Friday, May 13, 2011

Allergy Sufferers Hit With Double Dose Of Pollen

EXPLAINS SO MUCH!!! I'm literally dying of allergies right now. and i have been for probably the last month or so. its really driving me insane, itchy eyes, running nose at least now there is an explanation.

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Spring is in the air, and while that means warmer weather, it also means the itchy eyes and runny noses that come with allergy season.

Doctors in New Hampshire said this is one of the worst allergy seasons in years. Allergy sufferers said they can tell.

"I'll be sneezing and sneezing and sneezing, running and running and running, and then once it all passed, it will stop," said Bernadette Sabatino, of Derry.

The problem this year is that the late spring delayed tree pollen season, which is now happening at the same time as grass pollen season.

"People are being hit with a double whammy of pollen right now, and they are really suffering out there," said Dr. Thomas Johnson, allergy specialist.

Allergists said that when the sneezing starts, the best thing to do is see your doctor. Over-the-counter remedies are available, but it's important to remember they can be dangerous if not taken properly.

"People can actually take a Benadryl, thinking it's innocuous, and have a reaction to it that impairs judgment," Johnson said.

Another way to reduce allergy symptoms comes naturally with the warm weather: Hit the beach.

"The pollen counts are much lower at the beach," Johnson said. "There's nothing generating pollen at the ocean."

Relief isn't too far off. Johnson said the pollen should die down over the next few weeks.

Original Article.

Medicare to Run Dry in 2024

Well well.. isnt this sad, honestly i cant understand how with very little technology and resourced people back in the day didnt have to deal with econmic crsis like we do now. its so sad for me to think what kind of world my children will be living in.

WASHINGTON -- Funding for the Medicare program will dry up in 2024, according to an annual report from the program's trustees. Last year's report projected the entitlement program to be solvent through 2029.

The bleaker projection is a result of a smaller-than-expected influx of payroll taxes in 2010 because of a slower-than-predicted economic recovery, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters during a Friday afternoon press briefing.

And inpatient and hospital-related care was more expensive last year than actuaries originally predicted, Sebelius noted.

Total Medicare costs are currently about 3.6% of the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but that percentage is expected to balloon up to 5.5% of GDP by 2035, and then increase gradually to about 6.2% of GDP by 2085.

Two separate trust funds provide money for Medicare. The Hospital Insurance Trust Fund pays for inpatient hospital and related care. The Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) Trust Fund pays for outpatient physicians and other outpatient services (known as Part B of Medicare) and Part D, which covers prescription drugs.

It's the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund specifically that is projected to be exhausted in 2024. However, "exhaustion" to actuaries means the program will only take in enough funds to pay out three-quarters of benefits, which means hospitals would receive much lower reimbursements for treating Medicare patients.

Part B -- which includes doctor's bills, outpatient expenses, and prescription drug coverage -- will remain steady because it's automatically funded each year, through legislation and insurance premiums, to meet the following year's expected costs. However, those costs will grow, largely because of the increased cost to provide care to an aging population.

SMI costs are currently about 1.9% of GDP, but will grow to 3.4% of GDP in 2035 and reach 4.1% of GDP by 2084, projected the trustees, which include Sebelius, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Commissioner of Social Security Michael J. Astrue, and two new public trustees.

However, that projection assumes that the short-term sustainable growth rate (SGR) fix passed by Congress in December will indeed expire on Jan. 1, 2012, at which point doctors will be subject to a 29% cut in Medicare reimbursements. Every year since 2003, Congress has prevented steep cuts from happening, and it's expected that will happen again.

The American Medical Association (AMA) said the report shows exactly why the SGR formula needs to be fixed.

"The Medicare trustees report leaves no doubt that the time to repeal the Medicare physician payment formula is now -- to keep from digging a deeper financial hole and to preserve access to care for patients," AMA immediate past president J. James Rohack, MD, said in a statement.

"Across-the-board cuts in Medicare do not get to the root of the cost challenge and can hamper patients' ability to receive care," said Rohack. "Instead of focusing only on cuts, the ultimate goal should be to achieve better value for our healthcare spending."

Although this year's Medicare assessment is less rosy than last year -- when the trustees projected the program would remain solvent until 2029 thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) -- the trustees still said the healthcare reform law is a life raft for Medicare and will make Medicare costs 25% lower than they would have been otherwise.

If the law hadn't passed, the Medicare program would have run out of money in 2016, Sebelius said.

Many of the main provisions that Democrats expect to save money -- including changing how care is paid for and delivered, in part through accountable care organizations -- won't begin to save money for years.

