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Durian’s Anti-Cavity Potential, & Other News of Note

Posted Nov 07 2011 10:02am

A Durian a Day Keeps Caries Away, Research from Asia Suggests (Dental Tribune International)

A sugary gel found on the thorn-covered husks of the Durian fruit is currently under observation by researchers for its potential to work as a mouth disinfectant. Students from the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Chulalongkorn in Bangkok, Thailand, recently presented their initial findings at the Annual Meeting of the American Dental Association in Las Vegas….

They found that the substance made of polysaccharides was able to reduce the number of Streptococcus mutans in lab rats hours after use which would make it as effective as 0.2% chlorhexidine, a common formula used in mouth rinses. Studies on human subjects also showed a reduction of hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan, and dimethyl sulphide, compounds responsible for halitosis or bad breath… MORE

US Government Glossed Over Cancer Concerns As It Rolled Out Airport X-Ray Scanners (ProPublica)

Today, the United States has begun marching millions of airline passengers through the X-ray body scanners, parting ways with countries in Europe and elsewhere that have concluded that such widespread use of even low-level radiation poses an unacceptable health risk. The government is rolling out the X-ray scanners despite having a safer alternative that the Transportation Security Administration says is also highly effective.

A ProPublica/PBS NewsHour investigation of how this decision was made shows that in post-9/11 America, security issues can trump even long-established medical conventions. The final call to deploy the X-ray machines was made not by the FDA, which regulates drugs and medical devices, but by the TSA, an agency whose primary mission is to prevent terrorist attacks… MORE

Toxins Could Make You Fat – Depending on Gut Bugs (MedicalXpress)

Could persistent pollutants like DDT and PCBs or chemicals found in plastics be making you fat or diabetic? The answer may depend on what sort of bacteria you have churning around in your gut, according to Cornell scientists.

In a paper published Oct. 31 in the online version of Environmental Health Perspectives, Suzanne Snedeker, visiting fellow in the Department of Food Science, and Anthony Hay, associate professor of microbiology, raised the possibility that interactions between gut ecology and environmental chemicals may contribute to obesity and diabetes… MORE

Toxic Chemicals: Agency Hardens Stance on Products (SF Chronicle)

The state agency charged with regulating toxic substances has taken another crack at writing a “green chemistry” regulation intended to provide consumers with information about harmful chemicals in products, after its first draft was criticized as too weak.

The new proposal includes a much larger list of so-called chemicals of concern, expands who would be responsible for complying with the new regulation, and sets a higher bar for products that include even traces of potentially harmful chemicals such as lead and bisphenol A… MORE

Is Sitting Too Long a Major Cancer Risk? (WebMD)

Here’s a new risk for cancer a lot of us can relate to – simply sitting too long.

“It seems highly likely that the longer you sit, the higher your risk,” Neville Owen, PhD, of Australia’s Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, says in a news release.

Owen presented the research at a news conference today at the American Institute for Cancer Research annual conference in Washington, DC… MORE

Why a Fever Can Be Good for You (Toronto Star)

That low-grade fever that’s making you feel out of sorts may in fact be just what the doctor ordered, according to new research out of Buffalo.

Researchers at the department of immunology at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute have found that increasing body temperature slightly helps certain types of immune cells to work better… MORE


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