Saturday May 25, 2019

‘Drink Free Days’ May Reduce Cancer Risks Among Middle Aged People: Study

A large global study by Lancet showed that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption, even though the risks associated with one glass a day were small.

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Alcohol, drink
Middle-aged adults must have 'drink-free' days for healthy body. Pixabay

Concerned over the negative health effects of alcohol intake on middle-aged adults, a new campaign has urged people between the ages of 45 and 65 to have regular “drink-free” days, that can help reduce the chance of cancer and weight gain.

The suggestions from Public Health England (PHE) — a government agency for preventing ill health — are part of a newly launched campaign ‘ Drink Free Days ‘ — a partnership between PHE and the alcohol education charity Drinkaware.

“Having a day off drinking gives you a chance to clean your system and gives your liver a rest. It also has an immediate impact on your sleep and calorie consumption,” Julia Verne, a spokeswoman on liver disease for Public Health England, was quoted as saying by the BBC.

“People have also told us that the idea of a ‘ drink free days ‘ is much easier to manage than cutting down, say, from one large glass of wine to a small glass of wine.”

 

Drink Free Days
Ovarian Reserve in women increases by drinking wine once a week. Pixabay.

 

According to a survey — YouGov poll by PHE and Drinkaware — that examined nearly 9,000 adults aged 18 to 85, one in five were drinking more than the government’s 14 unit-a-week guidelines.

And two-thirds said they would find cutting down on their drinking harder to do than improving their diet, exercising more or reducing their smoking.

Verne said: “Most middle-aged people are not drinking to become drunk. They see it as a social activity, or as a reward for success or compensation for a hard day at work. It has become a habit and part of their lives.

“But the more you drink, the more you increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart and liver disease and cancer,” she said.

“Ultimately you are more likely to cut down if you have some days off drinking,” she added.

drink free days
the more you drink, the more you increase your risk of high blood pressure. Pixabay.

She also pointed out that many people in this demographic were struggling with their weight, and that they did not realise how many calories were contained in alcohol.

Also Read: Teens Drinking Regularly Face Worse Alcohol Problems Than Adults

The researchers urged people to consider that alcohol contains a lot of calories, the report noted.

Recently, a large global study by Lancet showed that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption, even though the risks associated with one glass a day were small. (IANS)

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East African Countries Set to Ban Skin-Lightening Products Containing Hydroquinone

If bans are not backed by enforcement, they will have little effect on the use of the high demand skin-lightening products, despite the risk to health

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skin-lightening products
FILE - Aranmolate Ayobami, plastic surgeon at Grandville Medical and Laser clinic in Lagos, holds a tube of Skinlite a skin lightening product used at his clinic, on July 17, 2018, in Lagos, Nigeria. VOA

East African countries are set to ban skin-lightening products that contain hydroquinone, a medical agent linked to health problems when used in high concentrations. The East African Legislative Assembly last week passed a resolution calling for a region-wide ban on the manufacturing and importation of products containing hydroquinone.

At a beauty parlor in Arusha, 52-year-old Rose Mselle has been using skin-bleaching products since she was a teenager. She says women like her want to be beautiful. “And in the process of looking for beauty, or for our skin color to shine, we use things that we shouldn’t,” she added.

At a nearby market, 32-year-old clothing vendor Janet Jonijosefu used skin-lightening products that contain hydroquinone, a medical agent used to treat dark spots, for years. She stopped after her skin became fragile.

She said the beauty products containing hydroquinone badly affected her skin. She started developing patches on her face. She went to the doctor and was advised to stop using products containing hydroquinone and instead use aloe vera.

skin-lightening products
FILE – A shop sells skin-lightening products in Accra, Ghana, on July 3, 2018. VOA

Skin-lightening products often use high concentrations of hydroquinone, which can cause skin problems or become toxic when mixed with other bleaching chemicals.

Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Africa ban or regulate the agent in cosmetics. Tanzania bars imports. The East African Legislative Assembly last week passed a resolution on a region-wide ban of hydroquinone’s manufacture and importation.

Suzan Nakawuki, a member of the regional assembly from Uganda, noted that hydroquinone is not only used by women but also men. “We have seen men bleaching seriously even more than women,” she said. “But it’s becoming a problem. If we don’t regulate it, it is going to become very problematic.”

When used medically, hydroquinone can be an effective treatment for skin discoloration. Some East African lawmakers spoke out against a blanket ban. Aden Abdikadir, a lawmaker from Kenya, said he is concerned a blanket ban will cause “serious trade disruption” for cosmetics.

skin-lightening products
If bans are not backed by enforcement, they will have little effect on the use of the high demand skin-lightening products, despite the risk to health. Wikimedia Commons

If signed by heads of state, the ban becomes law in all six East African Community states, which include Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

Critics point out bans on hydroquinone have failed to stop smuggled products from being sold openly. Cosmetics labeled as having hydroquinone are on display at shops in Arusha.

If bans are not backed by enforcement, they will have little effect on the use of the high demand skin-lightening products, despite the risk to health. (VOA)