News bites, February 2001 | PCC Sound Consumer | PCC Natural Markets

News bites
Sound Consumer | February 2001

Pesticides linked to Parkinson's Disease

The "Journal of Neuroscience" reports a link between two agricultural pesticides and Parkinson's Disease. A team at the University of Rochester found that brain cells known as dopamine neurons are damaged or die when exposed to the herbicide paraquat and the fungicide maneb, which are often applied in the same agricultural fields.

The study is the first to examine the effect of pesticides being used in tandem. Current regulations are based on the effects of single chemicals.

A map charting use of paraquat and maneb mirrors parts of the country where people are more likely to die of Parkinson's Disease.

Milk thistle may help liver disease

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports that milk thistle shows promise in helping liver disease. There's evidence that milk thistle may have antioxidant properties, block toxins, enhance protein synthesis, and possibly have anti-inflammatory effects. The agency says more research is needed to be sure.

Info overload and diet

A study by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center shows that Americans respond to conflicting nutrition information by eating less healthful diets. The survey of 1,751 adults in Washington state finds that 70 percent say the government shouldn't tell people what to eat. Nonetheless, 90 percent say nutrition research helps people live longer and that high fat foods should bear warning labels.