Pharmacology

Add green tea to the growing list of substances that activists will soon be calling an endocrine disruptor; a study has found that, rather than bring health benefits, as Big Tea proclaims, excessive consumption adversely affects development and reproduction in fruit fly populations.

Derived from the plant Camellia sinensis, green tea is popular worldwide for its purported brain and heart health and anticancer properties.
Nutraceuticals such as green tea, are popular among groups that distrust agricultural, medical, and energy science, but they are unregulated. 


Some doctors may recommend that patients with the flu take acetaminophen, or paracetemol, to relieve their symptoms; however, a new randomized clinical trial found no benefits to the over-the-counter medication in terms of fighting the influenza virus or reducing patients' temperature or other symptoms.

The trial included adults between 18 and 65 years of age with confirmed influenza infections who were treated with the maximum recommended dose of paracetamol or placebo for five days. Participants were monitored for up to 14 days.


In a study into the prevention of HIV transmission, people who took the antiretroviral drug Truvada were 86% less likely to contract the disease than those who took a placebo, report the researchers who led the study.


Doods—chill.

You just ate a bunch of poisonous stuff. Some of it was especially nasty, and I don't mean the cooking, rather, the chemicals in the food. Chances are that you are fine. 

So am I, with the exception of sitting (mostly still) for two hours in a car with my mother (wonderful woman and I love her to death, but good lord, can she talk!) on the Long Island Expressway (LIE)—a misnomer if ever there were one—to attend Thanksgiving dinner. 

The day was not lacking in stress. This is me channeling Lloyd Bridges: 

New research finds that progesterone supplements in the first trimester of pregnancy do not improve outcomes in women with a history of unexplained recurrent miscarriages.

The study of 826 women with previously unexplained recurrent miscarriage showed that those who received progesterone treatment in early pregnancy were no less likely to miscarry than those who received a placebo. This was true whatever their age, ethnicity, medical history and pregnancy history.


Smoking high potency 'skunk-like' cannabis can damage a crucial part of the brain responsible for communication between the two brain hemispheres, according to a new study.

Researchers have known for some time that long-term cannabis use increases the risk of psychosis and recent evidence suggests that alterations in brain function and structure may be responsible for this greater vulnerability. 


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most commonly diagnosed childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence into adulthood. Diagnoses exploded in the 1990s and now it is found in about 5% of children, but such diagnosis is based on clinical judgment rather than objective diagnostic markers. Symptoms include difficulty focusing attention and remaining "on task", impulsive behavior and extreme hyperactivity but some diagnoses have been made even when those behaviors were mild, so chemical interventions should be cautiously - but they are not.


Kids and teens who take medications like Ritalin to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder are also twice as likely to be physically or emotionally bullied by peers. At even higher risk were middle and high school students who sold or shared their medications--those kids were four-and-a-half times likelier to be victimized by peers.

The main findings are the same for both sexes, said the study's first author, Quyen Epstein-Ngo, research assistant professor in gender studies at the University of Michigan. 


A paper in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology warns that the use of unvalidated natural "medicine" may lead to severe poisoning.

A 45-year-old Chinese woman was diagnosed with a severe heart-rhythm disorder, bidirectional ventricular tachycardia (BVT), associated with aconitine poisoning. BVT is a rare form of tachycardia (characterized by a resting heart rate over 100 beats per minute) and a distinct pattern of ECG waves on presentation.


Smokeless tobacco is used far less than cigarettes, primarily among men and young people, but it has become a cause for concern due to links with adverse health effects and identification as a cause of cancer.

Survey results and biomarkers published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers&Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, find that U.S. adults who used only smokeless tobacco products had higher levels of biomarkers of exposure to nicotine and a cancer-causing toxicant -- the tobacco-specific nitrosamine NNK -- compared with those who only used cigarettes.

 Brian Rostron, PhD, an epidemiologist in the Center for Tobacco Products at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)