Health Headlines: Whole Foods Might be Cheaper than you Think

Plus: Black mold meningitis is new to medical professionals, the truth about vitamin D supplements, aspirin may help cancer patients and more.

Whole Foods might not mean “whole paycheck” after all. In a recent interview, Whole Foods cofounder John Mackey said he believes we’re not spending enough on healthy cuisine. He may be right. In Boston in 1950, 32.9 percent of income was spent on food. In 2003, it was 13.5 percent.  [Shape]

Your vitamin D supplement might be a waste of money, according to a new study of 17,000 people conducted by Loyola University. The study found no difference in mortality rates for people whose vitamin D levels are between 20 and 40 nanograms per milliliter of blood, which is the range most people fall into. The Institute of Medicine says that vitamin D levels above 20ng/ml of blood are sufficient for most people.  [Prevention]

“Black mold” meningitis is new territory for medical professionals. A black mold called Exserohilum rostratum, which up until now had only been reported for causing 33 infections in humans because it is found mostly in dirt and grasses, could be the main culprit in the meningitis outbreak affecting the nation. The CDC said on Wednesday that most people are getting sick within 42 days of receiving one of the injections.  [NBC News]

Massachusetts could be the third state to legalize physician-assisted suicide for people with terminal illness if voters approve the ballot question on November 6. Oregon and Washington are currently the only states that allow it. In September, a Suffolk University poll found 64 percent of likely Massachusetts voters support the initiative. [CBS News]

Aspirin could help some colon cancer patients live longer, according to researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. They found that in patients whose tumors had mutated, if they took aspirin after being diagnosed, they lived longer than patients without the mutation. But the study also says that they don’t yet know the connection between aspirin and cancer prevention, but it could be due to reduced inflammation.  [NEJM]