Today, Kevin reveals the truth behind mind manipulation within the music industry and two ways to counteract it.
High Doses of Vitamin D Prevent Cancer
Cell Phones Increase Brain Activity
Hold Off On Treating Kids With Drugs
Shape-Ups Blamed For Hip Fractures
Drinking Diet Soda Makes You Gain Weight
6 Things That Weaken Your Bones
Commercial Meat Increases Cancer Risk
Madoff: Government a Ponzi Scheme
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March 1st, 2011
By: Deborah Huso
Researchers now say higher levels of vitamin D may be necessary to reduce one’s risk of cancer. Scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha just published a new study in the journal Anticancer Research, noting that traditional intakes of the essential vitamin just aren’t enough to reach blood levels that can prevent or significantly decrease the risk of breast cancer and several other major diseases.
“We found that daily intakes of vitamin D by adults in the range of 4,000 to 8,000 IU [international units] are needed to maintain blood levels of vitamin D metabolites in the range needed to reduce by about half the risk of several diseases — breast cancer, colon cancer, multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes,” said Dr. Cedric Garland, professor of family and preventive medicine at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, in a press release. “I was surprised to find that the intakes required to maintain vitamin D status for disease prevention were so high — much higher than the minimal intake of vitamin D of 400 IU per day that was needed to defeat rickets in the 20th century.”
During the study, researchers surveyed several thousand volunteers who were taking vitamin D supplements with a dosage ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 IU per day. They found those taking the highest amounts of vitamin D were less likely to contract major diseases such as cancer.
Despite these findings, some doctors say just boosting your vitamin D levels aren’t enough for disease prevention and in some cases may be dangerous.
Dr. James Spencer, a dermatologist and American Academy of Dermatology board member, says the levels of vitamin D suggested in the study are way too high and that reducing the risk of cancer is not as easy as eating more oranges or taking more vitamin supplements. “Generally, when things are too good to be true, they usually are,” Spencer told AOL Health.
Dr. Sophie Balk, attending pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in New York City agrees. “We know that vitamin D is good for muscle health and osteoporosis — the research shows that,” Balk explained to AOL Health. “But the research isn’t conclusive about its effects on cancers. We really need more research about these other possible effects because we really can’t say for sure.”
Both doctors agree the dosage of 4,000 to 8,000 IU could be dangerous. “If you take that amount, over time it could be toxic,” warns Balk.
“Very high levels of vitamin D, usually above 10,000 [IUs] per day, are known to cause kidney and tissue damage,” adds Spencer.
To get sufficient amounts, but not too much vitamin D, Spencer recommends including salmon, milk, oranges or orange juice, egg yolk and mushrooms in your diet.
Although the sun and its UV rays are the best source of vitamin D, Spencer says there are other harmful results that can stem from too much sunshine, like skin cancer, and doesn’t recommend people seek vitamin D through sunbathing.
Balk recommends 400 IU per day of vitamin D for children and adolescents, while Spencer says the recommended dosage for adults is 600 IU per day and 800 IU per day for adults over 70 years old.
March 1st, 2011
By: Catherine Donaldson-Evans
When your child has a fever, it’s natural to panic. And panicking parents often try to treat the problem with drugs.
Not so fast, says a new study published in the journal Pediatrics. Reaching for the fever meds is actually the last thing a mom or dad should do — unless their little girl or boy is really suffering.
“There’s a myth out there that if you have a fever, you could have brain damage or seizures. That causes parents to be very anxious,” research co-author Janice Sullivan told Time.com. “Sometimes children with a fever of 103 will sit and play and act completely normal.”
Sullivan, a professor of pediatric critical care and clinical pharmacology at the University of Louisville, says fever generally doesn’t hurt children. It can actually help them because it sends a message to the body to produce more white blood cells, which ward off infection.
What that means is that a fever might actually cut the length of time a child is sick by stopping bacterial infections and viruses from multiplying, according to Sullivan.
The message? Don’t load your kids up on Tylenol, Advil or other fever-reducing medicine just because their body temperature is up a bit. Doctors wouldn’t, unless the fever is 101 degrees or higher, the research shows.
Sullivan and her team found that parents are quick to treat kids’ fevers with medicine, with a quarter of them saying they use it for fevers of under 100 degrees and 85 percent reporting they’d roused their children from sleep to give them medicine to bring their temperatures down.
The researchers said exceptions should be made for babies under 3 months old who have a fever that’s higher than 100.4 degrees and those 3 to 6 months old with a temperature over 101 degrees. They said immediate medical care is necessary in those cases.
