November 4, 2010

FDA Defends Against UC Concerns

1 Full-Body Scan Cuts Life Span by 42 Minutes

The Food and Drug Administration has responded to concerns from medical researchers at the University of California, San Francisco by releasing a statement minimizing the dangers from full-body scanners. The devices are appearing in greater numbers at airports, courthouses and other locations. According to the FDA, you would only lose 42 minutes of life per scan if the scan resulted in the development of a fatal cancer, or about 3 days if you received 100 lifetime full-body scans. But the UC medical researchers point out that comparisons to radiation doses from airplane flights and chest X-rays are misleading, because the body scanners deposit their radiation in a more concentrated manner over a thin layer of skin. In addition, they express a particular concern about breast cancer risk.

More at FDA | Hat tip to FDA | Posted 7 years ago by Mark

Previously: Portable Breast Scanners, Dozens of Human Heads Seized at Airport

Tags: Cancer, FDA, Food and Drug Administration, X-Rays, University of California at San Francisco, UC San Francisco, John Sedat Ph.D., David Agard Ph.D., Marc Shuman M.D., Robert Stroud Ph.D, Daniel Kassiday, Mutagenicity, Full-Body Security Scanners, Advanced Imaging Technology, Personnel Security Screening Systems, People Scanners, Full-Body Image Scanners, Full-Body Scanners

Read the Comments (10) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (48%) / No! (52%)

Also Used for Depression

2 Psychiatric Drug Approved for Pain

Cymbalta, a drug used for major depressive disorder has been approved by the FDA for use by doctors to treat chronic musculoskeletal pain, such as that of osteoarthritis and chronic lower back pain. The drug has also been used by patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, whose symptoms include muscle and joint pain. Patients diagnosed with both diseases have for years struggled against the belief by many, including some medical professionals, that the syndromes are primarily psychological in nature and are essentially forms of depression. The irony that a drug originally used to treat depression has been found to be effective against the musculoskeletal pain of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome may make it harder for patient advocates to fight prejudice.

More at FDA | Posted 7 years ago by Mark

Previously: Yoga Lessens Pain in Fibromyalgia Patients, Tai Chi May Help Ease Symptoms of Fibromyalgia, Thirteen Conditions Mimicking Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Linked to Mouse Viruses

Tags: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Depression, FDA, Fibromyalgia, Food and Drug Administration, Musculoskeletal Pain, Cymbalta, Major Depressive Disorder, MDD, CFS

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (41%) / No! (59%)

Unhappy, Unhealthy Meals?

3 SF Passes Ban on Restaurant Toy Giveaways

In a move that has made some residents unhappy, San Francisco passed a bill that bans toy giveaways with children’s fast food meals unless those meals meet certain nutritional standards for fat, sodium and calories. “It’s not what our customers want,” said a McDonald’s spokesperson, calling the bill misguided. Outgoing Mayor Gavin Newsom, who will become the state’s lieutenant governor, said he would veto the bill stating through a spokesperson that the ban is “the wrong approach to fighting childhood obesity.” Nearly 30 percent of SF fifth graders are overweight, according to a recent study. Under the new bill, fast food meals must have fewer than 600 calories, fewer than 640 milligrams of sodium and less than 35 percent of calories from fat - or no toy giveaway.

More at NYTimes.com | Posted 7 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Ban on Happy Meals Closer in San Francisco

Tags: Calories, Fast Food, Fat, Happy Meal, McDonald's, San Francisco, Sodium, Fast Food Toy Giveaways, Ban on Fast Good Toy Giveaways, Gavin Newsom, Nutritional Content

Read the Comments (2) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (52%) / No! (48%)

Brain Shrinks When Pregnant

4 Pregnancy Increases Forgetfulness

Feel like you’re losing your mind? If you’re pregnant, that feeling could be real. Dr. Victor Klein, of Long Island Jewish Medical Center, says that some studies have shown that the brain is actually smaller during the third trimester, sometimes by up to 8 percent. Fortunately, the brain does return to normal size after delivery. A Michigan medical study also showed that women in the last three months of pregnancy experience forgetfulness 15 percent more than an average person. Scientists suggest that evolution may play a role in “baby brain” – encouraging women to focus on caring for the unborn child instead of dwelling on important matters. Dr. Klein suggests that pregnant women make sure to get a lot of sleep and write things down to help prevent memory loss.

