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Hormonal Contraception Increases HIV Risk, New Study Reports

A new study published this week in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, shows some disturbing data about the contraception used by women in the eastern and southern areas of Africa, and the increased risk that these women then have to becoming infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus or H.I.V. as it is more commonly known. This is the virus which causes AIDS, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It seems that for women being given a hormone shot every three months, their risk of becoming infected with H.I.V. appears to double, and not only that, but for those women who have the shot but are H.I.V. positive, then their male partners are two times as likely to be infected with H.I.V. than if there was no contraceptive used by the women. Women in Africa are … Read entire article »

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Denmark Adds Tax To Unhealthy Fatty Foods

In an effort to curb unhealthy eating, several countries are adding taxes to foods which contain too much sugar, or, in the case of Denmark’s new tax, too much fat. Hungary introduced a tax last month for fatty foods, and those high in sugar or in salt, and on 1 October, Denmark added their tax, in an effort to reduce the amount of fat consumed in an effort to reduce cardiovascular disease. Butter and milk products are now taxed, along with pizzas, oils  and pre-cooked foods. According to Ole Linnet Juul who is the food director at Denmark’s Confederation of Industries, the tax which has been introduced is based on the amount of fat used in making the food products, rather than the amount of fat which is found in the end … Read entire article »

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Listeria Now Found In Romaine Lettuce As Number Of Deaths Rises

Cartons of bagged romaine lettuce, over 2,000 of them, have now been recalled after the lettuce tested positive for the listeria bacteria. Although there have been no reports of illness connected to the lettuce, True Leaf Farms of Salinas, California have recalled lettuce that was shipped on 12 and 13 September, and had a best before date of 29 September. The product had been sent to food distributors in many other states. Since the best before date has now passed for the lettuce, this should not add to the number of cases which have affected people in many different states due to contaminated cantaloupe. Listeria has sickened many, but the source of the outbreak has not been connected to lettuce. Cantaloupe from Colorado have been pin pointed as the source of that … Read entire article »

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Last Chance For NBA Labor Talks

It is now two years since labor negotiations first began between NBA  union leaders and league officials, and time is running out with this year’s 82-game regular season of basketball on the line.  A meeting today in New York is expected to be one of the last opportunities for a deal to be made between the two parties.  “I’m focused on let’s get the two committees in and see whether they can either have a season or not have a season,” said NBA commissioner David Stern. The NBA lockout has been in position for 92 days, with owners claiming to have lost more than $300 million last season.  Owners are demanding shorter contracts, reduced maximum salaries and raises, and a more restrictive system for dividing revenues.  Players earned 57 percent of … Read entire article »

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Mushroom Magic Could Help Treat Depression

Controversial new research has suggested that psilocybin, the active hallucinogenic ingredient in “magic mushrooms”, could be helpful in treating depression. The study, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology and funded in part by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, found that psilocybin enhanced the “openness” of nearly 60% of the psychologically healthy participants.  Moveover, these personality changes towards greater imagination, broadmindedness, and sensitivity to feelings and to aesthetics were still present 14 months after exposure.  “There may be applications for this we can’t even imagine at this point,” wrote study leader Dr. Roland R. Griffiths of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Volunteers completed two to five eight-hour sessions where they were encouraged to lie down and direct their thoughts inward.  Eye masks were provided to block visual stimulation, and … Read entire article »

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Number of Listeria Cases Likely To Grow In October In U.S.

