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11 January 2008

Cancer Causing Benzene Still in Drinks

Nine percent of 199 beverage samples analyzed in a recent study still had benzene levels above the U. S. EPA drinking water limit of 5 parts per billion (ppb).

Many manufacturers have reformulated their products to minimize or eliminate benzene. In these reformulated products, benzene levels were 1.1 ppb or less.

Benzene can form in beverages that contain the preservative benzoate salt and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Beverages were reformulated in the early 1990’s to avoid benzene formation, but it has recurred in recent years because new manufacturers were unaware of the problem and added vitamin C to drinks.


* Science Daily January 7, 2008

Scientists Admit -- Sun Exposure Benefits Outweigh Risks

The health benefits of moderate sun exposure could outweigh any skin cancer risks for people who are deficient in Vitamin D. This is especially true for those who live in colder northern latitudes.

More sun exposure was linked to better survival rates for cancer victims. People in sunnier, southern latitudes were significantly less likely to die from their cancers than those in northern latitudes.

Vitamin D has been called "sunshine vitamin" because it is produced when skin is hit by ultraviolet rays. It has been shown to have a powerful protective effect against cancer.


* Yahoo News January 7, 2008

Which Foods Really Cause Flatulence?

According to this month's issue of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter, dairy products, vegetables, fruit sugar, fiber, sweeteners, fatty foods and carbonated drinks may all be associated with flatulence, although which specific foods cause it varies for individuals

Avoiding fried foods, fatty meat and carbonated beverages can help reduce gas. The sugar lactose in dairy foods is a common cause of gas, although many who are bothered by dairy products may still be able to eat yogurt. Some carbohydrates found in onions, radishes, cabbage, celery, carrots, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and legumes such as dried peas and beans can also produce gas. Another cause could be too much fiber.

Fruit containing large quantities of sugar can also be the culprit. These include prunes, raisins, bananas, apples, apricots, and juices made from prunes, grapes and apples. Some sugar-free sweeteners, such as sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol, can also cause flatulence.


* January 4, 2008

Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart and Stroke Risk

People with low vitamin D levels face an increased risk of heart attack, heart failure and stroke. The danger is particularly acute among those with high blood pressure.

Researchers examined more than 1700 people over a period of 5 years, taking periodic blood samples to gauge vitamin D levels. Those with low levels had a 60 percent higher risk of suffering from a cardiovascular event such as a heart attack, heart failure or stroke.

The risk was doubled among in people with both high blood pressure and vitamin D deficiency.


* Reuters January 7, 2008

Family Meals Prevent Eating Disorders

Adolescent girls who frequently eat meals with their families are significantly less likely to use diet pills, laxatives or other extreme measures to control their weight in later years.

More than 2,500 adolescents completed two surveys, one in 1999 and one in 2004. The survey asked questions about their body mass index, eating behaviors, feelings of family connectedness, and how often they ate with their families.

Teen girls who ate five or more meals each week with their families in 1999 were less likely to report using extreme measures in 2004, regardless of any other factors.


* Eurekalert January 7, 2008

8 January 2008

Is Fat On Your Hips Better for Your Brain than Fat On Your Belly?

New research suggests that women with an hourglass figure may on average be brighter and have cleverer children.

A study found that women with large hips and small waists tend to be more intelligent than those with either “apple-shaped” or linear bodies. Such women may also tend to give birth to more intelligent children. One possible reason is the greater percentage of omega 3 fats found on the hips.

The study examined 16,000 women and girls, and found that women with a greater difference between the waist and hips scored significantly higher on cognitive tests, as did their children.

Fat around hips and thighs holds higher levels of omega 3 fats, which are essential for the growth of the brain during pregnancy. Fat around the waist may have higher levels of omega 6 fats acids, which are less well suited to brain growth. Waist fat is also more likely to be a contributory factor in diabetes and heart disease.


