A nibble of cheese a day keeps the heart disease away. A recent analysis of more than 200,000 people showed that those who ate a little bit of cheese every day were less likely to develop heart disease compared to those who rarely or never ate it at all. The researchers from China and the Netherlands examined data compiled from 15 previous studies where most of the participants were tracked for at least 10 years. Overall, those who ate more cheese had a 14 percent lower risk of developing heart disease and were 10 percent less likely to have a stroke than their cheese-averse peers. But experts warn that the findings were not linear — meaning the study does not advocate eating enormous quantities of cheese. People who seemed to have health benefits from cheese ate about 40 grams a day or, a square the size of a matchbook.

Pick alternatives to rice cereal for baby

Rice cereal is often a baby’s first solid food, but it contains relatively high amounts of arsenic, a source of growing concern. Now an advocacy group reports that while the levels of this potentially toxic substance in infant rice cereals have dropped slightly in recent years, rice cereals still contain six times more inorganic arsenic, on average, than infant cereals made with other grains like barley or oatmeal. The new report comes from Healthy Babies Bright Futures, an alliance of scientists, nonprofits and private donors that aims to reduce children’s exposures to chemicals that may harm developing brains. One step parents can take immediately to reduce children’s exposure to arsenic is to feed infants cereals made with other grains, the group suggests.

New hemophilia treatment promising

Gene therapy has freed 10 men from nearly all symptoms of hemophilia for a year so far, in a study that fuels hopes that a one-time treatment can give long-lasting help and perhaps even cure the blood disease. Hemophilia almost always strikes males and is caused by lack of a gene that makes a protein needed for blood to clot. The therapy supplies the missing gene, using a virus that’s been modified so it won’t cause illness but ferries the DNA instructions to liver cells, which use them to make the clotting factor. The treatment is given through an IV. In a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine, all 10 men given the therapy now make clotting factor in the normal range. Bleeding episodes were reduced from about one a month before gene therapy to less than one a year. Nine of the 10 no longer need clotting factor treatments, and the 10th needs far fewer of them. There were no serious side effects.

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