womens health

Home Births Gain Popularity in ‘Baby Bust’ Decade

In a back-to-the-future twist on birth trends, California is seeing a sustained rise in the number of women choosing to deliver their babies in settings other than a hospital, a shift that accelerated as the pandemic created more risky and onerous conditions in many hospitals. About 5,600 people gave birth outside a hospital in California …

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90% of Women Appear Misinformed About Mammograms 

Most women are just being told what to do, rather than being given the facts needed to make a fully informed decision.   “Selling cancer screening can be easy,” begins an editorial in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. “Induce fear by exaggerating risk. Offer hope by exaggerating the benefit of screening. And don’t mention harms [caused by the screening]. It is especially easy …

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The Solution to Au Pairs’ Health Coverage Gaps May Be Simple: ACA Plans

In 2016, Isis Mabel, of Mexico, wanted to improve her English. On advice from an aunt, she enrolled with an au pair agency to come to the United States to live with a family and care for the children. The job typically pays about $200 a week on top of lodging and meals. She said …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Much Ado About Drug Prices

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Congressional Democrats are finding it harder to actually write legislation to lower drug prices than it is to make promises about it. But the drug price provisions of the $3.5 trillion social-spending bill …

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Lead Contamination in Calcium Supplements 

Do calcium citrate and calcium carbonate have as much lead as calcium supplements derived from dolomite and animal bone?  You may remember I’ve explored the role calcium supplements may play in reducing lead exposure during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but that assumes the supplements themselves are not contaminated. Supplements with lead?  It all started with an extraordinary case report published in 1977, entitled “Lead-Contaminated Health Food.” As I discuss in my video Lead in Calcium …

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With $100M in new funding, Tia CEO says the ‘tide has turned’ for investing in women’s health

Tia, a concierge clinic combining primary care and OBGYN services, recently raised $100 million in funding. Amid a surge of financing into women’s health startups, CEO Carolyn Witte said investors’ perspectives are changing. 

The Effects of Nutritional Yeast for Cancer 

How can the beta glucan fiber in brewer’s, baker’s, and nutritional yeast improve wound healing and, potentially, anti-cancer immunity?  My video Benefits of Nutritional Yeast for Cancer opens with an image of an article titled “The Treatment of Inoperable Cancer.” It noted that “200 years ago it was observed that a certain number of malignant growths disappeared after an attack of erysipelas [a type of …

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Telemedicine Abortions Offer Cheaper Options but May Also Undermine Critical Clinics

Allison Hansen had just gone through a breakup with her boyfriend last year when she discovered she was pregnant. She already had an 8-year-old son and did not want another child. Hansen called the Planned Parenthood facility near her home in Savannah, Georgia, to inquire about abortion services and was told the procedure would cost …

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How to Become a Soy Equol Producer 

Certain gut bacteria can supercharge the benefits of soy foods, resulting in even more bone protection, better control of menopausal symptoms, and lower prostate cancer risk, but how can we foster the growth of these good bacteria?  “Menopause is characterized by a decrease in estrogen, which triggers the uncomfortable symptoms of hot flushes [also known as hot flashes], night …

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Violación y pérdida de memoria, lo que la policía debería saber

Annie Walker se despertó una mañana de 2019 con pocos recuerdos de la noche anterior. Tenía moretones en los brazos, las piernas, la muñeca y el bajo vientre. “Pero literalmente no tenía ni idea de lo que había pasado”, dijo. “Y durante días, estuve intentando armar las piezas”. Sabía que había ido a un bar …

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How Rape Affects Memory, and Why Police Need to Know About That Brain Science

Annie Walker woke up one morning in 2019 with little recollection of the night before. She had bruises on her arms, legs, wrist and lower abdomen. “But I literally had no idea what had happened,” she said. “And, for days, I was trying to put the pieces together.” She knew she had gone to a …

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How Much Lead Leaches Into Organic Chicken Bone Broth?

