Current Research

Vitamin D for Healthy Infants & Children
American Academy of Pediatrics

The American Academy of Pediatrics issued guidelines for vitamin 0 intake for healthy infants and children. This expert group "recommends
a supplement of 200 IV per day for the following:
          1.  All breastfed infants (unless they are
                weaned) to receive at least 500 ml
                per day of vitamin D-Fortified  
                formula or  milk.

           2. All non-breastfed infants who are
                ingesting less than 500 ml of vitamin

                D fortified formula or milk.

            3. Children and adolescents who do
                not get regular sunlight exposure,
               
do not ingest at least 500 ml per
                day of  vitamin D fortified milk,
                or do not take a daily multi-

                vitamin supplement containing
                at least 200 IV vitamin D,"
               
 


Smoking and cancer: What's in a cigarette?

Cancer research UK

A cigarette may look harmless enough - tobacco leaves covered in classic white paper. But when it burns, it releases a dangerous cocktail of about 4,000 chemicals including:

                         more than 70 cancer-causing chemicals

                         hundreds of other poisons.

                         nicotine, a highly addictive drug, and many additives designed to make cigarettes taste nicer and keep smokers hooked.

This page has more information on the various poisons in cigarette smoke. You can also read about where these come from and how concentrated they actually are.

Cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke
       Tar - a mixture of dangerous chemicals
       Arsenic - used in wood preservatives
       Benzene - an industrial solvent, refined  from
          crude oil
       Cadmium - used in batteries
       Formaldehyde - used in mortuaries and paint
          manufacturing
       Polonium-210 - a highly radioactive element
       Chromium - used to manufacture dye, paints
          and alloys
       1,3-Butadiene - used in rubber manufacturing
       Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons - a group of
          dangerous DNA-damaging chemicals
       Nitrosamines - another group of DNA-
          damaging chemicals
        Acrolein - formerly used as a chemical
        
 weapon
      
Other chemicals
 

Other poisons in cigarette smoke
       Hydrogen cyanide - used as an industrial
          pesticide
       Carbon monoxide - found in car exhausts and
          used in chemicals manufacturing
       Nitrogen oxides - a major component of smog
       Ammonia - used to make fertilizers and
          explosives
       More poisons
 

Tar

Tar is a term that describes a collection of solid particles that smokers inhale when they light a cigarette. It is a mixture of lots of chemicals, many of which can cause cancer. When it settles, tar forms a sticky, brown residue that can stain smokers’ teeth, fingers and lungs.

Because tar is listed on packs, it is easy to believe that it is the only harmful part of cigarettes. But some of the most dangerous chemicals in tobacco smoke are present as gases, and do not count as part of tar. This means that cigarettes with less tar still contain all the other toxic chemicals.

Arsenic

Arsenic is one of the most dangerous chemicals in cigarettes. It can cause cancer as well as damaging the heart and its blood vessels.

Small amounts of arsenic can accumulate in smokers’ bodies and build up to higher concentrations over months and years. As well as any direct effects, it can worsen the effect of other chemicals by interfering with our ability to repair our DNA.

Fish and seafood can be major sources of arsenic, but in a form that is less toxic and more readily removed from the body. In contrast, tobacco smoke contains arsenic in a more dangerous form

Benzene

Benzene is a solvent used to manufacture other chemicals, including petrol. It is well-established that benzene can cause cancer, particularly leukaemia. It could account for between a tenth and a half of the deaths from leukaemia caused by smoking.

Tobacco smoke contains large amounts of benzene and accounts for a big proportion of our exposure to this poison. The average smoker inhales about ten times more benzene than the average non-smoker.

And some studies have estimated that the amount of benzene that a person inhales through second-hand smoke over their lifetime could increase their risk of cancer

Cadmium

Cadmium is a metal used mostly to make batteries. The majority of cadmium in our bodies comes from exposure to tobacco smoke. Smokers can have twice as much cadmium in their blood as non-smokers.

Studies have found that the amounts of cadmium present in tobacco smoke are capable of affecting our health. It is a known cause of cancer, and can also damage the kidneys and the linings of the arteries.

Our bodies have proteins that mop up harmful chemicals like cadmium, but the amounts in smoke can overload these proteins. Cadmium can also prevent our cells from repairing damaged DNA. Because of this, it can make the effects of other chemicals even worse

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a smelly chemical used to kill bacteria, preserve dead bodies and manufacture other chemicals. It is one of the substances in tobacco smoke most likely to cause diseases in our lungs and airways.

Formaldehyde is also a known cause of cancer. It is believed that even the small amounts in second-hand smoke could increase our lifetime risk of cancer.

Tobacco smoke is one of our major sources of formaldehyde exposure. Places where people smoke can have three times the normal levels of this poison

Polonium-210

Polonium is a rare, radioactive element and polonium-210 is its most common form. Polonium strongly emits a very damaging type of radiation called alpha-radiation that can usually be blocked by thin layers of skin.

But tobacco smoke contains traces of polonium, which become deposited inside their airways and deliver radiation directly to surrounding cells.

The lungs of smokers can be exposed to four times more polonium than those of non-smokers and specific parts may get a hundred times more radiation. One study estimated that someone smoking one and half packs a day receives the
equivalent amount of radiation as someone having 300 chest X-rays a year.

Chromium

Chromium is a metal used to make metallic alloys, dyes and paints and comes in different types. Chromium III or ‘trivalent chromium’ is most commonly used. It is available as dietary supplements and is harmless.

On the other hand, chromium VI or ‘hexavalent chromium’ is very toxic, is found in tobacco smoke, and is known to cause lung cancer. It allows other cancer-causing chemicals (such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) to stick more strongly to DNA and damage it.

1,3-Butadiene

1,3-butadiene or BDE is an industrial chemical used in rubber manufacture. Some scientists believe that of all the chemicals in tobacco smoke, BDE may present the greatest overall cancer risk. It may not be as good at causing cancer as some of the other chemicals listed here, but it is found in large amounts in tobacco smoke 

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs are a group of powerful cancer-causing chemicals that can damage DNA and set cells down the road to becoming tumours.

One of these chemicals - benzo(a)pyrene or BAP - is one of the most widely studied of all tobacco poisons. BAP directly damages p53, a gene that normally protects our bodies against cancer 

Nitrosamines

Nitrosamines are a group of chemicals that can directly damage DNA, like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
They are found in small amounts in food. But tobacco products, including those that are chewed rather than smoked, are by far our largest source of exposure to these chemicals. Even though they are found in relatively small amounts in cigarettes, they are very strong cancer-causing chemicals.

