ConsumerLab, Natural News Labs both Confirm High Levels of Toxic Cadmium in Popular Cacao Powders

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Both ConsumerLab.com and the Natural News Forensic Food Lab have simultaneously confirmed high levels of the toxic heavy metal cadmium in cacao powder products. High levels of lead have also been found by Natural News in one brand of cacao powder. Takeaway points from this research:  Continue reading

Common Metal Could Make Breast Cancer Worse

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Here is a health alert out of California, where researchers have tied a very common metal to breast cancer. They found that cadmium, a heavy metal found in cosmetics, food, water and air, makes breast cancer cells more aggressive.

This would seem to have a big impact on cancer treatment for all patients. The research shows that exposure to cadmium for prolonged periods of time can cause the progression of breast cancer to become more aggressive. Continue reading

It Takes a Village to Keep Teens Substance Free

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During high school the parents of teenagers’ friends can have as much effect on the teens’ substance use as their own parents, according to prevention researchers.

“Among friendship groups with ‘good parents’ there’s a synergistic effect — if your parents are consistent Continue reading

Ex-Smokers Feel Healthier In Two Weeks

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Many young people believe they are invincible, which may be why some of them start smoking and think that the health problems associated with cigarette use won’t affect them. While the long-term consequences of smoking may not be enough to get young adults to quit, perhaps the immediate benefits that come with smoking cessation will. Continue reading

Secret Link Between Cigarettes and Cell Phones

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Cell phones are used by an estimated 275 million people in the United States and 4 billion worldwide.

A recent review of studies assessed whether there was epidemiologic evidence for an association between long-term cell phone usage and the risk of developing a brain tumor.

In order to be included in the analysis, studies were required to have been published in a peer-reviewed journal, included participants who had used cell phone for 10 or more years, and analyzed the side of the brain tumor relative to the side of the head preferred for cell phone usage. Eleven long-term epidemiologic studies fit the criteria.

The results indicated that using a cell phone for 10 or more years approximately doubles the risk of being diagnosed with a brain tumor on the same side of the head as that preferred for cell phone use.

Iowa senator Tom Harkin, newly empowered to investigate health matters as chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, has promised to probe deeply into any potential links between cell phone use and cancer.

Harkin, who took over the committee after the death of Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy, said he was concerned no one has been able to prove cell phones do not cause cancer. A staffer said the senator became concerned by a report from the Environmental Working Group showing that radio wave emissions vary from one cell phone brand and model to another, as well as some reports suggesting there might be a link.

Warning Pictures on Cigarettes

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BEIJING — China’s tobacco control authorities are seeking support from netizens to urge producers to print warning pictures on cigarette packaging, trying to set an agenda for the coming parliamentary and political advisory sessions.

    The netizens’ opinions will be submitted to national political advisors before they meet in March for their annual full meeting to call for more effective tobacco control efforts, organizers said.

    The National Tobacco Control Office (NTCO) initiated the move with several Web sites on Monday to ask the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration to ensure that harms of tobacco are clearly specified on the packs with pictures.

    In China, although cigarette packs carry characters that read “smoking is harmful to your health”, 70 percent of consumers are still ignorant or numb to the warning, according to a survey by the office last year.

    The survey sampled 16,521 people in 40 cities and counties of 20 provinces. The result suggested that specifying tobacco’s harms with eye-catching pictures could help more than 90 percent of consumers give up the idea of giving others cigarettes as gift.

    According to Wu Yiqun, executive vice director of the Think Tank Research Center for Health Development, many foreign cigarette packings bear shocking pictures showing the consequences of smoking.

    “In the Great Britain, for instance, picture on a cigarette pack is a smoker with throat cancer. In Brazil, the picture is heart operation. In Australia, the pack shows black and yellow teeth of a smoker,” Wu said.

    “Even exported Chinese tobacco has different packs from that sold in domestic markets,” Wu said, showing a Zhonghua cigarette pack for overseas consumers with a picture of a smoker’s ulcerated foot, which is invisible on the red packing of the same brand for domestic smokers.

    Zhonghua, with an ornamental column on its packing, like those on the Tian’anmen Square in Beijing, is often taken as a symbol of social status and given as a gift, Wu said.

    Yang Gonghuan, vice director with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said that each year, 8.4 million people died in China, among whom 12 percent, or about one million, died of disease connected with tobacco–lung cancer, throat cancer, coronary heart disease, brain stroke, tuberculosis and sudden death of the new-born.

    “As smokers are becoming younger, this percentage will soar to 33 percent by 2050. That means about half of the male smokers shall die of smoking-related diseases,” Yang said.

Doctors Unable to Restrain Mentally Ill From Smoking

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CHICAGO – Depressed and anxious people are among the heaviest smokers, but doctors seldom insist that they quit, fearing their mental disorders will get out of hand. A researcher has, however, questioned this theory.

That is a myth, says Brian Hitsman, tobacco addiction specialist and assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Hitsman has designed and published the first comprehensive, evidence-based plan for psychiatrists, psychologists and others to help their patients quit smoking.

“These doctors and mental health specialists focus on their patients’ psychiatric health and lose track of their physical health,” said Hitsman, who is also a health psychologist.

Between 40 to 80 percent of the mentally ill are daily smokers, depending on the disorder, compared to less than 20 percent of those considered normal, say researchers.

The mentally ill also smoke more cigarettes per day — often up to two packs. They have a disproportionately high rate of tobacco-related disease and mortality, such as cardiovascular disease or cancer, with a correspondingly heavy financial burden to the health-care system.

Doctors erroneously believe mental disorders will worsen if they take away a person’s tobacco.

“Not a single study shows that symptoms get worse,” Hitsman said, according to a Feinberg release.

He examined 13 randomised clinical trials that measured psychiatric symptoms during smoking cessation treatment. Seven studies showed that psychiatric symptoms actually improved during smoking cessation treatment, and six showed no changes.

His paper appeared recently in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.