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Muffin eaters beware!

Urine testing for drugs is becoming increasingly accepted in all areas of our society--industry, athletics, etc. Nevertheless, a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows how even the most innocent person might have to explain an embarrassing positive urine test.

A 26-year-old woman who had previously applied for admission to a research study was required to take a urine test to screen out any possibility of drug use (which would have disqualified her for the study). The woman was shocked when the test showed evidence of recent morphine and codeine use.

When she heatedly denied the possibility, the researcher asked for detailed information on her food intake. It turned out the culprit was the woman's favorite variety of muffin-lemon poppy seed-- that she had eaten shortly before taking the urine test.

Both morphine and codeine are derived from opium, which comes from the opium poppy widely grown in the Middle East and South Asia. Even the seeds of the innocuous domestic poppy contain enough of the same alkaloid substance found in opium poppies to give a positive urine test.

(Codeine, for the benefit of any trivia fans among our readers, comes from the Greek kodeia, which means "poppy head.")

If you're hooked on muffins--a delightful form of "addiction"--you needn't worry about getting enough opiate from poppy seeds to give you even the slightest "buzz." However, forego anything that contains poppy seeds if you have to take a urine test that day, and have a nice, safe, bran muffin for breakfast instead.


* The American Journal of Cardiology reports that the risk of heart attack is greater for men on Monday. (Presumably, the stress of returning to work may be the precipitating factor.) Saturday is the next most risky day, perhaps because of the shift to a different weekend routine. The report confirms earlier findings that show Tuesday as the day when heart attacks occur the least.

* A slow heart rate is characteristic of athletes, some of whom have achieved rates as low as 40 beats per minute. Slow heart rate, as such, is of no consequence. However, if, for example, an older person shows slow heart rate with such symptoms as dizziness, fainting, difficult breathing, or feeling of tiredness, that person needs immediate medical attention.

* You've probably noticed that hamburger and other ground meat tend to spoil more quickly in the refrigerator than whole cuts of meat. This is because the grinding process may introduce bacteria, especially if the grinding machine is not cleaned thoroughly and frequently. Also, the grinding process greatly increases the surface area of the meat, where the bacteria multiply.

* You may also have wondered why eggs tend to explode in your microwave oven-or even after you remove them. The yolk membrane is the culprit; therefore, you should pierce-or better yet, scramble-- your yolks before cooking. Covering the cooking container also helps. Film wrap, or just a paper towel laid over the container, further reduces the risk of spattering.

* Your public drinking water supply is less likely to contain impurities than the bottled water you may be drinking. Researchers who tested 37 brands of bottled water in a recent study found that 24 of them contained more impurities than are permitted in public water supplies. This is because bottlers of water seem not to adhere to the same strict standards imposed on community water suppliers. (Twenty-eight of the 37 brands were imported.) There have been no reports of illness from these bottled water impurities. Nevertheless, you should buy botfled water only if it tastes better, not because you've been led to believe that it is hygienically superior to your tap water.

* Contrary to what some people believe, cycling or exercising on a cycling machine is not likely to reduce a man's sperm count Direct heat on the scrotum for extended periods can reduce sperm production. Yet no evidence exists to suggest that exercising in the heat produces the same effect--nor does numbness of the scrotum or penis that may occur when cycling.
Broccoli Vinaigrette
(Makes 6 servings)
1 bunch fresh broccoli (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 small onion, sliced
1/4 cup fresh lemon or lime Juice
1/4 cup wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive or salad oil
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
2 tablespoons dried tarragon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
Wash and trim broccoli; remove leaves and cut into spears. Cook, cov
-ered, in 1 inch boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain
 and place in shallow glass dish; cover with sliced onion.
Combine lemon or lime Juice, vinegar, olive oil, hot pepper sauce, tar
-ragon, and ginger in Jar or small bowl. Shake or beat to mix well and
pour over broccoli and onions. Cover and chill several hours. Drain
Just before serving.
Per Serving (1/2 cup):
Calories: 103 Sodium: 23 mg
Protein: 4.6 gm Cholesterol: 0 mg
Fat: 5.1 gm Carbohydrate: 9.6 gm
Diabetic exchanges: 2 vegetables + 1 fat
COPYRIGHT 1992 Benjamin Franklin Literary & Medical Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:health aspects of poppy seed muffins
Publication:Medical Update
Date:Jul 1, 1992
Previous Article:So why don't you listen to your grandmother?
Next Article:The case of the mistreated mother.

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