Circumcised vs. Uncircumcised: Weighing Risks and Benefits

Debates surrounding circumcision span generations, cultures and religions. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently renewed the discussion by issuing a statement reporting that the health benefits of newborn circumcision outweigh the risks and that the benefits justify access to the procedure for families who choose it for their newborn. Opponents of newborn circumcision believe it… Read more »

Don’t Overlook the Benefits of Organics

Ken Spaeth, MD Organic food is not more nutritious than conventional versions, according to a new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Yet the journal article is easy to misinterpret because it is a comparison of organic food studies that are not based on human consumption in the real world. Rather, the primary settings… Read more »

WTC Workers’ Health Still Suffer from 9/11 Fallout

Thousands died on 9/11. Thousands more still pay the price for their efforts at Ground Zero. Laboring in the remains of the World Trade Center (WTC) for days, weeks and months, brave men and women were exposed to a toxic brew of dust and smoke–which was not and will never be truly characterized. Some first-responders… Read more »

Stop Head Lice in Their Tracks

Few things give people the willies as much as head lice. Now that children are back in school, it is crucial to know how to recognize these creepy crawlers, get rid of them–and prevent them from spreading. Common signs of head lice are an itchy scalp, irritability, sleeplessness and even a tickling sensation. But sometimes… Read more »

Prolonged CPR Can Prolong Life

Patients in cardiac arrest at the hospital are more likely to survive and go home if they receive prolonged CPR, according to a new study. Today’s front page of The New York Times quotes Stephen Green, MD, associate chairman of cardiology for the North Shore-LIJ Health System, on the Lancet study, which challenges conventional medical… Read more »

Organic Food: What’s the Difference?

While they look like their “conventional” counterparts, organic foods’ differences are more than skin-deep. Organic food farmers use no petroleum-derived fertilizers, chemical pesticides or antibiotics during growth and production, and work to conserve soil and water and while reducing pollution. These extra measures are usually reflected in the price, so it’s important to know what… Read more »

Are Airport X-Ray Scanners Safe?

Officials at the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) were mistaken if they thought using ionizing radiation to screen upwards of a billion travelers a year wouldn’t raise potential health concerns. Indeed, the use of airport “backscatter” X-ray scanners, which employ full-body imaging to detect banned and dangerous items, has vocal advocates on both sides of… Read more »

Ecstasy: The Rave Drug that Doesn’t Earn Raves

Ecstasy (MDMA) is a powerful drug that creates a feeling of mental stimulation, emotional warmth, closeness and a sense of well being. Unfortunately, that initial reaction is misleading. Ecstasy also causes increased anxiety, restlessness, irritability, impulsivity, sadness, sleep problems, nausea, cramping, high blood pressure, and dehydration. A recent study (“A prospective study of learning, memory,… Read more »