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More reasons to eat your broccoli

Love it or hate it, broccoli is touted as a superfood, offering an array of health benefits. And it's about to get even more super.

Researchers have identified candidate genes controlling the accumulation of phenolic compounds in broccoli. Consumption of phenolic compounds, including certain flavonoids, is associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease, type II diabetes, asthma, and several types of cancer.

"Phenolic compounds have good antioxidant activity, and there is increasing evidence that this antioxidant activity affects biochemical pathways affiliated with inflammation in mammals. We need inflammation because it's a response to disease or damage, but it's also associated with initiation of a number of degenerative diseases.

Bubbly drink trial 'to boost cancer therapy'

Scientists are investigating whether bubbly drinks could boost the success of cancer treatments, after winning a Cancer Research UK award for ideas "outside the box".

Researchers from Oxford and Ulster universities say low oxygen levels in tumours is a key reason why radiotherapy and drugs fail, according to BBC.

They hope to develop a drink, rich in oxygen micro-bubbles, that could deliver oxygen to cancerous masses.

But they say their work is just beginning.

Scientists have noted for years that many cancerous tissues have less oxygen than their healthy counterparts.

Eating nuts slashes prostate cancer death risk by a third

Men with prostate cancer could slash their risk of death by more than a third by eating nuts regularly, a major study shows.

Five 1oz servings a week of any type of nut cut mortality rates by 34 per cent, researchers found.

But there was no evidence that eating nuts reduces the risk of developing the disease in the first place.

The results come from the largest ever study into the effects of a nut-rich diet on prostate cancer.

Previous studies have hinted a healthy diet and lifestyle, including frequent snacking on nuts, can have a protective effect. In 2014, scientists found walnuts in particular seemed to significantly lower the risk of a tumour.

In the latest study, tracked 47,000 men over 26 years. They identified 6,800 who developed prostate cancer.

Well-timed exercise might improve learning

Aerobic exercise four hours after a memorization task, but not exercise right afterwards, was linked to improved recall in a series of Dutch experiments.

Newly-learned information turns into long-term knowledge through a process of stabilization and integration of memories, the study team writes in Current Biology. This requires certain brain chemicals that are also released during physical exercise, including dopamine, noradrenaline (norepinephrine) and a growth factor called BDNF, they explain, according to Reuters.

“The brain processes new memories for a while after learning. Physical exercise is able to improve these post-learning processes,” senior author Guillen Fernandez, director of the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behavior in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, told Reuters Health by email.

To explore when exercise would most improve learning, researchers recruited 72 participants and tasked them with learning to match a series of 90 locations with pictures over a 40-minute period.

The participants were split into three groups: one group exercised immediately after learning, one group exercised four hours later and one group did not exercise at all.

Cancer risk from coffee downgraded

The cancer risk of coffee has been downgraded, with experts concluding there is inadequate evidence to suggest it causes the disease.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, had classed coffee as "possibly" carcinogenic since 1991.

This was because of a link to bladder cancer, according to BBC.

But the expert group has now decided there is insufficient evidence to say whether it causes cancer or not.