Today’s roundup of health stories includes an update on the infant formula shortage, the flu, and more.
CLEVELAND – We have a number of updates for you on a busy Tuesday in health news. Check out Health Hub with Monica Robins:
SHORTAGE OF INFANT FORMULA
The FDA approved two foreign companies to sell infant formula in the United States.
Parents can find Aptamil Care Stage one and two from Danone of Ireland, as well as Platinum Infant formula from The A2 Milk Company of New Zealand on store shelves. Both companies have other products that have been sold in the US for several years. The FDA has been taking advantage of a number of flexibilities to bolster the formula supply while ensuring that infant formula is safe and provides adequate nutrition.
A couple of US formula makers also say they intend to expand their manufacturing capacity to help keep supplies stocked. The FDA continues to advise against making infant formulas at home or diluting formulas. Talk to your child’s pediatrician to learn about options.
SUPPLEMENTS VS. STATINS
A new study from the Cleveland Clinic shows that over-the-counter dietary supplements that claim to help lower cholesterol aren’t very effective.
“What we are looking at is the effect of 5 milligrams of a low-dose statin compared to placebo and six commonly used dietary supplements for lowering LDL cholesterol in a patient population that is at intermediate risk for future risk of cardiovascular events. adverse”. explained Luke Laffin, MD, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Laffin said they studied six supplements, including fish oil, garlic, cinnamon, turmeric, plant sterols, and red yeast rice, and then compared them to statins, which are prescription drugs.
The results showed that a low-dose statin was much more effective at lowering cholesterol than either supplement.
He said they also found statins to be as safe as supplements.
Also, the supplements did very little to help lower cholesterol.
So what does this mean for people with high cholesterol?
“If you’ve had discussions with your doctor about starting cholesterol-lowering medications, it’s probably best to continue those discussions and not turn to over-the-counter supplements that usually don’t have big data, even in this trial, that actually lower cholesterol.” cholesterol and lower cardiovascular risk,” said Dr. Laffin.
Dr. Laffin said it’s probably best for people taking these types of supplements for high cholesterol to stop taking them and switch to a proven medication.
ULTRAPROCESSED FOODS AND EARLY DEATH
A study conducted in Brazil found that consuming a diet rich in processed foods could lead to premature death.
The researchers analyzed data from dietary surveys to estimate baseline intake of ultra-processed foods.
They found that more than 500,000 adults ages 30 to 69 died prematurely in 2019 after consuming large amounts of things like frozen pizza, ready-to-eat meals, hot dogs, pastries, candy, sausage, soda, and donuts. We have long known that these foods are linked to an increase in diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
THE FLU IS HERE
According to the Ohio Department of Health, we have 135 confirmed cases of influenza in the state that required hospitalization. That figure includes 14 hospitalizations in Northeast Ohio, eight of which were in Cuyahoga County.
The predominant strain is H3N2, which is type A, and the same strain that caused a pretty bad flu season in the southern hemisphere.
Experts predict that we will probably see a lot of flu here in the coming weeks.
The flu usually starts in January, but don’t be surprised to see cases start to rise dramatically in December. The flu shot protects against type A and type B strains, and now is the time to get vaccinated, before seeing the family for Thanksgiving.