It's Not the Cough That Carried You Off – and other news

by DavalosMcCormack on January 24, 2008

Study Turns up Nose at OTC Cough Medicines
The FDA recently came out with a warning that over-the-counter cough medicines were not good for kids, and might even be dangerous. Well, now a new study says there’s not much evidence they’re any good for adults either.

The researchers, at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Medical School – OK, I have to admit a conflict of interest here. I’m Irish and the building that is home to the College of Surgeons in Dublin is really cool, I love it. – Anyway, as I was saying they looked at 25 different studies on the effectiveness of OTC cough medicines in both children and adults. Their conclusion, they’re safe but they’re not that effective.

In fact lead researcher Thomas Fahey said in a news release “I do not give my kids over-the-counter medicine. I do not advise my patients to do so”. And he says he doesn’t take them himself. There is no evidence they’re any good so why would he?

So, a little lemon, a little honey, a little hot water and whatever else takes your fancy (Jameson’s Irish Whiskey anybody?) may be the best way to tackle that tickle in the throat.

Cranberries to fight infection
It’s long been known among women that cranberry juice can help in treating a urinary tract infection. Now researchers have finally caught up with them.

A new study out of Scotland – who even knew they could grow cranberries there! – found that cranberries contain substances such as quinic acid and citric acid which act as anti-bacterial agents to help eliminate bacteria from the bladder.

How much should you take? Well, the researchers say the studies didn’t contain look at a consistent dosage but the the most common recommended amount was one glass, twice a day.

It certainly won’t hurt you, and it tastes a lot nicer than a trip to the doctor’s office or even the ER.

Eating Your Wheaties Could Stop Diabetes
That headline has a nice ring to it. And it’s true. Mostly.

A study in the latest issue of The Cochrane Library, an international journal that evaluates medical research, found that a diet high in whole grain foods may well reduce your risk of developing diabetes. But cautious folks that they are, they’re not yet ready to say that it definitely will.

They looked at 12 studies that examined whether people who ate a lot of whole grain products were less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes. Most of the studies found that was the case. But in a couple of studies the link was a rather weak one, which is why they didn’t come right out and say “whoopee, eat whole grains and live longer”. But you know what, you can probably figure out that if you eat whole grains – in moderation, don’t go crazy – you’ll be regular and healthy. Or least more regular and healthier than if you don’t eat them.

So that’s it. Common sense, healthy eating, avoid bad medicine. Seems like a recipe for a healthy lifestyle to me!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: