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27 May 2010

Many Supplements Said to Contain Toxins, Make False Health Claims


 
 
 
 
 
 
By HealthDay - Wed May 26, 1:03 PM PDT
 
The levels of heavy metal contaminants did not exceed established limits, but investigators also discovered troubling and possibly unacceptable levels of pesticide residue in 16 of 40 supplements, the newspaper said.

One ginkgo biloba product had labeling claiming it could treat Alzheimer's disease (no effective treatment yet exists), while a product containing ginseng asserted that it can prevent both diabetes and cancer, the report said.

Steve Mister, president of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade group that represents the dietary supplement industry, said it was not surprising that herbal supplements contained trace amounts of heavy metals, because they are routinely found in soil and plants. "I dont think this should be of concern to consumers," he told the Times.

The report findings were to be presented to the Senate on Wednesday, two weeks before discussion begins on a major food safety bill that will likely place more controls on food manufacturers, the Times said. The newspaper said it was given the report in advance of the Senate hearing.

How tough the bill will be on supplement makers has been the subject of much lobbying, but the Times noted that some Congressional staff members doubt manufacturers will find it too burdensome.
At least nine misleading health claims were noted in the report, which was prepared by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). These claims included assurances that the products could cure diseases, such as diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and cancer, investigators said. In one instance, a salesperson claimed that a garlic supplement could replace blood pressure drugs, the Times reported.

Products that purport to treat or relieve disease must go through strict reviews because they are considered drugs by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The oversight of supplements has improved in recent years, said Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wisconsin), who will preside over Wednesday's hearing. However, the FDA needs the authority and tools to ensure that dietary supplements are as safe and effective as is widely perceived by the Americans who take them, he told the Times.

One witness scheduled to testify, Dr. Tod Cooperman, president of ConsumerLab.com, said supplements with too little of the indicated ingredients and those contaminated with heavy metals are the major problems. In testing more than 2,000 dietary supplements from some 300 manufacturers, his lab has found that one in four has quality problems, the Times said.

According to the newspaper's account, the proposed food safety bill could require that supplement manufacturers register annually with the FDA and permit the agency to recall potentially dangerous supplements.

It's estimated that half of adult Americans take vitamin supplements regularly, and about a quarter take herbal supplements at least occasionally. Annual sales are about $25 billion a year, the Times said.

More information
There's more on the oversight of dietary supplements at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


From: http://health.yahoo.com/news/healthday/manysupplementssaidtocontaintoxinsmakefalsehealthclaims.html

14 May 2010

7 THINGS TO STOP DOING NOW ON FACEBOOK


i) Using a Weak Password

Avoid simple names or words you can find in a dictionary, even with numbers tacked on the end. Instead, mix upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. A password should have at least eight characters. One good technique is to insert numbers or symbols in the middle of a word, such as this variant on the word "houses": hO27usEs!


ii) Leaving Your Full Birth Date in Your Profile

It's an ideal target for identity thieves, who could use it to obtain more information about you and potentially gain access to your bank or credit card account. If you've already entered a birth date, go to your profile page and click on the Info tab, then on Edit Information. Under the Basic Information section, choose to show only the month and day or no birthday at all.


iii) Overlooking Useful Privacy Controls

For almost everything in your Facebook profile, you can limit access to only your friends, friends of friends, or yourself. Restrict access to photos, birth date, religious views, and family information, among other things. You can give only certain people or groups access to items such as photos, or block particular people from seeing them. Consider leaving out contact info, such as phone number and address, since you probably don't want anyone to have access to that information anyway.



iv) Posting Your Child's Name in a Caption

Don't use a child's name in photo tags or captions. If someone else does, delete it by clicking on Remove Tag. If your child isn't on Facebook and someone includes his or her name in a caption, ask that person to remove the name.


v) Mentioning That You'll Be Away From Home

That's like putting a "no one's home" sign on your door. Wait until you get home to tell everyone how awesome your vacation was and be vague about the date of any trip.


vi) Letting Search Engines Find You

To help prevent strangers from accessing your page, go to the Search section of Facebook's privacy controls and select Only Friends for Facebook search results. Be sure the box for public search results isn't checked.


vii) Permitting Youngsters to Use Facebook Unsupervised

Facebook limits its members to ages 13 and over, but children younger than that do use it. If you have a young child or teenager on Facebook, the best way to provide oversight is to become one of their online friends. Use your e-mail address as the contact for their account so that you receive their notifications and monitor their activities. "What they think is nothing can actually be pretty serious," says Charles Pavelites, a supervisory special agent at the Internet Crime Complaint Center. For example, a child who posts the comment "Mom will be home soon, I need to do the dishes" every day at the same time is revealing too much about the parents' regular comings and goings.


From : http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/109538/7-things-to-stop-doing-now-on-facebook

13 May 2010

Memo to boss: 11-hour days are bad for the heart

Kerja banyak dan lama sangat pun tidak baik untuk kesihatan. Bila dah sakit kena masuk wad hospital, jumpa doktor dan makan ubat. Kerja pun tak boleh.... kena ambil m.c. !!

