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CDC Says Microneedle Measles Vaccine Patch Could Be 'Game-Changer'

James Gathany/Centers for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion(NEW YORK) — The U.S. Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion said Mon­day that a micronee­dle patch cur­rently being devel­oped could be a major advance­ment in the effort to vac­ci­nate peo­ple against measles and other diseases.

The patch, being devel­oped by the CDC and the Geor­gia Insti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy, is designed to be admin­is­tered by work­ers with min­i­mal train­ing. It would also sim­plify stor­age, dis­tri­b­u­tion and dis­posal, as com­pared to tra­di­tional vaccines.

A CDC press release said the square cen­time­ter patch could be admin­is­tered with the press of a thumb. The under­side of the patch con­tains 100 “solid, con­i­cal micronee­dles made of poly­mer, sugar, and vac­cine that are a frac­tion of a mil­lime­ter long.”

The CDC says that when applied, the micronee­dles press into the skin and dis­solve within min­utes, releas­ing the vac­cine. After­ward, the patch can be discarded.

Every day, 400 chil­dren are killed by measles com­pli­ca­tions world­wide,” said James Good­son, epi­demi­ol­o­gist from the CDC’s Global Immu­niza­tion Divi­sion. “With no nee­dles, syringes, ster­ile water or sharps dis­pos­als needed, the micronee­dle patch offers great hope of a new tool to reach the world’s chil­dren faster, even in the most remote areas.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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US Lowers Recommended Fluoride Levels for Drinking Water

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The U.S. Depart­ment of Health and Human Ser­vices on Mon­day announced a final rec­om­men­da­tion for opti­mal lev­els of flu­o­ride in drink­ing water — low­er­ing the rec­om­men­da­tion to 0.7 mil­ligrams per liter, the low end of the pre­vi­ous rec­om­men­da­tion issued in 1962.

The depart­ment says in a press release the change was made “because Amer­i­cans now have access to more sources of flu­o­ride, such as tooth­paste and mouth rinses, than they did when water flu­o­ri­da­tion was first intro­duced in the United States.” As a result, Amer­i­cans have seen an increase in den­tal flu­o­ro­sis — a con­di­tion that man­i­fests as lacy white mark­ings or spots on the enamel of the teeth.

While addi­tional sources of flu­o­ride are more widely used than they were in 1962,” U.S. Deputy Sur­geon Gen­eral Rear Adm. Boris Lush­niak said, “the need for com­mu­nity water flu­o­ri­da­tion still continues.”

By flu­o­ri­dat­ing water, Lush­niak says the U.S. has reduced tooth decay in its cit­i­zens well beyond the level that could be achieved using only tooth­paste and other flu­o­ride products.

Com­mu­nity water flu­o­ri­da­tion is effec­tive, inex­pen­sive and does not depend on access or avail­abil­ity of pro­fes­sional ser­vices,” Lush­niak noted. “It has been the basis for the pri­mary pre­ven­tion of tooth decay for nearly 70 years.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion sent a let­ter to bot­tled water man­u­fac­tur­ers on Mon­day say­ing that they too should lower the flu­o­ride lev­els in their products.

In a state­ment, the Amer­i­can Acad­emy of Pedi­atrics sup­ported the DHHS deci­sion. “Water flu­o­ri­da­tion con­tin­ues to be one of the most impor­tant tools in our tool­box to pre­vent tooth decay,” said AAP Pres­i­dent San­dra Has­sink, while acknowl­edg­ing that lim­it­ing water flu­o­ri­da­tion to the level rec­om­mended Mon­day would limit the risk of chil­dren to develop fluorosis.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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Women Put an Average of 168 Chemicals on Their Bodies Each Day, Consumer Group Says

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Amer­i­can women put an aver­age of 168 chem­i­cals on their bod­ies each day, accord­ing to a non­profit group, but two sen­a­tors say fed­eral reg­u­la­tions on per­sonal care prod­ucts have barely changed since the 1930s.

