Saturday, January 6, 2007

Health Notes

Health Notes
So, a one ounce serving of Cheerios contains about seven micrograms of acrylamide? What is acrylamide? It is a chemical compound that is produced when you fry or bake some foods. And it has apparently been shown to produce some cancers in mice and rats. So here I am every morning eating Cheerios, which I think is good for me because it has soluble fiber; but in reality it contains a potential carcinogen. Some consumer groups want more information about acrylamide to be made available to the public. That’s probably a good idea. The more we know, the more we could avoid foods that contain a lot of this compound, but I doubt we can avoid it all. If you cook food I think you’re going to end up with some acryamide, and people are not going to stop cooking, or even frying food.

Chromium may help with cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes. Chromium can be found in such foods as broccoli, nuts, and whole grains. I eat a lot of those.

Zonisamide has been mentioned as a component of Excalia, the new anti-obesity drug. Now it is being mentioned in relation to Parkinson’s disease.

Here is an article about menopause, hot flashes, and natural remedies.

Apparently American women have less folate in their blood than they used to. That could lead to problems with birth defects, you know. And in other news, vitamin E levels in a pregnant mom may affect the birth size of her baby.

Here is an article on omega-3 fatty acids, including sources of the substance, and some recipes. Only problem: I don't think flaxseed oil is a good oil with which to cook. Check it out.

I don’t really want to talk about diet sodas. I don’t drink sodas anymore of any kind. But there is this article which wonders if drinking diet sodas might lead to weight gain. So I include it for your information.

Here is an article on adding conjugated linoleic acid to soybean oil to produce a healthy trans fat? Well, I guess that’s better than regular trans fat, but I think the jury is still out on the overall effectiveness of this. In my experience, coming up with a new product like this does more for the health of corporations that it does for that of individuals like you and me. Anyway, I plan to continue avoiding all trans fat, even the ‘healthy’ kind.

Is someone who is 99.5% human still human? We share more than 98% of our DNA with the chimpanzee. Which would you rather be, the human or the chimp? Would you rather be 100% human or 99.5%? The reason I bring this up is that scientists are now talking about using animal eggs in human stem cell research: remove the animal DNA from the animal egg, and insert human DNA. As I read this article, they may create cloned embryos that are part-human and part-animal. Great. Of course, if they end up with cures for some dreaded diseases, and if there are no unintended consequences, then maybe it’s all ok. But I guess I am just a professional skeptic. We’ll see. . . .

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Note: links that look good today often are no longer good in the future. I make every effort to create good links. When I discuss a topic, I also attempt to provide enough pertinent information so that readers won’t have to rely solely on the link at hand for their understanding, or for their further research.

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