The U.K. Food Standards Agency (FSA) has launched a campaign to warn people about increased risk of cancer linked to eating burnt toast, over-roasted potatoes or other starchy foods cooked at high temperatures.
The campaign, launched on Monday, is based on longstanding evidence from various animal studies conducted in the past. Though it is yet to be proved in human studies, many health experts have warned that overcooked starchy foods, such as over-roasted potatoes, can increase risk of cancer due to high levels of a compound called acrylamide.
The acrylamide compound makes foods like bread and potatoes turn golden in color when the foods is baked, fried toasted or roasted. Formed from simple sugars like glucose, acrylamide reacts with an amino acid called asparagine, when starchy foods are cooked at temperatures higher than 120 degrees Celsius. It may be noted here that amino acid asparagine is found naturally in such starchy foods.
If you cook a starchy cooked for too long at high temperatures, these foods simply turn from golden to brown and finally black in color. In the process, they produce higher-than-accepted levels of acrylamide, which increases the risk of cancer.
Steve Wearne, the director of policy at the FSA, said in a statement, “Our research indicates that the majority of people are not aware that acrylamide exists, or that they might be able to reduce their personal intake.”
The Food Standards Agency’s newly launched “Go for Gold” campaign urges people to cook their foods only until gold, and not to let food to turn darker in color. The main aim of the campaign is to raise awareness among the public.Companies: FSAGeneral: HealthRegion: United Kingdom
U. S. President Donald Trump's executive order pertaining to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which he signed just hours after being sworn into office, injected further uncertainty into the nation's already fragile health insurance market.
Through his first executive order, Trump instructed federal agencies to grant relief to ACA-affected constituencies. It was a clear signal that Trump's administration wants to move swiftly to unwind the maximum possible elements of ACA on its own even before the Republican-led Congress acts to repeal the 2010 health insurance law.
Robert Laszewski, the president of a consulting firm called Health Policy & Strategy Associates, called Trump's executive order a "bomb" on the nation's already frail insurance market.
Speaking on the topic, Laszewski said, "Instead of sending a signal that there's going to be an orderly transition, they've sent a signal that it's going to be a disorderly transition. How does the Trump administration think this is not going to make the situation worse?"
Over the past many years, ACA has changed how 20 million people in the nation get health coverage and what type of benefits health insurers must offer to their customers. But, Trumps has been a vocal opponent of the law. During his election campaign last year, he repeatedly vowed to repeal the law if he would be elected to power.
Experts say Trump's executive order, coupled with his recent comments about moving quickly to repeal and replace the ACA, will pressurize Republican lawmakers to act faster than they might have originally planned.General: HealthPeople: Donald Trump
A Florida senator recently released the state legislature’s first attempt to conduct a constitutional amendment that legalized sale and use of medical marijuana.
Sen. Rob Bradley’s proposal (SB 406) calls for an increasing number of marijuana licenses to make it easier for physicians to order the marijuana treatment for patients in need.
The measure surfaced days after state health officials published proposed regulations to implement the constitutional amendment that enjoyed more than 71 per cent endorsement from state voters in November last year.
Under Bradley’s proposal, Florida could get another twenty marijuana operators or dispensing organizations once the number of registered patients hits 500,000. Currently, the state has only 7 licensed marijuana dispensing organizations.
Ben Pollara, who managed the campaign of the political committee that supported Amendment 2 in November, welcomed the proposal, calling it a “good start” towards implementing the approved constitutional amendment.
Commenting on the proposal, Pollara said, “It’s a good start toward implementing both the letter and the spirit of the constitutional amendment. I appreciate the fact that Sen. Bradley's bill actually respects that we're implementing a constitutional amendment here.”
Many states, including Michigan Maine, Florida and California, have legalized medical marijuana. In California, where medical marijuana revolution started in 1996, more than 720,000 individuals out of 39 million have been issued medical marijuana cards.General: HealthRegion: Florida
California public health officials on Friday reported the first death of a child in this year’s flu season, and warned that it could be a much more relentless flu season than that of last year’s.
Dr. Karen Smith, the chief of the California Public Health Department (CPHD), said in a statement that this year’s flu season has already claimed a total of 14 lives of people under the age of 65. The figure is notably larger than three deaths recorded by the same time in 2015.
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ Dr. Michael Neely warned that the number of flu-related illnesses and deaths could continue to soar for the next few weeks.
Referring to the child’s death, CPHD said, “This is a tragic reminder that the flu is a serious illness for people of all ages and kills thousands of Americans each year … If it keeps going up at this rate and stays up then we will see a lot more cases this year.”