If those reforms don't work, Medicare's cost will be much higher, wrote the two public trustees.

"If the legislation's cost-reduction innovations in the delivery of and payment for health services were not successful, or if healthcare providers could not accommodate the slower growth in Medicare payment rates mandated by the new law, Medicare costs would be significantly higher than shown in the trustees report," wrote Charles Blahous and Robert Reischauer.

Original Article.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Could blowing your nose lead to a stroke?

Who knew! it seems like anything and everything these days can cause strokes or cancer lol.

Drinking coffee, making love, getting angry or even blowing your nose can significantly increase your chances of having a deadly type of stroke, scientists have warned.

Seemingly harmless everyday functions such as going to the lavatory, drinking a can of cola or jumping when you are surprised, all trigger a sudden increase in the blood pressure.

This can lead to a subarachnoid haemorrhage, a type of stroke which is fatal for more than half of victims.

Some 8,000 Britons suffer a subarachnoid haemorrhage every year and it is most common in the middle-aged, particularly women.

The study, by Dutch scientists, identified eight everyday activities and bodily functions which are likely to increase the blood pressure suddenly, and risk this type of stroke.


Women wakes up with a foregin accent after having dental surgery

Good Morning! okay so i will admit this article is a little.. cookoo! i mean who knew this could happen lol i didn't believe it at first but i mean its weird, and the name just makes it sound even more odd. foreign accent syndrome? really how creative. short and sweet article tonight!

An Oregon woman woke up after having oral surgery with a Transylvanian accent. Karen Butler had routine dental work and when she woke up didn’t realize anything unusual had happened until she heard and saw herself speaking on a recording.

Doctors diagnosed the 56-year-old with a rare neurological disease called foreign accent syndrome.

Dr. Ted Lowenkopf, medical director of Providence Stroke Center told Fox News, "What happens with foreign accent syndrome to the best of our understanding is that a very, very small part of the speech area is affected so that the normal intonation of speech gets altered."

Often, the condition is associated with stroke, multiple sclerosis, head injuries, and migraines.

Butler will likely not have her old northwestern accent return.

She is part of a small group who have suffered from this affliction. There have been just 60 recorded cases since 1941.


Friday, April 29, 2011

5-Minute Screen for Signs of Autism Works in 1-Year-Olds

In Study, Screen Detected Signs of Autism, Other Developmental Problems 75% of the Time

April 28, 2011 -- A simple checklist completed by parents can help doctors screen for signs of autism as early as the child’s first birthday, according to new research.

''I am hoping it will become the standard of care," researcher Karen Pierce, PhD, an assistant professor of neuroscience at the University of San Diego School of Medicine, tells WebMD.

She recently tested the screen, asking 137 pediatricians throughout San Diego County to take part. At the 12-month well baby visit, the doctors asked the parents to answer the 24-item checklist. The questions ask about their child's emotions, eye gaze, communication, gestures, and other behaviors.

The screen found suspected autism, autism spectrum disorder, language delays, or other developmental problems about 75% of the time, Pierce says.

"One of every four times, it will be wrong," she says. "The price to pay for that is actually very tiny" compared to the benefit of early intervention.

Currently, 5.7 years is the median age (half older, half younger) at which children receive an autism diagnosis, according to a 2009 study.

About one in 110 children in the U.S. has autism or autism spectrum disorder, a group of developmental disabilities that cause social, behavioral, and communication challenges.

The new study is published online in the Journal of Pediatrics.

Baby Development: 12 Ways to Help Your Infant Learn & Grow

Screen for Autism: A Closer Look
The screen used is already published and is available online for free download. It is called the CSBS DP IT checklist (Communication and Symbolic Behavior Scales Developmental Profile Infant-Toddler).

The questionnaire takes about five minutes to complete, Pierce says.

Among the questions:

Do you know when your child is happy and when your child is upset?
Does your child do things just to get you to laugh?
Does your child string sounds together, such as uh oh, mamma, gaga, bye-bye?
When you call your child's name, does he/she respond by looking or turning toward you?
Does your child wave to greet people?
Does your child smile or laugh while looking at you?

"This is not an autism-specific screen," Pierce tells WebMD. "It's a screen to catch autism and other developmental delays."

The doctors screened 10,479 infants. Of them, 1,318 children failed. Pierce evaluated 184 of the children who failed the screen and were evaluated for autism, autism spectrum disorder, language delays, or other developmental delays. The researchers also tracked 41 of the 9,161 children who passed the checklist, who served as a comparison group.

