Chrissy Teigen: 'Eating PLACENTA prevented postpartum depression'

The 32-year-old, who gave birth for the second time to son Miles Theodore in May, told CBS that she felt much happier this time, and she puts it down to eating her own organ.   

However, scientists insist there is little evidence to back the fad, though there are plenty of risks. 

Last fall, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report that a newborn developed life-threatening blood poisoning passed on from its mother when she took bacteria-contaminated pills.

Weeks later, researchers at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, published research showing it had absolutely no impact on a mother's mental health.

The 32-year-old, who gave birth for the second time to son Miles Theodore (left) in May, told CBS that she felt much happier this time, and she puts it down to eating her own organ

Mad Men actress January Jones credits placenta pills for giving her energy after the birth of her son Xander Dane in 2011. 

Alicia Silverstone, best known for her role in Clueless, took placenta capsules after having her son Bear Blue in 2011, calling them 'happy pills'.

In 2013, Playboy model and Hugh Hefner's ex-girlfriend Holly Madison wrote on her blog saying she was planning on taking placenta pills after the birth of her daughter Rainbow. 

After baby number three, Kourtney Kardashian described her placenta pills as 'life changing'. 

Ex-Atomic Kitten star Natasha Hamilton said taking placenta pills 'was the best money I ever spent' after having her fourth child.  

Supporters of the practice often claim the organ contains valuable vitamins and hormones that could prevent postpartum depression.

Researchers from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, analyzed 12 women who took placenta capsules and 15 who had placebo pills after giving birth. 

They investigated the placenta capsules' health effects, including their ability to prevent postpartum depression.

The findings were published in the journal Women and Birth. 

Results reveal placenta capsules do not decrease a new mother's risk of postpartum depression.  

Study author Professor Daniel Benyshek, said: 'Our results might be seen as proof that placentophagy doesn't "really work" because we did not find the type of clear, robust differences in maternal hormone levels or postpartum mood between the placenta group and placebo group that these types of studies are designed to detect.'

Yet the findings did show consuming the placenta influences women's hormones, which could potentially have some benefits.   

Lead author Dr Sharon Young said: 'While the study doesn't provide firm support for or against the claims about the benefits of placentophagy, it does shed light on this much debated topic by providing the first results from a clinical trial specifically testing the impact of placenta supplements on postpartum hormones, mood, and energy.

'What we have uncovered are interesting areas for future exploration, such as small impacts on hormone levels for women taking placenta capsules, and small improvements in mood and fatigue in the placenta group.' 

Chrissy and husband John Legend now have two children, Luna and Miles

Earlier in 2017, the Medical University of Vienna published research showing the placenta contains insufficient levels of nutrients, such as zinc, iron and selenium, to benefit women's health.

It may also accumulate heavy metals, which could cause seizures and life-threatening complications if ingested, according to the researchers.

Study author Dr Alex Farr said: 'Medically speaking, the placenta is a waste product. 

'Most mammals eat the placenta after birth, but we can only guess why they do so. 

'After the placenta is genetically part of the newborn, eating the placenta borders on cannibalism.' 

The placenta is most commonly consumed in capsule form, but can be eaten raw, cooked, dehydrated or in smoothies. 

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September 14, 2018

Sources: Daily Mail

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	NHS documentary reveals the tragic stories of patients on an overstretched brain unit

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    1 January 17, 2019
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    1 January 17, 2019
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	Almost a QUARTER of antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary

