Monday, December 20, 2010

Keeping Holiday Drinking in Check May Counter Cancer

Happy Holidays everyone! well this maybe a few weekends too late, especially since Ive just had about 4 Christmas parties in the last 2 weeks. haha well hopefully everyone enjoys their holiday breaks. I know i will!

SUNDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Though holiday partying often includes alcohol consumption, cancer experts are urging partiers to partake moderately.

"Research shows that drinking even a small amount of alcohol increases your chances of developing cancer, including oral cancer, breast cancer and liver cancer," Clare McKindley, clinical dietician in the Cancer Prevention Center at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, said in a news release from the center.

"Researchers are still trying to learn more about how alcohol links to cancer," she added. "But convincing evidence does support the fact that heavy drinking damages cells and increases the risk for cancer development."

To reduce risk, experts say, drinkers can do a number of things. First, stick to the recommended serving size. A drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of liquor.

Women should have no more than one drink a day and men should have no more than two drinks a day, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

Try to avoid high-calorie drinks. Many popular alcoholic drinks are loaded with calories, especially those mixed with soda, fruit juice or cream. A one-cup serving of eggnog, a holiday staple, has about 340 calories. Being overweight or obese is also associated with an increased risk for cancer.

Researchers believe that it is the ethanol or alcohol in beer, wine and liquor that increases cancer risk. Check the ethanol percentage numbers on bottle labels and stay away from 100-proof liquor.

Also try non-alcoholic drinks. For example, for a "cocktail-like" beverage, try club soda and lime, McKindley suggested.

Original Article.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Soda Tax Could Lead to Slight Weight Loss

A SODA TAX?! really? I don't know what people are thinking and the fact that they use the whole excuse of could "lead to slight weight loss" i say BS. its just another tax and seriously i swear they are going to start to charge you to breath soon. Its soda people! either way as ridiculous as this is I'm middle class,and I'm positive it will only affect me when I have parties and HAVE to buy soda other then that i normally just drink water or tea,I'm sure lots of other people do the same. soda tax. OH and they say our country is overweight, which is probably true but for the most part .. you motivate yourself. a soda tax wont do it for you. what a JOKE!

Dec. 13, 2010 -- Increasing taxes on sweetened drinks, such as soda, could lead to modest weight loss at best, particularly among middle-income families, and could generate between $1.5 billion and $2.5 billion in annual revenue, according to a study.

Researchers led by Eric Finkelstein, PhD, associate professor of health services at Duke University Medical Center-National University of Singapore, found that a 20% tax on sugary drinks would result in weight loss of about 0.7 pounds per person over the course of a year and generate approximately $1.5 billion in tax revenue; a 40% hike in would lead to an average weight loss of 1.3 pounds per person per year and result in $2.5 billion in tax revenue, and cost the average household about $28 per year.

The findings, based on 2006 data and published in the Dec. 13/27 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, support the argument for increasing the taxes of sugar-sweetened drinks as a means to help curb the obesity epidemic. The study was supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

"Although small, given the rising trend in obesity rates, especially among youth, any strategy that shows even modest weight loss should be considered," Finkelstein says in a prepared statement. "Extending the tax to restaurants and vending machines would generate more tax revenue and perhaps greater weight losses."

Although Finkelstein and his team found a so-called “soda tax” could lead to modest weight loss, their analysis showed that middle-income households were the most likely to feel the impact of the soda tax and to experience weight loss, whereas lower- and higher-income households would probably not experience as much weight loss. The findings are limited by the fact that the analysis only included beverages purchased in stores.

"Higher-income groups can afford to pay the tax so they are unaffected, and lower-income groups likely avoid the effects of the tax by purchasing generic versions, waiting for sales, buying in bulk, or by other cost-saving strategies," Finkelstein said. Moreover, "If they switch to other high-calorie drinks, the effects of the tax would be diluted."

Finkelstein and his team looked at a database of U.S. households that included information about the families’ food and beverage purchases over a one-year period. The database also included information about household demographics, as well as the brand, UPC codes, and calories (though not a breakdown of the nutritional content) of the groceries they bought. These store-bought purchases included sugary drinks, such as carbonated sodas and sports/energy drinks, and also fruit juice, skim milk, and whole milk.

Households were broken into four categories ranging from low- to high-income. Investigators used statistical techniques to calculate how any changes in the cost of sweetened drinks would affect household purchasing habits.

Finkelstein noted that subsidies supporting the production of corn -- the main ingredient in high-fructose corn syrup found in many sweetened drinks -- could also affect sweetened beverage consumption. “Removing the subsidies or implementing a tax that increases prices on products that contain this ingredient is justifiable,” he says.

According to the CDC, two-thirds of the U.S. population is overweight or obese. Obesity is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some types of cancer. The authors note that obesity costs the U.S. an estimated $147 billion per year.

Original Article.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Thrill-Seeking Gene Can Lead to More Sex Partners

" I CHEATED ON YOU BECAUSE ITS IN MY GENES" hmm i wonder how many people are more likely to say that now? lol either way i still don't think that a thrill seeking gene can make a person cheat on someone who they love and care for. so yeah it might be something that you think,and the thought of wanting another person who isnt your SO might come into your head, but in the end you control what you do. don't think with the wrong head guys. if you know what i mean.. sorry long article.

John Coleman, a 22-year-old from Syracuse, N.Y., has been engaged for the last two years and cannot fathom having sex with anyone other than his girlfriend.

"I find cheating appalling," said Coleman. "There's got to be something going on in your head to cheat."

It turns out Coleman is right.

In what is being called a first of its kind study, researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York (SUNY) have discovered that about half of all people have a gene that makes them more vulnerable to promiscuity and cheating.

Those with a certain variant of the dopamine receptor D4 polymorphism -- or DRD4 gene -- "were more likely to have a history of uncommitted sex, including one-night stands and acts of infidelity," according to lead investigator Justin Garcia.

DRD4 is the "thrill-seeking" gene, also responsible for alcohol and gambling addictions. The gene can influence the brain's chemistry and subsequently, an individual's behavior.

The desire to cheat or sleep around seems to originate in the brain's pleasure and reward center, where the "rush" of dopamine motivates those who are vulnerable, the researchers say.

In the study, Garcia instructed 181 student volunteers at SUNY to take an anonymous survey on their previous sexual behavior, asking them questions like how many sex partners they had and if they had ever been unfaithful.

He then tested their DNA by oral rinsing with a special mouthwash -- a buccal wash -- and genotyped the DRD4.

His team discovered that there is a variation in the thrill-seeking gene and those with much longer alleles are more prone to, well, getting prone. (An allele is part of the gene's DNA sequence responsible for different traits such as eye color or curly hair.)

Those with at least one 7-repeat allele reported a higher rate of promiscuity -- that is admitting to a "one-night stand." The same group had a 50 percent increase in instances of sexual cheating.

"It turns out everyone has got the gene," said Garcia, who is a doctoral fellow in the laboratory of evolutionary anthropology and health at SUNY Binghamton. "Just as height varies, the amount of information in the gene varies. In those who have more, their alleles are longer and they are more prone to thrill-seeking."

"It's inheritable, too," he said. "If your parents have it, you have it."

When the brain is stimulated -- drinking alcohol, jumping from planes, having sex -- it releases dopamine, the pleasure response hormone.

"It's rewarding and makes us excited and gives us pleasure," said Garcia. "But the people with the DRD4 gene need more stimuli to feel satiated. Some of say 'wow,' that was a rush after jumping out of a plane. Others ask, 'When is the plane going back up?'"

But not everyone is convinced a roving eye is rooted in DNA.

"Certain people are vulnerable to affairs, but in the end, it's about personal choice," said Jenn Berman, a psychologist and host of "The Love and Sex Show" on Cosmo Radio. "And it depends on how well-developed their impulse control is."

Still, the study could have some interesting implications.

Armed with that kind of data, John Coleman said he might be inclined to test his fiance and himself as well.

"It's like getting tested for STDs," he said. "It's the ultimate form of honesty, really," he said.

But Garcia said the gene for risk also might have an evolutionary advantage, beyond producing more children.

The gene evolved about 30,000 to 50,000 years ago when humans were moving out of Africa.

"Having some individuals who have wanderlust and want to see what's on the other side mountain. It's important for new places to live. But it's also risk-taking. Sometimes, going to the other side of the mountain means that something eats you. There is a cost and a benefit."

