Medical notes

· Fresh vegetables grown out of season are in some cases so laden with chemicals it would be more healthy to go for the frozen versions. Some winter crops - including broccoli - test up to seven times higher for nitrates than their frozen equivalents grown in the summer, says the Austrian consumer's association. And if you really want to get the most out of your greens, eat raw broccoli. Chewing it raw can help prevent cancer - cooking it wastes the potential benefits. US scientists found that the vegetable releases a powerful antioxidant when crushed. However, according to the researchers from the University of Illinois, cooking destroys the enzyme that produces them.

· A preventative treatment for the migraines that many women suffer while having their period could be in the pipeline. Neurologists in Philadelphia found that women who regularly experienced menstrually associated migraines didn't when they had taken the drug beforehand. Those who were given a placebo on the trial did. Frovatriptan succinate, which works by reducing the swelling in the brain, has been prescribed for acute migraines in America for a while and it is due to be lisensed in the UK shortly. "Menstrually associated migraines can last for days. Hormonal changes trigger these headaches, which are often long in duration and especially difficult to treat," said Stephen Silberstein, professor of neurology at Jefferson Medical College.

· Doctors exhibit higher levels of psychological disturbance than people in other professional occupations, according to a report in the British Medical Journal. The health problems ranged from anxiety through emotional exhaustion to clinical depression, substance misuse and suicide. Depression, alcoholism and anxiety disorders were the most common. The report argues that a mental health needs assessment should be conducted urgently across the profession. "We owe a duty of care to our colleagues. At present we are letting them down," it concludes.

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