FLU SHMU! “HIDDEN” HEALTH NEWS FOR YOU

I dug up a few little known health tips that may not be a big deal to everyone, but they’re bound to help someone. Maybe you can add to the list below. Just send me the information and I’ll post it—you do-gooder, you.

Now here’s what I found:

Thanks to walk-up medical clinics, many of us can now put “have sore throat looked at” and “buy tooth paste” on the same to-do list. A RAND CORPORATION study identified these clinics in about 1,000 pharmacies and other retail stores across the country. According to one researcher, walk-up clinics treat routine illnesses “at a lower cost” and at quality comparable to “physicians’ offices, urgent care centers or emergency departments.”

Fruit for thought: UC Berkeley’s Wellness Letter recommends scrubbing melons with cool water and a brush before cutting. Otherwise “if the unwashed rind is contaminated, the knife can drag poisonous Salmonella and other bacteria into the fruit, or your hands can spread them.”

From Berkeley’s Don’t-Get-Duped file comes this warning: Just say no to sunscreens offering higher than high SPFs. Higher does not necessarily mean better.  You’d think an SPF 80 screen would be twice as effective as a 40. But while an 80 blocks about 99% of ultraviolet B radiation, SPF 40 blocks about 97%. Why be greedy anyway?  15 to 30 SPF is considered enough for most people.

Are you allergic to nickel? You can easily find out. Just sign up for acupuncture, tattooing, ear piercing or any other type of body piercing. The needles used sometimes contain nickel which causes an irritating, itchy-yucky rash when it touches the skin of susceptible people. To avoid getting stuck in this mess, follow the Berkeley Wellness Letter’s advice—make sure all body piercing is done with surgical-grade stainless steel needles.

Don’t think zinc. Lots of people count on extra doses of this mineral to get rid of a cold faster. Lots of people might be fooling themselves, too.  Harvard Health Letter emphasizes the fact that “evidence is mixed” on whether or not zinc can stop a cold, cold.

On the anti flip-flop front, HHL reviewed the findings of researchers who jumped feet first into the pros and cons of flip-flops. Their verdict: “wearing flip-flops alters the way one walks, changing the gait in subtle ways that can lead to serious sole, heel and ankle problems.”

Another thumbs-down from Diabetes Wellness News. Recent research results from studies of soda led this publication to state that bubbly-but-bad -for-you soda drinks increase “your risk of diabetes and heart disease.” Moreover, they are “harmful to your bones and your teeth.” The only thing you’ll gain is weight.

Soda sucks, but no one bad-mouths mushrooms. In fact, Consumer Reports ranks them “up there with broccoli as an excellent source of disease-fighting antioxidants.”

That’s my list. Now add to it. Mushroom anyone?