Archive for January, 2009

Eating dirt is good for kids?


As the mother of an inquisitive 4-year-old who seems to put everything in his mouth, my interest was immediately piqued when I saw a recent article. It said eating dirt is good for kids. 

In studies of what is called the hygiene hypothesis, researchers said organisms like bacteria, viruses and especially worms that enter the body along with “dirt” spur the development of a healthy immune system, according to the article. 

One researcher said that children raised in an ultra-clean environment are not being exposed to organisms that help them develop appropriate immune regulatory circuits.  

Researchers stressed that intestinal worms, which have been all but eliminated in developed countries, are “likely to be the biggest player” in regulating the immune system to respond appropriately. Most worms are harmless, especially in well-nourished people, the researchers said. My first response was “ewwww!!” Then I felt somewhat relieved about all the times my son ate dirt before …

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Best antidepressant for you

Smiling man

Choosing the right antidepressant is tricky. You have many choices and may have heard that they all work the same. After all, the pills are targeting an inadequate amount of a chemical in the brain that transmits signals between neurons. It’s also known as serotonin.

A dozen antidepressants were tested in a new study: Celexa, Cymbalta, Efexor, Ixel, Luvox, Prozac, Seroxat, Remeron, Zyban, Cipralex, Zoloft and Edronax. The winners? Zoloft, developed by Pfizer Inc., and Cipralex, developed by Forest Laboratories in the U.S. and Danish drugmaker H. Lundbeck A/S in Europe, work best.

– By Charles Yoo

Which is your antidepressant? Does it work? How has it changed your life?

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Your ways to whiter teeth

BY ALISON JOHNSON McClatchy / Tribune

Whitening strips and professional treatments aren’t the only ways to keep your teeth pearly. Here are a few tips from New Town Dental Arts in James City County, Va.:
• Keep teeth clean. Aim to brush — or at least rinse — right after eating, especially if you’ve had a food or drink that stains teeth easily (see below). Also floss daily and see a dentist regularly.
• Beware of big stainers. Berries, chocolate, coffee, tea, colas, root beer, red wine and tobacco are known for discoloring enamel, the hard outer surface of teeth. With darkening drinks, use a straw or swallow quickly to limit contact with front teeth.
• Crunch away. Hard raw fruits and vegetables such as carrots, broccoli and apples will help scrape away plaque, which makes teeth look dull.
• Supplement regular toothpaste. Use a whitening paste once or twice a week to remove surface stains. Or mix a paste of baking soda and water and brush with it a few times a week …

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