Watch out for fake flu products
It’s been a nasty flu season, with this year’s strain so severe that some states declared a state of emergency to deal with the outbreak. So it’s probably not surprising that fraudulent flu treatments have popped up in the marketplace, so many in fact that the federal government has issued a formal warning to consumers to steer clear of them.
The FDA has sent out advisory telling people to beware of online and retail shops selling fake products. It warns of certain terms that tend to be used in bogus products, including items that claim to “boost natural immunity to the flu,” “prevents from catching the flu,” “speeds up recovery” and products marketed as an “effective, safe alternative to the flu vaccine.”
Experts say there is no need to buy these products, as the flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the disease. Though some products may not be outwardly harmful to your health, many are ineffective and are simply a waste of money.
Sourced from: Medical News Today, Fraudulent Flu Products On The Rise
Calorie counts on labels can be inaccurate
Do you find yourself checking every food label for calorie counts? It turns out those totals may be inaccurate, according to researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center. Packaging labels may overestimate the number of calories a product has, as the amount of pounding, slicing, mashing and even chewing can change how many calories people actually absorb. Some foods are not digested entirely, where the body does not use some of the “stored” calories in a particular food. People also expend some energy during digestion that could change the caloric intake from a product, according to the research
The way that nutrition facts are tallied dates back more than 100 years, and scientists back then did not take these factors into account when defining a product. Though the differences may be small, the researchers found that almonds, for example, have 20 percent fewer calories than reported and that some foods’ calorie counts can be off by as much as 50 percent.
Sourced from: Live Science, Calorie Labels Inaccurate, Experts Say
Longest surgery: Feb. 4-8, 1951
When Gertrude Levandowski, a 58-year-old widow from Burnips, Michigan, enters a Chicago hospital to have an ovarian cyst removed, it’s clear to doctors that they can’t follow the usual procedure. Levandowski weighs more than 600 pounds and a large part of that weight is the cyst itself. It’s so large that it’s putting pressure on the woman’s heart and the surgeons doubt that she’ll survive if they try to cut out the massive growth.
So they begin to drain it. Over almost four days they suck fluid out of the cyst at a rate of 120 drops per minute until they’ve extracted about 200 pounds of liquid. Though it’s shrunken considerably, the growth still weighs more than 150 pounds, but it’s now small enough to remove through more conventional surgery.
Despite the trauma to her body, Levandowski recovers quickly and when she leaves the hospital, she has lost half her weight. A few months later, after surgery to remove another 50 pounds of excess flesh, she weighs under 300 pounds for the first time in decades.
Many cancer screenings aren’t necessary
Screening for cancer seems like smart preventive health care, right? Not necessarily. Consumer Reports is advising that most people avoid many common cancer screenings. After evaluating screenings for 11 cancers, its analysis found that eight were unnecessary for the general public, and only those at high risk for particular cancers should be tested.
The most effective cancer screenings, according to Consumer Reports, were pap smears for cervical cancer, breast cancer screenings and colon cancer screenings for both men and women, though the colon cancer test was only useful for people over 50 years old.
What didn’t make the cut? Urine tests for bladder cancer, CT-scans for lung cancer, blood tests for prostate cancer, tests for ovarian cancer and checks for testicular cancer were found to be unnecessary and were not always effective in clarifying the issue. Tests for skin cancer and oral cancer should be part of a normal check-up, so were considered frivolous. Screenings for pancreatic cancer scored the lowest for men and women of all ages, as there is no way to detect the cancer when it is in its curable stage.
Sourced from: Medical News Today, Avoid Eight Cancer Screenings, Says Consumer Reports
Can fast food make you depressed?
We know that fast food can be bad for our waistlines. But does it also affect our mental health? Some research suggests that too much of it can lead to moodiness and depression. Here’s what you should know.