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We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 January 17, 2019
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    1 January 16, 2019
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I was saying "I'll never have kids, it's all over. I don't know what to do".</p><p>Doctors didn't confirm that Miss Hodson couldn't have children. </p><p>But, due to the condition affecting fertility for many sufferers, Miss Hodson feared she would never have children.</p><p>She did pregnancy tests regularly, hoping her missed or light periods were due to pregnancy and not PCOS. </p><p>But after over a year of trying, the couple decided to discuss fertility treatment.  </p><p>'They said to start the fertility medication I had to lose weight first before they could put me on it.'</p><p>It is unclear if Miss Hodson was undergoing fertility treatment on the NHS or privately.  </p><p>National guidelines say women under 40 should be offered three cycles of IVF on the NHS if they have been trying to have a baby for two years.</p><p>But local health chiefs, responsible for funding fertility services for regions, can set criteria for who is eligible for IVF treatment. Some CCGs, as they are known, have previously limited treatment to women whose BMI is under 30. </p><p>Miss Hodgson cut out lunches from Greggs, chocolate bars, cakes, sweets and pasta dinners for homemade stews, fruit and sandwiches over a period of eight months.</p><p>People with PCOS have difficulty losing weight, making it more of a challenge for Ms Hodson. </p><p>She said: 'If there was a low sugar or salt version of what I wanted to buy then I'd have that instead of the normal one.</p><p>'I eat a lot more home-cooked meals whereas before I was eating a lot of microwave meals.' </p><p>The night before she was to begin fertility treatment, Miss Hodson took a pregnancy test on the off-chance.</p><p>Miss Hodson and Mr Gwilt had discussions about fertility treatment with doctors, but Miss Hodson would have to lose weight first. She lost 9.5kg (21lbs) in eight months</p><p>Miss Hodson and her partner, Mr Gwilt, couldn't believe their eyes when a pregnancy test showed positive after so many failed tests </p><p>Miss Hodson was delighted when Joel Gwilt was born on August 12 2018</p><p>PCOS is most common in women who are overweight and demonstrate insulin resistance.</p><p>Insulin resistance is when the body's tissues doesn’t respond to the normal level of insulin, and so the body needs to produce extra to compensate.</p><p>This excess insulin can increase the production and activity of male hormones.</p><p>Most women with PCOS crave sugary foods, even after eating meals. This is due to increases in insulin. </p><p>These can lead to symptoms which vary greatly from woman to woman, including excessive body hair, irregular or infrequent menstruation, problems getting pregnant (infertility), weight gain, and skin problems.</p><p>Eating less sugar results in lower blood glucose levels. This decreases insulin levels, and reduces male hormone levels, according to the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute.</p><p>Zita West, a fertility expert and nutrition advisor said: 'If we have too much insulin in our system too frequently, the insulin receptors in the body (some of which are on the ovaries) begin to desensitize, creating a condition called insulin resistance.</p><p>'This is a major risk factor for PCOS and may even directly cause damage to the woman's eggs.</p><p>'Sugar is empty calories that cause weight gain, which converts to fat and ages sperm and egg cells.</p><p>'So keeping blood sugar under control is essential for optimizing the chances of pregnancy, whether through IVF or naturally.'  </p><p>She said: 'I was so shocked I just stood there and I thought "oh my god, it's finally happened, I'm pregnant".</p><p>'I ran into my living room and said to my partner, "look, look at this, is that a plus? It looks like a plus to me, is that a plus?".</p><p>'He didn't know because it was really faint, so we took another one. I was so happy. I was honestly so over the moon with it.