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Tuberculosis Could Grow To Pandemic Levels; Regular Milk Consumption And Earlier Death

Yale Rosen/

Tuberculosis remains in the headlines this week. 

Cases worldwide are on the rise and the World Health Organization says it could lead to pandemic levels if steps aren’t taken now to lower the numbers of people developing diabetes. Why? Diabetes weakens the immune system and triples the risk of a person developing the lung disease. The WHO reports more cases of diabetes in poorer countries where TB is already the most prevalent. The combination could lead to an increase in the spread of the disease which killed a million and a half people around the world last year. .

Consumers have heard the phrase, “Milk does a body good” but a new study released this week suggests yogurt or a slice a cheese might do it better. Researchers in Sweden followed 100 thousand people to see if there was a link between their milk consumption and bone health, and they found none. Instead their study showed that milk drinkers tended to die at a younger age than those who drank little or no milk. 

The Swedish scientists believe that might have something to do with a sugar found in milk that can cause chronic inflammation in the body if it doesn’t break down properly in the body. That same sugar is not found in yogurt or cheese. 

And what about chocolate and brain health? A new study by researchers at Columbia University in New York shows a connection between flavanols and memory. Scientists concocted a super potent mixture of cocoa flavonals and gave it to subjects ranging in age from 50-70. After three months, participants showed an improvement in age related memory loss. Dr. Scott Small led the study. He says the results show promise but it’s too soon to make radical changes in our diets. “There is general take home message that in principal diet can ameliorate age related memory decline as proof of principal, but in fact the mix we used had very high levels of flavonals that are very hard to consume or to buy or to eat."