Study suggests effects of ragweed increased due to climate change
MILWAUKEE Global climate change is believed to be making ragweed season worse for allergy sufferers, according to report released by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology released Tuesday.
Recent studies suggest that increasing temperatures and carbon dioxide levels are already resulting in longer ragweed seasons and more concentrated pollen counts. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology has devoted its September issue to exploring the effects of climate change on allergic disease—including ragweed allergy.
That’s not good news for the estimated 36 million Americans who suffer from ragweed allergy, the primary cause of fall allergy symptoms. Ragweed season unofficially begins Aug. 15.
Researchers have decisively linked climate change to “longer pollen seasons, greater exposure and increased disease burden for late summer weeds such as ragweed,” noted Richard Weber, and chairman of the AAAAI Aerobiology Committee, citing among other findings that increased carbon dioxide has resulted in pollen production increases of between 61 percent and 90 percent in some ragweed varieties.
According to data from the AAAAI one ragweed plant can produce 1 billion pollen grains in an average season. Due to the grains’ light weight, they can travel up to 400 miles with the breeze, leaving virtually no outdoor place ragweed-free.
Council for Responsible Nutrition adopts DHEA marketing guidelines
WASHINGTON The Council for Responsible Nutrition announced Monday that its members have adopted a new voluntary program for responsible marketing of dehydroepiandrosterone, an ingredient in many sports nutrition products also known as DHEA.
Under the new program, CRN members agreed to refrain from marketing DHEA products as providing benefits like those of general anabolic steroids, such as muscle enlargement and increase strength. They also agreed not to market the products to children because the chemical is unlikely to enhance their performance.
“This is an important step forward in self-regulation by the dietary supplement industry, and we encourage other companies to join our members in following these guidelines,” stated CRN President and CEO Steve Mister said. “It’s disturbing to see some of the ads in magazines or online that promote DHEA as if it were a drug or anabolic steroid, when the fact is existing research has not demonstrated that kind of effect.”
In 2004, Congress enacted the Anabolic Steroid Control Act, which placed a number of steroid precursors on the Controlled Substances List. Congress omitted DHEA from the list, recognizing that it doesn’t enhance performance or lead to the abuse, addiction or side effects that anabolic steroids cause. Unlike anabolic steroids, DHEA is natural and is the most common steroid hormone in the body. The body recognizes when it achieves normal hormone levels and ignores additional DHEA.
“Research demonstrates that in young, healthy adults, supplemental DHEA does not affect testosterone levels and does not provide performance-enhancing benefits, therefore, it should not be marketed as having an anabolic steroid effect,” Mister said.
According to Nutrition Business Journal, U.S. annual sales of DHEA are $49 million, CRN said.
Severe sleep apnea increases risk of death
WASHINGTON Sleep apnea can do more than interfere with a sound sleep—it can also increase risk of death, according to a report.
The report, published in the journal Sleep, was the result of an 18-year study that found sleep apnea increased the risk of death from any cause by causing the person’s health to deteriorate over time.
The research team that conducted the study examined 1,522 men and women aged 30 to 60. Among the control group, the death rate was 2.85 per 1,000 people each year. Among those with mild to moderate sleep apnea, it was 5.54 and 5.42 per thousand, while the rate was 14.6 per thousand among those with severe sleep apnea. More than 40 percent of deaths among those with severe sleep apnea resulted from cardiovascular disease.
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute estimates that sleep apnea affects 12 million to 18 million Americans.