To date, 32 of the children got a final or provisional diagnosis of autism or autism spectrum disorder, which encompasses a wider spectrum of developmental problems. Another 46 received a false-positive diagnosis of autism, uncovered with evaluation.

Five babies who tested positive for ASD later no longer met the criteria. Fifty-six were diagnosed with learning disabilities, nine with developmental problems, and 36 with "other" developmental problems.

It is critical, Pierce says, that a doctor who uses the screen has access to a center where he can refer patients for more evaluation.

In 2007, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a report introducing universal screening for autism at ages 18 months and 24 months.

Original Article.

Containing Costs for Pet Care

Happy Royal Wedding Day! I will admit i didn't really watch the royal wedding , not really something that interest me, but what does interest me is what everyone was wearing, the hats the outfits, how the church was decorated, and it was all gorgeous!
now on to my next thing, if your an animal lover like i am, then this article is for you, we all have had to take our pets to the pet ER at least once and the prices are not cheap!!

DEBORAH NOCELLA, a 43-year-old mother in Park Slope, says she feels as if she takes the family’s two dogs to the vet almost as often as she takes them to the neighborhood dog run.

Last year the Nocella family adopted two puppies, a pit bull mix named Pokie and a “puggle” named Browny. Since then, Ms. Nocella estimates, the family has spent as much as $5,000 on veterinarian bills.

The dogs have had routine checkups and shots, of course. But then there were unexpected costs: Pokie arrived with a bad case of worms and kennel cough; some strange bumps on her paws turned out, after $700 worth of tests, to be warts. Browny has severe allergies and requires frequent trips to the vet.

Last November, Pokie swallowed Advil pills, which are toxic to dogs. She went into renal failure and required emergency treatment overnight in a nearby animal hospital. The treatment was successful and Pokie is fine, but the incident set the Nocellas back $2,300.

Pet owners like Ms. Nocella are spending more on veterinarian bills than ever before. The American Pet Products Association estimates that Americans will spend $12.2 billion on veterinary care this year, up from $11 billion last year and $8.2 billion in 2006.

Advances in veterinary medicine mean more extensive, and expensive, treatments are available for animals, but even ordinary costs like flea and tick protection can add up quickly. Here are some ways to curb those costs while still giving your pet the best of care.

LOW-COST ALTERNATIVES Local shelters often offer free or low-cost spaying and neutering for dogs and cats, said Dr. Louise Murray, vice president at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in New York and author of “Vet Confidential.” To find a shelter near you, check the A.S.P.C.A. Web site at

Shelters where pets can be adopted may offer low-cost vaccinations and checkups. Mobile clinics, usually sponsored by local governments or animal protection agencies, also provide routine pet care for far less than a traditional vet would charge.

Veterinarian schools are another good source of low-cost care. Students are carefully supervised by qualified veterinarians, so pets receive quality care — everything from heartworm tests to major surgery, often for as little as a third of the price at a veterinarian’s office.

THE RIGHT VACCINES Keeping up with a pet’s shots will save money, not to mention misery, in the long run by preventing many serious illnesses. But that does not mean a pet needs every vaccine available.

“A corgi who lives on the Upper East Side doesn’t need the same protocol as a Labrador in Connecticut,” Dr. Murray said. “Your veterinarian should customize a vaccine plan that fits your pet.”

A HEALTHY DIET Many vets sell prescriptions and high-quality pet food, but the same brands are sold for much less at many pet supply stores or Web sites. Still, do not skimp on quality.

“Cats, for example, are carnivores and aren’t meant to eat carbohydrates,” Dr. Murray said. “Feeding them only the cheap dried food can lead to diabetes or blockages that will cost you a lot more in the long run than the price you’ll pay for the right food.”

DRUG DISCOUNTS If a pet needs regular medication, discount chains such as Costco can be cheaper than a regular drug store or the vet’s office, said Dr. Sharon Friedman, a veterinarian at the Berkley Animal Clinic in Berkley, Mich. But consult a veterinarian first, she advised, to be sure to buy the right medicine at the right dosage.

On the other hand, do not assume that tick and flea treatments or heartworm medications are cheaper at the big discount chains. Manufacturers want to distribute these medicines through veterinarians’ offices, so they often offer promotions and discounts there that are not available elsewhere.

“One company recently offered two free tick and flea treatments if you bought six doses. That worked out to be less expensive than PetMeds, a popular online store, or Costco,” Dr. Friedman said. “It often pays to ask.”

