February 18, 2010

Lower Motility

1 Obese Men Have Lazy Sperm

In a study of 749 Argentinian men in couples who were unable to conceive a child, researchers determined that the 155 obese men in the sample had sperm that was less mobile and active than the non-obese men, on average. Previous studies have reached differing results on the subject of the contribution of obesity to infertility in men. The Argentina study also determined that the obese men had lower levels of neutral alpha-glucosidase, or NAG, an enzyme related to sperm development in the testes. Despite these results the researchers said that obesity in itself would not cause sterility.

More at Reuters | Posted 8 years ago by Mark

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (44%) / No! (56%)

Fry Cooks at Risk

2 Pan Frying with Gas: The Latest Cancer Scare

Professional chefs and cooks are at risk of inhaling cancer causing fumes when they pan-fry meats using gas, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Among the substances released in greater quantity when gas is used instead of an electric range is the chemical contained in traditional mothballs, napthalene, now generally banned. The researchers fried 17 beef steaks for 15 minutes in margarine or soy bean oil, on both gas and electric burners, and tested the air at the point where the chef's head would be. Restaurants tend to use gas because of its quicker response to temperature changes and its higher temperature, but the researchers didn't mention that as a possible factor. They also didn't reveal if they ate the steaks at the conclusion of their study.

More at EurekAlert | Posted 8 years ago by Mark

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (46%) / No! (54%)

Kids Need Bright Light

3 Teenage Vampire Syndrome Disrupting Sleep

Junior high school students trapped in school buses and dimly lighted classrooms may be suffering from a lack of bright light in the morning, resulting in a disruption to their circadian rhythms and the inability to get a good night's rest. Researchers at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute fitted eleven 8th graders with red-orange googles that blocked blue light in the morning. As a result the children were not able to get to sleep until a half an hour past their normal sleep time. The researchers concluded that there was a disruption of their circadian rhythms. We wonder whether the kids were simply kept awake at night contemplating the mortification they experienced in front of their classmates by wearing psychedelic versions of the sort of shades worn by elderly cataract patients.

More at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute | Hat tip to Los Angeles Times | Posted 8 years ago by Mark

Tags: Circadian Rhythm, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Sleep, Red Orange Sunglasses, Blue Light

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (47%) / No! (53%)

Limit Use of Serevent

4 FDA Cautions on 4 LABA Asthma Inhalers

The Food and Drug Administration today cautioned asthma patients and their physicians to limit the use of long acting beta agonist asthma inhalers in the treatment of asthma. LABA inhalers can precipitate a severe worsening of asthma symptoms, sometimes leading to death. LABAs relax the airway muscles so the lungs can inhale more air, with the effect lasting half a day or more. The products covered in the FDA's announcement are Serevent (salmeterol), Foradil (formoterol), Advair (salmeterol and fluticasone) and Symbicort (formoterol and budesonide). LABA inhalers should be used only in combination with other drugs to treat asthma. Albuterol is not a LABA type inhaler, and can safely be used for sudden-onset asthma, a condition for which LABA inhalers are ineffective.

More at U.S. Food and Drug Administration | Posted 8 years ago by Mark

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (48%) / No! (52%)

Crank Folk Remedy

5 Ear Candles are Ineffective & Dangerous

Ear candles—wax coated fabric tubes inserted in the ear and lit—are touted by alternative medicine promoters as a cure for ear wax buildup, hearing loss, sinus infections, "impure blood," "brain weakness," and cancer. Marketers of the product claim they suck "impurities" out of the head via the ear canal. Today the FDA urged consumers to avoid ear candles because not only is there no evidence that they are effective for any medical condition, but also because they pose a risk of starting fires, burning the ear, face and head, and puncturing the eardrum. In addition, users may avoid urgently needed traditional medical care. The FDA has determined that ear candles are unapproved medical devices, and both the FDA and Canadian health authorities have been seizing shipments.

More at Food and Drug Administration | Posted 8 years ago by Mark

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (53%) / No! (47%)

Orange, Light Green & Silver

6 Cigarette Makers Using Deceptive Package Colors

"This is incredibly ridiculous"
- JJThetTwoJays in the comments

Health advocates are rallying against cigarette makers' most recent dastardly transgression: the use of the colors silver, orange, light green, blue and gold on cigarette packages. Anti-smoking activists say that those colors are widely understood visual cues for such concepts as safety, healthiness, low tar and lightness. Congress has prohibited the use of the words "low" and "mild" on cigarette packaging, but critics say that cigarette makers are doing an end run by using synonymous "color coding." The FDA's Center for Tobacco Products has announced that it will complete a thorough review of the coloration of cigarette packaging by early summer.

More at New York Times | Posted 8 years ago by Mark

Previously: Dangers of Third-Hand Cigarette Smoke

Read the Comments (2) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (46%) / No! (54%)

At Home Tests Effective Too

7 More Need Colon Screenings Than Get Them

Despite urging from the medical community and the media, only 55 percent of people aged 50 and older get screened for colorectal cancer, according to US data. These stats took a sharp upward turn when California health care company Kaiser Permanente sent qualified people at home stool test kits. While colonoscopies remain the gold standard for colorectal examination, the $20. stool test, offered by doctors to patients who, for whatever reason, opt not to have a colonoscopy, is considered just as effective if used properly. During a colonoscopy, precancerous growths are removed while the patient is under sedation. In the case of at-home stool test kits, a colonoscopy is recommended if there is an anomaly in the results. Colorectal cancer is the number two cancer killer in the US.

More at The Associated Press | Posted 8 years ago by Melody Lesser

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

An NSAID a Day ...

8 Ibuprofen Regimen Could Reduce Parkinson’s Risk

In a new study, people who took ibuprofen regularly reduced their risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by 40 percent. Results of the study, which was released this week, will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology in April. The study involved more than 130,000 people who did not have Parkinson’s disease and followed them for six years while gathering information about their use of non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These included ibuprofen, acetaminophen and aspirin. "Ibuprofen was the only NSAID linked to a lower risk of Parkinson's," said Xiang Gao, MD, Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. Additional research is required to determine just how the drug reduces the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

More at ScienceDaily | Posted 8 years ago by Melody Lesser

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (24%) / No! (76%)

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