Dry Mouth Disappears With Biotène

Millions of people suffer the unpleasant and damaging side effect of dry mouth. This condition arises for a number of reasons such as diabetes, Sjögren’s Syndrome, cancer and radiotherapy.

However the most common cause of dry mouth by far is as a side effect of medication – older people are more likely to suffer dry mouth as they tend to take several medications at the same time.

Dry mouth is a condition that reduces the flow of saliva to the mouth which leaves the person’s mouth feeling dry and uncomfortable. The lack of lubrication in the mouth can make talking and eating difficult. Salivary enzymes protect the delicate oral tissues and teeth from bacterial infection and atmospheric chemicals which cause oral damage. People suffering from dry mouth therefore could have an increased risk of infection.

However, many people with dry mouth do not realise that they are only ever a few minutes away from a solution. Most branches of Boots (click here for Store Locator) stock the Biotène range of dental products specifically designed for people with dry mouth. The Biotène range consists of a toothpaste, mouthwash and oral gel which are all specially formulated and clinically proven to provide dry mouth relief. Biotène has been created by the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline so you can be reassured that the product is from a name you can trust. The Biotène range can provide relief to those affected by mild, moderate or severe dry mouth.

Biotène toothpaste is a gentle and low foaming fluoride toothpaste which supplements the saliva’s natural defences and also strengthens teeth. It contains a triple enzyme complex which contains lysozyme, lactoferrin and lactoperoxidase – these enzymes are found naturally in saliva. Moisturising polymers contained in the toothpaste also provide additional comfort which gives the confidence to get on with your day and talk, eat and enjoy life without being held back by a dry mouth.

Using Biotène toothpaste not only provides relief from the feeling of dry mouth but also helps people with a dry mouth to maintain good oral hygiene, reduce the risk of cavities and in addition its mint flavoured formula helps prevent bad breath. Biotène toothpaste can be used twice a day like a regular toothpaste but can be used up to four times a day if necessary to combat the feeling of dry mouth. It is recommended that Biotène toothpaste is used in conjunction with Biotène Oralbalance Gel.

Biotène Oralbalance Gel is an easy-to-use saliva replacement gel can be used throughout the day when the mouth begins to feel dry. The gel can be discretely applied to the gums and the special formula gets to work straight away to gently increase the amount of saliva in the mouth resulting in immediate relief from a dry mouth.

Biotène Oralbalance Gel also contains the same triple enzyme complex found in the toothpaste which can supplement your saliva’s natural defences which will help maintain the oral environment and provide protection against dry mouth. The pleasant tasting gel provides long lasting relief from dry mouth and also soothes minor irritations and burning sensations thus providing protection to oral tissues.

The third and final product in the range is Biotène Moisturising Mouthwash. It contains the same triple enzyme system of lysozyme, lactoferrin and lactoperoxidase and so provides the same dry mouth relief offered by both the Biotène toothpaste and Oralbalance Gel. Unlike many alcohol-containing mouthwashes on the market which leave a burning sensation, Biotène Moisturising Mouthwash is alcohol-free meaning that it’s gentle on the delicate oral tissues and makes it pleasant to use.

The best way to combat the damaging and unpleasant effects of dry mouth is to use the above three products throughout the day as recommended below:-

Morning РBrush teeth with Biot̬ne toothpaste before breakfast. After breakfast rinse and gargle with Biot̬ne Moisturising Mouthwash.

Mealtimes РWhen finding it difficult to swallow at mealtimes, apply Biot̬ne Oralbalance Gel to lubricate your mouth before you eat. Having finished your lunch, use Biot̬ne Moisturising Mouthwash to help keep you mouth moist and comfortable.

Bedtime РUsing all three products will help keep your mouth moist during the night. First brush with Biot̬ne toothpaste for 2 minutes. Then use Biot̬ne Moisturising Mouthwash to refresh the mouth. Follow this with an application of Biot̬ne Oralbalance Gel to give you long lasting moisturisation at night by stimulating salivary glands to produce the moisture you are lacking.

There are a number of things you can do to alleviate symptoms if you suffer from dry mouth:-

  • Sip water or sugar-free drinks throughout the day
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks which tend to dry out the mouth
  • Chew sugar-free chewing gum during the day to stimulate saliva flow in the mouth
  • Tobacco has a drying effect so reduce or stop smoking
  • Try using a humidifier at night to keep the air full of moisture

Check out the Boots website or your local branch of Boots to purchase the Biotène range and see your dry mouth disappear!.

Images reproduced from biotene.eu

Common Anti-Anxiety Drugs May Increase Dementia Risk in Over 65s

New research suggests that a class of drug called benzodiazepines, commonly used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders, may increase the risk of dementia in people over the age of 65. The study of 1063 people is published online on 27 September in the British Medical Journal.

The study was carried out by a research team in France who followed up 1063 men and women over the age of 65 for 20 years. At the start of the study, none of the participants had dementia or were taking benzodiazepines. During the follow-up period, 95 participants started using benzodiazepines and 253 of the volunteers developed dementia.

Benzodiazepines are a class of drug recommended for short-term use to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. While they should only be used for a short time period, people can remain on the drugs for longer than a few weeks. Benzodiazepines can also be prescribed to people with dementia, as anxiety, depression and sleep problems can be common symptoms.

The research showed that 32% of benzodiazepine users developed dementia during the follow-up period, compared to only 23% of the non-user group. Even after the data was adjusted for potential confounding factors such as age, sex and education, the risk of dementia in those who started benzodiazepines during the study was significantly higher than those who did not.

Dr Eric Karran, Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“Long-term population studies are invaluable for helping us to understand how our environment and life-events may influence our risk of dementia, but it can be incredibly difficult to tease out the real cause behind these associations. It could be the underlying conditions that drive someone to need benzodiazepines, rather than the drugs themselves, that are the important risk factors in this case.

“While more research is needed to understand why benzodiazepines may be associated with an increased risk of dementia, the study does highlight the importance of careful drug prescription. Research is vital for helping to assess both the benefits and the potential drawbacks of drugs in different groups of people, which can have real implications for clinical practice. With 820,000 people living with dementia in the UK and those numbers increasing, it is important that we continue to invest in research to understand the risk factors of dementia.”

This material has been published with the kind permission of Alzheimer Research UK.

Should We Expect Less This Christmas?

There was a recent report done about the number of chocolates that you would be getting in a tin of Rosesâ„¢ chocolates for Christmas this year, which showed that on average, there would be two less chocolates per tin in the year of 2011. Of course, the price has not dropped and consumers are suggesting that corporations, which are trying to make themselves more money, are ripping them out of more money. However, with the current health problems our country is in, with an incredulous amount of overweight children, teens and adults across the board, is it not sensible for the levels of chocolaty, sugary goods to be reduced at the time of year where we consume the most?