“Lead poisoning still occurs in the United States despite extensive prevention efforts and strict regulations.” Ayurvedic supplements specifically marketed to pregnant women, for example, exceeded safety levels by up to 4 million percent, making Ayurvedic medicine use and lead poisoning “a continued concern in the United States.” In fact, “heavy metals are added intentionally to …

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Democrats Say Abortion Is on the Line in Recall Election. But Rolling Back Rights Wouldn’t Be Easy.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As the election to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom approaches, abortion-rights groups are warning that Californians’ right to an abortion is on the ballot. Newsom, a Democrat, himself tweeted that “abortion access” is at stake. “There’s no question that if a Republican is elected, access to abortion in California will be restricted,” …

Democrats Say Abortion Is on the Line in Recall Election. But Rolling Back Rights Wouldn’t Be Easy. Read More »

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Vaccine Approval Moves the Needle on Covid

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The Food and Drug Administration gave full approval this week to the covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, which will henceforth be known as “Comirnaty.” It is …

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Soy Phytoestrogens for Menopausal Symptoms

Does soy food consumption explain why Japanese women appear to be so protected from hot flash symptoms? When women hit menopause and their ovaries shut down, the estrogen level in their body drops 95 percent. This is good news for the endometrium, the lining of the uterus. Otherwise, the constant estrogen signaling could eventually result in endometrial cancer. In fact, …

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Readers and Tweeters Ponder Vaccines and Points of Fairness

Letters to the Editor is a periodic feature. We welcome all comments and will publish a selection. We edit for length and clarity and require full names. Higher Insurance Rates for the Unvaccinated? Snuff Out That Idea This is about Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal’s comments on “All In With Chris Hayes” (“Analysis: Don’t Want a Vaccine? Be Prepared to …

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What Should We Do to Lower Lead Levels in Breast Milk?

What are the effects of sodium and calcium intake on blood lead levels in pregnant and breastfeeding women?  Although our skeleton “has predominantly been considered a storage site for sequestering absorbed lead, bone is not simply an inert storage site. Once deposited in bone, lead can be remobilized from bone” back into the bloodstream if, for example, we …

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Más embarazadas con covid en cuidados intensivos, expertos enfatizan que deben vacunarse

Los Centros para el Control y Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC) están duplicando su recomendación de que las mujeres embarazadas reciban la vacuna contra covid-19, a la luz de nuevos datos que subrayan su seguridad y eficacia durante el embarazo. Esta recomendación llega en un momento en que los médicos de todo el país informan de …

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The Dangers of Talcum Powder

What role does diet and baby powder play in the development of fibroids and ovarian cancer?  If you randomly select a group of women and ultrasound their uterus, most of them have fibroid tumors by age 50—and by most, I mean more than 80 percent of black women and nearly 70 percent of white women. As you can see at 0:23 in my video Talcum …

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Getting a Covid Vaccine During Pregnancy Even More Urgent as ICU Beds Fill Up

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is doubling down on its recommendation that people who are pregnant get the covid-19 vaccine, in light of new data underscoring its safety and effectiveness throughout pregnancy. This recommendation comes at a time when doctors across the country are reporting an uptick in the number of unvaccinated pregnant …

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Long Drives, Air Travel, Exhausting Waits: What Abortion Requires in the South

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Just a quick walk through the parking lot of Choices-Memphis Center for Reproductive Health in this legendary music mecca speaks volumes about access to abortion in the American South. Parked alongside the polished SUVs and weathered sedans with Tennessee license plates are cars from Mississippi, Arkansas, Florida and, on many days, Alabama, …

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New Moms Latched On to Remote Breastfeeding Help. Will Demand Wane as Pandemic Fades?

Madison Cano knew she wanted to breastfeed her son, Theo. But breastfeeding was painful for her. The skin on her breasts was chafed and blistered last July when she returned home from the hospital. And Theo sometimes screamed during feedings. Cano, 30, realized she needed help to get the short- and long-term health benefits of …

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12,000 Square Miles Without Obstetrics? It’s a Possibility in West Texas

The message from Big Bend Regional Medical Center was stark: The only hospital in a sparsely populated region of far West Texas notified local physicians last month that because of a nursing shortage its labor and delivery unit needed to temporarily close its doors and that women in labor should instead be sent to the …

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Why is the South the Epicenter of Anti-Abortion Fervor?

