In the News: New Drug Treats All Forms of Hepatitis C, Loneliness May Be a Bigger Killer Than Obesity, Green Tea Extract May Treat Tooth Sensitivity

FDA approves a new drug that treats hepatitis C. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around anywhere from 2.7 to 3.9 million Americans are currently living with hepatitis C. This condition slowly develops sans symptoms for years until serious damage, such as liver failure or liver cancer, eventually occurs. While past treatments required shots and pills with painful symptoms, it appears a better approach has emerged. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a drug that treats all types of hepatitis C in two months time. The medication is split between three pills that are taken once a day. While some side effects such as fatigue, itchiness, or nausea may occur, this new form of treatment is more efficient and convenient than ever before. (ABC)

Loneliness may be a bigger killer than obesity. While it may seem that obesity is the leading cause of premature deaths in America, it turns out that loneliness gives it a run for its money. Studies out of Brigham Young University indicate that social isolation increases the likelihood of premature death by around 50%. These findings also showed that loneliness was equal or greater than obesity in terms of its detrimental effects. When 2,000 people were polled, 72% stated that they’ve felt lonely before and 31% stated they feel lonely at least once a week. To solve this problem, researchers are suggesting that social skills should be taught and enforced in early education courses. Take this quiz to find out if you’re at risk of adult loneliness today. (MNT)

Green tea extract may treat tooth sensitivity. For anyone with tooth sensitivity, drinking a beverage that is too cold or too hot can cause horrible pain to the teeth and gums. While before it seemed that the only solution was time, scientists are now looking to green tea extract for a better option. The epigallocatechin-3 gallate (ECGC) compound found in green tea was shown to successfully plug up tubes in the teeth so that hot and cold liquids can’t touch the nerves. Not only was this extract capable of reducing unpleasant tooth sensitivity symptoms, the positive effect lasted for 96 hours. Learn more about the health benefits of green tea here. (MH)