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By Ben Hirschler
LONDON - People working 10 or 11 hours a day are more likely to suffer serious heart problems, including heart attacks, than those clocking off after seven hours, researchers said on Tuesday.

The finding, from an 11-year study of 6,000 British civil servants, does not provide definitive proof that long hours cause coronary heart disease but it does show a clear link, which experts said may be due to stress.
In all, there were 369 cases of death due to heart disease, non-fatal heart attacks and angina among the London-based study group -- and the risk of having an adverse event was 60 percent higher for those who worked three to four hours overtime.

Working an extra one to two hours beyond a normal seven-hour day was not associated with increased risk.
"It seems there might a threshold, so it is not so bad if you work another hour or so more than usual," said Dr Marianna Virtanen, an epidemiologist at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and University College London.
The higher incidence of heart problems among those working overtime was independent of a range of other risk factors including smoking, being overweight or having high cholesterol.

But Virtanen said it was possible the lifestyle of people working long hours deteriorated over time, for example as a result of poor diet or increased alcohol consumption.

More fundamentally, long hours may be associated with work-related stress, which interferes with metabolic processes, as well as "sickness presenteeism," whereby employees continue working when they are ill.
Virtanen and colleagues published their findings in the European Heart Journal.

Commenting on the study, Gordon McInnes, professor of clinical pharmacology at the University of Glasgow's Western Infirmary, said the findings could have widespread implications for doctors assessing patients' heart risks.

"If the effect is truly causal, the importance is much greater than commonly recognized. Overtime-induced work stress might contribute to a substantial proportion of cardiovascular disease," he said.

01 May 2010

What does your sleep position reveal about your personality?

These days, the way that I sleep simply says, "I am happy to be single and spending five to seven hours sprawled out in the center of my bed alone."

At other points, my tightly squeezed eyes and curled-up body would have screamed, "I know the baby will wake up/someone will start snoring/the alarm will begin blaring as soon as I finally, finally, finally get to sleep."

Years and years ago, the corpse-looking college student still in her clothes would have mumbled something like, "Finals. Boys. Beer."

Our lives, the amount of sleep we get, and how well we actually rest during those nighttime hours may change drastically over time. However, one sleep researcher says that our body position in bed could say something about who we are, not just what else is happening in our lives.

Professor Chris Idzikowski, director of the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service, says that a study of 1,000 Brits revealed that the six most common sleeping positions are indicative of personality types.

If this sounds ridiculous (and honestly, I'd love to see information on this study and the analysis fleshed out further than any of the reports I could find), consider that Idzikowski says it comes down to body language.
"We are all aware of our body language when we are awake but this is the first time we have been able to see what our subconscious posture says about us," Idzikowski said. "What's interesting is that the profile behind the posture is often very different from what we would expect."
The research also links certain sleeping positions with health risks. Some aid digestion while others spur on snoring and restlessness.
Here are the six common sleeping positions and correlated personality traits and health implications, according to this study.

[graphic via BBC.com]
  • Fetus position - A whopping 41% of participants sleep in this curled-up manner. Women are twice as likely to rest like this and it is listed as the most common position. These sleepers are said to have a tough exterior but are still sensitive and may appear to be shy but warm up quickly.
  • Log position - If you sleep on your side with both arms down, you are a social, easy-going person who is trusting, sometimes to the point of being gullible. The study showed 15% of people sleep like a log.
  • Yearner position - A close third is the side-lying position with both arms out in front of the body, with 13% of partipants sleeping like this. Yearners are noted to be open-minded and still cynical, suspicious, and stubborn about sticking to decisions once they are made.
  • Soldier position - These sleepers lie on their backs with arms down and kept close to the body. This 8% study is said to be reserved, quiet, without fuss, and hold themselves and others to a high standard. Soldier sleepers have a higher likelihood for snoring due to the flat-back position, which may not cause them to wake up often but may result in a less restful night's sleep.
  • Freefall position - Those people who lie on their bellies with arms under or wrapped around a pillow with head turned to the side, make up 7% of the population studied. Freefallers are brash, outgoing, and are very uncomfortable with criticism. 
  • Starfish position - Sleepers who lie on their backs with arms up near their head or the pillow account for 5% of participants. These people are good listeners, helpful, and are uncomfortable being the center of attention. People who sleep in starfish position are more likely to snore and to suffer from a poor night's sleep more often.
If you think you are one of those people who move through all of these positions, that's not likely to really be the case. Idzikowski said the research reveals most people stay in the same position all night and only 5% lay differently night by night. Also interesting is that the study showed only one in ten people cover their bodies entirely with a blanket, with most people exposing an arm, leg, or both feet.

Rujukanhttp://shine.yahoo.com/channel/health/what-does-your-sleep-position-reveal-about-your-personality-1338293/