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Health & Wellness

What consumers can do as regulators weigh compounds’ risks

WASHINGTON — At first, Tomas Monarrez didn’t notice the labels when he went shopping for pots and pans.

‘Completely toxin free!” said a big green message on a line of nonstick frying pans in the cookware aisle at a store in the nation’s capital.

“No PFOA!” boasted the label on a 12-piece kitchen set. “Will never release any toxic fumes,” another label promised.

New standards aim to improve surgery for the oldest patients

WASHINGTON — The 92-year-old had a painful tumour on his tongue, and major surgery was his best chance. Doctors called a timeout when he said he lived alone, in a rural farmhouse, and wanted to keep doing so.

“It was ultimately not clear we could get him back there” after such a big operation, said Dr. Tom Robinson, chief of surgery at the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System.

Natural health products join endocannabinoid hype

TORONTO — When it comes to cannabis and health, buzzwords abound: CBD and THC are chief among them, as well as the endocannabinoid system, which is the body’s network of receptors that these cannabis compounds unlock.

Gaetano Morello, head of a Vancouver-based supplements company, is somewhat averse to that last one. He prefers to call it the body’s “wellness system.”

Study links ultra-processed food to chronic disease

OTTAWA — New research from the University of Montreal links diets high in ultra-processed foods including carbonated drinks, mass-produced cookies and ice cream, and sweetened yogurts to chronic disease.

The research was based on Statistics Canada data from a 2015 survey that found ultra-processed foods accounted for an average of 47 per cent of daily calories consumed by adults.

Data show alcohol the main cause of substance-related deaths in hospital

VANCOUVER — Heavy drinking landed Dawn Nickel in the emergency department four times twice for alcohol poisoning and two more times when she took pills with alcohol to try and kill herself.

“I had no recollection of either wanting to end my life or taking the pills to end my life,” the Victoria resident said nearly 32 years after she downed her last drink.