Not so long ago, laws governing abortion in Massachusetts and Rhode Island were far more restrictive than those in the Deep South, as state legislators throughout New England regularly banned the procedure, no matter the circumstances, during the 1960s and ’70s. Nowadays, however, the American South represents a hub of anti-abortion fervor, home to a …

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Women Say California Insurer Makes It Too Hard to Get Drug for Postpartum Depression

When Miriam McDonald decided she wanted to have another baby at age 44, her doctor told her she had a better chance of winning the lottery. So when she got pregnant right away, she and her husband were thrilled. But within three days of giving birth to their son, in September 2019, everything shifted. “I …

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Contraception Is Free to Women, Except When It’s Not

For Stephanie Force, finding a birth control method that she likes and can get without paying out-of-pocket has been a struggle, despite the Affordable Care Act’s promise of free contraceptives for women and adolescent girls in most health plans. The 27-year-old physician recruiter in Roanoke, Virginia, was perfectly happy with the NuvaRing, a flexible vaginal …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Delta Changes the Covid Conversation

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The resurgence of covid cases in the U.S. — largely attributable to the much more contagious delta variant — has given policymakers the jitters. The Biden administration …

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Biden Is Caught in the Middle of Polarizing Abortion Politics

It took five months for the Biden administration to make a substantive policy change to advance abortion rights. And even that change was buried in a 61-page regulation setting rules for 2022’s Affordable Care Act enrollment. The policy would reverse a Trump administration rule requiring insurers that cover abortion to send separate bills for that …

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A Family Wellness Check: California Invests in Treating Parents and Children Together

When a parent takes an infant to the Children’s Health Center in San Francisco for a routine checkup, a pediatrician will check the baby’s vitals and ask how the child is doing at home. Then Janelle Bercun, a licensed clinical social worker, who is also in the room, will look at Mom or Dad and …

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Is the Casein in A2 Milk Healthier?

The casomorphins—breakdown products of casein, a milk protein, with opiate-like activity—in bovine milk appears to have opposite effects than those from human breast milk on infant development, but what about A2 cow’s milk? “One of the main sources of opioid peptides”—that is, protein fragments with opiate-like activity—”in the autism patients diet are dairy products.” As …

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Journalists Discuss New Alzheimer’s Drug, Women’s Alcohol Use, the Hip-Hop and Opioids Link

KHN chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner discussed the FDA’s approval of a new drug for Alzheimer’s disease on WAMU’s “1A” on Wednesday. Click here to hear Rovner on WAMU KHN correspondent Aneri Pattani discussed the increase in alcohol use and misuse by young women on NPR’s “All Things Considered” on Wednesday. Click here to hear …

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Do Casomorphins from Cow’s Milk Contribute to Autism?

Casomorphins—breakdown products of casein, a milk protein, with opiate-like activity—may help explain why autism symptoms sometimes improve with a dairy-free diet. In my last video series on autism and diet, I talked about the benefits of broccoli sprouts, but the most commonly studied nutritional and dietary interventions for autism and diet involve variations of gluten-free …

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Hoy, las mujeres toman tanto como los hombres, pero sufren las consecuencias antes

Victoria Cooper pensaba que su consumo de alcohol en la universidad era como los de los demás. Shots en las fiestas, cervezas mientras jugaba al bowling. Tomaba más que otros y las resacas le hacían perder clases, pero así y todo pensaba que no tenía ningún problema. “Según la imagen que tenía del alcoholismo —viejos …

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Women Now Drink as Much as Men — And Are Prone to Sickness Sooner

Victoria Cooper thought her drinking habits in college were just like everyone else’s. Shots at parties. Beers while bowling. Sure, she got more refills than some and missed classes while nursing hangovers, but she couldn’t have a problem, she thought. “Because of what my picture of alcoholism was — old men who brown-bagged it in …

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With Restrictions Tightening Elsewhere, California Moves to Make Abortion Cheaper

