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Alcoholics Anonymous as a spiritual experience
December 14th, 2010
04:00 PM ET

Alcoholics Anonymous as a spiritual experience

Only the first of the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous mentions alcohol. The other 11 talk about redemption, restoring moral character, and devotion to God (or other higher power).

From that perspective, it makes sense that a new study finds that Alcoholics Anonymous increases spirituality. But it goes further than that: Spirituality may actually play a role in successful recovery from alcoholism, says research in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

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EPA: Saccharin no longer considered a hazardous substance
December 14th, 2010
03:59 PM ET

EPA: Saccharin no longer considered a hazardous substance

Saccharin is in a lot of products you might use everyday.  It's in items like sugar-free gum, diet soda and mouthwash.  It's even in some of your pills. But now there's one less place where you can find the popular artificial sweetener. The Environmental Protection Agency is taking saccharin and its salts off its list of hazardous substances. According to the agency, the crystalline powder "is no longer considered a potential hazard to human health."

Saccharin was first listed as a hazardous waste in 1980 after studies in rats showed the sweetener caused higher rates of bladder cancer. The EPA subsequently determined it to be a "potential human carcinogen". Yet two decades later, the National Toxicology Program and International Agency for Research on Cancer reversed that classification after scientists failed to link saccharin consumption to cancer in humans.

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FDA revisits mercury fillings
December 14th, 2010
01:05 PM ET

FDA revisits mercury fillings

An FDA advisory committee is holding a two-day hearing to re-review the scientific basis for the FDA’s conclusion that mercury in amalgam dental fillings is not harmful to patients.

The committee initiated the hearings less than 18 months after the federal agency made the decision. Committee members are examining challenges from four consumer and dental groups that say the FDA used flawed science when it set the guidelines for mercury safety levels. Although the FDA noted there will be no vote on this, they may recommend to reverse the decision and send it to the main FDA board for review.

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Get Some Sleep: No snoring is safe
December 14th, 2010
08:20 AM ET

Get Some Sleep: No snoring is safe

Every Christmas Eve it’s the same story: Dad has too much eggnog and too much turkey and the next thing we know, there he is in front of the fire, snoring like a freight train. We use to always have a chuckle at his expense before nudging him awake and urging him up to bed.

Well, the laughing stopped a long time ago because as a sleep physician I have learned that snoring can be a serious sign of sleep apnea and sleep apnea increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity. Sleep apnea, as I think most people know, is a collapse of the upper airway during sleep that leads to frequent mini-awakenings of which the patient is rarely aware. It often causes a lowering of the oxygen levels.

How well are you managing your diabetes? Take this test FULL POST

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Filed under: Sleep

December 14th, 2010
08:19 AM ET

Do I really have ADHD?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Tuesdays, it's Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.

Question asked by Thomas of Dallas, Texas:

I have just been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, but I am questioning the diagnosis since I feel that I don't exhibit most of the symptoms. I mean, I do get distracted while I am working on my research or studying, but I feel everyone gets distracted just as I do. How is normal distraction different from ADHD?

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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