February 3, 2010

Fancy Drinks a Health Risk

1 Health Department Turns on Raw Eggs

The latest thing in cocktails -- in New York City, anyway -- is to add a bit of raw egg white to amp up the mouthfeel and lightening up the beverage. But the Health Department recently cited the Pegu Club for serving its famous Earl Grey MarTEAni (yes, it's made with the tea) without telling a customer that the raw egg inside could potentially be a health hazard. Mixologists say cooked egg wouldn't give the same effect as the raw egg does. One bartender went so far as to say that banning raw eggs from drinks would be "Hurricane Katrina for us." But the department says there's no ban, customers just have to be warned a product has raw egg and the egg should be heated to 145 degrees for 15 seconds before serving.

More at New York Times | Posted 8 years ago by Sarah E. White

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (39%) / No! (61%)

Triple-Washed Not Enough

2 Bagged Salads Not So Clean

"Modern super-hygenic practices are causing a boom in allergies. A little 'fecal contamination' may be good for us."
- Kevin in the comments

A study by the Consumers Union found "bacteria that are common indicators of poor sanitation and fecal contamination" in a sample of bagged salad products. The group looked at 208 containers of pre-washed bagged or boxed greens from 16 different brands purchased at stores in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. Of those, 39 percent exceeded the level of fecal coliforms that experts suggested would be acceptable if the federal government regulated such bacteria in produce. Twenty-three percent had high levels of enterococcus, a particular bacteria that's more effective as an indicator of fecal contamination. Samples varied widely, even among the same brand, ranging from undetectable to more than a million units per gram (10,000 was considered the safe limit).

More at Consumer Reports | Posted 8 years ago by Sarah E. White

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (44%) / No! (56%)

Overweight Elderly Live Longer

3 A Little Extra Weight May Help in Old Age

"Extra weight extends your life, but only by extending the time that it takes to waste away to a dangerously low weight after something like a stroke"
- Britney in the comments

People who are over the age of 70 and overweight but otherwise healthy may live longer than their skinnier counterparts, a study of elderly Australians found. The report, in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, which looked at people who were aged 70 to 75 when the study started, found that people who were slightly overweight were less likely to die over the course of 10 years than those who were of normal weight. In fact, normal weight people died at the same rate as obese people. Women who were active and didn't smoke fared the best in the study. Researchers said they were surprised by the findings, but they think a little extra weight could help in old age, perhaps by preventing some of the frailty so often seen in the elderly.

More at Reuters | Posted 8 years ago by Sarah E. White

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (45%) / No! (55%)

Blood Transfusion

4 Young Blood Mixed with Old Makes Youthful Changes

Have scientists found the Fountain of Youth? Researchers at Harvard University’s Stem Cell Institute in Boston have shown that infusing the blood of young laboratory animals with blood of older ones results in youth-imparting changes in the latter. Among these changes are the revitalization of certain bone marrow cells that nourish and stimulate blood stem cells. In addition, infusions contribute to the reduction of myeloid blood cells. These are present in greater number in older blood and contribute to inflammation and the development of cancers. The research, which is published in the journal Nature, has yet to identify the components in young blood that prompt youth-giving changes.

More at Medindia.com | Posted 8 years ago by Melody Lesser

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (41%) / No! (59%)

Get Off My Back

5 Heavy Backpacks Hurt Kids’ Spines

Your child’s backpack can hurt his or her spine, resulting in reduced disc height and lumbar asymmetry says Timothy Neuschwander, MD of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of California, San Diego. Researchers found that heavy backpacks increased curvature and disc compression of the lower spine in what they say is the first study to utilize magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). “Children commonly carry school backpacks of 10 percent to 22 percent [of their] body weight,” wrote the researchers. Not surprisingly, children who carried heavier packs reported significantly greater back pain.

More at HealthImaging.com | Posted 8 years ago by Melody Lesser

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (44%) / No! (56%)

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