Acrolein

Acrolein is a gas with an intensely irritating smell and is one of the most abundant chemicals in cigarette smoke. It belongs to the same group of chemicals as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde, both of which can cause cancer.
Until now, it wasn’t clear if acrolein causes cancer as well, but recent experiments suggest that it can. We now know that acrolein can cause DNA damage that is similar to the damage seen in lung cancer patients. Since smoke contains up to 1,000 times more acrolein than other DNA-damaging chemicals, it could be a major cause of lung cancer.
Acrolein also stops our cells from repairing DNA damage, like arsenic and cadmium. And like hydrogen cyanide, it kills the hairs that normally clean our lungs of other toxins.
Other chemicals
Some of the other cancer-causing ingredients of tobacco smoke include:
                         metals, such as nickel, lead, cobalt and beryllium. While you may be exposed to some of these metals through domestic items or food, inhaling them in tobacco smoke is worse, because they are easily absorbed by the lungs.
                         acetaldehyde, which is also formed in your tissues when you drink alcohol - it is responsible for many nasty hangover symptoms
                         hydrazine, a very toxic chemical used mainly in rocket fuel
 
 
Hydrogen cyanide

Hydrogen cyanide is a poisonous gas. Of all the chemicals in tobacco smoke, it does the most damage to the heart and blood vessels.
Hydrogen cyanide does not cause cancer, but it increases the risk of other chemicals causing cancer by damaging cilia. These are tiny hairs lining the airways that help to clear toxins away. By killing cilia, hydrogen cyanide causes other dangerous chemicals to be stuck in the lungs and airways.
Carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide is a colourless gas with no smell. It is formed when we burn carbon-based fuels, such as gas in cookers or petrol in car engines. It can make up as much as 3-5% of tobacco smoke.
Carbon monoxide sticks to our red blood cells in place of oxygen. This lowers our blood’s ability to transport oxygen and deprives our tissues and organs of this vital gas.
Like hydrogen cyanide, it kills cilia and reduces our lungs’ ability to clear away toxins. This means that while carbon monoxide does not cause cancer directly, it makes it easier for other chemicals to do so.
Nitrogen oxide
Nitrogen oxide is a gas found in car exhaust and tobacco smoke.
Our bodies use it in very small amounts to carry signals between cells. But in large amounts, it is a major air pollutant. It directly damages lung tissue and causes inflammation in the lungs.
Normally, our bodies produce small amounts of nitrogen oxide, which causes our airways to expand. The large amount of nitrogen oxide in tobacco smoke changes things in two ways:
                         When smokers are smoking, it expands their airways even further, making it easier for their lungs to absorb nicotine and other chemicals.
                         When they are not smoking, it shuts off their internal nitrogen oxide production line, causing their airways to constrict. This is one reason why regular smokers often have difficulty breathing.
Ammonia

Ammonia is a gas with a strong, irritating smell, and is used in some toilet cleaners. Some studies have found that ammonia enhances the addictive power of nicotine. It changes nicotine into a gas that is more readily absorbed into the lungs, airways and bloodstream.

Like carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide, ammonia also kills cilia.

More poisons

Tobacco smoke also contains many other poisons that produce harmful effects. These can be carried throughout the body via our blood vessels.

As well as hydrogen cyanide and ammonia, gases like sulphur dioxide also kill cilia (protective hairs) in our lungs. This stops them from being able to clear away other harmful chemicals.

Chemicals like hydrogen sulphide and pyridine irritate our airways.

Toluene can damage brain cells and interfere with their development.


If You Care about Your Health, You Need to Know about the Emerging Science of Epigenetics

http://www.anh-usa.org/science-of-epigenetics/


Human data: HIV progression may be slowed by multivitamin supplement
NutraIngredients-USA.com
Long-term supplementation with multivitamins plus selenium may help delay the progression of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in people with early stages of the disease who are not yet eligible to receive antiretroviral therapy, a new randomized trial has suggested.

 


Vitamin D Deficiency is Common among Healthy Adolescent Girls

Researchers in the UK conducted a cross-sectional study to assess vitamin D status in 51 healthy 10th grade adolescent girls in UK inner-city schools. Daily intake of vitamin D and calcium were estimated using a food-frequency questionnaire, while sunlight exposure was estimated using a sunlight exposure questionnaire. The researchers found that vitamin D deficiency was common among “healthy” adolescent girls (73%), with non-white girls suffering from the most severe deficiency.

This information is very important, as over 35% of the peak  bone mass of a mature adult is accrued during the four years surrounding the peak pubertal growth spurt.

Vitamin D deficiency during this important period may put adolescent girls at an increased risk for osteoporotic bone fracture later in life. Vitamin D status should be addressed in this group.

Das G et al. “Hypovitaminosis D among healthy adolescent girls attending an inner city school.” Arch. Dis Child. 2006: 91:569-572.


Leisure-Time Exercise Could Lower Your Risk of High Blood Pressure

Physical activity in your leisure time could help keep your blood pressure at a healthy level, new research in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension suggests.

Researchers pooled results from 13 studies on the effects of physical activity on blood pressure. The studies involved 136,846 people in the United States, Europe or East Asia who initially had healthy blood pressure. More than 15,600 later developed high blood pressure during follow-up periods ranging from two to 45 years.

People who exercised more than four hours per week in their leisure time had a 19 percent lower risk of high blood pressure than those who exercised less than one hour per week. People who had one to three hours per week of leisure exercise had an 11 percent lower risk than those with under an hour of activity.

The findings suggest that the more recreational physical activity you get, the more you are protected from developing high blood pressure.

Almost 78 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure, defined by the American Heart Association as blood pressure readings at or above 140 millimeters of mercury for the upper number or 90 or higher for the bottom number. The condition typically has no symptoms, so it goes undetected or untreated in many people.

"Hypertension is a risk factor for cardiovascular and kidney disease -- thus, it is important to

 prevent and control hypertension," said Wei Ma, M.D., Ph.D., study co-author and associate professor at the Shandong University School of Public Health in Jinan, China. "To try to lower your risk of high blood pressure, you should exercise more in your leisure time."

Researchers didn't find a solid link between physical exertion at work and risk of high blood pressure. Health guidelines urging people to get more exercise don't distinguish between activity at work and for leisure, said Bo Xi, M.D., Ph.D., lecturer at the Shandong University School of Public Health in Jinan, China, and a co-author with Ma. But, "given the new findings, perhaps they should."

Physical activity on the job, such as farm or industrial work, can involve exertion like heavy lifting, prolonged standing and repetitive tasks.

Recreational exercise may affect several factors tied to high blood pressure - helping people keep off extra pounds, improving poor insulin sensitivity or reducing the blood vessels' resistance to blood flow, Ma said.

Although the new research linked recreational exercise and lower blood pressure, it didn't show that the exercise prevents the condition. People who exercise for fun may just have healthier lifestyles, Xi said.

