New pictures: Nelson teen 'calm and settled' after cannabis oil treatment

Alex Renton, the Nelson teen in a coma whose supporters fought to grant him access to cannabis oil medication, is responding to treatment, his mother says.

Alex, 19, has now received two doses of Elixinol, a cannabidiol (CBD) product from the United States, and mother Rose Renton told ONE News he was "calm and settled" following the second treatment.

The family hopes an electroencephalogram (or EEG - a test to measure electrical brain activity) with show positive progress later this week, and that Alex's sedation can be reduced further.

Alex is suffering from a prolonged form of seizure, known as epilepticus, and has been in Wellington Hospital since early April.

Doctors have tried more than 20 mediations to treat him, but none have worked.

His condition sparked a national debate on the benefits and morality of using cannabis oil for medicinal purposes.

Elixinol is manufactured from hemp and the active ingredient is cannabidiol, which is not a psychoactive drug, unlike its recreational relative tetrahydrocannibinol (THC).

Alex Renton after receiving Elixinol Source: 1 NEWS


Rugby greats, family and friends to deliver tributes during Jerry Collins' funeral

Tributes from past and present Hurricanes players, including the great Tana Umaga and good friend Chris Masoe, will be heard at Jerry Collins' funeral this morning.

The former All Black flanker will be farewelled at a public funeral in Porirua from 10am.

Those paying their respects during the service will be former All Blacks captain and Collins' cousin Tana Umaga, former teammate and good friend Chris Masoe, and Ron Wood from the Northern United Football Club.

Collins' mother, Galuia Collins, sisters, Tiana, Brenda and Helen, and his father, To'omata Frank Collins will make tributes during the funeral.

The Mayor of Porirua City, Nick Leggett, and Collins' manager Tim Castle will also give speeches.

A host of past and present All Blacks including Jonah Lomu and SBW are attending the ceremony Source: 1 NEWS



Is chocolate good for you? New study suggests 100g a day may be beneficial

A new study suggests that eating up to 100g of chocolate every day is associated with lower rates of heart disease and stroke risk.

The research, published in the journal Heart, based its conclusions on studies of almost 21,000 adults taking part in a study tracking diet on the long term health of men and women in Norfolk.

The findings showed that compared with those who avoided chocolate, intake was linked to an 11% lower risk of cardio disease and 25% lower risk of associated death.

Professor of Biostatistics at University of Auckland Thomas Lumley said the study was not experimental, used several different types of chocolate, including ordinary milk chocolate.

"There are these things called flavonoids in cocoa that are supposed to be good, both for reducing inflammation and for your blood vessels and that's what the small experimental studies have found," he told TV ONE's Breakfast this morning.

He said the top 20% of people ate about 100g, and "that's a lot of chocolate".

"The people who didn't eat any chocolate in that study were more likely to have diabetes and that's probably why they weren't eating chocolate.

"In this case, the people who ate the most chocolate didn't have higher weight or higher BMI than the people who ate less chocolate."

Chocolate was also linked with a 9% lower risk of hospital admission or death from coronary heart disease, taking into account dietary factors.

"There does not appear to be any evidence to say that chocolate should be avoided in those who are concerned about cardiovascular risk," the authors concluded.

But, Mr Lumley said the evidence for the association was only moderately strong, and could be down to chance.

"Since the study is designed to look at many different aspects of diet, it is not at all impossible that any particular interesting correlation is due to chance.

"Even if it is not due to chance, there are potential explanations other than a beneficial effect of chocolate. For example, people at high risk of heart disease may be avoiding chocolate."

Pieces of milk chocolate Source: Thinkstock