Many Web sites sell high-quality pet medications at good prices, but a recent Food and Drug. Administration. investigation caught some sites selling counterfeit, unapproved or expired drugs. Beware of any site that sells medications without requiring a veterinarian’s prescription.

The F.D.A. also recommends that consumers look for sites accredited as a Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site, part of a voluntary accreditation program.

CONSIDER INSURANCE Pet health insurance is a booming industry, growing more than 20 percent every year, although only an estimated 3 percent of pet owners have bought policies. While Ms. Nocella has never seriously considered buying pet insurance, she does acknowledge it might have come in handy the day Pokie ate the Advil.

But like health insurance for humans, pet insurance can be complicated and highly restricted. Some policies will not cover older pets or genetic conditions that certain breeds are known to have, such as hip dysplasia in retrievers.

Others limit coverage to only one treatment per illness. So if your dog develops asthma, for instance, some policies will cover just the first trip to the vet although treatment will require multiple visits.

Prices for pet insurance can range from $12 to $50 a month, depending on the type and age of the pet and any pre-existing conditions. In almost all cases the pet owner pays up front, then files a claim for reimbursement.

Costs are higher to insure older, sicker pets, or for policies that cover preventive care, such as vaccines and veterinarian office visits.

Many pet owners prefer to save for unexpected vet expenses in an emergency fund instead of paying premiums for coverage they may not use. Dr. Murray suggested putting away a little each week until savings reach $2,000 to $3,000.

“That’s the minimum you’ll need if a serious situation arises and your pet needs lifesaving care,” she said.

Oriiginal Article.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pregnant Woman's Diet Affects Child's Obesity Risk

In a Nursing class i once took, i remember my Professor saying that all the weight you really need to gain during your pregnancy is about 25 to 30 pounds, and to be completely honest that's completely fine,its just hard controlling the cravings, and as much as i want to try to stay within that weight group once I'm pregnant i know it will be easier said then done.

What a woman eats when she is pregnant can affect her child's risk of obesity, regardless of how fat or thin she is, and what her baby weighs at birth, according to a new study published in the journal Diabetes recently.

The British Heart Foundation said the study provides strong evidence of the need to help women of child-bearing age follow a healthy lifestyle and diet.

Led by Southampton University in the UK, and including members from New Zealand and Singapore, the international team of researchers found that a process called epigenetic change alters the function of an unborn baby's DNA in response to changes in the mother's diet.

These changes can be detected by sampling the umbilical cord at birth for "epigenetic markers" of obesity risk.

Using these epigenetic markers, the researchers were surprised to find they could predict 25% of the variation of fatness in the 300 children when they reached the age of 6 or 9 years.

The children were born to mothers who had participated in two longitudinal studies based in Southampton.

Previous studies on animals had already shown that the mother's diet in pregnancy affects offsprings' body composition, and results in epigenetic changes in genes that control metabolic processes, but until this study, it was not clear whether this also happened in humans.

Study leader Keith Godfrey, Professor of Epidemiology and Human Development at the University of Southampton, told the press this was the first time a study has shown that it is not just genes and lifestyle that affects our risk of obesity, but also what happens while we grow in our mother's womb, including what she ate.

"A mother's nutrition while pregnant can cause important epigenetic changes that contribute to her offspring's risk of obesity during childhood," said Godfrey.

Epigenetic changes, which affect how DNA is expressed without actually changing the coding sequences passed down to the child from its biological parents, also influence how our bodies respond to lifestyle factors like diet and exercise.

For example, epigenetic changes can affect how DNA instructions are interpreted in the creation of cells, proteins and other building blocks in the body.

One process that changes the expression of DNA is methylation, and the researchers in this study scanned the methylation status of 68 locations (called CpGs 5′) on 5 candidate genes in the umbilical cord tissue DNA of the children at birth.

They replicated the results with a second independent cohort.

For the study, the researchers used childhood adiposity or amount of fat mass as a measure of obesity rather than BMI.

They found that the epigenetic markers explained at least 25% of the variance in childhood adiposity or fatness, and in the first cohort, methylation of a gene called RXRA and another called eNOS were independently linked to childhood fat mass.

Original Article.

Mixing Red Bull And Alcohol To Stay Awake At Parties Can Be A Dangerous Combination

How was everyone's weekend! man today for some reason is a glorious day as of now. anyways i found this article last week but i liked the bullying story more but for some reason this one still catched my attention. I have personally never had a red bull and vodak, but one of my best friend loves them and i will be sure to let her know.. we shall see if she actually stops tho.

