As non-essential businesses were lock-down over the last few weeks, the regulatory line between essential and non-essential got fuzzy. Some essential services are no-brainers, pharmacies, grocery and food markets, logistical systems, and of course, healthcare facilities. Other businesses were not so lucky, involving crowds that could not be effectively physically distanced – movie theaters and gyms come to mind. And then, of course, there are those grey area businesses.
We are holobionts, those who thrive in a saline environment, crafting of at least two species living in close proximity with one another. The other species is our gut microbiome, those microbial communities residing in our bowels and providing us with nutrients and signals. There's no denying their importance. But not as much can be said for probiotics –- the live microorganisms marketed to us with claims to better our health.
Repeat after me: Supplements do not reduce your risk of death or cardiovascular events. Another study shows the only benefit of supplements accrues ... to the people selling them to you.
Recently, the FDA met to discuss CBD, the non-psychoactive component of marijuana. It made us realize that we'd never really considered the definition of a drug. Any process involving lawyers hinges on the meaning of words, so what actually does the FDA regulate?
Complementary medicine ranges from authentic stress-relieving massage to well-meaning (but expensive) placebo, to outright spurious healing claims. Researchers decided to study its impact on patients with curable cancers.
Three daycare workers in Chicago were arrested and charged with child endangerment after it was learned they fed their charges gummies containing the sleep-inducing supplement melatonin. What's wrong with that? Plenty.
We've been discussing the uselessness of healthy people taking vitamin/mineral supplements for lo, these many years. But if you don't believe us, just see what some doctors from Harvard are advising their colleagues about who really needs vitamins, and when.
Heartburn does not involve the heart or a burn, although the discomfort may be described as burning. What underlies this common complaint?
For the general population and its $6-to-8 billion supplement habit, we're learning that Vitamin D and Calcium supplements do not prevent hip fractures.
Celiac disease (CD), an autoimmune disorder that is marked by damage to the lining of the small intestine, can only be treated by following a gluten free (GF) diet. Removing gluten works because gluten is the protein that the body reacts to in order to start the inflammatory response that damages the small intestine. But, that is harder than it sounds. Because maintaining a GF diet is challenging, people who have celiac disease long for therapies that may be able to help them keep gluten out of their systems. These would work, in theory, by degrading any gluten that happened to enter into their diet, either knowingly or accidentally.
Turmeric, and its constituent curcumin are widely touted to be one of the wonders of traditional Chinese medicine, treating or curing everything from ankle sprains to cancer. But a recent careful review of the scientific data undercuts all these claims, labeling these compounds as IMPs — invalid metabolic panaceas. Enjoy turmeric in your curry, but don't expect it to save you life!
A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that there was no significant reduction of the incidence of all-type cancer in older women receiving Vitamin D and calcium supplements.