Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Questions to Ask When Considering Complementary or Alternative Therapies

The use of complementary and alternative therapies (CAM) is on the rise. However, before using CAM, it is advisable to consult with your primary health care provider, or any specialized health care provider you are under the care of.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology has prepared Questions to Ask When Considering CAM.

The questions will help you gather the information you need about a CAM therapy.
Links are also provided to additional resources.

The Mulford Library of the University of Toledo has two relevant  online Library Guides

May 5, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , | Leave a comment

Social Determinants of Health – The Canadian Facts

Social Determinants of Health: The Canadian Facts. by J Mikkonen & D Raphael Foreword by Hon. Monique Bégin (Former Minister of National Health & Welfare of Canada) Published in May 2010. ISBN 978-0-9683484-1-3 – 62 pp [63p.]

“……The primary factors that shape the health of Canadians are not medical treatments or lifestyle choices but rather the living conditions they experience. These conditions have come to be known as the social determinants of health. This information – based on decades of research and hundreds of studies in Canada and elsewhere – is unfamiliar to most Canadians. Canadians are largely unaware that our health is shaped by how income and wealth is distributed, whether or not we are employed and if so, the working conditions we experience.”

Improving the health of Canadians requires we think about health and its determinants in a more sophisticated manner than has been the case to date. Social Determinants of Health: The Canadian Facts considers 14 social determinants of health:

1. Income and Income Distribution 2. Education 3. Unemployment and Job Security 4. Employment and Working Conditions 5. Early Childhood Development 6. Food Insecurity 7. Housing 8. Social Exclusion 9. Social Safety Network 10. Health Services 11. Aboriginal Status 12. Gender 13. Race 14. Disability

“The publication outlines why they are important; how Canada is doing in addressing them; and what can be done to improve their quality. The purpose of the document is to provide promote greater awareness of the social determinants of health and the development and implementation of public policies that improve their quality. ….”

From: Open Medicine Blog #261

May 5, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

EPA Opens Access to Database on Chemical Hazard, Exposure and Toxicity Data

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making it easier to find chemical information online. EPA is releasing a database, called ToxRefDB, which allows scientists and the interested public to search and download thousands of toxicity testing results on hundreds of chemicals. ToxRefDB captures 30 years and $2 billion of testing results.

“Tens of thousands of chemicals are in commerce and current chemical testing is expensive and time consuming. Results from chemical testing are scattered throughout different sources,” said Dr. Robert Kavlock, director of EPA’s National Center for Computational Toxicology. “ToxRefDB allows the public to search, find and compare available studies about chemical toxicity and potential health effects.” 

ToxRefDB (Toxicity Reference Database) captures thousands of in vivo animal toxicity studies on hundreds of chemicals. The database:

  • Stores detailed study design, dosing, and observed treatment-related effects using standardized vocabulary.
  • Provides detailed chemical toxicity data, for the first time, in a publically accessible and searchable format.
  • Enables linkages to other public hazard, exposure and risk resources by integrating with ACToR (Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource).
  • Captures over 30 years and $2 billion of animal testing results.
  • Connects to another EPA chemical screening tool called ToxCast, a multi-year, multi-million dollar effort that uses advanced science tools to help efficiently (~$20K per chemical) understand biological processes impacted by chemicals that may lead to adverse health effects.

From: EPA Opens Access to Chemical Information/Searchable database on chemical hazard, exposure and toxicity data now available

May 5, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Free online directory for locally grown food

The Eat Well Guide® is a free online directory for anyone in search of fresh, locally grown and sustainably produced food in the United States and Canada.
The listings include family farms, restaurants, farmers’ markets, grocery stores, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs, U-pick orchards and more.   
Users can search by location, keyword, category or product to find good food, download customized guides, or plan a trip with the innovative mapping tool.

May 5, 2010 Posted by | Nutrition | | 1 Comment


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