Some of the implications of this study might be "huge," and not just in the bedroom. "The big question is what happens in drug rehab if you have a long allele and others don't? They might have different treatments."

The study also strongly suggests that sex drive and thrill can function independently of love.
That might be the case with Emma, a 20-year-old student from University of Southern Florida, who just broken up with her boyfriend after a two-year monogamous relationship.

She wanted to try something different, so she slept with three men in one month. Two were encounters with guys she had been friends with and another was a fling that transformed into a longer relationship.

"I'd never done anything like that before," said Emma, who did not want to reveal her last name. "It was something so new to me."

She said it's not in her personality to take risks. Defying college stereotypes, Emma's never touched alcohol and has only smoked marijuana once.

And now that she is in a committed relationship, Emma is certain she won't be unfaithful.

Upbringing, experience and culture may actually wield more influence than the risk-taking gene, according to Susan Quilliam, a noted British psychologist and author of the updated "Joy of Sex

"We are learning more and more about genes implicated in behaviors," she said. "Every time a genetic study comes out, responsible scientists also stress that we have choice -- nature and nurture," she said.

"Not everyone with the gene is promiscuous and not everyone who is promiscuous will have that gene."

And can't risk-taking be a good thing?

"Sometimes that overlaps with creativity, with entrepreneurship and wanting to push the boundaries," she said. "In relationships that can be exciting and fulfilling and help the whole couple move into new areas."

So should a woman have her boyfriend tested before accepting his marriage proposal?

"By the time she meets him, unless he is very young, his track record will prove whether he has acted on his infidelity gene or not," said Quilliam. "If he has been unfaithful in the past, he is likely to do it in the future."

Maureen Finn, a 19-year-old television, film and radio major at Syracuse University, agrees.

"I mean if you meet a guy at a party and he's making out with three other girls, that's a hint," she said. "If you're disrespecting me, something tells me you're not going to respect me enough to be faithful."

Original Article.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Parents were taking photos moments before boy fell from luxury box at Lakers game

Good Afternoon! This is such a tragic story of carelessness,my sister told me about this this morning. so last night my family had dinner and the laker game was on in the background, anyways my sister was watching the after show and she said that it was only on for a few minutes and then they switched to an older game. This morning before i was getting ready for school she informed me of what happened. a toddler died after falling out of a luxury box.such a horrible story , it could have all been prevented with a little supervision. my heart goes out to the family. read on.

The parents of a 2-year-old who died after plunging 50 feet from a Staples Center luxury suite had been taking photos of the boy just before he fell, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Officials said the family was looking at the digital photos and lost track of the boy, who somehow went over the top of the glass partition, police said.

The boy, Lucas Anthony Tang, had been crawling around the suite during the Lakers game against the Golden State Warriors, sources said. At some point, his parents noticed he was missing and began to look for him.

They did not know then that their son, who would have turned 3 in January, had fallen. Witnesses at the game told The Times that the boy was moving his arms, legs and head before paramedics took him out on a stretcher.

The death is being investigated by the LAPD's abused-child unit, a standard practice that officials said does not necessarily mean a crime has been committed.

[Updated at 10:57 a.m.: "Our condolences and prayers go out to the Tang family. We are working with the Los Angeles Police Department on the investigation of this tragedy," Michael Roth, vice president of communications for the Staples Center, said in a statement

Original Article.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Study Urges Teens to Cut Down on Salt

hii! hope everyone had great weekend. I'm going to get straight to he point this time. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE SALT! when i was younger i use to wait until my parents would turn around to add more salt because they always yelled at me for adding too much salt. so this article scares me a little because i know for a fact that im probably going to have to deal with some of these symptoms.

SUNDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Teens who eat less salt lower their long-term risk for high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, new research indicates.

The finding stems from a computerized projection of what would happen if adolescent boys and girls were to shave off 3 grams of salt from their daily consumption of common processed foods.

"Reducing the amount of salt that is already added to the food that we eat could mean that teenagers live many more years free of hypertension," study lead author Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of California, San Francisco, said in an American Heart Association news release. The findings were to be presented Sunday at the heart association's annual meeting, in Chicago.

"The additional benefit of lowering salt consumption early is that we can hopefully change the expectations of how food should taste, ideally to something slightly less salty," Bibbins-Domingo said.

The study authors noted that in the United States, teens are the main consumers of salt. Their daily ingestion of 9 grams of salt per day is higher than any other age group. At 3,800 milligrams of sodium, that amount is more than double the AHA recommendations for daily consumption (1,500 milligrams).

Approximately 80 percent of salt intake comes from processed and/or prepared foods. More than one-third of that salt is specifically found in cereals, breads, and pastries, while pizza (according to the National Center for Health Statistics) ranks as the nation's king of salt, the study authors said.

A daily 3-gram drop in consumption of the salt typically found in such foods would reduce the incidence of high blood pressure among teens by between 44 percent and 63 percent. And as these teens age, the high blood pressure incidence reductions would persist, dropping between 30 percent to 43 percent among 35- to 50-year olds, according to the study authors' computer modeling.

The analysis also revealed that by the time teens reached the age of 50, such salt reduction would result in a 7 percent to 12 percent drop in heart disease; an 8 percent to 14 percent drop in heart attacks; a 5 percent to 8 percent drop in stroke rates; and a 5 to 9 percent drop in deaths due to all causes.

Original Article.

Monday, November 8, 2010

AAA Says 2-of-5 Drivers Admit Nodding Off at the Wheel

GOOD AFTERNOON all! well this weekend went by way too fast and i couldn't help but stop and read this article because i know we have all done it once in our lives and lets face it it is not the safest thing to do especially if your driving with you kids. hopefully you guys enjoy the rest of the article, an d have a great weekend. Happy Veteran's day.

A new study from AAA has revealed that driving while drowsy is more common and more deadly than previously thought.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety analyzed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's crash data from 1999-2008 and estimated that nearly 17 percent of fatal crashes -- 4,400 deadly accidents a year -- are the result of sleepy drivers.

In addition, a recent study by AAA foundation found that 41 percent of drivers said they'd fallen asleep at the wheel, with 1-in-10 admitting to having done so in the last year.

"Just like alcohol and drugs, being very tired while you're driving decreases your awareness," said Peter Kissinger, the foundation's president and CEO. "It slows your reaction time and it impairs your judgment."

Results from the foundation's study coincide with the start of Drowsy Driving Prevention Week by the National Sleep Foundation, which has been pushing for better drowsy-driving awareness and education since 1991.

Staying awake for 24 hours can leave a person as impaired as someone with a 0.1 alcohol level -- the equivalent of consuming six drinks. Twenty-five percent of drivers surveyed said they have driven in the last month despite being so tired that they couldn't keep their eyes open.

"The bottom line is that people think they can handle it," said Dr. Robert Basner. "They are actually not handling it well and fatal accidents do occur."

Basner said that when a drowsy person drives, they cannot maintain alertness, their coordination is off and their judgment suffers. Fatigue messes with the brain. When the body expects to sleep, it releases chemicals like melatonin. When the body is forced to remain awake, the brain has to fight those chemicals and that leaves the person in a fog.

Original Article.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Lights out, phones on: Many teens text all night long

GOOD MORNING ALL! hope everyone had a good and safe Halloween. I'm not going to lie i have a horrible case of the Mondays lol but hey reading and finding articles keeps me entertained for hrs. This is the latest article i found on " teens" texting all night long.. and i put teens in " " because to be honest I'm 21 years old and i sometimes do this.. i fall asleep with a laptop or a phone in front of me, either doing hmwk or just txting all night long. so i wouldn't say this is a teen problem.

Every night, Christy Ross, an 18-year-old freshman at the University of Delaware, goes to sleep cradling a cell phone.

“I get into bed and reach for my phone to text someone, listen to music, or play a game before I fall asleep rather than just shutting my eyes. Sometimes I even feel a slight pressure to stay awake and continue a conversation (especially if it is with a cute boy)," she says. "A text message going off in the middle of the night will wake me up and I will usually respond.”

Ross is not alone in her habits, reveals a study released Monday. Teens send an average of 34 texts a night (adding up to 3,400 a month) after going to bed — in some cases up to four hours after hitting the sack, found researchers from JFK Medical Center, in Edison, N.J.