American Heart Association. "Leisure-time exercise could lower your risk of high blood pressure." ScienceDaily, 30 Sep. 2013. Web. 1 Oct. 2013.

 


Gut bacteria are closely linked to immune functions, review suggest

http://www.nutraingredients.com/Research/Gut-bacteria-are-closely-linked-to-immune-functions-review-suggests


Omega-3s Ease ADHD Symptoms

Researchers at the University of Oslo have observed the behavior of rats and have analyzed biochemical processes in their brains. The results show a clear improvement in ADHD-related behavior from supplements of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as a faster turnover of the signal substances dopamine, serotonin and glutamate in the nervous system. There are, however, clear sex differences: a better effect from omega-3 fatty acids is achieved in male rats than in female.

Unknown biology behind ADHD
Currently the psychiatric diagnosis ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is purely based on behavioral criteria, while the molecular genetic background for the illness is largely unknown. The new findings indicate that ADHD has a biological component and that the intake of omega-3 may influence ADHD symptoms.

“In some research environments it is controversial to suggest that ADHD has something to do with biology. But we have without a doubt found molecular changes in the brain after rats with ADHD were given omega-3,” says Ivar Walaas, professor of biochemistry.

The fact that omega-3 can reduce ADHD behavior in rats has also been indicated in previous international studies. What is unique about the study in question is a multidisciplinarity that has not previously been seen, with contributions from behavioral science in medicine as well as from psychology, nutritional science and biochemistry.

Hyperactive rats
The rats used in the study are called SHR rats—spontaneously hypertensive rats. Although this is primarily a common type of rat, random mutations in their genes have resulted in genetic damage that produces high blood pressure. It is therefore first and foremost blood-pressure researchers who have so far been interested in these rats.

However, the rats do not suffer from high blood pressure until they have reached puberty. Before that age they present totally different symptoms—namely hyperactivity, poor ability to concentrate and impulsiveness. It is exactly these three criteria that form the basis for making the ADHD diagnosis in humans. The animals also react to Ritalin, the central nervous system stimulant, in the same way as humans with ADHD: the hyperactive responses are stabilized. SHR rats are therefore increasingly used in research as a model for ADHD.

Supplements as early as the fetal stage
Researchers believe that omega-3 can have an effect from the very beginning of life. Omega-3 was therefore added to the food given to mother rats before they were impregnated, and this continued throughout their entire pregnancy and while they fed their young. The baby rats were also given omega-3 in their own food after they were separated from their mother at the age of 20 days. Another group of mother rats were given food that did not have omega-3 added, thus creating a control group of SHR offspring that had not been given these fatty acids at the fetal stage or later.

The researchers started to analyze the behavior of the offspring some days after they were separated from the mother. They studied behavior driven by reward as well as spontaneous behavior. Substantial

differences were noted for both types of behavior between the rats that had been given the omega-3 supplement as fetuses and as baby rats and those that had not.

Rewards made male rats more concentrated

The reward-driven behavior was such that the rats were allowed access to a drop of water each time they pressed an illuminated button. The ADHD rats that had not been given omega-3 could not concentrate on pressing the button, whereas the rats that had been brought up on omega-3 easily managed to hold their concentration for the seconds this takes and were able to enjoy a delicious drop of water as a reward.

Surprisingly enough, it was only male rats that showed an improvement in reward-driven behavior. However, with regard to the rats’ spontaneous behavior, the same type of reduction in hyperactivity and attention difficulties was noted in both male and female rats that had been given the omega-3 supplement.

Changes in brain chemistry
Professor Walaas and his research group became involved in the study at this point in order to analyze the molecular processes in the rats’ brains.

The group analyzed the level of the chemical connections in the brain, the so-called neurotransmitters that transfer nerve impulses from one nerve cell to another. The researchers measured how much of the neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin and glutamate was released and broken down within the nerve fibers. A key player in this work was Kine S. Dervola, PhD candidate, who reports clear sex differences in the turnover of the neurotransmitters—just as there had been in the reward-driven behavior.

“We saw that the turnover of dopamine and serotonin took place much faster among the male rats that had been given omega-3 than among those that had not. For serotonin the turnover ratio was three times higher, and for dopamine it was just over two and a half times higher. These effects were not observed among the female rats. When we measured the turnover of glutamate, however, we saw that both sexes showed a small increase in turnover,” Ms Dervola tells us.

Transferrable to humans?
The researchers are cautious about drawing conclusions as to whether the results can be transferred to humans.

“In the first place there is of course a difference between rats and humans, and secondly the rats are sick at the outset. Thirdly the causes of ADHD in humans are in no way mapped sufficiently well. But the end result of what takes place in the brains of both rats and humans with ADHD is hyperactivity, poor ability to concentrate and impulsiveness,” says Professor Walaas, and concludes:

“Giving priority to basic research like this will greatly increase our detailed knowledge of ADHD.”


Fish Oil and Prostate Cancer – The Whole Story

07/24/13 Posted by Leonard Smith, M.D.

It seems the misinformation about fish oil supplementation has reached a new (low) level. You may have read the recent media headlines purporting that fish oil supplements increase the risk of prostate cancer. Once again, they have it wrong, and this time, terribly so. Let’s take a look at the whole story.

The study in reference1 was a case-controlled study nested within another study—SELECT (the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial).2 The SELECT trial tested whether selenium and vitamin E, either alone or combined, reduced prostate cancer risk. You might notice this trial had nothing to do with omega-3 intake. The researchers chose this group of people because they were already being evaluated for prostate cancer risk, but a main flaw of this study is that it was not designed to evaluate the relationship between omega-3 fatty acid levels and prostate cancer. Thus, the results are less reliable.

The researchers evaluated 834 men diagnosed with prostate cancer and 1393 randomly selected matches from the SELECT trial. They analyzed baseline plasma fatty acid levels of the participants and found a 71 percent increased risk of high-grade prostate cancer and a 43 percent increase in risk for all prostate cancers in those participants with the highest concentrations of plasma EPA, DHA, and DPA.

Plasma fatty acid levels, however, only reflect the past 24 to 48 hours of dietary intake of fatty acids. The study did not assess dietary intake, via food or supplements, of fatty acids, however. The difference in omega-3 fatty acid levels between those who developed prostate cancer and those who did not was 0.2%. According to Duffy McKay, vice president of scientific affairs at the Council for Responsible Nutrition, “This change literally could have occurred if somebody ate a fish sandwich on their way to get their blood drawn.”

Without monitoring dietary and supplemental omega-3 intake, we don’t know how much fish or fish oil these patients were really taking—if they were taking any at all. Another possibility, the patients with cancer may have begun taking fish oil after they were diagnosed because they were trying to get healthy. The researchers simply did not control for these possibilities.