But for the little ones older than 6 months, fevers shouldn’t send off alarm bells unless they’re higher than 103 degrees, the study said. If they’re accompanied by other serious symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting, a trip to the pediatrician may be in order.
The report warns that though it may be more effective to alternate between acetaminophen and ibuprofen, the safety concerns over mixing the two probably outweigh the possible benefits.
There is “evidence that combining these two products is more effective than the use of a single agent alone; however, there are concerns that combined treatment may be more complicated and contribute to the unsafe use of these drugs,” the authors wrote.
Moms and dads who do decide to treat the temp with fever-busting medicine should give the correct dose, which is by the child’s weight, not age, Sullivan said. Her analysis found that half of parents give the wrong amount of medicine to their kids.
March 1st, 2011
The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a federal law bars lawsuits against drug makers over serious side effects from childhood vaccines.
By a 6-2 vote, the court ruled against the parents of a child who sued the drug maker Wyeth in Pennsylvania state court for the health problems they say their daughter, now 19, suffered from a vaccine she received in infancy.
Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the court, said Congress set up a special vaccine court to handle such claims as a way to provide compensation to injured children without driving drug manufacturers from the vaccine market. The idea, he said, was to create a no-fault system that spares the drug companies the costs of defending against parents’ lawsuits.
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented. Nothing in the 1986 law “remotely suggests that Congress intended such a result,” Sotomayor wrote, taking issue with Scalia.
Scalia’s opinion was a stinging defeat for parents who found their award from the vaccine court insufficient or failed to collect at all.
Such was the case for Robalee and Russell Bruesewitz of Pittsburgh, who filed their lawsuit after the vaccine court rejected their claims for compensation. According to the lawsuit, their daughter, Hannah, was a healthy infant until she received the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine in April 1992. The vaccine was made by Wyeth, now owned by Pfizer, Inc.
Within hours of getting the DPT shot, the third in a series of five, the baby suffered a series of debilitating seizures. Hannah continues to suffer from residual seizure disorder, the suit says.
Scalia said that when a vaccine is properly prepared and is accompanied by proper directions and warnings, lawsuits over its side effects are not allowed under the 1986 law.
“Vaccine manufacturers fund from their sales an informal, efficient compensation program for vaccine injuries,” Scalia said. “In exchange they avoid costly tort litigation and the occasional disproportionate jury verdict.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics, representing more than 60,000 doctors, praised the decision. “Childhood vaccines are among the greatest medical breakthroughs of the last century,” said Dr. Marion Burton, the group’s president. “Today’s Supreme Court decision protects children by strengthening our national immunization system and ensuring that vaccines will continue to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in this country.”
The vaccine court has paid out more than $1.9 billion to more than 2,500 people who claimed a connection between a vaccine and serious health problems.
The drug companies worried that they would face a flood of lawsuits over the side effects of vaccines in the event of an unfavorable Supreme Court decision. They were especially concerned about claims from families of autistic children who say the vaccines, or mercury-based thimerosal that once was used to preserve them, are linked to autism. Numerous studies have addressed vaccines and autism and found no link, including with the preservative.
Pfizer applauded the decision. “We have great sympathy for the Bruesewitzes,” Pfizer Executive Vice President and General Counsel Amy Schulman said, “We recognize, however, that the Vaccine Act provides for full consideration of the liability issues through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Here the Vaccine Court concluded that the petitioners failed to prove their child’s condition was caused by vaccination.”
David Frederick, who represented the Bruesewitz family at the Supreme Court, said, “I’m disappointed for the families of victims of defectively designed vaccines, who now have no remedy at law for their injuries.”
Justice Elena Kagan took no part in the case because she worked on it while serving in the Justice Department.
The case is Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, 09-152.
March 1st, 2011
By: Deborah Dunham
Skechers Shape-up shoes claim they can tone your legs, but one woman is saying they injured hers.
Ohio resident Holly Ward has filed a lawsuit against the company stating that she developed stress fractures in both hips as a result of wearing the shoes.
Ward said that she wore the toning shoes during her job as a waitress and, after five months, developed severe pain in her hips. According to the lawsuit, the 38-year-old had no previous injuries and had a healthy bone density of a young woman, thereby alleging that the shoes were the culprits of her stress fractures.
The Shape-ups are a part of the company’s more than 3,000 styles of shoes. Their technology includes a soft kinetic wedge insert and rolling bottom to simulate walking on soft sand. There are different variations of the Shape-ups, including those made for walkers, runners, hikers and gym goers.
