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Antibiotics & the Dairy Biz, & Other News of Note

Posted Jan 28 2011 9:15am

FDA & Dairy Industry Spar over Testing of Milk (NY Times)

Each year, federal inspectors find illegal levels of antibiotics in hundreds of older dairy cows bound for the slaughterhouse. Concerned that those antibiotics might also be contaminating the milk Americans drink, the Food and Drug Administration intended to begin tests this month on the milk from farms that had repeatedly sold cows tainted by drug residue.

But the testing plan met with fierce protest from the dairy industry, which said that it could force farmers to needlessly dump millions of gallons of milk while they waited for test results. Industry officials and state regulators said the testing program was poorly conceived and could lead to costly recalls that could be avoided with a better plan for testing.

In response, the F.D.A. postponed the testing, and now the two sides are sparring over how much danger the antibiotics pose and the best way to ensure that the drugs do not end up in the milk supply… More

Eating Trans Fats Linked to Depression (WebMD)

Eating too much trans fat, long known to raise heart disease risk, can also boost your risk of depression, new research suggests.

Eating a heart-healthy diet with olive oil can lower the risk of depression, says researcher Almudena Sanchez-Villegas, PhD, associate professor of preventive medicine at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Las Palmas, Spain. The study included more than 12,000 people.

“The participants with an olive oil consumption higher than 20 grams a day (about 0.7 ounces) had a 30% lower risk of depression than those without consumption or with a very low consumption of olive oil,” Sanchez-Villegas tells WebMD.

Those who took in the most trans fats, however, had up to a 48% increased risk of depression… More

Childhood Self-Control Predicts Adult Health & Wealth (PhysOrg)

A long-term study has found that children who scored lower on measures of self-control as young as age 3 were more likely to have health problems, substance dependence, financial troubles and a criminal record by the time they reached age 32.

Self-control in the more than 1,000 New Zealand children who participated in the study was assessed by teachers, parents, observers and the children themselves. It included measures like “low frustration tolerance, lacks persistence in reaching goals, difficulty sticking with a task, over-active, acts before thinking, has difficulty waiting turn, restless, not conscientious.”

Fast-forward to adulthood, and the kids scoring lowest on those measures scored highest for things like breathing problems, gum disease, sexually transmitted disease, inflammation, overweight, and high cholesterol and blood pressure, according to an international research team led by Duke University psychologists Terrie Moffitt and Avshalom Caspi… More

Study Finds Toxic Chemicals in Pregnant Women’s Bodies (USA Today)

Almost all 268 women studied had detectable levels of eight types of chemicals in their blood or urine, finds the study, published in today’s [January 17, 2011] Environmental Health Perspectives. It analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These chemicals include certain pesticides, flame retardants, PFCs used in non-stick cookware, phthalates (in many fragrances and plastics), pollution from car exhaust, perchlorate (in rocket fuel) and PCBs, toxic industrial chemicals banned in 1979 that persist in the environment.

Many of these chemicals pass through the placenta and can concentrate in the fetus, says lead author Tracey Woodruff, director of the University of California-San Francisco Program on Reproductive Health and Environment… More

Smoking Causes Gene Damage in Minutes (AFP/Yahoo News)

Those first few puffs on a cigarette can within minutes cause genetic damage linked to cancer, US scientists said in a study released.

In fact, researchers said the “effect is so fast that it’s equivalent to injecting the substance directly into the bloodstream,” in findings described as a “stark warning” to those who smoke.

The study is the first on humans to track how substances in tobacco cause DNA damage, and appears in the peer-reviewed journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, issued by the American Chemical Society… More

Essential Oils Reduce PMS Symptoms (UPI)

Fatty acids such as linolenic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid and vitamin E may help ward off premenstrual symptoms, researchers in Brazil say.

Edilberto Rocha Filho and a team of researchers at the Federal University of Pernambuco in Brazil conducted a randomized, controlled trial involving 120 women used pills of essential fatty acids and a placebo.

The study, published in the journal Reproductive Health, finds the women who were given capsules containing 2 grams of a combination of gamma linolenic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, other polyunsaturated acids and vitamin E reported significantly eased PMS symptoms three and six months after treatment… More

Powerful 3-D X-Rays for Kids in Braces Should Be the Exception, Not the Rule (PhysOrg)

Some orthodontists may be exposing young patients to unnecessary radiation when they order 3-D X-ray imaging for simple orthodontic cases before considering traditional 2-D imaging, suggests a paper published by University of Michigan faculty.

There is ongoing debate in the orthodontic community over if and when to use cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) for orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning, said Dr. Sunil Kapila, lead author of the paper and chair of the Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry at the U-M School of Dentistry.

A very small number of orthodontists utilize the 3-D imaging on a routine basis when developing a treatment plan, and this raises concerns of unnecessary radiation exposure. In contrast, the evidence summarized in Kapila’s paper suggests that 2-D imaging would suffice in most routine orthodontic cases. One of the tradeoffs for the superb 3-D images is higher radiation exposure, Kapila said… More


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