HEALTH

CRN promotes supplementation of iodine on World Thyroid Day

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — As part of efforts to increase awareness of thyroid health for the 8th Annual World Thyroid Day on Monday, the Council for Responsible Nutrition joined the American Thyroid Association and its sister international thyroid societies in calling attention to the important functions regulated by a healthy thyroid. In particular, CRN is focusing on the role of iodine and its importance for thyroid and overall health, especially for women who are pregnant or lactating. 
 
“Iodine is a nutrient that is critical for the production of thyroid hormones, and therefore, a deficiency in iodine can lead to thyroid hormone-related and other health problems,” stated Duffy MacKay, SVP scientific and regulatory affairs, CRN. “Additionally, pregnant or nursing women who are getting insufficient amounts of iodine can put their children at risk for decreased cognitive function, which is why CRN, and medical organizations, including ATA, The American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Endocrine Society, recommend that women who are pregnant or lactating receive a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement that contains 150 mcg of iodine.”
 
In addition to demonstrating iodine’s essential role for the health of women of childbearing age, scientific evidence has shown that getting enough iodine can help in preventing thyroid gland dysfunction, such as goiter, and various abnormalities related to the nervous system, digestive system or skin.
 
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Church & Dwight makes pregnancy testing easier with new product

BY Michael Johnsen

EWING, N.J. – Church & Dwight on Tuesday announced the newly redesigned First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test stick, which taking a pregnancy test easier, featuring a curved shape specifically designed to fit a woman's hand and a 50% wider tip. 
 
Transforming the original flat test stick, this curved design makes taking pregnancy tests easier with a longer handle and one, easy-to-read results window. The outcome of extensive, prototype testing with consumers, First Response found that women prefer the re-engineered "Comfort Sure Design" stick over other prototype designs for its improved usage experience with more control and less mess.
 
"We're pleased to continue advancing the at-home pregnancy test category with this game-changing offering," stated Stacey Feldman, VP marketing, Church & Dwight. "This breakthrough, curved stick showcases our leadership, as we consistently incorporate the latest technology into all our products to offer women the highest quality options during these crucial, anxiety-filled moments in their reproductive health journey."
 
"The launch of this newly redesigned First Response pregnancy test stick is a big step in addressing women's needs in an evolving landscape," said Elizabeth Yepez, a board certified ObGyn and Clinical Instructor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Medicine. "As an obstetrician, I continue to notice how my patients increasingly incorporate technology into their pregnancy. It's exciting to see how the culture surrounding pregnancy has changed over time."
 
Also new to store shelves is the First Response Test & Confirm Ovulation Test, a combination kit that helps women who are trying to conceive track their ovulation with two different ways to detect and confirm their most fertile days. This kit includes 10 Daily Ovulation Tests and one Digital Ovulation Test, which features unmistakable YES+/NO- results.
 
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Forsake fashion for function, foot researchers say

BY Michael Johnsen

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Americans love high-heeled shoes. One survey in 2003 reported that 62% of American women wore shoes with a 2-inch or greater heel on a regular basis. But new findings are revealing that those shoes are taking a toll.
 
New research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham shows that high-heeled-shoe-related injuries doubled between 2002 and 2012. The findings were published online May 12 in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Injuries, and the frequency and severity of those injuries were sufficient to make the investigators suggest that wearing the appropriate shoes for the appropriate occasion and being aware of one’s surroundings are good ideas.
 
Of course, insoles may also serve to soothe aching ankle and foot injuries. However, sales of foot care devices in 2014 were relatively flat, up only 0.6% to $686 million across total U.S. multi-outlets, according to IRI. 
 
“Although high-heeled shoes might be stylish, from a health standpoint, it would be worthwhile for those interested in wearing high-heeled shoes to understand the risks and the potential harm that precarious activities in high-heeled shoes can cause,” said lead investigator Gerald McGwin, vice chair and professor of the Department of Epidemiology in the UAB School of Public Health.
 
In addition to discomfort in the lower leg, ankle and foot, research has indicated that walking in high-heeled shoes has been shown to significantly reduce ankle muscle movement, step length, total range of movement and balance control. Many studies have documented that the long-term use of high heels alters the neuromechanics of walking and places greater strain on the muscles and tendons of the lower legs, which can lead to musculoskeletal disorders later in life.
 
McGwin’s team looked at data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System of injuries associated with wearing high heels seen in hospital emergency departments between 2002 and 2012. There were 123,355 high-heel-related injuries seen during that period. The peak year for injuries was 2011, with more than 19,000. People between the ages of 20 and 29 were most likely to suffer an injury, followed by the 30-39 age group.
 
“Some historians suggest that high-heeled shoes have been around for nearly 300 years, and that medical professionals have been warning wearers about the dangers of such shoes for the same amount of time,” McGwin said. “While previous studies have confirmed that high heels are associated with lower extremity discomfort and musculoskeletal issues, there is very little information on the nature and frequency of these injuries, or which age groups were most affected.”
 
The vast majority of the injuries — more than 80% — were to the ankle or foot, with just under 20% involving the knee, trunk, shoulder or head and neck. More than half were strains or sprains, with fractures accounting for 19% of all injuries. 
 
“Our findings also suggest that high-heel-related injuries have increased over time, with the rate of injury nearly doubling from 2002 to 2012,” McGwin said. “We also noted that nearly half the injuries occurred in the home, which really supports the idea of wearing the right footwear for the right occasion and setting. Also, to reduce the time of exposure, we recommend that those wearing heels be aware of how often and for how long they wear them.”
 
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