The evidence has been mounting that teens mightily prefer texting to actual contact with family members, with studies from Nielsen and Kaiser contributing data that show teens consider the loss of a cell phone more dire than the loss of an internal organ.

But the new research is especially concerning, experts say, because it finds that half of the kids kept awake by electronic media suffered from a whole host of mood and cognitive problems, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, depression, and learning difficulties.

Original Article.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Caffeinated Booze Four Loko, Not Drugs, Sickened Students at Party

this article is crazy.. well for me at least i mean i know my Friends drink this and i have in the past ( didn't like it) but i mean its scary i guess i didn't know what i was drinking, and to know that my little sister at a party could be possibly drinking this is pretty scary.

A highly caffeinated, but legal alcoholic drink was responsible for sickening dozens and sent nine Central Washington students to the hospital and led to an investigation of whether the party-goers had been drugged, police said today.

Police said some 50 students became sick after consuming large amounts of the controversial but legal beverage Four Loko, which combines as much alcohol found in a six pack of beer with as much caffeine in five cups of coffee.

This is the latest incident involving alcoholic energy drinks like Four Loko. Already such drinks are banned on college campuses around the country and today the Washington State attorney general lent his voice to a growing chorus of state authorities calling on the federal government to ban the drinks outright

The university announced at a news conference today in Ellensburg, Wash., that the blood-alcohol content of students ranged from .12 percent to .335 percent. In Washington, 0.08 is the legal limit for intoxication. 0.3 can be lethal.

Nine students were hospitalized after the Oct. 8 party at a house where about 50 people had been drinking.

Police called to the scene of the house party, in Rosyln, Wash., about 30 miles from the university, found young people – many of them women – passed out throughout the house and on the front lawn.

Authorities at the time said they did not believe incident was a result of heavy drinking, but that someone had surreptitiously slipped drugs, possibly date rape drugs, into people's drinks.

Police today said there was no evidence of drugs found, only the energy drink.

"Perhaps even more disturbing," said Chief Steve Rittereiser was that students were drinking beer and hard alcohol on top of Four Loko.

"It was really scary," Katelynn Allen, a Central Washington University freshman who was at the party but did not drink told ABC News affiliate KOMO-TV.

"Everything was going fine, the music was playing, people were having fun - and then all of a sudden all the girls were puking everywhere," she said. "Girls were outside on their backs."

Nicknamed "blackout in a can" and "liquid cocaine," Four Loko has already been banned from several college campuses after students became ill.

Original Article.

Monday, October 18, 2010

It's National Teen Driver Safety Week (Oct. 17-23), So Talk to Your Kids

Hello! :) its been awhile since i last updated this, lots has happened. as we all know its breast cancer month , but not only that this week in October is national driver safety week. hopefully everyone is having a good month/ week, cant wait for the holidays!

Car accidents are the leading cause of death among teens — 16-to-19-year-olds are four times more likely to be in a fatal car crash than 25-to-69-year-olds — so it makes sense to devote a week to a national discussion about safe driving. That's this week (Oct. 17-23): National Teen Driver Safety Week. And if overall distracted driving rates are any indication, adults could use a refresher course anyway.

This year's Teen Driver Safety Week theme is distracted driving — taking your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel or mind off the task at hand for any reason — an increasingly recognized threat to highway safety. Research shows that inexperienced drivers under age 20 are the most likely to have fatal distraction-related accidents. (More on Study: Car Crash Rates Increased Despite 'Texting While Driving' Bans).

A University of Utah study found that using a cell phone behind the wheel — regardless of whether or not it is hands-free — increases a driver's reaction time equal to someone with a 0.08 percent blood alcohol concentration, the legal threshold for intoxication.

Teen passengers also increase the risk of distracted driving: one teen in the passenger seat of a young driver's car doubles the risk of fatal crash, while three or more teen passengers quadruples the risk. (More on Why Are Black Bikers More Likely to Die in Crashes than Whites?).

To learn more, see Teen Driver Source — a research tool compiled by the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm Insurance, the organizations that launched National Teen Driver Safety Week in 2007.

Original Article.

Monday, September 27, 2010

POM Wonderful health claims are bogus

GOOD MORNING.. well i should say good AFTERNOON lol. basically its Monday the longest day of the week! and i mean who doesn't have a bad case of the Monday's! interesting article if you are a fan of the POM juice. i know i am. hope everyone had a great weekend.

POM Wonderful isn't quite as wonderful as it claims, the Federal Trade Commission said Monday, after filing a complaint that challenges the company's statements that pomegranate can prevent and treat everything from heart disease to erectile dysfunction.

The agency called the claims -- found in advertisements in print publications and on the Internet -- "false and unsubstantiated" and based on flawed medical research.

In a story this March, the Tribune named POM Wonderful as one of several products on the market that made health claims in its advertising that are permissible only for FDA-approved drugs. Yet, POM Wonderful has staked its name on the fruit's health benefits.

According to POM Wonderful, since 1998 the company has paid $34 million to support pomegranate-related research at universities and by other scientists, yielding approximately 55 published studies.

A spokesman for POM Wonderful said the company will issue a statement later today.

The FTC is asking a judge to issue an order that would require the company to stop making claims that pomegranate products can cure, prevent or treat any disease unless the claims are first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

At the same time, Mark Dreher, POM Wonderful's former head of scientific and regulatory affairs and an expert endorser, has agreed to settle a related case against him for the health claims he endorsed on POM products. Dreher has agreed to stop making those claims, the agency said.

The labor-intensive and messy pomegranate was stuck on the sidelines of the American fruit market until 2002 when Beverly Hills billionaires Stewart and Lynda Resnick planted enough of the fruit to quadruple the market, simultaneously introducing POM Wonderful juice to consumers.

By 2004, the formerly shy fruit showed up as the hottest flavor for everything from candles to a sprays and was featured on "Sex in the City," Oprah Winfrey's O and even Time magazine.

Among the advertising claims the FTC is challenging are that the product has "super health powers," that drinking an 8 ounce glass of POM Wonderful slows the rate of prostate cancer, that the juice can treat erectile dysfunction and that it has been proven reduce arterial plaque by 30 percent.

"Any consumer who sees POM Wonderful products as a silver bullet against disease has been misled," David Vladeck, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. "When a company touts scientific research in its advertising, the research must squarely support the claims made. Contrary to POM Wonderful's advertising, the available scientific information does not prove that POM juice or POMx effectively treats or prevents these illnesses."

The administrative complaint does not mean the company has violated the law, the FTC said. A hearing has been scheduled for eight months from now before an administrative law judge.

Original Article.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Kids Exposed to Strain of Cold Virus More Likely to Be Obese

How was every ones weekend. Great i hope! anyways I'm getting very tired on this lazy Monday afternoon aand tha 230 feeling is starting to kick in i should have listening to my sister and drank some caffeine because now I'm suffering lol well anyways here's an article i thought was pretty fascinating.

Children exposed to a particular strain of a common cold virus are more likely to be obese than those not exposed, a new study suggests.

In a study of 124 children, ages 8 to 18, nearly 80 percent of those who had been exposed to a virus called adenovirus 36 were obese. They weighed an average of 50 pounds (23 kilograms) more than kids who were not exposed to the virus, said study researcher Dr. Jeffrey B. Schwimmer, associate professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego.
And among kids who were obese, those exposed to the virus weighed an average of 35 pounds (16 kg) more than obese kids who hadn't been exposed to the virus, he said.

"The bottom line is, it's a big number," Schwimmer told MyHealthNewsDaily. "Certainly, it's more than enough to be associated with health problems."

Thirty-five to 50 extra pounds is a lot for a child, considering an average, healthy 8-year-old usually weighs between 50 pounds and 90 pounds (23 kg to 41 kg) to begin with, Schwimmer said.

There are more than 50 strains of the adenovirus, which is the virus most commonly responsible for respiratory illnesses that range from the common cold to pneumonia-like sicknesses. Most people are exposed to some strain of the virus before age 10, according to the Nemours Center for Children's Health Media.

Scientists determined whether children had been exposed to the adenovirus by looking for antibodies in their blood.

The virus may affect obesity by infecting "pre-fat" cells - cells that have the ability to store fat - in the body and causing them to mature more quickly, Schwimmer said. It may also inhibit the cells' ability to break down fat, so fat cells become greater in both number and size.

