’s love life. More than eight hours’ sleep a night can increase the likelihood of erectile dysfunction by 41 per cent, and a 75 per cent increase in difficulties achieving orgasm.
Researchers at Anglia Ruskin University and other centres investigated links between sleep and sexual problems in 3,940 British men and women aged 50 and over.
One theory is that the problems could be linked to the brain chemical dopamine, which plays a part in both sleep and sexual desire.
More than eight hours’ sleep a night can increase the likelihood of erectile dysfunction by 41 per cent (stock image)