Public Health

If your baby is allergic to milk, your choices might get a little more narrow, if the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) and the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition have their way.

In a commentary in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, they say that the inorganic arsenic levels of dietary products used by children should be regulated, and make the recommendation that "Rice drinks should not be used in infants and young children."


A new study suggests that experiencing stressful events the day before eating a single high-fat meal can slow metabolism in women.

Researchers questioned study participants about the previous day's stressors before giving them a meal consisting of 930 calories and 60 grams of fat. The scientists then measured their metabolic rate, how long it took the women to burn calories and fat, and took measures of blood sugar, triglycerides, insulin and the stress hormone cortisol.

On average, the women in the study who reported one or more stressors during the previous 24 hours burned 104 fewer calories than nonstressed women in the seven hours after eating the high-fat meal – a difference that could result in weight gain of almost 11 pounds in one year.


You don't have a pre-pregnancy and your computer doesn't have a pre-power switch. Calling someone who has moderately high blood sugar a prediabetic is premature and creates unnecessary alarm and financial burdens.

Imagine being at a party with gluten-free, HFCS-free, non-GMO, vegans who are now also pre-diabetic. Not fun. And worse, it has no value. A new analysis in BMJ sought to find out whether a "diagnosis" of pre-diabetes carried any health benefits such as improved diabetes prevention. If someone was going to get diabetes, treatments to reduce blood sugar only delayed the onset of type 2 diabetes by a few years and there was no evidence of long-term health benefits.




A recent review in the British Journal of Nutrition concluded that the nutritional quality and safety of organic food was higher than conventional food. Fruits, vegetables, and grains, organic versions were better in all ways than conventional farming, they determined.

Organic food had fewer pesticides, a much different result than other studies, and also had more important nutrients, also a much different result than other studies.


Researchers have found that people with mobility impairments, such as using special ambulatory equipment and having difficulty walking one-quarter mile without equipment, under age 65 have significantly higher rates of smoking than those without mobility impairments and smokers with mobility impairments were less likely to attempt quitting .

Evidence-based advertisements about health are not working among people who already don't feel like smoking will make their quality of life worse.  


We know that healthy mitochondria, the energy factories of cells, rely on proper reduction and oxidation to keep us converting food to energy and staving off mitochondrial pathologies. Any number of compounds have been created to try and keep that going as we age. They determine whether cells live or die and they regulate inflammation.

People love to latch onto studies that match their confirmation bias, so studies claiming health benefits for red wine, chocolate and organic food get a lot of attention and not much skepticism about controls. Any epidemiology claim will do when it comes to finding benefit or harm.

A new review calls into question previous studies which suggest that consuming light-to-moderate amounts of alcohol (0.6-0.8 fluid ounces/day) may have a protective effect on cardiovascular health. Instead, they find that reducing the amount of alcoholic beverages consumed, even for light-to-moderate drinkers, is more likely to improve cardiovascular health, body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure. 


Researchers have matched an upward curve in temperatures in the last few decades with increases in patient's seeking treatment for kidney stones, which both reflects and foretells a warming planet's impact on human health, they say. Of course, they also found increases in very low temperatures.


It's been known for some time that  gastric bypass surgery
 doesn't just help obese patients lose weight, it also cures diabetes in the majority of patients that undergo it. Type 2 diabetes is linked to diabetes but studies have found that gastric bypass surgery can rapidly put diabetes into a state of remission - regardless of weight loss.

Improved insulin resistance within the first week after surgery remains unexplained but a new paper in Endocrinology says it may be explained by the actions of specialized cells in the intestine that secrete a cocktail of powerful hormones when we eat.  


You have to admire the consistency of our government, especially when it comes to protecting us.

While the TSA is strip-searching 95-year old women in wheelchairs, a janitor tripped over a box of smallpox samples that someone left in an old Budweiser cooler in some closet.

OK, this may not be strictly accurate. It could have been Bud Lite. And it wasn't really a janitor, but it really doesn't makes much difference in the grand scheme of things.
What really happened is that a bunch of sealed vials of the smallpox virus—possibly the most deadly pathogen ever—were discovered in a  cardboard box in storage room, unsecured and unlocked. This is not good.