Tune in to our radio show on your local public radio station, or sign up for the podcast and listen at your leisure. Here’s what it’s about:

 We’ve long been urged to reduce the amount of sodium we consume. It’s easy to see that many Americans do get too much salt in cheeseburgers, French fries and other processed foods. But how good is the evidence suggesting we should all slash salt as much as possible? We’ll find out why the prestigious Institute of Medicine differs from the CDC in its recommendations on sodium restriction.

We will also talk about how to grill without endangering your health. How do you deal with motion sickness, whether it is in a car or a boat? Sunburn, insect stings, poison ivy and other summer hazards can often be avoided. But if they happen, you don’t have to let them ruin your summer. Find out what to do in a pinch.

Here is a link to the CDC’s map of where West Nile Virus is showing up. Just because your state is not yet on the map does not mean you can be complacent about mosquitoes! Several listeners also let us know (by email) about a device called a tick key for easy tick removal.

 We welcome listener questions and stories about staying healthy in the summer.

Guest: Brian Strom, MD, MPH, is the George S. Pepper Professor of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also Professor of Medicine, Pharmacology and Chair and Professor of the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology. He is Director of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Executive Vice Dean for Institutional Affairs. He served on the IOM committee that produced the report.

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free for four weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.




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  1. Cindy

    For stings – I always keep a small jar of Oil of Oregano in my car. It has helped many times with muscle strains but also to neutralize even wasp stings within a minute or two. Unlike some suggestions that probably work if you are at home and happen to have them, this is easy to carry. It is in one of my back seat cupholders. Also a small spray bottle with Listerine which helps stop itches.

  2. PP

    Thinking about the people that scrape their grills with a wire brush, seems to me like taking a drink from a fire hose! Take the grill off the heat, and put a paper towel soaked in soap and water on it to soak overnight,(try and keep it wet for at least an hour) then clean easily with a green scrubby or tooth brush!

  3. Susan F.

    I read about a study done in Canada more than 30 years ago of Vitamin E and its use on burns. Since I would always get a bad sunburn when summer started that would leave me miserably in pain for several days and my skin peeling off in sheets afterwards I decided to try it. I break open the capsules and mix with a lotion (any kind) to make it more spreadable and apply thickly to the burn. By evening of the first day my sunburn pain is minimal or gone. My skin doesn’t swell up like it used to and barely peels at all. Works better than any over the counter remedy or even aloe vera.
    I work at home making glass beads using a blow torch and and have burned myself with either hot glass or the torch itself. Those burns are more serious than a sunburn and I have tried the pure vitamin E oil on them with a bandage over the burn to keep the oil from being accidentally wiped off. It works great. They heal fast and very minimal scarring (I can’t find a scar from my last really bad burn).
    That is my home remedy for burns. I hope it helps someone out there.
    Thanks, Susan

  4. sandraellenbush

    Because I have Meniere’s disease which causes attacks of profound vertigo when I eat salt, I have switched to a potassium vs sodium substitute and use herbs and spices for flavor. I cook from scratch using sodium free ingredients, rarely eat processed food and special order dishes when dining out. For several years, this lifestyle has helped avoid the dreaded inner ear attacks. Until listening to this morning’s People’s Pharmacy, it hadn’t occurred to me that I could be taking in too little sodium! I’ve found it ironic that my BP and cholesterol continue to be too high. The doctors don’t seem to know much about this subject. What are your thoughts? Thank you for your wonderful program. Blessings, Sandra Bush

  5. Anne

    Please ask your guest whether someone who eats mostly vegetarian and almost no processed foods other than cheese, and who has low blood pressure, should be careful about eating salt. I usually roast my own nuts without salt also. Consequently, I am not careful about adding salt to my vegetables and occasional meat dinners if I feel they could use it.

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