Dr. Lipman’s Wellness News Roundup

Health News
Here’s a look at some key health and wellness stories from this week:

FDA Says No to Antibacterial Soaps

Great news: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned 19 ingredients commonly used in antibacterial soaps — including triclosan — because manufacturers could not prove they were both safe for long-term use and more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness. A whopping 40 percent of soap products have at least one banned ingredient, according to an FDA spokesperson. Companies will have one year to get the ingredients out. Not-so-great news? You can still find triclosan in your toothpaste. (Food Safety News)

Gatorade Goes Organic — But It’s Still Not Good For You

PepsiCo, the parent company of sports drink Gatorade, announced the impending arrival of G Organic — organic Gatorade made with organic cane sugar and without artificial colors. Although the organic version will likely be less fluorescent than regular Gatorade, it’s still loaded with sugar. “G Organic is still a sugary drink — essentially, liquid candy — and organic sugar is no healthier than sugar,” says a nutritionist with the Center for Science in the Public Interest. (NYT)

Kent State University Opens Gluten-Free Dining Hall

To address the increasing number of gluten-intolerant students, Kent State University in Ohio has opened what it says is the country’s first completely gluten-free dining hall. “Students have enough to worry about – they should not have to worry about their food being safe to eat,” said Kent State Director of University Dining Services Rich Roldan in a statement. (CBS)

How to Take Charge as a Patient

Want to take charge of your own health? Check out this list of tips on how to become an empowered patient, including preparing questions in advance to ask your doc, questioning the necessity of certain tests, and pushing for alternatives to prescribed medications. (Forbes)

1 in 5 Fish Is Mislabeled

Fish fraud is a big problem, according to a new report from ocean conservation advocacy group Oceana. The report found that 1 in 5 fish globally is mislabeled. In the United States, the average seafood fraud rate climbs to almost 1 in 3. Not only is it misleading, it has a negative health impact, Time reports: “Some types of seafood are supposed to be screened for potential toxins or allergens and if they are mislabeled that process may not happen.” (TIME)

Forget Febreze — Use These Houseplants to Purify the Air

Houseplants are a great way to absorb toxic chemicals in the air, including those released by furniture, paint, and household cleansers. Check out this fun slideshow of 12 healthy houseplants — including the spider plant, Carribean tree cactus, and ficus — that can clear the air. (CNN)

Early Antibiotic Use Linked to Allergies Later On

People who are given antibiotics in the first two years of life are more likely to develop eczema and hay fever as adults, according to a meta-analysis presented at the recent annual European Respiratory Society meeting. Most likely, the early antibiotic use disrupts the gut microbiome which leads to immune problems, notes lead researcher Fariba Ahmadizar of Utrecht University. (Reuters)

Loneliness Can Lead to Illness, Cognitive Decline

Feeling lonely can have a profound impact on health and well-being, say researchers, and that spells trouble for the 1 in 3 Americans older than 65 who live alone. “The profound effects of loneliness on health and independence are a critical public health problem,” notes Dr. Carla M. Perissinotto, a geriatrician at the University of California, San Francisco. “It is no longer medically or ethically acceptable to ignore older adults who feel lonely and marginalized.” University of Chicago’s John T. Cacioppo, who studies loneliness, agrees: “Denying you feel lonely makes no more sense than denying you feel hunger.” (NYT)

Beware This Toxic Cookware

Check out this list of seven cookware items to avoid, including aluminum pans, Teflon pans, scratched stainless steel cookware, and even copper pots. “Owners of copper equipment need to be aware that acidic food can dissolve the lining, which can leach into food,” notes The Daily Meal. (The Daily Meal)