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The 'flu-busting' properties of curry and how not to get a good night's sleep

A round-up of the health news headlines on Monday 10 September

This morning´s Sun flags up the 'flu-busting' properties of curry.

The paper reports on TV chef Anjum Anand and her curry recipe containing vitamin C-packed ingredients like pomegranate seeds and funugreek leaves, which has healing powers.

Her dish also contains garlic, cinnamon and chillies which can fight infection.

The Sun quotes the chef, who presented BBC2's Indian Cooking Made Easy, as saying: "Spices in food are like medicine in Indian families and I wanted to make a simple, immune-boosting dish."

The Sun´s headline? "Vindaflu curry can beat bugs".

Meanwhile in the broadsheets, "litigation culture" is making Britain less safe, according to an article in today´s Independent.

Sociologist Frank Furedi and writer Jennie Bristow say in the report, published by the Centre for Policy Studies, that too many legal cases are being brought without realistic hope of success.

Countless hours of paperwork and procedures are now spent by professionals in litigation avoidance to defend organisations against claims, the paper says.

Of 63,800 legal claims against the NHS since 2001, only 2000 - 3.2 per cent - had damages approved or settled by a court and 28,700 were settled out of court. In 2010/11 alone, almost 3,000 cases were closed without any damages being paid, incurring £10.9 million in legal costs.

In March 2011, the NHS Litigation Authority estimated it faced potential liabilities of £16.8 billion, much of it in legal costs. In January 2012, the Government had to bail out the organisation with an extra £185 million to cover the cost of legal claims and fees.

Four in ten adults who take sleeping pills find they fail to help their insomnia, according to the Daily Mail.

A survey has found that some 42 per cent who are currently on medication have been sleeping badly for over 11 years or more.

A further 22 per cent had insomnia lasting two to five years, while one in six have suffered between six and ten years.

Findings from The Great British Sleep Survey of more than 20,000 UK adults found the average score of sleep quality was only five out of ten, according to the Mail.

The Mail also says that men who smoke cannabis are at greater risk of testicular cancer - but the risk is reduced by taking cocaine.

It reports on a study by Dr Victoria Cortessis, assistant professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC) and colleagues, which looked at the self-reported history of recreational drug use in 163 young men diagnosed with testicular cancer and compared it with that of 292 healthy men of the same age and ethnicity.

Findings published online in the journal Cancer suggested men with a history of using marijuana were twice as likely to have non-seminoma subtypes of testicular cancer and mixed germ cell tumours, according to the paper.

Men with a history of using cocaine had a reduced risk of both subtypes of testicular cancer. The researchers suspected that the drug may kill sperm-producing germ cells since it has this effect on experimental animals, the Mail says.

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