MorningA French pharmaceutical company has warned a morning-after contraceptive pill may be ineffective in heavier women, following a Scottish study.
Norlevo, made by HRA Pharma, was less effective in women over 11st 3lb (75kg) and ineffective in women over 12st 8lb (80kg), the study suggested.
The US is reviewing guidance as the active ingredient in Norlevo is used in other brands of morning-after pill.
It is thought the drug is absorbed by fat, lowering the dose in the blood.
The study by the University of Edinburgh in 2011 investigated Norlevo’s active ingredient, levonorgestrel.
It indicated obese women taking the emergency contraceptive were four times more likely to become pregnant than women taking the drug who were a normal weight.
The report’s authors recommended other emergency contraceptives were used in overweight and obese women, such as devices that could be implanted into the womb.
Frederique Welgryn, HRA Pharma’s head of women’s health, said the results were “surprising” and had led to “a lot of discussions” about the effectiveness of levonorgestrel.
The labelling on Norlevo is expected to be changed in 2014.
The development has raised concerns about other morning-after pills.
The US regulator, the Food and Drug Administration, said it was “currently reviewing the available and related scientific information on this issue”.-after pill ‘fails in obese’.
Scientists have discovered a new ligament in the human knee, which seems to play an important role in patients who suffer ligament injuries and their knees continue to ‘give way’ even after treatment.
The discovery was made by orthopaedic surgeons Dr Steven Claes and Professor Dr Johan Bellemans of the University Hospitals Leuven, who have been conducting research for the last four years into serious anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries.
They studied 41 cadaveric knees using macroscopic dissection techniques to examine why some patients continue to suffer the pivot shift, where the knee gives way during physical activity.
ACL tears are common among athletes and those who play sports such as basketball and football.
Dr Claes and Dr Bellemans followed on from the work of French surgeon Paul Ferdinand Segon in 1879, who penned an article that suggested an additional ligament may exist on the anterior of the knee.
Orthopedic surgeons find a new ligament that may explain why knees ‘give
Their research, published in the Journal of Anatomy, shows the new ligament now known as the anterolateral ligament (ALL) was present in all but one of the 41 knees.
Subsequent research shows that pivot shift of the knee in patients with an ACL tear is caused by an injury in the ALL ligament.
The study concluded: “Given its structure and anatomic location, the ALL is hypothesized to control internal tibial rotation and thus to affect the pivot shift phenomenon, although further studies are needed to investigate its biomechanical function.”
Dr Claes and Professor Bellemans are currently working on a surgical technique to correct ALL injuries, which could be ready within the next seven years.
- Raw milk is used to make some of the world’s finest cheeses, from the Italian Parmigiano Reggiano to the famous French-made Camembert
- Raw cheese has a richer and deeper flavor than cheese made from pasteurized milk because heat destroys the enzymes and good bacteria that add flavor to the cheese
- Raw cheese has flavors derived from the pastureland that nourished the animals producing the milk, much like wine is said to draw its unique flavors from individual vineyards
- The US government has been threatening to ban raw-milk products, including raw cheese, despite a lack of evidence showing them to be dangerous.
Based on their vehement warnings to the public, as well as their raids on small farms, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) want you to believe that raw milk is unsafe.
And if you listen to them, you would come away believing that raw milk is a filthy, disease-causing beverage that is virtually guaranteed to make you and your family sick…
Yet, this very same ingredient – raw milk – is used to make some of the world’s finest cheeses, from the Italian Parmigiano Reggiano to the famous French-made Camembert.
The traditional cheese-making process has been crafted over centuries in many cases, and is truly an art form, with each cheese carefully aged and ripened to develop a complex taste and texture that mass-produced cheeses cannot replicate – thanks, in large part, to their raw milk content.
Why Raw Milk Makes Cheese Better
Raw cheese has a richer and deeper flavor than cheese made from pasteurized milk because heat destroys the enzymes and good bacteria that add flavor to the cheese.
In fact, raw cheese has flavors derived from the pastureland that nourished the animals producing the milk, much like wine is said to draw its unique flavors from individual vineyards. As The Edmonton Journal recently reported:1
“ … bacteria present in the raw milk creates a taste profile for cheese that cannot be replicated post-pasteurization.
‘It’s impossible to recreate what nature creates first,’ says [Bobby] Gregoire, part of a Slow Food campaign to educate the public about raw milk and its products. ‘If you pasteurize the cheese, you lose the link to the land. It’s impossible to have a terroir product if you pasteurize it.’”
