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Sunshine could benefit health and prolong life, study suggests

Exposing skin to sunlight may help to reduce blood pressure, cut the risk of heart attack and stroke – and even prolong life, a study suggests.

Researchers have shown that when our skin is exposed to the sun's rays, a compound is released in our blood vessels that help lower blood pressure.

The findings suggest that exposure to sunlight improves health overall, because the benefits of reducing blood pressure far outweigh the risk of developing skin cancer.

Young children who suffer from allergy to raw egg are being fed cake containing baked egg in a new study aimed at helping children to outgrow their allergy.

 "Egg allergy is the most common food allergy in Australia, affecting 9% of young children," says University of Adelaide PhD student Merryn Netting, from the Women's and Children's Health Research Institute (WCHRI).

 Ms Netting, who is based at the Women's and Children's Hospital, has 20 years' experience as a paediatric dietitian.

dark chocolateGood news for chocolate lovers. New research from Swinburne University of Technology has found that the polyphenols in dark chocolate increase calmness and contentedness.

Polyphenols are found naturally in plants and are a basic component of the human diet. These compounds have been shown to reduce oxidative stress which is associated with many diseases.

Many of today's school teachers opt for dustless chalk to keep hands and classrooms clean. But according to a study published in the May issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), this choice in chalk may cause allergy and asthma symptoms in students that have a milk allergy.

Casein, a milk protein, is often used in low-powder chalk. When milk allergic children inhale chalk particles containing casein, life-threatening asthma attacks and other respiratory issues can occur.

Eating oily fish while avoiding red meat can help prevent memory loss in later life, a study suggests.

People who adhere to a Mediterranean-style diet are 19 per cent less likely to encounter problems with their thinking and memory skills by their sixties.

Eating foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, such as fish, chicken and salad dressing, and limiting the amount of red meat, saturated fats and dairy products we consume could help ward off conditions like dementia, researchers said.

Overconsumption of alcohol creates a different kind of liver damage that affects key organ functions 

wineLong after a hangover, a night of bad decisions might take a bigger toll on the body than previously understood. Described in the current issue ofAlcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, a study at the University of Missouri has revealed a unique connection between binge drinking and the risk for developing alcoholic liver disease and a variety of other health problems.

"In our research, we found that binge drinking has a profound effect on the liver in various modes of alcohol exposure," said Shivendra Shukla, PhD, Margaret Proctor Mulligan Professor at the University of Missouri School of Medicine and corresponding author of the study.

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