Connect with us

Defective Products

Study Finds Benefits for Children Who Drink Fluoridated Water

mm

Published

on

Unless you are drinking from a natural spring or from a well, the tap water you use is probably fortified with fluoride. Fluoride started to be added to water supplies in 1940s on the premise that it can prevent dental caries by strengthening tooth enamel and fighting tooth decay.

New Study Shows Benefits of Community Water Fluoridation

A new study published in BMC Oral Health analyzed the benefits of community water fluoridation (CWF). Opponents of CWF say that adding fluoride to our water causes it to accumulate in the bones and possibly increase the risks of certain conditions including cancer. Researchers wanted to find out the benefits of CWF and looked to Juneau, Alaska for answers. In 2007, the city stopped enriching the municipal water supply with fluoride.

For the study, researchers reviewed the records of children who received dental care through Medicaid from 2003 and 2012. The researchers analyzed the claims of 853 children who received dental care in 2003 and compared them with the record of 1,052 children who received dental care in 2012.

Analysis showed that the number of dental procedures for children under the age of 18 was significantly higher in 2012, after fluoridation cessation than in 2003 when fluoride was still being added to the water. Additionally, researchers determined that children under the age of seven received more interventions for cavities in 2012 than the same age group did in 2003.

In fact, the chances of a child having dental caries procedures were 25 percent higher in 2012 than in 2003, and researchers observed a sevenfold increase in the number of sealants children received, leading researchers to suggest that community water fluoride did offer dental protection.

Fluoride Cessation Leads to Higher Dental Costs

Researchers also found that eliminating fluoridation from the community water supply influenced dental costs. In fact, it was determined that even after adjusting for inflation, dental costs were greater in 2012 than in 2003. Researchers reported that the treatment costs for dental caries also increased about 47 percent or $161.84 in association with CWF cessation. In the birth to 7 age group, caries treatment costs were estimated to increase 73 percent because of fluoridation cessation.

Finally, researchers found that children born after fluoridation was stopped had more caries procedures and higher restoration costs, which researchers said was attributable to greater tooth surface loss to decay and weaker enamel. By using binary regression analysis for children under the age of six, researchers determined that the odds of having dental caries procedures under optimal community water fluoridation was about 51 percent less than for children under six who did not receive fluoridated water.

Natural Fluoride Supplies Are Not Enough

Fluoride is a mineral that naturally occurs in water, and even though Juneau stopped enrichment of the community water supply, residents are still getting some fluoride. However, researchers say that the level of natural fluoride in the water supply is at least 10 times lower than the optimal levels needed to improve oral health.

Comments
Continue Reading

Defective Products

Teens Who Use Performance-Enhancing Steroids Vulnerable to Cocaine Abuse and Impaired Fertility

mm

Published

on

A recent study has concluded that teens who abuse performance-enhancing steroid drugs are at a higher risk for cocaine use and addiction, as well as heighten the risk of infertility in young women.

The research study was conducted by scientists at the University of Puerto Rico and is being presented at the annual meeting of the American Physiological Society. The findings show that the use of these steroids is not only linked with use of cocaine, but that the steroids can actually increase the psychoactive properties of the cocaine. This increased psychoactivity can promote the overuse—and abuse—of cocaine when a teen is also using performance-enhancing steroid drugs.

The study further found a particular risk in female teenagers who use steroids. The research showed a reduction in the size of ovary weight, as well as the development of ovarian cysts, in subjects using the anabolic steroids. Both of these factors can heighten infertility risks.

The University of Puerto Rico researchers conducted the study by using female rats. Half of the rats used were given nandrolone, an anabolic steroid that is the most commonly used among teenagers. Then, after being given steroids for 10 days, the rats were then divided into four separate groups: one exposed only to the steroid, a second group given the steroid and cocaine, a third given only cocaine and a fourth given neither additional steroids nor cocaine.

The findings were shocking: the evidence showed that the rats who were exposed to the nandrolone steroid exhibited an increased sensitivity to cocaine through what the researchers describe as “locomotor sensitization.” The rats taking both the steroid and the cocaine exhibited modified brain circuitry in the area of the brain that regulates addiction, so the rats experienced heightened psychoactive properties of the cocaine. The rats exposed only to cocaine, and not to the additional steroids, did not exhibit the same psychoactive responses to the drug.

The researchers also found that the rats taking the steroids showed smaller and reduced ovary size and weight, as well as the development of ovarian cysts. These factors can severely impact fertility and heighten the risk of infertility issues in adulthood.

Teens, especially teen athletes, are known to sometimes use anabolic steroids to improve their muscle mass and body appearance, as well as to improve athletic performance. Teens, with their changing hormones and social pressures, are particularly vulnerable to the promises of steroids to make their bodies stronger, leaner and more attractive.

But there is a dark side to these steroids, particularly when used by developing teens. Prior studies have already concluded that these performance-enhancing drugs can negatively impact mood and behavior, particularly behavioral traits that increase risk-taking tendencies. Previous studies have also shown that about a third (~33%) of young adults who use anabolic steroids are also known to use cocaine, so the connection between the two drugs was already known by the scientific community. However, this study took it further and realized that not only is there a connection between users of steroids and users of cocaine, but that the steroid drugs can heighten the psychoactive effects of the cocaine, which can create an elevated risk of cocaine abuse.

