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Mon, 25 Oct 2021
The World for People who Think

Health & Wellness


Got calcium? UWM researcher finds that food labels confuse consumers

Consumers often don't get nutritional information they need.

Current food labeling leads to under-consumption of calcium, according to this study. Those who were taught how to translate the information consumed more. Researchers believe the same is true for other beneficial nutrients.


Workplace woe: Are abusive bosses or inferior employees to blame?

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Considerable attention, both in blogs and in popular media, has been given to abusive bosses over the past few years. (See the Web sites HateBoss.com and WorkRant.com, for example.) Less discussed are employees' responses to such behavior. How do employees react to abusive supervisors" Do they simply take what is dished out, or do they actively seek to change the situation"

Comment: The study the way it is described appears to blame the victim of workplace abuse. The researchers would do well to read the book Snakes in Suit by Hare and Babiak.


Pipe Dreams - Contaminants and Chlorine in Drinking Water

In a time when we endlessly scrutinize the ingredients of our food and insist on pesticide-free peaches, why are we still mixing carcinogens into our children's lemonade? From herbicides to arsenic, the Environmental Protection Agency has set standards for 80 different chemicals, specifying how much of each should be allowed in our drinking water. Yet no regulations exist for thousands of other contaminants that make their way into our drinking water.

These unregulated contaminants include industrial byproducts, agricultural chemicals, drugs and even most of the toxic compounds that are formed when we add chlorine for disinfection. The combined effect of these contaminants has never been evaluated.

Comment: The author tries to sell the notion that the EPA has our best interest at heart and high cost is the only thing that is preventing water from being properly purified. However, there is plenty of evidence that suggests otherwise. The most notable example is fluoride, which is deliberately added to drinking water despite a huge amount of research pointing to its toxicity.

So if you care enough about what you and your family drink, take the matter into your own hands and buy a reverse osmosis filter. Better yet, buy a water distiller and drink only distilled water.


Right on Schedule: Bird flu virus mutating into human-unfriendly form

The H5N1 bird flu virus has mutated to infect people more easily, although it still has not transformed into a pandemic strain, researchers said on Thursday.

The changes are worrying, said Dr. Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Comment: But you can bet that they are working on it. And soon they will have achieved their goal. A pandemic.


Eat fish while pregnant, U.S. experts recommend

Pregnant and breast-feeding women should eat at least 12 ounces (340 grams) of fish and other seafood a week because the benefits for infant brain development outweigh any worries about mercury contamination, a group of U.S. experts said on Thursday.

The recommendations contradict U.S. government warnings that these women should consume no more than 12 ounces of fish and other seafood weekly due to concerns that mercury -- which can harm the nervous system of fetuses -- might exist in trace amounts in this food.


Will New Food Labels Make Americans Thin

The line between health education and marketing just got blurrier.

2005 was the year of the whole grain. While nutritionists and dietitians had long touted the benefits of whole grains, it was food behemoths like General Mills and Kraft that had the financial capabilities of generating national buzz by transforming their classic products into more nutritional edibles. Nutritional fads are nothing new and neither are the reformulations processed foods undergo to cater to them. For example, Trix, that rainbow-hued confection with a sugar-induced white rabbit for a mascot, could now boast wholesome graininess on the side of its box. And while the cereal technically reduced its sugar content, it maintained the same number of calories (as well as a disturbing 13 grams of sugar per 30-gram portion). It was a superficial makeover designed to ease the consciences (but not the waistlines) of consumers.


Virtually All U.S. Doctors Accept Money, Freebies from Drug Companies

Based on four different papers, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, the PLoS Medicine, and the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the efforts to curb drug companies' courting of your doctors is still ineffective.

In fact, the industry is working harder than ever to influence which medicines you are prescribed, by sending out sales representatives with greater frequency, bringing gifts, meals and offering consulting fees to high prescribers.


Chicken Dies After Drinking Chinese Bottled Water

A member of a Chinese family living on the southern island province of Hainan began vomiting blood after drinking some bottled water, so the family decided to test the rest of the water on a chicken.

The chicken drank the rest of the water from the bottle, and died within a minute, according to the Beijing News. Authorities in the province were investigating the incident.

The bottled-water mishap adds to the growing safety concerns surrounding products made in China. To date, the safety of Chinese-made toys, toothpaste, seafood, and other products have been in question.


Does Tooth Loss Lead to Mental Decline? Or Vice-Versa?

According to researchers in the U.K., older people who have lost all their teeth are more than three times more likely to develop memory problems and dementia than those who still have teeth left.

The study's lead author, Dr. Robert Stewart of Kings College London, admits this study raises more questions than it answers, and that at this point they are not able to say what causes what. However, he states the take-home message is, "Particular attention may need to be paid to the health and nutrition of people with cognitive impairment because they may also have dental problems."


Second Pathway Behind HIV-associated Immune System Dysfunction Identified

Researchers at the Partners AIDS Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital (PARC-MGH) may have discovered a second molecular "switch" responsible for turning off the immune system's response against HIV. Last year members of the same team identified a molecule called PD-1 that suppresses the activity of HIV-specific CD8 T cells that should destroy virus-infected cells. Now the researchers describe how a regulatory protein called CTLA-4 inhibits the action of HIV-specific CD4 T cells that control the overall response against the virus.