By Sarah Grossbart, REDBOOK
These new health trends may be making headlines, but that doesn't mean you should jump on the bandwagon. Experts break down the pros and cons.
1. Chicken-pox lollipops
Some vaccine-wary parents are buying suckers licked by infected kids and giving them to their own children. Why? So they'll get chicken pox now instead of later in life, when it can be more dangerous.
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Expert bottom line: It's illegal, and unsafe, says Laurence Givner, M.D., a pediatric infectious disease specialist. Chicken pox can be serious, and the pops may well transmit other viruses too.
2. Anti-energy drinks
You may have noticed beverages like Drank and Unwind, which promise "extreme" relaxation, at your local convenience store. They contain melatonin, a supplement that's often used as a natural sleep aid.
Expert bottom line: Based on the ingredients, "if these drinks have any effect, it's likely mild," says Joel Fuhrman, M.D., author of Eat to Live. Plus, unlike a melatonin pill, they pack calories.
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3. Breast-milk foods
Breast milk does a baby good, and some foodies think adults should partake too. One New York City chef whipped it into cheese, and another in London sold it as ice cream (for $22 a scoop!), until health authorities intervened.
Expert bottom line: Besides the ick factor, viruses like HIV can be spread by unpasteurized breast milk. Anyone else suddenly feeling lactose intolerant?
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