News bites, February 2001
This article was originally published in 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
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.