Believe it or not, your body knows when and how much alcohol you are drinking and sends out cues when you should stop for the evening and get some rest. Many people try to combat this by drinking popular energy drinks with their favorite happy beverage, however a new study shows that when mixing liquor with other substances, such these "rocket fuels," your brain actually shuts off these natural cues that protect you from making mistakes in judgement.

Cecile Marczinski, a psychologist at Northern Kentucky University, found that combining energy drinks such as Red Bull with vodka or other liquors effectively removes any built in checks your body has for overindulging.

"Even with just alcohol alone, young, underage drinkers are bad at deciding how safe a driver they are, but I think this would make that situation far worse."

Drinking can give you a feeling of extreme "happiness," but when you overindulge, your body knows it, and it starts to shut down; you start feeling tired, sleepy and more sedated than stimulated. That spells bedtime. Marczinski also found that people downing the combination of alcohol and energy drinks lost this natural control. Marczinski had volunteers show up at her lab and drink either plain alcoholic drinks; mixed beverages containing alcohol and energy drinks; energy drinks alone; or a non-alcoholic beverage.

Participants in the study showed that consuming the combination energy alcohol drinks reported twice as much stimulation as those drinking alcohol alone. They tended to report less sedation and fewer symptoms like tiredness or sleepiness.

Marczinski continues:

"The disconnect between what you feel and how you act is what is the problem here. Stimulation may not be a good thing when you're drinking because you may drink longer, decide to stay at a party where you're drinking longer, and drink far more than you originally intended."

You might also think that the caffeine in these drinks is what is to blame for the reduction in judgment, but turns out it's the mix of other awakening ingredients in the beverages that may be contributing to the enhanced alcohol high.

"I always thought that it was a marketing thing when they mention the other things they put in like taurine, glucose and ginseng, but I think they do facilitate that stimulation; it's not just the caffeine."

All of the popular energy drinks out there have different variations of caffeine, and most of these drinks are not considered healthy for the human body. Most of these energy drinks should be watched carefully because of the ingredients and how powerful they can be. Just because they are powerful, does not always mean good.

Most energy drinks stimulate and trigger reactions towards us that can help boost our blood pressure and heart rate, which again isn't always the best thing for us. These can often prevent sleep if taken at the wrong time, dehydrate your body, and that just is not what we intended to do with our energy drinks we purchase.

Often times, the main reason why people turn to energy drinks for their solution, are for school, work outs or on the job tiredness. You should not use energy drinks while exercising as the combination of all the stimulants and other ingredients in energy drinks can result in a loss of fluid from sweating and cause dehydration

Original Article.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bullying Pushes 7-year Old To Opt For Plastic Surgery On Her Ears

Such a sad story today.. i couldn't help and ignore it so i decided to share it with you guys. Is bullying really effecting children all that much that a 7 year old had to have plastic surgery!! come on! Pretty sure there could have been other steps taken. A 7-year old South Dakota girl, who has been a victim of bullying because her ears stick out, underwent an otoplasty - plastic surgery to reshape and pin back the outer ear. Samantha Roselle's mother told ABC's "Good Morning America" that the surgical procedure was chosen as a preventative measure, to stop the bullying.

Cami Roselles, Samantha's mom, said "Kids are mean. That's just how they are."

The operation, which lasted two-and-a-half hours, was successful, according to Dr. Steven Pearlman, the surgeon who performed the operation. He told ABC "Her ears look great!"
Otoplasty is a plastic surgery procedure aimed at reconstructing deformities or correcting defects of the pinna (outer ear).

Surgery may be performed to:
Correct an underdeveloped pinna (microtia)
Deal with an absent pinna (anotia)
Reduce disproportionate ears
Bring the ear (pinna) closer to the head, known as ear pinback. This is what Samantha had done.
The surgeon moves, reshapes and/or augments the pinna's cartilage structure which has a covering of very thin skin.

An Otoplasty is typically done by a(n):
Oro-maxilofacial surgeon - surgeon who specializes in the mouth, jaw and face
Plastic surgeon
Otolaryngologist - ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialist

Original Article.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Sleep loss gets scary in CDC report

Happy Friday! TGIF right? haha well I'm going to keep this article short, i will admit it wasn't my first pick it was actually my third choice, the others were just too long, but great story's one about the heart attack grill, and another about a 16 year old who died after scoring the winning shot from an enlarged heart. The article that i am posting how ever i feel like i can relate too, because I'm always tired and i feel like i might have some kind of sleeping disorder. sometimes i cant sleep all night and other i can sleep for days.Hope you enjoy the article & have a great weekend.

