14 March 2006

Unexpected Health News

Why unexpected? Well, because these are health news items that challenge your conventional wisdom. Read on, and see what I mean...
  • Softdrinks or sodas - are fast gaining some bad rep lately with news saying that their sales are down because many are shifting to a healthier lifestyle and shunning sugar-laden beverages known to contribute to weight gain and obesity. Then, there's the FDA news that some soft drinks were found to contain benzene in levels up to 10-20 parts per billion (ppb) --- that's 4 times the acceptable limit found in drinking water. Benzene is a known carcinogen. Partiularly implicated were the diet orange-flavored sodas, which can form benzene when exposed to heat and light.

  • B Complex and Folic Acid - Previous research has shown that people with high levels of the amino acid homocysteine are at greater risk for heart attacks and strokes. Incorporating Vitamin B complex and folic acid supplements in one's diet were thought to reduce homocysteine levels, and therefore can be protective. Two recent studies debunk this theory.

  • Plavix Disappoints - Plavix is clopidogrel, a known thinning agent prescribed often to those people who have had heart attacks or stroke, or at risk of having one. It is quite an expensive medicine. The Plavix website says that taking it with aspirin can protect one against heart attack. Not true. The Clopidogrel for High Atherothrombotic Risk and Ischaemic Stabilisation, Management, and Avoidance (CHARISMA) trial validates the "favourable benefit-to-risk and benefit-to-cost ratio of aspirin in the treatment and prevention of heart attack and stroke." Combination therapy is therefore not recommended for primary prevention. Read the study abstract here.

  • Dana Reeve - the gracious wife of Chris 'Superman' Reeve lived only 210 days after publicly revealing she had been diagnosed with lung cancer. She was a non-smoker who died of lung cancer. Why did she have to die? Sometimes it baffles even the likes of me. Most of the diseases like diabetes, stroke, heart attacks, and even lung cancer can kill you because the usual story is that you allowed yourself to eat too much fat and sugar, you exercised little or none at all, or because you smoked cigarettes like a chimney. But Dana Reeve makes us realize that we can die even if we do not expose ourselves to obvious risk factors. Sure, we can improve our odds of not dying, but sooner or later, death will catch up with us.

3 reactions:

BabyPink said...

goodbye sodas na ito!!!


rolly said...

PArt of my medications is vitamin B. I have not experienced a heart attack but my father died of it. So, although it is not the wonder drug I want, it is still beneficial, right?

As for dying, we all know that death is a certainty so I wouldn't be surprised. The form by which it comes to us is just an excuse so that we can fulfill nature's design. :-)

Dr. Emer said...

Water is the best drink there is, Bay Pink.

Nothing replaces dietary sources, Tito Rolly. Supplements are just there to fill in the gap you can't meet for your daily allowances.