Health Features

Viva! Health unravels the most recent scientific research and makes it easy to understand. Here we update you on the latest findings...

Lactose intolerance and cow’s milk allergy often get mixed up. Lactose intolerance is caused by a lack of an enzyme that helps you to digest the sugar in milk. Cow’s milk allergy, on the other hand, is an adverse immune reaction to proteins found in milk. They are completely unrelated conditions except that they share a common cause – cow’s milk and dairy products.
If pregnant crickets are exposed to a predatory wolf spider, their babies will hatch, exhibiting increased antipredator behavior and, as a consequence, improved survival from wolf spider attack. The mother cricket appears to be able to forewarn her babies about the threat when they are still inside her, so they would be pre-adapted to their external environment. This even happens in plants. If you grow two genetically identical plants – one in the sun, one in the shade – the sun-grown plant will produce seeds that grow better in the sun, and the shaded plant will produce seeds that grow better in the shade – even though they’re genetically identical. What’s happening is called epigenetics, external factors changing gene expression.
Only about one in 10,000 people live to be 100 years old. What’s their secret?                                                                                                                                                                                                          
Cow’s milk is promoted as natural, wholesome and healthy – it is none of these things! The saturated fat, animal protein, cholesterol, hormones and growth factors it contains are linked to a wide range of illnesses and disease. Aggressive marketing of milk and dairy products has resulted in confusion – people simply don’t know who to believe.
Getting enough sleep is vital for our overall health. It can reduce the risk of many common diseases, keep the brain and digestive system healthy and boost the immune system. However, around a third of us are falling short – so what can you do to get a better night’s sleep? Can any foods offer help? 
As sales of plant milks continue to soar, the dairy industry has turned its focus on iodine – trying to persuade people to drop plant milks in favour of dairy on the basis that cow’s milk contains this vital trace element.  However, there are much healthier ways to get your iodine…
The dairy industry is up in arms about plant milks, first banning the use of the word ‘milk’ to describe a milky liquid that didn’t come from anyone’s mammary glands and now crying wolf over how many deficiencies we’ll possibly suffer if we ditch dairy. The truth is, there’s a long history of plant milks and other plant drinks having been made by people over millennia. There’s certainly nothing new or unusual about us consuming them.
As more and more plant milks are popping up, you may be wondering about their health benefits and how they compare to cow's milk. Veronika Powell explores the milky landscape
If you have ever toyed with the idea of going vegan, you most probably thought (at least once) that you might not be able to live without cheese. I can relate - when I went vegan, my cheese cravings reached epic proportions and there were times I even daydreamed about cheese, as if it was a drug… 
Public Health England has just published new dietary advice recommending people halve their dairy intake and eat less meat, replacing it with beans and pulses! This is NOT an April Fools’ joke – it’s for real! 

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