Pregnant women warned about liverMaybe you've never liked...


October 23, 1990

Pregnant women warned about liver

Maybe you've never liked liver anyway, but if you're pregnant you now may have a good reason to say "Yuck, no thanks!" when offered the organ at dinner.

The British government is warning pregnant women not to eat liver because of the possible toxic effect of too much vitamin A on fetuses.

Liver contains iron and vitamin A. But recent studies have suggested that overdoses of vitamin A may cause fetal abnormalities. Though vitamin A is essential to good health, extreme overdoses can cause dry skin, joint pains, headaches and general lassitude.

Padding for old bones

Hip pads for tight ends, sure, but for the elderly?

Researchers at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston believe that padding for an elderly person's brittle hips may help prevent some of the nation's 250,000 annual fractures, which leave more than half of victims debilitated and cost more than $7 billion.

Dr. Wilson C. Hayes, professor of orthopedic biomechanics at Harvard Medical School, said current approaches to reducing hip trauma caused by falls -- trying to retard age-related bone loss using diet supplements, hormone treatments and the like -- have failed.

Using impact-absorbing foam, the material used in football and ice hockey, to build lightweight protective padding may offer an answer, the researchers believe.

Reactions to psyllium

Psyllium, a cereal grain that is supposed to do wonders for a person's cholesterol count, may spark an allergic reaction.

Dr. Martin J. Kaplan of Highland Park, Ill., said recently in the New England Journal of Medicine that after eating Kellogg's "Heartwise" cereal, which contains psyllium, a patient's face, eyes, mouth and tongue swelled, and she coughed and vomited before fainting.

The woman, a nurse who had administered psyllium to patients in the past, recovered in a local hospital.

A Kellogg official said there have been about 50 reported allergic reactions to the cereal and said a warning had been added to the label. The majority of reactions were among nurses who had handled psyllium as a bulk laxative, the spokesman said.

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