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There are very few wonder drugs in the world, but Vitamin A may be one of them. This dirt-cheap chemical can lower childhood mortality by about one-third in vast parts of the developing world. It prevents keratomalacia, one of the five leading causes of blindness. It's the closest thing to a specific treatment for measles. It's a fairly good therapy for some types of anemia. It may reduce the transmission of the AIDS virus from mother to fetus.
Childhood rickets--a bone-softening disease that had become so rare the government stopped keeping statistics on it--is making a comeback, in part because some youngsters are not getting enough sunlight, health officials say. Rickets, a vitamin D deficiency that causes bones to soften and bend and often results in bowlegs, was once a major health problem. The addition of vitamin D to milk in the 1930s virtually eliminated the disease.
Two-time Nobel laureate Linus Pauling says he is heartened by recent findings that large doses of Vitamin E may help prevent heart disease and that Vitamin C may prevent certain cancers. For a quarter of a century Pauling has researched Vitamin C, Vitamin E and beta-carotene. He advocates taking very large doses of vitamins to prevent heart disease and cancer. Although some medical colleagues have said his theories are far-fetched, recent evidence appears to support them. "In the old days I was mentioned as being an example of one of those quacks," said Pauling, his shock of white hair tucked under a trademark black beret.
March 1, 2010 | Lony Castro, Special to the Los Angeles Times
I never actually intended to harm anyone. Honestly. In fact, I think the waiter is to blame. I was dining at a restaurant with my sister when the waiter casually asked if I was enjoying the evening with my daughter . I tried to shrug off the comment off but couldn't. I decided to get a second opinion and soon found myself walking into the office of a plastic surgeon. I entered through a marbled anteroom centered with a pedestal table and a stunning, if stiff, floral arrangement.
November 9, 2009 | Emily Sohn
It's not hard to get all of your daily needs from nonmeat sources, nutritionists say, but it takes thought and planning -- plus a few tricks. No matter how old your vegetarian kids are, the first step is to educate yourself on healthful alternatives to animal products, such as hummus, tofu, quinoa and legumes. When vegetarian teens live in a meat-eating family, they should also take some of the responsibility for preparing vegetarian meals, says nutritionist and epidemiologist Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, so that the entire burden doesn't fall on parents.
December 11, 1995 | From Times staff and wire reports
Elderly people stuck at home and deprived of sunlight may suffer a previously unrecognized vitamin D deficiency, causing bone loss, pain and weakness, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. Sitting by a sunny window won't help, said the report from Union Memorial Hospital's division of geriatrics in Baltimore, because glass filters out a part of ultraviolet light needed to produce the vitamin on the skin.
December 26, 2011 | By Chris Woolston, Special to the Los Angeles Times
A grinding headache, an upset stomach, a sudden desire to turn down the volume on the entire world - a hangover is no way to start a new year. Of course, there's one foolproof way to avoid a hangover: Go easy on the alcohol. But if your New Year's Eve plans call for something other than sobriety and restraint, you may be looking for ways to escape the post-party pain. Folklore is full of hangover remedies, including pickle juice, raw eggs and the ever-popular (but ultimately unhelpful)
January 18, 2010
Even a good night's sleep doesn't totally compensate for many weeks of sleep loss. And it's the late-night period when the accumulation of sleep loss may be most apparent. Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital examined the effect of weeks of insufficient sleep on performance. They scheduled nine healthy volunteers to live for three weeks on a schedule consisting of 43-hour periods in which they were awake for 33 of those hours. That equals about 5.6 hours of sleep for every 24 hours.
August 12, 2002
I read with interest and some dismay the article "Step Out of the Shade for a Healthy Dose of Vitamin D" (July 8). While the single definitive beneficial effect of ultraviolet radiation on the skin is the production of vitamin D, we needn't promote tanning or unprotected sun exposure. Most of us receive adequate sun exposure even with sunscreen use to synthesize vitamin D or have enough in our diet to meet the normal daily requirement. On the other hand, the risk of overexposure to ultraviolet light has definite risks, most notably skin cancer.
July 16, 1987 | TONI TIPTON
Getting enough beta carotene in your diet is easier than you might think, and it doesn't even require swallowing countless pills or eating foods that have been fortified with the compound. What is beta carotene and why is it important? A discussion of beta carotene will ultimately end up as a primer on Vitamin A because beta carotene is one of four compounds--carotenoids--which serve as precursors to Vitamin A in the diet.
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