Nearly five percent of study respondents say they fall asleep while driving, around 35 percent said they got less than 7 hours a night

(CBS News) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a new report on sleep. With an estimated 50 to 70 million adults in the U.S. suffering from chronic sleep loss and related disorders, it's important to take note.

CBS News correspondent Susan McGinnis reported 35.3 percent of the 74,571 adults in 12 states surveyed in the sleep study said they get less than seven hours of shut-eye a night. In fact, 38 percent of those surveyed said they doze off at least once during the day.

Ronald Harper, professor of neurobiology at UCLA Medical Center, told CBS News, "If you don't get enough sleep you get stupid. Your memory is deficient. And also your thinking gets clouded."

McGinnis observed it turns out some are nodding off at the worst possible time. Nearly five percent admitted to falling asleep while driving -- a scary statistic for anyone traveling on the road. Drowsy driving causes an estimated 1,550 deaths a year and 40,000 injuries.

Harper said, "The people who work in this field have equated driving sleepy with driving drunk, because the consequences are the same."

Problems with a lack of sleep don't end there, other complications include: obesity, diabetes, hypertension, difficulty concentrating and memory lapses.

If there's one thing this study tells us, McGinnis said, seven-to-nine hours of sleep is not a luxury -- it's a necessity

Original Article.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Linked, sometimes wrongly, to cancer

Its been awhile but I'm back and better then ever. well kind of lol. well lets get to the point, i picked this article because everyone know this is true at one point almost everything was linked to cancer.. so what does that mean for us?? well it can mean two things .. either everything is toxic for us and we are all going to have cancer at some point in out life, or its all speculation and someone is sharing their findings to a magazine so its reported and talked about , when in reality the chances of getting Cancer are slim to none. either way hopefully we all live long healthy cancer free lives.

Many everyday products have been linked to cancer at some point in the past several decades. Preposterous? Not at the time, and new suspects have been added to the list. Here's the real story behind ordinary household items that have come under scrutiny:

Artificial sweeteners

The link: Calorie watchers scored a win when diet sodas were introduced in the early 1950s. Then lab studies suggested that the sweetener cyclamate caused bladder cancer in rats, and the Food and Drug Administration banned its use. Then saccharin, the replacement of choice, was also shown to cause tumors in rats. Although saccharin was never banned, all products containing the sweetener were required to carry a cancer warning on their packaging.

The reality: No evidence has since emerged that either cyclamate, which is used in other countries, or saccharin causes cancer in humans, according to the National Cancer Institute. Although cyclamate is still banned, saccharin was taken off the government's list of possible carcinogens in 2000, the same year saccharin products shed the warning label. The sweetener aspartame has come under suspicion, but scientists have found no increased risk of cancer in humans.


The link: A few studies since the late 1970s have tied mouthwash that contains ethanol to oral cancer. Investigators theorize that it may make oral tissues more vulnerable to known carcinogens, such as those in cigarettes.

The reality: The evidence against mouthwash is weak, according to the American Dental Association. Studies don't show, for example, that brands with higher alcohol content present a greater risk than those with lesser amounts. Mouthwash is safe when used as directed, says the ADA. People who smoke, have a family history of oral cancer or have other risk factors may want to choose alcohol-free brands to be on the safe side, the ADA says.


The link: Could these cholesterol-lowering drugs raise the risk of cancer? A 2007 study inspired this belief when researchers investigating the side effects of certain statins — lovastatin, simvastatin, pravastatin, fluvastatin and atorvastatin — found that participants taking high doses were more likely to be diagnosed with various cancers, including those of the breast, colon and prostate.

The reality: A 2008 review of 15 clinical trials involving statins cast doubt on the initial results; low LDL cholesterol levels, the reviewers found, were associated with cancer, whether or not participants were taking statins, suggesting that cholesterol levels, not the drugs, were to blame.

Cell phones

The link: In 1993, a man suing the manufacturer of his wife's mobile phone claimed on "Larry King Live" that the device was responsible for her brain cancer. The broadcast provoked a public outcry, a rash of similar lawsuits, and millions of dollars poured into studying whether radio waves emitted by cell phones could be harmful.

The reality: The largest study to date, published last spring, could neither confirm nor dismiss a connection between cell phones and cancer. Scientists tracked nearly 13,000 adults for a decade and found a slightly higher rate of one of four cancers — gliomas, a particularly aggressive variety of brain cancer — among frequent cell users. But cell users overall had a lower rate of the cancers than never-users.


The link: A decade ago, an e-mail warning women that using antiperspirant could cause breast cancer went viral. Since then, some research has suggested that aluminum in antiperspirants and preservatives called parabens in antiperspirants and deodorants mimic the hormone estrogen, which in high amounts can increase breast cancer risk.