With 13 people already dead because of an outbreak of Listeria in the United States, and over 70 people infected in many states, this is already the deadliest year in the last ten years for a listeria outbreak, and it is likely to get worse in October, according to the update health officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, CDC gave on Wednesday. The Listeria bacteria can take up to two months for a person who has eaten contaminated food to show the symptoms, and this makes it much harder to pin point the actual source of any contamination. In this particular case, cantaloupes grown by Jensen Farms in Colorado and shipped from the 29 July to 10 September have been identified as the source of the food borne disease, but … Read entire article »

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NBA Training Camps Postponed And 43 Preseason Games Canceled

The National Basketball Association announced on Friday that training camps have been postponed indefinitely, and 43 preseason games have been canceled. Training camps were expected to begin on 3 October, with preseason games scheduled for 9-15 October, but a statement by Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said “We have regretfully reached the point on the calendar where we are not able to open training camps on time and need to cancel the first week of preseason games. We will make further decisions as warranted.” This was not unexpected, since the last meeting between the owners and the players ended on Thursday without a collective bargaining agreement, cba. However, both sides are hopeful that the regular season can be played in its entirety. The season is scheduled to begin 1 November. The players were locked … Read entire article »

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BPA Found In Canned Food, Even Children’s Food

In new testing conducted by the Breast Cancer Fund, BPA, or bisphenol-A was discovered in all of the twelve cans which it tested, six which were purchased in California and six in Wisconsin. Now this size of study is very small, as the Breast Cancer Fund agreed, but it is extremely concerned since the cans it tested were all for products which children regularly consume. Bisphenol-A has been linked to breast cancer as well as infertility, diabetes and obesity. In 2008, BPA was in the news when it was shown that this ingredient leaches out of plastic when it is heated producing a product which is similar to the hormone estrogen. Since it was used for baby bottles, as well as water bottles, the Canadian government banned the product from baby bottles, … Read entire article »

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Twins Born To Woman With Two Uteruses in Clearwater, Florida

A woman from Clearwater, Florida gave birth to twins last week after having a C-section on 15th September, but the births were unusual in that each baby was in their own uterus. Normally a woman has only one uterus, but Andrea Barbosa, the twins’ 24 year old mother has a rare condition called uterus didelphys which was diagnosed about four years ago, and means that she has two instead of one. There are only about 2,000 women in the world that have this condition, which often makes becoming pregnant more difficult. However, Barbosa and her husband had no trouble with this, and in fact each uterus had to release an egg which was fertilized at the same time. The odds of this occurring are about 1 in 5 million, according to … Read entire article »

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Varicose Vein Treatments Compared In New Study

A new study from Homburg, Germany has compared the results of laser therapy to treat varicose veins and the more standard vein surgery, to see if there is any difference in the number of patients who report new varicose veins two years after the treatment, and has concluded that there is very little difference suggested by the data. Although varicose veins are very common, affecting anywhere from between 5 to 30 per cent of adults, they usually do not cause many problems. However in some cases, they can cause swelling and pain in a small percentage of adults, and in rare cases, even blood clots. The treatment for the less serious cases is to exercise, and lose weight, for those overweight, while compression stockings may help to ease the pain, and … Read entire article »

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Apples And Pears Reduce Risk Of Strokes, New Study Finds

Most people are familiar with the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, but a new study by researchers at Wageningen University in the Netherlands has data to back this up. The researchers studied 20,000 adults over a ten year period, and found that those who ate more white fleshed fruit and vegetables had a lower risk of suffering a stroke over that period. White fleshed fruit include apples and pears as well as bananas. Through their data the researchers found that for every 25 grams , a little under one ounce, of white fleshed fruit eaten each day, the risk of a stroke decreased by about nine per cent. Since an average apple or pear has a weight between 100 and 125 grams, it means that by eating one … Read entire article »

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Qualitest Birth Control Pills Recalled

The United States Food and Drug Administration have announced that Qualitest Pharmaceuticals is recalling voluntarily several batches of birth control pills due to a packaging error, which apparently could leave women at risk for an unplanned pregnancy. The FDA stated that several of the blister packs that the pills are put into were rotated 180 degrees, which has resulted in the weekly tablets being reversed, and it has also removed the lot number and the expiration date from the product. This switch in tablets could mean that women may not take the correct oral contraceptives at the right time, and pregnancy may be the result. Because of this, and the packaging error, and the possibility that it could have affected other products, the company has issued the recall of multiple lots, … Read entire article »

