Long-term stress linked to higher levels of obesity

People who suffer long-term stress may also be more prone to obesity, according to research by scientists which involved examining hair samples for levels of cortisol, a hormone which regulates the body's response to stress according to Science daily.

The paper, showed that exposure to higher levels of cortisol over several months is associated with people being more heavily, and more persistently, overweight.

Chronic stress has long been hypothesised to be implicated in obesity -- people tend to report overeating and 'comfort eating' foods high in fat, sugar and calories in times of stress, and the stress hormone cortisol plays an important role in metabolism and determining where fat is stored.

Snail venom compound 'offers chronic pain therapy'

Venom from a small snail could be used to develop a treatment for chronic pain, scientists suggest according to BBC.

Normally used to paralyse or kill its prey, the venom also contains a compound that appears to act as long-lasting pain relief.

In research on rats, the compound was still working three days later.

The findings meant it may be possible to create a new pain therapy for patients who had run out of options, the researchers said.

Most medicines for moderate to severe pain, called opioids, work by reducing the perception of pain.

Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified

Patients, who complain they can't hear their friends at a noisy restaurant, but pass a hearing test in their doctor's office, may be describing hidden hearing loss according to Science daily.

Now, less than six years since its initial description, scientists have made great strides in understanding what hidden hearing loss is and what causes it. In research, researchers report a new unexpected cause for this auditory neuropathy, a step toward the eventual work to identify treatments.

"If people can have hidden hearing loss for different reasons, having the ability to make the right diagnosis of the pathogenesis will be critical," says author Gabriel Corfas, Ph.D.

Vitamin D pills 'could stop colds or flu'

Vitamin D supplements could spare more than three million people from colds or flu each year, researchers claim according to BBC.

The sunshine vitamin is vital for healthy bones, but also has a role in the immune system.

The analysis, argues food should be fortified with the vitamin.

Vitamin D should be taken for improved bone and muscle health.

4 tablespoons of olive oil helps to boost the effects of good cholesterol

A Mediterranean diet really does help people at risk of heart disease, scientists have confirmed according to Daily mail.

In a new study, they found foods rich in olive oil help to enhance the benefits of so-called 'good cholesterol' - HDL.

Just four tablespoons of the widely used ingredient each day prevented plaque from forming in the arteries of those deemed at risk.

However, it didn't help to reduce levels of 'bad' cholesterol - LDL, a known risk factor of heart attacks and stroke.