Monday, June 23, 2008

NO to statins during pregnancy

Sandy Szwarc reports:

Someone must have sent out a press release, because there was no new study... or any study at all to support the sudden appearance of this public health message... yet, news outlets across the UK and around the world all reported this story, all on the same day. Yesterday, the top news story was that statins could help pregnant women avoid caesarean sections, especially fat women blamed for raising C-section rates, with headlines announcing that all "obese pregnant mums" will now be given statins during pregnancy.

This was a false story and one that could risk women losing their babies; delivering premature babies; or having babies with limb, brain and neurological deformities. Before we get into more details, it is important that all women know: There is NO medical expert body in the world recommending statins be used by fat women or any women during pregnancy. Statins are specifically contraindicated for use by pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant.

The United States Food and Drug Administration classifies statins and all cholesterol-lowering drugs as Category X drugs [reviewed here], which identify potentially teratogenic medications.

Category X: Adequate well-controlled or observational studies in animals or pregnant women have demonstrated positive evidence of fetal abnormalities or risks. The use of the product is contraindicated in women who are or may become pregnant.

More here

Alarming cellphone videos are fake

CONTROVERSIAL YouTube videos purporting to expose the dangers of mobile phones have been exposed as fakes. Part of an internet marketing campaign, each of the four videos shows kernals of popcorn allegedly being cooked by the radiation emitted by three mobile phones.

But the videos, which have had more than 11 million hits on YouTube, are viral advertisements produced by a French agency hired to boost sales for mobile phone accessories manufacturer Cardo Systems.

The videos, filmed by LastFools, feature various "optical illusions" and "magic tricks" designed to suggest mobile phones emit enough radiation to cook popcorn.

The claim is false. LastFools managing director Frederic Chast says he designed the viral ad campaign in the hope of garnering his client just 30,000 hits. Viral advertising is designed to be so engaging that consumers pass it on to friends.

The videos have angered some people who, in online forums, describe Cardo Systems as having behaved deceptively.


Man Says He Lost 80 Pounds Eating McDonald's

A Virginia man lost about 80 pounds in six months by eating nearly every meal at McDonald's.

Not Big Macs, french fries and chocolate shakes. Mostly salads, wraps and apple dippers without the caramel sauce.

Chris Coleson tipped the scales at 278 pounds in December. The 5-foot-8 Coleson now weighs 199 pounds and his waist size has dropped from 50 to 36.

The 42-year-old businessman from Quinton says he chose McDonald's because it's convenient.


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