Cancer of the Immune System (ALCL) in 173 Women with Breast Implants

Diana Zuckerman, PhD, National Center for Health Research A recent study of 173 women with cancer of the immune system caused by breast implants [1] was paid for by a plastic surgery medical association and written by plastic surgeons who … Continue reading

Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer

Diana Zuckerman, PhD Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund A growing body of evidence suggests that using talc in the genital area can increase a woman’s chances of developing ovarian cancer.  And the more years she uses talc, the more likely … Continue reading

Antibacterial soaps will be banned by FDA. Good ole soap and water is the better choice

Laura Gottschalk, PhD, National Center for Health Research 2016   Many people choose soaps labeled “antibacterial” because they think these products prevent more infections than just plain soap. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on September 2, 2016 that … Continue reading

5 Airplane Travel Health Tips

Natalie Rosseau 2016 Did you know that more than 230 million passengers are scheduled to fly on U.S. airlines this summer, setting a record high for summer air travel? If you or your loved ones are among them, here are … Continue reading

National Center for Health Research Joins Other Safety Advocates to Applaud IKEA Recall, Emphasize Need for Consumer Awareness

June 28, 2016 On June 28, 2016 the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and IKEA announced the recall of 29 million IKEA Malm dressers responsible for the deaths of three toddlers in tip-over accidents. IKEA has agreed to immediately stop selling … Continue reading

Are processed meats more dangerous than other red meats? Yes!

You have probably heard it many times already–whether from your doctor, a health magazine, or a health promotion poster: don’t eat too much red meat. Red meat has been linked to health problems such as coronary heart disease and diabetes. But, the latest research tells a somewhat different story. Red meat-beef, pork, and lamb-may not deserve its bad rap for those diseases. It’s possibly processed red meats, like bacon, hot dogs, and salami, that are the bigger problem. Continue reading

MyPlate: A New Alternative to the Food Pyramid

The new USDA model, MyPlate, replaces the familiar “food pyramid” diagram that underwent several changes in the 19 years since it was first introduced. The MyPlate model shows the five food groups (fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains, and dairy) in a place setting. It is designed to be easier to understand in the context of a single meal than the more confusing pyramid. Continue reading

The facts about medication for colds and the flu

Cold and flu are two of the most common illnesses and there is no “cure” for either. Because antibiotics do not treat symptoms or cure either cold or flu, many people turn to over-the-counter medications in an effort to prevent and treat cold and flu symptoms. But, do these products work, and are they safe? Are they safe for children as well? Can the risks outweigh the benefits? Continue reading

Health risks of not enough sleep: Why Z’s Matter!

Did you know that not getting enough sleep can cause health problems beyond just feeling tired and worn out? Recent studies have found that lack of adequate sleep is related to weight gain, sexual problems, reduced concentration, mental health problems, and even Alzheimer’s disease. Continue reading

Good news for coffee drinkers: the health benefits outweigh the risks for most people

Recent research suggests that coffee offers more health benefits than risks for most people. However, women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant and women over 65 should probably limit their coffee intake because for them, the risks may outweigh the benefits. Continue reading

Do heartburn medications (Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, etc) cause kidney disease?

Popular heartburn prescriptions include Prilosec, Nexium Prevacid, Kapidex, Aciphex and Protonix, which are all a type of drugs called Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI). New research shows that people who take popular heartburn medications are more likely to develop serious kidney disease. Continue reading

Statins lower cholesterol but will they reduce your risk of heart attacks or strokes?

The FDA issued new safety warnings for statins in February 2012 about the increased risk for diabetes, memory loss and muscle pain, symptoms that we have been warning patients about for some time. Continue reading

Obesity in America: are you part of the problem?

Despite our country’s obsession with weight and appearance, most people who are medically overweight don’t realize it. What we’re talking about isn’t “love-handles” or a body that doesn’t match the supermodels we see in magazines. Instead, we’re talking about a weight that affects your health, well-being, and longevity. Our collective weight problem is so bad that only cigarette smoking causes more preventable deaths in America than obesity does. Continue reading

The benefits of pets for human health

Animals play an important role in many people’s lives. In addition to seeing-eye dogs and dogs that can be trained to detect seizures, animals can also be used in occupational therapy, speech therapy, or physical rehabilitation to help patients recover. Aside from these designated therapeutic roles, animals are also valued as companions. Learn more about the possible benefits of that companionship. Continue reading

2016 Update: When should women start regular mammograms? 40? 50? And how often is “regular”?

In recent years, there has been a growing concern that annual mammograms starting at age 40 may do more harm than good for many women. That is why the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force, an expert group that reviews the latest research findings, recommends that mammography screening for most women start at age 50 rather than 40, and that the frequency be every two years (instead of annually) through the age of 74. Continue reading

Are Bisphenol A (BPA) plastic products safe?