More at CBS | Posted 7 years ago by Marty Shaw

Previously: Eating Peanuts During Pregnancy

Tags: Baby Brain, Pregnancy Brain, Forgetfulness, Third Trimester

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (50%) / No! (50%)

Still Overweight Year Later

5 Poor Women Gain More Pregnancy Weight

Pregnant women from low-income households gain too much weight during pregnancy, say researchers. Findings from the study of 427 women, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, reveal that nearly 25 percent of the low-income women ages 14 to 25 years old were already overweight before pregnancy. Four in 10 of the women who were normal weight prior to pregnancy could be described as overweight one year following giving birth, reports MSNBC. In addition, one in 20 of those normal weight women were obese one year after giving birth. According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), women of normal weight should only gain between 25 and 35 pounds while pregnant, while underweight women should gain 28 to 40 pounds. Overweight women are advised to gain only 15 to 25 pounds.

More at MSNBC | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Eating Peanuts During Pregnancy

Tags: Institute of Medicine, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pregnancy Weight Gain, Right Amount to Gain While Pregnant, How Much Weight to Gain During Pregnancy, Gaining Too Much Weight When Pregnant, Overweight Year After Pregnancy

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

DiseAse Rate Twice As High

6 Americans Less Healthy, but Live Longer

Researchers have found that while Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 have higher rates of chronic diseases than their peers living in England, they don’t appear to succumb to those diseases more often. And those Americans who are over 65, even when sicker, still have a lower death rate than similar aged people in England. The findings, published in the journal Demography, found that both disease prevalence and the onset of new disease were higher among Americans, including chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack, stroke, chronic lung disease, and cancer. The researchers suspect that illness in England result in higher mortality because they are diagnosed at later stages of the disease process.

More at Science Daily | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Simple Actions Linked to Longevity in Seniors

Tags: Diabetes, Elderly, Heart Disease, Longevity, Senior Health

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (43%) / No! (57%)

High Fiber Foods Still Better

7 High Glycemic Diet Not a Risk for Colon Cancer

High glycemic foods are those carbohydrates which cause blood sugar to rise rapidly. These foods, including white bread, white rice, and potatoes, have been thought to contribute to colon cancer risk because high blood sugar levels trigger the release of insulin and related hormones that may stimulate the growth and spread of cancer cells. However, a new observational study on 73,000 Chinese women seems to indicate that there is no evidence to suggest such a link. In Asian populations, rice and other starchy foods are part of the traditional diet, yet out of the study cohort, less than one percent ultimately received a diagnosis of colon cancer over the ten-year study period. The study was published in the October issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

More at Yahoo News | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Omega 3's May Cut Colon Cancer Risk

Tags: Colon Cancer, Fiber, Diet and Cancer, High-Glycemic Foods, Refined Grains

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (50%) / No! (50%)

Small Changes Have Big Impact

8 Protein Offers Clues to Fighting HIV

Small variations in the gene that expresses the human leukocyte antigen-B (HLA-B) have revealed why one in 300 individuals can keep HIV levels very low according to a new study, providing researchers with insight into how an effective vaccine could be developed. It was found that on chromosome 6, there were small variations linked to the immune system. It came down to five amino acids, the molecules that make up a protein, that determine the ability of a person's immune system to fight off HIV. The HLA-B protein identifies and destroys virus-infected cells. Because of this study, Dr. Bruce Walker said "We've got a clearer indication of why people can survive in the face of HIV, and we've gotten more focused in terms of the research we need to do to get where we've got to go."

More at Yahoo! Reuters | Posted 7 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Two Antibodies Neutralize Most HIV Strains

Tags: HIV, HIV Vaccine, Human Leukocyte Antigen-B, HLA-B

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

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