This story also ran on Los Angeles Times. It can be republished for free. SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Even as most states are trying to make it harder to get an abortion, California could make it free for more people. State lawmakers are debating a bill to eliminate out-of-pocket expenses like copays and payments toward deductibles …

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Trying to Avoid Racist Health Care, Black Women Seek Out Black Obstetricians

In South Florida, when people want to find a Black physician, they often contact Adrienne Hibbert through her website, Black Doctors of South Florida. This story is part of a partnership that includes NPR, WLRN and KHN. It can be republished for free. “There are a lot of Black networks that are behind the scenes,” …

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Stoush over cost of hormone patches puts Australian women’s health at risk

Sandoz Australia is threatening to withdraw patches from public subsidy list if government does not agree to price hike Pharmaceutical company Sandoz Australia is in a standoff with the federal government over the pricing of hormone patches relied on by thousands of women. There is a risk that if an agreement is not reached the …

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Many New Moms Get Kicked Off Medicaid 2 Months After Giving Birth. Illinois Will Change That.

The U.S. is the only industrialized nation in which the maternal death rate has been rising. Each year, about 700 deaths are due to pregnancy, childbirth or subsequent complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This story also ran on NPR. It can be republished for free. When someone dies while pregnant or within a …

Many New Moms Get Kicked Off Medicaid 2 Months After Giving Birth. Illinois Will Change That. Read More »

Newsom Wants to Spend Millions on the Health of Low-Income Mothers and Their Babies

Amid a pandemic that has pushed millions of mothers out of the workplace, caused fertility rates to plunge and heightened the risk of death for pregnant women, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democratic lawmakers are seeking a slate of health proposals for low-income families and children. Newsom, a self-described feminist and the father of four …

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FDA clears Myovant’s relugolix for uterine fibroids, setting up AbbVie clash

Myovant has chalked up a second approval for its flagship drug relugolix from the FDA, becoming the first once-daily oral drug in the US to treat heavy menstrual bleeding associated with uterine fibroids.  The drug will be sold as Myfembree (relugolix) for the uterine fibroids indication, and is already available to treat prostate cancer under …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Roe v. Wade on the Ropes

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The Supreme Court agreed to hear a case next term that could result in a significant modification or overturn of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that legalized abortion nationwide. At issue is a Mississippi law that would ban the procedure after 15 weeks of …

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This Mother’s Day, Let’s Get Mothers the Health Care Coverage They Need

Mothers deserve more than a day of recognition this year—they deserve the whole month, and more. The pandemic has been particularly hard on women, especially poor women and women of color.  To demonstrate the appreciation mothers deserve this Mother’s Day, we should get them something they really need: health care. To improve maternal health, we should look …

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Are Avocados Associated with Greater Risk or Reduced Risk of Cancer?

Avocado consumption can improve artery function, but what effect might guacamole have on cancer risk? In my last video about avocados, The Effects of Avocados and Red Wine on Meal-Induced Inflammation, I described their anti-inflammatory effects and cholesterol- and triglyceride-lowering effects, but what about the Are Avocados Good for You? video I did years ago …

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Natural Dietary Treatments for Fibroids

The same diet that helps regulate hormones in women may also reduce exposure to endocrine-disrupting pollutants. Fibroids are the most common benign tumors in women. They can grow to a foot in diameter and affect the majority of women before they hit menopause. Although fibroids tend to be asymptomatic, when symptoms do occur, they tend …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: 100 Days of Health Policy

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. It’s been a busy 100 days for the Biden administration on health policy. The promise Joe Biden made as president-elect to get 100 million covid vaccinations in arms was doubled, healthcare.gov reopened to those without insurance, and steps were taken to undo a raft of …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Pause and Effect on Covid Vaccines

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The effort to vaccinate Americans against covid-19 took a hit this week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration jointly called for a pause in use of the vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson while experts try to figure …

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Pandemic Highlights Need for Urgent Care Clinics for Women

SAN JOSE — Last spring, only weeks into the pandemic, Christina Garcia was spending her days struggling to help her two young sons adjust to online schooling when she got such a heavy, painful period she could barely stand. After a few days, her vision began to blur and she found herself too weak to …

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Should You Get an Annual Health Check-Up?

