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Monday
Sep272010

POM Wonderful Reacts to FTC Complaint; Lawsuit Developing

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- A Federal Trade Commission complaint charges POM Wonderful LLC with "making false and unsubstantiated claims that their products will prevent or treat heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction."  David Vladeck, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection said, “When a company touts scientific research in its advertising, the research must squarely support the claims made.  Contrary to POM Wonderful’s advertising, the available scientific information does not prove that POM Juice or POMx effectively treats or prevents these illnesses.”  On Monday, POM Wonderful declined to answer questions, however a spokesperson released a statement on behalf the the popular juice company.  In the statement, POM accuses the FTC of "wasting taxpayer resources to persecute the pomegranate."  The statement also indicates that POM has initiated a lawsuit to preserves its "first amendment rights to communicate the promising results of [their] extensive scientific research program on pomegranates."  POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice is available at grocery stores nationwide.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Monday
Sep272010

Study: Sports Drinks a Hidden Source of Sugar for Kids

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- Soda has become public enemy number one in the childhood obesity epidemic, but what about other sweet sippers? Are kids mistakenly subbing fizzy beverages for just-as-caloric fruit and sports drinks? New research from the University of Texas School of Public Health suggests this may be the case.

Researchers found that unhealthy behaviors such as eating fried foods and physical inactivity "were associated with soda consumption, but healthy habits tended to be associated with higher intake of flavored and sports drinks," Deanna Hoelscher, professor of behavioral sciences and co-author on the study told ABC News. "That surprised us because it looks like kids think that these flavored and sports drinks are healthier for them," she adds.

Past research has lumped all sugar-sweetened beverages together, but this study, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, looked specifically at how kids may be consuming non-soda sweet drinks, such as fruit punch or sports beverages.

While many of these drinks pack the same size caloric punch as soda, the data suggested that kids who were otherwise eating healthy and getting exercise where more likely to consume these drinks.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep272010

Crisp Fruits, Veggies Can Help Tame Bad Breath

Photo Courtesy - Getty ImagesThe medical term for it is halitosis, but you don't need to be a doctor to sniff out bad breath. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day to get rid of the food debris and plaque that often lead to bad breath. But what else can you do? Simple steps, like eating crisp fruits and vegetables, can help stop bad breath. Apples, celery, cucumbers and carrots are natural cleansers, according to Bad-Breath-Guide.com. One myth is that eating is the cause of bad breath. Eating stimulates saliva, which keeps your breath fresher. The exception would be foods such as onions and garlic, which smell to begin with and will stay on your breath until you brush. Once you cleanse your mouth of them by brushing and flossing, their bad smells are gone.

More Tips to Prevent Bad Breath:

  1. Drink plenty of water.
  2. Maintain good oral hygiene. This includes flossing. Toothbrushes cannot remove bacteria that gets trapped under your gums. Also, be sure to get your teeth cleaned by a dentist twice a year.
  3. Treat existing oral diseases.
  4. Clean your tongue while brushing your teeth.
  5. Use natural antibiotics.
  6. Switch from coffee to tea.
  7. Chew sugarless gum. 
Monday
Sep272010

Gene Defect Related to Migraines May Lead to Relief

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(MONTREAL) -- Experts estimate that between 15 and 20 percent of migraine sufferers experience an aura, or an abnormal feeling marked by visual disturbances, such as dark spots, hallucinations or zigzag lines. These auras are an indication that a migraine is about to hit.

For those who suffer from migraines with auras, a new gene discovery may someday lead to relief, according to a study published in the latest issue of the journal Nature Medicine.  A group of Canadian researchers discovered a mutation in a gene that regulates the flow of potassium. This genetic abnormality can cause nerves to be over-stimulated, leading to the painful symptoms of migraines preceded by an aura.  Experts say these findings are an important step toward understanding more about the genetic factors underlying this extremely disabling disorder, and hold a lot of promise for developing an effective treatment.

"Some genetic factors, as found in this study, might suggest some families are predisposed to migraine," said Dr. Ronald Purdy, professor of medicine at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. "It all suggests a 'threshold' that when too low, migraine occurs. This threshold may be determined by genetic factors, and hence the importance of the study."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep272010

Study: Breast Cancer Takes Toll on Male Partners

Image Courtesy - ABC NewsThe stress of having a loved one battle cancer can take a toll on the family. Now there is an indication the risk of psychiatric disorders may be higher in spouses of cancer patients. With more than an estimated 200,000 new U.S. breast cancer cases in 2010 alone, the direct and possible indirect effects of the disease are staggering. A new study, conducted in Denmark, screened over a million men over a period of 13 years and focused on the association between breast cancer in women and rates of severe depression in their male partners. The authors found the risk of being hospitalized for a mood disorder including major depression, bipolar disease and other mood-altering conditions was 39 percent higher in men whose partner was diagnosed with breast cancer, and even higher if the partner died of the disease, compared to men with unaffected partners. Men whose partners died from breast cancer were 3.6 times more likely be hospitalized with a mood disorder.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep272010

