(Sean-Franc Strang)

Not All Neti Pots Explain How To Avoid Brain-Eating Amoebas

A neti pot is a little pitcher that you use to gently blast warm saline solution through your sinuses to remove dust, pollen, mucus, and other nastiness. This all seems very gentle and healthy, until you learn that incomplete instructions that come with some pots may lead to you delivering pathogens to your brain rather than sweet relief to your congested sinuses. [More]


Should You Take Glucosamine And Chondroitin? Meh

Americans are buying a lot of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements, which are intended to help ease the pain of or prevent symptoms from arthritis. The problem is that there’s no proof that the pills do any good…and tests from our lab-coated cousins down the hall at Consumer Reports showed that many brands don’t even contain the whole dose claimed on the label. [More]


Sunscreen Might Not Be The Fountain Of Youth But Study Says It Does Slows Aging

For those of you out there on the neverending search for the next miracle product that will keep your skin smooth and taut through the years, we’ve got bad news: There is no fountain of youth. If there was, GPS probably would’ve found it by now. But research out of hot hot Australia says that using sunscreen regularly could slow the aging of your skin. [More]


Silly Me, Expecting My Mail-Order Pharmacy To Pay Attention To My Meds

Don’t expect your mail-order pharmacy to look out for you or for your health. That’s what reader Kathleen learned when her auto-refill prescription got auto-refilled, in spite of her new and exciting prescription for the same medication in a higher dose. Isn’t the point to having everything run by benevolent computers that they’re smarter than we are, and don’t make silly human errors? [More]

My Health Insurer’s Idea Of ‘Healthy’ Food Is Mayonnaise And Ice Cream

My Health Insurer’s Idea Of ‘Healthy’ Food Is Mayonnaise And Ice Cream

Should our health insurers try to nudge us toward the healthiest habits possible, like eating fresh, healthy food and exercising regularly? Or should they just give up, accept Americans’ crappy habits and hope that we do less healthy versions of unhealthy things, like eating giant plates of whole-wheat pasta? Reader Scott wonders whether that’s what his health insurance company, Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, is up to with a package of coupons that they sent recently. [More]


Study: Taking Fish Oil Pills Doesn’t Help Prevent Heart Attacks If You’re Already On Meds

Those in the know have long recommended eating fish like salmon and tuna to get the benefits of its omega-3 fatty acids, or swallowing fish oil capsules to get the same good stuff. But a new study says that if you’re at high risk for heart problems and already taking medications to prevent them, fish oil won’t really do anything for you. [More]


Don’t Clean Your Baby’s Pacifier Off In The Sink If It Hits The Floor — Suck On It, Says Study

So there you are, hanging out with your baby and oh, whoops — his or her pacifier hits the ground. Most parents would take it to the sink, run it under some water or perhaps sterilize it in boiling water to prevent their baby from sucking on germs. But a new study says if you want to help your baby, you should really just suck on that pacifier to clean it off. Say whatnow? [More]

(Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie)

Heavy Metal Mouths?: Study Finds Carcinogens In 32 Commonly Sold Lipsticks

Before you pucker up and slather on your favorite lip lacquer, consider the carcinogens: A new study tested 32 lipsticks and lip glosses and found they contain things like lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminum and five other metals. Some of those were present in potentially toxic levels, especially bad news if you’re the type to chew your lip. [More]

No prescription required.

FDA Approves Morning-After Pill For Anyone 15 And Older Without A Prescription

The Food and Drug Administration announced yesterday that the morning-after pill has been approved for girls and women 15 and older without a prescription, as well as putting it out on drugstore shelves instead of keeping it stashed behind the pharmacy counter. [More]


Last Year 80 Million Working-Age Adults Skipped Medical Care Because They Couldn’t Afford It

Can’t afford to seek medical care, even if your’e insured? You’re not alone — a new report says around 80 million people, or 43% of  working-age adults skipped out on getting the treatment they needed last year because they simply couldn’t pay for it. Included in those ranks are the insured as well as the uninsured, a sign that health costs are rising for everyone. [More]


Medical Marijuana Pill Could Mean Grandma Won’t Need To Borrow Grandson’s Bong

While it might make you giggle to think about grandmas smoking medical marijuana out of bongs or rolling joints, the reality is that many medical marijuana users have no way to get their treatment without inhaling the stuff. But new research into a marijuana pill and its effectiveness in alleviating pain could change all that — especially if your state is trying to outlaw bongs. [More]


Study: Taking On The “Cinnamon Challenge” Could Severely Mess Up Your Lungs

Perhaps you’re the kind of person who finds the idea of eating large amounts of cinnamon in order to impress your friends intriguing. Before you take on the so-called “cinnamon challenge” however, you should know that some researchers are finding that not only is it dangerous while you’re doing it — with effects like choking, gagging, a burning sensation — but it could damage your lungs in the long-run. [More]

(Jeffrey Beall)

More Readers Crunch The Numbers, Figure Out Pet Health Insurance Doesn’t Work Out So Well

Last week, we shared an account by reader Howard about his dog’s illness and the results of his decision to get a VPI pet health insurance policy. While health insurance is just that–insurance, not an investment vehicle–Howard and other readers have crunched the numbers and found that the policies are a worse deal than just sticking the money in the bank. [More]


FDA Just Says No To Generic, Crushable Versions Of OxyContin

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t want to make it too easy for people who might abuse the powerful painkiller OxyContin, and has such has declared that generic drug manufacturers cannot produce their own, crushable versions of the drug.  [More]

(C x 2)

FDA Approves Morning Sickness Drug It Pulled Off The Market 30 Years Ago

You don’t have to have ever been pregnant to understand one of the yuckiest drawbacks experienced by women — morning sickness, that awful time when lunch won’t stay down and the toilet is a mom-to-be’s best friend. Thirty years ago the Food and Drug Administration put the kibosh on a treatment designed to alleviate morning sickness, the agency is putting it back on the table now. [More]


Getting Health Insurance For My Pet Was A Bad Deal. Here’s Why

Insurance is always a gamble. Pet health insurance, much like human health insurance, is a bet that your pet’s covered medical expenses over its lifetime will add up to more than the premiums you pay. Following that logic, Howard got a health insurance plan through VPI for his late pet Chihuahua, Tonka. He paid his bills faithfully and filed only a few small claims over the years, until his pet suffered from heart problems in his last six months. This is the very situation that pet owners buy insurance for. How did things work out financially? [More]

(s and j)

Study Says Low-Fat Milk Isn’t The Healthy Choice It’s Cracked Up To Be For Kids

Milk, the stuff of childhood. Some of us drink it as adults, some might not, but it’s got a reputation for being a staple of our early years. Which is why parents have long used the advice of the American Academy of Pediatrics and eventually moved from giving their kids whole milk to reduced-fat milk, for health reason. But is that really the healthier choice? [More]

(Bill Binns)

School Asks Teens To Lay Off The Axe Body Spray After Student Suffers Severe Allergic Reaction

Anyone who’s ever smelled Axe Body Spray or any Axe products probably has their own opinion on the scent of the stuff, so we shall refrain from voicing ours, but for one teenager in Pennsylvania, it wasn’t just that he didn’t like the smell. He had such a bad physical reaction to the scent that he had to go to the hospital, prompting his high school to ask other students to refrain from dousing themselves in it. [More]