Of course, two chocolates per box is not a fantastic start. If there were ten chocolates less, then perhaps it would make a real difference to a weight-gain situation over the Christmas period. However, that would lead to a greater uproar than has already been received. Therefore two seems like a reasonable start.

There is always that moment, which I believe most people have had, whereupon they reach for the last chocolate because they “don’t want to see it go to waste”. Imagine now, that that last chocolate was two, three, four chocolates prior. Admittedly it is not a gargantuan change, however it is a start. Now take in to consideration that people overbuy for Christmas, for those just-in-case moments. Just in case there is too heavy a snowfall to leave the house. Just in case all of the family decide to come over last-minute. Just in case the shop runs out the next time we come. There is always going to be an overhaul at Christmas, which needs to be eaten. It seems fair enough to take just two chocolates per tin out of the equation.

But then why should it stop there? Why not rear turkeys that are a few pounds lighter? Why not make Christmas cakes that are a few centimetres thinner? Why not have five mince pies per pack instead of six? And why even stop at Christmas. We could, potentially, make Easter Eggs lighter. Ration Halloween sweet-giving. Limit Valentine’s splendour. Throughout the year we could see our weight-gain intake reduce dramatically by stopping one treat earlier than we usually have.

I am not suggesting that people should be getting swindled out of a few extra pennies this Christmas, by all means the prices should be reduced if we are to get less for our money. However, I am of the firm opinion that our country, as it stands, is in a bad way. There are too many cases of overweight, leading on to obese, people – of all ages – throughout our country. And if we want to make a start at changing ourselves, a concept that usually plays its part with people after the New Year celebrations, would it not make good sense to lighten the load we need to remove, before we even make a start?

Image reproduced from thegrocer.co.uk

The Relationship Between Snoring and Insomnia

You lay there night after night with your pillow wrapped around your head, listening to yet another night filled with the loud bed-rattling sound coming from the person laying next to you. You know that you are going to have yet another sleepless night. So you reach over and nudge your significant other to get him to roll over and give you a few moments of blessed silence. This is a scenario that is common in a lot of homes. But there are some things you need to know about what is happening here.

It appears that the snorer is the one causing the insomnia problem, but that may not be the case. There are a lot of people that suffer from insomnia at some point in their lives. Stressful days, upcoming events, physical ailments, and other factors can cause periods of insomnia. Normally, you return to a regular sleep pattern when these factors are resolved. However, for some people the insomnia problem becomes more serious, causing them difficulty in falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking too soon in the morning. Their sleep is restless, preventing them from getting the sleep their body needs. Believe it or not, an insomnia problem can lead to snoring when the insomniac falls asleep and the muscles of the face and throat relax.

On the reverse, a snoring problem can cause insomnia. Not only does the noise keep others awake, but also makes the snorer wake up to change positions if sleep apnea is present. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is when the airways become
obstructed when the muscles in the face and throat relax, allowing the collapse of the airway. This causes brief periods when the snorer stops breathing. He or she wakes up, changes position and in a lot of cases is unable to return to sleep. And even if they do get back to sleep, the snoring begins again and the cycle repeats itself.

In the definition of insomnia, the periods of wakefulness for the insomniac as well as the snorer are a symptom. In addition, the sluggish feeling they have the next day and the irritability they have are symptoms, too. Both the insomniac and the snorer are more prone to other health problems as well. Hypertension, elevated cholesterol, and the development of excess body fat may contribute to developing heart disease. In both cases, a visit to your doctor is recommended.

About the Guest Author
Andreas Henderson, MR, published author and medical researcher has spent many years supporting people stop snoring. He published www.StopSnoringAdvice.com with one mission; to help those who wish to put an end to their snoring.

Image reproduced from stopsnoringadvice.com

Film Review: The Master

There are few directors that make mesmerising films about absolutely nothing like Paul Thomas Anderson. It’s for this reason that it’s very difficult to describe exactly what The Master it’s about. But at the same time, there are no hidden meanings. There’s nothing to “get”. Everything is laid out for the audience to interpret. It’s like a good novel. And just like a novel, you are tempted to revisit it every now and then.

The Master is probably the most novelistic film of the year, that never really breaks away from one man’s imagination. It doesn’t really reach a climax like a traditional film either, more of a breaking point. With Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) and Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) we have just two men trying to make sense of a world still only just managing to recover from the horrors of World War II. And they discover that there is no real master, just two sides to a very complex coin. And both sides are looking for answers, even if they don’t quite know what the question is.

Naval veteran Freddie Quell arrives back home in America after fighting in the WWII. He’s very unsettled and doesn’t really know what his future is, so he just stumbles around for a while waiting for something to happen. Then he meets Lancaster Dodd, known for a large part of the film as the master in question. He’s the charismatic leader of The Cause, a rather interesting sect that Freddie becomes tantalised with.

Joaquin Phoenix brings a superb edge to the character of Freddie Quell. It’s like he’s read his lines, noted what emotion or reaction is needed, and shuffled them. It’s not entirely a work of genius, but for the most part Phoenix is totally unreadable, and is the unlikeliest of heroes. For people who find this king of storytelling dull, Phoenix’s performance should be able to keep their attention. We really do have no idea how he’s going to act from scene to scene.

Philip Seymour Hoffman is really the biggest surprise here as Lancaster Dodd. He shows a new side to him that we haven’t really seen in his previous work. He’s funny, charming, and enthusiastic. When Dodd and Freddie are together, you can feel a real clash of egos. It’s a tension that really drives the film. There is more than a gentle hint that Lancaster feels a little emasculated by his wife Peggy (Amy Adams). She’s very tough and business-like. There are many occasions when it seems if anyone can be described as a master, it’s her.

This is one of the real beauties of Paul Thomas Anderson’s film. Each scene is left wide open for the audience to interpret. It certainly will be a great film for audience’s to talk about, partly because of the presentation of Dodd’s cult The Cause. It looks and sounds like Scientology, and Anderson thinks that’s okay. He’s intelligent enough to admit that while many of it’s activities are unorthodox, or even illegal, it does work for some and that’s good enough for him. He certainly doesn’t paint Dodd as some maniac, or Freddie a brainwashed innocent. Anderson thinks if you want to come to that conclusion, you should reach it yourself.

While The Master is a film open to many forms of interpretation, that doesn’t mean that it can’t have a big impact. Some scenes are so memorable and powerful that they will stay with the audience for a long time after they leave the cinema. Dodd and Freddie continue to collide with each other, possibly because they’re trying to cope with an inconvenient truth; it really is impossible to recover from the past.