Sens. Dianne Fein­stein, D-Calif., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, intro­duced an amend­ment to the fed­eral Food, Drug and Cos­metic Act that would give the Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion more power and over­sight to reg­u­late the chem­i­cals men and women slather on their bod­ies every day. They’re call­ing it the Per­sonal Care Prod­ucts Safety Act.

From sham­poo to lotion, the use of per­sonal care prod­ucts is wide­spread, how­ever, there are very few pro­tec­tions in place to ensure their safety,” Fein­stein said in a statement.

The 98-page bill includes a sys­tem of reg­is­ter­ing per­sonal care com­pa­nies, their prod­ucts and their ingre­di­ents, and it would require the FDA to review five chem­i­cals that appear gen­er­ally in per­sonal care prod­ucts each year to eval­u­ate their safety. The first set of chem­i­cals will likely be dia­zo­lidinyl urea, lead acetate, meth­yl­ene glycol/formaldehyde, propyl paraben and quaternium-15, accord­ing to Feinstein’s office.

The sen­a­tors worked with the Envi­ron­men­tal Work­ing Group, a non­profit con­sumer health advo­cacy group that started the Skin Deep data­base about a decade ago. The Skin Deep data­base allows con­sumers to look up per­sonal care prod­ucts to learn what chem­i­cals they con­tain, and whether those chem­i­cals are asso­ci­ated with any health risks.

These are basic tools that should have been granted to the FDA decades ago, but are only now being pro­vided in the Feinstein-Collins bill,” said Scott Faber, Envi­ron­men­tal Work­ing Group’s vice pres­i­dent of gov­ern­ment affairs. “Cos­met­ics are sort of the last unreg­u­lated area of con­sumer prod­ucts law. I can’t over­state how lit­tle law is now on the books. The FDA vir­tu­ally has no power to reg­u­late the prod­ucts we use everyday.”

Accord­ing to the Envi­ron­men­tal Work­ing Group, women use an aver­age of 12 prod­ucts a day, con­tain­ing 168 dif­fer­ent chem­i­cals. Men use fewer prod­ucts, but still put 85 chem­i­cals on their bod­ies. Teens on aver­age use 17 per­sonal care prod­ucts a day, accord­ing to the group, which tested 20 teens’ blood and urine seven years ago to find out which chem­i­cals from these prod­ucts were end­ing up in their bod­ies. They said they found 16 hormone-altering chem­i­cals, includ­ing parabens and phthalates.

Many if not most of these chem­i­cals are prob­a­bly safe,” Far­ber said. “We can’t know for sure because they haven’t been sub­ject to any kind of review by a third party.”

Far­ber said attempts to give the FDA more author­ity over cos­met­ics date back to the Eisen­hower admin­is­tra­tion, but they were unsuc­cess­ful. This time, indus­try lead­ers includ­ing John­son and John­son, Revlon and Per­sonal Care Prod­ucts Coun­cil, the indus­try trade group, have come out to say they sup­port the bill.

While we believe our prod­ucts are the safest cat­e­gory that FDA reg­u­lates, we also believe well-crafted, science-based reforms will enhance industry’s abil­ity to inno­vate and fur­ther strengthen con­sumer con­fi­dence in the prod­ucts they trust and use every day,” the Per­sonal Care Prod­ucts Coun­cil said in a state­ment. “The cur­rent patch­work reg­u­la­tory approach with vary­ing state bills does not achieve this goal.”

The FDA said it can­not com­ment on pro­posed legislation.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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Why Broccoli Sprouts May Be a True Disease-Fighting Super Food

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Broc­coli has long been con­sid­ered a “super food” but it’s sul­foraphane — a con­cen­trated form of the phy­to­chem­i­cals found in broc­coli sprouts — that’s shap­ing up to be the true dis­ease fighter.