What are the risks and benefits of getting an annual check-up from your doctor? Physicians and patients have come to expect the annual check-up as a routine part of care. “However, considerable research has not demonstrated a substantial benefit,” so a “revolt is brewing against the tradition of periodic” check-ups. “Even the Society for General …

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Biden Moves to Overturn Trump Birth Control Rules

The Biden administration Wednesday formally proposed the repeal of Trump-era regulations barring abortion referrals and making other changes intended to evict Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from the federal family planning program, Title X. The 2019 rules dramatically limited access to these family planning services for many low-income people. Use Our Content It can …

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Pfizer/Myovant take relugolix contraceptive combination pill into phase 3

Pfizer and Myovant have begun a late-stage trial of their potential uterine fibroid drug relugolix, as part of a contraceptive combination tablet.  The FDA is already reviewing data from two phase 3 trials of relugolix as a treatment for fibroids, with a decision due on or before 1 June. Pfizer and Myovant began a collaboration …

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Orange County Hospital Seeks Divorce From Large Catholic Health System

In early 2013, Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Orange County, California, joined with St. Joseph Health, a local Catholic hospital chain, amid enthusiastic promises that their affiliation would broaden access to care and improve the health of residents across the community. This story also ran on U.S. News & World Report. It can be republished …

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Hologic makes a multiplex molecular testing move with $795M Mobidiag acquisition

Mobidiag offers multiplex testing, which is the ability to test for multiple pathogens from a single test sample. Hologic said the acquisition will enable the company to enter the acute care test market, which is projected to grow in a post-pandemic world.

Helpful Foods to Support People with Autism

The sulforaphane found in five cents’ worth of broccoli sprouts has been shown to benefit autism in a way no drug ever has in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. You may remember my series of videos, which includes Prevent Cancer from Going on TOR, about target of rapamycin (TOR), the engine-of-aging enzyme. Kids with autism …

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The Unique Challenges of Secondary Infertility

The Unique Challenges of Secondary Infertility Secondary infertility is the inability to establish a clinical pregnancy after a previous pregnancy whether or not there was a live birth. While it may not be a mainstream topic, secondary infertility affects nearly three million couples, double the number from 1995. It also accounts for approximately one-third of all …

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The Great Undoing: Which of Trump’s Policies Will Biden Reverse?

KHN has put together an interactive tool of significant health policies implemented by the Trump administration using its own authority — executive orders, agency guidance or formal regulations — and is tracking Biden administration and court actions. We will update this chart as actions are taken. Topics: Affordable Care Act | HHS Operations | Immigration …

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Are Lectins in Food Good or Bad for You?

Might lectins help explain why those who eat more beans and whole grains have less cancer? Lectins are to blame for the great “white kidney bean incident” of 2006 in Japan. One Saturday evening, a TV program introduced a new method to lose weight. The method was simple: toast some dry, raw, white kidney beans …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Staffing Up at HHS

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. More than a month into President Joe Biden’s term, nominees to fill some of the top posts at the Department of Health and Human Services are finally getting confirmation hearings in the Senate, starting with the nominee for secretary, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Barring …

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‘It’s a Minefield’: Biden Health Pick Must Tread Carefully on Abortion and Family Planning

This story also ran on NPR. It can be republished for free. As President Joe Biden works to overhaul U.S. health care policy, few challenges loom larger for his health secretary than restoring access to family planning while parrying legal challenges to abortion proliferating across the country. Physicians, clinics and women’s health advocates are looking …

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Lead Contamination in Hot Sauces

Given the lead contamination found in candies containing chili imported from Mexico, 25 hot sauces were tested for heavy metals. “Lead toxicity is prevalent and a major concern of public health,” especially for babies. “One of the important sources of lead exposure for the fetus and infant is maternal blood. Lead in the maternal blood”—that …

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Baby Blues: First-Time Parents Blindsided by ‘the Birthday Rule’ and a $207,455 NICU Bill

In the nine months leading up to her due date, Kayla Kjelshus and her husband, Mikkel, meticulously planned for their daughter’s arrival. This story also ran on NPR. It can be republished for free. Their long to-do list included mapping out their family’s health insurance plan and registering for baby gear and supplies. They even …

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How Much Arsenic in Rice Is Too Much?

What are some strategies to reduce arsenic exposure from rice? Those who are exposed to the most arsenic in rice are those who are exposed to the most rice, like people who are eating plant-based, gluten-free, or dairy-free. So, at-risk populations are not just infants and pregnant women, but also those who may tend to …

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Black Women Find Healing (But Sometimes Racism, Too) in the Outdoors

It would be the last hike of the season, Jessica Newton had excitedly posted on her social media platforms. With mild weather forecast and Colorado’s breathtaking fall foliage as a backdrop, she was convinced an excursion at Beaver Ranch Park would be the quintessential way to close out months of warm-weather hikes with her “sister …

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Arsenic in Rice Milk, Rice Krispies, and Brown Rice Syrup

I recommend people switch away from using rice milk For kids and teens, the amount of arsenic flowing through their bodies was found to be about 15 percent higher for each quarter cup of rice consumed per day, and a similar link was found in adults. A study of pregnant women found that consuming about …

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Arsenic in Infant Rice Cereal

When it comes to rice and rice-based products, pediatric nutrition authorities have recommended that arsenic intake should be as low as possible. “The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been monitoring the arsenic content in foods” for decades, yet despite the “well-established science describing the health risks associated with arsenic exposure, no standards have …

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Retiree Living the RV Dream Fights $12,387 Nightmare Lab Fee

Lorraine Rogge and her husband, Michael Rogge, travel the country in a recreational vehicle, a well-earned adventure in retirement. This spring found them parked in Artesia, New Mexico, for several months. This story also ran on NPR. It can be republished for free. In May, Rogge, 60, began to feel pelvic pain and cramping. But …

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Readers and Tweeters Defend Front-Line Nurses and Blind Us With Science

Letters to the Editor is a periodic feature. We welcome all comments and will publish a selection. We edit for length and clarity and require full names. The demand for skilled nurses during the pandemic is through the roof! Travel nurses command a hefty salary and they are worth every penny… #COVID19 #pandemic #RN https://t.co/gYQpkHqaoX — Talmage …

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The Effects of Too Much Arsenic in the Diet

Even at low-level exposure, arsenic is not just a class I carcinogen, but may also impair our immune function and increase our risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. When people hear about arsenic, they think of it as an acute poison, and, indeed, a tiny amount—a hundred milligrams, about one-tenth the weight of a paperclip—could …

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Zoloft enters list of 10 most commonly prescribed drugs in Australia

Increase in women being diagnosed with depression partly behind rise in use An increase in women being diagnosed with depression is partly behind a significant rise in prescriptions of the antidepressant sertraline – sold under the brand name Zoloft – which is in the list of Australia’s most commonly prescribed drugs for the first time. …

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For Nurses Feeling the Strain of the Pandemic, Virus Resurgence Is ‘Paralyzing’

For Christina Nester, the pandemic lull in Massachusetts lasted about three months through summer into early fall. In late June, St. Vincent Hospital had resumed elective surgeries, and the unit the 48-year-old nurse works on switched back from taking care of only COVID-19 patients to its pre-pandemic roster of patients recovering from gallbladder operations, mastectomies …

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The Antioxidant Power of Açaí vs. Apples

There are so many açaí products on the market now, from frozen pulp in smoothie packs to freeze-dried powder and supplements. How is it eaten traditionally? “In the Brazilian Amazon, the Indian tribes of the forest cut down the tree and eat the palm heart…then urinate on the rest of the tree to attract a …

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Black Hair Matters: How Going Natural Made Me Visible

The night before I chopped off my hair, I got nervous. This decision felt bigger than me, given all the weight that Black women’s hair carries. But after three months of wearing hats and scarves in a pandemic when trips to the hairdresser felt unsafe, I walked into a salon emotionally exhausted but ready to …

