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News: Shonky brands, life-saving research and lemon juice

So, what’s making news in the world of pregnancy and parenting this week?

Which brands were named and shamed by consumer group CHOICE? How will an inhaler save the lives of women who give birth in developing countries? And what is the connection between sperm and lemons that has fertilitity researchers reaching for the juicers?

Kids natural medicine ‘shonky’

A brand of children’s natural medicine has been named and shamed in consumer group CHOICE’s 2012 Shonky Awards – for dodgy goods and services.

Nature’s Way Kid’s Smart Natural Medicines ‘won’ the award due to its range containing ingredients like strychnine and arsenic and because symptoms such as ‘restlessness, anxiety, irritability and agitation’ the ‘Calm’ product claims to treat can be symptoms of potentially serious childhood infectious diseases and may delay parents from seeking more appropriate medical advice

CHOICE says Nature’s Way were busted earlier this year for claims about the efficacy of the products but did not respond.

Eight dodgy and deceitful products and services were named and shamed in this years Shonky Awards but Nature’s Way won the People’s Choice with 44% of the vote. Other Shonky Award recipients were: Cabcharge, Exit Mould and Coles Ultra Mould Remover, Jetset Travelworld Group, Liquipel, Samsung SW70SP washing machine, Ticketek and Ticketmaster and Toblerone.

New drug to save women’s life at birth

Monash University researchers will engineer a drug that could save the lives of up to 150,000 women in developing countries who die each year at childbirth from loss of blood after delivery of a baby.

Researchers will further test the efficacy of a dry powder form of oxytocin in an aerosol inhaler device, thanks to a US$1million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Cuurently oxytocin is widely used in the treatment of postpartum haemorrhage but can only be given via injection and vials must be kept refridgerated – which is a major barrier for women in developing countries.

“Every minute a mother will die from pregnancy and childbirth associated complications, and many of these deaths will occur within 1-2 hours of giving birth due to severe postpartum haemorrhage,” says lead researcher Dr Michelle McIntosh.

“The real tragedy of this statistic is that it is almost completely preventable. The drug exists, it’s safe, it’s effective, and we know it can save lives. The inhaled form of oxytocin that we are developing is a needle-free and non-refrigerated option suitable for use in remote areas with limited training.

Lemon juice key to male infertility study

Researchers at fertility clinic Genea have discovered that lemon juice could be a key tool in studying male factor infertility.

Previously scientists used formaldehyde to immobilise sperm for examination under a microscope but researchers were keen to find a natural alternative.

Testing revealed that the juice was found to be just as affective as the formaldahyde, which is a known carcinogen.

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