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Antidepressants Linked to Birth Defects

Hot off the heals of Wednesday's post linking antidepressants to brain bleeding, this new study found a risk for birth defects in women taking two types of antidepressants, confirming earlier reports.

Specifically, the study of nearly 28,000 women confirmed birth defects associated with fluoxetine and paroxetine. On a positive note, most other antidepressants were not linked to an increased risk of birth defects.


Antidepressants With NSAIDs Linked to Brain Bleeding

Although antidepressants and NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory drugs) are each known to be associated with an increased risk for abnormal gastrointestinal bleeding, neither has been linked independently with an increased risk for bleeding in the brain. This newly published study looked to investigate this, and for this study, researchers analyzed data from the Korean nationwide health insurance database of 4,145,226 people who were treated with antidepressants with and without NSAIDs.


Statin Use for Cholesterol Linked to Aggression

The bad news for statins just keeps coming...

Low cholesterol levels have been linked with aggression and to violent death/non-illness mortality, such as deaths from suicide, homicide, and accidents, in multiple observational studies. Efforts to lower cholesterol in animal models, such as monkeys, have also shown the animals behave more aggressively with lowered cholesterol levels. Case reports of individuals with aggression/irritability with statins have been documented.

This time, a new study examined the effects of statins (which are the most prescribed drugs on the planet, and used to reduce cholesterol levels) on levels of aggression.


Cranberry Juice and Cardiovascular Health

A recent double-blind, placebo-controlled examined how consumption of the polyphenol-rich cranberry juice affected cardiometabolic risk factors. The researchers found that cranberry juice can improve several risk factors of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in adults--including circulating fasting serum triglycerides (TGs), C-reactive protein (CRP), and glucose, insulin resistance, and diastolic blood pressure.

"These findings suggest that polyphenols help to protect our bodies, and may be adept at keeping a large number of ailments at bay," said the study's co-author. "Among the commonly consumed fruits in our diets, cranberries boast some of the highest levels of polyphenols--more than apples, blueberries, grapes or cherries."


Olive Leaf Extract and Cardiovascular Health

According to a new study on olive leaf extract (OLE), it appears these supplements could improve vascular functions and reduce inflammatory cytokines linked to heart disease. The randomised, double-blind placebo controlled, cross over trial, looked at the absorption and metabolism of polyphenols from OLE, and measured the physiological outcomes of supplementation.


Statins, Obesity, and Diabetic Complications

Numerous studies have now linked statin use (for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease) among healthy adults to an increased risk for diabetes, but now this new study also link it to a higher risk of diabetic complications and overweight/obesity

"Whereas the increased risk of diabetes with statins is well-known, the increased risk of diabetic complications has not been previously described," write the authors.


Toxic Cleaners Linked to Acute Respiratory Problems

Again, here is a study that I want to share, fully knowing that I'm mostly preaching to the choir (but please pass this on to the unconverted). This study showed that fumes from cleaning products used at work can make existing asthma worse.