There is also a “for-work” Shape-up shoe, which the company’s website states is “perfect for industry professionals who want to get in shape while on the job.” These shoes are advertised to help reduce joint stress (among other things like burning calories, tightening abdominals and strengthening the back), which is the very nature of Ward’s injuries and resulting lawsuit.
“We do not know of any testing or safety studies that Skechers did to determine safety,” Ward’s attorney, Ronald Johnson, told ABC news. “If they’re going to invent a whole new way for a human being to walk, the very first thing they should do is studies to make sure that’s not going to harm their customers.”
Ward, who is now in physical therapy for her injuries and has pins in her hips due to the injuries, told “Good Morning America,” “The extended use of these shoes has injured me catastrophically.”
Ward added, “The femoral bone is the strongest bone in the human body, and I fractured not one but two of them without being in a car crash or any traumatic incident.”
The hype for Shape-ups began in 2009 when the shoes were introduced. Since then, Kim Kardashian and her mother, Kris Jenner, have been named the new faces of the brand with a campaign called “Shaping Up With the Kardashians.” Yet even with the media hype, there has been repeated controversy over whether the toning shoes do indeed work.
The thing that everyone can agree on is that Shape-ups alter your natural foot pattern and the way you walk. In fact, there is little supporting data that any of the toning shoes on the market really work, and orthopedics, in particular, have remained skeptical about their benefits.
Ward’s lawyer said he has heard from more people with fractures and reports quoting doctors who say they’ve seen other injuries like strained Achilles tendons and falls because people lost their balance in the shoes.
Meanwhile, Skechers stands by its shoes, stating “millions of people wear Shape-ups without experiencing what Ms. Ward alleges.”
March 1st, 2011
By: Liz Neporent
The average 12-ounce can of cola delivers 150 calories, almost all of them from sugar. So it would seem the more virtuous choice would be to crack open a can of diet soda every time you have the urge for a little sweet fizz. Anyone watching his weight feels virtuous making this choice, because who doesn’t believe it protects one’s waistline — and overall health — from an assault of unnecessary, empty calories?
Maybe it’s time to think again. No study to date has ever shown diet soda to be especially useful in helping people prevent or shed unwanted pounds. In fact, there is a growing body of research that seems to suggest that high diet soda consumption is associated with a higher risk of obesity and may surprisingly carry an even greater risk of obesity than drinking regular, full-calorie and -sugar drinks.
In 2005, University of Texas Health Science Center researchers in San Antonio reported their findings culled from seven to eight years of data on 1,550 Mexican-American and non-Hispanic white American women aged 25 to 64. Of the 622 study participants who were of normal weight at the beginning of the study, about a third became overweight or obese during the course of the investigation. For those who drank half a can of regular soda on a daily basis, their risk of being obese was 26 percent; for those who drank the same amount of diet soda, their risk jumped to 36.5 percent. Women who drank one to two cans a day fared even worse: Their obesity risk rose to 47 and 57 percent, respectively. In fact, for each additional can of diet soft drink a woman guzzled per day, her risk of being overweight went up by 65 percent and risk of obesity shot up 41 percent.
Although this sounds like pretty damming evidence, few experts are jumping to the conclusion that there is a direct cause and effect between diet soda and weight gain. The study is flawed in that it didn’t track eating habits and total calorie intake or caloric expenditure, even though the two subject groups were notorious for their poor diet, exercise and other lifestyle habits, at least as demonstrated in other studies. Still, other investigations have come up with conclusions along the same lines.
One explanation could be that artificial sweeteners alter metabolism and brain chemistry in some way. They may tell the brain that the body has eaten something high in calories, but since it really didn’t, the brain directs the body to go in search of those calories elsewhere, like from a sizable slice of pie or a yummy candy bar. Another explanation put forth by the University of Texas researchers is that perhaps people who’ve already begun to gain weight in the first place switch over to diet soda to prevent further weight gain but don’t make the other corrections necessary to either lose weight or stop continued weight gain.
March 1st, 2011
By: Andrew Schneider
Unless there is something really different between the digestive systems of Yanks and Brits, hamburger lovers on both sides of the Atlantic are about to be told to hold down the number of beef patties they gobble down.
It has more to do with reducing your chances of getting cancer than it does with making your love handles smaller.
