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Alcohol Increases Breast Cancer Risk

In a study of 100,000 women followed for 28 years, those who consumed as few as three glasses of wine per week had a 15 percent increase in breast cancer risk, and this risk increased with higher alcohol consumption (JAMA, November 2, 2011). Two drinks a day increased the risk by 51 percent. Those who drank fewer than three glasses of wine a week had the same breast cancer risk as those who did not drink.

Binge drinking and cumulative alcohol intake throughout adult life also increased risk for breast cancer. A woman can reduce her risk for breast cancer by omitting a glass of wine with dinner, and by avoiding overweight and exercising.

Red wine raised cancer risk as much as a comparable amount of beer. A 5-ounce glass of wine contains the same amount of alcohol as 12 ounces of beer or 2/3rds of a shot glass of alcohol.

Since drinking alcohol has also been associated with reduced heart attack risk, the study suggests that a woman should drink fewer than three glasses of wine per week. High levels of estrogen are linked to breast cancer and alcohol raises blood levels of estrogen.

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Taking Thyroid Pills Can Cause Osteoporosis and Heart Damage

If you take thyroid medication without getting blood tests regularly to check for overdosage, you may be risking your life. A study presented October 27, 2011, at the annual meeting of the American Thyroid Association, checked 10 different brands of over-the-counter thyroid pills. These pills contain animal thyroid hormones that are biologically active in humans. The amount of thyroid hormone in the pills varied widely and some exceeded doses usually prescribed by physicians. Ten percent of the pills contained no active thyroid hormone.

Some misguided individuals take over-the-counter thyroid pills because they think it will help them lose weight, cure tiredness and improve performance at work and at school. They usually offer none of these benefits.

Overdosage of thyroid medication is far more dangerous than not getting enough. Taking thyroid hormone when your thyroid gland is producing normal amounts causes severe osteoporosis in which your bones turn to chalk and break with minimal trauma. It also can cause irregular heart beats, jitteriness and emotional problems.

Every person who takes thyroid pills, even those prescribed by a physician, should get a blood test called TSH at least every six months to check for overdosage. If your TSH is below 0.5, you are getting too much, your bones are turning to chalk and you could be damaging your heart.

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Don't Mess Around

Young adults were questioned about their quality of life. Those who acquired warts on their genitals and rectum were questioned again two and six months after developing warts. They suffered an incredible loss of sexual activity, self image, and relationship with a partner; and marked increase in genital pain and discomfort, anxiety and depression (Sexually Transmitted Diseases, October, 2011;38(10):949-956). Genital warts last for around 125 days.

All genital warts are caused by 150 different Human Papilloma Wart viruses which are highly contagious. Seventy- five percent of the sexually active population (15-49 years of age) in the United States have been infected with HPV during their lifetime (Am J Med, 1997;102:13-18).

CONDOMS DO NOT PROTECT YOU FROM HPV, AS ANY SKIN-TO- SKIN CONTACT CAN SPREAD THE VIRUS. THAT MEANS THAT THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD MORE THAN FIVE SEXUAL PARTNERS HAVE BEEN INFECTED WITH THESE VIRUSES.

A person's immunity usually rids the body of these viruses in six to nine months (J Clin Virol. 2005;32:S16-24). However, occasionally the viruses persist to cause cancers of the mouth, throat, cervix, skin, head and neck.

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Recipe of the Week:

Sweet Potato Salad with Pineapple

You'll find lots of recipes and helpful tips in The Good Food Book - it's FREE

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November 6th, 2011
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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