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used to make plastics. It is frequently used in sports equipment, water bottles, medical devices, as a coating or lining in food and beverage cans, and in credit card receipts. It leaches out of plastic into liquids and foods, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found measurable amounts of BPA in the bodies of 93% of the U.S. population studied. While early concerns about BPA’s health effects were based primarily on animal studies and research on cells, there is increasing evidence from studies in humans that BPA can cause serious harm, such as increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and sexual dysfunction. Continue reading

Health Insurance: It’s open enrollment season – now what?

Laurén A. Doamekpor 2015 In case you hadn’t noticed, open enrollment season is upon us! Open enrollment is the time every fall when you have the chance to either stick with your old health insurance plan or pick a new … Continue reading

Do beauty products affect hormones, early puberty, birth defects, and other health problems?

There is mounting evidence that suggests harmful chemicals in personal care products could be a potential cause of early puberty and other health issues. Continue reading

Children and cell phones: is phone radiation risky for kids?

Children use cell phones to watch TV, play games, make phone calls, and send text messages. But are there risks to such frequent use by children, and if so is that different than the risks for adults? Continue reading

Are Bisphenol A (BPA) plastic products safe for infants and children?

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used to make plastics, and is frequently used in baby bottles, sports equipment, water bottles, medical devices, and as a coating in food and beverage cans. Continue reading

Early morning classes, sleepy students, and risky behaviors

In the 1950’s and 1960’s, most schools started between 8:30-9:00 and many students barely stayed awake all day. Today, many high schools start at 7:30 or earlier, and a growing number of studies show that these early school schedules can undermine teenagers’ ability to learn, to drive safely, and to get along with others. They can even increase the likelihood of smoking, drug abuse, and teen pregnancy. Continue reading

Beginner’s guide to developing an exercise routine

Exercise is one of NCHR’s seven recommended ways to maximize your health. If you want to exercise but aren’t sure where to begin, we can help! If you feel like your daily life doesn’t allow you to get fit (not enough time, no money for a gym membership, etc.), we have some “work-arounds” that may help. Continue reading

Is when you eat just as important as what you eat?

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a simple way to lose weight? Instead of counting calories or cutting carbs, what if you could just avoid eating during certain times? A study in 2012 showed that mice who were restricted to only eating at regular times throughout an eight hour period weighed 28% less than mice who consumed the same number of calories but ate frequently throughout the entire day Continue reading

Benadryl and other common medications are linked to dementia in men and women

Many people turn to over-the-counter medicines when they need relief from allergy and cold symptoms or have trouble falling asleep. That’s why you might be concerned about a new study showing that one of the most common of those drugs—Benadryl—could lead to serious health problems, including dementia. Continue reading

A cure for peanut allergies?

Food allergies are on the rise, making school, traveling, and even birthday parties risky business for many children. However, there might be a cure: in a 2014 study of Oral Immunotherapy treatment (OIT), over 80% of participants were able to eat the equivalent of about five peanuts after OIT. Continue reading

Preventing hip fracture: do supplements help?

In 2012, calcium and vitamin D made headlines in the health world when many new studies on the effectiveness and safety of supplements were released. Read more about these nutrients and why you should or should not take supplements. Continue reading

Vytorin and Zetia lower cholesterol but do they improve health?

There are many cholesterol-lowering medications on the market today, but just because a drug lowers cholesterol doesn’t necessarily mean that it will improve health or save lives. So, DO cholesterol medications improve health and save lives? Several recent studies seek to answer this question by looking at Vytorin and Zetia–two of the most popular (and expensive) cholesterol medications. Continue reading

Getting the “just right” amount of folic acid

Making sure pregnant women get the appropriate amount of folic acid or folates is an easy way to protect their unborn child’s health. Men and older women also benefit from folic acid. Most people consume too little folic acid rather than too much, but getting too much can also be harmful. Continue reading

Do chemicals in our environment cause weight gain?

Some chemicals that we are exposed to through our food, water, and the products that we use can interfere with our natural hormones, including our sex hormones. The chemicals that do this are called “endocrine disruptors” because they change the way our hormones (our endocrine system) operate. Chemicals can cause the body to “think” that it has to store more fat than it actually does, or they can interfere with the processes our bodies use to make fat cells. Babies developing in the womb are especially vulnerable to these kinds of chemicals. There is evidence that babies who are exposed to endocrine disrupting chemicals in the womb may be at higher risk for obesity and other problems as adults Continue reading

Another reason to keep the weight off: knee pain and the risk of surgery

2013. When it comes to knees giving out or having problems, it turns out that excess weight is just as bad as or maybe worse than getting older. Changes in diet and exercise can reduce your pain and help you avoid or delay surgery. Continue reading

Rock-a-bye baby, chemicals and all: the health risks posed by crib mattresses

In recent years, the safety regulations for cribs have increased yet little attention has been given to the safety of crib mattresses. A new study finds that an alarming number of mattresses contain chemicals that may pose serious health risks for infants. Continue reading