"The more rapidly they become mature, the more fat cells a person will have," he said.
But that doesn't mean people should panic about being exposed to this strain of virus, he said.

Even if the virus is a causal factor for obesity, not every person will have the same reaction to infection.

Childhood obesity has more than tripled over the last 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Much attention has been paid to factors such as food intake, exercise, sedimentary lifestyles and genetics, but viral infection is another factor that should also be considered, Schwimmer said.

"Body weight regulation is complicated and differs from person to person," he said. "For some people, [exposure to the virus] may be a tremendously important factor, and less so for others."

Previous research has linked adenovirus strains to obesity in both animals and humans, but this study is the first to look at the role of the virus in childhood obesity, said Dr. Nikhil Dhurandhar, chief of the Infection and Obesity laboratory at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana, who has been studying what he calls "infectobesity" for the past 20 years.

"If there's at least some part of obesity that is caused by infections, then there is a potential to have a vaccine to prevent this type of obesity," said Dhurandhar, who is not involved with the study.

Researchers hope to learn whether children who are obese and were exposed to the virus respond to weight-loss methods differently than children who were never exposed the virus. They also hope to investigate the possibility of preventing the virus with a vaccine, and, if so, explore how to determine who should get it.

Original Article.

Monday, September 13, 2010

FDA Mulls Removing Weight-Loss Drug From U.S. Market

Hello how was everyone weekend i hope well!. summer is almost official over and fall will be here within a week or so. :) recently my sister has been taking some diet pill and this article interested me for some reason. hopefully you enjoy it.

WASHINGTON—A federal advisory panel is being asked to help decide whether Abbott Laboratories' weight-loss drug Meridia should stay on the market.

Meridia has been the subject of an ongoing safety review. Earlier this year, the European Medicines Agency ordered Abbott to remove Meridia from the European market and the FDA toughened warnings on the drugs' label saying it shouldn't be used in patients with a history of heart problems. At the time, the FDA also said the product should be discontinued in patients who don't lose at least 5% of their baseline body weight within the first three to six months of treatment.

Now the FDA is considering whether to remove the product from the U.S. market. Meridia will be discussed Wednesday by the agency's endocrinologic and metabolic drugs advisory committee, which is made up of non-FDA medical experts.

The panel is being asked to vote on what additional regulatory action it thinks the FDA should take, including whether the product should be withdrawn from the U.S. market. The FDA usually follows the advice of its advisory committee but isn't required to do so. The FDA posted background materials for Wednesday's meeting on its website Monday.

The panel will primarily discuss a clinical study known as Scout, which was conducted in patients with a history of heart disease or diabetes. It showed patients in the study had a higher rate of cardiovascular events compared to patients on a placebo medication.

An FDA clinical review of the study said, "in a population of middle-age and older overweight and obese subjects, treatment with [Meridia] for an average of 3.5 years increased the relative risk for major adverse cardiac events by 16%." However, the FDA said the data from the study haven't been fully analyzed.

According to another FDA memo, agency staff said there was evidence that while Meridia improved some cardiac-risk factors, it "may have a detrimental effect on others," such as an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. Still, the memo said, given the modest decrease in body weight seen with most patients taking Meridia, "even a small increase in cardiovascular risk seems unwarranted."

In a document also posted on the FDA's website, Abbott said use of Meridia in the target population currently described on the product's label is associated with a low rate of cardiovascular events.

The company said it supports placing a boxed warning on the product giving doctors "advice on monitoring and discontinuation of therapy based on blood pressure, pulse, and weight loss parameters." A boxed warning is FDA's toughest warning on a drug label.

Original Article.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Marijuana Eases Chronic Pain, Researchers Say

GOOD AFTERNOON! hope you had a great weekend. This article caught my attention not because i smoke.. but because my boyfriends brother recently had back surgery and his medication was making him super nauseated and sick.. he smoked.. and asked his doctor if he could maybe smoke so he didn't feel so sick all the time.. and what do you know it helps the pain, he can eat again and hes not throwing up, so medical marijuana did help him.

Smoking marijuana modestly reduced pain and other symptoms of chronic neuropathic pain, results of a small trial showed.

The most potent dose used reduced average daily pain scores by 0.7 points on an 11-point scale, according to Mark A. Ware of McGill University in Montreal, Canada and colleagues.

Those who smoked weed with 9.4 percent of the active ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) also reported sleeping better, the researchers reported online in CMAJ.

Read this story on

These results are important in light of the fact that patients who hear about pain relief from ongoing publicity about medical marijuana have had only a "trickle" of evidence to prove it, explained Henry J. McQuay of Oxford University in an accompanying editorial.

"If medical cannabis is not available where a patient lives, then obtaining it will take the patient outside of the law, often for the first time in his or her life," he wrote. "Good evidence would at least buttress that decision."

These quality results along with three other trials of smoked cannabis for neuropathic pain do support an analgesic effect that, "though not great, may be of use to some patients," McQuay concluded.

This study does offer hope since few drugs have proven effective in these patients, commented Dr. Steven P. Cohen, who as director of pain research at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., sees chronic pain in most of his patients with major war injuries

However, the magnitude of the pain relief from smoking marijuana was less than expected compared with those few effective drugs, Cohen noted in an e-mail to MedPage Today and ABC News.

"When considered in the context of the higher incidence of minor and serious side effects with medical marijuana, cannabinoids should remain a third- or fourth-line drug for neuropathic pain," he wrote.

A bigger concern remains the "delivery system," which is substantially worse than tobacco cigarettes due to prolonged exposure to marijuana smoke from holding it in the lungs, commented Dr. Timothy A. Collins of Duke University's Pain and Palliative Care Clinic in Durham, N.C.

Original Article.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Could Drinking Water Before Meals Help You Lose Weight?

Back to school, back to school, its that time of year again and most of us started school today. well i don't know about you guys, but i know when i get back to school my eating habits are all out of wack and i cant help but always be snacking on something .. mainly unhealthy. so here's a nice little tip.

MONDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Close the diet books and skip the pills. The latest weight-loss trick may be as simple as gulping a couple of glasses of water before you eat.

A new study found that middle-aged and older adults who drank two cups of water before each meal consumed fewer calories and lost more weight than those who skipped drinking water.

Researchers divided two groups of overweight and obese men and women aged 55 to 75 into two groups: one group was told to follow a low-fat, low-calorie diet; the other group was told to follow the same diet and to drink two cups of water before breakfast, lunch and dinner.

After 12 weeks, those who drank water before meals had lost 15.5 pounds, compared to 11 pounds for the non-water drinkers, a nearly 30 percent difference.

The researchers got the idea for the weight-loss program from their prior research, which found that when middle-aged and older adults drank water before meals, they ate between 75 and 90 fewer calories at the meal.

What they weren't sure about, however, was if water drinkers would compensate by eating more throughout the rest of the day, said senior study author Brenda Davy, an associate professor in the department of human nutrition, foods and exercise at Virginia Tech. But after 12 weeks of dieting, that didn't happen.

"Drinking more water is a pretty simple strategy that may be helpful to people trying to lose weight," Davy said. "We're not saying, 'Drink more water and the body fat will melt away'. But for people who are trying to lose weight and trying to follow a low-cal diet, it's something they can do as part of that."

The research was to be presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston.

One of the most vexing issues with dieting is how difficult it is to keep the weight off long-term, Davy said. After the 12 weeks were up, Davy and her colleagues have continued to follow the participants.

After one year, preliminary data shows that those who continued to drink water before meals not only kept those pounds off, but have even continued to lose a bit more -- about 1.5 pounds on average.

Yet pre-meal water chugging comes with one caveat: it may only work if you're middle-aged or older, Davy said.

Prior research has shown that in those aged 18 to 35, drinking water before the meal did not cause them to eat fewer calories at the meal, Davy said.

In older people, it takes longer for the stomach to empty, which may be why the water helps them feel fuller and less hungry, while in younger people, water begins leaving the stomach almost immediately, Davy said.

Barry Popkin, director of the University of North Carolina Nutrition Obesity Research Center, called the findings "promising." His research has shown people who drinks lots of water drink fewer sugary beverages, eat more fruits and vegetables and overall consume fewer calories throughout the day.

