Fasting and less-toxic cancer drug may work as well as chemotherapy

Fasting in combination with chemotherapy has already been shown to kill cancer cells, but a pair of new studies in mice suggests that a less-toxic class of drugs combined with fasting may kill breast, colorectal and lung cancer cells equally well.

If shown to work in humans, this combination could replace chemotherapy and make fasting a potent component of a long-term strategy to treat cancer, according to senior author Valter Longo of USC.

HRT 'increases ovarian cancer risk'

Hormone replacement therapy increases the risk of ovarian cancer, analysis of 52 separate studies has found.

The University of Oxford research,  found an extra case for every 1,000 women taking the drugs for five years from the age of 50.

Lead researcher Sir Richard Peto said claims there was no risk for short courses of HRT "simply isn't true".

HRT drugs are used to alleviate the symptoms of the menopause, which can be so severe they interfere with day-to-day life.

women take HRT mostly for between two and five years.

Breastfeeding 'linked to higher IQ'

A long-term study has pointed to a link between breastfeeding and intelligence.

The research in Brazil traced nearly 3,500 babies, from all walks of life, and found those who had been breastfed for longer went on to score higher on IQ tests as adults.

Experts say the results, while not conclusive, appear to back current advice that babies should be exclusively breastfed for six months.

Advice remains that exclusive breastfeeding for around the first six months of life provides health benefits to babies”

Type 1 diabetes: Women more likely to die

Women with type 1 diabetes face a greater risk of dying from a range of diseases compared with men with the same condition, research suggests.

This is particularly the case when it comes to heart disease, Australian scientists report.

Type 1 diabetes is a disorder that often appears in childhood. Patients' pancreases are unable to produce the insulin needed to convert sugar and other foods into energy.

Compared with the general population, people with type 1 diabetes have a shorter life expectancy. But researchers say it hasn't been clear until now whether this affects men and women equally.

Regular coffee drinkers have 'cleaner' arteries

Drinking a few cups of coffee a day may help people avoid clogged arteries - a known risk factor for heart disease - Korean researchers believe.

They studied more than 25,000 male and female employees who underwent routine health checks at their workplace.

Employees who drank a moderate amount of coffee - three to five cups a day - were less likely to have early signs of heart disease on their medical scans.