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Hookah Use Linked to Increased Presence of Chemical Linked to Cancer

Credit: Image Source/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — A study con­ducted by researchers in San Diego found a link between hookah smok­ing an a toxin that has been known to cause cancer.According to the study, pub­lished in the jour­nal Can­cer Epi­demi­ol­ogy, Biomar…


Wool Workout Wear Warms You Up, Cools You Down

Minus33(NEW YORK) — You’ve relied on wool socks and sweaters to stay warm dur­ing cold weather months. And now, the nat­ural fiber is mak­ing its way from your win­ter wear into your gym clothes.

It might sound strange, but man­u­fac­tur­ers are going full steam ahead with the trend.

When you think of wool, you think of old scratchy sweaters your grand­mother used to give you and that just isn’t the case any­more,” said Craig Sex­ton, mar­ket­ing and assis­tant sales man­ager at Minus33, an online shop sell­ing wool work­out wear. “Merino wool is ultra-soft, nat­ural and pro­vides ulti­mate per­for­mance in almost any setting.”

Typ­i­cally, ath­letic cloth­ing is made from man-made mate­ri­als such as span­dex, Lycra and poly­ester. But accord­ing to Sex­ton, wool work­out wear out­per­forms famil­iar fit­ness fab­rics in many ways.

While syn­thet­ics are pas­sive, Merino wool is active, react­ing to changes in body tem­per­a­ture to keep you warm when you’re cold, but releas­ing heat and mois­ture when you’re hot,” he said, not­ing that wool per­forms equally well dur­ing indoor and out­door work­outs. “The best part is that wool nat­u­rally reduces chaf­ing, odor and dries incred­i­bly fast.”

Because of its ben­e­fits, high-profile com­pa­nies are incor­po­rat­ing Merino wool into their fit­ness apparel.

Lul­ule­mon and Nike are keep­ing up and other brands will con­tinue to sur­prise us by push­ing the bound­aries,” said celebrity fit­ness expert Lacey Stone. “I’ve seen the trend [Merino wool] worn in my classes and I actu­ally love it.”

Other labels, includ­ing Adi­das and Ice­breaker, cur­rently have wool exer­cise leg­gings and run­ning shirts in their lines.

Sex­ton said he is con­fi­dent that the trend will con­tinue to grow.

Once con­sumers try the prod­uct, they don’t go back,” he said.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Why Heavy Drinking Doesn't Make You An Alcoholic

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Heavy drink­ing does not make you an alco­holic, accord­ing to a new study by the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Prevention.

While one out of three adults drink exces­sively, Dr. William Brewer with the CDC says 90% of adults aren’t booze-dependent because they don’t have the chronic med­ical con­di­tion of alco­hol dependency.

How­ever, he says, “that doesn’t mean that the drink­ing that they’re doing isn’t still putting them­selves and oth­ers at risk of harm.”

Every year, 88,000 peo­ple in the United States die from exces­sive drinking.

So how many glasses of wine or bot­tles of beer are safe to drink? For women, that is no more than one drink a day, and for men, no more than two a day.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Evelyn Lozada Opens Up About Motherhood and Regaining Her Confidence Post-Baby

Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — After Eve­lyn Lozada gave birth to her son this past March, it took her awhile to feel like her­self again.

How­ever, the Bas­ket­ball Wives star has since lost 55 lbs. and learned to love her new, curvier body.

I kept remind­ing myself that I just had a baby and went through a beau­ti­ful expe­ri­ence and this is what mat­ters the most. When I had [my 21-year-old daugh­ter] Shaniece, I was a teenager and I bounced back within 24 hours, but as you get older, your body changes and I didn’t bounce back as fast,” she told ABC News. “I’m very sat­is­fied with my appear­ance now! I’m a bit more curvier and I love it.”

Lozada, 38, and Shaniece have teamed up with youthH2O, an age-defying solu­tion, for a new cam­paign aimed to inspire women to look and feel their best. (Lozada has long rep­re­sented the brand, while Shaniece is its new face.) The cam­paign, for which moth­ers and daugh­ters are asked to post pho­tos on youthH2O’s social chan­nels with the hash­tag #ForeverY­oung, was a nat­ural fit for the pair.

Shaniece was and still is super pos­i­tive,” Lozada gushed. “She would actu­ally take the role of big sis­ter and do the night shift some­times when I wanted to go work out. She was my lifesaver.”

She’s also been inspi­ra­tional to Lozada dur­ing her weight loss jour­ney. The real­ity TV star cred­its Shaniece for teach­ing her to eat health­ier and “exer­cise with­out complaints.”

We only speak in a pos­i­tive man­ner when it comes to our appear­ance and I’m her biggest cheer­leader,” she added. “I make cer­tain to rec­og­nize her when she excels and I sup­port her on all of her projects. As a mom, it’s impor­tant to encour­age your child, this helps them to build con­fi­dence and we hope to help so many women do the same.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Infectious Disease Expert Says Ebola Must Be Suppressed in West Africa

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, direc­tor of the National Insti­tute of Allergy and Infec­tious Dis­eases, addressed the National Press Club Fri­day on thet opic of Ebola and said there is no rea­son for wide­spread panic.

