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40% of young women are iron deficient; Experimental probiotic could detoxify mercury; Is morning coffee a placebo? - Morning Medical Update

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The top news stories in primary care today.

morning coffee desk doctor © Alena Kryazheva - stock.adobe.com

© Alena Kryazheva - stock.adobe.com

40% of young women are iron deficient

Almost 40% of young women in the United States have low levels of iron, according to the first study on this subject. Some experts hypothesize this may be due to menstruation, but a quarter of the girls who tested positive for anemia hadn’t begun their periods. Symptoms of iron deficiency include brain fog, hair loss, and fatigue and as a result symptoms are often overlooked.

Experimental probiotic could detoxify mercury

Researchers have identified a probiotic bacterium that can detoxify mercury. Mercury exists naturally and sometimes works its way into the food chain. This bacterium could someday be used to prevent poisoning in vulnerable populations, particularly for those that consume a lot of fish. The research has not yet been published in a peer reviewed journal.

Is morning coffee a placebo?

Research shows that coffee, not just caffeine, wakes us up. Coffee “increases brain activity linked to visual processing and higher-level cognitive function.” One reason this may be true is due to the morning routine – people may associate coffee with being productive. Coffee also contains polyphenols which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

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© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health