Under new British Department of Health guidelines that are about to be issued, the Scientific Committee on Nutrition has cautioned grown-ups not to eat more than 17.5 ounces of red meat each week. That’s a bit more than four Quarter Pounders. They warn that consumers who eat red meat in excess are at risk of developing cancer later in their lives.
AOL News checked with several government and academic diet and nutrition websites, and most reported that the average American and Canadian ate 100 to 150 hamburgers a year, which is pretty much in line with what the English are about to report. And, of course, that doesn’t include steaks, roast beef and all the other sorts of red meat and pork.
The report is going to recommend that those who eat more than 5 ounces of meat a day should cut back to about 3 ounces daily, and that includes breakfast meats.
Next week’s release is a follow-up to a draft report released 18 months ago. That research concluded that cutting the consumption of red and processed meat — and they included pork, beef, lamb and goat — could reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Last year, England’s top medical officer told reporters that a 30 percent reduction in eating meat could save more than 18,500 lives a year, according to the BBC.
The Scientific Committee on Nutrition, a group of independent government advisers, was asked by the British health department to review and add its own recommendations to the 2009 draft.
Next week’s report will also address limits on ham, bacon, sausage and other processed meats.
What may drive devoted dieters over the edge is that earlier this month there was a lot of media attention on a meat study conducted by the British Nutrition Foundation. It reported that most adults ate “healthy amounts” of red meat and that a link to cancer was “inconclusive” at best.
The swirl of conflicting meat studies has been going on for years, with several linking eating too much meat with not only cancer but also a number of other diseases, including heart disease and diabetes. However, other research has warned that not eating enough meat can cause iron deficiency, especially in women.
March 1st, 2011
What you eat plays a big role in whether you’re getting the nutrients you need to build strong bones. What might surprise you, though, is that your diet can also play a role in sapping bone strength. Some foods actually leach the minerals right out of the bone, or they block the bone’s ability to regrow. Here, the six biggest bone-sappers:
Salt saps calcium from the bones, weakening them over time. For every 2,300 milligrams of sodium you take in, you lose about 40 milligrams of calcium, dietitians say. One study compared postmenopausal women who ate a high-salt diet with those who didn’t, and the ones who ate a lot of salt lost more bone minerals. Our American diet is unusually salt-heavy; most of us ingest double the 2,300 milligrams of salt we should get in a day, according to the 2005 federal dietary guidelines.
What to do: The quickest, most efficient way to cut salt intake is to avoid processed foods. Research shows that most Americans get 75 percent of their sodium not from table salt but from processed food. Key foods to avoid include processed and deli meats, frozen meals, canned soup, pizza, fast food such as burgers and fries, and canned vegetables.
2. Soft drinks
Soft drinks pose a double-whammy danger to bones. The fizziness in carbonated drinks often comes from phosphoric acid, which ups the rate at which calcium is excreted in the urine. Meanwhile, of course, soft drinks fill you up and satisfy your thirst without providing any of the nutrients you might get from milk or juice.
What to do: When you’re tempted to reach for a cola, instead try milk, calcium- and vitamin D-fortified orange juice, or a fruit smoothie made with yogurt. Or just drink water when you’re thirsty, and eat a diet high in bone-building nutrients.
The numbers for caffeine aren’t as bad as for salt, but caffeine’s action is similar, leaching calcium from bones. For every 100 milligrams of caffeine (the amount in a small to medium-sized cup of coffee), you lose 6 milligrams of calcium. That’s not a lot, but it can become a problem if you tend to substitute caffeine- containing drinks like iced tea and coffee for beverages that are healthy for bones, like milk and fortified juice.
What to do: Limit yourself to one or two cups of coffee in the morning, then switch to other drinks that don’t have caffeine’s bone-sapping action. Adding milk to your coffee helps to offset the problem, of course.
4. Vitamin A
In the case of vitamin A, recent research is proving that you really can get too much of a good thing. Found in eggs, full-fat dairy, liver, and vitamin-fortified foods, vitamin A is important for vision and the immune system. But the American diet is naturally high in vitamin A, and most multivitamins also contain vitamin A. So it’s possible to get much more than the recommended allotment of 5,000 IUs (international units) a day — which many experts think is too high anyway.
Postmenopausal women, in particular, seem to be susceptible to vitamin A overload. Studies show that women whose intake was higher than 5,000 IUs had more than double the fracture rate of women whose intake was less than 1,600 IUs a day.
What to do: Switch to low-fat or nonfat dairy products only, and eat egg whites rather than whole eggs (all the vitamin A is in the yolk). Also check your multivitamin, and if it’s high in vitamin A, switch to one that isn’t.