The reality: There's no evidence that antiperspirants or deodorants cause cancer. A 2004 study heightened concern when researchers found parabens in breast cancer tissue samples, suggesting that the chemicals may have caused the tumors, but the investigators didn't check for the presence of parabens in healthy tissue. Evidence suggests that 99 percent of us are exposed to parabens, including from various cosmetics and foods, according to the American Cancer Society. Little evidence indicates they may be harmful.

Hair dye

The link: In 2008, researchers from the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer revived concern of a hair dye-cancer connection after finding a pattern of bladder cancer in male hairdressers and barbers. They found too little evidence to say whether people who used the products every so often at home were also at risk.

The reality: The finding was based on studies conducted at different times, so any increased risk could result from heavy exposure to chemicals that were discontinued decades ago after scientists discovered they caused cancer in rodents. It's unclear whether the chemicals used in current dyes cause cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. Most evidence, however, does not support a link.Distributed by Tribune Media Services

Original Article

Monday, January 24, 2011

You Snooze, You Lose: More Weekend Sleep Cuts Kids' Obesity Risk

well even better ! I'm sure parents would love that extra time in the morning instead of being waken up between 6 and 7 in the morning with energized kids saying" I'm hungry, I'm hungry". but interesting article. for the most part I'm all for it. even tho I'm not a kid i could use a nap right now.. I'm dead this morning.

Kids sleeping late on the weekends? Let ‘em — they're not being lazy; they're cutting their risk of obesity, according to new research published online today in the journal Pediatrics.

Ideally, parents should strive for a constant bedtime and wake time. But since that's not always realistic, it's good to know that children who catch up on sleep during weekends and vacations are better able to counteract the adverse effects of insufficient sleep during the week and reduce their risk of obesity. (More on Study: Most Babies Sleep Through the Night (But Not Mine))

Researchers at the University of Chicago analyzed the sleep patterns and BMI of 308 children between the ages of 4 to 10, dividing them into nine groups and using wrist actigraphs for one week to determine when they were asleep. The group of children with normal sleep patterns had the lowest risk of obesity and metabolic complications.

On average, the children slept an average of eight hours each night, less than what they should be getting. Kids ages 5 to 8 should sleep 9 to 10 hours, but children — like adults in our society — are largely sleep-deprived. (More on Why You Shouldn't Snuggle with Your Pooch in Bed)

“We tend to disrespect sleep,” says David Gozal, the lead author and chair of the pediatrics department at the University of Chicago. “We're not aware there's a very substantial price to pay for shortening the duration of sleep and for creating very irregular sleep schedules. Together, these create a much higher risk of obesity."

The worst combination? Irregular sleep and not enough of it. Those kids with the shortest, most irregular sleep had a 4.2-fold increased risk of obesity. When this group got more sleep on the weekends, their risk decreased to 2.8 fold — better but still nowhere near as good as the normal sleepers.

The obese kids in the study slept less time and more irregularly on weekends and were less likely to compensate on the weekends for not getting enough sleep on weekdays, which added up to metabolic problems. Short, irregular sleep increased the risk of inflammation, glucose sensitivity and resulted in a rise in lipids. (More on Some Scientific Evidence For Beauty Sleep)

“The point is regularity,” says Gozal. “If you are a regular catch-up sleeper on the weekends, that can have a beneficial effect if you are a short sleeper during the week. But if you have irregular, short/long sleep during the week and you continue that during the weekend, that puts you at worse risk.”

There's plenty of buzz about childhood obesity but not much chatter about the importance of sleep, says Gozal. Educating families about the significance of sleep through public health campaigns that emphasize the link could breed healthier kids.

“The best thing to globally reduce the risk for obesity is to sleep long during the week and during the weekend and have regular sleep,” says Gozal.

Original Article.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Premenstrual Syndrome: Are Vitamin E and Fatty Acids the Answer

People joke about PMS, but for many women, premenstrual syndrome is no laughing matter. Lucky for them, a new study suggests that vitamin E and a mix of essential oils could spell relief.

"The negative effect of PMS on a woman's routine activities and quality of life may be significant, in addition to the repercussions on economic costs resulting predominantly from a reduction in productivity," lead researcher Dr. Edilberto Rocha Filho of the Federal University of Pernambuco in Brazil told The Scotsman.

In Dr. Filho's six-month study of 120 women, those given capsules containing two grams of vitamin E and a combination of essential oils including oleic acid, and linoleic acid, experienced significant relief from PMS symptoms. Side effects were insignificant.