It’s naturally being tipped for Oscar glory, and deservedly so, if only the audience saw it that why. When it opened in the US it was met with a rather mixed response, with some people probably feeling a little alienated by Paul Thomas Anderson’s style of storytelling. The conclusion of the film certainly disappoint some people expecting a crescendo. Never the less, The Master is poetic, beautifully made, and is the boldest movie to come out of the US in 2012.

Image reproduced from cromeyellow.com
Video reproduced from YouTube / FilmTrailerZone

Clinical Trials for Alzheimer’s: Now is Not the Time to Give Up

Recent failures of two clinical trials into Alzheimer’s disease have lead to fears over the future of research to find new treatments. Dr Eric Karran, Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, explains what can be learned from these trials, and why now is not the time to give up.

The recent failure of two phase 3 clinical trials for Alzheimer’s drugs is a blow to the field. Like three previous drugs that also failed in trials, these two antibodies – bapineuzumab and solanezumab – worked by targeting a protein called amyloid, which builds up in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s. These findings will also provoke pharmaceutical companies to question whether they can continue to invest in clinical research for such a challenging disease. But now is not the time to give up, and these perceived failures could in fact hold the key to future success.

The latest findings may call into question the role that amyloid plays in the disease, since none of the drugs that have so far targeted the protein have met their goals: improvements in thinking and the ability to carry out everyday tasks. But there is still a solid body of evidence to suggest that amyloid plays a crucial role. Rare genetic mutations that are known to cause some cases of early-onset Alzheimer’s are all involved in the production of amyloid, giving a clear indication that it is a key player in the disease. Researchers now know that amyloid begins to deposit in the brain about 15 years before symptoms appear. There is much evidence suggesting that this build-up of amyloid may be an early ‘trigger’ for Alzheimer’s, kick-starting a chain of events that ultimately leads to the death of brain cells.

Research to date has shown that the role of amyloid is hugely complex, and scientists are still uncovering more information that could aid future drug development. There is also much data yet to be published on these failed trials. Careful analysis and a comparison of the data from both of these trials may well provide insights that could inspire future success.

With bapineuzumab, understanding why the drug failed will be crucial to developing treatments with a better chance of reaching their goals. For solanezumab, early reports suggest that there may have been some benefits for patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease – adding weight to an emerging theory that drugs targeting amyloid would need to be given early to be successful. If we can find a reliable and inexpensive method of identifying people on the cusp of amyloid build-up, but who have not yet developed symptoms, then drugs that target amyloid could have a good chance of bringing real benefit. Meanwhile, work on treatments that attack different features of the disease must also continue.

Other treatments targeting amyloid are already in the earlier stages of development, but with pharmaceutical companies looking for a return on the massive investment needed to develop a drug, there is a danger that these latest results may cause them to reconsider their strategy. Our task is to help solve this difficult problem – that means charities like Alzheimer’s Research UK, Government and the pharmaceutical industry working together.

Current treatments can help relieve some of the symptoms of the disease, but they only work for a short period of time. Patients still desperately need treatments that can either delay the onset of Alzheimer’s or slow its progress – and with the economic burden of dementia reaching £23bn a year, the need for these drugs is urgent. While this task may look daunting, now is not the time to falter. As a society, we simply cannot afford to.

Image reproduced from http://static.ddmcdn.com/

James Nesbitt Urges Public to “Fight the Fear” of Dementia

Actor issues rallying call as poll reveals only around a third of people think research breakthrough will come in the next 25 years.

James Nesbitt will challenge the public to “fight the fear” of dementia by supporting UK scientists when he speaks at a major dementia conference organised by Alzheimer’s Research UK and the University of Ulster in Belfast on 11 March. The Murphy’s Law and Hobbit star, who has recent experience of the impact of Alzheimer’s on his family, will address the largest gathering of dementia scientists in the UK and urge greater public support of research efforts into beating the condition.

Alzheimer’s Research UK Conference_2384_1_1___Selected

Mr Nesbitt, who is Chancellor of the University of Ulster, makes his call as a new national poll reveals only around a third of people (38%) agree that a treatment breakthrough will be delivered in the next generation (25 years) under current research efforts.

In reaction to the YouGov poll, Mr Nesbitt will introduce the conference where speakers will make the case that the dementia research field can match the successes on efforts against diseases like cancer and heart disease, but that gulf in funding needs closing. With over 820,000 people now affected, and striking more fear than any other health condition in the over 55s, dementia is the UK’s greatest medical challenge.

The Alzheimer’s Research UK conference (11-12 March) brings together the UK’s leading dementia scientists and international research leaders to share progress in the drive towards improving diagnosis and developing new treatments and preventions. This year’s speakers include:

  • Prof Kevin Morgan from the University of Nottingham, who will discuss his research to develop a simple blood test to diagnose Alzheimer’s.
  • Prof Nigel Greig, National Institutes of Health, USA who will present his work investigating the potential of diabetes drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s.
  • Dr Riccardo Marioni from the University of Cambridge, whose research focuses on how lifestyle factors such as education and social engagement influence cognitive decline.

Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading dementia research charity and funds more than £20m of pioneering research across the UK into Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Ahead of his appearance at the Alzheimer’s Research UK Conference, James Nesbitt said:
“Dementia strikes such fear into us, but we can fight it with research. We’ve seen what science can achieve against such great medical foes as tetanus and polio, and the strides forward in treatments for cancer and heart disease. Now we have to get behind the scientists and push for a dementia breakthrough. It could be that we fear dementia out of a sense of hopelessness, but there is hope and it rests in the hands of our scientists. With the right backing, we can beat these diseases, but the money is a long way behind – we can all help close the gap.”

Prof Christian Hölscher, Coordinator of the Alzheimer’s Research UK Research Network in Northern Ireland, organised the event. He said:
“We are incredibly proud to host this year’s conference in Northern Ireland, which has a strong track record in biomedical research. We are delighted to welcome the University of Ulster’s Chancellor James Nesbitt. Last year was a pivotal year for dementia research, from the announcement of new genetic discoveries to the disappointment of failed clinical trials. This conference promises some critical discussions about how far we have come, where we are now, and how we can work together to make a difference for people with dementia now and in the future. There is great optimism and momentum in the field.”

Rebecca Wood, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“Last year the Prime Minister announced his Challenge on dementia, with some important new commitments to research. We have built on this momentum, and thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we have been able to commit a record £20million to UK dementia research projects. We know that dementia scientists in the UK punch well above their weight on the world stage. Our conference is an important way to bring together this world-leading talent in one room – forging partnerships and sharing expertise that is vital to move us towards a cure.”

“Dementia could touch every one of us at some time in our lives, and we are extremely grateful to James Nesbitt for joining us at the conference. At Alzheimer’s Research UK, we firmly believe that research the only way to find a long-term solution for those affected by dementia and, as the UK’s largest dedicated dementia research funder, we are determined to provide those answers.”

