Gut reaction: Neurogastroenterologist Laureate Professor Nick Talley said a large group of people believed their tummy troubles stemmed from eating wheat. Some, not all, could be on to something. Picture: Marina NeilABOUT 14 per cent of the n population report a sensitivity to eating wheat.
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But going “gluten-free”is not necessarily healthy for everyone, and could even be harmful, University of Newcastle researchers say.

“We havedone some survey work, and about 14 per cent of ns report being sensitive to wheat – getting stomach troubles that they attribute to wheat ingestion,”neurogastroenterologist,Laureate Professor Nicholas Talley,said.

“That is a lot of people. Way more peoplethan have coeliac disease, which is about 1 per cent in the community.

“So there is this large group of people who at least believe their symptoms are from eating wheat, and often restrict wheat or gluten in their diet.”

Related reading: Too many people are on a gluten-free diet

While there was some new evidence that wheat may be a cause of some people’ssymptoms,gluten restriction was not necessarily “healthy”.

Professor Talley, with fellow researchers from the University of Newcastle –Dr Michael Potter, Professor Marjorie Walker and Associate Professor Simon Keely –have published their findings in the international medical journal Gut.

The leading article says that while alifelong gluten-free diet was central to the management of coeliacdisease, there wasa growing, wide-spreadbelief in the general population that a gluten-free diet was“healthier”, contributingto the gluten-free food industry becoming worth an estimated US$6 billion per year.

“Avoiding glutenmay not be any healthier than any other option. It could even be harmful,” Professor Talley said. “It definitely changes your gut microbiome,your gut bacteria,and not necessarily in the right direction.”

Related reading: Stress is a pain in the gut

Professor Talley said about half of the people who complained of symptoms had irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or a variant of IBSwhere they suffered“upper gut symptoms”.

“It isa little bit more complex, but it is basically bad indigestion,” he said.

“About half the people,approximately,who saidthey were wheat intolerant, had one of those disorders.”

Other lines ofevidence suggested an immune response to wheat proteins could be a cause of somesymptoms in somepeople.

Related reading: A gut feeling about wheat and diet fads

“We think that’s important, because in those people, removing or restricting wheat and/or gluten may be helpful,” he said.“If that is true,then we may be able to cure some of these unexplained gut symptoms with diet.

“Theother half? Wedon’t know what they’ve got.One of the issues is whether they reallyarewheat sensitive, in other words, if you challenge them in a blinded fashion, do they really get symptoms after eating wheat, or is it just misperceived?

“We are doing double blind studies to test thatto answerthosequestions.”

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North Queensland’s Gavin Cooper says the fact his side is running last means he won’t throw fuel on the fire ahead of a potentially spicy NRL rematch with Cronulla on Saturday.
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The teams have made a habit of ending each others’ seasons in recent years and tensions flared following the Cowboys’ round one win when Cooper accused the Sharks of employing “dirty tactics” to fell star prop Matt Scott.

Cooper triggered a back-and-forth in March when he called out the Sharks for twisting Scott’s leg while tackling him, in what was the veteran’s first game back from a serious knee injury.

The criticism angered Sharks coach Shane Flanagan, who shot back a stubborn defence of his side later that week.

The Cowboys have gone on to win just five games since, with Cooper opting to stay humble as they prepare to face the sixth-placed side in Sydney.

“Those comments were a long time ago and we’re sitting last,” he told AAP on Tuesday.

“I’ve always got a humble approach, but we’ll just leave that where it was.”

One side has beaten the other in four of the last five finals series and the slanging match between the clubs earlier this season only confirmed their rivalry.

Cronulla forward Wade Graham on Tuesday insisted Cooper had been off the mark but that there would be plenty of emotion attached to the contest regardless.

“It’s either been us or them,” he said.

“When you’ve faced a similar team over and over again you do build up a bit of a rivalry. It’s not different with the Cowboys.”

The Sharks displayed their premiership credentials in a bruising 17-14 defeat of Melbourne on Sunday while the Cowboys were hot in a 34-30 win against Brisbane.

Just three games remain in Johnathan Thurston’s farewell season and the Cowboys have a fight on their hands to avoid the wooden spoon.

“It’s a strange one at the club, considering our success, to know when our time is up this year,” Cooper said.

“(Against the Broncos we) wound back the clock a bit and the want to win was massive.