</p><p>'But I was scared at the same time because it was whether it was actually happening. </p><p>'They say with PCOS, you can have problems with the pregnancies. </p><p>'I was scared that while I had had the chance of being pregnant, will I have the chance of having my baby?'</p><p>Despite her concerns, Miss Hodson rang the clinic in which she was about to receive her fertility treatment and said she no longer needed to go.  </p><p>'As soon as I got off the phone with them I rang my doctors and said can I get an appointment now just to check everything is fine,' she said.</p><p>'They booked me in for a scan and said, "yep, 100 per cent pregnant".</p><p>'I worked hard to keep the weight down while I was pregnant and I went for regular weight checks at the doctors' too.' </p><p>PCOS is a hormonal condition whereby women have undeveloped follicles on the ovaries as well as blood sugar level problems and increased insulin resistance.</p><p>This, according to London fertility expert Zita West, is a major risk to fertility, and keeping blood sugar levels controlled would optimize chances of conceiving. </p><p>Miss Hodson was delighted when Joel was born on August 12 2018, weighing 8lb 13oz. </p><p>Miss Hodson believes cutting the 'junk food at every meal' helped her to conceive naturally.  </p><p>She said: 'It was just convenient because I had to be at work for 9am and I was getting back at 5pm and at that point I was so tired I couldn't be bothered to cook a proper meal.</p><p>'It would just be two minutes in the microwave and that would do.</p><p>'Because we were trying and because I had polycystic ovaries anyway, every time I didn't get a period I would take a pregnancy test on the off chance it had worked that time.</p><p>'For nearly two years, taking a pregnancy test every couple of months it really gets you down.'  </p><p>Miss Hodson is advising women to go to the doctors if they have painful periods, wishing she had done so all those years ago.</p><p>She said: 'I wish now I'd sought out help earlier, because I had painful periods even in my teenage years. It was really and I should have got it looked at then.</p><p>'They would have picked it up them. I would have been more prepared instead of getting that shock when I wanted a baby.</p><p>'Before they get diagnosed, half the time women just pass [PCOS] off as a painful period and think there's nothing wrong. I would say go with your gut instinct, get yourself checked out first.</p><p>'Sometimes the weight loss does help. In my case it did. But it doesn't work for everybody.  </p><p>'It took a couple of hours, once I was back home, for it to sink in. This was my son - he was finally here. I have him for the rest of my life now. It's amazing.' </p><p>Research has shown fertility treatment is less successful for obese women and experts have warned being overweight is known to affect IVF conception, pregnancy and birth.</p><p>NHS guidelines say women with a BMI of over 30 will find it more difficult to conceive, and a study published in 2012 found having a high BMI could adversely affect the quality of women's eggs.</p><p>Healthy eggs have one spindle attached to a set of chromosomes. But the researchers found obese women were more likely to have eggs with multiple spindles and disorganised chromosomes.</p><p>A study published in November last year reiterated the findings, showing that the eggs of overweight women – who have a BMI of over 25 – were smaller and had a different biochemistry from the eggs of healthy weight women.</p><p>This jeopardises the chance of a successful pregnancy.</p><p>Royal College of Midwives advise that overweight women undergoing IVF are almost twice as likely to miscarry.</p><p>The IVF procedure itself is more difficult if the woman is overweight, according to the Advanced Fertility Centre for Chicago.</p><p>When a woman is significantly overweight, the ovaries are pushed up high, away from the top of the vagina.</p><p>This means it is more difficult to inject the needles into the follicles to get the eggs out.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 January 16, 2019
  • 
	Catholics told to keep their hands to themselves amid rampant flu outbreak in the US

