Hits & Misses #2 – 2009/2/23

EnvyEnvy explained.

With a brain scan, of course.  The neural correlates of envy and schadenfreude were tied together, with the magnitude of one predicting the strength of the other

Does in vitro pose genetic risks?

No one knows. The real question – what is the chance that an IVF baby will have a birth defect? – has not been definitively answered. That would require a large, rigorous study that followed these babies. The C.D.C. study provides comparative risks but not absolute risks.

Tara Parker-Pope reviews the vitamin studies.

It includes this: Today about half of all adults use some form of dietary supplement, at a cost of $23 billion a year.

And this: "Most antioxidants are also pro-oxidants… In the right context and the right dose, they may be able to cause problems rather than prevent them."

Artificial sweetener update.

Surprise fact: only about 15 percent of Americans regularly consume beverages and foods that contain artificial sweeteners.

Rat study: Those given saccharin gained more weight and more body fat because they overcompensated for the noncaloric sweetener.

Human study: Those who drank the diet drinks took in 100 fewer calories a day and lost significantly more weight and kept more of it off.

Comments (6)

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  1. Sherry H. says:

    I think I’ll stick with the diet drinks.

  2. Bruce says:

    I will too, Sherry. Except on those days when I’m feeling like a rat.

  3. Bart Ingles says:

    Is high-fructose corn sweetener artificial?

  4. Bart Ingles says:

    On vitamins, shouldn’t the next step be to review whether the vitamin additives in fortified foods are causing harm? If found to be helpful to some and harmful to others, wouldn’t it make more sense to prescribe supplements only where needed?

  5. Vicki says:

    The news on vitamins just gets worse and worse.

  6. Linda Gorman says:

    The review and discussion of additives in fortified foods is extensive. It is not a step undertaken lightly.

    Nutrient deficiency is still a problem. Vitamin D deficiency is an active area of research right now with possible linkages to osteoporotic fracture, pediatric health, heart health, and kidney disease. Lots of people appear to be vitamin D deficient. Nutritional rickets still afflicts people–there were 166 US pediatric cases reported in the literature between 1986 and 2003.