Nutrition Action Healthletter
July 1999 — U.S. Edition

• Women with precancerous lesions of the cervix who were given high doses of beta-carotene (50,000 IU a day) and/or vitamin C (500 mg a day) showed as much progression to cancer as similar women who were given a placebo.
Brit. J. Cancer 79: 1448, 1999

• Eating up to one egg per day doesn’t raise the risk of heart disease, unless you have diabetes, said a study last April. But that type of study—which asked people to report how often they are eggs but didn’t measure there blood cholesterol—may not be sensitive enough to pick up egg’s impact. In dozens of carefully controlled studies in which scientists measured exactly what people ate, eggs or other high-cholesterol foods did raise blood cholesterol, which clearly raises the risk of heart disease—and not just in diabetics.
   Our advice: Stick to no more than four eggs (yolks) a week… like most Americans do.
J. Amer. Med Assoc. 281: 1387, 1999.

• In a study of nearly 48,000 men, those who reported consuming broccoli or cabbage at least once a week had a lower risk of bladder cancer over the next ten years than those who ate them less than once a week. The researchers found no link with cole slaw or sauerkraut, perhaps because people report their intake of those dishes less accurately.
J. Nat. Cancer Inst. 91:605, 1999.

Antibiotics in Danger
The next time you end up with food poisoning, a urinary tract infection, or pneumonia, don’t be surprised if the doctor prescribes a fluoroquinolone like the broad-spectrum antibiotic Cipro.
   And don’t be surprised if the drug doesn’t work.
   In May, researchers reported that Campylobacter, a bacteria that causes food poisoning, is becoming resistant to fluoroquinolones. The reason: poultry farmers treat their entire flocks with the drug.
    “The Food and Drug Administration caved in to drug-industry pressure when it approved fluoroquinolones for treating flocks of poultry,” said Patricia Lieberman, director of CSPI’s Antibiotic-Resistance Project.
   “If fluoroquinolones fail, doctors still have one more drug to treat people who get food poisoning from Campylobacter,” she adds. “But there is no other drug to treat Salmonella infections. If Salmonella becomes resistant, food poisoning could be fatal.”
   To urge the FDA to ban fluoroquinolones in poultry, write to FDA Commissioner Jane E. Henney at 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857 (

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