* Times Online November 11, 2007

Which Foods Can Help You Digest Fat More Healthily?

A new research report indicates that consuming polyphenols, which are natural compounds in red wine, fruits, and vegetables, can help reduce the health risks associated with high-fat foods. They could work in the same way that certain additives help gasoline burn more cleanly.

In the study, six men and four women were fed three meals consisting of dark meat turkey cutlets. The first meal consisted of turkey meat and water, the second meal consisted of turkey meat with polyphenols added after cooking, plus a glass of red wine, and the third meal consisted of turkey meat with polyphenols added before cooking, again followed by a glass of wine.

Researchers took blood and urine samples to measure levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), which is a natural byproduct of fat digestion known to increase the risk for heart disease. MDA levels nearly quintupled after the turkey-and-water meal. However, MDA was nearly eliminated after subjects consumed the meals with polyphenols.


* Science Daily January 6, 2008

Drug Industry Spends Nearly Twice as Much for Marketing as for Research

Drug companies spends almost twice as much on the marketing and promotion of drugs than they do for research and development.

An analysis showed that U.S. drug companies spent $57.5 billion on promotional activities in 2004, but only $31.5 for research.

The authors of the analysis say that their findings confirm “the public image of a marketing-driven industry and provides an important argument to petition in favor of transforming the workings of the industry in the direction of more research and less promotion.”

The authors also believe that their figure of $57.5 billion for marketing is most likely an underestimate, since it did not include tactics such as drug company ghostwriting of articles in medical journals, or the off-label promotion of drugs.


* Eurekalert January 2, 2008

Most TV Drug Ads Minimize Information About Side Effects

A new University of Georgia study has determined that most prescription drug ads do not present a fair balance of information when it comes to the risk of side effects.

The average 60-second ad contains less than 8 seconds of side effect disclaimers, and the average 30-second ad has less than 4.4 seconds of disclaimers. Most 15-second ads have no disclaimers at all.

According to the study’s author, the problem is compounded by the fact that the information is often presented in a way that people aren’t likely to comprehend or even pay attention to. Almost all of the ads disclosed side effects solely in voice-over, with only 2.2 percent adding a disclosure in text form.


* Eurekalert January 3, 2008

Scientific American Has Second Thoughts About Fluoride

Scientific American editors have written than “Some recent studies suggest that over-consumption of fluoride can raise the risks of disorders affecting teeth, bones, the brain and the thyroid gland.”

After examining hundreds of studies, a National Research Council committee concluded that “fluoride can subtly alter endocrine function, especially in the thyroid.”

The presence of fluoride in foods, beverages, medicines, water, and dental products can result in over-consumption. A series of epidemiological studies have associated high fluoride exposures with lower IQ, as well as an increased risk of bone fracture.


* Reuters January 2, 2008

Scientific Proof that Your Childhood Traumas are a MAJOR Factor in Your All Your Illnesses

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is an ongoing research project which is perhaps the largest scientific research study of its kind. Its purpose it to analyze the relationship between multiple categories of childhood trauma and health and behavioral outcomes later in life.

ACE is examining the effects of:

* Recurrent physical abuse
* Recurrent emotional abuse
* Contact sexual abuse
* An alcohol and/or drug abuser in the household
* An incarcerated household member
* Someone who is chronically depressed, mentally ill, institutionalized, or suicidal
* Mother is treated violently
* One or no parents
* Emotional or physical neglect

To learn more about the study, and to calculate your own ACE score, take a look at the link below.


* The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study

Scientific Proof that Your Childhood Traumas are a MAJOR Factor in Your All Your Illnesses

For the first time, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has come out in support of low-carbohydrate diets for people with diabetes.

Prior to the release of its 2008 recommendations, the ADA did not support low-carbohydrate diets.

The recommendations continue to support sustained, moderate weight loss and increased physical activity for people who are overweight and living with or at risk of developing diabetes.


* Washington Post December 28, 2007