    Catholics told to keep their hands to themselves amid rampant flu outbreak in the US

    s during Mass to stop the rampant spread of flu that has struck seven million Americans already this winter. </p><p>The Archdiocese of Santa Fe has advised Catholics displaying symptoms of the flu to watch Sunday Mass on their TV. </p><p>Only the consecrated bread will be given during the Holy Communion - without the chalice of wine that is shared among churchgoers.  </p><p>Catholics have been told to keep their hands to themselves to stop the rampant spread of flu that has struck seven million Americans so far</p><p>This year, 90 percent of flu cases tested by the CDC are H1N1, the same strain that caused the swine flu epidemic in 2009. Rates are high in 19 states and New York City</p><p>'It is not a sin to miss Mass on Sundays if you are ill,' the archdiocese said in a statement. </p><p>They also said that during the Sign of Peace, instead of shaking hands or hugging, as is practiced in some parishes, it would be best to simply nod your head and avoid bodily contact. </p><p>Soap or anti-bacterial gel should be used before and after administering Holy Communion. </p><p>'When praying the Our Father, please do not hold hands,' it said. 'Simply extend your hands toward Heaven or fold your hands.</p><p>'Please note the reason for these directives is to limit the spread of influenza and to save lives.</p><p>'These directives will be revoked when the situation improves.'</p><p>The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu vaccine.</p><p>While there are many different flu viruses, flu vaccines protect against the three or four viruses that research suggests will be most common. </p><p>Three-component vaccines contain an H3N2, an H1N1 and a B virus. Four component vaccines have an additional B virus component.</p><p>Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalisations - around 70,000-80,000 have been hospitalised so far.</p><p>Flu vaccination also has been shown to significantly reduce a child’s risk of dying from influenza.</p><p>People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older.</p><p>But it is recommended anyone over the age of six months old should be vaccinated.</p><p>If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.</p><p>If you get sick with flu, antiviral drugs can be used to treat your illness.</p><p>Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. </p><p>The statement comes just a few days after The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) warned that flu activity had 'sharply increased' and is now widespread in New Mexico.</p><p>The flu has already taken the lives of four over 50s as of December. During last year's flu season, New Mexico had more than 280 influenza and pneumonia-related deaths. </p><p>Diocese of Allentown in Pennsylvania also advised similar measures, in light of being listed as a state with widespread flu activity by the CDC.</p><p>Exchange of the sign of peace and the drinking wine from the chalice during Holy Communion would be stopped in its 84 parishes.</p><p>'This suspension will begin with the Vigil and Sunday Masses the weekend of January 12-13, and will be in effect until the incidence of influenza subsides in our region,' that statement said. </p><p>Up to 7.3million Americans have been sickened with the flu so far this season, according to the latest CDC estimates.</p><p>'As flu infections increase across the state, it is important to get vaccinated if you haven't already received the flu vaccine this season', said the NMDOH Secretary Lynn Gallagher. </p><p>'The flu vaccine is the best way for you to protect yourself and your families, especially young children and elderly family members.' </p><p>The NMDOH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccine.</p><p>The measures to avoid touching were also forced upon Catholics last year in Maine during the killer flu outbreak. </p><p>The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, which covers the entire state of Maine, warned priests to be 'cautious not to touch the tongue or the hand of the communicant'. </p><p>Figures confirm the strain circulating widely this year (H1N1), while serious, is nowhere near as threatening as H3N2 last year.  </p><p>The number of states reporting widespread activity increased to 30 from 24 states, the CDC said on January 11, with 15 states and New York City continue to experience 'high flu activity'. </p><p>The latest estimates show at least 13 children have died. The CDC does not update data on adult deaths. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 January 16, 2019
  • 
	Victims of the tainted blood scandal will be allowed to give evidence anonymously