Experts warn that these findings are further evidence that teens and teen athletes should be warned of the long-term risks of using performance-enhancing steroids. The human body is particularly vulnerable during adolescence to the steroids’ modification of the circuitry in the teens’ brains, which can impact addictive behaviors and tendencies. The infertility risk to female teenagers is also particularly alarming, as the use of the performance-enhancing drugs can cause health risks far beyond adolescence.

Comments
Continue Reading

Defective Products

Hunt’s Brand Tomato Paste Recalled for Mold Contamination

mm

Published

on

If you have some tomato paste in your pantry, you should check to make sure it’s not a risk to your family’s health. That’s because some cans of the popular Hunt’s brand tomato paste are now subject to a nationwide recall for the potential risk of mold contamination.

The tomato paste, manufactured and sold by Conagra Brands, is being voluntarily recalled by the company across the United States. The recall affects the six-ounce size cans of the tomato paste, with the “no salt added” label.

In a statement issued alongside the recall, Conagra said that the contamination may have occurred after the canning process. The manufacturer, based in Chicago, stated that the final tomato paste product could have been damaged after being canned, which could have allowed for mold to enter the food product and grow inside the cans. The company did not provide further details.

The tomato paste can boasts that the food product is derived from vine-ripened, all natural tomatoes. Despite these natural promises, consumers found mold in their supposedly healthy tomato paste and warned the company. Conagra issued the voluntary recall of the no-salt-added tomato paste cans after it received complaints from consumers about the existence of mold in their tomato paste.

Because of the serious health risk in consuming moldy product, the company issued the recall specifically for the 6-ounce cans containing an expiration date of October 16, 2020 and with the lot code number 2105902510. Conagra said that the risk of infection did not affect any of its other products, so the tomato paste is the only product currently under recall.

In its press release, Conagra also said that it was informing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about the mold findings. The company said it will continue to work with the federal agency to ensure that the affected tomato paste products were removed from circulation, taken off grocery store shelves and returned to the manufacturer. Conagra further stated that it plans to work with the FDA to spread the word of the health risk and of the recall to consumers.

Mold in food can cause serious health risks. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, mold can cause respiratory problems, sickness, vomiting, and allergic reactions. Other health reactions can include throat irritation, coughing, wheezing, and skin and eye irritation.

So if you have tomato paste products in your cupboard, double-check the brand to see if your food is affected by this health and safety recall. If it’s Hunt’s brand no-salt added in the six ounce containers, you should not open it, and return the cans to your supermarket.

Comments
Continue Reading

Defective Products

Avocados are Being Recalled in Six States for Risk of Listeria Infection

mm

Published

on

You might want to skip the guacamole: avocados are being recalled in six states for fears that they might be contaminated with the potentially deadly bacteria, listeria.

Henry Avocado, an avocado grower based in California, has issued the recall after it became concerned that the dangerous bacteria listeria monocytogenes (known commonly as “listeria”) could be present in the avocados it had sold.  The states subject to the recall are California, Arizona, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Florida. The avocado grower said that it sold its fruit in bulk to distributors in these 6 states.

The produce that is at risk of contamination are identified with stickers that label the affected avocados as “bravocado.” Some of the affected produce is also labeled and sold as “organic,” with stickers on the fruit saying “organic” and grown in California. The avocados subject to the recall were grown in California and sold in bulk to retailers and distributors. Henry Avocado also imports avocados from Mexico, but those avocados are not impacted by this health risk and recall.

In a statement issued alongside the recall, Henry Avocado stated that some of its avocados tested positive for the bacteria during routine random testing during a government inspection of the fruit at the company’s California manufacturing facility. Therefore, the company said that it is calling for this voluntary recall out of an “abundance of caution” in order to protect the health of safety of its avocado consumers.

This is yet another instance of food contamination in a recent string of food and produce recalls. Other recent foods recalled in the United States include melons, romaine lettuce, beer, cookies, beef, pork and even breakfast cereal. The rise in recalls is raising concerns about the effectiveness of oversight by health and safety inspectors and governmental regulators in ensuring that the food consumers can buy is actually safe.

Listeria is a dangerous bacteria that is particularly risky for children, pregnant women, and the elderly. If consumed, the bacteria can cause headaches, fever, diarrhea, loss of balance and even convulsions. The risk is particularly high for pregnant women, because ingesting the bacteria can cause stillbirth.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is also promoting awareness of the recall to help spread the word to consumers who may be affected. This also is not the first time that avocados are subject to contamination by harmful listeria. In December 2018, the FDA released a report that found contamination of listeria monocytogenes bacteria in more than 17% of avocado skins that the federal agency sampled between 2014-2016. Even more worrisome is that the report found that about 0.2% of avocados tested showed the presence of listeria bacteria inside the meat of the avocados as well.

Health experts say that washing your avocados before cutting and eating can help reduce your risk of exposure to bacteria and other toxins on the outside of the avocado skins. Many consumers do not wash avocados because the skin is not edible; however, nutritionists say that washing the avocado skin is still important because the knife that cuts through the skin could drag the bacteria and other toxins into the avocado meat inside, and therefore bringing that deadly bacteria into your avocado toast and guacamole.

If you have purchased avocados recently in Florida, Wisconsin, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Arizona or California, you should discard the produce immediately. You could also return the affected fruit to your supermarket or place of purchasing to receive a full refund.

Comments
Continue Reading

Trending