| Good News Stories from around the World
Tuesday September 2nd 2014

Welcome to Good News Stories

Here at Good News Stories we bring you upbeat news stories from around the World.

Zinc could be the answer to the common cold

People who begin using zinc lozenges, tablets or syrup at the first signs of a common cold are more likely to get well faster, researchers reported Tuesday. But the new findings probably won’t be the last word on the issue, which has been the subject of debate since the idea was first proposed in 1984.

Since that time, 18 studies have examined zinc in preventing or treating colds. Some found zinc supplements were modestly helpful, others failed to turn up any benefits.

One analysis of 14 studies, published in 2007, concluded that many of the studies were too flawed to draw any conclusions.

In the latest report, published by the Cochrane Library, an international network of experts who conduct systematic reviews of research, scientists in India evaluated 15 studies, including four published since 2000.

Two of the studies evaluated focused on zinc’s effectiveness in preventing colds and the rest on its ability to shorten the duration of colds. The 15 studies involved 1,360 participants ranging in age from 1 to 65 with good overall health.

Pooling the data, researchers found that people who took zinc within 24 hours of the start of symptoms were over their colds about one day sooner than people who took placebos. The analysis also found that the severity of cold symptoms was somewhat milder among people who took zin

Virtual reality can ease pain

From BBC News

Burn patients in the United States are being helped to escape the pain of burn injuries by immersing them in the virtual reality of a computer game during treatment.

Agony from severe burns can be one of the most intense and prolonged types of pain you can experience. And for many, the rehabilitation treatment is as painful as the initial burn.

Caleb Springer, aged 23, from Valdez in Alaska suffered second and third degree burns when he was set on fire in a motor bike accident.

Petrol spilled out of his scooter and a stray spark from a cigarette ignited it.

“I was engulfed in flames for probably two minutes. It was the worst pain I’ve ever felt, it was just excruciating. I looked down and just saw skin hanging from my legs,” he said.

His burns were so bad he was airlifted from Alaska to a specialist centre in Seattle where his rehabilitation has been helped by pioneering treatment using a virtual reality computer game.

SnowWorld, set in an icy 3D canyon, was developed by Professor Hunter Hoffman and Professor David Patterson at the University of Washington Harborview Burn Centre in Seattle.

It evolved out of the scientific advances in the last decade in understanding pain.

The aim of the game is “to make a very attention grabbing experience for the patient and basically to give them a place to escape from their pain” says Professor Hoffman.

Scientists have found many different elements can affect how we experience pain, including our emotions, environment, context and distractions.

“Because pain has such a strong psychological component to it, psychological treatments can be used to counteract the pain,” said Prof Hoffman.

“Because humans are so visually dominant wherever you’re looking typically that’s where your attention is focused.

Curry could be good for your liver

Researchers from the USA have claimed that Indian food could be good for your liver.  Curcumin, a chemical that gives curry its zing, holds promise in preventing or treating liver damage from an advanced form of a condition known as fatty liver disease.

Curcurmin is contained in turmeric, a plant used by the Chinese to make traditional medicines for thousands of years. SLU’s recent study highlights its potential in countering an increasingly common kind of fatty liver disease called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

Linked to obesity and weight gain, NASH affects 3 to 4 percent of U.S. adults and can lead to a type of liver damage called liver fibrosis and possibly cirrhosis, liver cancer and death.”My laboratory studies the molecular mechanism of liver fibrosis and is searching for natural ways to prevent and treat this liver damage,” said Anping Chen, Ph.D., corresponding author and director of research in the pathology department of Saint Louis University.

UK housing to become much more afforable for all

Panic begins to grip UK housing market as one of the largest house price inflation bubbles pops.

House prices have lost touch with the first time buyer market and are out of reach for those crucial first timers. In short, the house price to income multiple is far too high.

Indeed, the house price to income ratio is twice its long term average. For it to revert to this long term level requires either a doubling of salaries or a halving of house prices. It is not hard to see which option is the more likely in the current age of austerity.

But this is going to be a major shock to the UK national psyche. The bubble has been forming so long it has become accepted as a new reality. Few younger property owners remember the 1990-3 house price crash. Corrections can and do happen even in a market where supply is as tight as in the UK housing market.

