"Lack of vitamin D may cause multiple sclerosis, study finds," reports the Guardian. A large study found people genetically programmed to have lower vitamin D levels are at an increased risk of multiple sclerosis (MS).
"Universal flu vaccine comes closer, scientists say," BBC News reports after two independent teams of researchers each found ways to target multiple strains of the influenza virus - but, as yet, the research has only involved animals. Because there are many different strains of flu and they constantly change, people need to be vaccinated with a different flu vaccine every flu season. Scientists would like to be able to develop a universal flu vaccine that would be active against all strains of the virus. The studies developed two different vaccines. Both vaccines were able to protect mice against what would usually be a lethal dose of flu, and one vaccine reduced fever symptoms in monkeys. Both vaccines were based on the principle of attacking specific sites on the virus that are less likely to mutate as new strains come along.
"One in five people over 65 who drink is consuming an "unsafe" level of alcohol, say researchers," BBC News reports. Their research also found that "unsafe drinking was far more common among the white British and Irish population".
Accu-Chek mobile meter and Accu-Chek mobile test cassette - risk of falsely high readings if testing procedure is not followed
Dementia may not be the fast-growing epidemic it has been painted to be," The Guardian reports. Latest data from Europe shows the percentage of dementia cases have levelled off, rather than increased. However, as the elderly population is growing, the actual number of people with dementia will continue to rise, though perhaps not to the levels of a "dementia epidemic", as previously predicted.
"Just one drink a day raises breast cancer risk," is the front page headline in the Daily Mail following the results of a new study. While the health risks of heavy drinking are well established, the effects of light drinking are less clear. The study, which involved almost 136,000 people, found women who drank the equivalent of a glass of wine a day over a 30-year period were 13% more likely to develop one of the alcohol-related cancers (breast cancer being the most common) than women who didn't drink at all.