Medical notes

More evidence that your mother was right all along: breakfast is the most important meal of the day, researchers have proved. Again. Not only will you feel better by eating a breakfast, but you will be a third less likely to become obese, as well as less likely to develop diabetes or have a heart attack. But we are not talking about a trip to the greasy spoon. The best benefits come from eating whole-grain cereals, the researchers from Harvard Medical School found.

Although the benefits of green tea are widely touted, new evidence has discounted its role in treating people with prostate cancer. Laboratory studies on mice with prostate cancer had shown that the tea decreased the size of the tumour and slowed its spread. Other studies had indicated that green tea was a good way of avoiding prostate cancer, which affects mostly older men. But the American researchers showed that, even in relatively high doses, green tea has no positive impact on people with prostate cancer.

Aspirin, which is widely used as a prophylactic against heart attacks (for its blood-thinning properties), can bring other benefits. Italian scientists have claimed that regular use can cut the risk of several types of cancer, including mouth, throat and gullet cancer by up to two-thirds after five years regular use.

The Department of Health is urging more Asian people to carry donor cards with a new advertising campaign. It is warning that people of Asian origin are three times as likely to develop conditions that lead to kidney failure, and that the chances of a successful transplant are greatly increased if both the donor and recipient are of the same ethnic group - but there are not enough Asian people on the organ-donor register. The Muslim Law Council has said that it is acceptable to donate and accept transplants. Other major Asian religions, such as Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism, support the individual's right to choose.

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