Nutrition and Lifestyle

Caffeine: it’s all natural — but in very rare cases, it can be deadly

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The FDA has posted a warning about the dangers of powdered caffeine. Caffeine? Yes, caffeine. Everyone has heard of caffeine – that natural stimulant in coffee, tea and colas that helps students stay up to cram, and perks sleepy workers up from that mid-morning slump. We tend to not realize that, like all other drugs, there’s a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde aspect to caffeine, and now the Mr. Hyde side has come to the forefront. Continue reading

Good news on HIV diagnoses for most Americans — but not all

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A new report from the CDC analyzed data on the rate of diagnoses of HIV between 2002 and 2011. The researchers, led by Anna Satcher Johnson, MPH and colleagues, used data from the CDC’s National HIV Surveillance System to examine these trends. Their report was published in JAMA, and presented at the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia.
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Combining alcohol and energy drinks may result in increased alcohol consumption

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A few years ago, the FDA mandated that four companies remove their alcoholic “energy” drinks from the market after concluding that the products were unsafe and illegal. Now, a group of researchers at the Australian National University’s Centre for Continue reading

The obesity paradox is real, but perhaps due to body composition

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Although it is well established that obesity ups the risk of numerous health problems, including type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis and some types of cancer, it has also been Continue reading

Niacin, aka Vitamin B3 (aka vitamin B-Ware) gets some beri-beri bad news

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Before you start jumping up and down, yes—we know that it is a deficiency of vitamin B1 (thiamine) that causes beri-beri, and that niacin deficiency actually causes pellagra— we figured that if pseudo-environmental groups like EWG and NRDC can sit in their recycled offices day after day writing utter nonsense, we could take take a few liberties with a vitamin, especially in pursuit of a pretty good pun. Continue reading

Health News Update: July 14, 2014

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Catch the latest health news: good news on childhood obesity, non-surprising organic crop study, and why the papaya industry is making news again

Fewer pesticides and more antioxidants on organic crops: so what?

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A study of organic crops has detected fewer pesticide residues and more “antioxidants.” While this flies in the face of numerous studies finding no significant differences, these findings even if valid should come as no surprise, despite the hype. Continue reading

GMO papayas continue to be protected in Hawaii

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Last December, Hawaii County passed a bill that banned biotech companies from the Big Island and prohibited all new genetically modified crops. Continue reading

How useful is calorie labeling on restaurant menus?

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Four years ago, a federal law specified that chain restaurants with more than 20 outlets be required to post the calorie contents of their foods (menu labeling, or ML). The rationale for the law was that if consumers could get a realistic idea of the energy content of their foods, it might encourage them to choose foods with fewer calories and thus help reduce the burden of obesity. But the extent to which restaurant patrons actually use ML to decrease calorie consumption hasn’t yet been determined. Continue reading

Friday Medical Wrap: July 11, 2014

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The latest health news on e-cigarette safety, childhood obesity rates on the decline, and why calorie information on restaurant menus isn’t making a landslide of a difference


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