Monday, March 26, 2012

Odds and Ends

Mushroom Powder - Dole Foods has received an innovation award for a new product in a nutritional category.  I do not have all the details about the prize or who awarded it, but I was intrigued by what the product was.  It is a mushroom powder.  I dismissed the first news article I saw because of my stance against most supplements and my belief that nutrients are best delivered on a plate. I revisited the notion of a mushroom powder because it is intended to address vitamin D needs and vitamin D is the one supplement I do take. Mushrooms are a good source of it and a very low calorie food.  I add them to my lunch salad almost daily.  However, to meet the recommended daily vitamin D needs, you'd have to eat a bushel.  So I have decided to keep a watch on this one.

Colon Screening and Sedation - My hopes for a safe, effective, non invasive alternative to the colonoscopy are alive and well. No news on that front however, I still have a few years to go before I "need" one.  I am concerned by a report out this week that suggests many people are receiving excess sedation during the current procedure.  Another reason to come up with a better way.  I have grave concerns about anesthesia and will avoid it as much or as long as I can.  My reason is related to evidence of cognitive impairment or memory problems in some people who have been over sedated or frequently sedated.  This appears to be a semi permanent aftereffect.

Misplaced Blame - Drug makers Targacept and AstraZeneca are parting ways after a drug compound that they planned for treatment of depression (because we don't have a gazillion pills for that already) failed in clinical trials.  Targacept doesn't put the fault in their drug but in the placebo effect.  First,this drug is meant to simulate nicotine receptors in the brain.  That is actually a good idea because the neurotransmitter activity that follows a puff of a cigarette is pretty much a mood elevator and stress reliever.  The drug part didn't work out though.  IN order for a medication to get FDA approval it has to do something that nothing wouldn't do(get that?!)  People in the study were given a set of questions and the answers produce a depression score.  After a sample was given the drug and a control sample was given a "no" drug, the tests were retaken.  Forty percent of the people not taking the new drug, got better.  To me, and not to Targacept, this means we do not need drugs for some cases of depression.

Whitney Houston - Heart disease from smoking.

Environment and Over consumption - When I say over consumption, I mean eating more calories than you need to maintain a healthy weight.  At one grocery store this weekend I saw four big signs, banners, hanging in the front windows.  They were advertising big BOGOs - Buy One Get One free.  The items were - potatoes, hamburger, ice cream and cookies.  That is what people mean by making the unhealthy choice the easy choice.

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