Tablet made from ginseng could boost a man's love life
"showed a small but significant improvement in sexual function ". It's no Viagra
It's long been used by the Chinese as an aphrodisiac, but new research claims tablets made from ginseng really can perk up a man's love life. A South Korean study found men with erectile dysfunction improved their performance in the bedroom after taking the tablets for just a few weeks.
Although some previous studies have suggested ginseng can help tackle impotence, many have been conducted in mice.
The latest research involved more than 100 men who had been diagnosed with erection problems.
Impotence affects one in ten men in the UK at some point in their lives. Although drugs such as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra have revolutionised treatment in the last ten years, around 30 per cent of men who take them see no improvement.
For these men, the only other options are to inject drugs straight into the penis, or use a pump that manually increases blood supply to the organ. Neither is very popular.
While herbal remedies like ginseng have been touted as alternative treatments, the evidence to support their use has been lacking.
Ginseng is a plant that has been used for thousands of years to bolster overall health.
The root contains several active substances, called either ginsenosides or panaxosides, that are thought to be responsible for the medicinal effects of the herb.
Scientists at the Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea, recruited 119 men with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction.
The group was split into two and while half took four tablets a day containing extracts of Korean ginseng berry, the rest took identical dummy pills.
After eight weeks, researchers measured improvements by using a recognised scale called the International Index of Erectile Dysfunction.
The results, published in the International Journal of Impotence Research, showed a small but significant improvement in sexual function in the ginseng group compared to those on the dummy tablets.
In a report on their findings the researchers said: 'Korean ginseng berry extract improved all domains of sexual function. 'It can be used as an alternative to medicine to improve sexual life in men.'
Parents sentencing their children to cancer by letting them sit in front of TV and computer screens for hours on end?
More WCRF rubbish. They are scaremongers for profit. "A review of several studies" is their evidence. Leaving out the ones that don't suit them, of course
Millions of parents are putting their children at risk of cancer because they let them spend too long sitting – either watching TV, playing computer games or surfing the internet.
Doctors have today delivered a stark warning that a generation of youngsters is also at risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes because of their sedentary lifestyles.
Even more worrying is that children who do exercise regularly are still at risk, because long periods of inactivity could still lead to obesity.
Experts have now urged parents to limit the amount of time children spend being sedentary to two hours a day.
But a 2011 study by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) found that the average child in the UK is already exceeding this by watching more than two-and-a-half-hours of television and surfing the internet for an hour and 50 minutes a day.
Dr Rachel Thompson, deputy head of science at the World Cancer Research Fund told MailOnline that even if children exercise, they can still develop dangerous bad habits if they are allowed to spend hours a day inactive.
She said: ‘We know that being physically active as a child means you’re more likely to continue to be so as an adult.’
Professor Mitch Blair of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health told the Daily Mirror that children are 'exposed to screens' more than ever before.
He said: 'We are becoming increasingly concerned that this encourages a more sedentary lifestyle’, adding that screen time should be limited to no more than two hours a day.
The research agency Childwise says children spent an average of 5.9 hours a day in front of the TV, a games console or a compute.
And just last month, the latest NHS figures revealed that a third of final year primary school children are overweight or obese.
The exact mechanism of how being sedentary causes cancer is still relatively unknown. But it’s thought that physical activity decreases the risk of cancer by reducing inflammation in the body – which is linked to developing the condition, Dr Thompson said.
Being active also reduces body fat – it’s known that obese people have higher levels of inflammation in the body – and increases insulin sensitivity, thereby reducing the risk of diabetes.
She added: 'Being overweight also increases levels of certain hormones such as oestrogen, and this has been linked with an increased risk of certain cancers, such as breast.’
Indeed, the most physically active women are 20 per cent less likely to get the disease than their most sedentary counterparts, according to Cancer Research UK.
Furthermore, an increasing body of research is linking a lack of physical activity to between 6 and 10 per cent of all cases of heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and breast and bowel cancer.
The charity says a review of several studies showed a 24 per cent risk reduction for colon cancer in the most versus least active men, and a 21 per cent risk reduction in the most active women.
Physical activity may affect colon cancer risk in various ways, including the time it takes for waste to pass through the body, inflammation and insulin resistance and hormone levels.
Being more active also reduces the risk of endometrial cancer by 30 per cent.
Last year, Britain was labelled one of the most sedentary populations on Earth, with almost twice the proportion of people defined as 'inactive' as in neighbouring France.