Monthly Archives: November 2013

Effervescent Painkillers and Supplements? Are they good for you?

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Effervescence Pain relief? More harm than good?

Effervescence Pain relief? More harm than good?

Taking effervescent painkillers or supplements could tip you over the recommended salt intake for adults, according to UK researchers.

They studied 1.2 million UK patients and found people taking the maximum daily dose of effervescent tablets increased their risk of stroke or heart attack by a fifth, and they were seven times more likely to have high blood pressure or hypertension.

“We know that high salt causes hypertension and that hypertension leads to stroke,” said lead researcher Dr Jacob George, from Dundee University.

Effervescent drugs contain bicarbonate to help them dissolve, but sodium is also often added.

When you combine this with salt from processed foods, Dr George said people’s daily intake could reach alarming levels.

Dr George compared 24 different effervescent medicines and found the salt levels ranged from 69mg to 414mg, which is about a fifth of a teaspoon.

The National Health and Medical Research Centre advises Australians limit their salt intake to 1600mg (4g) per day. The average Australian consumes 9 grams, which is more than double the recommended amount.

Many of these drugs are available over-the-counter and Dr George said patients who regularly take effervescent medication should be aware of the risks.

He also called on drug manufacturers to find ways to reduce their products’ salt levels.

Dr Robert Grenfell, national director of cardiovascular health at the Heart Foundation, told ninemsn that salt from any source is a concern.

“People taking regular medication who are concerned about their salt intake should speak to their doctor about whether their medication contains salt and whether they need to make any changes to their diet or what they are taking,” he said.

But Dr Grenfell pointed out that processed foods are what we should be really concerned about.

“Around 75 percent of the salt we eat is from everyday processed foods, like bread, breakfast cereals, canned vegetables and sauces,” he said.

The study was published in the British Medical Journal

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Stand Tall

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Stand tall

Stand tall

If you feel like you start to get shorter and more slumped as your day goes on, try this exercise to stretch the side of your body and give you a sense of increased height:

Stand with a wall to your right. Start about 12 inches away from the wall, but increase this distance as appropriate.

Place your right hand on the wall above your head with your elbow straight and your palm pressing into the wall.

Then lift your left arm and stretch it up and over your head toward the wall. If the stretch is too much, move closer to the wall. If it’s too little, move farther away.

Remain for five to 10 breaths, and then try the other side.

Stand tallWhen you’ve practiced on both sides, stand up straight for a moment. Do you feel taller?

Has some of the discomfort melted away?

If so, practicing this exercise regularly may be good for you.

Use soap, ditch the handwash.

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imagesThey have become ubiquitous in our homes, but scientists have warned that expensive antibacterial washes are no better at cleaning hands than ordinary soap and they may even encourage superbugs.

American research published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that triclosan, the main active ingredient in many antibacterial soaps, can cause some bacteria to become resistant to commonly used antibiotics such as amoxicillin. That’s because triclosan targets bacteria in much the same way as antibiotics do, by destroying crucial components of their cells. Bacteria are highly adaptable and common ones such as E.coli and salmonella – major culprits in food poisoning – may develop some resistance to the threat.

Microbiologist Dr Anthony Hilton, of Aston University in the UK, says, “These products pander to people’s insecurities and they are often used inappropriately – for example, either too briefly or with cold water. You should wash hands thoroughly for several minutes in warm, clean water. The action of washing and the temperature remove bacteria more effectively than a fancy [antibacterial] product.”