DEA Pushes New Medication Disposal Initiative To Combat Teen Addiction

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- The Drug Enforcement Agency is urging Americans to safely dispose of their unused, unwanted and expired medications at approximately 4,000 "take back" drop off points set up nationwide.  This new initiative is an effort to thwart one of America's fastest growing drug problems where kids are seeking to get high not from drugs bought in the street, but rather drugs found in their homes.  Laurie Decrescenzo told ABC News she's had several bottles of prescription drugs in her home for nearly 30 years. "I didn't know what to do with them so I just pushed them to the back of my cabinet," Decrescenzo said.  "This effort symbolizes DEA's commitment to halting the disturbing rise in addiction caused by their misuse and abuse," DEA Acting Administrator Michele Leonhart said. The DEA is taking action on the matter after increasing reports have surfaced involving teenage addiction and physical harm stemming from prescription medications found at home.  The DEA is updating its list of drug drop-off points regularly at its website, www.dea.gov, to provide the public with further information on the initiative.  The DEA is updating its list of drug drop-off points regularly at its website, www.dea.gov to provide the public with further information on the initiative.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep242010

FDA Looks Into Diabetes Drug 'Actos' For Risk Of Cancer

Photo Courtesy -- ABC News(NEW YORK) -- According to reports by WebMD, The FDA has launched a safety review of the diabetes drug Actos in light of new data suggesting that the drug may increase risk of bladder cancer.  While not considered a serious enough risk to prevent FDA approval, earlier animal and human studies linked Actos to bladder cancer.  As a condition of approval, the FDA insisted that Actos maker Takeda Pharmaceuticals look for bladder cancer in patients taking the drug.  Now five years in to Takeda's 10-year study, the overall data is reassuring.  WebMD urges patients taking Actos that they do not have an increased risk of bladder cancer.  However, when researchers looked only at patients who had taken Actos the longest, and who had accumulated the highest lifetime dose of the drug, they found risk emerged in patients who had taken Actos for at least 24 months.  The FDA stresses that the finding is not proof that Actos causes bladder cancer. WebMD warned that Patients who are taking Actos are advised not to stop taking their medication unless advised to do so by their health care provider.  Concerned patients should discuss the new information with their doctors.  Actos is widely considered to be safer than Avandia, the only other approved diabetes drug in its class. The FDA is currently considering whether Avandia should remain on the market. An FDA expert advisory panel recently split over the issue.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

 

Friday
Sep242010

Study Finds Not as Many Lives Saved by Mammograms

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(OSLO, Norway) -- As the debate rages among experts about whether women are unnecessarily over-screened for breast cancer, a new study may provide more ammunition to suggest frequent mammograms may not increase the chance of survival as much as once thought.

Published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, the study suggested that mammograms reduce the chance of death by only 10 percent.  Researchers analyzed medical records from more than 40,000 women ages 50 to 69 with breast cancer in Norway and found that mammogram detection of breast cancer was responsible for only one-third of the women who survived.  Researchers said they used data to follow up with each patient after about two years. However, many experts expressed that is not enough time to track whether or not the mammogram helped the patient.

"It takes about seven to ten years to see the full benefit of mammographic screening," said Dr. Therese Bevers, director of the cancer prevention clinic at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.  Dr. Daniel Kopans, director of the breast imaging division at Massachusetts General Hospital, agreed, saying, "No one presents data on breast cancer with only 2.2 years of follow-up."

Annual mammograms are recommended for women starting at age 50, and are thought to reduce the likelihood of dying from breast cancer by 15 to 23 percent, according to the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep232010

Battered Adoptive Parents Give Away Their Out-Of-Control Child

Photo Courtesy -- ABC News(LONG GROVE, Ill.) -- An Illinois family that sent their troubled seven-year-old adoptive daughter, Ellie, to Washington State to live with another family has decided to take their story public.  Craig and Lori Gertz say they adopted the troubled child at birth, unaware of the newborn's exposure to drugs and alcohol in the womb.  Ellie's behavior was said to be become so violent and problematic that the couple's other two children were also at risk.  At three years old, she was diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) -- a condition that affects as many children as autism, yet gets a fraction of the medical attention and resources.  Later, the Gertzes found out that Ellie would need more concentrated care in a residential treatment program that would cost $160,000 per year -- a cost they could not afford.  The Gertz family made the difficult decision to enter into a third-party guardianship and hand over full control of Ellie's education and upbringing for a year, when the families involved will then make a final decision about her care.  Lori Gertz, 47, emphasizes that this is not an adoption-gone-wrong story, and that she would adopt again in a heartbeat.  Of giving her child to another family, Gertz said, "I just never, in my life, could imagine even associating with having to let my baby go.  I will always love my Ellie."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Thursday
Sep232010

Similac Recall: Bugs in Baby Formula Worry Parents

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Abbott Laboratories is voluntarily recalling up to 5 million containers of its popular powdered Similac infant formula after finding evidence that beetles had possibly contaminated it.  The company said the recall affects all rectangular plastic tubs of powdered Similac and some 8-ounce, 12.4-ounce and 12.9-ounce cans manufactured in one area of a plant in Sturgis, Michigan, and distributed in the U.S., Guam, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.  Abbott, which initiated the recall after detecting "the remote possibility of the presence of a small common beetle," believes the recalled lots "pose no serious health concern," spokeswoman Raquel Powers said in an interview Thursday.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration determined that "while the formula poses no immediate health risk, there is a possibility that infants who consume formula containing the beetles or their larvae could experience symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort" and refuse to eat.  Parents should consult a doctor if symptoms persist more than a few days, the agency said.

Cans bearing lot numbers with the following combinations -- T3, RE, 9V, NT -- were unaffected, as were all liquid Similac products, Powers said.  Any containers included in the recall should be returned to the company at no cost to consumers.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio