March 1, 2011

Don’t Pooh Pooh The Tea

1 Benefits of Herbal Teas Not Just Folklore

Herbal teas may have several health benefits, according to research funded by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Celestial Seasonings, a brand of The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. Researchers concentrated on three different herbal teas and found that, while chamomile tea has proverbially been considered soothing, test-tube evidence indicates that chamomile tea has antimicrobial activity and significant antiplatelet-clumping activity. Peppermint tea showed antiviral activities, strong antioxidant and anti-tumor actions. It may also protect against allergies. Based on a human clinical trial, the team found that drinking hibiscus tea lowered blood pressure in a group of pre- and mildly hypertensive adults.

More at Eurekalert.org | Posted 7 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Green Tea May Offer Protection from Alzheimer's

Tags: Allergies, Antioxidants, Tea, Herbal Tea, Health Benefits of Herbal Tea, Antimicrobial Activity, Anti-Platelet-Clumping Activity, Anti-Viral Property, Anti-Tumor Action

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (49%) / No! (51%)

Unsafe for Human Consumption?

2 UK's Breast Milk Ice Cream Taken off Market

UK firm The Icecreamists has withdrawn Baby Gaga, its controversial breast milk ice cream, from the market after complaints that it may not be safe. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is investigating whether the ice cream violates food safety regulations. Owner, Matt O’Connor, said the milk was screened by a private clinic to hospital standards and that his firm conforms to all health and safety regulations. “If we’re going to live in a society that’s absurd and insane enough to think it’s perfectly acceptable to drink alcohol that can kill you ... I say empty your babies’ bottles, fill them with Jack Daniels and give them to your kids,” he said. Donated breast milk has to go through rigorous screening as it can pass on things like hepatitis, said an anonymous source.

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

Tags: Breastmilk, Ice Cream, Matt O' Connor, The Icecreamists

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

Psychological Plus of Facebook

3 Facebook Use Boosts Self-Esteem

Spending time on Facebook can provide a quick ego boost, claim researchers from Cornell University. The study, published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, involved 63 students at a university lab. CNN reports that some of the students sat at a computer that was turned off, while others sat at a computer that was turned off but had a mirror propped against the screen. The third group of students sat at a computer with their Facebook page open, and they were allowed to spend three minutes reviewing their page. When students filled out a questionnaire measuring self-esteem, the students who were on Facebook answered more positively about themselves than the other two groups. The students who made a profile change gave themselves the highest self-esteem marks.

More at CNN | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: Cornell University, Facebook Affect on Health, Facebook and Self-Esteems, Boosting Self-Esteem, Studies Involving Facebook, Mirror on My Facebook Wall, Effects of Exposure to Facebook on Self-Esteem, Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking

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

Is Withdrawal Behind the Crazy

4 Charlie Sheen: Addicted or Manic

Is addiction Charlie Sheen's only problem, or is he showing manic symptoms of bipolar disorder, asks a recent Time article entitled "Addiction or Bipolar? Examining the 'Passion' Of Charlie Sheen." In Sheen's many recent interviews, he's talked about how he's "special" and his "life is so much more bitchin'." While grandiosity can be a sign of drug abuse, experts believe it could also signal mania. The Time article suggests that Sheen's display of pressured speech (words flowing quickly with little inhibition) could signal mania or being high on stimulants. Since Sheen has had clean drug tests recently, his erratic behavior could be partly attributed to withdrawal, which can make a "firm psychiatric diagnosis nearly impossible," reports Time.

More at Time | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Charlie Sheen Enters Rehab

Tags: Passion of Charlie Sheen, Strange Behavior by Charlie Sheen, Is Charlie Sheen Manic, Is Charlie Sheen Bipolar, Pressured Speech by Sheen, Sheen Going Through Withdrawal, Clean Drug Tests Charlie Sheen

Read the Comments (2) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (49%) / No! (51%)

FDA Approves Drug for Adults

5 Edarbi Tablets Approved for High BP

The FDA today approved a new drug for treating high blood pressure in adults: Edarbi tablets (azilsartan medoxomil). Clinical studies have shown the drug to be more effective at lowering 24-hour blood pressure when compared with Diovan (valsartan) and Benicar (olmesartan), two other hypertension drugs approved by the FDA. “High blood pressure remains inadequately controlled in many people diagnosed with the condition, so having a variety of treatment options is important,” says Norman Stockbridge, M.D., Ph.D. from the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Adverse reactions experienced by patients on Edarbi in trials were similar to reactions reported by people taking a placebo. However, Edarbi should be avoided by pregnant women.