Is there a large influx of Ebola peo­ple infected with peo­ple who are try­ing to get into the United States?” Dr. Fauci said. “The answer is no.”

Regard­ing Thomas Eric Dun­can, who died of the dis­ease last month, Dr. Fauci said, “Yes, Dun­can got in to the coun­try but that was a very rare event because of what we know now when we do screening.”

Dr. Fauci said the best way to pro­tect the U.S. is by keep­ing an eye on West Africa.

The best way to pro­tect Amer­i­cans or any­one else through­out the world is to com­pletely sup­press the epi­demic in West Africa, so that there isn’t any risk of it going any place else,” he said.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Harvard Finds Cooks Serve Better Food When They Can See Diners

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Look­ing for the most fla­vor­ful and fas­tid­i­ous dining-out expe­ri­ence? Try to make eye con­tact with your chef before plac­ing your order.

A Har­vard research project recently found that cooks who were able to observe their guests dished out markedly bet­ter meals than when cus­tomers remained anony­mous to them.

The find­ings were culled after Har­vard Busi­ness School doc­toral stu­dent Tami Kim and Chia-Jung Tsay, an assis­tant pro­fes­sor at Uni­ver­sity Col­lege Lon­don, set up four suc­ces­sive exper­i­ments in a work­ing cafe­te­ria over a two-week period.

In the first, din­ers and cooks couldn’t view one another; in the sec­ond, the din­ers could see the cooks; in the third, the cooks could see the din­ers; and in the fourth, both the din­ers and the cooks were vis­i­ble to one another,” stated the research. Fol­low­ing each meal, din­ers could rate their experience.

Due to the noted lim­i­ta­tions of the project, the researchers acknowl­edged that much more and deeper study is necessary.

Kim and Tsay found that cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion increased by 10 per­cent when the cook could see the guests in the din­ing area.

But even more strik­ing, when cus­tomers and cooks both could see one another, sat­is­fac­tion went up 17.3 per­cent, and ser­vice was 13.2 per­cent faster,” stated the research. “Trans­parency between cus­tomers and providers seems to really improve service.”

Kim and Tsay attrib­uted the improved expe­ri­ence to chefs feel­ing more moti­vated and inspired by see­ing patrons. Still, not all restau­rants should begin break­ing down kitchen walls just yet.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


The Skinny on Nestlé's New Exercise in a Bottle Project

Tim Boyle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Swiss food and bev­er­age giant Nestlé is work­ing on devel­op­ing the lazy person’s holy grail: an edi­ble prod­uct that replaces exer­cise — pro­vid­ing at least some of the benefits.

But it will be a while before the mag­i­cal potion gets approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion, let alone hits the shelves of your neigh­bor­hood gro­cery store.

Ide­ally, we’ll be able to develop prod­ucts that will help pro­mote and aug­ment the effects of exer­cise,” said Kei Sakamoto, who heads the dia­betes and cir­ca­dian rhythms depart­ment at the Nestlé Insti­tute of Health Sci­ences in Switzerland.

Specif­i­cally, Nestlé is work­ing on a prod­uct that would reg­u­late AMPK, an enzyme that sci­en­tists have dubbed the “meta­bolic mas­ter switch.” The tar­get cus­tomer is some­one with dia­betes or some­one who is obese, accord­ing to the company.

Researchers at Nestlé Insti­tute of Health Sci­ences and sev­eral other insti­tu­tions found that a com­pound acts on the AMPK enzyme in mice to stop their liv­ers from pro­duc­ing fat, accord­ing to a study pub­lished in July in the jour­nal Chem­istry and Biol­ogy.

But don’t think you’re going to drink your way to a beach body.

The prod­uct won’t out­right replace exer­cise, Sakamoto said in a state­ment, explain­ing that even run-of-the-mill exer­cise has such a dynamic role that Nestlé will “never be able to mimic all those effects in a sin­gle product.”

Dr. Sil­vana Obici, an endocri­nol­o­gist at the Uni­ver­sity of Cincin­nati in Ohio who was not involved in the study and has no affil­i­a­tion with Nestlé, said it was too early to know if the find­ings in mice could be repli­cated in humans with any success.

Although I am very happy that new spe­cific com­pounds with selec­tive AMPK are com­ing to the fore­front, I can say I have guarded opti­mism,” Obici told ABC News. “It needs to be demon­strated directly and not only in tri­als but also in ani­mal mod­els of obe­sity and also in clin­i­cal trials.”

Obici said she had guarded opti­mism that a drink that affects AMPK could “rev up the metab­o­lism,” but said the drink would never fully replace eat­ing healthy and work­ing out.

As a doc­tor, I want to point out that any drug that we have at our dis­posal for weight reduc­tion and obe­sity [does] not work unless you are imple­ment­ing lifestyle changes,” she said.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Generic Drug Prices Skyrocketing, Lawmakers Warn

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The prices of some com­mon generic drugs have sky­rock­eted in recent years, but the rea­sons remain murky, law­mak­ers said.

