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Whenever I have visited a physician over the last decade, the following scenario has been replayed: We discuss my cholesterol levels (total, LDL and HDL). We review dietary guidelines and other medical recommendations. Then I say, "Don't forget to remind me to drink a glass or two of wine daily." Invariably, the doctor demurs: "That hasn't been proven to protect you against atherosclerosis."

My doctors, all of whom I have respected and liked, are wrong. Evidence has established beyond question that alcohol reduces coronary artery disease, America's major killer. This result has been found in the Harvard Physician and Nurse studies and in studies by Kaiser Permanente and the American Cancer Society (ACS). Indeed, the evidence that alcohol reduces coronary artery disease and...

Melatonin is the latest in a long series of "alternative" medicine "miracles." It has been described as useful for treating or preventing jet lag, insomnia, immune disorders, cancer and the degenerative effects of aging and for the enhancement of sexual function. A supposed benefit of this product is that it is "natural" in the sense that humans normally produce it in their bodies. Thus, people who avoid over-the-counter sleep aids can presumably relax about taking melatonin.

Unfortunately, like many other widely touted natural products, melatonin will not fulfill all its promoters' many promises. As it is sold over the counter today, melatonin is as likely to harm as to help.

Melatonin is a hormone produced from the amino acid tryptophan by the pineal gland, a small pine...

Adapted from "The New Skinny on Snack Foods," by Dr. Elizabeth M. Whelan, in Priorities for Long Life and Good Health, Vol. 8, No. 1, 1996.

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What Is Olestra?
Olestra-the first noncaloric fat replacer-is about to appear as an ingredient in in some of America's favorite snack foods. A label that says 'Olean' will show...

  • Dietary fiber is not one substance but many. It is defined as that portion of plant foods that cannot be digested by the nonmicrobial enzymes in the human digestive tract, and it includes a variety of different chemical components.
  • The best accepted beneficial effect of dietary fiber is relief of constipation. Wheat bran, in particular, has been shown to be helpful in maintaining regularity.
  • ...

A large number of substances that occur naturally in foods are carcinogenic (cancer-causing) when evaluated by the criteria scientists customarily use to assess the cancer-causing potential of synthetic substances. Other carcinogens are produced by cooking and by the actions of microorganisms. These natural carcinogens are more numerous, more widespread and in some cases more potent than synthetic carcinogens in food.

It is not necessary or practical for consumers to stop eating foods that contain natural carcinogens indeed, nearly every food type contains them, and it is impossible to completely avoid them.

The occurrence of natural carcinogens in foods, particularly plant foods, does not justify changes in Americans' eating habits. Many cancer researchers and...

What Is MMT?

MMT (methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl) is a fuel additive that has recently been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use in unleaded gasoline...

This material has been published in Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 38, 71-84 (1997), the only definitive repository of the content that has been certified and accepted after peer review.

Copyright and all rights therein are retained by Academic Press. This material may not be copied or reposted without explicit permission.

This is an update of the 1991 report by Leonard T. Flynn, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Cindy F. Kleiman, M.P.H., Project Coordinator...

Scientists associated with the New York City Advisory Council on Health Priorities, a new affiliate of the American Council on Science and Health, reject a recent call by the NY Green Party to ban milk from cows injected with rBGH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone) from New York City schools. But-as ACSH President Dr. Elizabeth M. Whelan points out-NY Green's claims are in opposition to the actual facts on rBGH milk.

rBGH is a hormone that increases milk production in cows. The Green Party's claims are based on distortions of the scientific facts on rBGH milk safety. The party's position on rBGH offers sweeping, alarming (and scientifically insupportable) statements and in fact reflects a much broader political agenda than a simple concern with milk in schools. The Green Party...

Eggs are a vital part of a balanced and varied diet, the American Council on Science and Health concluded in a report released today.

"When most people hear the word 'eggs,' they immediately think 'cholesterol' and 'bad,' says Dr. Ruth Kava, ACSH's director of nutrition. "In fact," she continues, "although egg yolks are high in cholesterol, eggs also provide essential nutrients, including protein, riboflavin, folate and vitamins B12, D and E."

Recent research shows that the most potent dietary culprits for raising levels of cholesterol in the blood are the saturated fats in foods, not the cholesterol. Indeed, studies have found that two thirds of the population experiences only a small increase in blood cholesterol after consuming high levels of dietary cholesterol....

Consumers may be endangering their health by consuming excessive doses of "all-natural" dietary supplements, swallowing untested and unregulated herbs, vitamins and other dietary supplements, warned scientists from the American Council on Science and Health today. ACSH called for an end to the current legal double standard that requires warnings on standard prescription and non-prescription drugs while exempting makers of dietary supplements from revealing the possible health hazards of their products.

In a letter responding to a request from the Commission on Dietary Supplement Labeling for public testimony, ACSH Director of Nutrition Dr. Ruth Kava and ACSH President Dr. Elizabeth Whelan noted that many Americans have suffered death or injury after taking overdoses or...