Sunday, March 22, 2015

From the American Council on Science and Health

Consumer Reports now drinking Environmental Working Group's Kool-Aid - Consumer Reports buys into the Environmental Working Group's unwarranted fears about pesticide residues on fruits and veggies. The best-supported advice is still to consume ample amounts of both for a healthful diet. Read more.

Flying lessons from JFK Jr.? - The New York Times posits itself as "the paper of record." So why are they seeking expert opinions from someone who is widely ridiculed as a charlatan in the medical and scientific community? Read more.

Both strength training and cardiovascular exercise benefit older adults - Older adults may avoid exercise for a variety of reasons. However, research shows older adults can benefit immensely from strength training (as well as cardiovascular exercise), but one should consult a physician before beginning a new regimen. Read more.

A new study finds simple tests that seem to predict dementia risk - A simple set of tests may increase our ability to predict dementia of the Alzheimer's type. Why is this important? We must have reliable early predictors to do the tests that will eventually yield a prevention or treatment. Read more.

Should postmenopausal women take calcium supplements? - Adequate calcium consumption is vital for bone health, especially in postmenopausal women. Many may rely on a calcium supplement if they don't get enough from their diet, but is there a link between calcium supplements and cardiovascular events? Read more.

Large study finds Prevnar 13 effective at protecting seniors - A new, large study found that a recently-approved pneumonia vaccine, Prevnar 13, protects older people against the most common causative germ, and was particularly effective in protecting against dangerous, invasive infections. Read more.

Folic acid reduces risk of first stroke in people with hypertension - High blood pressure is one of the leading risk factors for stroke. A large Chinese study finds a benefit from folic acid supplementation. When added to hypertension drug, folate seems to decrease risk of first stroke. Read more.

Proportion of cancer patients surviving five years or longer after diagnosis has increased - A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 65 percent of those diagnosed with invasive cancer survived for five years or longer after their diagnosis - a small increase from 64 percent reported in 2013. Read more.

Does aspirin help prevent colon cancer? It may depend on your genes - It is generally accepted that the chronic use of aspirin and some other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs might reduce risk of colorectal cancer. A new study shows that this beneficial effect may not apply to everyone. Read more.
Early use of imaging doesn't improve outcomes for older patients with low back pain- Back pain can be debilitating - often leading to impaired mobility and poor quality of life. Often, a precise diagnosis is not to be had, and symptoms resolve on their own. Does early use of imaging techniques improve outcomes? New study says no. Read more.
"High-value Task Force": 'Just Say No' to routine heart tests- Many people think that routine cardiac tests, including EKG, stress testing, and coronary perfusion studies, help predict risk of heart attack and guide prevention measures. Not true, for people who have no history of symptoms of heart trouble. Read more.
A replacement for statins? Too early to say, but promising - As reported in yesterday's Wall Street Journal, there may be a new paradigm for significantly lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, and reducing heart disease. A new class of LDL-lowering drugs is being investigated which could be a major advance. Read more.

Dr. Ross on the radio attacking the Cuomo fracking ban in New York - ACSH's Dr. Gil Ross spoke at length last night on an upstate New York radio program, dissecting the December decision by Gov. Cuomo to ban fracking in the state. Ross's opinions were acerbic, to say the least. Read more.

Link between diet soda and increasing waist size found in Texas study. So what? - Another study trying to blame diet soda for obesity - this time in older Americans. But the data just don't add up. This is clearly a case of the authors, in their quest to impugn diet soda, confusing cause and effect. Read more.

New study tries to link breastfeeding with higher IQ and income - Breastfeeding has definite benefits for both mother and baby, and it is recommended women breastfeed exclusively for 6 months. A new study tries to link breastfeeding to higher IQ and income, but we say not so fast. Read more.

Germs Are Us: Collaborating for Life - In his new book, Dr. Melvin A. Benarde, an original founding director of ACSH, discusses the vital role germs play in our lives. Dr. Benarde - expert on environmental issues and their impact on human health - attempts to dispel the fear surrounding microbes. See it on Amazon.

Dr. Polosa, Italian vapor and tobacco expert, reviews e-cigs in BMC Medicine - One of the many baseless "concerns" flung about by agenda-driven opponents of e-cigarettes is that they "might" cause respiratory impairment. A: compared to what? Cigarettes? Really? B: a new review by an expert says there's nothing to worry about. Read more.



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