Free radicals implicated in common eye disease

The American Journal of Pathology‘s November, 2010 issue reports the outcome of research conducted by Ula V. Jurkunas, MD and her colleagues at the Schepens Eye Research Institute in Boston which implicates free radical damage in the development of Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD), a potentially blinding disease characterized by the programmed cell death of epithelial cells in the eye’s cornea (the clear tissue in the front of the eye) which is the most common reason for corneal transplant surgery. Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage a variety of tissues, resulting in many of the diseases and conditions associated with aging. While some free radical damage is inevitable, increasing the body’s levels of antioxidants, which bind with and neutralize free radicals, can help moderate this damage. (more…)

Discover the hidden benefits of sauna

People living in Finland and Sweden already know it – sauna therapy is a wonderful way to reduce anxiety and stress, while promoting relaxation, contentment and peace of mind. However, saunas and steam-baths are much more than just leisure products. Other health benefits of using sauna include muscle relaxation, detoxification and glowing healthy skin. (more…)

Popular cancer drugs increase rate of death

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has revealed that the popular cancer drug Avastin (bevacizumab) raises patients’ risk of death by up to 350 percent when combined with chemotherapy. Designed to stop the production of new blood vessels in the body, and thus the spread of cancer cells, Avastin is also responsible for causing blood clots in legs and lungs when used as directed. (more…)

Organic vs. conventional

Another day, another stupid study! In case you missed the headlines:

In fact, not one of these headlines accurately represents the study results. The study categorically did not claim that antioxidant levels were the same in organic and conventionally grown food. (more…)

Vitamin D nonsense

On November 20th, the “prestigious” Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science (IOM) issued its eagerly awaited report on Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. According to the study brief, “Calcium and vitamin D are two essential nutrients long known for their role in bone health. But since 2000, the public has heard conflicting messages about other benefits of these nutrients — especially vitamin D — and also about how much calcium and vitamin D they need to be healthy.” And in fact, it was to help clarify this issue that the United States and Canadian governments asked the IOM to assess the current data on health outcomes associated with calcium and vitamin D, as well as update the nutrient reference values, known as Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs).

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Flu vaccine causes febrile seizures in toddlers

Every year around the first of October we find ourselves plunged into another flu season. Health organizations ramp up communications; plastic signs appear outside of neighborhood pharmacies; and more than half of the US population typically decides to be vaccinated. In December of 2010, however, the flu vaccine formulated specifically for children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years old was found to be causing a higher than normal incidence of febrile seizures. (more…)