Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Brained By Obesity

Need another reason to eat well? How about brain damage??

Obesity degrades your brain. Not only obesity, even overweight does it.

What does this mean? Loosing your Gray Matter can't be a good thing, but the study below only looked at the volume of brain tissue -- not how well the remaining brain cells actually worked.

That said, you can probably guess that you're not going to think as well when you're working with fewer cards in the deck!!

A new study finds obese people have 8 percent less brain tissue than normal-weight individuals. Their brains look 16 years older than the brains of lean individuals, researchers said today.

Those classified as overweight have 4 percent less brain tissue and their brains appear to have aged prematurely by 8 years.

The results, based on brain scans of 94 people in their 70s, represent "severe brain degeneration," said Paul Thompson, senior author of the study and a UCLA professor of neurology.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Are you taking a weight loss drug? Like Xenical, Orlistat? You may be damaging your liver in the process.

U.S. health officials are reviewing reports of liver injury in people who took Roche Holding AG's weight loss drug Xenical or the over-the-counter version sold by GlaxoSmithKline.

On Monday, the FDA said it had received 32 reports between 1999 and 2008 of serious liver injury in patients taking the drug, which is known generically as orlistat. Twenty-seven patients were hospitalized, and six cases resulted in liver failure, the FDA said.

The company, predictably, says "just because some people who take our drug also get liver damage (and failure!!) doesn't mean it couldn't have arisen by some other means."

They are right in this, but what do WE do? If you are taking one of the diet drugs, you should seriously consider some other alternative until the science sorts itself out. Your liver will thank you!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

We always hear about debates over our water. Tap versus bottled ... are we leaching plastics from our Nalgene bottled water? ... because regulations for bottled water are different from tap water (USDA versus FDA) is one safer than the other?

Now we have another worry.

The popular weed killer, Atrazine, is very commonly used on golf courses and farms. But it just as commonly finds its way into your drinking water.

What is this doing to you and me and our kids?
The science on this is still becoming clear, and it reads like a train wreck of physiological problems that can be derived from atrazine in your water.

The people who make atrazine say that it's fine, don't worry, and "there's no proof that atrazine causes any problems." This, however, is just an industry group trying to save their product at the expense of any who might get hurt.

When the NYTimes asked independent reviewers to assess the data on this chemical, they were shocked and alarmed at what they found. I'll let you read about it in more detail below, but the bottom line is this: chemicals that get into our drinking water need to be proven to be safe, not proven to be harmful.

The wrong standard is in place. We seem to apply a wrongheaded approach -- innocent until proven guilty -- to items that might make us sick and introduce birth defects for our children. Go over this article for yourself, but this is a classic example of an industry group guarding market share at the potential risk of our health.

Where is the FDA?
Understaffed. Underfunded. And happy to take the company's own data as evidence that they don't have to do anything. In the end, we lose and nothing will be done until enough people are harmed that they then have the "proof" of danger.

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