Daily Archives: July 2, 2008

Tai chi helps older adults get good night’s sleep

Reuters Health is reporting a study in the journal Sleep that found that regular practice of tai chi, a Westernized version of the ancient Chinese martial art of tai chi, can help older people rest easier at night. Nearly two-thirds of people who learned the slow, gentle tai chi moves experienced significant improvements in sleep quality, compared to about one-third of those who participated in health education sessions that included information on how to get a better night’s rest.

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Smokeless tobacco ups oral cancer risk 80%

Reuters is reporting that World Health Organization’s cancer agency is concluding that using chewing tobacco and snuff is less dangerous than cigarettes, which is linked to lung cancer. However, the smokeless products still raise the risk of oral cancer by 80 percent and the risk of esophageal and pancreatic cancer by 60 percent.

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Green tea protects against heart disease

Reuters has published a story about Greek researchers who say a few cups of green tea each day may help prevent heart disease. The study, published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, showed further evidence of the potential health benefits from a brew already linked to a reduced risk of a range of cancers and other conditions.

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New York City restaurants go trans-fat-free

Reuters is reporting that New York City’s ban on trans-fats in restaurants, which took full effect on Tuesday, is the first of its kind among major U.S. cities. The move follows the city’s 2003 ban on public smoking.

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Report Suggests 85% of Sunscreens May Not Live Up to Marketing Claims

In its new report, the nonprofit Environmental Working Group says that 85 percent of sunscreens either inadequately protect from the sun’s rays or contain ingredients that may be unsafe. They say that the problem is worsened by the fact that the Food and Drug Administration has not passed standards for testing and labeling sunscreens — meaning that makers often have carte blanche when it comes to making claims about their products.

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Exercise recommendations may not curb kids’ weight

Reuters Health is reporting on a UK study that suggests health experts generally recommend that children get at least one hour of moderate exercise each day. However, the study says this may not be enough to counter the problem of childhood obesity.

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Most people do not need colon cleansing (colonics)

A Los Angeles Times health column advises people not to believe that “our bodies [are] awash in ‘toxins,’… and that we should therefore go to dramatic lengths, such as ‘colon cleansing’ and chelation, to get rid of all this bad stuff.” 

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Vaccine Myth #12: The Polio Virus Vaccine Is Contaminated with a Virus That Causes Cancer

Early batches of poliovirus vaccine used in the late 1950s and early 1960s were contaminated with a monkey virus called Simian Virus 40, or SV40. Recently an investigator found proteins made by SV40 virus in unusual tumors in adults. The studies were suggestive enough that the National Institutes of Health continued to research the association. Continue reading