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Catch Up on Five Important Health Stories

By Sheryl Kraft

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It is such a busy time of year, when all things collide. If you’re having a hard time keeping up with the latest health news, take a minute to pour yourself a nice healthy cup of tea, sit down and put your feet up and read some of the latest health news.

On Vitamins

Multivitamins may diminish the risk of relapse and death in women with breast cancer.

Just recently, a number of studies have caused an abrupt about-face concerning the positive health effects of multivitamins. In one, published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a review showed that they did nothing to prevent cancer or heart disease in most populations (except in developing countries where the population suffered from nutritional deficiencies). In another study, scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center who followed 160,000 postmenopausal women for about 10 years found that cancer, heart disease and all causes of death were not affected by multivitamin use.

 And now, the latest news shows new evidence as it pertains to multivitamin use and breast cancer: Researchers at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University found that women with breast cancer who took multivitamins and minerals were 29 percent less likely to have a recurrence of the disease, and 22 percent less likely to die of breast cancer than were the women who did not take multivitamins. Read more here.

 On Middle-Age Weight Gain

Exercise when you’re younger makes you less likely to struggle with later bulging bellies

Tell everyone who is younger than you about this:A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that consistent exercise can help prevent later weight gain. But you must log about 150 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous physical activity –jogging, fast walking, exercise classes or daily activities like housework all count. Find out more here.

 On Dietary Supplements

Some products marketed as dietary supplements contain hidden ingredients and other compounds that don’t qualify as dietary supplement ingredients

Beware. Mostly marketed for weight loss, sexual enhancement or body building, these products can contain synthetic steroids and/or variations of drug ingredients. Serious adverse effects include stroke, artery blockage in the lungs, kidney failure, acute liver injury and more. For more information, click here.

On Mercury and Dental Fillings

The FDA is taking another look

You may want to talk to your dentist. After two days of hearings, an advisory panel is taking new evidence into consideration that show some dental patients may have experienced medical problems related to amalgam, a mix of metals containing mercury. Advocates say that these fillings can be related to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s,multiple sclerosis and Lou Gehrig’s disease and other ills. Read more at USA Today.

And finally, if in your plethora of holiday parties, you greet a person who knows you but acts like they don’t, they’re not necessarily snubbing you. They may be like 1 in 50 people who suffer from a strange condition called Prosopagnosia, which is the inability to recognize faces. Read the story from CBS News here.


Interesting health study news. Regarding weight gain and middle age, wish I could turn back the clock to exercise more as a young adult. Unfortunately, that is not possible. Guess I will just keep up my excise regime and hope for the best (and less stomach) fat.

The news about dental fillings is scary. And the thought of getting them all replaced is not a happy one!

I'm actually worried about some of the ingredients in vitamins, not just in supplements. I think it's important to read the ingredients and to buy organic, whole food vitamins that are derived from plants, not made from synthetic compounds. I suspect those made from synthetics do more harm than good. One study of pregnant women taking vitamin A was halted because of a dramatic rise in negative fetal outcomes and miscarriage that was thought to be linked to the synthetic vitamins...

Interesting about the vitamins. I must admit I used to be so good about taking them and now, even though I have a large bottle at the ready, I usually forget. What I'm wondering is maybe if the last study that you mentioned, perhaps those who take multivitamins are more aware of healthy eating in general? In other words, taking a daily vitamin triggered a reminder that they needed to keep up with a healthy diet? Just a thought.

Lots of dietary supplements contain allergens, like wheat and soy! Most folks don't know this.

Thanks for these items. I was especially interested in the new findings with regard to mercury at the dentist's office and will follow what happens next, whether the FDA moves forward on a ban for children under 12 and pregnant women (and, what about the rest of us?), as well as what substance is substituted and why it is not already in regular use.

I've slowly had the mercury fillings removed from my mouth because I know in my gut that those are unhealthy. This new take on them, though, makes me want to schedule the removal of the last one immediately.

That is interesting that you went ahead and did this before you had health problems (or I assume you did?) I'm about to talk to my dentist about doing just the same~

Thanks for the great info and reminders. Now that I'm middle-aged (how can that be?), I'm especially attuned to the weight-gain thing. I've always exercised regularly throughout my life, but STILL have that darn belly now! Argh. I think it's partly genetic, in my case, because all the women in my family have the exact same body type. Thanks, mom and mammy. :)

Interesting stories here. I'm so glad I exercised when I was younger! yay! I still need to exercise though - that is for sure :)

What about gummy multivitamins? It's the only way my husband will take them regularly. :)

that's food for thought on the vitamin front,,,i go back and forth between taking a supplement and thinking it's a waste of money.


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