    Victims of the tainted blood scandal will be allowed to give evidence anonymously

    en allowed to keep their identity hidden in a public inquiry of this kind.</p><p>Around 7,500 people were affected by the NHS blunder which saw them get blood transplants from people infected with HIV and hepatitis C.</p><p>At least 2,500 of these people are believed to have died already – the crisis happened at a time when HIV could not be easily treated.</p><p>At least 7,500 people were infected with HIV or hepatitis C after being given infected blood or plasma transfusions which had been donated by prostitutes, prisoners and drug users in the 1970s and 1980s (stock image)</p><p>A public inquiry will be launched in April into why and how people became infected, how it affected their and their families' lives, and whether there was a cover-up.</p><p>Thousands more people may have become infected with HIV or hepatitis by the blood transfusions – some of which came from prisoners in the US – without knowing.</p><p>Patients involved in the scandal will be able to provide evidence in the inquiry without revealing who they are.</p><p>This will help them to avoid making it public they have deadly, contagious viruses in what is expected to be a high-profile investigation. </p><p>There is still stigma surrounding HIV and other diseases which can be spread through sex, meaning people could be reluctant to publicly speak out.</p><p>Victims will instead give their evidence and tell their stories through three trained 'intermediaries'.  </p><p>Chair of the inquiry, Sir Brian Langstaff, a former high court judge, said: 'The work of these intermediaries will be especially appropriate for anyone who does not wish to take the time to give a full detailed written account or who may find that process too upsetting for all sorts of reasons. </p><p>'It would be a pity if what they had to say remained unheard and I wanted the Inquiry’s processes to enable them to be heard, despite those difficulties.' </p><p>Prime Minister Theresa May ordered the inquiry in 2017 when she said what had happened was 'appalling'.</p><p>Mrs May said at the time: '‘Thousands of patients expected the world-class care our NHS is famous for, but they were failed.</p><p>'While this Government has invested record amounts to support the victims, they have been denied those answers for too long and I want to put that right.’</p><p>The contaminated blood scandal happened when the NHS gave seriously ill patients blood or plasma transfusions which were infected with HIV.</p><p>Blood clotting agent Factor VIII began to be used as a treatment for patients including those with haemophilia, a condition which stops the blood clotting.</p><p>Because Britain was struggling to keep up with demand, it imported supplies of Factor VIII from the US, where people were paid to donate it.</p><p>It later turned out that among the donors were prisoners, prostitutes and drug users who were infected with HIV – which was unknown at the time.</p><p>In the 1980s the health service began heating samples to kill bacteria and viruses but thousands of people had already been infected.</p><p>Many have since died or lived for decades with debilitating illness.</p><p>Sir Brian Langstaff has warned predictions that up to 25,000 people were affected by the scandal could be proved right during his two-year-inquiry.</p><p>The contaminated blood scandal is regarded as the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.</p><p>More than 7,500 patients were infected with HIV and hepatitis after being given contaminated blood by the NHS in the 1970s and 1980s.</p><p>Victims include patients with the blood clotting disorder haemophilia, mothers who needed blood transfusions following childbirth or patients who required them after major surgery.</p><p>A shortage of a blood clotting treatment, Factor VIII, meant that much of the blood had been imported from prison inmates in the US who were paid for their donations.</p><p>Many were drug addicts, alcoholics or prostitutes suffering from serious illnesses, and their blood had not been treated to destroy any viruses before being used in Britain.</p><p>By the mid-1980s, the blood was being heat-treated to kill viruses, but patients had already been infected. Wholesale screening of blood products only began in 1991.</p><p>The Daily Mail campaigned for nearly 30 years for justice for the victims before Theresa May announced in July 2017 that there would be a full inquiry into what she called an ‘appalling tragedy’.</p><p>It aims to determine whether members of the Government covered up the scandal as campaigners say senior Department of Health officials knew the blood was contaminated even while it was still being given to patients.</p><p>The judge chairing the public inquiry, which starts next April and is expected to last two years, warned the scandal could be far more wide-reaching.</p><p>Sir Brian Langstaff said estimates that up to 25,000 patients were affected ‘may prove right’ - with thousands potentially still unaware they are infected.</p><p>Up to 2,800 patients have since died and many others remain very seriously ill.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 January 16, 2019
  • 
	Ebola death toll tops 400 in Democratic Republic of Congo

