Health Highlights: Nov. 4, 2007

In a letter to the owner of America True Man Health Inc., of West Covina, Calif., the FDA said that the products have substances with chemical structures very similar to the active ingredients in FDA-approved prescription drugs, such as Viagra. The FDA has not approved the products distributed by America True Man Health Inc., and the labels don't declare the the active ingredients thione, an analog of sildenafil; or piperadino vardenafil, an analog of vardenafil.

These substances can be especially harmful to men with diabetes, the FDA said.

Consumers should report adverse events related to these products to the online Web site MedWatch, the FDA's voluntary reporting program, at


Test Developed to Help Avoid 'Red Wine Headache'

For some people, it may take only a glass of red wine to cause a headache. Now, University of California at Berkeley researchers say they've developed a device that can help stave off the "red wine headache."

The device, about the size of a briefcase, will eventually be able to test the biogenic amine levels in a variety of foods and liquids, the Associated Press reports.

Biogenic amines are chemicals found in a variety of popular foods and beverages, including wine, chocolate, nuts cheese, olives and cured meats, the wire service reports.

The amines tyramine and histamine are suspected of being causes of not only headaches in some people but also high blood pressure and elevated adrenaline levels, the A.P. reports. "The food you eat is so unbelievably coupled with your body's chemistry," researcher Richard Mathies is quoted as saying.

Right now, the amine test works only liquids, the A.P. says. The study is published in the latest edition of the journal Analytical Chemistry.


Children Inherit Cancer Survival Traits: Study

Survival traits for certain kinds of cancers are passed from parents to children, concludes a Swedish study reported in the November issue of The Lancet Oncology journal.

Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm analyzed a Swedish family database that included three million families and more than 1 million cancer patients. The scientists found that children whose parents had good survival rates after being diagnosed with breast, lung, prostate or colorectal cancer had better survival rates for those same cancers than people whose parents died within 10 years of being diagnosed with those cancers.

The increased risk of death for children whose parents had died earlier was 75 percent for breast cancer, 107 percent for prostate cancer, 44 percent for colorectal cancer, and 39 percent for lung cancer.

"In conclusion, our findings provide support for the hypothesis that cancer-specific survival of a patient can be predicted from previous parental survival from cancer at the same site," the study authors wrote. "Consequently, molecular studies that highlight the genetic determinants of inherited survival in cancers are needed. In a clinical setting, information on poor survival in a family might be vital in accurately predicting tumor progression in the newly diagnosed individual."


Millions of Totino's and Jeno's Frozen Pizzas Recalled

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