Vegetarians who are careless about their diet are more likely to develop tuberculosis than meat and fish eaters, new research indicates. The chances of contracting the disease increase 8.5 times among vegetarians.

The findings are based on research carried out on the eating habits of Asian communities living in south London.

Researchers believe that a vitamin D deficiency in the diet of this community, rather than an inherent problem in vegetarianism per se, may be partly responsible for this increased risk. Nevertheless, no detailed analysis of the nutritional intake was carried out (Thorax 1995; 50: 175-80).

Scientists have discovered what has been an acknowledged fact in folk medicine for generations garlic is good for ear infections. It stops the growth of fungi that causes the condition known variously as swimmer’s ear, mildew ear or Hong Kong ear.

Its proper name is otomycosis and it forms in the ear canal, usually among people who live in countries with a warm and humid climate.

Researchers from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque took their lead from native and folk medicine and decided to test the efficacy of garlic, especially as conventional lotions are either dangerous or work poorly. In India, for example, garlic cloves are crushed in warm coconut oil to treat earache.

In a test using garlic and one of the existing lotions, Mark Platt and S T Pai from the University discovered that garlic worked as well as, and sometimes better than, the lotion in stopping the growth of the fungi. What was particularly impressive was the power of the garlic to stop the growth even at low concentrations (BMJ, February 11, 1995).

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

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