Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Childhood: A Caffeine Buzz From Soft Drinks

Caffeine is a toxic compound that stimulates the body due to the body's need to eliminate the toxin. The body makes the heart beat faster in order to try to eliminate the toxin through the organs of filtration faster. For children to be given caffeine or refined sugar is really unfortunate!

NY Times Reports:

A small study at an urban pediatric clinic suggests that children younger than 12 are routinely consuming so much caffeine that it could interfere with their sleep. The source, almost exclusively, is caffeinated soft drinks, like Coca-Cola.

About 75 percent of 228 children in the study (published online on Thursday in The Journal of Pediatrics) consumed caffeine. Children 5 to 7 swallowed an average of 52 milligrams a day, and those 8 to 12 averaged 109 milligrams — about the same amount as a cup of drip coffee.

Caffeine is a diuretic, and the study was designed to see whether the consumption was associated with bed-wetting. It was not, but sleep was another matter. Average sleep times for the caffeine drinkers were slightly less than the amount recommended for these ages by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The American Beverage Association disputed the study, citing a 2002 review finding that caffeine’s effects on children “seem to be modest and typically innocuous.”

“Caffeine is safe, even for children,” said Maureen Storey, the association’s senior vice president for science policy.

The new study’s authors acknowledged that it did not prove a link between caffeine and sleep problems. Still, the lead author, William J. Warzak, a professor of psychology at the University of Nebraska, says that avoiding it is a good idea. “But,” he added, “you’re not a terrible parent if a kid has a Coke away from home.”

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Awareness: Of Medicines and Mismeasurements--- Pediatric Over the Counter Drugs ?

It is amazing how something as important as labeling childrens medication can be and how it is ignored. Unclear instructions can be deadly as the article below explains. What is even more interesting is how many kids are being given drugs that they don't need at all. Just because a child gets a runny nose or sore throat does not mean they need over the counter drugs. A high temperature needs to be controlled but not a mild grade one. Childrens bodies are very vital and always working to restore equilibrium and usually more than capable of staying well if fed correctly and exercised. No reason at all to interfere with the processes by polluting the system of the little person with the extremely powerful chemicals known as 'over the counter' drugs.

Over the year that ended on Nov. 1, 2009, researchers examined the directions and measuring devices in 200 nonprescription pediatric liquid medicines — drugs for allergy, cough and cold, pain or gastrointestinal problems, and medicines in combination products.

Writing online on Nov. 30 in The Journal of the American Medical Association, the researchers report that 52 of the medicines had no measuring device in the package, and that 146 of the other 148 had inconsistencies between the dosing directions and the devices, including missing or superfluous markings, unfamiliar units of measurement (for example, drams or cubic centimeters), or undefined or nonstandard abbreviations.

In November 2009, the Food and Drug Administration published voluntary guidelines for the labeling of dosing directions and measuring devices for over-the-counter liquid medicines. “The plan is that we can expect to see changes by next winter,” said Dr. H. Shonna Yin, the lead author.

But Dr. Yin, an assistant professor of pediatrics at New York University, is not finished. “When we do the study again,” she said, “we’ll see if voluntary guidelines work, or if we need something stronger.” In the meantime, she said, parents should pay careful attention to both directions on packages and the labeling on measuring devices. “A tablespoon,” she warned, “is three times as large as a teaspoon.”


Giving the correct dose of an over-the-counter pediatric medicine is critical, but the package labeling and dosing information can be virtually incomprehensible. And an overdose can be deadly.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Obesity Surgery May Become Option for Many More - A Fantastic Trend!

Isn't this great? Weight Loss Surgery is going mainstream! There may be some cases where surgery is required but that is very unlikely. Once again instead of becoming interested in the root cause of obesity in our society and making a shift towards a healthier world, we are encouraging ignoring the cause and just focusing on the symptom of obesity. Health should be the priority, not some numeric number! So many people are compromising their health just to lose weight, when the most effective way to address obesity is the comprehensive approach that addresses exercise, food intake and awareness over negative thought patterns.

Weight-loss surgery, once a last resort for extremely overweight people, may soon become an option for those who are less heavy.

An advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration will consider on Friday a request by Allergan, the pharmaceutical company, to significantly lower how obese someone must be to qualify for surgery using the company’s Lap-Band device, which restricts intake to the stomach.

On Wednesday, the F.D.A. acknowledged that a new study by the company showed that people in the proposed range of obesity who had the band experienced “statistically significant decreases in all measures of weight loss.”

If the agency approves the change, the number of Americans eligible for the Lap-Band operation could easily double, ensuring more sales for Allergan and probably more insurance coverage for such operations. But the proposed change, sought at a time when the obesity epidemic in the United States seems intractable, still leaves some people uneasy, in part because of side effects and failure rates. In addition, long-term weight reduction is hard to maintain.

“You’re talking about millions and millions of people who would meet these criteria,” said Dr. George Blackburn, associate director of the division of nutrition at Harvard Medical School. “Let’s make sure by the most rigorous research that this is safe and effective.”

A new generation of diet pills has failed to gain federal approval, limiting options for overweight Americans, and Allergan and other companies are betting that surgery will become more of a frontline option rather than a last resort.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Radiation Rules Differ for Humans and Pets - NY Times reports

Whenever possible radiation is to be avoided. The effects are not well understood and variable amongst different people. There are other options usually. The Hippocrates Institute in Palm Beach, Fl is one of the premiere centers for curing cancer through fasting, green fluids, and rest.

