Health Highlights: July 29, 2013

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  • Coffee May Reduce Suicide Risk: Study
  • Vitamin B Supplement Contains Anabolic Steroids: FDA

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Coffee May Reduce Suicide Risk: Study

People who drank more than four cups of coffee a day were 53 percent less likely to commit suicide than those who drank less than one cup a day, a new study found.

Those who drank two to three cups of coffee a day had a 45 percent lower risk of suicide, according to the analysis of data from more than 208,000 people who were followed from 1988 to 2008. During that time, there were 277 suicides, CBS News reported.

The study was published in the July issue of the World Journal of Biological Psychiatry.

The researchers said that caffeine in coffee can increased neurotransmitters, which can lift a person's mood and act as a mild antidepressant, CBS News reported.

"Unlike previous investigations, we were able to assess association of consumption of caffeinated and non-caffeinated beverages, and we identify caffeine as the most likely candidate of any putative protective effect of coffee," study author Michel Lucas, a research fellow in the department of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, said in a news release.

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Vitamin B Supplement Contains Anabolic Steroids: FDA

A product marketed as a vitamin B dietary supplement contains two potentially harmful anabolic steroids and should not be used by consumers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

Laboratory analysis showed that Healthy Life Chemistry By Purity First B-50 contains methasterone and dimethazine. These ingredients are not listed on the label and should not be in a dietary supplement.

The FDA has received reports of 29 incidents of health problems associated with the product, including fatigue, muscle cramping, muscle pain, and problems with liver and thyroid function and cholesterol levels.

Women who used this product reported unusual hair growth and missed periods, and men who used the product reported impotence and low testosterone. People who take Healthy Life Chemistry By Purity First B-50 and experience any of these symptoms should consult a doctor and report the incident to the FDA, the agency said.

Healthy Life Chemistry By Purity First B-50 is made by Mira Health Products Ltd. in Farmingdale, N.Y., and sold on various websites and in retail stores. The company has refused to voluntarily recall the product or to warn consumers about the potential for injury.

Taking products that contain anabolic steroids may cause liver damage. Some of the people who took Healthy Life Chemistry By Purity First B-50 had to be hospitalized, but there were no reports of death or liver failure, the FDA said.

Anabolic steroids can cause other serious long-term consequences in women, men and children, including: harmful changes in levels of blood fats; increased risk of heart attack and stroke; masculinization of women; shrinkage of the testicles; breast enlargement; infertility in males; and short stature in children.

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