Health Highlights: Jan. 8, 2018
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Coffee Enema Promoted on Gwyneth Paltrow's 'Goop' May Bring Dangers
A coffee enema product promoted by Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle website Goop offers no health benefits and could be dangerous, medical experts say.
The $135 Implant-O-Rama is a detoxing device that people can use to give themselves a coffee enema at home, the Washington Post reported.
But colonic detoxing -- which claims to remove toxins from the body through a special diet or procedure -- is widely condemned as "pseudoscience."
On its website in 2008, Harvard Medical School called detoxing a "dubious practice" and said "colonic cleansing carries a risk of dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, impaired bowel function, and disruption of intestinal flora," the Post reported.
There have been a number of warnings specifically about coffee enemas.
"Reports of three deaths that may be related to coffee enemas have been published," according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, the Post reported. A case study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology stated that: "Coffee enema has no proven benefit and carries considerable risk of provoking unwanted complications."
"Colon cleansing can sometimes be harmful," the Mayo Clinic says on its website. "In fact, coffee enemas sometimes used in colon cleansing have been linked to several deaths."
Implant-O-Rama's main website claims that coffee enemas "can mean relief from depression, confusion, general nervous tension, many allergy related symptoms, and, most importantly, relief from severe pain," the Post reported.
But the website also acknowledges that these claims are "not necessarily based on scientific evidence from any source."
Dunkin' Donuts Stops Use of Artificial Dyes
All artificial dyes have be removed from its donuts and will be eliminated from other products by the end of the year, Dunkin' Donuts says.
"This is all part of a larger initiative to offer our guests simpler ingredients and cleaner menu labels," Ron Golden, manager of donut excellence, said in a company news release, CNN reported.
A number of other food companies have also removed artificial dyes from their products.
Some animal studies have linked food dyes with organ damage, cancer, birth defects, and allergic reactions. In humans, studies have connected food dyes to hyperactivity and other behavioral problems in children, CNN reported.
Claire Says No Asbestos Found in Children's Makeup Products
A scientists who found asbestos in children's makeup products sold by Claire's Stores Inc. is challenging the company's claim that it found no traces of the dangerous substance in its products.
In late December, Claire's removed nine makeup products from stores after a news report that they contained tremolite asbestos, which can cause lung damage and cancer, CNN reported.
On Dec. 29, the company said initial testing found the products to be asbestos-free. This week, Claire's said additional testing confirmed that the products are asbestos-free, but said it's unclear whether the products will be returned to stores.
However, the scientist who discovered asbestos in the makeup products questions Claire's testing procedures.
"They have not retested the same products," Sean Fitzgerald, director of the Scientific Analytical Institute, a North Carolina lab that specializes in testing for toxic substances, told CNN.
The tests on 17 Claire's makeup kits were conducted at the request of a client and found asbestos in 24 talc-based makeup items, including eye shadows, blushes and compact powders.
"The original products in which I found asbestos are still in my lab, so there is no way they have looked at those, because no one has asked me for them," Fitzgerald told CNN.
The products tested by Claire's have the same SKU numbers as those tested by Fitzgerald, which means asbestos is not likely to be in additional products, according to a company spokesperson.
The company also questioned Fitzgerald's testing methods.
"We have made multiple requests for Mr. Fitzgerald's detailed test data, but it has not been provided to us," according to a statement issued by Claire's.
"I have sent images of the asbestos fibers and a lab summary," Fitzgerald told CNN. "The findings are summarized in the synopsis, and the images are proof of the asbestos fibers that I found."