April 2011

Eating Organic is Pricey, but there are Ways to Save

The more I learn about contaminants in the environment, the more I shop at the local organic market—but it can be expensive.  At a recent lecture held at Northwestern on the Environment and Women’s Reproductive Health, I learned that some fruits and vegetables are likely more contaminated than others.  So the key to healthier eating on a budget is to go organic with the ‘dirty’ foods and still buy conventionally farmed produce that is  least likely to be affected by contamination.

Step-by-step Decisions Lead to Smarter Treatment Choices

Choosing a treatment option for breast cancer can be almost as confusing and frightening as the diagnosis itself. But it doesn’t have to be. A new study from the University of Michigan has found that women make smarter choices about treatments when they receive information and make decisions in small doses rather than all at once.

Obesity and Osteoporosis

It has been reported in the past that obesity (body fat mass) is  protective against osteoporosis and fracture.  However, a recent study has documented a high prevalence of obesity in postmenopausal women with fragility fracture.

An international group of researchers has presented research at the European Congress on Osteoporosis & Osteoarthritis that compares the prevalence and location of fractures in obese (Body Mass Index≥30 kg/m2) and non-obese postmenopausal women and examines specific risk factors for fracture.

Women’s Health Activism Makes a Difference

Now that so many women are balancing school, family, and work, it’s hard to find time to stand up for women’s causes.   But it is important and it does work.   Recently a prominent surgeon wrote a Valentine’s Day editorial about the mood enhancing effects of semen on women during unprotected sex.   He cited a research study done in 2002 that reported that female college students who had had unprotected sex were less depressed that those who used condoms. It implied that compounds in semen have antidepressant effects.  He goes further to imply sex without condoms may be a nice Valentine’s present. WHAT?#?#

Sex Differences in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Male fetuses most vulnerable to alcohol.

Exposure to alcohol in the womb doesn’t affect all fetuses equally. Why does one woman who drinks alcohol during pregnancy give birth to a child with physical, behavioral or learning problems — known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder — while another woman who also drinks has a child without these problems?

Bisphenol A Found in Food Containers May Be Harmful to your Health

We aren’t sure how Bisphenol A (BPA) (found in plastic food containers) affects human beings — especially developing fetuses and young children — and if concerning test results in animal subjects translate to people. Should BPA be banned from baby bottles, as it has been in other countries like Canada?   Unfortunately, our ability to detect chemicals in our bodies is running ahead of our ability to understand exactly how them may affect us.