Even more importantly, without measuring red blood cell (RBC) fatty acid levels of omega-3s, which most accurately reflect long-term intake of omega-3s as well as incorporation of the omega-3s into tissues, we do not have an accurate picture of what is really happening. This is a common and fundamentally detrimental mistake when studying the health effects of omega-3 fatty acids, as I often mention.

An essential and metabolic fats RBC membrane test is available from several companies including HDL Labs, Genova/Metametrix, and Doctor’s Data. These are very thorough tests which are only obtained through a practitioner’s office and usually are covered by insurance. The simplest, least costly way to know your total body fatty acid balance is to obtain a do-it-yourself, at-home, finger-stick blood test from OmegaQuant.com or LabTestingDirect.com.

These tests give a good approximation of the levels of total omega-3 and omega-6, as well as a comprehensive list of individual fatty acids over about a three-month period. (Red blood cells live for three to four months.) The most significant test may well be the Omega-3 Index which measures the EPA + DHA levels compared to the total fatty acid levels in the red blood cell membrane. An Omega-3 Index under 4 percent indicates the person would need to take 1 to 3 grams of EPA + DHA daily. If the Omega-3 Index is over 8 to 10 percent, the person’s omega-3 intake is probably fine unless a significant inflammatory condition is present, in which case the Omega-3 Index could go higher under the care of a practitioner.

Those who choose to do research in the area of essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids would be wise to measure something more meaningful than a random single  omega-3 blood plasma test. It is important to remember that this study found an association—a link. Yet an association does not prove causation. The way to strengthen association studies is to do a good job controlling for confounding factors. Unfortunately, these researchers failed to correctly control for such

 factors, as noted in a statement by Robert Roundtree, MD:

  • 53 percent of the subjects with prostate cancer were smokers;
  • 64 percent of the cancer subjects regularly consumed alcohol;
  • 30 percent of the cancer subjects had at least one first-degree relative with prostate cancer;
  • 80 percent of the cancer subjects were overweight or obese.

The researchers even note in their introduction that obesity is associated with increased inflammation and higher risks of high-grade prostate cancer and prostate cancer death. Why did they not control for this factor? It’s a good question.

Further evidence to the weakness of the suggestions in this study lies in the many studies that were actually designed to find a link between omega-3 intake and prostate cancer. In one major review and meta-analysis, although they were unable to find an association between fish consumption and reduced prostate cancer, they did find a 63 percent reduction in prostate cancer-specific death in those with the greatest consumption of fish.3 In one of the best-designed studies of this meta-analysis, as noted by Dr. Michael Murray, ND, high levels of EPA + DHA (as measured in red blood cell membranes) were associated with a 40 percent reduced risk of prostate cancer.4

I spoke with William Harris, PhD, a prominent omega-3 researcher, today and he has kindly offered a link to his blog. He has added several other interesting points on why the connection between fish oil and prostate cancer is inaccurate. He states, “After reading these alarmist headlines without adequate clinical context or medical oversight, patients might take healthcare decisions into their own hands. A patient at increased risk for heart disease may decide to cut fish from his diet, or those with elevated triglycerides may stop taking a prescription omega-3, all in order to ’reduce’ his risk for prostate cancer. But at what cost?”

GOED (the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s) sums it up nicely by saying that if the findings of this study were true, “then prostate cancer would be rampant in any country with high seafood consumption (Scandinavia, Japan, etc.) and conversely, low level consumption should be protective. Clearly this is not the case.” The lesson, as always, is that we must be sure to know the whole story before drawing the wrong conclusions.

References

  1. Brasky TM, Darke AK, Song X, et al., “Plasma phospholipid fatty acids and prostate cancer risk in the SELECT trial.” J Natl Cancer Inst. 2013 Jul 10. [Epub ahead of print]
  2. Brasky TM, Till C, White E, et al., “Serum phospholipid fatty acids and prostate cancer risk: results from the prostate cancer prevention trial.” Am J Epidemiol. 2011 Jun 15;173(12):1429-39.
  3. Szymanski KM, Wheeler DC, Mucci LA, “Fish consumption and prostate cancer risk: a review and meta-analysis.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Nov;92(5):1223-33.
  4. Norrish AE, Skeaff CM, Arribas GL, et al., “Prostate cancer risk and consumption of fish oils: a dietary biomarker-based case-control study.” Br J Cancer. 1999 Dec;81(7):1238-42.

Leonard Smith, MD
Dr. Leonard Smith is a prominent Board-Certified, general, gastrointestinal and vascular surgeon who had a successful private practice for 25 years. In addition to his active surgery practice, he also incorporated lifestyle, diet, supplementation, exercise, detoxification, and stress management into many of the therapies he would prescribe. Many of his patients with cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other serious illnesses did so well under his treatment regimes that he began to devote most of his career to foundational health care and preventive medicine.


Folate, Vitamin B12, Methionine Linked to Lower Breast Cancer Risk
http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Nutrition/Vitamins/folate_vitamin_b12_
methionine_breast_cancer_0429131051.html

Omega 3 fatty acids cut stroke risk

10/15/2012 19:21:00

By David Liu, PHD

Monday Oct 15, 2012) -- Veteran epidemiologist Dr. Susanna C. Larssona at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden and colleagues suggest in a study report published in Atherosclerosis that taking fish oil or omega-3 fatty acids supplements may help prevent stroke in women.

Dr. Larssona and colleagues analyzed data on dietary fat, cholesterol and incidence of stroke from 34,670 women aged 49 to 83 years in the Swedish Mammography Cohort who were free of any cardiovascular disease at baseline in 1997.

During a mean follow-up of 10.4 years, 1680 stroke events including 1310 cerebral infarctions, 233 hemorrhagic strokes, and 137 unspecified strokes were identified. 

After adjustment for stroke risk factors, intake of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty

 acids (PUFAs) was inversely correlated with risk of total stroke.  

Women in the highest quintile of intake of long chain omega 3 fatty acids were 16 percent less likely to suffer total stroke, compared with those in the lowest quintile.

On the other hand, dietary cholesterol was positively correlated with the risk of total stroke, that is, those in the highest quintile of cholesterol intake were 20 percent and 29 percent more likely to  experience total stroke and cerebral infarction, respectively.

Nevertheless, total fat, saturated fat, mono-unsaturated fat, poly-unsaturated fat, α-linolenic acid, and omega-6 PUFA intakes were not correlated with stroke risk.

The researchers concluded "intake of long-chain omega-3 PUFAs is inversely associated with risk of stroke, whereas dietary cholesterol is positively associated with risk."

Long chain polyunsaturated omega 3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA are found in fish oil.