One culprit in the obesity epidemic is that Americans consume some 300 calories more a day in sugary beverages than they did 30 years ago, Popkin added. That includes soda, punch and fruit juices with added sugar, sports drinks and sweetened tea.

"If you drink some more water right before a meal and fill up a little bit right before, there is the potential you may reduce your food intake," Popkin said. "But what we're concerned with is encouraging people to drink water to replace all the caloric beverages we're drinking."

Another challenge to the water-before-meals weight-loss strategy is getting people to do it, said Carla Wolper, an assistant professor in the Eating Disorders Center at Columbia University and a research faculty member at the New York Obesity Research Center at St. Luke's Hospital in New York City.

"The question is, do people continue to drink the water in a non-study situation?" Wolper said. "We know there are a lot of simple things people could do to lose weight. Clinical trials have shown if people write down what they eat, they lost twice as much weight. Yet it's very hard to get people to write down what they eat. Or, if people would reduce portions just a little bit, they would lose weight. But people don't do it."

Original Artical.

Monday, August 16, 2010

China says baby formula did not cause early puberty in girls

HMM well i mean i can kinda see this coming and yeah i believe its a potential lawsuit cover up, but that's ridiculous breast at 4 months! and vaginal discharge at 1 year old! sounds a little too fishy for me. facts are facts and the fact that the level was tested so high kinda points to the formula.

Girls as young as 4 months in Hubei province had grown breasts. Despite government and doctors' assurances that Synutra milk formula wasn't to blame, some parents believe otherwise.

Reporting from Beijing — In an attempt to head off a mounting public relations crisis, the government said Chinese-made milk formula is not what caused early puberty in baby girls as young as 4 months old.

China's Ministry of Health said Sunday that there was no link between the infant formula made by the Qingdao-based company Synutra International and cases reported by families using the product that their infant daughters had grown breasts.

After testing 73 samples of milk formula from Synutra and other international and domestic brands of baby formula, the ministry concluded that the milk powder displayed normal levels of hormones that might have caused the early development.

Three families in the central province of Hubei said earlier this month that their daughters grew breasts after drinking formula made by Synutra. The infants had levels of estradiol and prolactin, hormones that stimulate the production of breast milk, that were as high as those in adult women, according to the Beijing-based Health Times newspaper.

One father in Beijing recently said his 1-year old daughter had grown breasts and was releasing vaginal discharge.

Following the 2008 scandal over melamine in baby formula that sickened thousands of babies and killed at least six, Chinese authorities are eager to soothe the nerves of worried parents. Despite assurances from health authorities, food safety experts and families are still concerned that milk formula from Synutra, as well as other brands, is not safe.

The investigation, which was conducted with nine experts on food safety, endocrinology and pediatrics, concluded that the Hubei cases were a result of "minimal puberty" or the early onset of puberty that can happen in girls before the age of 2 and boys of up to 6 months old.

"Breast development in female infants is not rare clinically," Liang Li, an endocrinologist at the Zhejiang University School of Medicine told the Global Times, an English-language newspaper sponsored by the Chinese government, on Sunday after the statement.

Citing the fact that the infants in Hubei did not show abnormal bone growth or other signs, and that their hormone levels were now normal, Ministry of Health spokesman Deng Haihua said: "Breast development in the three baby girls in Hubei has no link to Synutra milk powder."

Ben Embarek, a food safety expert with the World Health Organization, said health experts need to investigate whether even low levels of hormones in the formula could affect infants who generally rely on it as their main source of food. Embarek said the results of the analysis of the babies in Hubei also may have been affected by the fact that the parents stopped using the formula days or weeks before the tests.

Chinese parents who have flooded doctor's offices to check on their children are also doubtful of authorities' remarks.

"I've heard the statement from the ministry, and it makes me feel helpless," said 28-year-old Wang Gang, who took his 1-year-old daughter to the Beijing Children's Hospital after noticing strange liquid on her underwear. Wang said the doctor evaluating his daughter was so surprised at the level of hormones present that he asked if the parents had accidentally let the child swallow birth control pills.

Wang said that other parents also are dissatisfied with the answers coming from doctors and the health ministry. He's started an online group on QQ, a popular Chinese instant messaging forum, where he and more than 100 other families debate how they can independently test the samples of infant formula and whether they should start raising sheep to ensure their own safe supply of milk for their children.

"There's no way I'm using milk formula, whether it's from China or abroad," Wang said

Original Article.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Is Puberty in Girls Coming Too Soon?

I liked this article.. mainly because i have a ten yr old sister who is seriously moody right now and my mom and i were just talking about, different her life is from our with not only puberty but from school, and what not, short and to the point article i how you enjoy it.

Like many 10-year-old girls, Lindsay Kendrick likes to play sports and attend camp during the summer.

And like a growing number of girls her age, Lindsay also hit early puberty very early. Lindsay's mother, Beth, said her daughter first started menstruating when she was only 9.

"I thought it was going to happen early," said Beth. "She's been one of the tallest in her class, even taller than a lot of boys, and she started having early breast development."

Kendrick took Lindsay to her pediatrician, who told Beth that early puberty is much more common now, and said that Lindsay's period would probably start sometime in the next year.

"She started about two months after that," Beth said.

It's been a challenge for both Lindsay and Beth.

"She doesn't like talking to any of her friends about it," Beth said. "I try to keep up with her to make sure I send products with her to school."

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics found that girls who hit puberty younger than 10 are much more common than they were in the past two decades. In the study, researchers assessed more than 1,200 6- to 8-year-old girls in three metropolitan areas for breast development and the appearance of pubic hair, both signs of early puberty.

They found that a much higher proportion of white, black and Hispanic girls showed signs of early puberty than were found in previous studies.

"Ten percent of white girls at age 7 have breast development to some extreme, which is way younger than our original standard of evaluating normal versus abnormal," said Dr. Ann Budzak, a pediatrician with Gundersen Lutheran Health System in LaCrosse, Wisconsin

The National Institutes of Health previously said puberty generally happens between the ages of 10-to-14 for girls and between 12-to-16 for boys.

There are some limitations to the study, however. As the authors point out, the study does not use a nationally representative sample of subjects, and does not look at development over time to account for environmental exposure, dietary differences or other factors related to race and ethnicity. Additionally, recruitment levels were low, so there could have been recruitment biases.

Another important element missing from this study is information about the onset of menstruation, which could indicate whether puberty has actually started.

"It's going to take a lot of follow-up to say whether this is really puberty," said Dr. Abby Hollander, associate professor of pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. "Within five years, we should be able to say whether the average girls get their periods is earlier."

original article.
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Monday, August 2, 2010

Congratulations America—You're Drinking More Than Ever!

Good Morning! haha this article made me laugh because i always tell my mom that shes an alcoholic.. which she's not but shes has been drinking more then ever recently.. and now i completely understand that almost everyone is! haha i guess we are more stressed out then ever, and i will Even admit sometimes after work i like to pour myself a glass of wine and relax.

Well, at least more than the past 15 years according to a new poll.

Slate reported that a new Gallup poll found that 67% of Americans say they drink alcohol—the highest percentage recorded since 1985. The drink of choice? Beer for the majority of Americans. You might think that that's because beer is relatively cheap in the U.S. but the poll also shows that the more money you make, the more likely you are to be a drinker. The same goes for those who are college-educated and those who don't attend church.

So what does this poll show us, exactly? Americans drink and they like to drink beer, now even more. Groundbreaking! But in keeping with the spirit of the times, check out TIME's top 10 forgotten liquors to see some options beyond Bud Lite

original article.
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Monday, July 19, 2010

Study Suggests Higher Cancer Rate Among IVF Babies

Although its been very helpful in helping couple who cannot conceive,be able to have the chance to start a family, they should have been able to per dict this before they actually allowed it.

MONDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- Children conceived using in vitro fertilization have a higher risk of developing cancer than do children who were conceived naturally, new research shows.

While the study found the risk of cancer was increased by 42 percent for Swedish youngsters conceived with IVF, the absolute risk of cancer was still quite low.

"We found a roughly 50 percent increased risk for cancer in the IVF children, which means that if the risk without IVF is two per 1,000, it increases to three per 1,000 after IVF," explained study author Dr. Bengt Kallen, a professor emeritus in embryology at the Tornblad Institute at the University of Lund in Sweden.

