Health Highlights: Oct. 6, 201110/06/11
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Listeria Blamed for Woman's Miscarriage
A listeria-contaminated cantaloupe is to blame for an Iowa
woman's miscarriage, state health officials say.
It's Iowa's first reported case of illness associated with a
multi-state listeria outbreak linked to cantaloupes from a Colorado
Associated Press reported.
The woman, who ate a cantaloupe bought at an Iowa store, has
recovered from her illness, the Iowa State Department of Public
Health said in a news release Wednesday.
All affected cantaloupes should now be off store shelves, but
more illnesses may occur because it can take two months for
symptoms to develop, said state medical director Dr. Patricia
Pill to Prevent Grey Hair Raises Questions: Expert
There are many unanswered questions about a cosmetic company's
efforts to create a pill to prevent grey hair, an expert says.
L'Oreal this week announced that it was developing a pill based
on a fruit extract that mimics an enzyme called TRP-2. The enzyme,
which isn't naturally present in hair follicles, helps make
pigment-producing cells called melanocytes. The theory is that the
presence of TRP-2 in hair could prevent it from going grey,
ABC News reported.
But this approach to preventing grey hair is "really difficult
to prove," said Dr. Jonathan Zippin, a dermatologist at New York
Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Some people never get grey hair, he noted. If they take the
pill, there's no way researchers would know if it was the pill that
prevented them from going grey.
Zippin also told
ABC News that there are a number of potential concerns about
a pill that alters pigment, particularly if it might affect a
melanoma diagnosis by causing moles to appear atypical.
Vitamin D Levels Lowest in Fair-Skinned People
Fair-skinned people are more likely than others to have low
levels of vitamin D, a new study finds.
A lack of vitamin D can increase the risk of heart disease and
bone loss, and reduce the chances of surviving breast cancer,
according to the U.K. researchers,
CBS News reported.
The study found that 730 of 1,200 participants had below-normal
levels of vitamin D and that fair-skinned people had the lowest
levels. The study defined a normal level as 60nmol/L.
Exposure to sun triggers vitamin D production by the body.
Supplements may help fair-skinned people boost their levels of the
"sunshine" vitamin without running the risk of sun damage that can
lead to skin cancer, the researchers suggested,
CBS News reported.
The study was published in the Oct. 4 issue of the journal
Cancer Causes and Control.
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