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‘Breakthrough Finding’ Reveals Why Certain COVID Patients Die

Dr. Megan Ranney has learned a lot about COVID-19 since she began treating patients with the disease in the emergency department in February. But there’s one question she still can’t answer: What makes some patients so much sicker than others? Advancing age and underlying medical problems explain only part of the phenomenon, said Ranney, who …

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Trump’s Anti-Abortion Zeal Shook Fragile Health Systems Around the World

In Ethiopia, health clinics for teenagers once supported by U.S. foreign aid closed down. In Kenya, a decades-long effort to integrate HIV testing and family planning unraveled. And in Nepal, intrepid government workers who once traversed the Himalayas to spread information about reproductive health were halted. Around the world, countries that depend on U.S. foreign …

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What White Blood Cell Count Should We Shoot for?

At the start of my video What Does a Low White Blood Cell Count Mean?, you can see what it looks like when you take a drop of blood, smear it between two pieces of glass, and view at it under a microscope: a whole bunch of little, round, red blood cells and a few …

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What can we learn from women’s health data?

Analysing real-world health data could help overcome the bias towards men in traditional medical research, says Sensyne Health’s Dr Lucy Mackillop. Collecting and analysing anonymised patient data has the potential to generate valuable insights that can catalyse research, lead to improved patient care, and power the development of new treatments. Being able to analyse large …

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Colorado Initiative Would Further Limit Access in Middle America’s ‘Abortion Desert’

Colorado voters are deciding a ballot question that seeks to limit how far into pregnancy an abortion can be legally performed. While the measure would change the law only in Colorado, it would resonate throughout the Rocky Mountain states and Midwest amid an intensifying national fight, fueled by a Supreme Court vacancy, over the future …

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70% Taking Common Antidepressants Suffer Sexual Side Effects

What’s the latest on treating depression with the spice saffron? Years ago, I covered a head-to-head comparison of saffron versus Prozac for the treatment of depression in my video Saffron vs. Prozac, and saffron seemed to work just as well as the drug. In the years since, five other studies have found that saffron beat …

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How to Treat Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) with Diet

Given the role that oxidant free radicals are thought to play in aging and disease, one reason fruits and vegetables may be so good for us is that they contain antioxidant compounds. As you can see at 0:20 in my video Benefits of Marjoram for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), different vegetables and herbs have different …

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In Debate, Pence and Harris Offer Conflicting Views of Nation’s Reality

The Trump administration’s pandemic response: decisive action that saved lives, or the greatest failure of any presidential administration? During Wednesday’s vice presidential debate, Vice President Mike Pence and the Democratic challenger, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, offered drastically different takes — from behind  plexiglass screens — on how the president has handled the COVID-19 crisis. …

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Republican Convention, Day 2: Pomp, the Pandemic and Planned Parenthood

The Republican National Convention offered Americans a picture Tuesday night of a compassionate White House in action. But not a lot was said about the biggest health crisis in a century that has killed more than 170,000 people in this country. First lady Melania Trump wrapped up the evening with a speech from her redesigned …

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What Explains the Egg-Cancer Connection

The reason egg consumption is associated with elevated cancer risk may be the TMAO, considered the “smoking gun” of microbiome-disease interactions. “We are walking communities comprised not only of a Homo sapiens host, but also of trillions of symbiotic commensal microorganisms within the gut and on every other surface of our bodies.” There are more …

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How to Treat Bacterial Vaginosis

Vitamin C is pitted head-to-head against antibiotics for bacterial vaginal infections. A study published in 1999 raised the exciting possibility that “cheap, simple, innocuous and ubiquitous vitamin C” supplements could prevent a condition known as preeclampsia, but after a decade of research, we realized that was merely a false hope and that vitamin C supplements …

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Armpit Shaving and Breast Cancer

Shaving before applying underarm antiperspirants can increase aluminum absorption. Could this explain the greater number of tumors and the disproportionate incidence of breast cancer in the upper outer quadrant of the breast near the armpit? A famous case report called “The Mortician’s Mystery,” published in the New England Journal of Medicine back in the 1980s, …

