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You are here : 3-RX.com > Home > Food & Nutrition


U.S. detains orange juice imports after finding fungicide

Food & NutritionJan 30 12

Health regulators on Friday detained nine shipments of orange juice from Brazil and Canada that contained traces of an illegal fungicide, and rejected industry calls to overhaul the way they test for the banned substance.

The Food and Drug Administration said carbendazim would remain illegal for citrus in any amount in the United States. Brazil and U.S. industry groups asked the FDA to reconsider its stance on the fungicide, widely used in Brazil to combat blight blossom and black spot, a type of mold that grows on orange trees.

The FDA started testing for the fungicide on January 4, after an alert from Coca-Cola, roiling orange juice futures to record highs as traders feared a prolonged disruption to supply.

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Likening obesity to child abuse

Children's Health • • ObesityJan 27 12

Can you imagine Social Services storming into your home like Special Ops and seizing your children because of what you’ve fed them?

Taking them away because you’ve allowed them a steady diet of Doritos and Twisters?

Declaring you unfit because you put sugary juice in your toddler’s bottle instead of milk?

Seems extreme. But it has come to that.

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Are you obese? Might depend on whether your doctor is, too

ObesityJan 27 12

Turns out obesity is in the eye of the beholder. Whether you’re diagnosed as obese is supposed to depend on your own body-mass index—but a new study shows that it can also depend on your doctor’s.

Physicians who were overweight or obese were far less likely to diagnose obese patients than physicians at a more normal weight, according to research published this month in the journal Obesity.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore surveyed 500 primary care physicians nationwide in early 2011 and found that doctors with a normal BMI, below 25, treated their patients very differently than did doctors with a BMI of 25 or higher.

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Monogamy reduces major social problems of polygamist cultures

Public HealthJan 24 12

In cultures that permit men to take multiple wives, the intra-sexual competition that occurs causes greater levels of crime, violence, poverty and gender inequality than in societies that institutionalize and practice monogamous marriage.

That is a key finding of a new University of British Columbia-led study that explores the global rise of monogamous marriage as a dominant cultural institution. The study suggests that institutionalized monogamous marriage is rapidly replacing polygamy because it has lower levels of inherent social problems.

“Our goal was to understand why monogamous marriage has become standard in most developed nations in recent centuries, when most recorded cultures have practiced polygyny,” says UBC Prof. Joseph Henrich, a cultural anthropologist, referring to the form of polygamy that permits multiple wives, which continues to be practiced in some parts of Africa, Asia, the Middle East and North America.

“The emergence of monogamous marriage is also puzzling for some as the very people who most benefit from polygyny – wealthy, powerful men – were best positioned to reject it,” says Henrich, lead author of the study that is published today in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. “Our findings suggest that that institutionalized monogamous marriage provides greater net benefits for society at large by reducing social problems that are inherent in polygynous societies.”

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Study examines research on overuse of health care services

Public HealthJan 24 12

The overuse of health care services in the United States appears to be an understudied problem with research literature limited to a few services and rates of overuse varying widely, according to an article published in the January 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. This article is part of the journal’s Less is More series.

Overuse of medical services (those services with no benefit or where the harm outweighs the benefit) can contribute to high health care costs, with some estimates attributing as much as 30 percent of U.S. health care spending to overuse, the authors write in the study background.

“An understanding of the prevalence of overuse of health care services across the U.S. health system is needed to improve health care quality and eliminate waste,” the authors note.

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Man dies of bird flu in southwest China: Xinhua

FluJan 23 12

A man in southwest China died of bird flu on Sunday after three days of intensive care treatment in hospital, the official Xinhua news agency quoted the Ministry of Health as saying.

The 39-year old—who died in hospital in Guiyan, capital of Guizhou province—began suffering from fever on January 6.

Xinhua said China’s centers for disease control and prevention at provincial and national levels confirmed the man had died after being infected with the H5N1 bird flu strain.

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Report shows risk of blindness halved over last decade

Eye / Vision ProblemsJan 19 12

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most frequent cause of blindness in the Western World. A report from the University of Copenhagen and Glostrup Hospital in Denmark published today shows the number of new cases of blindness and severe visual loss in Denmark has been halved during the last ten years.

The study just published in American Journal of Ophthalmology examined the records of 11,848 new cases of legal blindness. The rate of blindness from AMD fell from 522 cases per million inhabitants aged 50 years or older in 2000, to 257 cases per million in 2010, a reduction by over 50 per cent.

The bulk of the decrease occurred after 2006, following the introduction of new effective treatment for wet AMD, which is characterised by leaking blood vessels having formed under the fovea. The treatment consists of repeated injections into the eye of a medication that inhibits the signalling molecule vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).

