I’m going to cover all of these issues in the newest, regular HealthandFitnessAdvice.com feature, The Ramble.

Rather than struggle to come up with 400 words on one topic I’m going to make things quicker and more interesting and keep it to a few sentences per topic. Learn more in less time with The Ramble!

Dangerous Selenium. 

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) people are getting sick from Total Body Formulation and Total Body Mega Formulation selenium supplements.  Approximately 200 people have fallen ill from taking these supplements and the FDA has found that they contained 200 times the amount of selenium published on the label. 

There’s a big “oopsie” for you. 

Given the small amount of selenium needed, and the prevalence of it in our diet, there’s really no reason to waste your money on a selenium supplement anyway. The 2008 Flu Shot Failure.  The flu vaccines had a bad year, helping only 44% of the people who got the shots this year, down from the usual 70-90% success rate. Far from being an exact science, health authorities guess what the 3 most prevalent flu strains will be in a given year and formulate the necessary vaccines, and this year officials didn’t do a very good job guessing. 

Better luck next year, doc!

Asia is the Planet’s Flu Incubator.  What the Dominican Republic is to producing baseball players, Asia is to producing strains of the flu. Thanks to a field of study known as  “antigenic cartography,” health officials have determined that flu strains produced in Asia – mostly China – travel around the world to the west for 6-9 months before dying out in South America. 

Asia is a breeding ground for flu strains thanks to climate conditions, and trade and travel patterns take the flu to Europe, Australia, North America and finally South America where it finally dies out.  At each stop the flu loses strength, that is why North Americans traveling to points east do not bring the flu back with them to the places the flu has already been, as those who have already been exposed to the flu build up immunities to it. 

Interesting, huh?

The 10 Worst U.S. Allergy Cities.  The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America released the list of America’s worst allergy cities, and here they are in reverse order. 10) San Diego, CA 9) Little Rock, AR 8) New Orleans, LA 7) Birmingham, AL 6) Knoxville, TN 5) Jackson, MS 4) Augusta, GA 3) Johnson City, TN 2) Greensboro, NC 1)Lexington, KY I was surprised by the geographic concentration of the cities on the list and that there are no northeastern cities on the list where the big bloom seems to hit all at once in April and where almost everyone seems to suffer as a result.

Extreme Thinness Laws.  Some health conscious legislators in France are pushing for a law that would punish web sites and groups that promotes extreme thinness.  The law is aimed at web sites that encourage young women to starve themselves, known as “pro-ana sites,” that ostensibly exist to show girls how to live on an apple a day and how to skip meals. 

Sick stuff. 

Some feel that this legislation, if made law, could be used to punish the modeling industry for employing models that are deemed too thin.  The problem with this law is that the term “extreme thinness” is not defined and other aspects of the proposal are vague.  However, the root problem is that people don’t understand that thinner is not healthier. 

Punishing models for being too thin, or having a Body Mass Index (BMI) that is deemed too low, is akin to punishing a football player or weight lifter for having a BMI that is too high.  However, I can understand that lawmakers are concerned with the pro-anorexia web sites. This issue is far from settled and bears watching.

The DASH Diet. Also known as the Diet Approach to Stop Hypertension, details of a new study shows that women who followed this diet lowered their risk of heart attacks and strokes. The diet is low fat and promotes a low-sodium intake as well, with emphasis on fruits and vegetables, as well as protein from plants.  The study did not consider the effect that exercise had on the subjects, which makes the results of this study incomplete and less than conclusive.  Without taking into account the effects of exercise, or allowing for these effects, it’s hard to give DASH all of the credit.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here