Research briefs

Coeliac link to sepsis risk
Coeliac disease increases the risk of sepsis, say Swedish researchers. The study used the national health register to identify 15,325 people with coeliac. Compared with the general population, they were two-and-a-half times as likely to get sepsis and almost four times as likely to suffer pneumococcal sepsis (Gut Online, 2008).

Liver damage in just four weeks from fast food binge
Fast food can damage the liver in four weeks, Swedish researchers suggest. They challenged 18 slim, healthy people to double their calorie intake by eating fast food meals. Blood tests showed that levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), an indicator of liver damage, increased from 22 to 97U/litre. In 11 people high ALT levels indicated liver damage (Gut Online, 2008).

Brussels sprouts stunt growth
Brussels sprouts can stunt growth, at least in aphids, according to scientists in the Netherlands. Comparison of aphids living on sprouts with those on wild cabbages suggested sprouts were less nutritious. Sprouts had fewer aphids than the cabbages, and the aphids that were there were smaller. Findings are not an excuse for children to avoid sprouts - human nutritional needs are different from those of aphids (Science 2008; 319: 804-7).

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