A new British study found the com­pound might be an effec­tive treat­ment for osteoarthri­tis, a debil­i­tat­ing con­di­tion char­ac­ter­ized by inflamed, painful joints. Mice given an arti­fi­cial ver­sion of the com­pound showed sig­nif­i­cantly improved bone archi­tec­ture, gait bal­ance and move­ment, researchers from the Royal Vet­eri­nary Col­lege in Lon­don reported at an Inter­na­tional Bone and Min­eral Soci­ety meet­ing in Rot­ter­dam, the Nether­lands, this week.

Mean­while, stud­ies look­ing at the sup­ple­ment for treat­ing and pre­vent­ing can­cer are also promis­ing, said Duxin Sun, a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal researcher at the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan in Ann Arbor.

We have shown that it may stop the growth of can­cer stem cells to inhibit the growth of onco genes and may also induce the pro­duc­tion of detox enzymes to pre­vent can­cer,” Sun told ABC News.

Sun stressed that vir­tu­ally all the tri­als look­ing at sulforaphane’s role in fight­ing can­cer have been done on ani­mals. It’s too soon to say whether humans will get the same ben­e­fits, though pre­lim­i­nary results are excit­ing, he said.

Stud­ies are also look­ing at using sul­foraphane to treat autism, a spec­trum of dis­or­ders that now affects one in 68 chil­dren in the U.S., accord­ing to the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Prevention.

In one small study last year, a group of autis­tic boys given a sul­foraphane sup­ple­ments showed dra­matic improve­ments in behav­ior, said Dr. Andrew Zim­mer­man, one of the study’s lead researchers and a pedi­atric neu­rol­o­gist with the Kennedy Krieger Insti­tute in Maryland.

Out of the 44 given the com­pound, 26 were calmer and more socially relate­able while receiv­ing the sul­foraphane,” he said, adding that the ben­e­fits dis­ap­peared once the sub­jects stopped tak­ing the pill.

The chem­i­cal might mimic some of the symp­toms of fever by stim­u­lat­ing a heat shock response in cells, Zim­mer­man said. This might push the oxygen-producing parts of the cells called mito­chon­dria to per­form at a higher level.

Par­ents of autis­tic chil­dren fre­quently report their behav­ior improves when they are sick with fever, Zim­mer­man said.

How­ever, Zim­mer­man said he cau­tioned par­ents not to rush out and buy sul­foraphane sup­ple­ments, which are unreg­u­lated by any gov­ern­men­tal agency. The osteoarthri­tis study found the com­pound too unsta­ble, at this point, to be turned into a viable medication.

As for con­sum­ing the tree-like veg­gie to get a full dose of the chem­i­cal, the arthri­tis study found it would take about 5.5 pounds of broc­coli to get the same amount of the com­pound con­tained in a pill.

Sun said it would take a lot of broc­coli sprouts to offer some pro­tec­tion against can­cer, as well, but con­sumers might be able to max­i­mize the com­pound with cook­ing methods.

Steam­ing broc­coli sprouts and then dic­ing in fresh radish has been shown to pro­duce the high­est lev­els of sul­foraphane, he noted.

It’s some­thing I eat, myself, all the time,” he said.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Expert Tips for Healthy Airport Eating this Summer

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Plenty of trav­el­ers plan to shed a few pounds before their sum­mer trips, but that nec­es­sary evil — the air­port — is filled with poten­tial pit­falls for derail­ing your diet just as you embark on your beach vacation.

So what’s a hun­gry sum­mer flier to do?

Most impor­tantly, eat your typ­i­cal, healthy meal before you leave for the air­port. That’s your first line of defense for avoid­ing a food court filled with high-fat, high-calorie fast food.

Brooke Alpert, a nutri­tion expert an author of The Sugar Detox: Lose Weight, Feel Great and Look Years Younger, specif­i­cally focuses on meet­ing the demands of her clients’ busy sched­ules, teach­ing them to eat well with­out feel­ing deprived. She shared with ABC News her top tips for stay­ing healthy at the airport.