    Ebola death toll tops 400 in Democratic Republic of Congo

    ere have been 658 cases of the killer virus since the epidemic began last August.</p><p>The figures come amid fears the outbreak in the DRC could get even worse because of political instability following a presidential election.</p><p>Aid workers on the ground have warned the outbreak of the virus - one of the most lethal known to science - is expected to rage on until the middle of the year.</p><p>Health authorities in the African nation yesterday revealed there have been 658 cases of the killer virus since the epidemic began last August</p><p>A bulletin posted yesterday by the Health Ministry in the DRC stated there have been 609 confirmed Ebola cases so far. Another 49 are under investigation.</p><p>The outbreak has so far struck hardest in the eastern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri - which border South Sudan, Uganda and Rwanda. It has yet to spread further.</p><p>Officials revealed the number of cases of the lethal virus in Beni, a city home to around 230,000 people, is falling.</p><p>The ministry has not reported any new cases this week in the city, situated in a region caught up in violence blamed on Islamist rebels from Uganda.</p><p>Armed rebels have attacked, kidnapped and killed medical staff trying to combat the outbreak and equipment has been destroyed, making it difficult to help victims.</p><p>Tracking suspected contacts of Ebola victims is also challenging in areas controlled by dangerous rebels, officials have said repeatedly.</p><p>A team of medical workers are seen putting on their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) ahead of entering an Ebola Treatment Centre run by The Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA) on August 11, 2018 in Beni, northeastern DRC</p><p>At least 361 people are believed to have died in the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – an unusual number of children were dying of the virus last autumn, when experts realised they were contracting it when visiting medical centres</p><p>A presidential election in December caused protests across the Democratic Republic of the Congo (pictured, protestors in Kinshasa, the country's capital). In the north-east province of North Kivu, where the Ebola outbreak is raging, people have fled to Uganda to escape violence </p><p>Unrest and violence has made the current Ebola outbreak difficult to control because people have attacked and kidnapped health workers and others have fled their homes, making it hard to track the spread of the virus (pictured, police officers guard a polling station in the capital of Kinshasa, which has so far remained untouched by Ebola)</p><p>The breakout is the second largest in history, after the 2014 West Africa Ebola epidemic that lasted for two years, infecting 28,000 and killing more than 11,300.</p><p>As well as fears Ebola will spread into other regions of DRC, the neighbouring countries of Uganda and South Sudan are on high alert.</p><p>Health workers in those countries have been given vaccines against the virus to try and prevent it spreading via people who travel across the borders.</p><p>Ebola can be transmitted between humans through blood and other bodily fluids of people who have been infected, and by touching infected surfaces.</p><p>Tensions have been high in the DRC because of a presidential election which was supposed to mark end of a chaotic 18 years of ruling by Joseph Kabila.</p><p>The government cancelled the election in some regions because of insecurity.</p><p>In response, protestors attacked an Ebola treatment centre which contained patients thought to have been infected.</p><p>Politician Felix Tshisekedi was unexpectedly declared the election winner,  leading to claims of fraud and calls for a recount from his main rival.</p><p>Monitoring groups noted widespread irregularities including faulty voting machines and poorly run polling stations, according to reports. </p><p>The new outbreak is the DRC’s ninth since the discovery of Ebola in the country in 1976.</p><p>Health experts credit an awareness of the disease among the population and local medical staff's experience treating for past successes containing its spread.</p><p>DRC’s vast, remote geography also gives it an advantage, as outbreaks are often localised and relatively easy to isolate.</p><p>Ebola, a haemorrhagic fever, killed at least 11,000 across the world after it decimated West Africa and spread rapidly over the space of two years.</p><p>That epidemic was officially declared over back in January 2016, when Liberia was announced to be Ebola-free by the WHO.</p><p>The country, rocked by back-to-back civil wars that ended in 2003, was hit the hardest by the fever, with 40 per cent of the deaths having occurred there.</p><p>Sierra Leone reported the highest number of Ebola cases, with nearly of all those infected having been residents of the nation.</p><p>An analysis, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found the outbreak began in Guinea - which neighbours Liberia and Sierra Leone.</p><p>A team of international researchers were able to trace the epidemic back to a two-year-old boy in Meliandou - about 400 miles (650km) from the capital, Conakry.</p><p>Emile Ouamouno, known more commonly as Patient Zero, may have contracted the deadly virus by playing with bats in a hollow tree, a study suggested.</p><p>Figures show nearly 29,000 people were infected from Ebola - meaning the virus killed around 40 per cent of those it struck.</p><p>Cases and deaths were also reported in Nigeria, Mali and the US - but on a much smaller scale, with 15 fatalities between the three nations.</p><p>Health officials in Guinea reported a mysterious bug in the south-eastern regions of the country before the WHO confirmed it was Ebola. </p><p>Ebola was first identified by scientists in 1976, but the most recent outbreak dwarfed all other ones recorded in history, figures show.</p><p>Scientists believe Ebola is most often passed to humans by fruit bats, but antelope, porcupines, gorillas and chimpanzees could also be to blame.</p><p>It can be transmitted between humans through blood, secretions and other bodily fluids of people - and surfaces - that have been infected.</p><p>The WHO warns that there is 'no proven treatment' for Ebola - but dozens of drugs and jabs are being tested in case of a similarly devastating outbreak.</p><p>Hope exists though, after an experimental vaccine, called rVSV-ZEBOV, protected nearly 6,000 people. The results were published in The Lancet journal. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 January 16, 2019
  • 
	Drinking green tea for its health benefits? Stop using tap water and use bottled water only

