Health Monitor

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Alberta Health Services has lifted the precautionary air quality advisory for the Edmonton area.

As of July 28, air quality conditions in the central and Edmonton zones have improved and no longer pose an increased risk of health concerns for residents and visitors, say AHS officials.

A precautionary air quality advisory was first issued on July 10. The advisory still remains in effect for the province’s north zone as smoke from forest fires continues to impact air quality.

If you can taste and/or smell smoke in the air, AHS says you should monitor your symptoms, minimize outdoor physical activity and consider remaining indoors with the windows, doors and outdoor air circulation fans/vents closed.

Visit ersd.alberta.ca to find the air quality index for your area.

AHS is urging expectant parents to check the credentials of home birthing attendants after two births involving non-certified individuals were recently reported to police.

In two recent incidences, non-certified home birthing attendants or “traditional home delivery providers” assisted in labour and delivery in private residences. The expectant mothers or their babies had to be rushed to emergency rooms at city hospitals, reports the Calgary Herald.

By law, labour, delivery and baby care can only be performed by registered physicians, registered midwives, registered nurses, or emergency medical services staff during emergencies.

People who are planning a home birth are encouraged to ensure that their birth attendant has the formal training and necessary certification.

Additional resources are available at:

• College of Alberta Midwives at 403-474-3999 or visit http://www.college-midwives-ab.ca/

• College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta: public inquiries: 1-800-561-3899 or email publicinquiries@cpsa.ab.ca

• Alberta Association of Midwives website: http://www.alberta-midwives.com/

• For 24/7 health advice provided by registered nurses and other health-care professionals, call Health Link Alberta toll-free at 1-866-408-5465 (LINK)

An apple a day cannot only keep the doctor away, but also improve your sex life.

Italian researchers wanted to study the relationship between regular apple intake (at least one a day) and women’s sexual function. They have found a positive correlation.

In a study recently published in the Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, researchers analyzed data from more than 700 Italian women aged 18 to 43.

The group was split in two based on their apple consumption – one group ate more than one apple per day while the other group ate less than one.

Participants then completed the Female Sexual Function Index – 19 questions about their sexual activities, including frequency and overall satisfaction.

Results showed that women in the group who ate at least one apple per day had higher FSFI scores.

Researchers believe the reason may lie in the compound phloridzin, which is found in apples and is similar to the female sex hormone estradiol. High levels of polyphenols and antioxidants also found in apples stimulate blood flow to the sexual organs and aid in arousal.

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St. Albert Gazette

The St. Albert Gazette has been the source for news and community information in St. Albert and area since 1961. Today the twice-weekly full-colour tabloid delivers award-winning journalism in print, online and on mobile.