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VivoPlex raises funding to develop intra-uterine sensor

VivoPlex, a UK based firm specialising in fertility and women’s health, has raised £3.9m to develop an intra-uterine sensor system and generate clinical data that could be used for European approval. Oxford-based VivoPlex raised the funds in two tranches, which will be used to complete the first feasibility study of its wireless battery-free uterine sensor …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Trump Administration’s War on Fauci

What The Health? · The Trump Administration’s War on Fauci Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Julie Rovner Kaiser Health News @jrovner Read Julie’s Stories Erin Mershon STAT @eemershon Read Erin’s Stories Alice Miranda Ollstein Politico @AliceOllstein Read Alice’s Stories Paige Winfield Cunningham The Washington Post @pw_cunningham Read Paige’s Stories Not …

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What Does Drinking Soy Milk Do to Hormone Levels?

The vast majority of breast cancers start out hormone-dependent, where estradiol, the primary human estrogen, “plays a crucial role in their breast cancer development and progression.” That’s one of the reasons why soy food consumption appears so protective against breast cancer: Soy phytoestrogens, like genistein, act as estrogen-blockers and block the binding of estrogens, such …

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Are the BPA-Free Plastics Like Tritan Safe?

Do BPA-free plastics such as Tritan, have human hormone-disrupting effects? And what about BPS and BPF? Recent human studies indicate that exposure to the plastics chemical BPA may be associated with infertility, miscarriage, premature delivery, reduced male sexual function, polycystic ovaries, altered thyroid and immune function, diabetes, heart disease, and more. Yet, “[a]s recently as …

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Eating Seaweed Salad May Boost Immune Function

Eating seaweed salad may boost the efficacy of vaccinations and help treat cold sores, herpes, Epstein-Barr virus, and shingles. Billions of pounds of seaweed are harvested each year, the consumption of which “has been linked to a lower incidence of chronic diseases,” both physical and mental. For example, women who eat more seaweed during pregnancy …

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Pill-Free Ways to improve Your Sex Life

“Sex is important to health,” according to the Harvard Health Letter. “Frequent sexual intercourse is associated with reduced heart attack risk.” But, as I discuss in my video Do Men Who Have More Sex Live Longer?, that seems to be the perfect case of reverse causation. They’re implying that more sex leads to healthier arteries, …

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What to Take for Menstrual Cramps

In my video Ginger for Migraines, I described how ginger works as well as the leading “drug” in the treatment of migraines, “one of the most common causes of pain syndromes,” affecting as much as 12 percent of the population. Twelve percent is “common”? How about menstrual cramps, which plague up to 90 percent of …

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Balancing the Risks and Benefits of Vitamin C Supplements

Mainstream medicine has long had a healthy skepticism of dietary supplements, extending to the present day with commentaries like “Enough is enough.” In an essay entitled “Battling quackery,” however, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, it’s argued that we may have gone too far in our supplement bashing, as evidenced by our “uncritical acceptance” …

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The Role of Meat and Dairy in Triggering Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes “arises following the autoimmune destruction of the insulin-producing pancreatic β [beta] cells…[and] is most often diagnosed in children and adolescents, usually presenting with a classic trio of symptoms” as their blood sugars spike: excessive thirst, hunger, and urination. They need to go on insulin for the rest of their lives, since their …

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How to Treat Endometriosis with Diet

“Endometriosis is a major cause of disability and compromised quality of life in women and teenage girls.” It “is a chronic disease which is under-diagnosed, under-reported, and under-researched…[and for patients, it] can be a nightmare of misinformation, myths, taboos, lack of diagnosis, and problematic hit-and-miss treatments overlaid by a painful, chronic, stubborn disease.” Pain is …

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What to Eat and Avoid for Women with BRCA Gene Mutations

Five studies have been performed on breast cancer survival and soy foods involving more than 10,000 breast cancer patients, and together they found that those who eat more soy live longer and have a lower risk of the cancer coming back. What about women who carry breast cancer genes? Fewer than 10 percent of breast …

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