  1. Don’t sit and wait. You’re about to be sit­ting for a flight so before you board, don’t sit while you wait. Walk, walk and walk.
  2. Always invest in water once you’ve gone through secu­rity. Noth­ing makes you more likely to make a poor choice than dehydration.
  3. Don’t pur­chase any­thing to eat that you wouldn’t get on a nor­mal non-travel day. Indulge when it’s worth it, not on a pack of Skittles.
  4. Smooth­ies can be your sal­va­tion. So many air­ports have a Smoothie King, get the one with Greek yogurt and you have a sat­is­fy­ing pro­tein filled yummy meal.
  5. If you’re sweet tooth is call­ing, opt for plain dark choco­late. It’s your health­i­est option and pretty much guilt-free as long as you don’t eat the whole bar.
  6. Don’t be fooled by dried fruit. Most dried fruit is loaded with sugar so skip it and opt for a piece of fresh fruit instead.
  7. BYOT, bring your own tea. Teabags can go through secu­rity and are a great way to have a healthy drink while on the plane, just ask for hot water and use your high qual­ity teabag from home.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Survey Shows Evolving Views of Men's Roles in Society

Stockbyte/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — What is the Amer­i­can Dream in 2015? For most men, it means being a good hus­band, father, son or friend.

That’s one of the sur­pris­ing find­ings of a sur­vey enti­tled “The Shriver Report Snap­shot: An Insight Into the 21st Cen­tury Man.”

Of the more than 800 men sur­veyed, 60 per­cent said that the real marker of suc­cess is per­sonal achieve­ment at home.  Just under one in four said that finan­cial suc­cess is what rep­re­sents the Amer­i­can Dream.

In terms of how men should exhibit strength, 68 per­cent said the best way of doing so is through strong per­sonal char­ac­ter and a sense of integrity.

The other answers were:

  • Abil­ity to pro­vide finan­cially — 44 percent
  • Con­fi­dence to fol­low one’s own path — 40 percent
  • Emo­tional strength to deal with stress­ful sit­u­a­tions — 37 percent
  • Phys­i­cal strength — 11 percent

The sur­vey had the sup­port of The Cal­i­for­nia Endow­ment and was con­ducted by Hart Research Associates.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Digital Device Users Getting Younger and Younger and Younger

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Nowa­days, before a child in the U.S. even says his first word, he may actu­ally be play­ing with an elec­tronic device.

Accord­ing to the Ein­stein Health­care Net­work, which sur­veyed 370 par­ents with chil­dren from half-a-year to four years old, more than a third of infants han­dled smart­phones and tablets by the age of six months and one in seven use these gad­gets for an hour a day by the time they turned one.

Also, 52 per­cent of par­ents, who were from a low-income, minor­ity com­mu­nity, reported that before the age of one, their chil­dren had viewed TV while 24 per­cent made a call to some­one, 15 per­cent used apps and 12 per­cent played video games.

Over­all, most kids were using mobile devices by age two, the sur­vey found.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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Study: Teens Texting While Driving Rates Down After State Bans

Onzeg/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — As many states move to adopt laws ban­ning tex­ting while dri­ving, a new study found teens in states with­out bans texted much more while dri­ving than teens in states with bans.  

Within the states them­selves, the rates of teen tex­ting while dri­ving decreased from 43 per­cent to 30 per­cent in a two year period after laws were imple­mented, accord­ing to a study pub­lished in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Med­ical Asso­ci­a­tion.  

The study used data from the Youth Risk Behav­ior Sur­veil­lance Sur­veys of 2011 and 2013, a nation­wide sur­vey of teen risky behav­iors per­formed by the CDC.  

Researchers specif­i­cally focused on the 14 states with new tex­ting while dri­ving bans.

Even though the drop in teen tex­ting while dri­ving in states with bans was very sig­nif­i­cant, about one-third of teens in those states still reported tex­ting while driving.

Researchers also found that expe­ri­enced teen dri­vers — those more than one year older than the legal dri­ving age limit –  were almost five times more likely to text while dri­ving than less expe­ri­enced teen drivers.

Teen dri­vers rep­re­sent the largest pro­por­tion of dis­tracted dri­vers, with cell­phone tex­ting fre­quently being a major dis­tracter, accord­ing to the study.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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