Fact Checking Claims for Nutritional Products

http://www.consumerlab.com/ Has the stated mission “To identify the best quality health and nutritional products through independent testing.” If you’re familiar with Consumer Reports, the leader for decades in unbiased testing of consumer products and services, then you understand what Consumer Lab is all about. They appear mostly to focus on products such as vitamins, herbal supplements and similar products. They have no advertising on their site, similar to the approach long practiced by Consumer Reports. They have a page on their site dedicated to a long list of various press releases, news stories and testimonials related to the foundation here. Additionally they have a “Where to Buy” page that helps people find where to buy products recommended on the site. Some online vendors pay a fee to be included on this page, but they receive no proceeds from sales through Consumer Lab. Suffice it to say, consumerlab.com appears to be the gold standard of information regarding effectiveness, safety and legitimacy of these products.

Memberships may be purchased by organizations such as libraries, or for around $40 a year individuals may subscribe to all articles on the site.

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Helpful Medical Links That Go Deeper

Need medical information that goes deeper than or covers areas other than those covered by WebMD.com and the like?  Here are some more specialized sites for your consideration.

Should Your Child See a Doctor?

If you’re worried about your child’s health, this site will likely help you make a decision as to what to do next.  From the site:  “These guidelines (topics) are intended to help you determine how sick your child is and if you need to call your child’s doctor. Their second purpose is to help you treat your child at home when it is safe to do so.” (Emphasis mine)

Medline Plus

You may already be familiar with Medline Plus, as it is similar to WebMd and other health portals.  The distinction with this site is it is directly funded and informed by the federal government.  From the site: “Health professionals and consumers alike can depend on it for information that is authoritative and up-to-date. MedlinePlus has extensive information from the National Institutes of Health and other trusted sources on over 975 diseases and conditions. There are directories, a medical encyclopedia and a medical dictionary, health information in Spanish, extensive information on prescription and nonprescription drugs, health information from the media, and links to thousands of clinical trials. MedlinePlus is updated daily and can be bookmarked at the URL: https://medlineplus.gov/. There is no advertising on this site, nor does MedlinePlus endorse any company or product.”

The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of John Hopkins Medical Center publishes a media center with videos and podcasts.  From the site: “Your video channel for cancer learning is a click away. Tune to the Kimmel Cancer Center’s YouTube channel to learn about the latest discoveries in cancer and education on cancer topics, including clinical trials, caregiving, finances, and social security. New videos are added periodically, so subscribe to the channel for instant updates.”

Foodborne Illness

Did you know that each year 1 in 6 of us will get sick due to contamination in something we eat or drink? Knowing how to avoid and/or treat these illnesses is important. The CDC is here to help. The CDC is a vast federal organization with a vast website, so it may be daunting for some.  The site on Foodborne Illness is full of helpful information and easy to use. From the site: “Foodborne illness (sometimes called ‘foodborne disease,’ ‘foodborne infection’, or ‘food poisoning’) is a common, costly—yet preventable—public health problem. Each year, 1 in 6 Americans gets sick by consuming contaminated foods or beverages. Many different disease-causing microbes, or pathogens, can contaminate foods, so there are many different foodborne infections. In addition, poisonous chemicals, or other harmful substances can cause foodborne diseases if they are present in food.”

Anatomy Atlases

The Anatomy Atlases are no joke.  Created by Dr. Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., who has taught anatomy at eminent universities for decades, it is a comprehensive and detailed anatomy atlas for use by doctors, students and various medical professionals, that can also be perused and used by laypeople. It lists as its mission: “To educate patients, healthcare providers, and students in a free and anonymous manner; For the purpose of improving patients’ care, outcome, and lives; Using current, authoritative, trustworthy health information; While serving as a platform for research into the challenges facing world-wide information distribution.”

Further, its goals are to “Curate a comprehensive digital library of anatomy information for patients and providers, Maximize the impact of this digital library by enhancing awareness among potential users at local, national, and international levels, Ensure an optimal educational experience through simplicity and clarity in design, and Lead the way to a better understanding of digital libraries through a process of on-going evaluation.”

Despite its free status this may be the most helpful, informative site out there concerning Anatomy.

State Medical Marijuana Laws

http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-medical-marijuana-laws.aspx#3

There are critical differences in state medical marijuana laws. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has a simple webpage explaining these differences. The differences between federal and state laws are explained. And further down on the page are two tables with each state’s statutes and programs. The first table is called, “state medical marijuana program laws”, and shows whether each state has a patient registry, allows dispensaries, recognizes patients from other states, and if medical marijuana use is allowed for specific conditions. A second table explains the state laws for “limited access marijuana product laws”, with the same table criteria headers as above. Additional resources are provided at the end of the second table.

Tennessee Health Reports

http://hit.state.tn.us/reports.aspx

Looking for a health report from the state of Tennessee? The Tennessee Department of Health has a one stop shop for all its reports. Reports on “Alcohol, Tobacco, and other Drugs Reports”, “Health Research Reports”, “Health Status Reports”, “Patient Safety Reports”, “Presentations”, “Surveys”, and “TN Kids Reports” are all listed.

NIDA for Teens: The Science behind Drug Abuse

http://www.teens.drugabuse.gov

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) created this site in consultation with teens to offer “science-based facts about how drugs affect the brain and body so that kids will be armed with better information to make healthy decisions.” The site features facts about selected drugs, FAQ’s, personal stories, games, a blog, and materials for teachers and parents. Designed for teens from 11 – 15 years of age.

 

Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force

http://www.rid-meth.org

 

The Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force’s responsibility is to enforceTennessee’s controlled substances laws, stop the manufacturing and distribution of meth, and provide public awareness.  From this site you can search for homes that have been condemned for having meth labs, places where meth labs have been found, and people who have been convicted in the sale or manufacturing of methamphetamine.

Worldwide venomous snakes and available venom antidotes

http://apps.who.int/bloodproducts/snakeantivenoms/database/default.htm

Worldwide venomous snakes and available venom antidotes is a new database from the World Health Organization. It lists snakes that are venomous worldwide. It also provides venom antidotes that are available for these snakes. The database navigation is on the left side of the page. Just click on “database search”. You can search by region, country, or snake name. You can also search by anti-venom products that are available.