The findings will be published in the August print issue of Pediatrics, but were posted online on July 19.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is an assisted reproduction technology. Using eggs harvested from the prospective mother and sperm given by the prospective father, doctors can create human embryos that are then implanted into the mother's uterus.

Babies born using this technology are known to have an increased risk of birth defects and of birth complications, such as preterm birth. Previous research has also suggested that children born through this method of conception may also have an increased risk of cancer.

Using the Swedish Medical Birth Register, the researchers gathered information on almost 27,000 children who were born using IVF in Sweden from 1982 through 2005.

When they looked at the number of children who had cancer, they found that 53 children born from IVF had developed cancer compared to the expected rate of 38 cases of cancer in non-IVF children.

Other factors appeared to influence the risk of cancer as well. Children born before 37 weeks' gestation and those with a low birth weight, respiratory problems or a low Apgar score (a test given at birth to assess a newborn's health), had higher rates of cancer.

A mother's age, weight, smoking status and the number of miscarriages she'd already had didn't appear to affect a child's cancer risk. A multiple birth pregnancy also didn't appear to affect the risk of cancer.

Cancers of the blood, such as acute lymphoblastic leukemia, were the most common, affecting 18 children. The next most common were cancers of the eye or central nervous system, affecting 17 children.

Although it's not clear what's to blame for the increase, the study authors think it's unlikely that IVF is at the root of the increased risk of cancer.

"This study is interesting and thought-provoking, and it adds to our growing knowledge of potential IVF consequences," said Dr. David Cohen, chief of reproductive medicine at the University of Chicago.

"But, it's difficult to think what the biological plausibility would be. If it were something that occurs during the in vitro process or some substance in the media used, I would think that it would cause a much higher number of cancers. This may just be a statistical oddity," he added.

"This is the largest study that I'm aware of, and it does suggest an increased risk of childhood cancers ... but it doesn't really delineate whether it's the IVF process or the patient selection. Is this increase due to the procedure, or is it secondary due to a difference in the patient population?" said Dr. Edward Illions, a reproductive endocrinology specialist at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York City and the Montefiore Institute for Reproductive Medicine in Hartsdale, N.Y.

The three experts do not believe these findings will have a significant influence on a couple's decision to have the IVF procedure.

"The absolute risk is so small that it will hardly influence the decision to get an IVF," Kallen said.

"This adds more information to the [pre-IVF] counseling session, but I don't think it will change the decision. The absolute risk is still well less than 1 percent," said Cohen.

More information

Learn more about in vitro fertilization from the American Pregnancy Association

original article.
category: Health Concern
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Monday, July 12, 2010

MMM i this next article is making me hungry especially some chips and salsa and guacamole! all tooo good. anyways after reading this article i started to pay more attention to these things at resultant. but i still love guacamole dip and I'm sure i will continue eating it just with a little more cation.

Better put down that tortilla chip.

Contaminated salsa or guacamole were the culprits in nearly 1 out of every 25 foodborne illness outbreaks linked to food in restaurants between 1998 and 2008, according to new research released today by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That’s more than double the rate during the previous decade, CDC officials said.

“Fresh salsa and guacamole, especially those served in retail food establishments, may be important vehicles of foodborne infection,” said Magdalena Kendall, a researcher at Tennessee's Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education who collaborated on the study.

Part of the problem is that individual ingredients in salsa — peppers, tomatoes, cilantro — all have been linked to widespread salmonella outbreaks in recent years.

Kendall and her colleagues scoured CDC records for salsa- and guacamole-linked outbreaks starting in 1973, when the agency began surveillance. They didn’t detect any until 1984. Of the 136 dip-related outbreaks they found, 84 percent were tied to restaurants and delis.

Between 1984 and 1997, salsa- and guacamole-linked accounted for about 1.5 percent of all food establishment outbreaks. From 1998 and 2008, that figure rose to nearly 4 percent, the CDC said.

original article.
category: Health Concern
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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Is Your Trendy Reusable Bag Infected?

I'm definitely going to have to let my mom know because she uses her reuse able bags all the time each time we go to the market.

The war against plastic bags could have a serious casualty: Your health. (via LA Times)

Those trendy reusable bags (encouraged in place of plastic ones) tote everything from vegetables to books. But it turns out they can also carry bacteria, including deadly E. coli.

A new study (dubiously paid for by the American Chemical Society, which is lobbying against California's potential ban of plastic bags) found that out of 84 bags tested, 12% contained traces of E. coli, and all but one was growing some sort of bacteria.

The source? Three quarters of users interviewed in California and Arizona carry vegetables and meat in the same bag.

But here's the study's more interesting finding: 97% of consumers said they didn't clean their bags on a regular basis—or ever.

Don't worry, though, there's a solution: Washing a reusable bag kills 99.9% of bacteria.

Nice try, plastic

original article.
category:Cold & Flu
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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Teen Dies After Drug Overdose at Electric Daisy Carnival

ALmost all my freidns go to EDC every year.. i have yet to go.. but im not going lie ive alwasy been curious i hear they hav THHEEE best time and they all rave about it for days before and after.i read this on facebook and i thought i would sahre it with you.. becasue i dont disagree with the article i do think there should be a certain age that kids should be allowed to enter.. 15 is a little young and i would not want my 15 yr old duaghter to go to a rave.

Teen Dies After Drug Overdose at Electric Daisy Carnival

15-year-old Sasha Rodriguez of Atwater was one of the over 100 people transported out of the Electric Daisy Carnival at the Coliseum this weekend to an area hospital. The teen was in respiratory arrest when she arrived, lapsed into a coma, and experienced organ failure.

Sasha "died shortly before 5:30 p.m. Tuesday," according to the LA Times. Her parents had to decide whether to remove her from life support.

Sasha had ecstasy in her system when she was brought to the hospital, doctors told the girl's parents. "A 16-year old friend who was with Sasha at the rave said Sasha was dancing, got hot and began quickly drinking cold water," which actually shocked her body, since the ecstasy had compromised her body's ability to replace her depleted sodium and electrolytes efficiently.

The teen collapsed and hit her head on the ground, say friends, adding that despite trying to shield Sasha's body, "the venue was so crowded, people stepped on them."

Yesterday, prior to Sasha's death, medical professionals spoke out with concerns about a rave and concert event like Electric Daisy Carnival being held at a venue like the Coliseum, which is on public land and operated by city, county, and state commission.
Now at issue is the fact that Sasha--and other attendees--were under age for the event; promoters had requested children under 16 be accompanied by adult. "I didn't see any ID being checked at the entry point," said Dr. Caitlin Reed, who was at the rave on assignment from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. "There were many, many younger teenagers present."

The Rodriguez family has just begun to face the loss of their daughter Sasha. Grace Rodriguez, Sasha's mother, told a television news outlet: "I was supposed to be planning her Sweet Sixteen party. Now I have to plan her funeral."

original article.
category:Health Concern
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Kenya Launches Safe Blood Collection Effort

The percentages still shock me when i hear of the ages these kids are living with HIV its terrible. but at least its known about and we are all working to try and take care of the growing problem.

The testing and screening of blood have become a big part of fighting HIV / AIDS in developing countries. The tests can determine the health of a person’s immune system by measuring the level of disease fighting CD4 cells. The lower the level, the more advanced the disease.

But local clinics don’t always have enough staff or training to keep up with demand -- or to ensure that the blood is collected safely.

However, Kenya is taking action Monday to change that with the launch of a new program. It has partnered with the U.S. medical technology firm BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) and PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS relief, to train clinicians how to safely collect and handle blood.

Big problem

Dr. Nicholas Muraguri, head of Kenya’s National AIDS / STD Control Program, describes the scope of Kenya’s HIV/AIDS problem.

“We estimate that HIV prevalence in Kenya is around 7 percent. That is looking at people between 15 years and 64 years old. And there’s a big difference between men and women. Women’s HIV prevalence is around 8.4 percent and men it’s 5.3 percent,” he says.

He says it means that out of a population of 40 million, about 1.4 million people in Kenya are living with HIV/AIDS.

Muraguri says Kenya has a new HIV strategic plan. “We have an ambitious program to eliminate potentially any risk of HIV transmission in our health care settings. We have around 650,000 people currently under care. These are people who are HIV positive.”

Caring for them involves blood tests, a minimum of about two per year per person. “We’re talking about 1.2 million samples being drawn,” says Dr. Muraguri.

