Children who have sustained throat injuries from swallowing lye or acid do not benefit from taking steroids, the usual treatment of choice.
In a study at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., 60 children with serious esophageal injuries after swallowing caustic cleaning fluids formed a study to determine whether steroids, as popularly thought, help to prevent the stricture (narrowing) of the throat from inflammation. Ever since the publication of one study where the use of steroids prevented throat strictures in mice, it has become, this report says, a 'mainstay' of treatment in these sorts of burns.
In this particular study, the first involving children, the use of steroids made no significant difference in preventing stricture, as compared with the controls. Consequency, the study concludes, their use in this regard is 'unproved'. This is particularly important, they point out as 'steroids are associated with serious side effects. .. especially an increased vulnerability to infection'.-The New England Journal of Medicine, 6 September 1990.
Healthy older postmenopausal women with a daily calcium intake of less than 400 mg can significantly reduce bone loss with 400 mg daily supplements. - New England Journal of Medicine, 27 Sept. 1990.