40 a day 2 year old quits smoking

A 2-year-old Indonesian boy who attracted international attention for smoking 40 cigarettes a day has quit the habit after a month of therapy, a child-protection agency said Thursday.

Ardi Rizal started consuming cigarettes when he was 18 months old, and images of him smoking have been shown on international television.

“He has stopped smoking and doesn’t ask for cigarettes anymore,” said Arist Merdeka Sirait, chairman of theNational Commission on Child Protection.

Sirait said heavy smoking appeared to have caused brain shrinkage in the boy and could pose health risks for him at a later age.

“He needs to be in a smoking-free environment so that he doesn’t start smoking again,” he said.

The commission put the boy under its care in June after videos showing him smoking circulated on the Internet.

Check out age uk travel insurance if you need medical cover.

Nearly one-third of Indonesia’s 230 million people and more than 60 per cent of its male population smokes, according to the Demographic Institute at the University of Indonesia.

When a doggie paddle can save a life

AP – They leap from helicopters or speeding boats, bringing aid to swimmers who get into trouble off Italy’s popular beaches.

For these canine lifeguards, the doggie paddle does just fine.

Hundreds of specially trained dogs from Italy’s corps of canine lifeguards are deployed each summer to help swimmers in need of rescue.

These “lifedogs” wear a harness or tow a buoy that victims can grab, or a raft they can sit on to be towed back to shore, and unlike their human counterparts, they can easily jump from helicopters and speeding boats to reach swimmers in trouble.

With millions flocking to Italy’s crowded beaches each summer, the Italian Coast Guard says it rescues about 3,000 people every year — and their canine helpers are credited with saving several lives.

Every ash cloud has a silver lining

By Anthony Page – Ryanair, the ‘no-frills whatsoever’ airline has seen it’s profits fall by 24% this quarter and is blaming the ash cloud that ground European airspace to a halt.

The airline has not blamed any of its current or alleged predicted policies such as charging for luggage, charging for checking in, charging to use the toilet, making people stand up or the predicted fat tax on larger passengers.

It is thought that the airline had 10,000 flights grounded because of the cloud and they always protested that too many precautions were being taken.

Is this really a good news story? Well if you have ever flown Ryanair then it probably qualifies as one and proves that every cloud indeed does have a silver lining.

Eating chocolate can make you look younger

Believe it or not eating chocolate could be good for your skin and even make you look younger.

The world’s largest chocolate maker says it may have come up with a chocolate bar that could fight wrinkles and slow the aging process, making it the latest food group to tap the appetite for healthier living.

Eating 20 g (0.755 oz) of specially developed chocolate packed with antioxidants, or flavanols, each day may help prevent wrinkles and make skin more radiant by boosting elasticity and improving hydration, studies carried out by Barry Callebaut showed.

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the nutritional value of what they eat, and Barry Callebaut’s claims come as food giants such as Nestle and Danone also push into the healthy eating arena.

No more swine flu?

Swine flu might very well be eradicated from the human population in the next few years.

The first tests to be carried out on vaccines issued during the swine flu pandemic have revealed high immune response rates among young children, which could lead to an improved immunisation policy.

The data, based on findings from a trial of more than 900 children conducted during the second wave of the 2009-10 H1N1 swine flu pandemic, could prove highly influential for policy-makers and parents in future influenza prevention and pandemic planning.

The study further highlights the importance of public participation in efforts to improve medical interventions, says one of the researchers behind the study from the University of Bristol.

Avoiding burger and fries good for everyone, and asthmatics

Good news regarding the research into triggers for asthmatics – a link has been found between fatty foods and asthma.

Fast-food burgers and other fatty foods increase lung inflammation in people with asthma and obstruct the effect of their inhalers, researchers are warning.

Rates of asthma — the most common chronic respiratory disease in Canada— have increased dramatically in westernized societies in recent decades.

In Canada, 2.2 million people age 12 and over, and more than 485,000 children ages four to 11 have been diagnosed with asthma, according to the Canadian Lung Association.

The increase in prevalence suggests environmental factors — including diet — may play a role, and “westernized diets are known to be relatively higher in fat than traditional diets,” says Lisa Wood, a research fellow of the University of Newcastle, in Australia.

If you are going on vacation then ensure you have taken out asthma travel insurance so you are covered from excessive medical costs abroad.

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