Today’s Headlines: Spiked Supplements, BPA and Mindfulness

Popular sports supplements contain meth-like compound: Tests show that “a popular and controversial sports supplement widely sold in the USA and other countries is secretly spiked with a chemical similar to methamphetamine that appears to have its origins as an illicit designer recreational drug.” The compound was found in Craze, a pre-workout powder that is “marketed as containing only natural ingredients.” Scientists found that another supplement called Detonate, which is sold as an “all natural weight loss pill” contained a similar chemical. These findings “raise significant health and regulatory concerns” about such supplements, according to the researchers. (USA Today)

BPA exposure may increase miscarriage risk in pregnant women: Exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical commonly found in food packaging, may significantly increase the risk of miscarriage in pregnant women, a new study says. Women with the highest blood levels of the chemical were found to be at 80% greater risk of miscarrying. BPA is thought to be a “hormone disrupting chemical,” and has been linked to other health problems such as reproductive problems, diabetes and obesity. It is “used to line cans to prevent corrosion, but it is also found in plastic bottles, tableware and food storage containers.” Though it has been banned in Canada and the European Union and was recently banned in baby bottles and sippy cups in the U.S., thus far the “Food and Drug Administration has rejected an outright ban of the chemical.” (CBS News)

Mindfulness-based stress reduction helps lower blood pressure, reports study in Psychosomatic Medicine: A new study shows that “blood pressure is effectively lowered by mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) for patients with borderline high blood pressure or ‘prehypertension.'” Prehypertension, which is associated with cardiovascular disease, is blood pressure higher than 120/80 but lower than 140/90. For subjects who spent two and a half hours a week on body scan exercises, sitting meditation and yoga, “systolic blood pressure (the first, higher number) decreased by an average of nearly 5 millimeters of mercury,” – more than five times the decrease seen in those who did no mindfulness intervention. (EurekAlert!)