Monday, July 04, 2011

New cellphone study doubts cancer risks

Hatred of anything popular ensures that this "controversy" will go on for many years yet

MOBILE phones may not increase the risk of brain cancer, a study has found, just a month after the World Health Organisation said using the devices may cause tumours.

Studies from several countries have failed to show an increase in brain tumours, up to 20 years after mobile phones were introduced and 10 years after the technology became widespread, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection's committee on epidemiology wrote in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

The findings of the committee, which included scientists from Australia, challenge those of an International Agency for Research on Cancer review.

However, the debate is likely to continue because data is limited and researchers cannot prove the complete absence of an impact on the world's 4.6 billion mobile users.

"This is a really difficult issue to research," David Spiegelhalter, the Winton professor of the public understanding of risk at the University of Cambridge, said. "This report is clear that any risk appears to be so small that it is very hard to detect."

The International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection sets guidelines for exposure limits to radiation, including radio frequency fields emitted by mobile phones.

The panel reviewed all previous studies on the link between mobile phone use and brain tumours, including the largest epidemiological study to date, known as Interphone, which could not find a definite link between mobile use and certain types of brain tumours.

Last month the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the Geneva-based WHO that classifies cancer risks, said exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields was greater from handsets than phone towers and base stations.


'Wonder pill' that claims to contain your entire five-a-day quota of fruit and veg goes on sale in UK

Another outing for the antioxidant religion, apparently. It's also an Amway-type racket

A daily 'wonder pill' said to contain all five portions of fruit and vegetables has gone on sale today. The supplement, called Juice Plus+, is popular in America and has a string of celebrity fans including TV adventurer Bear Grylls and the German Olympic team.

The UK distributer Justin Dodd believes the pills, which come in three different blends, could help busy people 'hit their five-a-day.' Mr Dodd, MD of specialist training firm Evolve Training UK, said: 'Juice Plus+ really is a wonder pill in every sense. 'It literally contains all five portions of your recommended minimum five-a-day, and can be taken on-the-move without any fuss.

'This means everyone can still get their intake of vital vitamins, regardless of how busy they are.'

The pills contain no fat and less than 1 g of dietary fibre, protein and sugar. The 'wonder' pill doesn't come cheap. A month's supply costs £35.50 and a minimum order is four months.

The U.S producer of the pills, Natural Alternative International, claims it is the 'next best thing to eating fruits and vegetables' and say the supplements provide nutrition from 17 different greens and grains. They also say the pills can reduce the effects of a high-fat meal.

The company points to 16 clinical studies that found the pill supported the immune system, boosted heart health and effectively increased antioxidant nutrients in the body.

However, although the research was published in peer-review journals, most of it was funded by the manufacturer. The company say such sponsored projects are normal practice in the industry.

Scientists at the University of California Berkeley have also shed doubt on the glowing testimonials for the product. They said it was impossible to deliver' nutrients of five servings of fruits in several capsules weighing 850mg.

They added in their Wellness Guide to Dietary Supplements: 'No capsules can substitute for fruits and vegetables, which contain the best balance of nutrients and phytochemicals.' 'You cannot "concentrate" significant amounts of them in a capsule.'

They warned that the supplement was distributed through a multi-tiered marketing scheme that gave it an exaggerated value and cost.

But writing on, Dr Isadore Rosenfeld from New York Hospital Weil Cornell Medical Center defended the product. He said: 'It is not marketed either as a fiber supplement or as a substitute for eating more fiber-rich fruits, vegetables and whole grains.'

Mr Dodd added today: 'Juice Plus+ has not been designed to replace real food because it is real food. That said, it should only be used as part of a healthy lifestyle - and fruit and vegetables should be very much on the menu.'

Only about a third of Britons are thought to eat their five fresh fruits and vegetables a day as advised by the Department of Health.


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