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News: June 2022

Spending time in nature can reduce risk of depression and dementia

Middle aged woman enjoying the outdoors sitting in a park

Middle aged women who like to be surrounded by plants and flowers are less likely to suffer from depression or dementia suggests a recent study published in JAMA Network Open[i].

It seems living in areas where there is more greenery improves brain processing speed and attention as well as cognitive function which is a strong predictor of whether someone develops dementia.

“Some of the primary ways that nature may improve health is by helping people recover from psychological stress and encouraging them to be outside socialising with friends, both of which boost mental health,” said lead author of the study Dr Marcia Pescador Jimenez.

Menopause matters

Close up of a middle aged woman

Menopause has been in and out of the news recently with reports saying women are having to take time off work due to the growing shortage of HRT supplies in the UK. Such are their symptoms that they are going from pharmacy to pharmacy desperately looking for one that stocks HRT. Some are even resorting to the black market or buying supplies via social media.

The good news is that if all else fails there are some herbal helpers that can help alleviate symptoms. These include agnus castus and black cohosh as well as sage for brain fog and memory blips. There are also benefits to including more phytoestrogens in the diet. These are plant compounds that behave like oestrogen in the body and are found in soya products, flaxseeds, chickpeas and other pulses and sesame seeds.

Men’s Health Week

a group of male friends

This year’s Men’s Health Week runs from June 13th – 19th with the theme ‘It’s time for your MOT’.

While the focus has been on the pandemic, men have taken their eyes off other serious conditions and it’s time to get back on track say the Men’s Health Forum. Their advice to men is to take notice of what’s going on in their mind and body, get an NHS heath check and make an appointment with their GP if concerned about any symptoms.

For more information visit the Men’s Health Forum Website

[i] JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(4):e229306. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.9306

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