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Health Headlines - June 24

Posted Oct 23 2008 2:24pm
Canada Aims to Curb Internet Drug Trade

Canada will soon announce measures to restrict Internet pharmacies from selling prescription drugs to U.S. consumers, officials said Thursday. Such sales have become popular with Americans seeking cheaper medicine.

FDA Panel Rejects Artificial Heart

Government scientists on Thursday narrowly rejected the first fully implantable artificial heart, saying they were unsure if a few extra months of life outweighed the serious side effects.

New Drug Shows Promise in Type 1 Diabetes

A novel experimental treatment showed promise in a small study for helping certain diabetics retain some ability to make insulin, potentially lessening their need for shots of the hormone to regulate blood sugar levels.

But the experiment raised safety concerns: Most who got the treatment had side effects that researchers said were temporary, but that theoretically might increase their risk of a blood disorder later on.

Nevertheless, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which funded the work, considered the results encouraging enough to plan future large-scale studies, which would be needed before the experimental drug might be available.

Gov't OKs First Racially Targeted Drug

The heart failure drug BiDil was approved Thursday by government regulators for use by blacks. It will be the first medication marketed for a specific racial group.

Health Professionals Involved in Guantanamo Interrogations

Acting in contradiction to medical ethics, physicians, psychiatrists and psychologists have played an active role in the interrogations of foreign detainees in the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, new research claims.

Health Tip: When Your Mouth's on Fire

If you accidentally bite into a chili pepper, water won't quench the fire in your mouth, according to the University of California, Berkeley.

Chili contains capsaicin, which irritates the pain receptors in the mouth, nose and stomach. And water won't work to neutralize the pain.

Instead, cool down your mouth with yogurt, milk, or ice cream. It's believed that casein, which is contained in dairy products, strips the capsaicin from the pain receptors.

Health Tip: Furthering Family Fitness

Get your family off the couch and onto its feet with these ideas from the National Association for Sport and Physical Education:

* Run or walk through a family treasure hunt.
* Walk to visit friends, or when you dine at a local restaurant.
* Plant a garden and give each family member their own section.
* Visit a "u-pick-it" vegetable and fruit farm.
* Enter a family fun run, walk, bike-a-thon or triathlon.
* Put on some music and dance.
* Try something new like wall climbing, dance, yoga, or hip-hop.

New Guidelines List Anti-Tremor Drugs

Certain drugs normally used to control seizures or high blood pressure can also help treat a common condition called essential tremor, according to a new practice guideline from the American Academy of Neurology.

Clues to Bedsore Biology Could Yield Treatments

New insights into the molecular mechanisms that cause bedsores and other chronic wounds may someday improve treatment of these debilitating problems, researchers report.

Most U.S. Migraine Going Untreated

A new survey of more than 19,000 people with migraines suggests that a large number of American headache sufferers don't get proper preventive care.

Collaborative Effort Cuts Rate of Surgical Site Infections

A collaborative project involving hospitals from every state and U.S. territory managed to cut the rate of surgical site infections by 27 percent over the course of a year.

High STD Rates Seen in Young Drug Users

Young drug users have high rates of the sexually transmitted diseases herpes simplex virus 2 and syphilis, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and other institutions.

Triptan Nasal Spray Eased Migraines in Teens

A prescription nasal spray approved for adults with migraines also helps teens, offering potential relief for this underserved population, a Florida researcher reports.

Gene Therapy Improves Heart Stem Cell Treatment

Research has shown that stem cell therapy can regrow damaged cardiac tissue in patients after a heart attack. However, that same research found the cutting-edge procedure also raised the risk for dangerous heart arrhythmias.

NSAIDs Appear to Ease Tough-to-Treat Migraine

Delivered intravenously in an emergency-care setting, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be at least as effective as narcotics in treating late-stage migraines, a new study suggests.

Blood Test Predicts Heart Attack Risk

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new diagnostic test that its maker says can identify people at imminent risk of a heart attack and other cardiac problems.

Postnatal Depression Can Hit New Dads, Too

Postnatal depression among mothers is a well-known occurrence, but fathers can suffer from it, too. Now, a new study finds that children whose fathers experienced postnatal depression face increased risks of behavioral and emotional problems in early life.

Food Fact:
Prevent "pour" nutrition.

If you're not careful, you may pour veggies' vitamins and nutrients down the drain. Cooking vegetables in water significantly lowers the nutrient content because vitamins leech out. You wind up discarding some very nutritious cooking water! Steaming is your best option for cooking vegetables. The water makes no contact with the food and nutrient loss is minimized.

Fitness Tip of the day:
Nature's way.

Don't get mad next time someone tells you to "Take a hike!" -- thank them for the good fitness advice! Hiking gets you out in a natural environment, promotes relaxation and enhances creativity, not to mention toning your legs, buttocks and back muscles.

FAQ of the day:
Do vegetarians need dairy?

If you adopt a more vegetarian eating style, you should be wary of relying too heavily on cheese for protein, because you'll end up eating too much fat. In fact, protein deficiency is uncommon among vegetarians in the U.S.; more often, vegetarians may be low in iron, calcium or zinc. Low-fat or fat-free dairy foods provide calcium along with protein, as do soy foods such as calcium-set tofu and soymilk. Dried beans, peas, lentils and soy foods are also good sources of iron and zinc, as are shellfish. Add variety to your protein sources, and other needs get filled, too!
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