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April 27th, 2012
06:33 PM ET

Hand sanitizer: The new vodka for teens?

There's a new trend among teens looking for a buzz, doctors say, and it surrounds an unlikely household item designed to keep us germ-free: ethanol-based hand sanitizer.

Teenagers are using it this stuff to get high, according to health officials. Poison control centers nationwide say reports are on the rise.

The big issue here is the alcohol content, says Dr. Robert J. Geller, a medical toxicologist and Emory University pediatrician.

He says these sanitizers "are actually products that are 60% ethanol which means they are 120 proof," and "if you drink 2 ounces of it, it's like drinking 3 ounces of 80-proof tequila."

In California, where word of the trend first surfaced, there have been reports of 60 teenagers exposed since 2010, says Dr. Cyrus Rangan, toxicologist and assistant medical director of California Poison Control.

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Are sugar substitutes worse than the real thing?
April 27th, 2012
07:21 AM ET

Are sugar substitutes worse than the real thing?

Sweet tooth? You’re not alone. Sugary foods and beverages are delicious. But we’ve also learned they can be highly addictive and, too much of them, can take a serious toll on our health.

Today some of our favorite drinks, gum, baked goods, and candy are available in sugar-free versions. But that got me thinking...  are sugar substitutes any better for you than the real thing? I was not alone on this issue. I’ve received dozens of tweets and emails wondering if fake sugar can harm us, or worse, crave more food!

For some answers I turned to internist and physician nutrition specialist, Dr. Melina Jampolis. Her specialty is practiced by only 200 physicians in the United States. She focuses exclusively on nutrition for weight loss and disease prevention and treatment.
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Open-water swimming tips from the pros
April 27th, 2012
07:13 AM ET

Open-water swimming tips from the pros

Editor's note: In this post from Triathlete magazine, pros Julie Dibens and James Cunnama share five rules of a successful open-water swim.

Rule 1: Keep your space

“In the pool, you’re in a lane by yourself. In a triathlon, you have 50, 100, even 200 people trying to get to the same spot. It’s hard to stay in a straight line. You have to figure out how to make the most of it and get a draft,” says Dibens.

“Don’t hang on to a boat, kayak or buoy [before a deep water start],” adds Cunnama. “It doesn’t make a good start because something is in your way. It’s hard to get a good kick in. Get some space.”
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About this blog

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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