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December 23, 2010     The Ponchatoula Times
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THE PONCHATOULA TIMES, DECEMBER 23, 2010 B-4 Health Supplements fail again By DR. RANDOLPH HOWES M.D., PhD (EDITOR'S NOTE: Longtime medical columnist for The Ponchatoula Times, the author is an accomplished surgeon, medical inventor, and Country music recording artist. Dr. Howes grew up on his parents' Ponchatoula strawberry farm. He is a graduate of St. Joseph, Ponchatoula High School, Tulane - two doctorates, followed by a residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in plastic surgery. He says he is "re- tired" now in Kentwood.) In 2008, a huge review of 67 studies, with over 230,000 par- ticipants, showed that antioxidant vitamin supplements taken by millions do not increase life expectancy and may raise the risk of a premature death. In fact, vitamin A was linked to a 16% increased risk of dy- ing, beta-carotene to a 7% in- creased risk and vitamin E to a 4% increased risk. So, forget about taking these vitamins as "anti-aging' miracles. The evidence with vitamin C suggested that it was no better than a dummy pill. We must base our conclusions on scientific evidence and not on testimonials or statements of those selling these products. The Cochrane data suggested that antioxidant supplements are either useless or harmful. That should be the end of the story, but world citizens contin- ue to gulp down these scam pills faster than a bass can suck-up minnows. The supplement industry and marketers of health foods would have you believe that antioxidants are the panacea of modern times but vitamin C, if injected intravenously, has a "prooxidant" alter ego that can benefit arteries or fight cancer, because it reacts with oxygen to generate hydrogen peroxide. Dr. Howes In contrast, vitamin C taken orally has been found to be pri- marily ineffective at preventing cardiovascular disease, because it is quickly filtered out by the kidneys. As of December 2010, the FDA is expanding its reach to crack down on supplements used for weight loss, body build- ing and sexual enhancement. They believe that manufactur- ers are deceptively labeling products and hiding harmful ingredient contents. FDA Commissioner Marga- ret Hamburg said, "The manu- We ship via UPS for the Holidays $I Off Shipping with this ad www.centraldrugs.net 125 E. Thomas St. Hammond 985.345.5120 fax: 985.345.5178 PROE(;(;IONAL GROOMING Garage Doors Seamless Gutters Enclosures Patio Covers Brian Schexnayder -Owner facturers selling these tainted.., products are operating outsidei:':l the law. These tainted products can cause serious adverse ef- fects, including strokes, organ failure and death." Dietary supplements have gotten away with these shenan- igans for decades because, un- like drugs, they do not have to be approved by the FDA before they are marketed. In other words, manufac- turers are responsible for the safety of their products and can keep selling them until they have been proven to be harm- ful. So, line up the guinea pigs, folks. Since 2007, be'cause of links to strokes, kidney failure, liver injury and death, the FDA has "pressured" companies to recall nearly 200 "inappropriately- formulated" products, including 80 body building supplements. Actually, the FDA does not have the power to "force" recalls and instead it issues warning let- ters to draw attention of illegal products. In the America that I love, we are aware that dozens of weight loss products contain- ing sibutramine have been withdrawn from the market for causing increased risk of heart attack and strokes. Even body builders and athletes frequently do not research the potentially dangerous products they take everyday. Folks, do you home- work and do not be a victim. AOH members and guests Couples attending the An- cient Order of Hibernians Christmas Party are pic- tured (left to right) Don and Louise Steadman, Michael and Billie Shaughnessey, Judge Jimmy and Cheryl Kuhn, President Martin and Charlene Kearney, Martha Temples and Bryan T. Mc- Mahon, Brooks and Chris O'Connor, Karen and Bill Moran, and Pam and Ronnie Crimmins. (Times Photo) Pharmacist Don Fellows and Photographer Phillip Colwart are pictured at the Joint Chamber Christmas Party hosted by Regions Bank. (Times Photo) Be careful with egg dishes By LSU AgCenter Make sure your holiday treats such as eggnog, cream pies and other dishes containing eggs are safe to eat, says LSU AgCenter nutritionist Beth Reames. Eating raw or undercooked eggs is a risk for foodborne ill- ness. The same is true for light- ly cooked eggs and egg dishes. "It is important for the cook- ing temperature of eggs and egg dishes to reach 160 degrees to kill bacteria, including Salmo- nella," Reames says. "It's also important not to leave dishes containing eggs at room temper- ature for more than two hours, including preparation time. This includes pies containing eggs - pumpkin, custard, cream pies and pecan. These pies and other dishes containing eggs should be refrigerated." While baking holiday treats such as cookies and ginger- bread, avoid licking the spoon or the mixing bowl if the batter contains uncooked eggs. "Tast- ing cookie or cake batter can be tempting, but remember, bac- teria could be lurking in those uncooked eggs," Reames says. You can make homemade eggnog and ice cream safely by using a cooked base, she says. Heat the egg-milk mixture gen- tly to 160 degrees, using a food thermometer to check the "To prepare a recipe that contains raw eggs that won't be cooked, such as chocolate mousse, make it safe by heat- ing the eggs in another recipe ingredient, such as lime juice or melted chocolate," she says. Warm the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches 160 degrees. Then combine it with the other ingre- dients and complete the recipe. "Make sure the mixture doesn't exceed 160 degrees, or the results may be 'scrambled eggs,"' Reames warns. To make key lime or lemon ice box pie safely, heat the lime or lemon juice with the raw egg yolks in a pan on the stove, stir- ring constantly, until the mix- ture reaches 160 degrees. Medi Thrift Knowledgeable Pharmacists