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Jun 17, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- BEST SOURCES OF ANTIOXIDANTS

A U.S. Department of Agriculture study finds beans and blueberries rank at the top for antioxidants. Each food was measured for antioxidant concentration as well as antioxidant capacity per serving size. Antioxidants, which are thought to fight cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer's disease, were found most plentiful in beans, berries, artichokes, apples, potatoes, prunes and pecans. "The bottom line is the same: eat more fruits and veggies," says lead author Ronald L. Prior, a chemist and nutritionist with the USDA in Little Rock, Ark. "This study confirms that those foods are full of benefits, particularly those with higher levels of antioxidants. Nuts and spices also are good sources." Ground cloves, ground cinnamon and oregano had the highest amounts of antioxidants of the spices studied.

PULSED DYE LASER NO BENEFIT FOR ACNE

Many people with acne choose laser therapy because it does not use messy creams or drugs and has a minimal risk of side effects. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds, however, at least one type of laser treatment, called pulsed dye laser therapy, appears to be ineffective in treating acne. University of Michigan Health System researchers compared 40 subjects' acne severity over a 12-week period after treating half of the face with the pulsed dye laser therapy. "In our study, we saw some patients' skin getting better, and we saw other patients' skin worsening," says lead study author Dr. Jeffrey Orringer. "However, the changes were the same for both the treated and untreated sides of the face."

FIREWORKS CAN BE HARMFUL TO EARS

When packing the Fourth of July picnic, it might be prudent to pack disposable ear plugs for the night time fireworks show. "Think about ear care like skin care during the summer months," says Robert Novak, director of clinical education in audiology at Purdue University. "Noisy summer events, especially concerts, fireworks and even mowing the lawn, can be harmful to a person's hearing -- and unlike a sunburn, you may not realize the harm to your body right away." Hearing damage often accrues over time and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association says nearly 28 million people in the United States suffer from hearing loss. "Large public fireworks shows can be compared to attending a concert with loud, amplified music blaring from speakers that are pointed at the audience," Novak says.

LESS DEATH WITH IN-PERSON SENIOR DRIVER RENEWAL

Motor vehicle death rates among older drivers have been increasing and by 2030 are expected to account for up to 25 percent of all U.S. driver deaths. A study by the University of Alabama at Birmingham finds having an elderly driver renew a license in person was linked to a lower death rate of elderly drivers. The study, published in Journal of the American Medical Association, finds states that have in-person license renewal policies had a 17 percent lower fatality rate among drivers 85 years and older than states that did not such a requirement. The researchers also found vision tests, road tests, and more frequent renewals were not independently associated with additional safety benefits.

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(EDITORS: For more information on ANTIOXIDANTS, contact Michael Bernstein at (202) 872-6042 or m_bernstein@acs.org. For ACNE, Nicole Fawcett/Kara Gavin at (734) 764-2220 or nfawcett@umich.edu or kegavin@umich.edu. For FIREWORKS, Robert Novak at (765)494-1534 or rnovak@sla.purdue.edu. For DRIVER, Joy Carter at (205) 934-1676)

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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