Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton, shocked the racing world when she took fifth place at the Cheltenham Festival, and now she has revealed she is planning on conquering another equestrian sport: polo.

‘I am actually taking polo lessons,’ the 35-year-old said. 

‘When I’m at home, I‘m practising my polo swing. I have a basic croquet mallet – it’s not a full-length polo one, and I have been swinging it around the garden and running after the ball, just playing polo on my own!’

Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton has revealed she is planning on conquering polo

The cyclist-turned-amateur-jockey, who is set to take on a new role as BBC Radio 5 Live’s cycling analyst for Rio 2016, also revealed that even after riding all day, she still goes for a run if she doesn’t feel she’s had enough exercise.

‘I do something physical every day,’ she says. 

‘Sometimes when I come back from the yard, if there are only one or two horses to ride, I will do a run afterwards – I’ll go off and do 5K.

‘I love feeling fit. Having being an athlete, I don’t want to ever let that go.’

Blackcurrants can help decrease the size of stomach cancers, a Scottish study has found. 

Blackcurrants can help decrease the size of stomach cancers, a study has found

Researchers tested the anti-cancer activity of blackcurrant polyphenol extract and demonstrated that it has an ‘anti-tumour’ effect on gastric and oesophagus cancers.

Separate research has revealed that these anthocyanins, particularly the purple anthocyanins found in blackcurrants, are effective and potent at inhibiting tumour cell numbers and increasing cancer-cell death.

‘Research now supports the idea that the anthocyanins found in blackcurrants do indeed have an ‘anti-tumour’ effect on gastric and oesophagus cancers,’ said Professor Derek Stewart of the James Hutton Institute, which has bases in Aberdeen and Dundee.

A new blood test for diagnosing liver fibrosis in people suffering from fatty liver disease could soon be available on the NHS. 

Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is one of the most common types of liver disease, with up to 27 per cent of the population in the industrialised world suffering from the condition.

Untreated, NAFLD can result in cirrhosis of the liver, with consequences for the patient such as cancer and liver failure. 

Symptoms can take between ten and 30 years to develop, so early diagnosis is key to initiating treatment.

The current method of detecting liver damage, also known as fibrosis, is an invasive liver biopsy, a surgical procedure that can lead to misdiagnosis in 20 to 40 per cent of patients. 

However, the new test only requires a blood sample and delivers a result within an hour, allowing appropriate action to be taken to prevent further damage. 

The ADVIA Centaur ELF Test was recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence earlier this month.

The team behind the launch of a Finnish probiotic drink sent British travel presenter Ian Wright on a bizarre journey around Europe to test its health-giving properties. 

He was told to lick as many unhygienic surfaces as he could find, including a toilet floor and a can of beer from a skip, while drinking the gut-health beverage Valio Gefilus as he travelled. 

The fruit whey drink, soon to launch in the UK, contains lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, a beneficial type of bacterium that has been scrutinised in more than 800 studies. 

Wright used a hand-held device to assess bacteria levels on the surfaces he licked. 

Despite their high readings, he was given a clean bill of health by doctors on his return.

The team behind the launch of a Finnish probiotic drink sent British travel presenter Ian Wright on a bizarre journey around Europe to test its health-giving properties

Sending text messages to diabetics to remind them to take their medication could help them better control their blood sugar levels. 

Researchers at the University of Manchester and the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka found sending text messages to type 2 diabetics led to a significant improvement in blood sugar levels. 

The findings, published in the Journal Of Medical Internet Research, looked at the benefits of using texts as a reminder to take medication, a motivator to make positive health changes and to improve communication between patient and healthcare provider. 

The study found the largest positive effect was among low- and middle-class income countries – where 80 per cent of diabetics live.

Not to be sniffed at…the world’s first hay fever app

An Irish hockey player has launched the first 3D app to help hay fever sufferers control the condition. 

David Carson, who has 32 international caps for Ireland, has developed Hay Fever Relief, a free app now available in the UK.

Utilising the expertise of his father, Dr Paul Carson, who has been treating hay fever for more than 30 years, the app is designed to help the 20 million people in Ireland and the UK who suffer from the condition.

The app allows users to explore 3D imagery of the nose, sinuses, ears and chest. 

They can input details of their symptoms, which are then graded by severity and the app recommends the most suitable treatment. 

The app’s Instant Pollen Count function tells users how high the levels are wherever in the world they are, or are planning to travel to, so they can prepare before the holiday and stock up on antihistamines.