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Possible Antibiotics-Asthma Link & Other News of Note

Posted May 20 2011 10:03am

Antibiotic Use May Be Linked to Kids’ Asthma Risk (WebMD)

Infants who take antibiotics during the first year of life may be at a slightly increased risk of developing asthma by age 18, a study shows.

The study also suggests a similar risk of asthma for children whose mothers took antibiotics during pregnancy.

The study appears online in Pediatrics… More

Toxic Flame Retardants Found in 80% of Baby Products (USA Today)

Eighty percent of baby products contain toxic or untested chemical flame retardants, according to a new study of products such as car seats, changing pads and portable cribs.

One-third of products, which also included nursing pillows, contained a chemical called chlorinated tris, which was removed from children’s pajamas in the 1970s because of cancer concerns, though the chemical was never banned, says a study released Wednesday in Environmental Science & Technology… More

Council of Europe Calls for Ban on Mobile Phones & Wi-Fi in Schools (Herald Sun [Australia])

A major new study has found cancer-causing electromagnetic radiation generated by wireless gadgets – including baby monitors and cordless phones – may be harmful for children’s developing brain, reports the Herald Sun.

The influential Council of Europe examined evidence that wireless technologies had “potentially harmful” effects on humans and found that immediate action was required to protect children.

The respected body’s findings contrast sharply with advice from the World Health Organisation that exposure to electromagnetic fields posed little or no risk to human health… More

Cell Phone Use May Reduce Male Fertility (ScienceDaily)

Men who have been diagnosed with poor sperm quality and who are trying to have children should limit their cell phone use, a new study suggests. Researchers in Austria and Canada have found that while cell phone use appears to increase the level of testosterone circulating in the body, it may also lead to low sperm quality and a decrease in fertility.

“Our findings were a little bit puzzling,” says Rany Shamloul, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Queen’s University in Canada and a co-author of the study. “We were expecting to find different results, but the results we did find suggest that there could be some intriguing mechanisms at work”… More

Direct Link Found Between Diet Ingredients & Gut Microbes (Medical XPress)

Globally, industrialized countries face an epidemic of obesity while poor nations continue to grapple with pervasive malnutrition, particularly among children. Increasing evidence suggests that both conditions may be linked, in part, to the collection of microbes that live in the intestine and help break down food our bodies otherwise couldn’t digest.

Two new studies by Jeffrey Gordon, MD, and colleagues at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, showcase the dynamic relationship between components of the diet and the intestinal microbiome. The research provides a foundation for improving human health by designing diets and foods that enhance microbes’ ability to capture specific food ingredients or that enrich the presence of beneficial microbes… More

Traveling Under a Cloud of Ill-Health? (Consumer Reports)

The study, in the April issue of the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, looked at over 13,000 employees of a large international company as they underwent an annual physical. While the results weren’t cut and dry, the busiest travelers were more likely to be obese, have high blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and much more likely to judge their health as fair or poor compared with those who traveled less… More

Flu Warning: Beware the Drug Companies! (NY Review of Books)

The many contradictions in the evidence concerning Tamiflu and Relenza raise questions about the WHO’s decision to declare an influenza “pandemic emergency” in 2009 and promote these drugs to fight it. In May 2009, a month before the pandemic declaration was issued, Roy Anderson, a prominent British epidemiologist and adviser to both the WHO and the UK government, gravely warned a BBC radio audience that only Relenza and Tamiflu would prevent a catastrophe on the scale of the 1918 influenza pandemic.46 At the time, Anderson was receiving £116,000 per year from GlaxoSmithKline, manufacturer of Relenza… More
(Also see “Beware Tamiflu!,” in which the author discusses further research she became aware of only after her article went to press.)

Mitochondria: Body’s Power Stations Can Affect Aging (ScienceDaily)

Mitochondria are the body’s energy producers, the power stations inside our cells. Researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have now identified a group of mitochondrial proteins, the absence of which allows other protein groups to stabilise the genome. This could delay the onset of age-related diseases and increase lifespan.

Some theories of human aging suggest that the power generators of the cell, the mitochondria, play a part in the process. In addition to supplying us with energy in a usable form, mitochondria also produce harmful by-products – reactive oxyradicals that attack and damage various cell components. Eventually these injuries become too much for the cell to cope with, and it loses its capacity to maintain important functions, so the organism starts to age. That’s the theory anyway. Oddly enough, several studies have shown that certain mitochondrial dysfunctions can actually delay aging, at least in fungi, worms and flies. The underlying mechanisms have yet to be determined… More


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