Unfortunately, 90 percent of standard grocery store cheeses are made from the milk of CAFO cows, which are grain-fed cows. Raw-milk cheese is far more likely too come from grass-fed animals raised on pasture, rather than grain-fed or soy-fed animals confined to feedlot stalls. Raw grass-fed dairy products not only taste better, they are also nutritionally superior:
- Cheese made from the milk of grass-fed cows has the ideal omega-6 to omega-3 fat ratio of 2:1. By contrast, the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of grain-fed milk is heavily weighted on the side of omega-6 fats (25:1), which are already excessive in the standard American diet. Grass-fed dairy combats inflammation in your body, whereas grain-fed dairy contributes to it.
- Grass-fed cheese contains about five times the beneficial conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) of grain-fed cheese.
- Because raw cheese is not pasteurized, natural enzymes in the milk are preserved, increasing its nutritional punch.
- Grass-fed cheese is considerably higher in calcium, magnesium, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, C, D and E.
- Organic grass-fed cheese is free of antibiotics and growth hormones.
Are the FDA and Canada Going to Ban Raw-Milk Cheese?
For years, federal regulators have been threatening to ban raw milk products, including raw cheese, due to what they claim are increased safety risks. In Canada, where unpasteurized milk is legal to sell, an E. coli outbreak linked to one raw milk cheese has experts calling for tighter regulations.
But the E. coli source has yet to be firmly identified, meaning it could be from fresh herbs used in the cheeses, tubing at the factory where the cheese is made or any number of sources, i.e. not necessarily the raw milk.
The Edmonton Journal continued:2
“In light of such a tragedy, it’s easy to panic, and to view cheese made from unpasteurized milk — which is legal to sell in Canada — with a jaundiced eye. Ban it! Bring on irradiation! This sort of fear-based attitude is a mistake.
Food-borne pathogens exist. They are a fact of life — always have been, always will be. But to blame, or move to eliminate, an entire food culture, in existence for thousands of years, stimulating both the palate and the economy, would be an overreaction.”
Even a 2012 report from the FDA and Health Canada,3 which claimed that there is a 50- to 160-fold increase in the risk of listeriosis from eating soft-ripened raw-milk cheese, compared with cheese made from pasteurized milk, appears to be greatly overblown. As one journalist reported:4
“The risk certainly sounds serious… until you read closely the full 189-page report and learn that the FDA-Health Canada conclusion about ‘a 50- to 160-fold increase in the risk’ is based entirely on estimates and mathematical predictions, rather than real-life data on illnesses from the soft raw milk cheeses.
Even more remarkable, the actual real-life data presented in the report of illnesses worldwide from listeriosis in soft cheese over a 23-year period between 1986 and 2008 show not a single documented illness in the U.S. from listeriosis due to tainted brie or camembert.”
Likewise, according to Grist,5 between 1973 and 1999 there’s not a single report of illness from either raw or pasteurized cheeses. However, since the year 2000, illnesses have begun to appear from raw and pasteurized cheese alike. Most outbreaks have been found to result from post-production contamination and laxity in quality control, not lack of pasteurization.
The truth is that raw cheese is not inherently dangerous, provided high standards are followed in the cheese-making process. Hard cheeses like cheddar dry out as they age, making them relatively inhospitable to invading bacteria. The FDA’s attack on raw cheese is not based on facts, but simply is an extension of their long-standing hostility toward raw milk in general.
Did You Know High-Quality Cheese Is Good for You?
Cheese is much maligned in America due to the saturated fat/cholesterol myth. Does eating high-quality cheese lead to obesity and heart disease? This is actually a myth that stems from an outdated and seriously flawed hypothesis, perpetuated by decades of wildly successful marketing.
Numerous recent studies have confirmed saturated fat is NOT associated with obesity or heart disease and is actually associated with improved heart health. Most Americans today are consuming inadequate saturated fat. In fact, the Greeks, French and Germans eat much more cheese than Americans but enjoy lower rates of hypertension and obesity.6
Of course, there is a difference between natural cheese and processed “cheese foods.” Natural cheese is a simplefermented dairy product, made with nothing more than a few basic ingredients — milk, starter culture, salt and an enzyme called rennet. Processed cheese or “cheese food” is a different story. These products are typically pasteurized and otherwise adulterated with a variety of additives that detract from their nutritional value. When prepared traditionally, as most raw-milk cheeses are, cheese offers a wealth of good nutrition, including:
- High-quality protein and amino acids
- High-quality saturated fats and omega-3 fats
- Vitamins and minerals, including calcium, zinc, phosphorus, vitamins A, D, B2 (riboflavin) and B12
- Vitamin K2
- CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), a powerful cancer-fighter and metabolism booster
Which Cheeses Are Best?
