News Roundup: Dense Bones and Breast Cancer, Detox-Diet Danger, and More


Hip-bone density, breast cancer propensity
Women with stronger bones after menopause may be at greater risk of breast cancer than those with thinner bones. This doesn’t mean that frail bones are good, or that you should skip osteoporosis-preventing medicine, according to the study in Cancer. But the University of Arizona researchers suggest that it does mean that postmenopausal bone-density tests can serve a dual purpose: an indicator of breast cancer risk and of bone-fracture risk. Why the link? Lifelong factors that result in stronger bones—such as hormone exposure—may also increase the cancer risk. (Find other
breast cancer risk factors.)

Woman damages brain on detox diet
A British woman suffered brain damage after going on the Amazing Hydration Diet, according to reports. Dawn Page, 52, was awarded about $1.6 million after going on the diet (on the advice of a "nutritional therapist"), which recommended drinking large amounts of water and limiting salt intake. She suffered severe vomiting and a major epileptic seizure, and now has memory, concentration, and speech problems. Another example of harmful water intake: Last year a 28-year-old California woman died after participating in a radio-station contest in which she consumed copious amounts of water.

They want to get into your genes
A Switzerland-based company has launched a DNA-based dating service, according to TechCrunch. For just $199 the company can help you find your perfect DNA match. Wait a minute, wouldn’t that be your second cousin? According to GenePartner, the company doesn’t actually use your DNA to match you up with someone else—instead, it claims it has analyzed “hundreds of couples” to derive a genetic-based algorithm for successful relationships. Sounds like a bad case of cupidity to us.

Will McDonald's introduce the Big Mackerel?
There have been lots of examples of immigrants adopting the diets of Western countries and then suffering the dietary consequences. Here's another: A new study shows that middle-aged men in Japan have twice the blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids as Japanese-American men (and white men) living in the United States. They also have a lot less clogging of the arteries—supporting the argument that fish oil is a protective fat, heart-wise. The article in Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests that the Japanese appetite for oily fish may explain the advantage.

Brain scan may pick up Alzheimer’s early
Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee performed functional MRI bran scans on 28 healthy people aged 45 to 65. And they found that the “functional connectivity” between two memory-processing brain structures was 65% lower in people who carried a common gene variant associated with an increased risk of both heart disease and Alzheimer’s. The results were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Chicago.