Health & WellnessS


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.

Alarm Clock

Neglect, Abuse Seen in 90,000 Infants

ATLANTA - About 1 in 50 infants in the U.S. have been neglected or abused, according to the first national study of the problem in that age group. Nearly a third of the victims were one week old or younger when the maltreatment was reported, government researchers said Thursday. The study focused on children younger than 1.

Graphic shows rate and type of non-fatal maltreatment in children younger than one year old; 2c x 4 1/4 inches; 96.3 mm x 108 mm

Eye 1

Mysterious Link Between Summer Birthdates And Nearsightedness

Do natural light levels make a baby born in June more likely to be nearsighted, or myopic, than if he or she had been born in December? While scientists think genetic factors play the strongest role in nearsightedness, a number of studies show that light exposure before and just after birth generates biological signals that influence the development of the eye's ability to focus and refract light properly.

Research had suggested that the influence of light on vision development in this perinatal period might occur through mother-baby biological signals before birth, or through the baby's direct exposure after birth, or both. Because the effect of light levels on myopia, if any, was likely to be slight, a large population study was needed to further explore the question.


Flashback Neocortex vs. Amygdala: Why the Human Brain Is a Poor Judge of Risk

The human brain is a fascinating organ, but it's an absolute mess. Because it has evolved over millions of years, there are all sorts of processes jumbled together rather than logically organized. Some of the processes are optimized for only certain kinds of situations, while others don't work as well as they could. There's some duplication of effort, and even some conflicting brain processes.


Can insomnia kill?

The deaths of a number of celebrities may well be warnings about the dangers of chronic sleeplessness.

When a star dies from an overdose, there's a tendency to write it off as "drug abuse." That amazing combination of drugs in Heath Ledger's body, for instance -- what was he thinking? Blame the celebrity, chalk it up to reckless living, a self-destructive lifestyle, a pursuit of pleasure through recreational drugs.

But the drugs that killed Ledger -- three types of benzodiazepines, an antihistamine, two pain relievers -- are all substances people take for sleep. Ledger, we know, was desperate for sleep. A month or so before his death, he told the New York Times that he was going night after night on no more than two hours of sleep.


The Difference Between Feeling and Reality in Security

Security is both a feeling and a reality, and they're different. You can feel secure even though you're not, and you can be secure even though you don't feel it. There are two different concepts mapped onto the same word - the English language isn't working very well for us here - and it can be hard to know which one we're talking about when we use the word.


Genetic link tied to smoking addiction

WASHINGTON - Scientists have pinpointed genetic variations that make people more likely to get hooked on cigarettes and more prone to develop lung cancer - a finding that could someday lead to screening tests and customized treatments for smokers trying to kick the habit.

The discovery by three separate teams of scientists makes the strongest case so far for the biological underpinnings of nicotine addiction and sheds more light on how genetics and lifestyle habits join forces to cause cancer.