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COM­MON CHEM­I­CALS: A num­ber of com­mon chem­i­cals can in­ter­fere with thy­roid hor­mone ac­tions in preg­nant women, es­sen­tial for brain de­vel­op­ment in foe­tuses and young chil­dren, ac­cord­ing to a re­port pub­lished in En­docrine Con­nec­tions. The in­crease in chem­i­cal pro­duc­tion has led to “wide­spread en­vi­ron­men­tal chem­i­cal con­tam­i­na­tion”, the review found. The review, by the Cen­tre Na­tional de la Recherche Sci­en­tifique, Univer­site Paris-Sor­bonne, ex­am­ined pub­lished ev­i­dence of chem­i­cals, such as pes­ti­cides and those used in the man­u­fac­ture of drugs, cos­met­ics, fur­ni­ture and plas­tics, that can all in­ter­fere with thy­roid hor­mones. It warned that cur­rent pub­lic health pol­icy “does not fully ad­dress the risks to vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tions”. TREAT­ING FIBROIDS: Doc­tors are tri­alling the use of new dis­solv­able gel-beads to treat fibroids in a study which could help pre­serve pa­tients’ fer­til­ity. Known as Gel-Bead Em­boli­sa­tion Spheres, used as part of uter­ine fi­broid em­boli­sa­tion, they are in­jected into the ar­ter­ies where they cut the blood sup­ply and shrink the fibroids. The plas­tic mi­crobeads cur­rently in­jected are per­ma­nent and re­main in the ves­sels, whereas the non-plas­tic gel­beads de­vel­oped by doc­tors in Southamp­ton are ab­sorbed within a few weeks. This en­ables the blood sup­ply to the uterus to func­tion fully and could help to pre­serve uter­ine and ovar­ian func­tion and fer­til­ity fol­low­ing the treat­ment. AN­TIBI­OTICS WARN­ING: Re­searchers is­sued a new warn­ing about the dan­gers of un­nec­es­sary use of an­tibi­otics in light of the early find­ings from a study of mice. US lead au­thor Pro­fes­sor Michael Di­a­mond, from Wash­ing­ton Univer­sity School of Medicine in St Louis, said: “The im­mune sys­tem is ac­ti­vated dif­fer­ently if the gut does not have a healthy mi­cro­biome. If some­one is sick with a bac­te­rial in­fec­tion, they ab­so­lutely should take an­tibi­otics. But it is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that there may be col­lat­eral ef­fects. “You might be af­fect­ing your im­mune re­sponse to cer­tain vi­ral in­fec­tions.”

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