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HEALTH NOTES: Amanda Holden’s ‘tough love’ cure for the common cold

Mail on Sunday Reporter



Amanda Holden has weighed in on the antibiotics debate, saying she relies on natural ingredients to sort her sniffles.

‘We’re a family who would always go for echinacea or any kind of alternative, instead of chemicals and antibiotics,’ says the Britain’s Got Talent judge. 

‘You read all the time about people reaching for the antibiotics, but I think we all need to toughen up.’

Amanda Holden, pictured, admitted she offers her family 'tough love' when it comes to colds

Amanda Holden, pictured, admitted she offers her family ‘tough love’ when it comes to colds

However, the mother- of-two admits that she’s lucky enough to have good genes on her side. ‘I’m healthy by default,’ says Amanda, 46.

‘My mum is slim, my nan is slim and my sister is slim – plus my nan is still happy, healthy and independent, even at the age of 97!’

Mixers that dampen your Christmas spirit 

It’s the time of year when many people order a gin and tonic to kickstart their festive party. But a leading expert has urged spirit-drinkers to avoid low-calorie mixers in their tipple to prevent troublesome acid reflux.

According to Dr Anthony Hobson, consultant clinical scientist and clinical director of the Functional Gut Clinic, low-calorie mixers such as sugar-free tonics often contain artificial sweeteners. These are made up of carbohydrates which are particularly difficult for your gut to digest and may cause severe bloating.

Drinkers should consider avoiding slim-line tonics in their gin as it could leave them bloated according to Dr Anthony Hobson, consultant clinical scientist of the Functional Gut Clinic

Drinkers should consider avoiding slim-line tonics in their gin as it could leave them bloated according to Dr Anthony Hobson, consultant clinical scientist of the Functional Gut Clinic

Dr Hobson says: ‘Alcohol already has undesirable effects on the gut as it causes the muscles to relax which can lead to acid reflux. But there’s no need to avoid alcohol altogether – simply make wiser choices in order to minimise the unpleasant effects. Opt for regular mixers if you are a spirit drinker.’

Here’s a good reason to indulge in some rest and relaxation – having a sauna is good for your heart. In fact, just 30 minutes in the intense heat may have the same protective effect on the heart as aerobic exercise, according to new research in the European Journal Of Preventive Cardiology.

The study involved 102 people, with an average age of 50, who had a 30-minute session in a sauna at a temperature of 73C and a relative humidity of ten to 20 per cent.

Fifteen minutes after they left the sauna, they underwent tests led by researchers at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland. Not only did participants’ blood pressure drop, their arterial stiffness reduced, as did many other risk factors for heart disease. 

Drinking this Christmas could leave you blind

Drinking this Christmas could leave you blind

Beware of the booze this Christmas – too much could leave you blind, eye experts warn.

The familiar ‘red-eye’ effect of alcohol is well known, but new advice suggests the damage could remain long after the hangover ends. 

Toxins in alcohol reach the optic nerve, and regular drinking can lead to a host of sight problems. 

For example, the macula – the part of the eye responsible for central vision – becomes too dry, resulting in blurred vision and a loss of focus when looking straight ahead.

According to Amy Laux, clinical manager at Optical Express, alcohol-induced blindness is especially common in older drinkers, as a reduction of the metabolism means toxins are broken down more slowly, giving them more time to penetrate through the optic nerve.

Bad news for lonely hearts – singletons are a third more likely to be diagnosed with dementia. 

More than 6,000 participants aged between 52 and 90 were studied over a six-year period by the Alzheimer’s Society. Researchers found that having plenty of friends helps slash the risk of the disease by up to 60 per cent. 

Dr Doug Brown, the society’s director of research, says: ‘This study suggests that unmarried people, and people who feel lonely, have a slightly higher risk of developing dementia. There are many possible reasons for the link, including that partners might provide extra support and encourage a healthy lifestyle.’


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