Think of alcohol as a calcium-blocker; it prevents the bone-building minerals you eat from being absorbed. And heavy drinking disrupts the bone remodeling process by preventing osteoblasts, the bone-building cells, from doing their job. So not only do bones become weaker, but when you do suffer a fracture, alcohol can interfere with healing.
What to do: Limit your drinking to one drink a day, whether that’s wine, beer, or hard alcohol.
6. Hydrogenated oils
Recent studies have found that the process of hydrogenation, which turns liquid vegetable oil into the solid oils used in commercial baking, destroys the vitamin K naturally found in the oils. Vitamin K is essential for strong bones, and vegetable oils such as canola and olive oil are the second-best dietary source of this key nutrient, after green leafy vegetables. However, the amounts of vitamin K we’re talking about are tiny here — one tablespoon of canola oil has 20 micrograms of K, and one tablespoon of olive oil has 6 micrograms, as compared with 120 micrograms in a serving of spinach.
What to do: If you’re eating your greens, you don’t need to worry about this too much. If you’re a big lover of baked goods like muffins and cookies, bake at home using canola oil when possible, and read labels to avoid hydrogenated oils.
March 1st, 2011
By: Soraya Roberts
Britney Spears made half a million dollars from blatant product placement on her “Hold It Against Me” music video, but that doesn’t appear to impress Katy Perry.
The 29-year-old singer’s latest video, which features some blatant plugging of products like Sony, Radiance perfume, Make Up Forever cosmetics and Plentyoffish.com, earned Spears $500,000, tmz.com reported.
But soon after the much-anticipated video aired on Thursday night, singer Marina and the Diamonds began a conversation about product placement with pop star Katy Perry.
“What is consensus on product placement in videos?” Marina and the Diamonds tweeted on Friday. “As a fan, do you prefer product placement if it means bigger budget vid?”
Perry replied to the Welsh singer-songwriter that plugging should be done with “w/style & grace…Not so in ur face like some.”
“U hv to get creative w/it,” she tweeted. “Some artists don’t care tho, & u can tell. ”
If Perry was referring to Spears’ video, the latter will soon have a chance to redeem herself. On Monday she tweeted a teaser clip of her new song, “I Wanna Go,” while a clip fron another other single, “Inside Out,” made the rounds on Friday. No doubt both songs will have their own accompanying videos dropping soon.
Her new album, “Femme Fatale,” is set for release on March 29.
March 1st, 2011
By: Sahil Kapur
Facebook will move forward with a plan to allow third parties to access the personal data of users, the latest in a series of moves drawing controversy over the privacy of its massive consumer base.
The feature will permit applications to seek the private data of Facebook account holders, such as phone numbers and home addresses. The company appears to be acting within its rights, according to PC World magazine.
The social networking giant quietly enabled the feature in January, but suspended it a few days later after a backlash from users, intending to bring it back in an improved manner.
In a letter responding to concerns raised by Reps. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Joe Barton (R-TX), Facebook said two weeks ago that the feature would return in a way that seeks to emphasizes permission from users before third parties gain access to their personal information.
“We expect that, once the feature is re-enabled, Facebook will again permit users to authorize applications to obtain their contact information,” the organization wrote, adding that it was “evaluating methods to further enhance user control.”
As it has grown, Facebook has in recently years encouraged users to share data more openly. It has been criticized for gradually liberalizing its privacy settings in a way that less savvy users would not know to make adjustments in order to protect themselves from unwilling access to their information.
The new feature raises similar concerns about unintended consequences, as users can inadvertently provide scammers their personal data with a few arbitrary clicks, which may then be sold to marketers or used in identity theft frauds.
“I’m pleased that Facebook’s response indicated that it’s looking to enhance its process for highlighting for users when they are being asked for permission to share their contact information,” Markey said. “I look forward to monitoring the company’s work in this area.”
Yet it raises the question: for what legitimate purposes might an application desire the personal data of Facebook users?
Privacy experts told the Huffington Post that a gap between the expectations and reality of Facebook usage could leave some users in the dark about the consequences of certain applications and features.
“People never thought when they were posting this data [such as their phone numbers] that it would be accessible to anyone but friends. There’s a real mismatch of expectations around that,” Mary Hodder, chairman of the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium, told the website. “Even if Facebook comes back with new protections, they’re still saying, ‘Hey, get over it, your data is public.’ I feel sad for users that Facebook’s approach is ‘You give us anything and it’s all fair game.’”