Health updates: Food products from Asia and statins

February 23, 2012

Food, Health, Health Concerns, Heart disease

The following is new information regarding China’s ban on imported products from Taiwan and the effects of statins on heart function.

Be careful about purchasing food products from Asia

China has banned the sale of hundreds of imported products from Taiwan. The ban follows a warning that food products were tainted with the chemical Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), a chemical used in plastics and personal care products. The chemical can cause hormone malfunctions in children and has been linked to a wide range of developmental and reproductive effects, including reduced sperm counts, testicular atrophy or structural abnormality and liver cancer. The more than 800 banned products include beverages, food and additives. The Philippines, Hong Kong and South Korea have also limited imports and sales of foodstuffs from Taiwan. Taiwan’s Department of Health is currently investigating the contamination of numerous foods and beverages from other plasticizer chemicals like DEHP.

So far, more than 1 million sports drinks, fruit jams, instant noodles containing sesame oil packets, cookies and other food products have been taken off shelves due to the toxin.

Yahoo Health reports: “Authorities have arrested the owner of a company that used DEHP instead of the more expensive palm oil in products supplied to dozens of local drink makers. He faces up to six months in jail.”

New study shows that using statins actually worsens your heart function

A study found that statin drugs are associated with decreased myocardial (heart muscle) function. Statin use is known to be associated with myopathy, muscle weakness and rhabdomyolysis, a breakdown of muscle fibers resulting in the release of muscle fiber contents into the bloodstream. For the study, myocardial function was evaluated in 28 patients.

According to Green Med Info: “There was significantly better function noted … in the control group vs. the statin group.”


Sources: Yahoo Health June 4, 2011, Green Med Info, Clinical Cardiology December 2009; 32(12):684-9 and June 22, 2011.

Reprinted from AZNetNews, Volume 30, Number 4, Aug/Sept. 2011.

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