According to the New York attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman, four major retailers are accused of selling fraudulent and potentially dangerous herbal supplements. Authorities conducted tests on top-selling store brands of herbal supplements at four national retailers — GNC, Target, Walgreens and Walmart — finding 4 out of 5 of the products did not contain any of the herbs on their labels. The products contained cheap fillers like powdered rice, asparagus and houseplants, potentially dangerous to those with allergies. “Mislabeling, contamination and false advertising are illegal,” said the state attorney general. The FDA has now threatened to take legal action if the companies do not resolve the problem. In response, Walgreens has agreed to remove the products nationwide, not just in New York. GNC is also willing to
cooperate with the attorney general “in all appropriate ways,” but stands behind the quality and purity of its store brand supplements. Target could not be reached for further comment. How often do you discuss the quality concerns with your patients? What are you typically looking for in a product in terms of quality? What are some of your favorite trusted companies?
For more information, please click here.
Image courtesy of [Getideaka]/http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
For decades, childhood asthma was linked to living in urban areas. This is not the case anymore, says researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Race, ethnicity and poverty are actually more closely associated with the lung disease than location in urban neighborhoods. Looking at data from 23,065 children across the United States, they found that self-reported asthma attacks were equally found between inner city areas and all others areas. Interestingly, researchers found that “black race, Puerto Rican ethnicity and poverty rather than residence in an urban area per se are the major risk factors for prevalent asthma.” For African-Americans and Puerto Ricans, higher risk of asthma may be genetic, says Corrine Keet, assistant professor of pediatrics. For the poor, it may be stresses such as exposure to mouse and cockroach allergens, cigarette smoke, a higher rate of pre-term births and more maternal stress, she said. It is unclear whether inner-city children who have asthma may suffer more severe symptoms as a result of allergens there. Another study is currently being conducted to determine this. How often do you counsel patients with asthma symptoms? Are you in agreement with the latest findings?
For more information, please click here.
Image courtesy of Google Images/inthefringes.wordpress.com
On Monday, The Environmental Working Group launched a new program known as the Food Scores Database, which encompasses the nutritional values of over 80,000 foods you may find in your local supermarket. Each product has been rated on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the most nutritious. The current push from consumers to know what is in packaged foods or how heavily processed they are, has helped to fuel this project. Also included, is product information from food companies and research conducted by The Environmental Working Group themselves, regarding pesticides, additives, preservatives, and dyes. Food Scores will soon be available as a phone app and allow consumers to scan product bar codes. Thus far, the scoring system has faced ridicule from the Grocery Manufacturers Association, but the founder of the environmental group trusts that the general public will both embrace and utilize this new program. As your patients become more health conscious, how do you teach them to evaluate the quality of their food? What other programs are available at this time to help consumers purchase healthier choices?
A new study by Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health has revealed that children who were exposed to air pollutants during their first two years of life are more likely to develop Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The study, which was presented in the American Association for Aerosol Research annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, has explained that the risk is related mainly to two pollutants: chromium, which is released by combustion processes and metal industries, and styrene, the product of poly styrene plastics and resins. What are your thoughts about air pollution? What should be done to prevent its negative effects, especially on children?
For more information, please visit Youth Health Magazine.
Image courtesy of [Danilo Rizzuti] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The study that supports the use of green coffee bean extract for weight loss and was promoted in Dr. Oz’s Show as the “Magic weight loss cure”, has been retracted by its authors. They explained that the sponsors of the study, the green coffee bean extract manufacturer, could not assure the validity of the data. Moreover, the company, Applied Food Sciences Inc., has been charged by the Federal Trade Commission for using the results of the flawed study to make baseless claims. What are your thoughts about weight loss products and specifically green coffee bean extract? What other products are you uncomfortable recommending?
For more information, please visit Huffington Post.
Image courtesy of [nixxphotography] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Based on a new study published in the journal Cell Reports, the biological response to high-fat diet in male and female brains are not the same. According to the study, the brains of male mice became inflamed and their heart were damaged after given a steady high-fat meals, while nothing of that happened to the female mice. Interestingly, female brains have been found to produce anti-inflammatory chemicals that kept them from getting harmed by high-fat diet. However, further studies are still needed to prove these results on humans. How much do your dietary recommendations vary in men and women? What are your thoughts about this research?
To read more, please visit News Medical.
image courtesy of [KEKO64] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
According to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health, drinking sodas has been found to be linked to a fast aging process. By analyzing stored DNA from more than 5,300 healthy Americans in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from some 14 years ago, researchers have revealed that drinking a 20-ounce bubbly beverage every day is linked to 4.6 years of additional aging. Interestingly, these results are similar to those that are linked to smoking. However, the cause-effect relationship has not been established yet. The studies regarding to the danger of sodas are continuously growing, what are your thoughts about the best way to decrease their consumption?
For more information, please visit National Post.
Image courtesy of [kraifreedom] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
As consumers continue to grow curious about the origins of their food, there has been a shift to support famers markets and purchase food grown locally. To support this change, the US Department of Agriculture will supply $52 million to help the businesses of local farmers and fund research on organic cultivation. There are now 8,268 farmers markets in the country, which is a 78% increase from 2008. Considering this growth, we can also see that restaurants and super markets have started to integrate local foods into their sales. Backing local food operations is not only a good investment for reducing health care costs, but it also helps the economy through providing more employment opportunities. A list of farmers markets in your area can be seen by visiting the USDA website. What are your typical recommendations in terms of purchasing food to your patients?