Blood samples are drawn for other diseases as well.

“Now if that’s not done properly, there is an obvious risk to the health worker and also a risk to the patient as well,” he says. “Within a certain environment we can completely stop transmission.”


“We have picked 8 facilities in 4 regions. We are basically covering high prevalence regions. So we could have HIV prevalence as high as 15 percent in some of the regions,” he says.

He says the program builds on earlier efforts to ensure injection safety, which includes proper methods of using hypodermic needles and disposing of them safely. Safe blood collection also includes the quality of the specimen. He says, “If you don’t get a correct sample…you probably mismanage the patient as well.”

Initially, 20 Kenyan health care workers at the 8 clinics will be trained by BD. They in turn will train others.

BD says the goal is to “ultimately train thousands of health care workers in developing countries.” The firm, based in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, describes itself as one of PEPFAR’s “strongest collaborators.”

BD says it’s also underwriting the construction of two incinerators in Kenya that will be used to safely dispose of used blood-related devices.

original article.
category:Health Concern
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Monday, June 14, 2010

Federal ban continued against blood donations from sexually active gay men

Good morning all! hope everyone had a great weekend, summer is almost officially here and I'm loving it cant wait to hit the beach again.. California girls by Katy perry just came on and is not putting me in the mood of wanting to be outside. inside of cooped up in this place, anyways i had no idea they had banned gay males from donating! this was all new to me. enjoy the article.

Ignoring arguments that a ban on gay male blood donors is based on fear and discrimination rather than science, a key federal committee on Friday failed to overturn the controversial policy first implemented during the height of the AIDS crisis.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services decided to continue the 25-year-old blood donation ban on men who have had sex with other men since 1977. The members of the committee concluded that there was not enough scientific evidence to warrant a change to the policy.

The ban was implemented during the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s as a way of containing the risk of spreading the disease. However, many gay-rights activists, scientists and federal and local government officials have called the ban unfair and unnecessary.

"I am completely disheartened that our federal government failed to lift this archaic ban," said Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager. "The American Red Cross and other respected organizations have long advocated that this policy is medically unnecessary. Today's decision is rooted in ignorance, not science."

In recent months, a group of senators led by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., have called upon the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to lift the ban. In his testimony to the blood advisory committee, Kerry called the policy discriminatory.

"This lingering policy is responsible for turning away thousands of healthy donors from blood clinics across the country,

not because they have engaged in highly risky behavior, but because they are gay," Kerry said. "This is blood that could save lives."

The Blood Centers of the Pacific, the blood bank that serves the Bay Area, recommended that the blood advisory committee lift the lifetime ban and allow a man to donate blood 12 months after his last sexual contact with another man. According to blood bank policies, an individual who is considered "high risk," such as those who have traveled to a foreign country or received a tattoo, must wait at least 12 months before donating blood. The Blood Centers noted that applying the same policies for high-risk individuals to men who have sex with men would have been sufficient.

"The science has shown that a 12-month wait period should be sufficient and so anything like what we currently have, to us that appears discriminatory. You don't need that," said Lisa Bloch, director of communications for Blood Centers of the Pacific.

The FDA reports that the prevalence of HIV among those designated as "men who have sex with men" is 60 times higher than that of the general population. Rates of hepatitis and other STDs also are higher among that group, according to the FDA.

Despite the elevated risks in that group and the conclusion reached by the blood advisory committee, blood banks ensure that their donations go through rigorous testing. Each donation collected by the Blood Centers of the Pacific undergoes 13 tests, seven of which test for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, syphilis and other STDs. For the HIV/AIDS test, technology used by the blood bank can detect HIV up to seven days after the individual has been infected. Data also shows that the error rate for these tests is low.

"We and other blood centers are at the forefront of research in terms of transmitted infectious agents including among demographics such as men who have sex with men," said Dr. Kim Anh Nguyen, the medical director at the Blood Centers of the Pacific. "So far we have not found other emerging viruses like HIV."

Because of the ban, the Blood Centers of the Pacific estimates a loss of more than 1,000 pints of potential blood donations each year. Companies and universities, including San Jose State, will not allow organizations to solicit blood donations on their property because of their "discriminatory" practices. Moreover, blood centers from around the United States experience year-round shortages of blood, leaving the Bay Area to import 20 percent of its blood from outside the state.

"I'm disappointed because I'm afraid that student groups and other groups are going to blame the blood banks," said Nguyen. "Blood centers hope that groups that are disappointed and angered by this don't take it out on patients and continue to support blood donations."

The Bay Area's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community also has been a longtime advocate of lifting the ban, and many say the policy will continue to ostracize gay men.

"On the face of it, it just seems to be discriminatory. It's obviously targeted toward gay men," said Chris Flood, the board of directors at San Jose's Billy De Frank LGBT Community Center. "If the concern really is about people who are promiscuous giving blood, then there should be a question about people sleeping with multiple sex partners, not just gay men."

original article.
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Monday, June 7, 2010

Aids and HIV warning to South Africa World Cup fans

Goooddd morrning all! how was every ones weekend? great i hope, summers almost here and the world cup is about 4 days away. i found this article in google news under the health category and obviously we are all aware of the high rate for aids in Africa, so tourist are being encourage to bring condoms and have safe sex. enjoy the article.

Sexual health charities are warning England football fans heading to South Africa - which has one of the worst Aids and HIV rates in the world - to take care.

With its new football stadiums, expensive hotels and sandy beaches, South Africa may look like any other tourist hotspot welcoming visitors this summer.

The country has poured 33bn rand (£2.9bn) into preparations for the 2010 World Cup, but behind the glistening new buildings lies the other side of South Africa - deprived townships, high levels of crime and health problems.

According to Avert, an Aids charity based in Horsham, West Sussex, an estimated 5.7 million people were living with HIV and Aids in South Africa in 2009 - a higher number than in any other country.

Charities are warning football fans travelling to South Africa to make sure they do not put their own sexual health at risk.

Continue reading the main story We are urging people to take condoms with them - have fun but look after yourself
Jason Warriner

Terrence Higgins Trust
The London-based Terrence Higgins Trust surveyed 454 British 18 to 34 year olds and found one in ten admitted drinking so much alcohol while watching sporting events that they could not remember what they did afterwards.

The sexual health charity has published a World Cup guide to football fans on its website to help prevent the spread of infections both abroad and in the UK during the tournament.

Jason Warriner, clinical director at the trust, said: "When people go on holiday their behaviour pattern is very different to back home.

"People sometimes drink more than usual or use social drugs - opportunities may arise and they may not make the judgement call like they usually do.

"We are urging people to take condoms with them - have fun but look after yourself."

Earlier this year, the UK government donated £1m to South Africa to buy 42m condoms as the nation prepared for the World Cup and the influx of visitors.

New football stadiums have been built to host World Cup matches The UK's All Party Parliamentary Group on Aids, HIVsport, which raises awareness of sexual health during sporting events, and the Foreign Office has launched advice website Keep a Clean Sheet.

It warns that large sporting events often lead to an increase in sexually transmitted infections.

Veronica Oakeshott, policy advisor to the group, said: "We are concerned that there will be fans going out there who are going to get drunk, be very over-excited and be approached by very lovely-looking women who do not look like prostitutes and may take risks that they will later regret."

Making money

With the world's spotlight on South Africa throughout the tournament and with some 450,000 tourists expected to pile into the country, there is money to be made.

All industries in the country will be looking forward to profiting from the event - and prostitutes will be no exception.

"A lot of these women will be infected (with HIV or Aids)," said Annabel Kanabus, director of Avert. "They will have other things as well.

"A lot of these people are not particularly choosing to live that sort of life - they are living it because they have to live it.

"It's an opportunity to make money."

There are fears that prostitution, which is illegal in South Africa, will thrive during the World Cup, with prostitutes flocking to the country from elsewhere in the world.

But Marlise Richter, a member of the women's sector of the South African National Aids Council, said she did not expect a significant increase in sex workers on the streets.

"There has been a lot of sensationalism about the increase in sex workers and trafficking," she said, adding that she was more concerned about how police will deal with prostitutes during the tournament.

