BMJ 2008; 336 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39548.573727.47 (Published 17 April 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:898

Medical use of intravenous saline solution is thought to originate from the European cholera pandemic in 1831, but a literature search found that the fluids used during that time show little resemblance to 0.9% or “normal” saline. Indeed the routine use of normal saline has little scientific basis. There’s nothing “normal” or physiological about 0.9% saline—and its continued use may be based on a historical fallacy (Clinical Nutrition 2008;27:179-88; doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2008.01.008).

Population studies have suggested that gum disease is a risk factor for heart disease, but the findings aren’t consistent. A study that looked at the link between clinical and radiographic measures of periodontitis, toothlessness, and the incidence of coronary heart disease reports a significant dose dependent association between periodontitis and coronary heart disease in men under 60. The association is independent of all the usual risk factors, such as smoking, diabetes, and cholesterol levels (Circulation 2008;117:1668-74; doi: 10.1161/circulationaha.107.711507).

Conventional wisdom is that any …

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