“I’m just looking forward to these last few games cause there’s a group here, whether it’s one, two, five (players), who won’t play together after that.”

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Half the people in the room raised their hand when asked if they’d experienced depression and suicidal thoughts after becoming victims of bank misconduct.
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Katter’s n Party senator Fraser Anning had put out the call for farmers and victims to speak at an event in Canberra on Tuesday, where they were able to share their stories.

“It was incredibly frustrating over nine years, and depressing, that there is no redress out there,” said Craig Caulfield from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

The lack of resolution to his drawn-out issues with the Commonwealth Bank led to two points where Mr Caulfield contemplated taking his life.

“I think the mental health consequence is one area to be investigated,” he said.

Senator Anning has called for an extended time frame and greater powers for the banking royal commission.

More than 20 farmers and victims shared their stories at the event, with organisers noting it was many more than those heard at the royal commission.

Senator Anning said people “in dire straits” had spent time and money to make their case in Canberra.

“It just shows the depth of the problem when we see this many people here,” he said.

“They’re scratching the surface – to me and all of us it looks pretty much like a whitewash to appease the masses,” he said of the royal commission.

The Senate agreed to Senator Anning’s motion on Tuesday calling on the government to extend the commission’s time frame and powers.

Liberal frontbencher James McGrath said the government would consider any request from royal commissioner Kenneth Hayne for an extension.

“The royal commission is independent of government. The specific matters that the commission decides to examine will be the commission’s alone,” Senator McGrath told parliament.

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The most deadly spot off the West n coastline for shark attacks has been chosen as the site for a 12-month SMART drumline trial.
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The WA government has previously resisted calls to use the controversial technology, saying it would only employ scientifically-sound methods to prevent shark attacks and would await the results of a NSW trial.

But Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly said the NSW government had not provided enough data, despite repeated requests for more information, so rather than wait any longer, WA would conduct its own small trial.

The independent trial, to be conducted by Chief Scientist Peter Klinken, will catch, tag, relocate and release sharks around the Gracetown area, near Margaret River in the state’s south, where surfers Chris Boyd, 35, and Nick Edwards, 31, died in 2013 and 2010.

Two surfers were bitten on the same day at well-known breaks in the area in April, prompting the Margaret River Pro competition to be called off.

According to local MP Libby Mettam, shark fears have hindered broader tourism in the area.

The trial will take several months to organise and cost several millions dollars, Mr Kelly said.

White sharks will be targeted as they are responsible for all attacks off WA since 2000, but tiger or bull sharks over two metres will also be tagged.

Sea Shepherd managing director Jeff Hansen said the conservation group had seen sharks swimming straight past SMART drumlines so they should not be relied upon for public safety.

“Previous surveys have shown that 80 per cent of Western ns believe that mitigating shark risk should be up to the individual and not the government,” Mr Hansen said.

Humane Society International’s Nicola Beynon said SMART drumlines did not have the same level of bycatch as nets and conventional drumlines, but there were concerns about the long-term survival of wildlife caught and their efficacy at protecting ocean users.

Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg sent Mr Kelly a proposal last month to install 176 SMART drumlines along 260km of popular beaches in the state.

But Mr Kelly said it was a costly plan and he was yet to be convinced there was enough evidence to show the devices reduced the risk of attacks.

Mr Frydenberg said on Tuesday the trial was long overdue and again urged the state government to roll them out “right up and down the west coast”.

The federal government piled on the pressure last week, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull urging the state government to take up Mr Frydenberg’s offer.

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A woman accused of murdering her mother, whose body was found stuffed in a suitcase in Perth’s Swan River, has cried in court while listening to evidence about the victim’s injuries.
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Tiffany Yiting Wan, 25, and her father Ah Ping Ban, 65, are on trial in the West n Supreme Court accused of murdering 58-year-old Annabelle Chen in 2016.

Ms Chen was allegedly bashed to death at her Mosman Park home, in Perth’s affluent western suburbs, then her body was stuffed into a suitcase and dumped in the river in East Fremantle.

Wan wept on Tuesday as the court was shown x-ray images of her mother’s injuries.

Forensic radiologist Dr Chris O’Donnell testified that Ms Chen suffered an “extreme force” that fractured her skull, as well as severe force that injured her ribs and hand.

Wan used tissues to wipe away her years, then kept her head down during most of the proceedings.

Ban did not express any emotion.

