Compact Fluorescent bulbs

This study was from the UK

55% of single envelope bulbs emitted enough UV radiation at an 8 inch distance to exceed recommended exposure limits.This is probably from defects in the coating inside the glass.
Double envelope bulbs emitted almost no UV radiation.

Khazova M and O'Hagan JB. Optical radiation emissions from compact fluorescent lamps. Radiat Prot Dosimetry 2008;131:521

What is an envelope?

The envelope is the glass. Fluorescent bulbs which have only one layer of glass have the spiral pattern associated with fluorescent bulbs. Double envelope bulbs have 2 layers of glass and look more like a traditional lightbulb.

Is the UVB from a defective fluorescent bulb important?

Yes, if you sit very close to the bulbs(remember the study was done at 8 inches from the bulb)you may absorb a damaging amount of UVB. People with diseases which cause a sensitivity to light such as, lupus or people on medicines which sensitize them to light, could have a flare of their disease or develop a rash.

Rutgers scientists studied mice in 4 groups

  1. a control group
  2. a group fed caffeinated water
  3. an exercised group
  4. a caffeinated and exercised group

The mice were a hairless strain and were exposed to ultraviolet B light(which occurs naturally in sunlight and is the main wavelength in tanning beds)
They measured how many of their DNA damaged cells were eliminated from their skin by natural mechanisms.
The caffeinated group- 95% increase in elimination of damaged cells
Exercisers-120% increase
Exercisers and caffeinated- nearly a 400% increase

The article:
Lu Y-P, Nolan B, Loy Y-R, Peng Q-Y, Wagner GC, Conney AH. Voluntary exercise together with oral caffeine markedly stimulates UVB light-induced apoptosis and decreases tissue fat in SKH-1 mice. PNAS. 2007;104:12936-2941.

Just remember moderation is key - don't overdo the caffeine! Too much aggravates heart rhythm and disturbs sleep.

Increasing Melanoma Incidence

MedPage Today (5/11) reported that, according to a study presented at an investigative dermatology meeting, "the incidence of melanoma in the US increased rapidly over a 12-year period." In their study, researchers from Stanford University Medical Center found that "from 1992 to 2004, the incidence of all thicknesses of melanoma increased from 18.2 per 100,000 to 26.3 per 100,000," which represents "an annual increase of 3.1 percent," with "a total of 70,596 new cases" being "reported over the period." The authors "believe this represents a genuine increase in melanoma cases, not just a sign of better screening," because they "found parallel increases across all socioeconomic groups and thicknesses, representing a true increase in clinically significant tumors." Focusing "only on non-Hispanic white subjects, in whom 90 percent of melanomas occur," the team found that "cases involving women outnumbered those in men by a three-to-two margin," but "the steepest increase and highest overall incidence occurred in men ages 65 years and older, with the rate rising from 73 to 126 new cases per 100,000."

Vitamin C,E and Coffee

Researchers say some antioxidant vitamins may limit benefits of exercise. The New York Times (5/12, D6, Wade) reports that, according to a study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, people who "exercise to improve" their "metabolism and prevent diabetes...may want to avoid antioxidants like vitamins C and E." For the study, researchers from Germany's University of Jena had "young men exercise, giving half of them moderate doses of vitamins C and E and measuring sensitivity to insulin as well as indicators of the body's natural defenses to oxidative damage." The "team found that in the group taking the vitamins there was no improvement in insulin sensitivity and almost no activation of the body's natural defense mechanism against oxidative damage." The authors theorized that "reactive oxygen compounds, inevitable byproducts of exercise, are a natural trigger for both of these responses," and that "the vitamins, by efficiently destroying the reactive oxygen, short-circuit the body's natural response to exercise."

"Some advocate taking antioxidants like vitamin C and E to help protect the body from harmful chemical by-products it creates in breaking into a sweat," BBC News (5/12) explains. These "free radicals," however, "may have a positive effect on the body by increasing its sensitivity to insulin -- something that is lost in type 2 diabetes," an effect that "is blocked by antioxidant vitamins." In fact, "after four weeks of intensive exercise training, insulin sensitivity was restored only in the group of men who did not take antioxidant supplements." Those "who took the vitamin supplements fared worse, metabolically."

More studies finding coffee may favorably affect one's health. The Boston Globe (5/11, Foreman) reported that coffee, "the heavenly brew, once deemed harmful to health, is turning out to be, if not quite a health food, at least a low-risk drink, and in many ways a beneficial one." In fact, a number of studies have revealed that "it could protect against diabetes, liver cancer, cirrhosis, and Parkinson's disease." Apparently, older studies "often failed to tease apart the effects of coffee and those of smoking because so many coffee drinkers were also smokers." Terry Graham, of Canada's University of Guelph, explained that "coffee is a complex beverage with hundreds, if not thousands, of bioactive ingredients." In other words, "a cup of coffee is two percent caffeine, 98 percent other stuff." Yet, caffeine has been linked to anxiety, insomnia, and miscarriages. And, "for people with hard-to-control hypertension, a sudden, big dose of caffeine may boost blood pressure because caffeine constricts blood vessels." Nonetheless, "20 studies worldwide show that coffee, both regular and decaf, lowers the risk for type 2 diabetes."


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