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Newsletter. Issue 2005-13. June. 25, 2005
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Health & Wellness

Perfect Siesta
It's called the post-lunch dip: that afternoon slump when it's hard to stay awake. Most of us know the feeling-that afternoon sleep when it's hard to concentrate as we struggle to stay awake. South Australian research has found a quick fix-and. It's the perfect siesta. (This was known in Goa long time ago)
For full text click here.

Seniors and Drugs: Prescribed to death
CBC News Online
Drugs, not just age and disease, are killing Canadian seniors.
As many as 3,300 seniors die every year due to adverse drug reactions, according to a CBC estimate done by analyzing Health Canada's adverse drug reaction database (obtained under Access to Information).
It's an estimate that has been judged credible by a number of researchers who study pharmacology and adverse drug reactions.
"The 3,300 deaths number and the way it's been calculated by CBC I think is quite cautious and is realistic. It's likely to be higher than that, but nobody at the present time has a way of really getting a good measure of the seriousness of this matter," says Dr. Jim Wright, a clinical
pharmacologist and the managing director of the Therapeutics Initiative at the University of British Columbia.
CBC found that seniors account for 44.4 per cent of all deaths reported to the adverse drug reaction database between 1999 and 2003, even though they make up just 13 per cent of the population.
For more information go to: http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/seniorsdrugs/

Health Issue!!!
From: Bernard Ribeiro <>
No water bottles in freezer.
No plastic wrap in micro
Johns Hopkins has recently sent this out in their newsletters worth noting... This information is being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Dioxin Carcinogens cause cancer, especially breast cancer.
Don't freeze your plastic water bottles with water as this also releases dioxins in the plastic.
Dr. Edward Fujimoto from Castle hospital was on a TV program explaining this health hazard. (He is the manager of the Wellness Program at the hospital.) He was talking about dioxins and how bad they are for us. He said that we should not be heating our food in the microwave using plastic containers.
This applies to foods that contain fat. He said that the combination of fat, high heat and plastics releases dioxins into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body. Dioxins are carcinogens and highly toxic to the cells of our bodies. Instead, he recommends using glass,
Corning Ware, or ceramic containers for heating food. You get the same results, without the dioxins.
So such things as TV dinners, instant ramen and soups, etc.,should be removed from the container and heated in something else. Paper isn't bad but you don't know what is in the paper. It's just safer to use tempered glass, Corning Ware, etc. He said we might remember when some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the foam containers to paper.
The dioxin problem is one of the reasons.
To add to this, Saran wrap placed over foods as they are nuked, with the high heat, actually drips poisonous toxins into the food; use paper towels.
Pass this on to your family & friends & those that are important in your life.

Magic pill to get you to quit smoking!
OTTAWA, June 21 /CNW Telbec/ - It's as easy as open, pop, swig, and swallow. Well, at least it will be. Yesterday, delegates at the 4th National Conference on Tobacco or Health heard that new pills, vaccines, and web- assisted cessation programs are in clinical trials and will soon be available to smokers looking to quit.
According Dr. Peter Selby, clinical director of the Addictions Program, at the Centre of Addiction and Mental Health, "Studies show 50 per cent of current smokers want to quit in the next six months. Additionally, 52 per cent of smokers have attempted to quit one to three times, and 18 per cent attempted to quit four or more times. It is clear the need for such remedies is essential."
The first pill is called Varenciline, and is developed by Pfizer Canada Inc. In the final phase of human clinical trials, this pill blocks nicotine's action on the human brain. Therefore the satisfaction generally derived from cigarettes and nicotine would no longer occur.
Pill number two is called Rimonabant: Sanofi-Synthelabo. Dr. Selby explains, "This is more than a "stop smoking" medication." It can also help reduce bad cholesterol (triglycerides) and assist in weight loss. Rimbonabant is a marijuana (CB1) receptor antagonist, thereby stopping the satisfaction signals to the brain from the mouth.
Pill number three is called Selegeline. It is generally known as a Parkinson's disease medication, because it blocks the breakdown of dopamine, the pleasure chemical in the brain.
The second innovation is a few vaccines by the names of: Xenova, Nabi, and Cytos. In these vaccines, antibodies bind to the nicotine and prevent it from reaching the brain. These are also currently in the clinical trial stage.
Web-assisted cessation programs, are surprisingly one of the most effective and popular choices for smokers. The Internet is widely available and heavily used, it can be easily adapted and updated for users and is extine smokers. The most conservative estimate for success is 10 to 14 per cent.
"The future of tobacco control is brighter now than ever before," says Dr. Selby. "These new medications and programs provide smokers with so many options to help them quit smoking, and begin to live a healthy life."