    Drinking green tea for its health benefits? Stop using tap water and use bottled water only

    eap its health benefits, scientists have said.</p><p>The result is a tea with almost double the amount of the antioxidants, according to a study by Cornell University.</p><p>However, if you're drinking green tea for taste, tap water will yield the best cup, ensuring it's not too bitter.</p><p>EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) is a natural antioxidants found in green tea, shown to be beneficial for the brain and heart in studies.</p><p>Celebrities including Jennifer Aniston and Lady Gaga are said have said to use the Asian brew for weight loss, energy and stress control. </p><p>It's best to brew green tea in bottled water instead of tap water to reap the benefits of ECGC - the antioxidant - scientists at Cornell's Sensory Evaluation Center have said</p><p>Jennifer Aniston and Lady Gaga have previously said they are fans of green tea, using it for weight loss, stress and energy</p><p>To conduct the tests, 2.5g of green tea was weighed out into pre-warmed Gaiwan tea brewing vessel with 125ml of water at 80°C (176°F).</p><p>The green tea infusion was brewed for three minutes and then strained through a fine mesh strainer.</p><p>EGCG in the tea infusions was measured by the researchers, and around 100 tea drinkers were recruited to taste the tea.</p><p>After giving details on their normal tea drinking habits, the volunteer evaluated six cups of tea - three black, and three green.</p><p>They rated each tea sample on a scale of one to nine for how much they liked its taste and appearance.</p><p>They were also taught how to use a specific scale to measure the sweetness, bitterness, sourness and earthiness of the brews. </p><p>An anti-ageing drug may be on the horizon using the plant supplement quercetin - found in red wine, onions and green tea, research suggests.</p><p>Scientists have discovered a drug cocktail that clears senescent - or 'zombie' - cells from the body.</p><p>Senescent cells are alive but non-functioning and have been linked to everything from arthritis to Alzheimer's. </p><p>They are also thought to cause the deadly lung disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) by triggering inflammation. </p><p>Researchers gave 14 patients the cancer drug Sprycel (dasatinib) and quercetin, and they became significantly more mobile after just three weeks.</p><p>The findings, published The Lancet online journal EBioMedicine, raise hope that senolytic drugs may lead to a new way of targeting age-related disease. </p><p>Results showed levels of ECGC in the green teas were 'drastically reduced' in those brewed with boiled tap water. No effect was noticed in the black teas.</p><p>The researchers said this is because the levels of calcium, magnesium and iron are higher in tap water.</p><p>Professor Robin Dando, one of the authors of the study, said: 'Bottled water is able to extract the EGCG more efficiently.'</p><p>He added this is because calcium and magnesium have been filtered out of the 'purer' water, and iron concentration is also 'brought down a notch'. </p><p>Professor Dando added: 'With purer water, you get more health benefits out of the tea.' </p><p>Consumers liked green tea brewed using tap water more than using bottled water, because it produced a sweeter taste.</p><p>But there was hardly any difference in black tea brewed in either tap water or bottled water.  </p><p>The findings were published in the journal Nutrients.</p><p>'The average consumer for black tea isn't able to tell the difference,' said lead author Melanie Franks. </p><p>'Whether it was tap water or bottled water, the taste differences are too subtle.</p><p>'Since black tea has fewer catechins than green tea due to the oxidation process in manufacturing, the type of water used seems less important to the everyday tea drinker.'</p><p>Green tea, which originated in China and is made from Camellia sinensis leaves, is a well-researched area. </p><p>ECGC has been found to stave off or slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease in a 2015 University of Missouri study, when combined with physical activity. </p><p>But other components found in green tea - caffeine, amino acid L-theanine and other catechins have shown possible health benefits in studies. </p><p>These include lower cholesterol, a lower risk of Parkinson's and even cancer. They have also been shown to boost metabolism.  </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 January 16, 2019
  • 
	Brother and sister both battle the one-in-eight MILLION 'Benjamin Button disease'

    Brother and sister both battle the one-in-eight MILLION 'Benjamin Button disease'

