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Fit Fix: Cooling Your Home Helps You Lose Weight

Plus more of today's top health and science headlines.

A new weight-loss trick: turn down the thermostat.

Add this new fitness secret to your daily arsenal. Instead of cranking up the heat, cool down your home to somewhere between 62 and 77°. The cooler environment will make your body work harder to maintain its average temperature of 98.6°, according to an article published in Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism. [NPR]

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Could the caramel coloring in sodas contain cancer-causing carcinogens?

Consumer Reports warns that the chemical 4-Mel (4-methylimidazole)—simply described as "caramel coloring" on most soft drink labels—could potentially have dangerous carcinogenic effects and has no reason for being anywhere even remotely available in the marketplace. [ConsumerReports]

The flu has an unexpected ally in over-the-counter pills that take the edge off. 

You've got a toasty head with a scorching fever and just feel like crap. You pop a little aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen to blunt the nastiness and get back to work. No problem, right? Wrong, says a new study published in the biological journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Although it might make you feel better, curbing your fever with over-the-counter pain pills draws back on your body's ability to stop the virus from reproducing. You might feel well enough to get out of the house, but you could still be contagious, needlessly spreading your sickness when you should be snuggled up at home with a steamy bowl of chicken soup. [NYTimes]

A new study characterizes the FDA as a loose cannon.

Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has called out the FDA for its inconsistent testing methods, pointing out that its stamp of approval is sometimes backed up by lax methods and sped-up approval processes that often weren't confirmed by a double-blind trial (follow-up tests that look to remove any bias from the initial test's conclusions). [Forbes]

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