Health Highlights: Jan. 18, 201301/18/13
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
U.S. Lawmakers Seek Information From Energy Drink Companies
Companies that sell caffeinated energy drinks are being asked to
provide information about their products' ingredients and any
studies they've conducted into the products' risks and benefits to
children and young people.
The request was made in letters sent by three Democratic
lawmakers to 14 marketers of the beverages,
The New York Timesreported. The letters were sent by Senator
Richard Durbin of Illinois, Senator Richard Blumenthal of
Connecticut and Representative Edward Markey of Massachusetts.
Recipients of the letters included Monster Beverage, Rockstar,
Red Bull, and the makers of 5-Hour Energy (Living Essentials), Amp
(PepsiCo), NOS (Coca-Cola), and Venom Energy (Dr. Pepper
Among other things, the lawmakers asked the companies to specify
the total amount of caffeine in their energy drinks.
Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug started investigating the
safety of energy drinks after reports of deaths and injuries
potentially associated with the beverages. A federal report
released last week said that the number of annual emergency
department visits involved the drinks doubled from 2007 to 2011,
Armstrong Admits to Doping, But Details Lacking
After years of denying allegations that he doped, disgraced
American cyclist Lance Armstrong confessed to Oprah Winfrey that he
did use performance enhancing drugs.
In his admission made during an interview broadcast Thursday,
Armstrong said he used a cocktail of drugs -- including
testosterone, cortisone, human growth hormone and the blood booster
EPO -- for most of his cycling career,
The New York Timesreported.
He said his doping program was simple and conservative, even
though the United States Anti-Doping Agency said its evidence shows
that the doping scheme on Armstrong's Tour de France-winning teams
was "the most sophisticated, organized and professionalized" in the
history of cycling.
Armstrong, 41, also denied the anti-doping agency's charge that
he was the kingpin of the doping programs on his cycling teams, and
he did not provide any details about his doping.
The fallen cycling hero showed little contrition when asked
about the people he called liars and tried to discredit when they
went public with allegations about his doping,
These include former team masseuse Emma O'Reilly and former
teammate Frankie Andreu and his wife Betsy. Armstrong had called
O'Reilly a prostitute and an alcoholic and had said that Betsy
Andreu was crazy.
At one point, Armstrong said he had been a bully his entire
life, but contradicted himself a minute later by saying that he
became a bully after he survived cancer and resumed his cycling
He also initially claimed that he never failed a drug test. But
after being pressed by Winfrey, Armstrong admitted that he received
a backdated prescription from a team doctor after he tested
positive for cortisone at the 1999 Tour de France.
Armstrong did not do what many hoped for: he did not apologize
directly to all the fans, cancer survivors and other people he
deceived. He never looked into the camera and said, without
qualification, "I'm sorry,"
People close to Armstrong say the interview was his first step
in trying to get the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to reduce his lifetime
ban from Olympic sports. Armstrong had been trying to establish
himself in triathlon after retiring from competitive cycling.
While Armstrong's admission in the interview is "a step in the
right direction," he needs to provide details about his doping
activities to officials, said Travis Tygart, the chief executive
"Anything he says on TV would have no impact whatsoever under the rules on his lifetime suspension," Tygart told The Times.
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