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Breast milk courier helps Indonesian mums cope

Children's Health • • Food & NutritionJan 19 12

Febby Kemala Dewi returned to work at a Jakarta accounting firm after three months of maternity leave but struggled, like many new mums, to balance her home and work lives—especially keeping her infant daughter fed.

Unwilling to stop breastfeeding, unable to pump enough for a whole day in the morning before work and leery of giving her baby anything but the freshest milk, she finally turned to a unique Jakarta service—a breast milk motorbike courier.

“I have to work, but at the same time I can still feed my baby,” said Dewi, the wall by her desk plastered with pictures of her smiling daughter, eight-month-old Ashalina Putri.

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Increasing care needs for children with neurological impairment

Children's Health • • NeurologyJan 18 12

In this week’s PLoS Medicine, Jay Berry of Harvard Medical School, USA and colleagues report findings from an analysis of hospitalization data in the United States, examining the proportion of inpatient resources attributable to care for children with neurological impairment (NI). Their results indicate that children with NI account for a substantial proportion of inpatient resources and that the impact of these children is growing within children’s hospitals, necessitating adequate clinical care and a coordination of efforts to ensure that the needs of children with NI are met.

The authors state: “We must ensure that the current health care system is staffed, educated, and equipped to serve, with efficiency and quality, this growing segment of vulnerable children.”


Funding: AP was supported by the Harvard Medical School Eleanor & Miles Shore Scholar/Children’s Hospital Boston Junior Faculty Career Development Fellowship. RS and JGB were supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development career development awards K23 HD052553 and K23 HD58092-02, respectively. JLB was supported by NIH K08 DA024753. This project was supported in part by the Children’s Health Research Center at the University of Utah and Primary Children’s Medical Center Foundation. The funders and sponsors were not involved in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; or preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript.

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Neurologically impaired children dependent on children’s hospitals

Children's Health • • NeurologyJan 18 12

Because of care advances, more infants and children with previously lethal health problems are surviving. Many, however, are left with lifelong neurologic impairment. A Children’s Hospital Boston study of more than 25 million pediatric hospitalizations in the U.S. now shows that neurologically impaired children, though still a relatively small part of the overall population, account for increasing hospital resources, particularly within children’s hospitals. Their analysis, based on data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Kids’ Inpatient Database (KID), was published online January 17th in PLoS Medicine.

The researchers analyzed KID data from 1997, 2000, 2003 and 2006, encompassing 25.7 million hospitalizations of children age 0 to 18. Of these, 1.3 million hospitalizations were for children with neurologic conditions, primarily cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

During the 10-year period, children with neurologic diagnoses were admitted more to children’s hospitals and less to community hospitals. At non-children’s hospitals, they made up a falling share of admissions (from 3 percent in 1997 to 2.5 percent in 2006); at children’s hospitals, they made up a rising share (from 11.7 percent of admissions in 1997 to 13.5 percent in 2006).

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India must be cautious over polio milestone: WHO

Infections • • Public HealthJan 13 12

India may be celebrating a milestone in its fight against polio with no new cases in the last year, but complacency should not set in as a resurgence of the infection can occur if efforts are not sustained, the WHO head in India warned on Friday.

The last case of the crippling disease was detected on January 13, 2011 in a two-year-old girl in India’s West Bengal state. A full year without any new cases will mean India will no longer be “polio-endemic,” leaving only Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.

“We are all subject to relaxing a bit when we have achieved some goal but we simply cannot allow that to happen with polio,” Nata Menabde, the India head of the World Health Organization (WHO), told AlertNet in an interview.

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Agent Shows Ability to Suppress Brain Metastasis and Related Damage

Brain • • CancerJan 07 12

Scientists are one step closer to repairing the damage caused by brain metastasis, a major challenge in cancer treatment, according to data published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

“We are making progress from the neck down in cancer treatment, but brain metastases are increasing and are often a primary reason patients with breast cancer do not survive,” said Patricia S. Steeg, Ph.D., head of the Women’s Cancers Section at the National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Research.

Steeg, who is also a deputy editor of Clinical Cancer Research, another journal of the AACR, said very few drugs that are effective for the treatment of breast cancer break what scientists call the “blood–brain barrier” and treat disease established inside the brain.

Scientists are striving to understand the mechanisms and effects of brain cancer metastasis.

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Indonesia probes Bali tattoo HIV infection report

AIDS/HIV • • InfectionsJan 03 12

Indonesia is investigating the case of an Australian who is believed to have been infected with HIV while getting a tattoo on the resort island of Bali, an official said Monday.

“We received a report about this case from the health ministry yesterday and officials will be visiting tattoo parlours today to verify this claim,” Bali health department chief Nyoman Sutedja told AFP.

“At this point, we are still investigating. We can’t say for sure if the patient caught the virus from getting a tattoo or sexual contact,” he added.

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