Symptoms of PMS include breast tenderness, acne, bloating, weight gain, headaches, joint pain, food cravings, irritability, mood swings, crying spells, and depression. Taking ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen can help. So can exercising, getting enough sleep, and avoiding salt, caffeine, and alcohol.

As for the oils, Filho and his team are optimistic.

"Essential oil capsules can now be said to show much promise as a treatment," said Filho.

The study was published January 11 in Reproductive Health.

Original article.

Like Family, Many Friends Share the Same Genes

well i saw this article and immediately thought to myself, " makes sense my best friend who Ive know since 2ND grade is basically like my sister" so hopefully this sweet and simple article keeps you interested and entertained.

Many of us have those friends we can count on for everything -- the ones we feel really connected to.

It turns out, that much like we are with family, we also may be "connected" to our friends through our genes, according to a study from the University of California, San Diego.

Dr. James Fowler, professor in the School of Medicine and the Division of Social Sciences at the University of California, San Diego, and his colleagues studied more than 3,000 pairs of friends. Fowler and his team compared the similarities of six genes thought to be associated with social behavior. What they found was that many friends share the same type of genes.

The findings will be published in the early edition of the journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences later this week.

"There may be a partially genetic basis for friendship," Fowler told AOL Health. "This is the first step towards understanding the biology of 'chemistry' -- that feeling you have about a person that you will like or dislike. We may choose our friends not just because of the social features we consciously notice about them, but because of the biological features we unconsciously notice."

Researchers found that many friends share the DRD2 gene, which is associated with an outgoing personality and is also linked to alcoholism.

Another gene, the CYP2A6 gene, which is associated with "openness" was less likely to be shared by friends, however. These people were more likely to look for friends who had slightly different personalities than their own.

Dr. Irene Levine, a psychologist and professor of psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine, and author of The Friendship Blog and "Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend," surveyed more than 1,500 women online to find out what attracted them to their best friend. "Women often used the same term, 'we clicked,' to describe the indescribable," Levine told AOL Health.

"The choice of friends (or lovers) is influenced, of course, by personality -- which is shaped by a complex mix of genes and environment," she explains. "Two old adages ... seem to apply: 'Opposites attract' and 'Birds of a feather flock together.' Sometimes people are attracted by differences; other times, they are attracted by similarities that make them feel comfortable."

Dr. Margaret Gibbs, professor emeritus of psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, agreed. "I think it's interesting that the study found both sides of the popular aphorisms: 'Birds of a feather flock together' and 'Opposites attract,'" she told AOL Health. "I think those same principles work in our choices of friends. We feel comfortable with the familiar, but also seek balance and variety."

"Perhaps people vary as to whether they are more inclined to pick the familiar over the different, and, who knows, that inclination could be genetic, too," adds Gibbs.

Original Article.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Year in Review: More Scrutiny of Dietary Supplements

Hello how was every one's holiday break?
hopefully well i know we all deserved a little vacation to spend with our families. With holidays comes some extra holiday weight and we are are back on track somehow with trying to get back in shape whether it be hitting the gym, dieting or taking a dietary supplement.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been busy this year issuing statements and recalls regarding dietary supplements discovered to contain undeclared drug ingredients. Studies have shown that some supplements may increase potentially lethal risks to patients and contain varying amounts of active compounds between brands. And through all this, patients and doctors are not talking to each other about the use of dietary supplements.

So, where are we now?

Read this story on

The FDA's latest statement largely concerned a major issue in the dietary supplement market -- that safety and efficacy standards are in the hands of manufacturers. As a result, pills, powders, and other products that contain drug or drug-like ingredients may be released and marketed as dietary supplements despite being drug products, the FDA statement said.

"These tainted products can cause serious adverse effects, including strokes, organ failure, and death," Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, commissioner of the FDA, said in the statement.

The statement noted the FDA and supplement industry are working together to stem the flow of illegally marketed drug products sold under the veil of "dietary supplements," including weight-loss, body-building, and sexual enhancement products.

"Part of the difficulty in regulating dietary supplements is that [some companies] operate outside of the law and don't include manufacturer information on the label, so it can be impossible to contact someone and request a recall," an FDA spokesperson told MedPage Today.

"If you're thinking about taking a supplement, always talk to a healthcare provider first -- they know you best and what drugs you're taking," the spokesperson said.

But the poor communication is not entirely an industry-side faux pas, Jennifer Strohecker of the Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah, told MedPage Today.

Original Article.