- U.S. Waters Hold Millions of Pounds of Drug Ingredients: Analysis
- Vegan Women Have Healthy Bones: Study
- Cheap Vaccine Will Help Control Cholera: Institute
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:
U.S. Waters Hold Millions of Pounds of Drug Ingredients: Analysis
At least 271 million pounds of pharmaceutical ingredients have been legally released into U.S. lakes, rivers and streams, many of which are sources of drinking water, says the Associated Press.
These ingredients are used to make drugs and various other products. For example, nitroglycerin is used in explosives and in a heart drug, while lithium is used to treat bipolar disorder and to make ceramics.
The federal government and industry officials say the amount of such compounds released into waterways isn't known because they're not tracked, at least not as drug ingredients. But the AP analysis of 20 years of federal records identified 22 compounds that show up on two lists.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration monitors these ingredients as active pharmaceutical agents, while the Environmental Protection Agency classifies them as industrial chemicals.
The AP analysis didn't determine how much drug makers and other manufacturers each contribute to the 271 million pounds. The news agency also said limited federal monitoring means that figure is well below what's actually released into U.S. waterways.
Vegan Women Have Healthy Bones: Study
There's no difference in bone density between vegan and non-vegetarian women, according to Australian and Vietnamese researchers who compared the bone health of 105 postmenopausal vegan Buddhist nuns and 105 women who weren't vegetarians.
"In this work, we showed that although the vegans studied do indeed have lower protein and calcium intakes, their bone density is virtually identical to that of people who eat a wide variety of foods, including animal protein," said Professor Tuan Nguyen of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, United Press International reported.
"For the 5 percent of people in Western countries who choose to be vegetarians, this is very good news," Nguyen added. "Even vegans, who eat only plant-based foods, appear to have bones as healthy as everyone else. Bone health in vegetarians, particularly vegans, has been a concern for some time, because as a group, they tend to have a lower protein and calcium intake than the population at large."
The study was published in the online edition of the journal Osteoporosis International.
Cheap Vaccine Will Help Control Cholera: Institute
The world's first cheap cholera vaccine has been approved in India, a move that opens that way for global use, says the International Vaccine Institute (IVI).
The new vaccine, costs about $1 per dose, compared to the existing internationally licensed oral vaccine that can cost up to $18 a dose, Agence France Presse reported.
The new vaccine was tested in India, and initial results showed it provided significant protection against cholera, which claims an estimated 120,000 lives a year.
"The use of safe and effective cholera vaccines in cholera-endemic areas could lead to a significant and rapid decline in cholera incidence and, ultimately, to its control worldwide," said John Clemens, director-general of the IVI, AFP reported.
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