We tackle health claims galore on the podcast this week.
First up is an ad campaign from the California Milk Processor Board aimed at saving long-suffering men from the tyranny of premenstrual syndrome. Really? Yep. The remedy: regular doses of milk for the women in their lives. The milk board cites research that suggests taking a lot of calcium may help reduce the symptoms of PMS. We check it out.
Now some beverage marketers are touting organic water. But how can good ol' H20, with nary a carbon atom in it, be organic? And what about the claims tied to that purported status? We're take a look.
In other health news, we hear about alternatives to surgery for treating the eye disease keratoconus, a distortion of the cornea that can damage vision. Doctors have figured out a way to slow the onset of the disease using the vitamin riboflavin and ultraviolet light to make the internal fibers of the cornea knit themselves together more tightly.
And in a rare look into the often painful decisions surrounding birth defects, reporter Richard Knox profiles a family with the chance to correct their baby's spina bifida — before it's born. He goes with them into the OR as doctors perform a new but promising surgery to reverse the birth defect while the fetus is still developing.
We also bring a bit of summer into the mix. It's tick time — July is peak season for ticks the risk of catching Lyme disease.
Fresh, summery cuisine is at the heart of the so-called Mediterranean diet, which was given credit for the long life and health of Italians by early 20th century food scientists. But Italians have taken a turn away from their traditional eating habits and recently weighed in as the fattest country in Europe. What happened?