Public prescription drug benefits for all seniors too expensive, unnecessary, and unfair
TORONTO, June 21 /CNW/
Universal,publicly-funded drug coverage for seniors would be unnecessarily expensive because only a few people actually need financial assistance for prescription drugs, accordin to Universal Drug Benefits for Seniors: Unnecessary,Unsustainable and Unfair, released today by The Fraser Institute.
Most provincial governments in Canada already have publicly funded programs that reimburse seniors for their spending on prescription drugs. However, the United States recently passed new federal legislation, the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (MMA 2003), granting universal eligibility to seniors for public funding of prescription drugs starting in 2006.
"It might only be a matter of time before a US-style scheme is promoted for the federal level in Canada. Therefore, it is worth warning now that special universal public drug benefits for seniors are unnecessary, unfair to the rest of the population, and are not financially sustainable in the long run," said Brett Skinner, author of the study and director of health and pharmaceutical policy research at the Institute.
The rationale for such programs is that after retirement many seniors lose their employer-paid drug insurance and therefore need a government program to replace it. But Skinner argues that "universal eligibility for publicly funded drug benefits leads to unsustainable demand by consumers for pharmaceuticals that, in turn, provokes governments to adopt cost-control policies that reduce consumer choice, stifle pharmaceutical innovation and, by extension, harm the health of patients."
Skinner notes that "a more rational approach would be to focus public assistance only on those who are truly in need, that is, those with genuine, medically necessary, catastrophic expenses who do not have the means to pay - regardless of their age - and allow the rest of the
ved by private insurance. This would save Canadian taxpayers billions annually without denying anyone access to medically necessary pharmaceuticals."

Fireworks Pose Serious Risks
TORONTO, June 22 /CNW/ -
The Fire Marshal of Ontario is urging the public to attend fireworks displays hosted by their local municipalities to minimize the risk of fire and burn injuries in their own backyards on Canada Day weekend.
"We want everyone to enjoy the Canada Day weekend, and that includes staying safe," says Fire Marshal Bernard Moyle. "Fireworks can be extremely dangerous and for this reason we do not recommend family fireworks or informal neighbourhood displays. Fireworks should be left to fireworks professionals who are qualified to handle and discharge them safely."
Last Victoria Day weekend there were 31 fireworks-related incidents reported by Toronto Fire Services alone. Most resulted in serious fires and injuries. One such fireworks-related fire caused $600,000 damage and gutted two homes and three cars.
For those still choosing to have family fireworks or informal neighbourhood displays, the Office of the Fire Marshal has developed a Fireworks Safety Tips fact sheet. Important safety precautions like carefully reading and following the directions on fireworks packaging, keeping a water hose or pail of water available, never re-lighting "duds" and never giving sparklers to young children are some of the tips to ensure fireworks are safe for everyone.
Other works safety tips include ensuring that only adults handle and discharge fireworks, lighting only one firework at a time, never trying to light a firework or hold a lit firework in your hand, keeping everyone a safe distance from discharged fireworks and seeking medical attention if necessary after running cool water over burn wounds for three to five minutes.
"Recent loss reports related to fireworks have included injuries, vandalism and property damage," says Moyle. "Everyone must take the responsibility to ensure their family's safety. Parents are urged to follow the fireworks safety tips and keep fireworks away from children."
The Fireworks Safety Tips sheet may be viewed and/or saved from the OFM Web site at:

Fireworks Safety Tips

From the Office of the Fire Marshal

  • To minimize the risk of fire and burn injury, the fire service does not recommend family fireworks or informal neighbourhood displays.
  • The fire service suggests attending public fireworks displays hosted by your municipality.
  • If you still choose to have a family fireworks or informal neighbourhood display, check with your local fire department about regulations pertaining to the handling and discharging of fireworks for these activities. Here are some important safety tips to be followed:
    • Handling and discharging of fireworks must only be done by adults. Appoint one person to be in charge, who knows about the hazards of fireworks and essential safety precautions.
    • Carefully read and follow the label directions on fireworks packaging.
    • Always keep a water hose or pail of water close by.
    • Discharge fireworks well away from combustible materials like buildings, trees and dry grass.
    • Light only one firework at a time, and never try to light a firework, or hold a lit firework, in your hand.
    • Never re-light "dud" fireworks. It is best to wait 30 minutes and then soak them in a bucket of water. Dispose of them in a metal garbage can.
    • Never give sparklers to small children. While sparklers are considered to be harmless fun, they burn extremely hot and can ignite clothing, cause blindness and result in severe burns. As the sparkler wire remains hot for some minutes after burnout, it should be immediately soaked in water to avoid injury.
    • If someone gets burned, run cool water over the wound for three to five minutes and seek medical attention if necessary.

Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal Copyright 2005

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