Vaccine Court Awards Millions to Two Children With Autism

The federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, better known as "vaccine court," has just awarded millions of dollars to two children with autism for "
pain and suffering" and lifelong care of their injuries, which together could cost tens of millions of dollars.

The government did not admit that vaccines caused autism, at least in one of the children. Both cases were "unpublished," meaning information is limited, and access to medical records and other exhibits is blocked. Much of the information presented here comes from documents found at the vaccine court website.

Some observers will say the vaccine-induced encephalopathy (brain disease) documented in both children is unrelated to their autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Others will say there is plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise.

What's more, these cases fit the pattern of other petitions, (i.e., Poling and Banks) in which the court ruled (or the government conceded) that vaccines had caused encephalopathy, which in turn produced permanent injury, including symptoms of autism and ultimately an ASD diagnosis.

And most of these children now have taxpayer dollars earmarked for applied behavioral analysis (ABA), an effective therapy specifically designed to treat ASD.

Meanwhile, parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors of both children testified they were developmentally normal, if not advanced for their age when they developed seizures, spiking fevers and other adverse reactions to their vaccines. According to these eyewitnesses, the children never fully recovered, and instead began losing vocabulary,
eye contact and interest in others around them, all classic symptoms of regressive autism.

In the first case, involving a 10-year-old boy from Northern California named Ryan Mojabi, the parents allege that "all the vaccinations" received from 2003-2005, and "more specifically, measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccinations," caused a "severe and debilitating injury to his brain, described as Autism Spectrum Disorder ('ASD')."

The parents, who did not want to be interviewed, specifically asserted that Ryan "suffered a Vaccine Table Injury, namely, an encephalopathy" as a result of his MMR vaccination on December 19, 2003." ("Table injuries" are known, compensable adverse reactions to immunizations.)

Alternatively, they claim that "as a cumulative result of his receipt of each and every vaccination between March 25, 2003 and February 22, 2005, Ryan has suffered . . . neuroimmunologically mediated dysfunctions in the form of asthma and ASD."

The nurse at Ryan's pediatrician said the symptoms were "pretty normal after the vaccination," and advised Tylenol. The next day, Ryan began crying, "but it's not a normal crying," his mother testified. "He didn't go to sleep, he was without energy."

The family considered postponing their holiday, but that wasn't feasible. The doctor's office said it was fine to travel. Prior to leaving, Ryan's mother said,
the boy had difficulty breathing and "was without energy and sleepy." He could no longer hold his
head up, something "he could do prior to the vaccinations." At the airport, Ryan began "screaming," she recalled. "He was just opening and closing his eyes so hard, he was pulling my hair."

After his shots, she added, Ryan "stopped saying those words that he had, even mommy and daddy, that he had repeated a hundred times before."

In early January, while still abroad, Ryan was rushed to the hospital with vomiting, high fever and red spots covering his body "from head to toe in a measles-like rash," the attending physician said. Ryan was diagnosed with "febrile convulsion, probably related to MMR."

The next day, another doctor diagnosed him with "high fever, skin rash, tremors, and lethargy," which were "most likely due to an adverse reaction to multiple vaccines he received earlier."

Two days later, Ryan returned to the hospital with a persistent fever of 104 or more.

Ryan's parents testified that, upon returning home, they expressed worry to their pediatrician about behavioral problems, non-responsiveness and language loss, which later produced an ASD diagnosis.

At trial, however, the government argued powerfully that written medical records, and the recollections
of Ryan's doctor, were inconsistent with his parents' testimony. If Ryan had truly suffered an MMR encephalopathy, for example, his family would
never have taken him overseas. And his parents' complaints of ASD symptoms were raised a full year after returning from abroad, they alleged. It looked like the family had a weak case.

But then something changed.

In October, 2010, Ryan's attorney filed four new exhibits (under seal) and proposed amending the court's "findings of fact." In January and May of 2011, several more exhibits were filed, along with a motion to further supplement the findings of fact.

A month later HHS conceded the case, which moved into the damages phase.

Award details were announced a few days ago: A lump sum of $969,474.91, to cover "lost future earnings ($648,132.74), pain and suffering ($202,040.17), and life care expenses for Year One ($119,302.00)," plus $20,000 for past expenses.

Another undisclosed sum, several millions more, will be invested in annuities to cover yearly costs for life, which could total $10 million or more, not accounting for inflation. Nearly $80,000 was earmarked for ABA in the first two years.

The second case involves a girl named Emily, whose mother, Jillian Moller, filed back in 2003 and has been fighting in vaccine court since. The docket, crammed with 188 items, documents Moller's
extended but victorious struggle to win
compensation for Emily, who has seizure disorder and PDD-NOS, a form of ASD.

 

Moller alleged that Emily was severely injured by a reaction to the DTaP vaccine at 15 months (when MMR, HiB and Prevnar were also given). "She had a vaccine reaction and she just spiraled out of control," Moller said in an interview.

Emily's fever spiked to 105.7 and she began screaming. She stared blankly and developed seizures. Before long she began "shaking episodes" at night and "repetitive behaviors, including arm flapping and spinning," court documents show. Like Ryan, she developed a measles-type rash.

Things went from bad to worse. Emily's medical record is filled with damage and suffering. One neurologist, for example, noted that Emily "had staring spells and an abnormal EEG." Another diagnosed "encephalopathy characterized by speech delay and probable global developmental delay that occurred in the setting of temporal association with immunizations as an acute encephalopathy."

Moller filed for an encephalopathy Table injury in 2003, unaware her daughter would be diagnosed with ASD.

Two hearings were held in 2005. "I was badgered and harassed for four hours on the stand," she said. "They said Emily couldn't have been that sick, or else I would've taken her to the ER. But I took her to my doctor and he said not to bring her to the hospital!"

Government lawyers insisted that Emily had suffered neither a vaccine injury nor encephalopathy. But every alternative cause they suggested "made no sense, because she showed no signs of those things before that vaccination," Moller said.

The case dragged on for years, with motions and counter-motions, status reports and expert medical reports. In 2007, Moller filed for summary judgment. That also took years, as more medical records were submitted to bolster Emily's case.

After the ASD diagnosis, the judge reportedly became convinced that Emily would prevail. "My attorney said she was angry, she felt forced into a corner with no choice but to find for us," Moller said. "She said, 'Emily has autism, and I don't want to give other families who filed autism claims any hope.'"

The government agreed to settle. Last spring the case went into mediation and, on December 3 HHS made its proffer, which was entered into the record on the 28th. Emily was awarded a lump sum of $1,030,314.22 "for lost future earnings ($739,989.57), pain and suffering ($170,499.77) and life care expenses for Year

In vaccine court, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services acts as the defendant and Justice Department attorneys act as counsel.

