Health Highlights: Jan. 18, 2016

Related Health News

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Scurvy Case Shows Potential Danger of Plant-Based Diet for Babies

An infant in Spain was diagnosed with scurvy after his parents fed him a diet almost entirely of plant-based formula, according to a case report in the journal Pediatrics.

Scurvy, caused by a deficiency in vitamin C, is rarely seen in infants. That's because breast milk has enough vitamin C to prevent the condition, ABC News reported.

The Spanish case is rare, but emphasizes the importance of following nutrition guidelines for babies, said Dr. Keith Ayoob, a registered dietician and associate professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

"Really serious deficiencies can occur when typical recommendations are avoided," he told ABC News. "For an infant in the first year of life, a diet deficient in calcium, vitamin D, and scurvy ... that's very concerning."


Trader Joe's Recalls Raw Cashew Pieces Due to Possible Salmonella

Possible salmonella contamination has led to the recall of one lot of Trader Joe's Raw Cashew Pieces.

The recalled lot of the product -- barcode number 00505154 and "BEST BEFORE 07.17.2016TF4" -- was distributed to Trader Joe's stores in Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C. and Wisconsin.

All lots of Trader Joe's Raw Cashew Pieces have been removed from store shelves while the matter is investigated, the company said on its website. To date, no illnesses have been reported.

Customers who bought the recalled raw cashew pieces should throw them out or return them to Trader Joe's for a full refund. For more information, call the company at 626-599-3817, Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Time.


Scientists Create Tiny Motor to Help Sperm Swim

A new scientific advance could be the first step in creating "spermbots" to treat infertility.

German researchers created tiny motors that boost the swimming ability of sperm as they try to reach an egg, CBS News reported.

The micromotor is a spiraled piece of metal that wraps around the tail of a sperm. It drops off as the sperm makes contact with the egg. The research was published in the journal Nano Letters.

This nanotechnology requires further development before it is ready for human trials, according to the team at the Institute for Integrative Nanosciences at IFW Dresden.

"Before we can think of human trials, the next step would first be to actually achieve successful fertilization in our labs with the current setup," Oliver Schmidt, the institute's director, wrote in an email to CBS News.

"Starting from that, there will be numerous technical and biological obstacles to face that we have to address very carefully before any clinical trial. So, while there are no current plans in place to do human trials, of course this remains a major future goal of our study," he explained.


Polio Eradication Possible in 2016: WHO Official

Polio could be eradicated this year, according to a World Health Organization official.

The agency recently contained outbreaks in Iraq, Somalia and Syria by immunizing millions of children over two years, and there is a chance to "finish polio forever," this year, said Christopher Maher, head of the regional polio eradication program, the Associated Press reported.

While polio still occurs in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the number of cases is declining, Maher noted.

He made the comments Sunday at the opening of a WHO regional center for health emergencies and polio eradication in Amman, Jordan, the AP reported.


Appeals Court Overturns Ruling on Menthol Cigarette Report

There was no legal basis for tobacco companies to challenge a U.S. Food and Drug Administration report on menthol cigarettes, according to a federal appeals court ruling released Friday.

The decision overturns a lower court ruling that backed allegations by cigarette makers Lorillard and Reynolds that some members of the FDA advisory committee that wrote the 2011 report had conflicts of interest because they had previously testified against tobacco companies in court, the Associated Press reported.

The advisory committee concluded that menthol flavoring leads to higher cigarette use, particularly among blacks, teens and low-income Americans, and that removing menthol would make it easier for some smokers to quit.

The new ruling may not have much impact. There have been a number of changes to advisory panel members, and the FDA conducted its own review of menthol cigarettes in 2013 and concluded they are a greater public health risk than regular cigarettes, the AP reported.

However, the FDA has not made any move to limit or ban menthol cigarettes, the news service said.

This is a story from HealthDay, a service of ScoutNews, LLC.