Researchers in North Carolina found lead contamination in spices and herbal remedies in the homes of some children with elevated blood lead levels, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The food items that had the highest levels of lead included samples of chili powder/red pepper, cumin, coriander, anise, turmeric and vanilla. For children, there is no safe blood lead level.

Does blood pressure have to rise with age?

Cardiologists generally think blood pressure inevitably increases with age. Now a study offers a new take. Researchers looked at two communities in the Venezuelan rain forest: the Yanomami, among the world’s most isolated people, and the Yekwana, isolated but with an airstrip that allows the delivery of Western food and medicine. The average blood pressure among the Yanomami was 95/63; it was 104/66 for the Yekwana. By age 60, the Yanomami’s blood pressure was unchanged, while the Yekwana average had risen to 114/73. Noel T. Mueller of Johns Hopkins University said just cutting our salt intake in half could prevent an estimated 15 million U.S. cases of hypertension.

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