The hear­ing of the Sen­ate sub­com­mit­tee on pri­mary health and aging on Thurs­day was called after Ver­mont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Mary­land Rep. Eli­jah Cum­mings announced they were inves­ti­gat­ing why some generic drug prices have risen hun­dreds to thou­sands of per­cent — putting a severe strain on the pock­et­books of many peo­ple who rely on gener­ics to reduce costs com­pared to brand-name drugs.

To com­bat the ris­ing prices, Sanders said he was intro­duc­ing a bill that would require generic drug mak­ers to pay a rebate to Med­ic­aid if the cost increases faster than inflation.

The prices of more than 1,200 generic med­ica­tions increased an aver­age of 448 per­cent between July 2013 and July 2014, Sanders said dur­ing the hear­ing, cit­ing fed­eral records.

Among the drugs cited by Sanders and Cum­mings was a pop­u­lar asthma med­ica­tion, albuterol sul­fate, which increased in price over 40 fold for two tablets, from $11 to $434, between Octo­ber 2013 and April 2014, accord­ing to data from the Health­care Sup­ply Chain Asso­ci­a­tion, a trade asso­ci­a­tion rep­re­sent­ing multi-hospital sys­tems, health care provider alliances and pur­chas­ing groups, among others.

Another drug, an antibi­otic called doxy­cy­cline hyclate, rose in price from an aver­age of $20 to $1,849 per bot­tle between Octo­ber 2013 and April 2014 — a more-than 90-fold increase — accord­ing to data from the association.

Other med­ica­tions for blood pres­sure, high cho­les­terol and heart attacks increased in price between three-fold and 40-fold, asso­ci­a­tion data showed.

Sanders and Cum­mings sent let­ters in Octo­ber to var­i­ous phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies ask­ing for com­ment about price increases and invited offi­cials from three com­pa­nies to tes­tify at Thursday’s hear­ing, but none of them agreed to attend, Sanders said.

But in a state­ment, the CEO of Generic Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Asso­ci­a­tion called the pro­posed leg­is­la­tion “misguided.”

CEO Ralph Neas said the find­ings were too nar­rowly focused on just 10 drugs “in a mar­ket­place of more than 12,000 safe, afford­able generic medicines.”

In actu­al­ity, generic drugs con­tinue to be a resound­ing suc­cess in low­er­ing health care costs and ben­e­fit­ing patients,” wrote Neas, who also noted that generic drugs saved con­sumers $239 bil­lion in 2013 over brand-name drugs, an increase of 14 per­cent from 2012.

Neas sug­gested a more com­pet­i­tive mar­ket­place and a more timely review of drug appli­ca­tions by the U.S. Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion could help lower prices.

Rob Frankil, a phar­ma­cist and mem­ber of the National Com­mu­nity Phar­ma­cists Asso­ci­a­tion, tes­ti­fied that one patient accused him of price goug­ing after his heart fail­ure med­ica­tion went up from $15 to $120 for a 90-day supply.

That’s an increase of 800 [per­cent],” Frankil told the lawmakers.

A Jan­u­ary sur­vey of 1,000 NCPA mem­bers found that more than three-quarters of the phar­ma­cists reported higher prices on more than 25 generic drugs, with the prices spik­ing by 600 per­cent to 2,000 per­cent in cer­tain cases.

I’m see­ing it in real dol­lars and cents on my invoices,” Frankil said.

A patient, Carol Ann Riha, of Des Moines, Iowa, tes­ti­fied that her pre­scrip­tion costs have increased from $849 to more than $1,700 due to price increases.

How can any­one on a fixed income deal with these vagaries in the sys­tem?” Riha said in writ­ten tes­ti­mony. “You sure can’t bud­get for costs that change month-to-month. And it’s not a few pen­nies, as you can see. These are sig­nif­i­cant percentages.”

Man­isha Solanki, a phar­macy owner who was not at the hear­ing, told ABC News that he’s seen generic med­ica­tions priced sim­i­larly to their name-brand counterparts.

I’ve had peo­ple post­pone get­ting a med­ica­tion, so if they’re sup­posed to get it this week and they don’t have the funds to pay for it they’ll say, ‘Okay, let me wait a few days. Let me wait till this comes up. Let me see if I have more funds,’” Solanki said. “So we see them slowly push­ing back when they should be tak­ing it.”

Pan­elists and law­mak­ers debated at the hear­ing whether reg­u­la­tion by the FDA could be con­tribut­ing to the price hikes, but Dr. Aaron Kessel­heim of the Har­vard School of Med­i­cine said that was unlikely to be the sole reason.

These reg­u­la­tory issues have been around for a very long time, and this is a new issue so I can’t see how this is a reg­u­la­tory issue,” Kessel­heim said. “I think we all want high qual­ity, safe drugs and we want the FDA to mon­i­tor the safety of our drug sup­ply. …I see this as a mar­ket fail­ure and a bunch of indi­vid­ual mar­ket fail­ures, in some cases.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio