Nowadays, abundance of over the counter drugs has led to people’s self-medication. Therefore, many of us have lots of unused drugs at home that usually get expired and we are not sure if it is still safe to take them after their expiration date.
By Jaroslav A. Polák
According to a study done by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on expired drugs of military, it was found that 90% of expired drugs were still potent and harmless after 15 years. Therefore the expiration date on drugs does not actually mean anything. Mr. Flaherty, a pharmacist at the FDA, believes that the expiration date of drugs is mostly for marketing purposes because the drug manufacturers want to maximize the profits by having the drugs restocked in shelves at shorter time intervals. You may think that the focus of the research was on drugs used in wars and this does not mean the regular drugs usually used by people are effective after their expiration date. However, Joel Davis, a former FDA expiration-date compliance chief, states that most drugs can last as long as the drugs tested in the research if they are stored under optimal conditions.
By Israel Defense Forces
Furthermore, FDA claims that keeping expired and unused medications at home may pose a threat to children or older people. Children may find the stockpile of unused drugs and take them while older people may mix up all of their medication and take the wrong one. US Drug Enforcement Administration also reports that keeping old medications at home increases the possibility of prescription drug abuse. Therefore, it is very important to dispose of old and unused medications. It is not a good idea to get rid of the old medications by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash because the medications would pollute our environment. In order to dispose of our unused drugs properly, we should take them to our local pharmacy or anywhere that take-back programs are offered. In the following video, US president, Barack Obama, talks about the importance of “National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day” and how prescription drug abuse can cause heroin addiction.
By Edouard Hue
Many people relate taller heights with better genetics and being healthier. With the new findings of scientists in Sweden
, this may prove to be a myth. As you have probably heard, cancer can occur due to a variety of hereditary genetics and environmental factors. Nutritional deficiency, smoking, and high stress levels are the obvious factors that come to our mind but can we also consider height as a cancer risk factor? Let’s have a closer look.
Scientists spend many hours researching different cancer risk factors in order to find a way to eradicate cancer. However, it still remains as one of the deadliest diseases. In one of the studies, scientists studied 5.5 million Swedish men and women and they calculated that for every 10 centimeter increase in height the cancer risk increase by 18% in women and 10% in men. Many factors could be responsible for the association between height and risk of cancer. For instance, taller people have greater amount of growth hormone in their body, more number of cells, and more calories required. Professor Greaves of the Institute of Cancer Research in London states that in addition to cell growth, this hormone prevents cell death. Therefore, the amount of growth hormone increases the total cell number in the body which also increases the risk of cancer. Moreover, tall people may have higher risk of certain cancers. I would encourage you to watch the following video if you want to find out what type of cancers are more probable to develop in tall people.
However, it is not all bad for tall people since studies have shown that they have lower risks for heart diseases. Researchers tested 200,000 people and found the genetic code that relates height and coronary heart diseases. They determined that for every 2.5ins decrease in height, the risk of coronary heart disease increases by 13.5%. Cardiologist and CBS News medical contributor, Dr. Narula, explained the case by saying that shorter people may get their coronary arteries blocked easier because their coronary arteries have smaller diameters or maybe this is the case because tall people are more active or have healthier habits than short people. Dr. Samani, a cardiologist at the University of Leicester in the U.K, believes that nutritional deficiency in childhood could be the reason that some people become shorter and this may cause health problems during their lifetime.
By NIH: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
In general, these results just show the association between height and cancer or height and coronary heart diseases; these associations do not necessarily mean that if you are tall you will get cancer or if you are short you will die because of coronary heart diseases. Most important factor in determining your health condition is your lifestyle.