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News: February 2021

Coffee could reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer

A jug of coffee surrounded by coffee beans

More good news for the men in your life who like a cup of coffee.  Drinking several cups every day may be linked to a lower risk of developing prostate cancer, suggests a recent study[i].

“Coffee improves glucose metabolism, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, and affects sex hormone levels, all of which may influence the initiation, development and progression of prostate cancer”, say the researchers.

How the health of your gut could be linked to your response to Covid-19

Torso of a woman in white t-shirt making the shape of a heart with her hands, over her stomach.

The gut microbiome, also known as gut bacteria, of someone with Covid-19 could influence the length and severity of their infection and their immune response to it, suggests a recent study carried out at the Chinese University of Hong Kong[ii].

The team of researchers found that patients with Covid 19 appeared to have low levels of bacteria known to modify someone’s immune response and that this depletion seemed to persist for 30 day after the virus had gone.  It is not known for sure if Covid-19 changes the gut microbiome or a weakened microbiome leads to more severe infection, however, although another study by South Korean researchers suggests that the latter is the most likely.

How positive thinking can help you get through lockdown

IMage representing staying positive

Are you feeling low and wondering if you are ever going to get through lockdown? A recent study carried out at the University of Surrey[iii] suggests that the most effective strategy for managing lockdown is to think about positive aspects of the future.

In their study the researchers looked at the value of three emotional strategies for dealing with lockdowns:

Nostalgia: sentimentally looking back toward previous, better times

Gratitude: thinking about the good things in your life at the moment

Best possible self: picturing good things in your future

The researchers divided the participants into four groups – one for each strategy and one control group who were asked simply to think about a film or TV show they had recently watched. The people in the ‘best possible self’ and ‘gratitude’ groups reported a stronger feeling of social connectedness than those who had practised ‘nostalgia’.

“We found that looking to the future and appreciating what is positive in our lives currently is more psychologically beneficial than reminiscing about the past”, said lead study author Amelia Dennis.

 

[i] Xiaonan Chen, Yiqiao Zhao, Zijia Tao. Coffee consumption and risk of prostate cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Open, 2021 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-038902

[ii] 1Yeoh YK, et al. Gut 2021;0:1–9. doi:10.1136/gutjnl-2020-323020

[iii] https://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2020.1858335

 

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