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Why you should buy someone a bunch of flowers this week, stay away from the chocolate, and then congratulate yourself with a glass of wine

A round-up of the health news headlines on Monday 25 June

Buying someone a bunch of flowers could do more than just brighten up their day; researchers from the University of Copenhagen think they could help beat depression.

The Daily Mail reports that scientists have found that compounds in in South African snowdrops and daffodils are able to pass through the blood brain barrier, the defensive wall which keeps the brain isolated. According to the Mail: ‘The barrier is a major problem for doctors treating brain conditions such as depression as it contains proteins, which push the drugs out as soon as they get in.'

Professor Birger Brodin, said that he hoped to be able to ‘smuggle' depression-beating drugs into the brain through these compounds.

The Independent reports that up to 57% of women in the UK have waistlines that are ‘too big' and could increase the risk of cancer and infertility.

According to the paper  the average waist measurement for women is 4.9cm larger than the healthy size of less than 80cm, based on data from 30,000 women questioned by Nuffield Health. Dr Davina Deniszczyc, professional head of physicians and diagnostics at Nuffield Health, said: ‘Fat being stored around the waist can contribute to significant health issues', or, as the Daily Mail puts it: ‘How being pear-shaped like Kate Winslet is better for women than being apple-shaped.'

However, this may soon be a thing of the past, if Government plans are anything to go by. The Telegraph reports of a Whitehall unit set up to battle the bulge which is in talks with supermarkets. According to the paper ‘supermarkets [have] more information about their customers than doctors and this information should be harnessed'. At the moment it seems that supermarkets should offer advice to people that they see regularly stocking up on unhealthy foods [or track via their loyalty cards], but Andrew Lansley has ruled out Government involvement with the plan.

Although, if you're stocking on wine then maybe they won't mind, as the Telegraph also reports that ‘Two glasses of wine a day improves quality of life for middle-aged'.

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