For Your Health: Beet Juice Boost

When fighting the flu, doctors say the drug Tamiflu is best. Previously patients were told to take the pill in conjunction with the drug Relenza, but scientists now say the combination is not as effective:

French researchers writing in the Public Library of Science (PLoS) Medicine journal said a study of antiviral drugs during the 2008-09 flu season found doctors should be wary of combining the two antivirals and should use Tamiflu as the first treatment option.

Tamiflu, or oseltamivir, which comes as a pill made by Roche under license from Gilead Sciences, is the drug of choice to fight flu, but some scientists have worried its overuse may prompt flu viruses to develop resistance, and so had suggested a drug combination might reduce this risk.

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A new study says that some babies may be at higher risk of developing a peanut allergy if their mother frequently ate peanuts while pregnant. Researchers at Mount Sinai say that further studies are needed:

Peanut allergies are fairly common, affecting around 1 in every 100 children. An allergic reaction to peanuts can include a rash, sneezing, feeling sick or vomiting, swelling of the face and throat, and difficulty breathing. A severe reaction can be fatal.

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Drinking beet juice can give your brain a boost. Findings from Wake Forest University show that it increases blood flow to the brain in older people and may help fight dementia:

Beet roots contain high concentrations of nitrates, which are converted into nitrites by bacteria in the mouth. And nitrites help open blood vessels in the body, increasing blood flow and oxygen to places lacking in oxygen.

Previous studies have shown that nitrites -- also found in high concentrations in celery, cabbage, and other leafy, green vegetables like spinach -- widen blood vessels, but researchers say this was the first to find that nitrites also increase blood flow to the brain.

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