This material has been published with the kind permission of Alzheimer Research UK.

Sleep Hormone and Exercise Show Alzheimer’s Benefits in Mice

A study has shown that a combination of physical exercise and treatment with the hormone melatonin could have benefits in mice bred to show features of Alzheimer’s. The research was published this week in the journal Neurobiology of Aging.

The hormone melatonin is involved in the control of the sleep-wake cycle and is being tested as a potential treatment for sleep disturbances in Alzheimer’s. Melatonin is also believed to have additional anti-inflammatory properties and may protect cells from the damage caused by chemical stress. Evidence suggests that physical exercise also has benefits, not only for reducing the risk of dementia, but for helping those who already have the condition.

The team of scientists from Spain investigated whether physical exercise combined with melatonin treatment could have benefits in mice genetically engineered to show features of Alzheimer’s. The study was started at a time when the mice were already starting to show some cognitive problems and Alzheimer’s-like changes in their brains.

The researchers used behavioural and cognitive tasks to assess the effect of the treatments, and monitored any biochemical changes in the brains of the mice. They found that melatonin, exercise, and a combination of the two, all improved performance of the mice on certain learning and memory tests, compared to those which were not treated.

There were also benefits for brain chemistry, with treated mice appearing to show greater resistance to the chemical damage seen in the brains of the Alzheimer’s mice. Exercise and melatonin together appeared to have combined benefits for maintaining the energy balance of brain cells.

Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“Previous research has suggested that people with Alzheimer’s may benefit from daily exercise and we know that the disease can also disturb a person’s internal body clock. This study suggests that exercise together with the hormone melatonin – known to regulate the sleep-wake cycle – could protect brain cells in mice from some of the damage association with Alzheimer’s.

“What is true in mice is not always true in humans, but there is research underway in people to look at both exercise and melatonin to help with Alzheimer’s. We will need to wait for the results from studies in people before we know what the real benefits could be. There is a desperate need for more research into treatments for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. With dementia research so underfunded compared to other diseases, we must continue to invest if we are to make a difference to the 820,000 in the UK living with the condition.”

This material has been published with the kind permission of Alzheimer Research UK.

Film Review: Amour

2012 has seen quite a few directors leave their comfort zone to try something new, and quite a lot of the time it has paid off. David Cronenberg left behind his body horror traditions to make the brilliantly cerebral Cosmopolis. Ben Affleck set his third film outside of Boston for the first time with Argo. And now Michael Haneke, who is often accused of being distant and nihilistic makes something more humane and heartfelt with Amour.

This will blindside many people, especially Haneke’s fans. And it’s a little ironic that when the director chooses to change course, he actually packs an even bigger emotional punch. Amour doesn’t force a harsh reality onto the audience. It present a harsh reality instead, something that the audience already knows but is trying not to think about. It’s a film that says that the hardest part about getting old is that you have to watch a loved one slowly succumb to the ravages of old age. It’s an uncomfortable truth, but as the title suggests, Haneke tries to show the love that’s at the very heart of a long term relationship.

We begin the film with the police breaking down a door to a stylish apartment, where they find Anne (Emmanuelle Riva), an elderly woman dead in her bed surrounded by flowers. Flashback two months, and we find out how she ends up there. Anne suffers two strokes that leave her in a slowly deteriorating state, and it’s up to her husband Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) to take care of her.

Jean-Louis Trintignant is sensitive by still unsentimental as Georges. To begin with he’s accepting of his wife’s debilitation and caters for her every need. But as her condition gets worse, his love and tolerance are pushed to what can only be described as superhuman limits. There is one particularly painful scene when Anne starts refusing food and drink. It’s a scene where Georges is truly pushed right to the brink of total meltdown, and yet despite this we still know that they love each other. That’s what makes the scene almost unbearably heartbreaking.

Your heart of course bleeds for Anne, whose debilitation is obviously humiliating. What starts out as a little help with food soon turns into help with toiletry needs. The film is just over two hours long, so her mental deterioration is painfully slow. With every scene that passes, another part of her has been chipped away until all that remains is the mind of a helpless child. It’s hard to say if she’s fully made peace with her fate, because she may not fully understand anymore.

It’s important to point out that Amour doesn’t attempt to emotionally manipulate the audience. Haneke has been known to experiment with emotional interaction with the audience before. His film Funny Games is probably the best example, when a character actually turns to the camera and asks the audience if they want another plot development. But in this case Haneke doesn’t attempt to manipulate how sad the audience feels. Amour is not a typical tearjerker like The Notebook which thrives on manufacturing audience tears. Every tear you shed for this films is real. And yes you will shed many.

In a sense because we know where the film is heading, as an audience we feel prepared for the conclusion, but in the end it packs an incredible punch. The eventual loss is so humane that it is shocking, and feels incredibly cruel. Whether or not it’s humane from Anne’s point of view is certainly going to divide audiences. Still it sticks by it’s central idea that while love can’t defeat death, it can still give some of the worst moments in life a fair fight.

Obviously this isn’t the ideal film to see on your first date, and many will think of it as the feel bad movie of the year. But to think that would be selling the film short. At it’s heart it is a very genuine love story above a love that can’t transcend death, but puts up a much bigger fight than the people who actually feel the emotion. For many it will be unbearably sad, but Amour has to be one of the best films about old age ever made. It’s an uncomfortable watch that will stay with you for a long time, but it’s totally unmissable.

Image reproduced from aceshowbiz.com
Video reproduced from YouTube / movieclipsTRAILERS

Fiona’s Christmas Countdown – December 24

Have Your Christmas Cake AND Eat It!

Fiona Kirk’s Christmas Countdown to Fending Off The Festive Flab

Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk (fatbustforever.com) is on a yuletide mission with her fabulous fat busting daily tips to help YOU body swerve the festive pounds this Christmas.

Fiona Kirk

Each day, from now until Christmas Eve, Fiona will be helping YOU to party hard whilst eating to love your waistline during the holiday season and into 2013!

December 24: Forget the fat busting, go for broke and have fun! As long as Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day don’t turn into a two week-long gorge you can throw caution to the wind for a few days. Merry Christmas!

Film Review: Now Is Good

Now Is Good

Now Is Good was a charming feel good movie. I will forgive Dakota Fanning for making War of the World with Tom Cruise.

The cast were fabulous and gelled really well. Jeremy Irvine will be an actor I keep an eye out for. The story of a young girl Tessa (Fanning) dying of leukaemia was handled very well. I really felt for her. What could’ve been depressing was made into a dramatic touching story.