The rate of hospitalization for flu-related illnesses in the state is at its highest level in more than a decade, excluding 2009’s H1N1 epidemic that caused awfully widespread illnesses. The Golden State has thus far seen 83 flu-related outbreaks, nearly twice as many as in a typical year.
Flu is a common viral infection but it can be deadly in high-risk groups, such as children and the elderly. Common symptoms include fever, chills, cough, runny nose, muscle aches, headache and fatigue.General: HealthRegion: California
A number of American manufacturers of beauty products use harmful ingredients and then set up charities to support research in the field of breast, cervical and ovarian cancers, actress Gwyneth Paltrow alleged in her new wellness book.
In her “Goop Clean Beauty,” Paltrow claims to have offered the ultimate guide to gain and maintain beauty. It is totally different from ridiculous beauty procedures (vaginal steaming etc) that the actress suggested in the past.
Appearing genuinely passionate about transforming the massive cosmetics industry for the better, Paltrow claimed that she and her Goop team introduced the new book to help people to look and feel beautiful.
In the foreword, Paltrow said, “We find it ironic that many of the U.S.'s biggest beauty companies use ingredients that are known to be harmful and then set up foundations and charities to support breast, cervical and ovarian cancer research.”
Goop’s editors suggest that the best way to jump-start the journey to optimal health s to detox, and it is possible by significantly easing the load by consuming the right food. Any food items that can cause inflammation should be removed form diet.
The new wellness book teaches a tough lesson. It stresses that it is almost impossible to escape toxins, but one can learn to spot it and get rid of it using the right approach.General: HealthPeople: Gwyneth Paltrow
Zoo Miami's matriarch gorilla named Josephine was euthanized Wednesday morning as she was suffering for several untreatable health issues, zoo authorities have confirmed.
Announcing the nearly 50-year-old great ape's death, zoo authorities write on social media that they decided to euthanize Josephine as her several health issues had slowly incapacitated her and couldn't be treated with positive results because of her advanced age.
In a fresh post on Twitter, the zoo wrote, "With very heavy hearts we announce the loss of our matriarch gorilla, Josephine."
Josephine, who was grandmother to the internet-sensation Harambe, took birth in the wild in March 1967 and had been brought to Zoo Miami in March 1983.
At the zoo, she gave birth to her first offspring, a male gorilla named Moja, in the year of 1984. Moja was the first gorilla to born at the zoo.
Moja was later moved to Texas-based Gladys Porter Zoo, where he fathered a number of gorillas. Of his sons, Harambe, gained worldwide attention in 2016 when a zookeeper at the Cincinnati Zoo shot him to protect a child that had fallen in his enclosure.General: HealthRegion: Miami
In a bid to determine whether marijuana can really treat MS symptoms, researchers at Colorado State University’s Integrative Neurophysiology Laboratory are studying individuals with MS who are already using the drug as a treatment.
Though a number of anecdotal reports have claimed that medical marijuana can effectively treat MS symptoms like muscle weakness, anxiety and fatigue, they haven’t been scientifically verified.
Marijuana in known to contain more than one hundred compounds, but Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are said to have the most significance for medical purposes.
But, there is currently no information regarding the most effective ratio of THC and CBD and how frequently individuals with MS should use the drug.
Many marijuana advocates argue that little is known about the beneficial effects of the drug because of how the drug is regulated at the federal level. Its classification makes it very tricky for researchers to study it in clinical trials.
As marijuana is on Schedule 1, doctors are not permitted to prescribe it, even in states like Colorado where medical marijuana is legal. In such states doctors can only provide patients with a “permission slip” for medical marijuana that has to be approved by a state agency.General: HealthResearchRegion: Colorado
Regardless of how effective an antibiotic drug is at killing bacteria, new drugs will be required as bacteria gradually mutate and increasingly grow more resistant to the existing drugs, According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).
The CDC wrote on its website that antibiotic resistance can be slowed but not stopped because it is a part of a natural evolution process.
The federal agency wrote, “Antibiotic resistance occurs as part of a natural evolution process, it can be significantly slowed but not stopped. New antibiotics will always be needed to keep up with resistant bacteria as well as new diagnostic tests to track the development of resistance.”
Drug-resistant bacterial “superbugs” became a big concern for public health officials after an investigation in the death of a Nevada woman revealed that she had been infected with a bacterial superbug infection that was resistant to all FDA-approved antibiotics.
In other words, there was no antibiotic available in the United States that could treat the women, who was in her 70s, and lived in Reno, Nevada.