One of the fishermen who found Ms Chen’s body floating in the river on July 2, Alex Sambell, testified that he spotted a foot poking out of the suitcase when his friend gave it a shake.

Mr Sambell, 23, said he could also smell a strong odour coming from the suitcase and when they realised there was a body inside, they rushed it to the water police.

“I was going as fast as my little boat could go,” he said.

Ban and Wan both blame each other for the murder and claim they were the accessory.

Prosecutor Justin Whalley previously said there was no motive established in the circumstantial case and it was not exactly known when an intention to murder Ms Chen was formed or who played each role in the crime.

But he said Ban and Wan acted together and then lied in an attempt to cover up their involvement in Ms Chen’s death.

The trial continues.

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HAMILTON coach Scott Coleman reckons the career-ending injury to veteran Pete Maxwell acted as a wake-up call for the Hawks.
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Maxwell, 39, had surgery to reattach the tendon to the bone after he ruptured his left bicep in the 20-18 win over Wanderers 11 days ago.

The three-time premiership-winning hooker held back tears when he told the team he was calling it quits.

”He was only coming back for one year,” Coleman said. “It is our 50thyear and to win three premierships in a row –he was pretty pumped for that. He was pretty emotional when he addressed the players. It showedhow much it meant to him. It gavethem a bit of a wake up call that things don’t come easy and time can be up at any moment.”

The Hawks will be without Gareth Tilse (overseas) for the next three games, but welcome back Seva Rokobaro (shoulder) and possibly Liam Walker (back).

* Unbreakable hooker Matt Staff became just the third Singleton player to notch 400 games when he helped the Bulls to a crushing 71-5 win over Lake Macquarie in second-grade on Saturday. Staff wasn’t the only Bull to celebrate a milestone with centre Dean Cruickshanks reaching 250 in the same game.

TURNING BACK THE CLOCK: Peter Maxwell (left) and brother Steve in the lead-up to Hamilton’s 2008 grand-final victory.

* Strong Oval was rocking on Saturday after Nelson Baybeat University 57-12 to win the Ben Clarke Shield and strengthen their place in the top five. The match was player-coach Adam Edwards’ 100thin first grade.

* Waratahs prop NoaTaufaaowill miss the next two matches after taking an early guilty plea on a striking charge. Talanoa was sent off in the Tahs 29-19 loss to Hamilton.

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Serena Williams after winning the 2017 n Open at Melbourne Park on January 28, 2017 in Melbourne. Photo: Getty Images)LONDON:John McEnroe has refused to apologise for his comments about Serena Williams – and believes men should play against women to settle the argument.
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The former world No.1 stirred up a storm after telling US radio station NPR that Williams, who holds the Open era record of 23 grand slam singles titles, would be ranked around 700 in the men’s game.

McEnroe has been widely criticised for appearing to belittle the achievements of Williams, but defended his remarks.

After describing Williams on NPR as the greatest female player of all time, McEnroe was asked why he had not simply said greatest player.

“I felt the need, however unfortunately, to defend myself and say what I really felt, which is about what I think she would be,” McEnroe said.

Serena Williams on the cover of August’s Vanity Fair. Photo: Vanity Fair

“I’ve got a solution. Solve the problem, and I’m sure the men would be all for this – the men and women play together. And then we don’t have to guess.”

Williams responded to McEnroe’s comments with a pithy response on Twitter.

The 35-year-old, who is away from the tour preparing to give birth to her first child, wrote: “Dear John, I adore and respect you but please please keep me out of your statements that are not factually based.

“I’ve never played anyone ranked “there” nor do I have time. Respect me and my privacy as I’m trying to have a baby. Good day sir.”

When she was much younger Williams and sister Venus did however take part in a ‘battle of the sexes’ against German Karsten Braasch, who was then world No.203.

Braasch played a set against each, beating Serena 6-1 and Venus 6-2.

When McEnroe was asked if he would like to apologise he was emphatic in his response.

“No. I didn’t know it would create controversy. I’ve said this 1000 times,” McEnroe said.

“I don’t want anything to go wrong with Serena because she’s pregnant, I don’t want to upset her.

“I think she’s doing it tongue in cheek as well and I think deep down we’re talking about something… I can’t even believe we’re talking about it.”

Williams has already made it clear she is determined to return to the tour next year, with Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 slam singles titles an obvious goal.


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