The chemistry between the two leads was sizzling. Irwine plays Adam. Although Dakota was the only one I’d seen before, the lack of big names did not impede the movie. I was pleasantly surprised by the power and range of the acting.

Everyone ‘pitched in’ to deliver some very good lines and masked it slightly different to the other ‘I’m dying’ movies. For me, it made a very good effort to make a watchable entertaining movie. You’ll be treated to some great scenery especially when they go travelling on a motorbike. It reminded me a bit of The Horse Whisperer.

Paddy Considine is great as dad. Lending some weight to the younger actors. The main trio gelled very well and the relationships were made all the more real for it.

What is does lack is a punch to hit the big notes. It maybe the director’s intention to ‘make a good movie’ so he avoided risking things that would push its boundaries. It’s not Shakespeare but as Sunday night movie it’s easy on the eye and brain. Rather like comfy slippers you just need at the end of the day.

Because there was no massive crescendo I wasn’t weeping. I was sad so I would see this movie again. Go for the cast, it’s so rare to get three people blend so well.

I award 7/10 as the effort of the actors/actresses make this movie a definite must see.

Image reproduced from wambie.com
Trailer reproduced from YouTube / FilmsActuTrailers

Book Of Celebrity Memories Raises £20,000 In Aid Of Alzheimer’S Research UK

As Christmas approaches, a book of celebrity memories about the science-fiction drama Doctor Who, entitled Behind the Sofa, is flying off the shelves to boost funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Jonathan Ross, Lynda Bellingham, Al Murray and Martina Cole are among more than 100 famous contributors. All the proceeds from book sales are being donated to the UK’s leading dementia research charity and the total so far has reached over £20,000.

Behind the Sofa also contains recollections from a host of former stars of the long-running BBC series, including Hugh Bonneville and Tracy-Ann Oberman, with illustrations by artist Ben Morris.

Author and Whovian Steve Berry, 41, from Ware in Hertfordshire,  was inspired to compile Behind the Sofa in memory of his mum Janet who died with early-onset Alzheimer’s in 2009.

Steve says:

“The idea for the book came to me when Doctor Who returned to our screens in 2005, after a 16-year gap. It was just after my mum was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s – she was only in her 50s. I was shocked to learn that little could be done to help her and appalled at the lack of funding for research for new treatments. I thought, ‘What would the Doctor do if faced with an enemy like Alzheimer’s?’”

“Since then I’ve been on a mission to help the experts, Alzheimer’s Research UK. Behind the Sofa has been four years in the making and 100 per cent of the proceeds are being donated to the charity’s pioneering research into the disease and other forms of dementia. All the love and care in the world can’t cure Alzheimer’s – research is the only answer. Everyone who buys a copy will give hope to the 820,000 people in the UK living with dementia today, including over 6,000 people in Cambridgeshire.

“I’ve been truly astonished, both by the support of the Whovian community who have purchased the book in their thousands, and by the generosity of the celebrities who gave up their time to help. Behind the Sofa is a lasting legacy to Mum and Alzheimer’s Research UK.

“In addition, PayPal, the online payment company which processed the pre-orders of the book in March, waived its fees and instead gave the money to the charity in the form of a £1,000 donation.”

Dr Marie Janson, Director of Development at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“We are so grateful to Steve and everyone who has added their Doctor Who memories to this brilliant book. The £20,000 raised from sales of Behind the Sofa already is a tremendous result – enough to fund 1,000 hours of world-class research and vital equipment for our scientists. This amazing contribution is bringing us closer to finding ways to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Steve Berry
“The brain is one of the most complex parts of our body, with more connections than there are stars in the galaxy – there is still so much we need to understand. Dementia poses one of the greatest threats to public health now and in the future yet funding for research lags far behind other serious diseases. We rely entirely on our wonderful supporters like Steve to fund our crucial research.”

Behind the Sofa book cover
Behind the Sofa can be ordered online at www.doctorwhobook.com priced at £14.99. It is also available at www.amazon.co.uk, www.forbiddenplanet.com and many specialist comic book shops.

Film Review: Argo

Argo is one of those true stories that are so bizarre and farcical that it must be real. Earlier in the year it was a similar story with the chilling documentary The Imposter, about a young French boy who was able to impersonate a missing American child. It’s a strange thing, but because it is a true story we are willing to go along with the story. If Argo was a complete work of fiction, Hollywood would have probably laughed the idea out of the room. But Argo does work. In fact it works spectacularly. This is largely thanks to the ingenious directing of Ben Affleck. Now on his third film after the small hits of Gone Baby Gone and The Town, he is quickly shaping up to be one of Americas smartest mainstream directors. For many in Hollywood, Argo would be considered a break out film. And yet, it doesn’t feel that way with Affleck. He’s hotly tipped for an Oscar at the beginning of 2013, and deservedly so, but still you get the feeling that the best is still yet to come from this young director. Argo takes place in the November of 1979, when the US Embassy building in post-revolution Tehran is taken over by a group of students supporting the Ayatollah. During the occupation, six officers are able to slip away and quickly attempt to seek sanctuary with the Canadians. The only problem is, it will only be a matter of time before they are discovered by the revolution. So CIA officer Tom Mendez (Ben Affleck) comes up with an unconventional idea to get them out. He and a group of CIA agents create a fake movie, and head into Tehran as a fake film crew. Argo has an ensemble cast, but Ben Affleck’s Tom Mendez really serves as the main character. He approaches it with a rather delicate touch, creating a role that moves around the story rather quietly. Affleck certainly doesn’t make the mistake of cutting down on his own scenes because he’s directing, instead he surrounds himself with an excellent supporting cast to help share some of the workload. Affleck’s performance though is as exact and as thoughtful as ever, and he seems to delight in being surrounded by such a talented cast. Most of the comedy elements come from the two Hollywood executives, Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin) and John Chambers (John Goodman). Chambers is more than willing to produce a movie for free as long as it gets the hostages out of Tehran. Siegel wants to make a fake movie that’s a fake hit. Incidentally, the real life John Chambers received an Oscar for the huge amount of research he did for The Planet of The Apes, which involved a lot of sitting around in a zoo. On the CIA side, we’ve got Jack O’Donnell (Bryan Cranston). This is clearly a role the Cranston revels in, as he gets the majority of the best lines. “This is the best bad plan we have… by far” he says. It’s a little surprising that Argo feels so comfortable and flows so well, considering this is the first time Ben Affleck has stepped out of his directorial comfort zone. Both Gone Baby Gone and The Town are set in Boston, so to jump to a whole new level with a tense thriller set on location in a different country is a bit of a leap. He does at points twist the truth a little, purely because real life very rarely resembles the flow of a movie, but he is always respectful of what the CIA agents did. The section of the story that involves the negotiation with Hollywood to make a fake movie certainly will have appealed to Affleck. It’s very self-deprecating and you can see that Affleck enjoys poking fun at himself and his own industry. When it comes to the serious moments though, Affleck doesn’t hold back with the dramatic tension. For many it would be a stumbling block, but Argo is able to use humour in a way that compliments the tension. It’s a real balancing act that can easily go wrong, but Ben Affleck makes it look like second nature to him. So often we go to the cinema to watch a hero save the day. In this case, Argo is the bizarre true story about when the movies really did save the day. It’s just a shame that because the actual CIA file was classified for so long, it was a story that no one noticed. Thanks to Ben Affleck though, we certainly have noticed now. Much of the younger audience may be put off by the 1970s setting, but Argo proves to be a wonderful winter thriller for one of Hollywood’s best new directors. There will be Oscars. Image reproduced from collider.com Video reproduced from YouTube / FilmsActuTrailers

Fiona’s Christmas Countdown – December 19

Have Your Christmas Cake AND Eat It!

