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cat-petSmoking is not only bad for human health, it can harm that of pets, too. Cats and dogs whose owners smoke are twice as likely to develop some types of cancer as those whose owners do not.

While the danger to humans of passive smoking is now well known, many pet owners do not realise the danger to their four legged friends, according to Val Mills, team leader of Buckinghamshire SmokeFree Support Service.

She said: ‘As a pet owner I know how important pets can be to people. Some people may not realise that smoking around their pets will affect the health of their animals.’

Vegetarians rejoice: Cutting meat out of your diet may have lowered your risk of an untimely death.

vegetarian_dietA new study of more than 70,000 people showed that vegetarian diets were linked to lower death rates when compared to meat-eaters. The research was published on June 3 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

"I think this adds to the evidence showing the possible beneficial effect of vegetarian diets in the prevention of chronic diseases and the improvement of longevity," lead author Dr. Michael Orlich, program director of the preventative medicine residency at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, Calif., said to Reuters.

blooddonationWe all know giving blood provides an essential lifeline to those in need, but a growing body of research demonstrates that it could have health benefits for the donor too. Findings have shown that donating blood reduces the risk of heart attacks and even cancer. It even burns 650 calories for every pint given. The news could come as welcome boost to British blood banks which use an average of 7,000 units of blood every day, reports daily mail.

It is thought that the benefits arise from lowering high iron levels. Iron affects how thick and sticky the texture of the blood is.

artificial-sweetenersSplenda 'modifies way the body handles sugar', increasing insulin production by 20%, reports daily mail.

Splenda can modify how the body handles sugar and could lead to diabetes, according to a new study.
Scientists found that consuming the sugar alternative made of sucralose caused a person's sugar levels to peak at a higher level and in turn increase the amount of insulin a person produced. Researchers said that while they did not fully understand the implications of the findings, they might suggest that Splenda could raise the risk of diabetes.

This is because regularly elevated insulin levels can lead to insulin resistance, which is a known path to type 2 diabetes.

Research has shown that healthy behaviors are associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia, but less is known about the potential link between positive lifestyle choices and milder memory complaints, especially those that occur earlier in life and could be the first indicators of later problems. 

To examine the impact of these lifestyle choices on memory throughout adult life, UCLA researchers and the Gallup organization collaborated on a nationwide poll of more than 18,500 individuals between the ages of 18 and 99. Respondents were surveyed about both their memory and their health behaviors, including whether they smoked, how much they exercised and how healthy their diet was.

mother-babyThe UWS School of Medicine researchers also found the longer a woman breastfed, the lower her odds of developing high blood pressure before the age of 64.

The published study is featured as the Editor's Choice in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology(opens in new window) , an international peer-reviewed scientific journal.

The researchers investigated the relationship between breastfeeding history and the prevalence of high blood pressure in 74,785 Australian women who were aged 45 years and over.

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