Monday, August 5, 2013

New FDA Warning About Tylenol

Last week, the FDA released a warning about 3 rare but potentially fatal skin disorders associated with taking acetaminophen (Tylenol, paracetamol). We’ve discussed some of the dangerous side effects of acetaminophen before, but these new warnings were unknown at the time. So what did the FDA say, and how did they learn about the new side effects of this not so safe over the counter drug?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

How Safe Are Supplements?

In recent years, there has been much controversy about the safety and efficacy of dietary supplements. Are they as safe as pharmaceutical medications? Should you be concerned that  they could make you sick? Interestingly, in the United States and Europe, regulatory agencies (FDA, EMEA, etc.) are trying to, or have succeeded in, restricting or blocking the sale of many dietary supplements to the general public. You might think that they are trying to regulate these supplements because they are trying to protect you from “dangerous” supplements that could harm you, but is this really the case?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Washing Produce - The Dirty Truth

The “five second rule” is a cute thing we reference when someone drops something on the ground, but the reality is that almost all plants live (or spend some time) on the ground before they end up in stores for us to buy and eat. To say that some plants are “dirty” belies the truth that plants quite literally grow in the dirt. Between pesticides, bacteria, viruses, and just plain dirt, the food you buy in stores often carries more than just nutrients into your body.

The brightly colored produce you see in the market might look cosmetically “clean”, but what you can’t see are the residues of pesticides and microscopic bacteria or viruses that can make you sick. Even though it is time consuming, it is really important to clean your produce thoroughly to protect yourself from these hidden dangers.

Is water alone enough to do the job? What about products made to wash off pesticides from produce? What is the best way to clean fruits and vegetables to remove dangerous chemicals and pathogens?