Public health experts warned that while cases of superbugs resistant to all antibiotics are currently quite rare, but such deadly cases could become prevalent in the future. Experts have also warned that long hospitals stays and lengthy exposures to different antibiotics can significantly increase the odds of developing a drug-resistant bacterial infection.General: HealthCompanies: CDC
A news research conducted by a tem of experts from Stanford University showed that smart watches along with some other personal biosensor devices may help detect the Lyme disease, which is carried by infected ticks.
During the two-year study, the researchers looked at five dozen individuals, who were asked to wear several devices. The wearable devices gathered a broad-ranging amount of information about the participating individuals, including their heart rates, blood oxygen levels and skin temperature.
Sharing the findings of their study, the researchers reported, “[The devices] measure heart rate, blood oxygen, skin temperature, sleep, calories expended, exercise and even exposure to radiation. That’s paired with occasional laboratory tests to measure blood chemistry and some genetic information.”
Dr. Michael Snyder, chair of Genetics at Stanford University who also participated in the study, explained that his wearable biosensors enabled him to notice an elevated heart rate and decreased oxygen that alarmed him. Later, he was plagued with fever that went on for many days.
Caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, the tick-borne Lyme disease is characterized by a rash that is often in a bull's-eye pattern and symptoms like fever, chills, sweats and muscle aches.
The new study was reported by the Science Daily, an American website that publishes news and articles on a range of topics, including global warming, exoplanets, stem cells, bird flu, autism, nanotechnology and evolution.General: HealthResearch
As flu activity continues to grow across the United States, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has once again recommended people to get their flu shots before it’s too late.
In its latest update, CDC warned that all ten of its regions are already above their baseline percentages of clinic visits for flulike illness, and the nation as a whole has been above its baseline for the marker for the fourth week in a row.
The federal agency added that flu activity has not yet peaked as it is expected to keep climbing over the coming weeks.
Lynnette Brammer, an epidemiologist with CDC, said, “Anyone who has not gotten vaccinated yet this season should get vaccinated now. Even though activity is elevated, we are probably not at peak yet. Even if we were at peak, you've still got half the season to go.”
Brammer added that the Northwest has been hit harder by flu infections, and the activity could have peaked in this region, but it is still difficult to say as more cases of flu infections could surface in coming weeks.
The dominant strain right now is H3N2, which often signals a severe season that affects the oldest and youngest people the hardest. Symptoms include soar throat, runny nose, fever, chills, cough, headache and fatigue.General: HealthCompanies: CDC
Ferrero U.S.A. Inc, the American arm of Italian manufacturer of branded chocolate and confectionery products, has defended the use of palm oil in its products like Nutella, arguing that they are totally safe for human consumption.
Derived from palm plants’ fruits and kernels, palm oil is used in a range of food products as it makes food easy to spread. It is consumed across the globe in convenience foods like chips, snacks and frozen foods.
But, some studied suggested that it can cause health hazards. Various contaminants found in palm oil can prove a health hazard for all age groups, prompting authorities to express particular concern for infants and toddlers.
In response the concerns, Ferrero’s general counsel Beth M. Kotran said, “Ferrero wants to assure its consumers that Nutella and other Ferrero products that contain palm oil are safe.”
In a campaign launched in October last year, the company explained that palm oil in Nutell and other products is heated only to safe temperatures that don’t result in contaminants.
Many other foods sold and consumed in the U.S., such as Cheerios, Nutri-Grain, Pop Tarts, Kit Kat candy bars, Ben & Jerry’s ice creams, and some of branded foods from Target’s Archer Farms, also contain palm oil.General: Health
While fertility experts and many couples are excited about a new technique that could allow doctors to create sperm and egg cells in a lab dish, some are arguing that it will pose significant ethical dilemmas.
The controversial technique, referred to as "in vitro gametogenesis (IVG)," can certainly help a lot in treating infertility, but it could also result in "embryo farming" and a craze for having "designer" babies.
Dr. Eli Adashi, a professor at Providence, Rhode Island-based Brown University' said IVG has already showed IVG can successfully be performed among mice. However, it is yet to be approved for use among humans to treat infertility.
Study authors wrote, "With science and medicine hurtling forward at breakneck speed, the rapid transformation of reproductive and regenerative medicine may surprise us. Before the inevitable, society will be well advised to strike and maintain a vigorous public conversation on the ethical challenges of IVG."
IVG could lead to a number of ethical problems. For instance, clinics might create dozens of eggs or embryos for their clients to choose from, and couples might create a huge number of embryos in order to select the best traits for their child. It would essentially devalue human life.
The theoretical implications of IVG were detailed in a paper published Wednesday (Jan. 11) in the journal Science Translational Medicine.General: HealthResearchRegion: New England