WASHINGTON — One group receiving treatment for a thyroid disorder is given a radioactive drug that makes the patients a potential hazard to children or pregnant women for several days. Still, doctors usually send them home immediately after treatment.

Yet another group of thyroid patients given the same drug in much smaller doses must be quarantined for two to five days under government rules, until the radiation the patients emit is sharply reduced.

What is the difference? The first group is made up of human patients, and the second is made up of cats and dogs.

In October, Representative Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, complained to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that its policy on human thyroid patients was creating dilemmas for patients, some of whom are sent home immediately after radiation treatment to households with children or pregnant women.

Now, Mr. Markey is pointing out that the rules are much stricter for house pets, even though they usually get radiation doses 90 percent to 98 percent smaller than the ones given to humans. On Thursday, he plans to ask the commission to revisit the regulations.

“The public is more protected from a radioactive Fluffy than from a radioactive father who receives the very same treatment and is then just sent home,” said Mr. Markey, who is the chairman of a House subcommittee with jurisdiction over the nuclear commission.

“The N. R. C. needs to immediately change its nonsensical policy and act to protect public health instead of industry’s bottom line,” he said.

In an interview, a spokesman for the commission, David McIntyre, acknowledged the disparity in the regulations. Under the commission’s rules, radiation exposure to a person from a human patient is supposed to be limited to 500 millirems per treatment, while the exposure to humans from treated pets should be one-fifth that amount. (By comparison, the average American gets about 360 millirem a year from natural sources.)

But, Mr. McIntyre said, “The higher limit for humans is appropriate because of the benefits to the patient in being able to recover at home in the care and presence of loved ones, and because the risk of exposure to others can be managed by taking appropriate precautions.”

“The lower limit for animals is appropriate because it is more difficult to manage the exposure to humans,” he added.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Half of Europeans are overweight, a report shows

Congratulations to Europe! They are finally catching up to epidemic status we have already reached with regards to obesity in the USA. Obesity is so devastating because it is fundamental in it's effects. Exercise more! Stop treating your body like it is a garbage disposal. Obesity is simple to tackle!

Over half of adults living in the European Union countries are now overweight or obese according to a report.

The rate of obesity has more than doubled over the past 20 years in most EU member states, international experts say.

The UK comes out worst, shortly followed by Ireland and Malta, where a quarter of the population is obese.

World experts meet this week to discuss how to reverse the "worrying trend".

The European Commission and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) who compiled the Health at a Glance Europe 2010 report believe the key to success is encouraging children to adopt healthy habits.

Currently, one in seven children in the EU is overweight or obese - and the figures are set to rise even further.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Extra Calcium and Vitamin maybe Harmful says NY TIMES

The following Article for NY TIMES 11/30/10 says that the recent trend towards Vitamin D Supplementation and Calcium supplementation is totally unnecessary and actually could be a health risk.

Vitamins and minerals can only be utilized by the body when they come 'chelated' or placed within the context of a living cell. That is why all nutrition should be attained through whole foods. When vitamins, minerals and sugars are taken out of context of each other the way God designed it, they become insults to the body which is unable to read that language of separtation.

The very high levels of vitamin D that are often recommended by doctors and testing laboratories — and can be achieved only by taking supplements — are unnecessary and could be harmful, an expert committee says. It also concludes that calcium supplements are not needed.

The group said most people have adequate amounts of vitamin D in their blood supplied by their diets and natural sources like sunshine, the committee says in a report that is to be released on Tuesday.

“For most people, taking extra calcium and vitamin D supplements is not indicated,” said Dr. Clifford J. Rosen, a member of the panel and an osteoporosis expert at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute.

Dr. J. Christopher Gallagher, director of the bone metabolism unit at the Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Neb., agreed, adding, “The onus is on the people who propose extra calcium and vitamin D to show it is safe before they push it on people.”

Over the past few years, the idea that nearly everyone needs extra calcium and vitamin D — especially vitamin D — has swept the nation.

With calcium, adolescent girls may be the only group that is getting too little, the panel found. Older women, on the other hand, may take too much, putting themselves at risk for kidney stones. And there is evidence that excess calcium can increase the risk of heart disease, the group wrote.

As for vitamin D, some prominent doctors have said that most people need supplements or they will be at increased risk for a wide variety of illnesses, including heart disease, cancer and autoimmune diseases.

And these days more and more people know their vitamin D levels because they are being tested for it as part of routine physical exams.

“The number of vitamin D tests has exploded,” said Dennis Black, a reviewer of the report who is a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco.

At the same time, vitamin D sales have soared, growing faster than those of any supplement, according to The Nutrition Business Journal. Sales rose 82 percent from 2008 to 2009, reaching $430 million. “Everyone was hoping vitamin D would be kind of a panacea,” Dr. Black said. The report, he added, might quell the craze.

“I think this will have an impact on a lot of primary care providers,” he said.

The 14-member expert committee was convened by the Institute of Medicine, an independent nonprofit scientific body, at the request of the United States and Canadian governments. It was asked to examine the available data — nearly 1,000 publications — to determine how much vitamin D and calcium people were getting, how much was needed for optimal health and how much was too much.

The two nutrients work together for bone health.

Bone health, though, is only one of the benefits that have been attributed to vitamin D, and there is not enough good evidence to support most other claims, the committee said.