NZ Woman's Weekly

Weekly health news


Having just one can of soft drink a day can increase the risk of getting type 2 diabetes by a fifth, scientists warn. A study of almost 30,000 people living in eight European countries found the risk of getting the disease rose by as much as 22% for every can of fizzy drink consumed per day. It’s thought this may be due to the effect sugar has on insulin resistance.

US researchers reckon clenching your fist helps with memory. A study carried out by Montclair State University found that balling up the right hand and squeezing it tightly while memorising a list gives you better recall of what’s on that list.
The key to being able to retrieve the information is then clenching the left hand while you think about what was on the list.

Women who are pregnant may want Marmite. This is because it’s rich in vitamin B12, the nutrient needed for the production of red blood cells. A deficiency can cause anaemia, which is common in pregnancy.

Vitamin B12 is needed to help release energy from food and so to prevent flagging energy levels. Not having enough B12, along with folate – found in dark green vegetables – can also increase the risk of the baby developing neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.

The foods that add up to your daily recommended amount. We reveal how to get your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of key nutrients. This week: Vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 is required for the formation of red blood cells and nerve function. It occurs naturally only in animal source foods, but can be added through fortification. Older adults with reduced levels of stomach acidity can have difficulty absorbing vitamin B12, which can result in pernicious anaemia (when levels of red blood cells are low).

Good sources include fortified breakfast cereals, dairy products and fish.
• One poached egg (0.6mcg)
• Small (35g) slice of roast beef (0.7mcg)
• Two king prawns (1.2mcg) RDA of vitamin B12 is 2.5 micrograms

There are parts of your anatomy you’ve never heard of, named after people you didn’t know existed. This week: The crypts of Lieberkühn

What are they?
The dips between the millions of tiny finger-like projections (or villi) that line the inner wall of the small intestine. They absorb nutrients from food.

Named after?
German scientist Johann Lieberkühn, born 1711, is best known for preserving medical specimens by injecting them with wax.
His collection was still being used to teach anatomy 200 years later. Johann trained as a preacher on the orders of his father, but he was so gifted at science that Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia, overturned his family’s wishes.

What can go wrong?
In people with coeliac disease, gluten triggers the immune system to release cells which attack the villi and crypts of Lieberkühn. Those who suffer from the condition can’t absorb food properly, which can lead to symptoms from diarrhoea to malnutrition.

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Sir Michael Hill's 50-year love affair

In this week's issue of New Zealand Woman's Weekly magazine, Sir Michael Hill shares the secret to his 50-year love affair.

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