More at FDA | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: New Blood Pressure Medicine, Edarbi Tablets, Azilsartan Medoxomil, Diovan, Valsartan, Benicar, Olmesartan

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (45%) / No! (55%)

Spice, Blaze Banned for Year

6 DEA Outlaws Fake Marijuana

The DEA today outlawed the possession and sale of fake marijuana products, like Spice or Blaze, which are said to mimic the effects of THC, the active ingredient contained in marijuana. The ban lasts for a period of at least one year, but can be extended an additional six months. Fake pot, which consists of plant matter coated in research chemicals, has landed an increasing number of young people in the ER with side effects like anxiety attacks, increased blood pressure, convulsions, vomiting and dangerously elevated heart rates, reports Los Angeles Times. Fake pot has been sold through the Internet, as well as head shops and various retail outlets. The DEA says that the chemicals used in fake pot aren't approved for human consumption and there's no oversight of the manufacturing process.

More at Los Angeles Times | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: How to Spot a Fake Apology

Tags: Fake Pot, Spice, Blaze, JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-47, 497, Cannabicyclohexano, Mimic THC, Side Effects of Using Fake Pot, Fake Marijuana Products

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (46%) / No! (54%)

Present in 1/3 of Lung Tumors

7 Enzyme Lowers Vitamin D's Anti-Cancer Abilities

New Research shows that lung cancer patients with high levels of the enzyme cytochrome P450 24A1 (CYP 24A1) are more likely to have an aggressive tumor and half the five-year survival rate compared to those with lower levels. CYP24A1 breaks down the active form of vitamin D known as calcitriol and previous research has linked low vitamin D levels with an increased incidence of cancer and decreased survival. About a third of lung cancer patients have high levels of this enzyme, in some cases 50 times more than the surrounding normal tissue. Researchers hope these results will help them determine which lung cancer patients will benefit from vitamin D and develop compounds that will inhibit CYP24A1 which would be used in combination with vitamin D supplementation.

More at Science Daily | Posted 7 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Low Vitamin D Common in Skin Cancer Patients

Tags: Lung Cancer, Vitamin D, Calcitriol, Cytochrome P450 24A1, CYP 24A1

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (48%) / No! (52%)

Gives the Flu Shot a Boost

8 Drug Enhances Flu Vaccine's Effects

A drug originally developed to fight tumors has been shown to increase the flu shot’s ability to fight the virus. Using mice, researchers gave them the drug, DMXAA, three hours after of before they were infected and two days post-infection. The infection was less severe and DMXAA had a protective effect against flu strains that are now resistant to Tamiflu®. DMXAA’s works by increasing production of interferons, proteins the body makes to fight infection. To confirm this, experiments in mice without the gene required for interferon production were not protected by DMXAA. Researchers are excited about a drug that could potentiate other treatments against a virus that mutates and hopes this will lead to the development of better vaccines against other viruses and bacteria.

More at Science Daily | Posted 7 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: One in Three Americans Have Gotten Flu Shot

Tags: Influenza, Flu Shot, DMXAA, Interferons, Tamiflu®

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

Up to Four Years After Treatment

9 Study Shows Herceptin Has Long Term Benefits

A study assigned over 5,000 women diagnosed with early stage HER2-positive breast cancer to received standard chemotherapy, chemotherapy and then one year of Herceptin or chemotherapy and two years of the drug. Those who received Herceptin for a year had a 24 percent decrease in the return of their tumors up to four years after treatment compared to those who only had chemotherapy. Researchers are still concerned about the long-term safety of Herceptin which has been shown to increase the likelihood of life-threatening cardiac problems in some patients. It costs at least $50,000 year and it can only be given intravenously. Despite concerns, researchers are very happy about the results of this study and believe this is a very important drug in the treatment of breast cancer.

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

Previously: Triple Combination Effective Against Cancer

Tags: HER2-Positive Breast Cancer, Herceptin, Anthracycline

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (40%) / No! (60%)

Risks and Benefits Different

10 Women Underrepresented in Heart Device Studies

Out of 78 summaries on cardiac devices approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), over 25 percent of the approval applications did not report the sex of the study subjects and in those that did, 2/3 were men. Although men develop heart disease on average 10 years younger than women, half of heart disease patients are female. The risks of device implantation for women are bleeding more during the procedure and a higher risk of dying and the benefits may be different than they are for men. Even with little data on women, many devices such as pacemakers, defibrillators and stents still get FDA approval. Because of these results, the study's author Dr. Rita F. Redberg tells women they should question the data on a heart device before they have it implanted.

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

Previously: Wireless Heart Defibrillators Could Become Reality

Tags: Defibrillators, FDA, Food and Drug Administration, Women and Heart Disease, Cardiac Devices, Pacemakes, Stents, Women in Clinical Trials

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (42%) / No! (58%)

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