This is the million-dollar question, isn’t it? And one that’s virtually impossible to answer, as everyone’s palate is unique when it comes to cheese. From a health standpoint, your best option is cheese made from the raw milk of pasture-raised cows, sheep and goats, as opposed to feedlot livestock fed grain and soy. My top picks are Gouda, Brie, and Edam cheese, as these are good sources of vitamin K2, but you also can’t go wrong with high-quality cheddar, Swiss, Colby, Gruyere, and goat cheese.
Cheese is unique in that it offers a synergistic blend of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids, including the magic trio of vitamin D3, vitamin K2 and calcium. This nutrient triad is vitally important for reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, so don’t be afraid to include high-quality cheese in your regular diet. Also, don’t be afraid of raw cheese (as long as it comes from a reputable cheesemaker), which beats ordinary cheese in both taste and nutrition.
Objectives Street-based sex workers (SSWs) in Lausanne, Switzerland, are poorly characterised. We set out to quantify potential vulnerability factors in this population and to examine SSW healthcare use and unmet healthcare requirements.
Methods We conducted a cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey among SSWs working in Lausanne’s red light district between 1 February and 31 July 2010, examining SSW socio-demographic characteristics and factors related to their healthcare.
Results We interviewed 50 SSWs (76% of those approached). A fifth conducted their interviews in French, the official language in Lausanne. 48 participants (96%) were migrants, of whom 33/48 (69%) held no residence permit. 22/50 (44%) had been educated beyond obligatory schooling. 28/50 (56%) had no health insurance. 18/50 (36%) had been victims of physical violence. While 36/50 (72%) had seen a doctor during the preceding 12 months, only 15/50 (30%) were aware of a free clinic for individuals without health insurance. Those unaware of free services consulted emergency departments or doctors outside Switzerland. Gynaecology, primary healthcare and dental services were most often listed as needed. Two individuals (of 50, 4%) disclosed positive HIV status; of the others, 24/48 (50%) had never had an HIV test.
Conclusions This vulnerable population comprises SSWs who, whether through mobility, insufficient education or language barriers, are unaware of services they are entitled to. With half the participants reporting no HIV testing, there is a need to enhance awareness of available facilities as well as to increase provision and uptake of HIV testing.
Source: PMJ. BMJ
Can I first just say how hyped I am about this new anti-bra study? According to French doctor Jean-Denis Rouillon, who studied 330 women’s breasts for 15 years(!), the whole shebang may be a waste of money and effort for many of us.
In his research, Rouillon found women who wore a bra regularly were actually more likely to experience breast sagging than women who did not. For most of the women, wearing a bra didn’t help lessen back pain, either.
I cannot tell you whether you need a bra, but I sure as hell know that I don’t need one, at least not for anything other than strategic nipple invisibility and, occasionally, a cleavage boost (I use the term “cleavage” very loosely here). I would go without a bra a whole lot more if it weren’t for this pesky idea that people should not be able to see the outline of my nipples through the fabric of my clothes. That this is seen as tacky or slutty or improper is one of my longtime laments, because the alternative is that women who do not otherwise need a bra at most times have to be uncomfortable for no reason other than propriety.
But I digress. Rouillon told France Culture last year that his work was inspired by a lack of previous studies on the medical effects or necessity of women wearing bras. Now that the results are in, he concluded that ”bras are a false necessity”.
“Medically, physiologically, anatomically – breasts gain no benefit from being denied gravity,” Rouillon said in a radio interview Wednesday. “On the contrary, they get saggier with a bra.”
For women who didn’t wear bras, ”on average their nipples lifted seven millimeters in one year in relation to the shoulders,” he added.
All of the women in Rouillon’s studies were 18 to 35 years old, however, and there’s no word on average breast size among participants. He points out somewhat weirdly that “it would be of no benefit to a 45-year-old mother to stop wearing a bra.”
But .. I can, right?