She said the demand and supply of sex workers would be monitored and added that a lot of work had been done in the run-up to the World Cup to educate people in South Africa about safe sex.

original article.
category:Health Concern
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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Vaccine appears to prevent breast cancer in mice

An experimental vaccine prevented breast cancer in genetically engineered mice, according to a preliminary study in the June 10 issue of Nature Medicine. The vaccine has not been tested in humans.
Though the approach is intriguing, it is far too early to know whether a vaccine could also help women avoid breast cancer, says Massimo Cristofanilli, chair of medical oncology at Philadelphia's Fox Chase Cancer Center, who wasn't involved in the experiment.

Many drugs appear promising in mice, but very few succeed in humans, Cristofanilli says.

On average, only one out of every 250 drugs in lab studies or animal models get approved, according to Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

In the new experiment, immunologist Vincent Tuohy at the Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute tested the vaccine against a protein, called alpha-lactalbumin, found on many breast cancer cells. Mice in the experiment had been genetically modified to lead them to develop breast cancer.

Though none of the 50 vaccinated mice developed cancer, all of the others did.

The protein is not found on normal breast cells, except when women are breast-feeding, the study says. That gives researchers hope that the vaccine would not harm ordinary cells.

But Cristofanilli says testing such a vaccine in humans would be difficult, largely because women at high risk of breast cancer already have several proven options for prevention.

Women who inherit genetic mutations in the BRCA genes — which give women a very high risk of breast cancer — can virtually eliminate their risk through a preventive mastectomy.

BRCA: Christina Applegate, other women with the gene act fast
RALOXIFENE: Bone drug lowers breast cancer risk 38% in high-risk women
ON THE WEB: Estimate your breast cancer risk

Other high-risk women, such as those with a close relative with breast cancer, also can take the drugs tamoxifen or raloxifene to sharply cut their risk.

original article.
category:Health Concern
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Monday, May 24, 2010

Woman Falls into Coma, Loses Breast After Spider Bite

Good Morning! this story creeps me out! and makes me almost fear getting a spider bite-_- well everyone should learn to go to the doecotrs right away like the lady said haha.
read on.

A Georgia woman spent 11 days in a coma and had her breast removed after a bite from a brown recluse spider, reported.

Victoria Franklin, 51, didn’t realize she had been bitten on her left breast. More than a week later, she was suffering from severe nausea and vomiting, and her breast was infected so badly that it started to turn black and smell.

"It was like a stench, like I want to say, like rotten eggs or something like that, but it was stronger and I couldn't take it anymore," said Franklin.

When Franklin finally admitted herself to Wellstar Windy Hill Hospital in Paulding County, Ga., her breast had become gangrene, and the infection sent her into a coma for 11 days.

When she woke up, doctors told her they had to surgically remove the muscle and breast tissue from her left side.

Franklin said she hopes others will learn from her experience.

"If they have spiders, and they know they have spiders like I knew I did, I want them to be very aware and get their houses exterminated," Franklin said.

original article.
category: Pain
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Monday, May 17, 2010

The Chocolate Milk Diet

GOOD MORNING! this article caught my attention and it seems like its something simple.. and that can in the long run get you to lose some weight so idunno how soon the results will come in but I'm sure after a while you will see some difference.

Imagine if everything you needed to know about weight loss, you learned in kindergarten. Well, if your teacher gave you chocolate milk as a lunchtime treat, she was (unknowingly) giving you one of the most powerful weight-loss tools in the nutritional universe. Turns out this childhood staple may be the ideal vehicle for your body’s most neglected nutritional needs. Each bottle delivers a package of micro- and macronutrients that can help you shake off body flab and replace it with firm muscle. And when you served it ice-cold, the creamy sweetness flows across your tongue with all the pleasure of a milk shake. Yum.
That’s the crux of what I'm calling "The Chocolate Milk Diet," which isn’t a diet at all. It’s essentially three eight-ounce servings of chocolate milk consumed at key points throughout your day: one when you wake up, a second before you exercise, and a third directly after your workout. Or, if it's your day off, just pattern them for morning, afternoon, and night. Sounds good, right? It is, and that’s why it’s so easy. But is this a free ticket to eat as much fried chicken as you want throughout the rest of the day? Unfortunately not, but alongside a healthy diet, it can help you drop lots of belly fat fast. Here are the four reasons why:

Secret #1: The Calcium Effect

Researchers have known for years about the role that calcium plays in building strong bones, but a more recent development deals with they way it affects your belly. A series of studies have shown that calcium can actually impede your body’s ability to absorb fat, and when researchers in Nebraska analyzed five of these studies, they were able to estimate that consuming 1,000 mg more calcium can translate to losing nearly 18 pounds of flab. What’s more, other studies have shown that dairy foods offer the most readily absorbable calcium you can find. Knock back three servings of brown cow and you’ll reach that crucial 1,000 mg threshold. At that point, any other calcium that you eat or drink is a bonus.

Bonus Tip: Everything is not as it seems in the world of fat and calories. Click here to see the 30 “Healthy” Foods that Aren’t. You'll be shocked by the pounds of fat you may unwittingly gain while thinking that you're eating healthy.

Secret #2: The Vitamin D Factor

All the calcium in the world isn’t going to help you if you don’t get a good dose of vitamin D to go with it. That’s because vitamin D is responsible for moving calcium from your food to your body, which means if you’re running low on D, you’re probably also missing the calcium you need to stay slim. Other symptoms of the D deficiency are weak muscles, easily breakable bones, and depression—not a great combo for success. Now here’s why this is significant: Most experts agree that the average American isn’t getting enough D. Some estimate that only half the population is meeting the requirement and one study published in the journal Pediatrics found that 70 percent of American children had low levels of D in their diet. The thing is, your body makes vitamin D naturally when you expose your skin to sunlight, but most people spend too much time indoors to benefit. And intentionally spending more time in the sun could put you at risk for skin cancer. The solution? Drink up. Chocolate milk, like most milk, is fortified with vitamin D.

One caveat here: Drink 1% chocolate milk. Vitamin D won't work without a little fat to help break it down. You want to skip the whole milk, too, as it has too many calories to make it a regular habit. The best option is 1%, or low-fat chocolate milk. It has the fat you need to absorb crucial vitamins, yet at three cups a day, it will save you 120 calories over whole milk.

Bonus Tip: Everything you need to know about cereal is right here: America's Best and Worst Cereals. Keep the sugar down and the fiber up for a perfect start to your day.

Secret #3: The Endurance Boost

If you want to lose the gut, you’ve got to exercise—no surprise there. But here’s a fact that’s not so obvious: Drinking chocolate milk can improve your gains. In a study published in The International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, subjects given chocolate milk before hopping on the stationary bikes were able to ride 49 percent longer than subjects given a generic carbohydrate-replacement beverage. And on top of that, they pedaled even harder. Total work performed by the chocolate-milk group was greater than the work performed by subjects drinking carbohydrate-replacement drinks or electrolyte-fortified sports drinks. The reason? Milk has naturally occurring electrolytes that keep you hydrated—more hydrated then water, in fact, which I revealed recently on my Twitter account—and its natural sweetness helps push more energy into your muscles. Another study from 2009 found similar results, but it went one step further by asking participants which beverage they thought tasted better. Not surprisingly, 100% chose chocolate milk.

Bonus Tip: Discover more loveable liquids by browsing through our Best Beers slideshow. Or, if you’d rather avoid the calories altogether, then you’ll want to read The Worst Beverages in the Supermarket. Again, the point is to make weight-loss easy and fun, without ever worrying about going on a diet again.

Secret #4: The Protein-Body-Weight Connection

Want to know the secret to staying thin? You need more muscle. That’s because muscle burns more calories than fat, so for every new muscle fiber you create, your resting metabolism receives another surge of fat-torching energy. And chocolate milk can help you do that. Researchers have determined that the ideal protein load for building muscle is 10 to 20 grams, half before and half after your workout. How much protein will you find in low-fat chocolate milk? Eight grams per cup. (That means one serving before your workout and one serving after will give you a total of 16 grams of highly effective whey protein—a perfect serving.) Add that to the extra cup you drank first thing in the morning and you’re looking at a turbocharged metabolism that keeps you burning calories all day long.

And don’t forget, you can still melt those 18 pounds of belly fat without giving up your favorite foods. You just need to make smart swaps, and we’ve got 10 new ones right here. You'll lose weight faster than ever—again, with ever dieting again.

Like this story or have another nutrition secret? Please share it with others here.

original article.
category: Weight Loss & Diet
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