Health & WellnessS

Black Cat

Best of the Web: Cheaters sometimes prosper

©Stephanie Findlay and Oker Chen

It is literally the stuff of nightmares and horror movies. Charming and often powerful, they seduce you to get your guard down. And then, without a second thought or any trace of remorse, they are able to cold-bloodedly thieve, rape, or murder you. Robert Hare, UBC's world-renowned professor emeritus of psychology, goes so far as to say that while they look and sound exactly like us, they are functionally a different species from human beings. And seven years ago, Hare estimated that up to one in one hundred Canadians is one of these people: psychopaths.


No benefit in drinking eight glasses of water a day, scientists say

The idea that drinking eight glasses of water a day is good for your health has been dismissed as a myth. Scientists say there is no evidence drinking large amounts of water is beneficial for the average healthy person, and do not even know how this widely held belief came about.


Rise in women doctors 'worrying'

The rising number of female doctors is "bad for medicine", and universities should recruit more men, a GP warns. Writing in the British Medical Journal, Dr Brian McKinstry said female doctors were more likely to work part-time, leading to staffing problems. Women, who now outnumber men in medical schools, were also less likely to take part in training or research, he said.


Supplements are not nutritious

Selenium supplementation, for example in mineral tablets, might not be that beneficial for the majority of people according to researchers writing in the open access journal Genome Biology. Although this trace element is essential in the diet of humans, it seems that we have lost some of the need for selenium, which occurs in proteins and is transported in blood plasma, when our evolutionary ancestors left the oceans and evolved into mammals.


Thousands hit by Brazil outbreak of dengue

More than 55,000 cases of dengue, a sometimes deadly mosquito-borne disease, have been reported in a southeastern Brazilian state in the past four months, authorities said Thursday.

The disease has killed 67 people this year in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro state, the state's ministry of health reported. Slightly less than half of the deaths were children under the age of 13, the ministry said.

Brazilian authorities are calling the situation an epidemic.



Ireland: Take the fluoride out of water

I wish to draw attention to the controversial issue of water fluoridation. Since the 1960s artificial fluoride has been added to the water supply in Ireland. We are now the most heavily fluoridated country in the world. The public has been scarcely consulted and numerous councils have called for the removal of fluoride. In addition, only a handful of countries worldwide fluoridate tap water, most having banned, discontinued or withdrawn the practice.


Canada: Drugs already in water

Your readers should be aware that they are being prescribed in their water what is essentially a prophylactic drug for the purpose of preventing tooth decay. This "drug" is hydrofluorosilicic acid (HFSA). Ironically in this day of concern for the environment we are adding to our drinking water a highly corrosive toxic waste product that has never been tested for safety or effectiveness. HFSA is taken from the scrubbers of the phosphate fertilizer plants. It is contaminated with arsenic, lead and other heavy metals.


Sense of belonging a key to suicide prevention

The rate of suicide among young people is triple what it was 50 years ago, and while it remains exceedingly rare for college students to kill themselves, it is always a tragedy -- and always preventable, according to a New York psychiatrist and authority on suicide.

"I don't think people should panic that this is an epidemic," Dr. David Kahn, who is vice chair for clinical affairs at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and on staff at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, told Reuters Health. In fact, Kahn noted in an interview, young people in college are actually less likely to kill themselves than their peers who aren't attending college.


Measles epidemic breaks out in Austria

Austrian Health Minister Andrea Kdolsky confirmed on Wednesday that measles epidemic has broken out in some regions of Austria while Salzburg's Governor Gabi Burgstaller called on the vaccination for the victims.

According to Austrian Press Agency (APA), Burgstaller claimed for measles vaccinations for people who were under 40 years old and never infected with measles.

"This is the only sensible and effective measure to control the further spread of measles affection," she emphasized.


High fructose corn syrup is not 'natural', says FDA

Products containing high fructose corn syrup cannot be considered 'natural' and should not be labeled as such, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said.

The decision is likely to cause a massive stir in the food and beverage industry, where a discreet battle has been raging over the status of the controversial sweetener.

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is derived from corn, and used primarily to sweeten beverages. The trade group Corn Refiners Association and numerous industry members have long maintained that HFCS is a natural sweetener.