THE WYSONG e-HEALTH LETTER 1007
~Thoughts for Thinking People~
Antibiotics Use Linked To Cancer
New research indicates that heavy use of antibiotics during childhood increases the likelihood of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), a cancer that affects the body’s lymphatic system.
Researchers looked at data from the Scandinavian Lymphoma Etiology study, which compared over 3,000 patients with NHL with a similar number of healthy patients. There was a “striking” association between antibiotic use and NHL for all subtypes of the disease. This association was especially noted for those who had been given antibiotics more than 10 times as children.
This could mean that the increasing use of antibiotics in the 20th century might also explain the rise in NHL cases. However, it is unknown whether antibiotics use caused the NHL, or if antibiotics are simply more likely to be taken by those prone to developing NHL.
There was also an increased risk of NHL for heavy users of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This includes ibuprofen drugs such as Motrin and Advil. American Journal of Epidemiology
Hospitals Make Money From Mistakes
Consumer Reports (Health) has recently revealed that under current Medicare policy, hospitals often actually make money from their own mistakes. By treating existing patients for bedsores, hospital infections, and other problems arising from the original hospital stay of the patient, the hospital continues to draw Medicare payments. According to Consumer’s Union, the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports, Medicare will soon stop paying for these secondary problems, thus encouraging hospital staff to do a better job with the patient in the first place, and avoid causing secondary illnesses. Such actions are obviously what are needed to help harness medical costs and put responsibility for medical errors and negligence where it belongs.
Vitamin D Deficiency In Children
Children’s Hospital in Boston has recently completed a study revealing that fully 42% of adolescents in the U.S. and 40% of infants and toddlers are Vitamin D deficient. This is believed to be due to the fact that children play outdoors much less than in past times, and when they do go outside they are often pre-slathered with sunscreens. The recommendation is that all of us, except the most fair-skinned or those banned from the sun for some medical reason, should be out exposed to the sun at least 15 minutes a day prior to the use of any sunscreen. In addition, dietary supplementation may be needed, especially at latitudes where there is little sun, or seasonally: 200 I.U.s per day for children, and 400 to 1000 I.U.s per day for adults is our current recommendation. Food sources of Vitamin D include milk, yogurt, eggs, cheese, salmon, tuna and any other oily fish. However, these sources in themselves are not sufficient.
Vitamin D deficiency is now considered at epidemic levels, and more than simple bone health is at stake as vitamin D deficiency is being associated with a host of problems including type 1 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, arthritis... you name it.
Patient Wishes In Terminal Illnesses
A survey of major hospitals recently revealed startling differences in level of aggressiveness of medical intervention, according to Consumer Reports. Some hospitals are so aggressive that their standing policy in patients who are in final stages of terminal diseases or nearing death is immediate implementation of feeding tubes and cardiopulmonary resuscitation--when they know full well there is no point other than bill padding. The recommendation is that every person should have an “advance directive” (they recommend www.caringinfo.org). By completing this, it spells out one’s preferences for care in the event of an illness with no hope of recovery, or when the patient is unable to express their wishes.
Genetically Modified Foods Can Damage Your Body
A project to develop genetically modified (GM), pest-resistant peas has been abandoned after tests showed the peas cause lung damage in mice.
Field peas are susceptible to pea weevils, which lay their eggs on pea pods. The gene for a protein capable of killing pea weevil pests was transferred from the common bean to the peas. This protein does not normally cause allergic reactions in mice or people. But when the protein is expressed in the pea, its structure becomes subtly different from the original. Researchers say that this indicates a potential for unpredicted and unintended effects due to such structural changes. In this case, it was probably caused by differences in the ways that the two plants produce proteins.
In the early 1990s, a similar situation happened when researchers engineered a new strain of soybean by adding a gene taken from Brazil nuts. But that project ended when it was discovered that the hybrid was likely to trigger a major attack in people with Brazil nut allergies. New Scientist
Melamine Added To Milk In China
China's Health Ministry recently said two infants have died from drinking contaminated milk powder and 1,253 have been sickened. Vice Health Minister Ma Xiaowei told a news conference that 913 of the infants were only slightly affected and their condition was not considered life-threatening. However, 340 remained hospitalized and 53 cases were considered especially severe, he said.
Chinese investigators say melamine may have been added to the milk powder and baby formula to fool quality tests after water was added to fraudulently increase the milk's volume. Melamine is rich in nitrogen and standard tests for protein in food ingredients measure nitrogen levels.
The company that produced the infant formula, Sanlu Group Co., is China's biggest producer of powdered milk and is 43 percent owned by a New Zealand dairy farmers' cooperative, Fonterra. Of course, just this last week in the U.S. news has emerged of the presence of melamine – in trace amounts – in baby formulas here as well. Surely a case of “breast is best.”
Evening Primrose Fights Breast Cancer
Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), the essential omega-6 fat that is found in evening primrose, black currant seed, and borage oil, can inhibit the action of the cancer gene Her-2/neu. This gene is responsible for almost 30 percent of all breast cancers.
When cancer cells that over-express the Her-2/neu gene are treated with GLA, it not only helps suppress the cancer-causing gene, but also causes up to a 40-fold increase in response to the drug Herceptin (trastuzumab), which is used as part of breast cancer treatment. GLA also selectively affects cancer cells without damaging normal cells.
This is especially good news because patients who have the Her-2/neu gene also typically have an aggressive form of the disease and poor prognosis. GLA is one of two essential fatty acids, which are necessary for the normal functioning and growth of cells, nerves, muscles and organs. GLA is present in evening primrose oil, borage oil and black current seed oil, among other sources. Journal of the National Cancer Institute
Teflon In Microwave Popcorn
Glenn Evers, a former DuPont Co. engineer, has accused the chemical giant of deliberately ignoring evidence that its grease-resistant coating on paper products may have been entering consumers’ blood at high levels.
Evers first became concerned about the health effects of a perfluorinated chemical used for food packaging in 1987, when company tests showed that it was dissolving into wet paper at much higher levels than the FDA had approved. When the paper coating is dissolved and absorbed into the human body, it breaks down into perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a likely carcinogen.
DuPont has denied Evers’ allegations. The FDA will also soon decide how much to fine DuPont for failing to report for more than 20 years the possible health effects associated with PFOA.
Meanwhile, an FDA study revealed that PFOA could be present in millions of bags of microwave popcorn. This alone could account for 20 percent of the PFOA levels in the average U.S. citizen.
Most Americans have 4-5 parts per billion of PFOA in their blood, but the source has been largely unknown. Products with nonstick cookware such as Teflon pans, which are produced by a process that uses PFOA, are thought to play a role.
The FDA found that microwave popcorn bags are treated with more grease-repelling fluorotelomer coatings than any other food wrappers. Many of these coatings contain mixtures of long chain chemicals that can be metabolized to PFOA.
A significant amount of the fluorotelomers transferred from the bags to the popcorn oil. Microwave popcorn bags are particularly dangerous, because not only is the amount of fluorotelomers in the coatings high, but because popcorn bags get very hot, (above 200°C) in a short time. This significantly increases the chances of the fluorotelomers entering the food itself.
A better option: use an air popper, then coat the snack with our Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Cheezyme. Yum, and good for you too! Environmental Science and Technology