Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Health Newsletters at the Patient Health Library, August 2011

The UCSF Patient Health Library subscribes to a number of health and wellness newsletters that are not otherwise free to the public.  Here are some highlights from recent newsletters.

To see the entire articles, visit the Patient Health Library!

Consumer Reports on Health , August 2011
-‘Free’ preventive care: Is it for real? p.7
-Surprising facts about food poisoning, pp.8-9

Mayo Clinic Health Letter, August 2011
-Brand vs. generic drugs, pp.4-5
-Avoiding bedbugs, p.6
-Outer ear infection: Don't delay care, p.7

Nutrition Action Newsletter, May 2011
-Under the influence: How external cues make us overeat, pp.1-7
-What's all the fuss about green tea? pp.9-11
-Finding a healthy cracker, pp.13-15

Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter, August 2011, special supplement
-Vitamin supplements: Hope versus hype, pp.1-4

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Vaccines aren't just for kids. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that many adults become ill, are disabled, or die each year from diseases that could easily have been prevented by vaccines.

Everyone from young adults to senior citizens can benefit from immunizations. The CDC has a short, online questionnaire that can help you find out if there are vaccines that are recommended for you.

Some of these diseases can be especially serious for adults age 65 and older:

- Influenza (flu)
- Shingles
- Diphtheria
- Pneumococcus (pneumonia)
- Tetanus
- Hepatitis A & B

For more information:

Vaccine-preventable adult diseases [from the CDC]

Visit the MedlinePlus topic pages on immunization and childhood immunization.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Food Safety Resources
[From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in conjunction with several federal agencies] 

Basics of Handling Food Safely
[From the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)]

Food Safety at a Glance
How long can you store leftovers in the refrigerator? How can you tell when chicken breasts are done? How long does it take to cook a turkey? Check out these charts for fast answers.

Tips for Cleaning Fruits and Vegetables
[From the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)]

Are You Storing Food Safely?
[From the FDA]

Food Recalls and Products Withdrawn from Market
[From the FDA]

Food Safety During Cancer Therapy
[From the UCSF Ida & Joseph Friend Cancer Resource Center]

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Understanding and Finding Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that test how well new medical approaches work in people. Each study answers scientific questions and tries to find better ways to prevent, screen for, diagnose or treat a disease. Clinical trials may also compare a new treatment to a treatment that is already available.

Participants in clinical trials can play a more active role in their own health care, gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available, and help others by contributing to medical research.

Every clinical trial has a protocol, or action plan, for conducting the trial. The plan describes what will be done in the study, how it will be conducted, and why each part of the study is necessary. Each study has its own rules about who can participate. Some studies need volunteers with a certain disease. Some need healthy people. Others want just men or just women.

In the United States, an independent committee of physicians, statisticians and members of the community must approve and monitor the protocol. They make sure that the risks are small and are worth the potential benefits.

[Excerpted from the first two links below]

About Clinical Trials

Understanding Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials
[From MedlinePlus]

How Does Clinical Research Work?
[From the National Institutes of Health]

Finding Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials at UCSF Medical Center offers up-to-date information for locating federally and privately supported clinical trials for a wide range of diseases and conditions.

Searching the hundreds of research studies on cancer treatments can be overwhelming.  Using the tools from the following resources can make it easier to find clinical trials that may be right for you.

National Cancer Institute - Clinical Trials Search

If you need more help, contact the librarian at the Patient Health Library for an individual consultation.