Health Features

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

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.
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? 
Dr Justine Butler explains why fish oils are not the best choice.                                                                                                                                                                      
Do we need fish oils for health or have we been sold down the line? In a new scientific report, the VVF has examined the health claims for fish and unearthed the research that the fish industry would rather ignore. The evidence clearly shows that plant-based oils are much safer and healthier, for our health and the environment.