ISLAMABAD – People who drink black tea are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, say researchers.A new analysis of data from 50 countries found that the nations who drank the most black tea also suffered the lowest levels of the metabolic syndrome.Further the study, published in the British Medical Journal, found that high tea consumption was related to lower levels of obesity. Scientists believe that the fermentation process, which turns green tea black, could also cause the production of complex health-giving ‘flavonoids.’They analysed consumption of black tea and the prevalence of various diseases, including type-2 diabetes.Ireland drank the most black tea, with each person consuming 2kg each a year, according to sales data. Britain and Turkey were close behind, with all three countries found to have lower levels of diabetes than others where consumption was low, including Brazil, Morocco and Mexico.However, tea drinking did not appear to have a strong association with any other diseases studied, according to the study led by Dr Ariel Beresniak from Data Mining International, in Geneva, Switzerland. Meditation can stave off cold and flu: StudyMeditation can be extremely effective at preventing winter ailments like cold and flu, according to a new research. Adults who meditated or did moderately intense exercise, such as a brisk walk, for eight weeks suffered fewer colds than those who did nothing, according to a study from the University of Wisconsin.Previous research has found that mindfulness meditation may improve mood, decrease stress, and boost immune function. Some of the earliest references to meditation are found in the Hindu Vedas. Around the 6th to 5th centuries BCE, other forms of meditation developed in Taoist China and Buddhist India.The new study divided 149 people into three groups. One performed mindful meditation, a type of meditation that essentially involves focusing the mind on the present, the Daily Mail reported.Another group jogged regularly for eight weeks while the third group did nothing. The researchers then followed the health of the volunteers through the winter from September to May, although they didn`t check whether or not people carried on exercising or meditating after the eight?week period.The participants were observed for cold and flu symptoms such as a runny nose, stuffiness, sneezing, and sore throat.Nasal wash samples were collected and analysed three days after the symptoms began. The study, found that meditators missed 76 per cent fewer days of work from September through to May than those who did nothing. Those who had exercised missed 48 per cent fewer days during this period.In addition, mindful meditation can reduce the duration or severity of acute respiratory infections such by up to 50 per cent, and exercise by up to 40 per cent. According to the website Scientific America, those who had exercised or meditated suffered for an average of five days; colds of participants in the control group lasted eight.In addition, tests confirmed that the self-reported length of colds correlated with the level of antibodies in the body, which indicate the presence of a virus.“Nothing has previously been shown to prevent acute respiratory infections,” said lead author Dr Bruce Barrett, a family medicine doctor and associate professor at the University.“A lot of previous information suggested that meditation and exercise might have prevention benefits, but no high-quality, randomised trial had been done,” Barrett said.“Flu shots are partially effective, but only work for three strains of flu each year. The apparent 40 to 50 per cent benefit of mindfulness training is a very important finding, as is the apparent 30 to 40 per cent benefit of exercise training. If this pans out in future research, the impact could be substantive indeed,” Barrett said.Protein injection holds promise for muscular dystrophy treatmentInjecting a novel human protein into muscle affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy significantly increases its size and strength, scientists have discovered. The findings could lead to a therapy akin to the use of insulin by diabetics.The study was conducted by Dr. Julia von Maltzahn and Dr. Michael Rudnicki, the Ottawa scientist who discovered muscle stem cells in adults. “This is an unprecedented and dramatic restoration in muscle strength,” said Dr. Rudnicki, a senior scientist and director for the Regenerative Medicine Program and Sprott Centre for Stem Cell Research at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.He is also a Canada Research Chair in Molecular Genetics and professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. “We know from our previous work that this protein, called Wnt7a, promotes the growth and repair of healthy muscle tissue. In this study we show the same types of improvement in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. We found that Wnt7a injections increased muscle strength almost two-fold, to nearly normal levels. We also found that the size of the muscle fibre increased and there was less muscle damage, compared to mice not given Wnt7a,” he explained.Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder that affects one of every 3,500 newborn males. In Canada, all types of muscular dystrophy affect more than 50,000 people. The disease often progresses to a state where the muscles are so depleted that the person dies due to an inability to breath. For people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, this usually happens in their 20s or 30s. “This is also exciting because we think it’s a therapeutic approach that could apply to other muscle-wasting diseases,” said Dr. Rudnicki.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 04-Feb-2013 here.