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Listeria Outbreak In Colorado Linked To Cantaloupe

On Friday the Colorado Department of Health and Environment reported that the likely source of an outbreak of the listeria bacteria in Colorado is likely due to cantaloupe. There have been two deaths so far in Colorado from the bacteria, but officials have only been able to link one of the deaths to contaminated cantaloupe. The CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed the link between listeria and cantaloupes in the current outbreak, but as yet the source of the contamination has not been discovered. Texas and Nebraska have also reported cases of listeria, and so both the CDC and the United States Department of Agriculture are both trying to track down the source of the contamination. Those most at risk include pregnant women, the elderly, and anyone with compromised immune … Read entire article »

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FDA Warns Brazilian Blowout Unsafe To Use

FDA warns Brazilian Blowout unsafe to use, because it contains formaldehyde, at levels which are not acceptable. However, the products do a good job of straightening hair. The United States Food and Drug Administration, FDA, has sent a warning letter to the makers of Brazilian Blowout which is a popular hair straightening product, saying that the smoothing solutions contain formaldehyde which has been linked to illness in customers and salon workers. Analysis by the FDA found levels of liquid formaldehyde (methylene glycol) which ranged from 8.7 per cent to 10.4 per cent in the samples which were tested, well above the levels of 0.1 per cent for which an occupational hazard alert is needed according to the regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA. In June of this … Read entire article »

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Rate Of Decline In Smoking In U.S. Slows, CDC Reports

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, shows that while the number of smokers has fallen during the last five years, it has not fallen at a steady rate, and this rate has slowed over the last five years. Furthermore, the report shows that the percentage of those adults who smoke 30 or more cigarettes each day is down about 4 per cent. However, the percentage of those adults who smoke nine or fewer cigarettes each day has increased over the 2005 rates from 16.4 percent to a level of 22 per cent in 2010. The CDC report notes that the deaths of half of all adults who continue to smoke will be from causes related to smoking. The use of tobacco is still the … Read entire article »

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Mental Health Issues Affect Nearly Half Adult Americans In Their Lifetime, Study Shows

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, issued a report late last week, stating that more needs to be done for those suffering from mental health problems, since this affects nearly half of all adult Americans at some stage of their lives. This does not mean that half of all adults in America have mental disorders at any one time. Surveys from across the country were collected for years to provide the data for this new government report which was published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. It reports that in 2009, there were some 11 million people, or 5 per cent of the population who experienced some type of mental illness which affected their ability to function properly. Furthermore, there were one million people who attempted to … Read entire article »

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Two Deaths From Listeria Outbreak In Colorado, Others Sick

State health officials in Colorado have issued warnings about not eating undercooked meats or other dangerous foods due to an outbreak of listeriosis in the state which killed 2 people in August, with 7 other cases being reported after 29 August. There was an outbreak in June this year which also killed two people. Officials are investigating the cause but as yet have no answers as to the source of the listeria bacteria. The listeriosis bacteria causes a gastrointestinal illness, which is especially harmful to the higher risk groups such as pregnant women the elderly and those who already have immune problems. The listeria bacteria causes fevers, aches, and nausea, although in more severe cases it can cause convulsions and confusion, and even death. However, in most cases, antibiotics can treat it … Read entire article »

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More Children And Young Adults In U.S. Having Strokes

Scientists have come out with some frightening statistics about the rate of strokes in children and adults in the United States, blaming the increase of about a third in under 10 years on the unhealthy lifestyles of the 5 to 44 year olds whose data they analyzed. Researchers said that many of these stroke victims had higher blood pressures than normal as well as diabetes and many were overweight. They also found that many were in the older age groups were smokers. Dr. Lorna Layward of the Stroke Association in the United Kingdom said that “”People usually associate strokes with older people, but a quarter of all strokes happen to people of working age, and around 400 children have a stroke every year in the UK.” She added “This research emphasizes the … Read entire article »

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