In 2009, Ryan's case was transferred to vaccine court's Autism Omnibus Proceedings, according to the docket. A year-and-a-half later, the government conceded that MMR vaccine had indeed caused Ryan's encephalopathy.

HHS agreed that "Ryan suffered a Table injury under the Vaccine Act -- namely, an encephalitis within five to fifteen days following receipt," of MMR, records show. "This case is appropriate for compensation."

Whether HHS agreed with Ryan's parents that his vaccine-induced brain disease led to ASD is unknown. The concession document is under seal.

In December 2003, when Ryan was nearly two, he received his first MMR and hepatitis B vaccines before his family left for an extended trip overseas. That day, his mother testified, Ryan began shaking with uncontrollable tremors and "was really uncomfortable, he didn't feel well at all."

One ($119,874.88) plus $190,165.40 for past expenses." Some of that money will go to ABA therapy.

Based on the first year payout, another estimated $9 million will buy annuities for annual expenses through life, which after inflation has the potential to pay over $50 million dollars.

HHS did not admit that vaccination caused encephalopathy or autism, but merely decided not to dedicate more resources to defending the case.

"I don't understand why they fought so hard," Moller said. "We had the evidence: the EEG, the MRI, everything was consistent with encephalopathy, post-vaccination. How can government attorneys claim what our doctors said happened, didn't happen?"

Perhaps the feds were loath to concede yet another vaccine case involving autism. Four cases in the Autism Omnibus Proceedings were recently compensated. Three of those cases are marked with asterisks, indicating the government did not conclude that autism can be caused by vaccines. But the fourth autism case that was paid out in 2013 (Ryan's case? We don't know) has no such caveat.

As for Emily, she is "not too good," Moller said. "Her emotional state is fragile, at best. She has seizure problems and autoimmune issues... And it's a constant fight when you have a vaccine-injured child. It's not just the disability, it's the ignorance. The hatred from the medical community towards families like ours is intense."

Meanwhile, as HHS says it "has never concluded in any case that autism was caused by vaccination," it is still underwriting autism treatments such as ABA for children in its vaccine-injury program.


New Study Touts Big Health Benefits of Resveratrol

Source: anh-usa.org

Big Pharma is drooling over the prospect of getting it all to themselves.

http://www.anh-usa.org/new-study-touts-big-health-benefits-of-resveratrol/


Omega-3s and Heart Health

Vitamin D is recommended in the treatment of several health issues.  It helps control insulin levels in diabetics. It helps post menopausal women lose weight. It controls abnormal proliferation of cancer cells. Vitamin D is known to prevent hypocalcaemia by helping prevent abnormal calcium deposits and balance calcium, thereby preventing osteoporosis or arthritis. 

Research pinpoints Vitamin D aids your body in absorbing nutrients, most importantly calcium and phosphorous-vital nutrients for bone health and dental health.  It is proven to reduce stress and tension and prevents and reduces muscle spasms.

The Journal of Clinical Investigation reports D may play a pivotal role in helping keep your blood pressure healthy.  The Archives of Internal Medicine reveals the strong connection between D3 and your cardiovascular health.  

An 18 year study performed at the Harvard School of Medicine surveyed over 14,000 men and revealed the healthy relation between proper prostate health and vitamin D levels. 

The research goes on and one and the studies with the benefits of Vitamin D continue to pour in with eye-opening facts.

There are two forms of Vitamin D that the body can synthesize and use.  One form of Vitamin D is the anti-aging miracle proving it’s effectiveness in medical journals throughout the world.  The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism regard the D2 form of Vitamin D “worthless, cheap and ineffective.”  This form of Vitamin D is often crammed into supplements and prescription pills because it’s very “cheap”.

Scientist noted that both forms of Vitamin D raised Vitamin D blood serum levels, but while Vitamin D2 reached its peak, and putted out in just 3 days, Vitamin D3 kept on climbing and didn’t peak for 14 days. D3 maintained high blood serum levels for the entire study while D2 plummeted down.

Scientist at Creighton University and Medical University of South Caroline proved with a controlled double-blind study that D3 is 300% more effective than D2.

The Sun

Of course, sunlight is the most well known source of Vitamin D.  Exposure to 13 rays of sunshine trigger your skin to produce Vitamin D.  Unfortunately, this time of the year the sunlight is scarce.

Getting 5–30 minutes of sun twice a week is one way to absorb enough vitamin D, according to some vitamin D researchers. Sun exposure should be on the face, arms, legs, or back — without sunscreen — during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We have the capacity to make at least 10,000 IU of vitamin D within 30 minutes of full-body exposure to the sun, with what is called a minimal erythemal dose. However, because UV radiation from the sun contributes to skin cancer, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends getting the vitamin through food or supplement sources.

There are also several factors that affect our ability to get the vitamin D we need from the sun alone:

   Geography

                   Individuals living above the 37th parallel will find it difficult to obtain adequate amounts of vitamin D from the sun in the winter months.

                   Cities north of the 37th parallel include locations such as San Francisco, Denver, St. Louis, Chicago, New York, and Richmond. This means that a majority of the United States is north of the line.

 

   Sunscreen

                   Sunscreen with a rating as low as SPF 8 has the capability to block the absorption of the vast majority of UVB light.

   Cloud cover

                   Cloudy days mean a reduction in UV energy by as much as 50%. Shade cover reduces this level by an additional 10%.

   The amount of melanin in the skin

                   Research has shown that individuals with darker skin have a lower level of vitamin D compared to those with lighter skin.

                   Additional research has shown that in order to absorb equal amounts of vitamin D, an African American individual requires 10 times as much sun exposure as a Caucasian individual.

 

   Clothing

                   Clothing absorbs most ultraviolet radiation. Research has shown that in countries where culture dictates that the majority of skin be covered at all times, there is a higher incidence of vitamin D deficiency.

 

   Season

During the winter, although the sun might shine brightly, vitamin-producing UVF photons pass through the ozone layer at an oblique angle and are therefore absorbed by the ozone — not by the individual’s skin. Throughout the year, however, most individuals who receive the recommended amount of sun can store the fat-soluble vitamin in their fat tissue for the winter.

Fatty fish

   30–35 µg per 1 tbsp cod liver oil

   8–13 µg per 3 oz pink salmon

   5–9 µg per 3 oz sardines or mackerel

   5 µg per 3 oz tuna, canned oil

 

Other natural sources

   0.5 µg per 1 medium egg yolk

   0.3 µg per 3 oz beef liver

   0.4–63 µg per 100 grams of mushrooms

 

Fortified foods

   2.5 µg per 1 cup cow’s milk (actual content might vary)

   2.5 µg per 1 cup orange juice

1.0 µg per 1 cup ready-to-eat cereal

 

Gimmicky Nutraceuticals Deceiving Health-Conscious Consumers

August 7th, 2012

     DHA Omega-3 Oils in Food = Proven 
       
Beneficial by Scientific Research     

   DHA from Mutated Algae by DSM/Martek Biosciences = Unproven and Risky
 

Written by Charlotte Vallaeys
Farm and Food Policy Director, The Cornucopia Institute

To our amusement, someone in the organic food industry called The Cornucopia Institute an “anti-DHA group.”  Yes, it is true that we have, for years, challenged the addition of factory-produced algal oil as a source of DHA, a healthy omega-3 fatty acid.