Barefoot and minimalist running: what you need to know

Barefoot and minimalist running are the new crazes in the running world, but can you really run faster, longer, and with fewer injuries by shedding your shoes? Find out the benefits and risks of barefoot running to see if it is really a good option for your workout. Continue reading

Letter to the CA Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair in support of improved flammability standards for furniture

September 3, 2013 — As a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public health, the National Research Center for Women & Families strongly supports the proposed revisions of California’s flammability standards for upholstered furniture and other products. Continue reading

6 things you need to know about juicing your veggies

There is no question that eating your vegetables is good for your health, but what about drinking them? Juicing vegetables is one of the latest health trends, so here’s what you need to know about adding fresh juices to your diet. Continue reading

Which medications, tests, and treatments should you really get? Recommendations for “Choosing Wisely”

When it comes to our health we often want to know as much as possible. But sometimes there is just too much information on what to do to stay healthy. Continue reading

Comments on proposed order “Requests for Ban or Standard on Adult Portable Bed Rails”

July 30, 2013 — Comments of the National Research Center for Women & Families on Proposed Order “Requests for Ban or Standard on Adult Portable Bed Rails”: We are writing to urge the Consumer Product Safety Commission to take strong action to protect consumers from dangerous bed rails by either:
1) Establishing mandatory safety standards for adult portable bed rails with adequate warning labels, OR
2) Banning these bed rails if it is determined that they cannot be made safe. Continue reading

How do you recover from rape?

After being sexually assaulted, it can be difficult to know where to turn for help. Several studies suggest that group therapy is more effective at reducing PTSD, anxiety, and depression than individual therapy. However, group therapy may not be the best choice for everyone. Find out what other forms of therapy are available so you can decide what is right for you or a loved one. Continue reading

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): what is it and what are the signs?

Monthly changes in hormones affect nearly all women. Some of the symptoms are more bothersome or noticeable than others, and sometimes they signal health problems. Studies show that 4% to 18% of women of reproductive age have a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). It can be difficult to diagnose because it is similar to so many other conditions. What is PCOS, and what are the signs? Continue reading

Can cleanliness increase the risk of allergies and asthma?

Is being too clean bad for your health? Research indicates that some of the products we use to avoid germs may contribute to the development of conditions like asthma and allergies. Continue reading

Can taking fish oil supplements help lung cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy?

Fish oil is a well-known supplement that is said to have many benefits. Research shows that taking fish oil may help lung cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy respond better to treatment and reduce side effects of chemotherapy. Continue reading

Ginkgo biloba may help memory, but may have serious health risks

Ginkgo biloba has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, and today it is one of the most popular herbal supplements, widely advertised as a beneficial antioxidant that helps prevent memory loss and dementia. Like most herbal products, however, there have been few clinical studies to see if these claims are accurate. Though both possible risks and benefits have been found in research, whether or not ginkgo biloba is good or bad for you is not yet known, and should be discussed with your physician. Continue reading

Cold and flu: do natural health products work?

Cold and flu are two of the most common illnesses and there is no “cure” for either. Because antibiotics do not treat symptoms or cure either cold or flu, many people turn to natural products in an effort to prevent and treat cold and flu symptoms. But, do these products work, and are they safe? Here, a range of these products are compared, examining their safety and effectiveness. Continue reading

Pancreatic cancer: could bacteria in our mouth help us detect this deadly cancer sooner?

Pancreatic cancer has an extremely low survival rate because it is difficult to detect at early stages. A method for earlier diagnosis would greatly improve patients’ chances of survival. New research suggests that a specific type of oral bacteria might serve as a warning sign for pancreatic cancer. Continue reading

Recall of device to treat irregular heartbeats is worrying patients who have them in their bodies

Defibrillators are medical devices that treat irregular heartbeats and can prevent sudden cardiac arrest. The 79,000 Americans who were implanted with the Riata or Riata ST Silicone implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) leads made by St. Jude Medical are left wondering what to do now that the FDA recalled the device in December 2011. This recall was announced a year after the company stopped their sales of the product. Continue reading

Laser liposuction—weight loss tool or scam?

As American waistlines have expanded, the attraction of a quick weight loss fix has increased. Diet and exercise are the key to safe weight loss, but for many of us, the results are discouraging. As a result, liposuction is the third most commonly performed cosmetic procedure in the United States, after breast augmentation and nose reshaping. However, the procedure can result in severe though rare complications including infection, cardiac arrest, blood clots, excessive fluid loss, fluid accumulation, damage to the skin or nerves, seizures, bruising, swelling, and damage to vital organs. Plastic surgeons often present laser liposuction as a safer, effective alternative which works by inserting a laser beneath the skin and liquifying fat. But does it work and is it really safe? Continue reading