Fiona Kirk’s Christmas Countdown to Fending Off The Festive Flab

Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk (fatbustforever.com) is on a yuletide mission with her fabulous fat busting daily tips to help YOU body swerve the festive pounds this Christmas.

Fiona Kirk

Each day, from now until Christmas Eve, Fiona will be helping YOU to party hard whilst eating to love your waistline during the holiday season and into 2013!

December 19: Tired of hearing that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Don’t fret. If you can’t face food first thing in the morning or time is against you just ensure that you have something for elevenses – half an avocado stuffed with a mix of tinned salmon and salsa is a delicious, nutritious and filling solution.

Polar Trek Makes Big Strides For Alzheimer’S Research UK

Laden with sledges and rucksacks, a group of staff from Great Shelford-based charity Alzheimer’s Research UK made a chilly trek to the Polar Museum in Cambridge today, Friday 7 December. The four mile escapade was arranged to show solidarity with Iceland Foods Chief Executive, Malcolm Walker, who attempted to reach the South Pole to raise money for the UK’s leading dementia research charity.

Alzheimer's Research UK staff at Polar Musuem

The journey to the South Pole started on 19 November. After two weeks of hostile, frozen conditions, with temperatures dipping to minus 45 degrees Celsius, the Iceland boss was forced to leave the 140 mile expedition, suffering from exhaustion and dehydration.

Alzheimer’s Research UK is Iceland’s Charity of the Year for 2011/12. The company raised £1.2million for research into early-onset Alzheimer’s in 2011. For 2012 Iceland has pledged to raise a further £1million to support groundbreaking research into the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. Staff from Iceland’s stores across the country have been holding numerous fundraising events, from coastal walks to lorry pulls, along with their inspiring Chief Executive, Malcolm Walker.

Malcolm Walker is no stranger to daring expeditions. In 2011 he initiated Iceland Foods’ fundraising for Alzheimer’s Research UK with an amazing Everest Climb. World renowned explorer David Hempleman-Adams led that expedition as well as Malcolm’s 2012 trek to the South Pole. The South Pole team also includes Olympic rower Matthew Pinsent and three injured servicemen from the Royal Dragoon Guards, Corporal Robbie Harmer, Lance Corporal Nick Webb and Captain Adam Crookshank.

The remaining intrepid South Pole explorers are continuing the expedition, dragging sleds filled with food and equipment on their long journey across the ice, just as Captain Scott and his team did 100 years ago. The three soldiers taking part are from the same regiment as Captain Lawrence Oates who famously left the tent on the ill-fated trek. Funds raised from this expedition will be split between Alzheimer’s Research UK and Walking with the Wounded. They aim to reach their destination on Saturday 8 December.

Rebecca Wood, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“We are incredibly proud of Malcolm Walker for attempting – quite literally – to go to the end of the earth to help us defeat Alzheimer’s disease. We hope he makes a full recovery very soon and just want to see him home safe and well. Our trek to the Polar Museum in Cambridge, with its history of man’s attempts to explore the Arctic and Antarctic, was our way of showing our support and appreciation for his amazing efforts to reach the South Pole.

“It’s wonderful to know that all the staff at Iceland Foods are pulling together to raise money for our pioneering research. All the funds Iceland raise for Alzheimer’s Research UK this year will support one of our most ambitious projects to detect Alzheimer’s disease in its earliest stages. If we can spot Alzheimer’s early we may be able to unlock our ability to treat it before the damage is done.

Malcolm Walker during South Pole expedition

“Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, which affects over 820,000 people across the UK today, including over 6,000 people in Cambridgeshire. Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia pose one of the greatest threats to public health now and in the future but funding for research still lags far behind other serious diseases. Support from businesses like Iceland Foods plays a key part in helping us progress with our vital research.”

Anyone wishing to add to Malcolm Walker’s fundraising efforts to help defeat dementia can make a donation online at  www.justgiving.com/mcwalker or call the fundraising team at Alzheimer’s Research UK on 01223 843899.
This material has been published with the kind permission of Alzheimer Research UK.

 

Film Review: Rust and Bone

Rust and Bone is a melodrama, but this by no means should put you off seeing it. Yes, it does have a plot you would expect to find at three o’clock in the afternoon on Channel 5, but it’s handled in a way that makes it feel like something so much more. This is in part down to Marion Cotillard’s performance, but it’s a film that’s designed to linger long in the memory. Rust and Bone certainly achieves that.

There are many films that stay in the back of your mind for a while, but very few can do it with good reason. Gregor Jordan’s adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ collection of stories The Informers lingers a while after seeing it, but it’s also crammed with so much uncomfortable dreck it makes you want to take a shower. Rust and Bone doesn’t necessarily serve the role of a pleasant memory, but then again, that does seem to be the point. It wants to catch you off guard, and it wants to make you think for a long time after you leave the movie theatre.

When Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts) is put in charge of his young son, he decides to leave Belgium behind and head for Antibes. When he arrives there, he moves in with his sister and her husband, hoping to live as a family. When Ali gets a job as a night club bouncer, he meets Stephanie (Marion Cotillard), a killer whale trainer. When Stephanie is involved in a horrific accident, Ali finds his bond grow deeper with her.

It’s quite likely that Marion Cotillard will earn an Oscar nomination for her performance, and rightly so. Many will even see her as a dark horse for the award. She looks to be in control throughout the film. A free spirit who is just able to pour herself gracefully into the role. Her performance is flawlessly natural, which is something we’ve seen a lot of recently. With this and The Dark Knight Rises, Cotillard has certainly had one of the best years of her career.