Martek Biosciences Corporation, now owned by the $12 billion Dutch multinational conglomerate Royal DSM, produces the patented algal oil, “Life’sDHA™”, that is being illegally added to organic foods.

To produce its algal oils, DSM/Martek used techniques such as genetic modification, involving radiation and harsh chemicals; fermentation of the algae in conventional, GMO corn products; extraction with synthetic petroleum-derived solvents such as hexane or isopropyl alcohol; and mixing the oil with synthetic preservatives.

Their oil is then added to conventional and organic foods, including organic infant formula by Earth’s Best and Similac, and “organic” milk from Dean Foods’ Horizon label. These companies then proudly profess on their packages that the product contains the healthy nutrient DHA, and often adds the “Life’sDHA™” logo.

To this day, algal oil does not appear on the USDA’s list of non-organic ingredients that are legally allowed in processed organic foods—and the USDA has ignored federal law by not forcing its removal.

Yes, we admit we have a problem with this source of DHA being added to organic foods.

But does that mean that we are “anti-DHA”?  Of course not!  At The Cornucopia Institute, we believe that the best source of nutrients is ….  food.  Real food.  Organic food.

We believe in food produced sustainably and responsibly:  plants grown in rich and healthy nutrient-dense soil on diverse organic farms; animals that live outdoors where they eat a natural diet, dining on fresh pastures, rather than being raised in feedlots on a concoction of corn, soybeans and synthetic nutrients; and wild fish harvested sustainably and responsibly.

It should come as no surprise that scientific research shows that these foods produced under traditional organic management are also healthier.  These peer-reviewed, published studies show these foods (pasture-based meat, poultry, milk and eggs) contain higher levels of nutrients, including beneficial fatty acids like DHA.

For example, in the 1990s, a scientist specializing in omega-3s at the National Institutes of Health tested eggs from pastured hens whose diet included insects, worms and greens from pasture.  The results showed that the eggs from the free-ranging hens contained

twenty times more omega-3 fatty acids than standard supermarket eggs.

The free-range eggs also had a better-than-ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids while the conventional eggs had a dangerously lopsided ratio – too many omega-6 fatty acids and far too few omega-3s.  Research suggests that the ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s may be more important to overall health than simply the number of grams of omega-3s a person consumes.

Art Thicke farm

The same effects on the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio have been found in dairy foods, meats and fish: when the animals eat fresh greens, the original source of omega-3 fats, they produce foods that contain much healthier levels and ratios of omega-3s, including DHA.  Foods like salmon and buffalo have historically been touted as containing healthy fats, but this is likely because, before grass-fed beef made a comeback, these were some of the last foods available from animals that actually ate a wild and natural diet of greens – algae for the wild salmon and grasses for the buffalo.

Give a cow as much green pasture as it desires, and its meat and milk’s omega-3 content increases substantially.  In contrast, confine salmon to an aquatic feedlot with feed of corn and soybeans instead of algae, and its omega-3 levels will plummet (as will levels of other healthy nutrients that give its flesh its signature salmon color – which is why farm-raised salmon now carries the label “added color”).

We believe that organic foods that claim to be high in certain nutrients – like organic milk high in DHA – should make those claims not because they have added factory-produced supplements like Martek’s algal oil, but because the food has been produced in a way that led to higher levels of naturally occurring nutrients and a healthier ratio of different types of fats.

When companies like Dean Foods raise thousands of dairy cows on Horizon’s industrial-scale dairies and then sell their milk as “organic” with added DHA algal oil, they place the family farmers who maximize grazing their animals at a competitive disadvantage.  This is especially true when consumers are led to believe that the omega-3 content of the factory-farm produced milk with added algal oil is actually as healthy as the grass-fed milk with naturally occurring omega-3s.

Organic consumers care about the source and quality of their food.  If a food claims to be high in omega-3s, or lists specific fats such as DHA, we hope shoppers will question the source.

Are the fats proven efficacious, naturally occurring, produced by an animal that ate green plants?  Or were they developed in a laboratory using genetic modification, then produced in a factory using GMO corn, synthetic solvents, and finally added to the food in a processing plant where the “Life’sDHA” logo was slapped on the carton?

The winner should be clear: real, nutrient-dense, certified organic food.  The payback for your family, in health, nutrition and flavor, will be unparalleled


The Digestive Theory Of Aging

by Dr. Jonathan V. Wright, MD

No matter how much “antiaging” therapy we do, we may only be able to slow aging down, not stop it. After all, we need to get on to our next lifetimes someday, so that future regression therapists can tell us where we’ve been, don’t we?

But as long as we’re here in this lifetime, why not take full advantage of it, stay healthy, “age gracefully,” and perhaps outlive Victor Herbert, David Kessler, and all the other folks who know everything there is to know about staying well with drugs, chemotherapy, and radiation?

“Free Radical” Theory of Aging

In our antiaging efforts, we’ve been guided by the “free radical” theory of aging, which tells us that the accumulation of “oxidative damage” is responsible for much aging, particularly the premature kind. This theory advises us to take “antioxidants” to slow the aging process, much like putting antifreeze in our cars to keep their engines from bursting in the wintertime. (Of course, the whole idea of “antioxidants” has been an absolute boon to university and other establishment types, who can now do research and tell us to take our vitamins without actually calling them vitamins, thus avoiding sounding like Adele Davis, J.I. Rodale or one of those other “health food nuts.”)

“Endocrine Theory” of Aging

Then there’s the “endocrine theory” of aging which American mainstream medicine has put to use in a rather perverse but patentable way by replacing failing human hormones with horse hormones (Premarin®) or other dangerous molecules never before found on this planet or in human bodies (e.g., Provera,® methyltestosterone). We can be somewhat thankful that pharmaceutical company ingenuity and drive for profit has recently produced an improvement on this approach with genetically engineered, recombinant and process-patentable human growth hormone (hGH), which not only shows some signs of being useful and not too harmful in the battle to slow aging but also maintains the usual and customary drug-company profit margins.

“Digestive Failure” Theory

The proliferation of over-the-counter and even vending-machine versions of Zantac,® Pepcid,® and other patent-expired “acid-blockers” has prompted this brief note to remind us all of yet another theory of aging, the “digestive failure” theory.