    jamin Button disease'.</p><p>Michiel, 20, and Amber, 12, Vandeweert, of Diepenbeek, Belgium, suffer from the genetic condition progeria, which causes them to age eight-to-ten times too fast. </p><p>With the disorder affecting just one in every four-to-eight million people worldwide, the siblings make up two of the 155 known cases.  </p><p>Most patients die at only 12 years old, with the siblings already experiencing problems with their bones, teeth and hair.</p><p>But the pair show no signs of slowing down with Michiel loving to race on his GoKart and Amber being a keen dancer. </p><p>They have even set the goal of being the longest living progeria sufferers ever, with the current record being 26 years old. </p><p>Siblings Michiel and Amber Vandeweert both battle the incredibly rare 'Benjamin Button disease'. The condition - known as progeria - causes sufferers to age too fast and affects just one in every four-to-eight million people worldwide. They are pictured last December 1</p><p>While they endure cruel stares and comments from bullies at school, the siblings support each other through the ordeal of having such a rare disorder. Michiel enjoys being the 'big brother', with Amber being able to turn to him if she ever has a question about their shared condition</p><p>Their parents Wim and Godelieve Vandeweert (pictured with their children on December 1) were keen to expand their family after Michiel was born and were told it was almost impossible they would have another child with progeria. Amber was diagnosed at just seven weeks old </p><p>Michiel - who stands at just 4ft 1inch - said: 'Progeria has affected our hair, bones and height – just like old people. They say the rate you can get progeria is one-in-eight million, so it's extremely rare.</p><p>'They also say the life expectancy of someone with progeria is 12 years old, but we are taking medicines from America and hopefully these should extend people's lives by two years.</p><p>'Saying that, I'm now 20. So you know, that time has thankfully passed for me.'  </p><p>Progeria, also known as Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome, is an extremely rare, progressive genetic disorder that causes children to age rapidly, beginning in their first two years of life.</p><p>The name derives from the Greek word meaning 'prematurely old'.</p><p>Children with progeria generally appear normal at birth. During the first year, signs and symptoms, such as slow growth and hair loss, begin to appear.</p><p>Heart problems or strokes are the eventual cause of death in most children with progeria. </p><p>The average life expectancy for a child with progeria is about 12 years, but some with the disease die younger and some live 20 years or longer.</p><p>There's no cure for progeria, but ongoing research shows some promise for a treatment.</p><p>Michiel was diagnosed at eight months old after his parents Wim and Godelieve Vandeweert took him to a children's care centre where doctors noticed he seemed different. </p><p>Speaking after Michiel's diagnosis, Mr Vandeweert said: 'When he turned five years old, he was changing. </p><p>'Losing his hair, not getting teeth and not gaining any weight. It was a big shock for us.'</p><p>Keen to expand their family, the parents were then told it was almost impossible they would have another child with the condition. </p><p>'We always thought about having two children. But when Michiel was born, we questioned ourselves,' Mr Vandeweert said.</p><p>'You can't inherit it from your parents and so it's very unlikely to have two children with progeria. </p><p>'We knew it had happened before but with a twin from the same cell.'</p><p>When Amber was born, the parents asked doctors to run some tests just to be on the safe side. Seven weeks later, they found out she too had progeria.</p><p>'The first few days were very hard, but we had a great support system around us to help us through that time,' Mr Vandeweert said.</p><p>Michiel was diagnosed at eight months old after doctors noticed he seemed different. To be on the safe side, his parents asked doctors to test Amber for progeria shortly after she was born. Amber is pictured right with her brother as a newborn and left as a toddler  </p><p>The siblings enjoy bowling with friends and are pictured on a day out on December 1 last year</p><p>While enduring cruel stares and comments from bullies at school, the siblings are always there for each other.</p><p>'I would definitely say we're each other's best support. We both know what it's like, better than anyone,' Michiel said.</p><p>'If Amber ever has a question, she can always come to me. It's nice that I still get to be the big brother. Because if Amber didn't have progeria she would be a lot bigger than me already.'</p><p>Although they refuse to let their condition hold them back, the pair have not always found life easy.  </p><p>'Kids see that we're different,' Michiel said. 'They start to make fun of you. But I always stood my ground and never backed away.'</p><p>Amber - who is 3ft 7inches tall - added: 'Last year I had some difficulties in school – I said I wanted to be like a normal person and people bullied me because of that.</p><p>'Thankfully, that has been resolved now and school is going really well for me at the moment. They take good care of me.'</p><p>Michiel can drive and is pictured out and about in his native Belgium last December 2</p><p>Michiel is pictured left as a baby, shortly before he was diagnosed with progeria. Keen to live as a full a life as possible, the now 20-year-old used to be a DJ (seen right)</p><p>He also loves to drive his GoKart and is pictured on the tracks on December 2 last year </p><p>The siblings are also often stared at when out in public, but try to take it in their stride.</p><p>'When they stare, that's okay when they just look and go forward,' Michiel said.</p><p>'But sometimes they just keep looking, that's when it's annoying. There's a big difference between the two.'</p><p>As well as having each other, the siblings also have a large circle of supportive friends.  </p><p>'They look through the disease,' Michiel said. 'They don't see the progeria part of us. They see us and our personalities.'  </p><p>One of their close friends - Ruben Gysemberg - has been with the siblings every step of the way. </p><p>'In the beginning, it was quite weird,' he said. 'But then I got to know both Michiel and Amber – we have always treated them like everyone else.</p><p>'They both handle everything so well. They have learnt to live with it.</p><p>'We now have a really good understanding of their condition too. Because as friends, we talk about it a lot. </p><p>'When they are not feeling well, we notice this. So yeah it's really nice how close we have become.'  </p><p>Although Michiel and Amber have both experienced the ups and downs that come with having such a rare condition, they both live life to the full.</p><p>The pair regularly go bowling with friends. Michiel can also drive and used to be a DJ in his spare time.</p><p> 'I think we can both say we are very proud,' Amber said. 'You just have to be the person you want to be and embrace yourself no matter what.'</p><p>Michiel, who hopes to reach 30, added: 'We just try to live for the moment but we definitely both have more things we want to strive for.</p><p>'I am very proud to have made it to 20 years old. I think the oldest child ever with progeria was 26 – so now, I'm going to try and beat that!'</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 January 16, 2019

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