The DEA shuts down “Faux Marijuana” makers. Sugar-sweetened drinks can trigger high blood pressure. Eat fiber, live longer. These and other interesting stories from the world of health and medicine in this week’s MEDICAL NEWS NOTES.
DEA Rushes to Clamp Down on ‘Faux Marijuana’ Products
They’re marketed as “incense” under such names as “Spice,” “K2,” “Glaze” and “Red X Dawn.” But their real purpose is to mimic the effects of marijuana. And they have been linked directly to an increasing number of reports from hospitals and poison control centers, with users suffering from convulsions, anxiety attacks, elevated heart rates, high blood pressure, vomiting and disorientation. Citing an “imminent threat to public safety,” the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has reclassified these “faux marijuana” products as Schedule 1 substances, making their distribution and sale a felony under the Controlled Substances Act.
Sugar-Sweetened Drinks Linked to High Blood Pressure
Sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda and fruit drinks have been linked to significantly higher blood pressure. The research, published in the most recent edition of Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association, found higher blood pressure levels in people who consumed drinks sweetened with glucose and fructose, the major ingredients of high-fructose corn syrup. Even just one drink a day could produce measurable effects. High blood pressure was not associated with sugars found in natural, unsweetened fruit juices.
Fiber-Rich Diet Increases Longevity
The benefits of fiber have been celebrated for years. Now another study has found a direct link between high fiber diets and a significantly lower risk of dying over a nine-year period. The study, done by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), followed about 388,000 people between 50 and 71 years old over nearly a full decade. More fiber-eaters managed to stay alive and healthy during the study compared to those with more “American-style” high carb/fat diets, and also enjoyed lowered blood-cholesterol and blood-glucose levels. Fiber can be found in whole grains, beans, nuts, fruits and vegetables.
Stress Not Associated With Fertility, Study Reveals
Common wisdom holds that tension and anxiety can lead to difficulties conceiving, thus producing a vicious circle in many infertile couples. Now couples can relax — or go ahead and freak out, if that is their preference. British researchers have found no link between anxiety and fertility. Looking at studies from 10 countries involving more than 3,500 women undergoing fertility treatments, the scientists found that “calm” and “anxious” women conceive in equal numbers. “Dealing with stress should be more about improving people’s quality of life rather than improving chances of conception,” a study spokesperson said.
Organization Hopes to Ban Minors from Tanning Beds
Tanning beds can significantly increase the incidence of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, and thus should be off-limits to minors; so says the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which is trying to pass laws to keep young people out of tanning facilities. Naturally, the Indoor Tanning Association (ITA) is responding by citing tanning’s safety and health benefits. About 8,700 people die from melanoma annually, while cases of skin cancer in people 15 to 39 years old have been increasing by three percent annually over the past two decades.
Professional Medical Assistant Programs at Everest
Are you interested in a career in the fast-growing and exciting health care field? Everest is forming Medical Assistant classes right now that can help you qualify for an entry-level position in a doctor’s office, clinic and other health care facility. For more information, please contact Everest today! Financial aid is available for those who qualify. Programs and schedules vary by campus.
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