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Health Notes 1

Beware the three-yolk egg

I used to think I had gotten a nutritional bonus when I broke open an egg and found two yolks, but I just found out it may be a sign of hormone treatment of the flock. An occasional two-yolker is normal– about one in 100 eggs or less–but any more should raise your suspicions. And a three-yolker? Guaranteed to be a hormone-enhanced freak.

Also worth noting: Very large eggs are not normal. There are variations, of course, but I don’t recommend buying the jumbo variety. We used to have chickens when my family was in its farming mode. I noticed that the eggs were, in general, smaller than what I saw in the grocery store. I asked my neighbor about this. She was an Arkansas farm woman with a sixth-grade education who had never been out of the state–but she knew chickens.

She replied, with a twinkle in her eye: “Well, these chickens ain’t never been to the city, and most of them city chickens ain’t never seen a rooster, which means they ain’t fertilized, which ain’t normal. Look at the yolks of the city chickens, they’re yellow–they’re sposed to be orange. The hens in the city and on those high falutin’ chicken farms are wasting their time sittin’ on those eggs–nothin’s goin’ to happen.”

It was a little scientific for me, but I got the message.

As long as the chickens laying the eggs haven’t been pumped full of hormones or steroids, eggs themselves are excellent nutrition. If you want to read more about their benefits, check out the article titled “Still scared of eggs?” in the April 2003 issue of Dr. Douglass’ Real Health Breakthroughs. You can download it free at www.realhealthnews.com.

Medical mishaps: Even doctors aren’t safe

In March, I wrote in my Daily Dose about medical errors (3/21/03, subject line: “Does the right hand know what the left hand’s botching?”), and at the end of the message, I posed what I thought were hypothetical questions: Do these kinds of blunders ever happen when surgeons operate on each other? Are they more careful when it’s their colleague or their colleague’s wife on the operating table, rather than Joe Schmoe?

Well, I guess my questions weren’t so hypothetical after all. The Harvard School of Public Health conducted a survey recently that gave me an answer.

More than one-third of physicians say they have personally experienced medical errors in their own treatment and the treatment of family members. A large percentage also reported that the medical error they experienced resulted in “serious health consequences,” including long-term disability, severe pain, and death.

You might think that these doctors would defend their “partners in crime,” saying that a certain number of serious mistakes are an unavoidable part of medicine, or some other such excuse. But surprisingly (well, I was surprised), they admitted that as many as half of the deaths due to medical errors could have been prevented.

No one deserves to experience the nightmare of a medical error, but who knows? Maybe some good will come of this after all, and these doctors will be extra careful to make sure they’re part of the solution– not the problem.

References:

“Views of practicing physicians and the public on medical errors,” New England Journal of Medicine 2002; 347(24); 1,933-1,940

“More than one-third of physicians say they have personally experienced medical errors,” Harvard School of Public Health (press release), 12/11/02

Water bottles are ruining the Earth –literally!

You know how I feel about the water-guzzling craze. But now there’s even more reason to put a stop to the madness.

Apparently, even the biggest tree-huggers are tossing their multitudes of water bottles into the trash without a second thought to their favorite pastime: recycling. Only about 16 percent of water bottles actually get recycled. (Recycling is, for the most part, a useless and expensive religious rite of the ecologically inflamed “educated” class, anyway, but it’s just amusing to note that even its biggest proponents are hypocrites when it comes to water bottles.)

It seems that people don’t get that even though the water disappears as soon as you drink it, that doesn’t mean the bottle vanishes too. According to a CBS news report I saw recently, “about 3 million bottles of water are thrown out every day, more than one billion a year, and the mess is clogging up state landfills.”

And they’ll still be there to horrify future generations of water-guzzling nature lovers 5,000 years from now, because the plastic they’re made of doesn’t decompose.

Action to take:

Save the Earth and your health by bucking the water bottle trend.

Reference:

“Bottled water creating a mess,” CBS News (www.cbsnews.com), 7/5/02

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