Health Line

MSG linked to weight gain

In a recent study of 752 men and women from three villages in China, monosodium glutamate, also known as MSG, was shown to cause weight gain if consumed often.

The flavor enhancer is used worldwide in canned soups, instant noodles, salad dressings, and almost all fast foods and snacks.

In the study, researchers found that those who consumed the largest amounts of MSG were three times more likely to be overweight than those who did not consume MSG.
Studies revealed that generally for every 0.04 ounce intake, the body mass index increased by 0.61. Although not considered dangerous, MSG consumers should be mindful when eating.

Source: The New York Times

Chemical in plastics proved harmful

According to a National Toxicology Program report published last Wednesday, studies have shown that Bisphenol A adversely affects brain and hormonal development in children. These findings were discovered despite the fact that the chemical was declared safe by the Food and Drug Administration only weeks ago.

Bisphenol A is commonly used in plastics like baby bottles and plastic containers. Currently, there are more than 6 billion pounds of the chemical being produced every year in the United States.
Major retailers, including Wal-Mart and Toys “R” Us, have begun to limit their stock of products with Bisphenol A.


Tumor detection test shows promise

A new experimental method of detecting breast tumors in women has recently caught attention. MBI, or molecular breast imaging, is a radioactive treatment which will allow doctors to more accurately find tumors in patients with highly dense breasts.

Although not quite perfected, research tests showed that the MBI test found more tumors than the standard method of detection, the mammogram. The way MBI works is that a special tracer is injected into the woman and is absorbed by abnormal cells, the tumors. Doctors then use cameras to detect the tracer.

MBI is also cheaper than a mammogram, and would give fewer false readings. One flaw, however, is that it uses nine times as much radiation as a mammogram.

Source: The New York Times

Suicide rate still high but dropping

Although teen suicide rates have been dropping since 1996, the overall rate is still high.
In 2004, however, the suicide rate jumped nearly 18 percent. Researchers attribute this increase to the fact that patients stopped taking antidepressants, because of a warning issued the year before.
The warning was issued after drugs such as Zoloft and Prozac were linked to suicidal behavior. Since then; the Food and Drug Administration ordered a warning on all antidepressants, and youth prescriptions fell nearly 20 percent.

The suicide rate then dropped by 5.3 percent in 2005 to 4.5 suicides per 100,000 people. However, based on statistical data, researchers believe that the rate should have been lower, between 3.5 and 4.2 per 100,000.

Source: The Los Angeles Times