Benzopyrene, a common carcinogen found in cigarettes, creates vitamin A deficiency in rats exposed to cigarette smoke, Kansas researchers find. "When the lung content of vitamin A was low, the score of emphysema was high," says study leader Richard Baybutt. "So, the hypothesis is that smokers develop emphysema because of a vitamin A deficiency." Baybutt also fed rats exposed to cigarette smoke a diet with higher levels of vitamin A and the areas of emphysema were reduced, reports the Journal of Nutrition. "The implications are that those who start smoking at an early age are more likely to become vitamin A deficient and develop complications associated with cancer and emphysema," he said. "And if they have a poor diet, forget it." Smoking does not support a healthy lifestyle, Baybutt adds.
GRILLED MEAT SHOULD BE 160 DEGREES F
Lona Sandon, a professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, advises caution when cooking outdoors. Outdoor food preparation can be appetizing, but risky as well -- 56 percent of outdoor chefs don't know the proper temperature to grill meats and a third leave perishables outside -- creating ideal conditions for bacterial growth. Sandon suggests buying a meat thermometer to ensure that grilled meats are cooked to at least 160 degrees F and using color-coded coolers and utensils to keep raw meats separate from other foods. She also advises to pack plenty of ice for raw food and leftovers and washing hands with moist towelettes or antibacterial hand sanitizer before digging into the picnic basket.
DRUG-ADDICTED FATHERS HARMFUL
Being raised by a U.S. father who abuses drugs is more harmful to the mental health of school-age children than being raised by an alcoholic father. Researchers at the University at Buffalo and Old Dominion University find that children living with drug-addicted fathers exhibited significantly higher levels of worrying, anxiety, depression, acting out and other antisocial behaviors compared to children with alcoholic fathers. "Many studies have assumed that children of alcoholics and children of drug abusers were very similar," said study leader William Fals-Stewart. "Drug abusing fathers also expose their children to more conflict, poorer parenting and greater physical violence between the parents than do alcoholic fathers." The findings are published in the Journal of Family Psychology.
CUSTOM MADE ORTHOSES NOT BETTER
An Israeli study, published in the American Orthopaedic Foot, finds no real difference between expensive custom made foot orthoses and prefabricated ones. Israeli infantry recruits were examined to determine how shoe orthoses fabrication affects user comfort and the incidence of overuse injuries in a physically active healthy young male population. There was no statistically significant difference between the incidence of stress fractures, ankle sprains, or foot problems according to the type of orthoses that recruits used. "If an orthosis is not designed to treat a specific biomechanical abnormality, then there is little economic justification for prescribing semi rigid biomechanical orthoses (the most expensive)," says study leader Dr. Charles Milgrom, of Hebrew University Medical School.
(EDITORS: For more information on VITAMIN A contact Richard Baybutt at (785)532-0169 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For MEAT, Scott Maier at (214) 648-3111. For FATHERS, Patricia Donovan at (716) 645-5000 ext 1414 or email@example.com)