Cotillard of course doesn’t work alone. The scenes in which she sparkles the most usually involve her co-star Mathias Schoenaerts, with whom she has a rather uneasy chemistry. You can see there is tremendous affection between Ali and Stephanie, but they both have a very difficult time admitting it. Ali is a part time kick boxer struggling to find work and settle down. Stephanie is a whale trainer struggling to come to terms with her accident. It’s the briefest of moments when their paths cross, but they’re both desperate to cling onto that moment.

The director Jacques Audiard takes a much more hands off approach with the subject matter, which is quite different from his previous films. He wants to step back and allow Ali and Stephanie to figure things out for themselves. Having said that, he remains as critical as ever with the central relationship.

This is the main reason why Rust and Bone is such a triumph. Audiard is unsentimental in his handling of the story, and because of this it gives what should be a throwaway melodrama some genuine weight. But Audiard doesn’t sacrifice the intimacy of the story in order to pack an emotional punch. With the help of the stunning Marion Cotillard he finds a happy medium. Rust and Bone has to be one of the most intimate and genuinely human films of 2012.

Image reproduced from movieinsider.com
Video reproduced from YouTube / FilmsActuTrailers

Fiona’s Christmas Countdown – December 18

Have Your Christmas Cake AND Eat It!

Fiona Kirk’s Christmas Countdown to Fending Off The Festive Flab

Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk (fatbustforever.com) is on a yuletide mission with her fabulous fat busting daily tips to help YOU body swerve the festive pounds this Christmas.

Fiona Kirk

Each day, from now until Christmas Eve, Fiona will be helping YOU to party hard whilst eating to love your waistline during the holiday season and into 2013!

December 18: Dates abound at this time of the year and if you have a sweet tooth they are the cat’s pyjamas! They are so sweet that satisfaction is guaranteed with just two or three and if you aim for the ones stuffed with almonds or pistachios you get the ‘protein extra’ which blunts the sugar spike – a great wee snack for a sugaraholic!

Wine of the Month – December

Christmas has its origins as a midwinter festival – a time of communal celebration and feasting to mark the half-way point in the winter calendar.

It’s surely no coincidence that both the Gregorian calendar and the Christian church follow pagan customs in marking out mid-winter as a notable time.

In these days of central heating, street lights and global supply chains, the purpose of Christmas has changed beyond all recognition, but it remains a time to be marked with family and food.

If the occasion is special, so should the food be – and the wine, too.

Clos Saint Michel, Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc 2009 – Joseph Barnes Wines (£25)

Chateauneuf du Pape in the Rhone is best known for its spicy southern reds, made from up to 13 grape varieties.

However, it also produces small amounts of white wines from local varieties with demand outstripping supply. This one is a blend of 30% Grenache Blanc, 30% Clairette, 20% Roussanne and 20% Bourboulenc.

Aged in old oak, this Clos St Michel  is a sandy yellow in the glass and needs quite a bit of air to come into its own so don’t be afraid to decant at least an hour before the meal.

Once opened up, the nose shows hints of acacia, mint, honey and beeswax – the palate is waxy and fat, yet cut through with ripe melon fruit acidity.

This is something of an Old School wine – balanced and composed rather than showy, the interest here is in the texture, acidity and finish when matched with the right food.

Match with plain roast white meats, especially turkey.

Ballochdale Estate Pinot Noir, 2010, Marlborough, New Zealand – Noel Young Wines (£17.50)

New Zealand is fast becoming a second home for Pinot and a more reliable, if no less cheap, source than Burgundy.

From the Awatere Valley in Marlborough, this Ballochdale Estate Pinot Noir from 2010, sealed under screwcap, is quite dark in the glass for a Pinot and on first opening shows plenty of raspberry and black cherry fruit. It’s thoroughly pleasant, albeit not particularly Burgundian.

With a bit of air, however, the ripe primary fruit fades away and it becomes a whole lot more interesting. The nose becomes more vegetal with toasty spice. On the palate, there is ripe sour cherry fruit, pepperiness and a beautifully soft texture; the finish is grippy, spicy and pleasantly rasping.

Match with a Christmas turkey with all the trimmings or, on another occasion, with slow-roast garlic-and-rosemary lamb.

Clos de Los Siete 2009 Mendoza, Argentina – Cambridge Wine Merchants (£13.99)

This Argentinian wine is  made by a partnership of seven producers under the auspices of Bordelais oenologist Michel Rolland.

The winery is based at Vistaflores, an estate covering 847 hectares of vineyards, in the commune of Tunuyan, a desert plain rapidly gaining international acclaim, located 80km south of the city of Mendoza.

Like many Argentinian wines, the grapes are grown at much higher altitudes than oi possible in Europe (around 1,000m here), extending the growing season and giving more colour in the wine, greater development of aromas and higher acidity levels – New World ripeness without the blowsiness.

Made from a blend of Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah, it is typically dark in the glass, with aromas of dark fruit, game and herbs; the palate shows sweet black fruit with good acidity and a dense, smooth texture of perfectly ripe, mouthfilling tannins.

Ripe and fruit-forward but not overblown, this is a grown-up crowd-pleaser, a lovely, sophisticated blend of New World ripeness and European restraint; it will match best with the sweetness of slow roast chicken with parsnips and pigs-in-blankets or lamb.

Bodegas Borsao, Tinto 2011, Campo de Borja, Spain – Bacchanalia (£5.99)

Spain’s Garnacha (aka France’s Grenache) typically makes easy-drinking spicy, juicy wines with lots of crowd-pleasing aromas.

The vineyards for this Garnacha from Bodegas Borsao are located on the northern slopes of the Moncayo mountain range and are cooled by the Cierzo breezes.

A translucent purple in the glass, straight out of the screw-capped bottle there are expressive aromas of morello cherries, plummy fruit, liquorice, leather, vanilla and spice.

The palate is juicy and mouthfilling, with a lovely sour-cherry acidity, more plummy and dark berry fruit with sweet vanilla, spice and roughed-up herbs.

The texture is soft and smooth, with some gentle grip developing on the finish.

This is a really expressive wine with bags of crowd-pleasing character – match with darker game, such as pheasant stuffed with apricots, or spicy sausages.

Recommended Wine

There is no overall winner this month – just some great wines for Christmas drinking; the choice here depends simply on what you are eating and your budget.

Wine of the Month will be de-toxing in January, but returns in February with a Valentine’s theme.

Other related articles

Christmas Wine of The Month 2011

More on:

Bacchanalia

Cambridge Wine Merchants

Joseph Barnes Wines

Noel Young Wines

Links

Bacchanalia – http://www.winegod.co.uk/

Cambridge Wine Merchants – http://www.cambridgewine.co.uk/

Joseph Barnes Wines – http://www.josephbarneswines.com/

Noel Young Wines – http://www.nywines.co.uk/

Main image credit: http://lindentea.tumblr.com/post/1559685191/pagan-depot-mean-geimhridh-celtic-midwinter

Fiona’s Christmas Countdown – December 17

Have Your Christmas Cake AND Eat It!

Fiona Kirk’s Christmas Countdown to Fending Off The Festive Flab

Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk (fatbustforever.com) is on a yuletide mission with her fabulous fat busting daily tips to help YOU body swerve the festive pounds this Christmas.

Fiona Kirk

Each day, from now until Christmas Eve, Fiona will be helping YOU to party hard whilst eating to love your waistline during the holiday season and into 2013!

December 17: Christmas is getting perilously close and you are probably feeling the stress! Cereal bars are a brilliant, quick and portable snack but many have more sugar than a Krispy Kreme doughnut! Go for Nine bars and Food Doctor bars.

Fiona’s Christmas Countdown – December 16

Have Your Christmas Cake AND Eat It!

Fiona Kirk’s Christmas Countdown to Fending Off The Festive Flab

Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk (fatbustforever.com) is on a yuletide mission with her fabulous fat busting daily tips to help YOU body swerve the festive pounds this Christmas.

Fiona Kirk

Each day, from now until Christmas Eve, Fiona will be helping YOU to party hard whilst eating to love your waistline during the holiday season and into 2013!

December 16: It takes around 20 minutes for the brain to get the ‘nutritionally-satisfied’ message from the stomach so have a nourishing snack (light soup and a small mixed salad is a good combo) when you get in from work and wait. You will eat a lot less at your evening meal.

Fiona’s Christmas Countdown – December 15

Have Your Christmas Cake AND Eat It!

Fiona Kirk’s Christmas Countdown to Fending Off The Festive Flab

Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk (fatbustforever.com) is on a yuletide mission with her fabulous fat busting daily tips to help YOU body swerve the festive pounds this Christmas.

Fiona Kirk

Each day, from now until Christmas Eve, Fiona will be helping YOU to party hard whilst eating to love your waistline during the holiday season and into 2013!

December 15: Difficult to believe but lemons and limes promote alkalinity within the digestive system and prevent acid build-up which increases fat accumulation. Get them into your foods and drinks wherever possible – a warming mug of hot water with lemon and ginger is a great and cleansing way to start the day.

Fiona’s Christmas Countdown – December 14

Have Your Christmas Cake AND Eat It!

Fiona Kirk’s Christmas Countdown to Fending Off The Festive Flab

Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk (fatbustforever.com) is on a yuletide mission with her fabulous fat busting daily tips to help YOU body swerve the festive pounds this Christmas.

Fiona Kirk

Each day, from now until Christmas Eve, Fiona will be helping YOU to party hard whilst eating to love your waistline during the holiday season and into 2013!

December 14: Ever tried a wheat-free day or two? You will be amazed at how much looser your waistband feels. Much of the wheat now grown for global consumption is light on digestion-friendly fibre and can cause bloating which is nothing short of a disaster when you want to get into those skinny jeans! But, you have to read the food labels – wheat is everywhere!

Fiona’s Christmas Countdown – December 13

Have Your Christmas Cake AND Eat It!

Fiona Kirk’s Christmas Countdown to Fending Off The Festive Flab

Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk (fatbustforever.com) is on a yuletide mission with her fabulous fat busting daily tips to help YOU body swerve the festive pounds this Christmas.

Fiona Kirk

Each day, from now until Christmas Eve, Fiona will be helping YOU to party hard whilst eating to love your waistline during the holiday season and into 2013!

December 13: Do you suffer from SAD at this time of the year? Countries where the most fish is eaten suffer the lowest levels so ‘up’ your consumption and if time is tight mash some tinned sardines onto a few oatcakes for lunch today and reap the fat busting, calcium-rich benefits.

Fiona’s Christmas Countdown – December 12

Have Your Christmas Cake AND Eat It!

Fiona Kirk’s Christmas Countdown to Fending Off The Festive Flab

Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk (fatbustforever.com) is on a yuletide mission with her fabulous fat busting daily tips to help YOU body swerve the festive pounds this Christmas.

Fiona Kirk

Each day, from now until Christmas Eve, Fiona will be helping YOU to party hard whilst eating to love your waistline during the holiday season and into 2013!

December 12: Many fruit yoghurts are heaving with sugar. Go for 0% fat Greek yoghurt and add your own fresh fruit and a few nuts or seeds or sling the whole lot into the liquidiser, blast, strain and flask it for sipping throughout the day.

Fiona’s Christmas Countdown – December 11

Have Your Christmas Cake AND Eat It!

Fiona Kirk’s Christmas Countdown to Fending Off The Festive Flab

Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk (fatbustforever.com) is on a yuletide mission with her fabulous fat busting daily tips to help YOU body swerve the festive pounds this Christmas.

Fiona Kirk

Each day, from now until Christmas Eve, Fiona will be helping YOU to party hard whilst eating to love your waistline during the holiday season and into 2013!

December 11: If you are low in zinc not only are you more likely to get an infection, but it is likely to last longer. It also plays a major role in keeping your metabolic rate up. Shitake and chestnut mushrooms are great sources so make a vat of soup, freeze in portions and have a warming bowl two or three times a week.

Women with Alzheimer’s May Have Worse Cognitive Skills Than Men

A study by UK researchers suggests women with Alzheimer’s may experience worse cognitive decline than men with the disease. The research, which analysed data from 15 separate studies is published on Friday 24 August in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology.

The researchers at the University of Hertfordshire carried out a meta-analysis of 15 studies where tests of thinking skills were carried out for both men and women with Alzheimer’s disease. Women are more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s than men, but in a healthy population, previous research has shown women typically have better verbal skills than men. The researchers wanted to discover whether in Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive decline is different for women and men.

They examined data from 15 groups of people that included 828 men and 1,238 women, and looked at results of a range of cognitive tests including tests of verbal skills, memory and overall cognition. When the results were analysed together, the researchers found that men tended to perform slightly better than women in these tests, regardless of age or the severity of the disease.

Dr Eric Karran, Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“This type of analysis can be a useful way of identifying common trends and features of a disease. This study has revealed a possible tendency for men with Alzheimer’s to preserve their mental performance better than women, and the next step will be for scientists to investigate why this might be. As the researchers point out, surprisingly few studies have investigated the effects of gender on Alzheimer’s. The more we understand about the different biological mechanisms at play in Alzheimer’s disease, the better our chances of developing treatments that could make a real difference to people’s lives.

“Every person’s experience of Alzheimer’s is different and no individual with the disease will ever be just a statistic. With half a million people in the UK affected by Alzheimer’s, we urgently need effective treatments. New treatments can only come through research, but if we are to offer hope for the future, we must invest in research today.”

Image reproduced from http://static.ddmcdn.com/