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Aspirin and cancer, depression and TV and why junk food has a 'halo'

A round-up of the health news headlines on Wednesday 25 July

US scientists have developed a new wonder drug that could treat a range of brain diseases. The drug, which halts the effects of inflammation of the brain, could potentially aid patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis, claim The Independent and the Daily Mail this morning.

 

The Daily Mail has also named aspirin a wonder drug after a new US study found the simple painkiller can reduce the risk of throat cancer. Aspirin is already known to help stave off a host of diseases, including arthritis, heart disease and stroke, and now researchers say it can reduce the risk of oesophageal cancer, according to the new study.

 

Meanwhile, if you want to avoid depression you should invest in a new pair of blinds, say another team of US scientists. Sleeping in a room with too much light can cause depression, they claim. Even just the glow from leaving the television on while you sleep can be enough to trigger the effect, say scientists. Lack of darkness during sleeping hours can cause changes to the brain and depressive symptoms, according to animal studies, writes Reuters and the Daily Mail.

 

And as the Olympics are about to commence in London, Jamie Oliver has lashed out at footballing hero David Beckham for promoting junk food to children.

The celebrity chef says the former England player, not playing for Great Britain's Olympic football team in this year's games, is wrong to advertise a certain soft drink – and fellow former England player Gary Lineker should not promote crisps. The open letter to The Times said food companies trigger a ‘halo effect' around junk foods by hiring celebrities to promote the brand, contributing to the rise of childhood obesity.

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