It’s hard to believe that another year is nearly upon us.
While so much has happened in the last 365 days, it’s also been a massive year when it came to health discoveries and breakthroughs.
These discoveries are welcomed news for people living with serious health conditions and could change the way they manage their conditions forever.
Today, we’re looking back at some of the biggest health discoveries of the past 12 months.
Professor Kefah Mokbel, the lead surgeon at the London Breast Institute and Honorary Professor of Breast Cancer Surgery at The Brunel Institute of Cancer Genetics stated earlier this year that dyeing your hair could increase your chance of developing breast cancer.
He claimed that women who dye their hair are 14 per cent more likely to suffer the deadly disease and advised that they reduced their exposure to synthetic hair dyes to no more than six times a year.
His research also suggested that women shouldn’t give up dyeing their hair completely, but should instead opt for dyes that include natural, herbal ingredients such as rose hip or rhubarb.
Recent research from Harvard University published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that eating nuts daily was the key to reducing the chances of a heart attack and stroke.
While nut-lovers were encouraged not to gorge themselves on salted snacks every day, munching on walnuts, peanuts, almonds, pistachios and even cashews was proven to be of benefit.
Eating walnuts one a week was found to have reduced cardiovascular disease by 19 per cent and saw a 21 per cent decline in the risk of coronary heart disease.
It also found that eating peanuts two times a week had similar results, reducing cardiovascular disease by 13 per cent and a 15 per cent reduction in coronary heart disease.
If you’re the kind of person who enjoys a cuppa tea every day, research by the British Ophthalmology recently suggested that hot tea can reduce the risk of contracting glaucoma.
The eye disease, which is known to cause blindness, was found to be less prominent in people who drank more than six cups of hot tea each week. In fact, the study suggested that hot tea drinkers were 74 per cent less likely to get glaucoma than people who drank other drinks such as coffee, ice tea, or fizzy drinks.
Although in the early stages of research, the paper suggested that more studies would need to be carried out to ensure the real impact hot tea drinking can have on the eye condition.
Millions of women around the world suffer from incontinence, an irritating and uncomfortable health issue that sees the bladder releasing urine uncontrollably.
A recent study from the UK suggested that common drugs used to treat blood pressure could be the key to curing incontinence – welcome news to women across the globe who are currently forced to try and train their bladder and pelvic floor, lose weight, or even undergo surgery.
It is believed that the endothelin pathway is affected when medication used to manage blood pressure is taken, giving hope to medical specialists and people living with the condition.
Dementia is one of the cruellest diseases out there, but a paper published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry suggested that married life could help when it comes to the loss of brain function.
The study concluded that people who haven’t been in a long-term relationship for their entire lives are 42 per cent more likely to develop dementia than people who are married or in a relationship.
It also found that people who become widowed were 20 per cent more likely to suffer from dementia, possibly because there’s a lack of information for people who are single or alone.
At present, some 47 million people around the globe are living with the condition, while 413,106 Australians have dementia.
Most people are brought up to shower once or twice a day, but Dr Elaine Larson, an infectious disease expert from Columbia University School of Nursing, suggests that doing so could be opening us up to diseases.
Instead, she recommends people shower just once or twice a week to keep clean and prevent illness.
She hinted that regular washing actually opens up the gaps in the skin and lets germs in, as well as drying out the skin.
A simple injection could treat back pain
After 10 years of research at Monash University and Hudson Institute of Medical Research, an injection has been developed that could help one in six Australians that live with chronic back pain.
By injecting six million stem cells into painful areas, it is believed that the injection would work as an anti-inflammatory of sorts.
Stem cell research has been hailed by the medical world as the future science and is currently used to treat an array of blood diseases and to help regenerate tissues.
Women are more likely to suffer from asthma than men in Australia, with 267 women dying from the respiratory illness in 2015, compared to 143 men.
A medical team from Australia and France discovered that because men develop testosterone in puberty, it protects them for life from the condition, resulting in lower numbers of males being affected.
As such, scientists are working on a synthetic testosterone for women that will replace current steroids and hopefully reduce the impact of the condition for those living with asthma.
Esteemed medical journal The Lancet has found that pollution kills more people worldwide than wars, violence, AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.
It’s said to be the biggest killer in the world, with some nine million people suffering premature deaths annual.
The study took into account the damage that polluted air, water and soil was having on the health of people and found that it actually is worse than most people would expect.
It’s one of the most painful and crippling conditions around but a recent study by the University of Birmingham found has suggested that Vitamin D can actually prevent the onset of arthritis inflammation.
The research concluded that Vitamin D has positive impacts on the skeleton and that it has the ability to suppress inflammation in autoimmune diseases.
While sitting around in the sun is a good way of increasing your body’s exposure to the miracle vitamin, people living with the condition are also recommended to increase levels of Vitamin D in food and drinks by including more fatty fishes, cheeses, egg yolks, cereals and orange juices to their diet.