Consumer Reports' Findings on BPA Criticized
A press release issued yesterday by an industry group criticizes data recently released by Consumer Reports that showed some popular brand-named canned foods contain bisphenol A, a chemical that has been linked to health problems including diabetes, heart disease, and birth defects. The North American Metal Packing Alliance says that the level of BPA found in the canned foods tested is too low to pose any danger to consumers, according to the release. The findings, published in the magazine's December issue, show the chemical also appears in products labeled "BPA-free."
7 Swine Flu Facts You Should Know Now
Getting infected with the H1N1 virus that causes swine flu is a real possibility since the virus is continuing to spread and there's still not enough vaccine to go around. Being informed, though, can help you reduce your risk, U.S. News's Deborah Kotz writes. Kotz spells out 7 swine flu facts you need to know to protect yourself and your family.
One fact that made the list concerns the symptoms warrant ing an emergency room visit. The American College of Emergency Physicians says that most folks with flulike symptoms (fever, sore throat, chills, cough, and fatigue) don't need to head to the emergency room—or even to the doctor, Kotz writes.
But people should seek out emergency care immediately if they experience the following symptoms: difficulty breathing or chest pain, rapid breathing (over 24 breaths per minute), purple or blue discoloration of the lips, inability to keep liquids down, signs of dehydration (headache, extreme thirst, dizziness, or decreased urination), confusion, or convulsions or seizures. Pregnant women, those over 65, and those with certain health conditions (such as obesity, organ transplant, diabetes, and lung problems) also should seek medical attention from their doctor or a walk-in clinic, even if they have mild symptoms. Read more.
Building a Diet That Lowers Inflammation
Inflammation, normally part of a healthy immune response, is increasingly thought to play a leading role in encouraging a number of major killers, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer's disease. Dangerous chronic inflammation occurs when the immune system stays turned on and starts attacking healthy cells and tissues—triggering, say, cancer-causing genetic mutations or the bursting of artery plaque.
What you eat, though, helps determine how much inflammation you produce. Certain foods promote it, while others are inflammation-fighting superstars, says nutritionist and family physician Ann Kulze, author of Dr. Ann's 10-Step Diet. U.S. News offers some diet recommendations to help lower inflammation.
Cut back on white starches, for one. Flour, sugar, white rice, and instant mashed potatoes, for example, all cause quick spikes in blood sugar levels, resulting in advanced glycation end products that spur inflammation. Omega-3 fats are among the most potent anti-inflammatory foods. The best sources of omega-3s include fatty fish like salmon and tuna; walnuts and other nuts; flaxseed; and canola oil. Read more.
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