It’s long been noted that grandpas and grandmas have considerably more indigestion than younger folks, but their indigestion generally has been ascribed to “being older.” Not much thought has been given to the possibility that the “being older” could (at least in part) be due to the indigestion!

Let’s give it a little thought. If we have bodies made up of some 60 or so essential nutrients (essential being defined as nutrients without which we sooner or later would drop dead), then how healthy are we going to be if even one of those essential nutrients isn’t getting through very well? Like engines running on a lean fuel mixture, our cells are going to misfire, sputter, and ultimately choke. And what if a dozen or more nutrients are in short supply? How are our bodies, particularly older bodies, going to keep themselves in good repair? Like older houses, older bodies require more parts and maintenance, not less. It just makes sense that, if we’re not digesting and assimilating properly, not supplying all the cells of our bodies with a full complement of essential nutrients, we’re going to age and fall apart more rapidly.

A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association tells us that “only” 10% of “healthy” older folks have inadequate levels of stomach acid production. (Apparently, that doesn’t include all those older folks gulping down over-the-counter and vending machine Zantacs and Pepcids, persuaded of their virtues by the barrage of newly-unleashed-by-FDA direct-to-the-public TV, radio, and print advertising.) Back in the 1930s, studies by the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins on several thousand older folks told us that by age 60 nearly half of us had functionally low stomach acid. After some 27 years of nutritionally oriented medical practice, I’m more inclined to agree with the researchers at Mayo and Hopkins, especially since I’m working mostly with folks who don’t consider themselves healthy. Moreover, this problem is not limited to older people.

Inadequate Stomach Acid Production

Hydrochloric acid (HCl) supplements with and

without pepsin were widely prescribed in the 1800s and the first half of this century. Using medical judgment and common sense, physicians reasoned that replacement of such a powerful digestive secretion was the only logical thing to do if the function of the stomach could not be revived on its own, as is often the case with increasing age. HCl and pepsin replacement therapy for “failed stomachs” is exactly parallel to hormone replacement therapy for “failed ovaries.” Unfortunately, poorly designed and widely misinterpreted research starting in the 1950s has convinced most medical practitioners of today that HCl and pepsin replacement therapy is not necessary. Encouraged by the legal drug industry, medical students are not taught that hypochlorhydria (inadequate stomach acid production) is treatable only with unpatentable natural replacement therapies. Instead, their education concentrates on hyperchlorhydria (excess stomach acid production) and its treatment with patentable “acid blocker” drugs and highly profitable over-the-counter antacids.

Although research in this area is entirely inadequate, it’s been my clinical observation that calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, chromium, selenium, manganese, vanadium, molybdenum, cobalt, and many other “micro-trace” elements are not nearly as well-absorbed in those with poor stomach acid as it is in those whose acid levels are normal. When we test plasma amino acid levels for those with poor stomach function, we frequently find lower than usual levels of one or more of the eight essential amino acids: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Often there are functional insufficiencies of folic acid and/or vitamin B12.

 

Count the number of essential nutrients named above: 21! Although no one with a poorly functioning stomach is deficient in all of them, and no two people have the exact pattern of insufficiencies, even if “only” 10% of “healthy” older adults have this problem, that’s a large number of folks who aren’t nourishing their cells very well. Of course they’re going to age prematurely!

And having “low stomach acid” or falling for those Zantac and Pepcid commercials isn’t the only way to impair our digestive processes. A lot of us don’t have sufficient pancreatic digestive enzymes. The pancreatic enzymes trypsin and chymotrypsin complete the digestion of protein started by the stomach’s enzyme pepsin. As its name implies, lipase digests fats and aids in the assimilation of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, K, and the essential fatty acids. Pancreatic amylase is necessary for carbohydrate digestion. And remember all those important “anti-aging” phytonutrients, flavonoids, carotenoids, mucopolysaccharides, and so on? They don’t just leap out of our food into our bloodstreams, they must be digested out.

Many of us have inadequate bile flow (that’s the real bile, not the mental thing) due to impaired

liver function or having our gallbladders carved out because the surgeon didn’t tell us that avoiding allergies will do the job just as well. Bile is another important digestive secretion, necessary to “emulsify” fats, oils, fat-soluble vitamins and other dietary components before they can be assimilated.

Then there’s allergy-induced malabsorption, lectin incompatibility, and that favorite medical category “idiopathic,” which means, “it’s happening (or not happening), but we don’t know why.”

And in a related matter: What about those germs so delicately termed “intestinal microflora?” These “normal” or “friendly” bacteria are responsible for some of the digestive processes, and play a vital role in production of a major proportion of the essential nutrients, vitamin K, folic acid, biotin and vitamin B12 that our bodies depend on. Since the early 1940s, the entire population of the United States (not to mention most of the rest of the world) has been so thoroughly dosed with antibiotics that our intestinal microflora in many cases isn’t even close to normal.

Detecting and Correcting

So while we’re slowing the aging process by swallowing our vitamins, minerals, and botanicals (oops, I meant antioxidants), and taking our replacement hormones (the natural or identical-to-natural versions, of course), let’s not forget to detect and correct any failures in our digestive and absorptive processes, or the digestive failure theory of aging may catch up with us while we’re preoccupied elsewhere and send us on to that next lifetime before we are really ready to be there!

 


Omega 3 fatty acids cut stroke risk

10/15/2012 19:21:00

By David Liu, PHD

Monday Oct 15, 2012) -- Veteran epidemiologist Dr. Susanna C. Larssona at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden and colleagues suggest in a study report published in Atherosclerosis that taking fish oil or omega-3 fatty acids supplements may help prevent stroke in women.

Dr. Larssona and colleagues analyzed data on dietary fat, cholesterol and incidence of stroke from 34,670 women aged 49 to 83 years in the Swedish Mammography Cohort who were free of any cardiovascular disease at baseline in 1997.

During a mean follow-up of 10.4 years, 1680 stroke events including 1310 cerebral infarctions, 233 hemorrhagic strokes, and 137 unspecified strokes were identified. 

After adjustment for stroke risk factors, intake of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty

 acids (PUFAs) was inversely correlated with risk of total stroke.  

Women in the highest quintile of intake of long chain omega 3 fatty acids were 16 percent less likely to suffer total stroke, compared with those in the lowest quintile.

On the other hand, dietary cholesterol was positively correlated with the risk of total stroke, that is, those in the highest quintile of cholesterol intake were 20 percent and 29 percent more likely to  experience total stroke and cerebral infarction, respectively.

Nevertheless, total fat, saturated fat, mono-unsaturated fat, poly-unsaturated fat, α-linolenic acid, and omega-6 PUFA intakes were not correlated with stroke risk.

The researchers concluded "intake of long-chain omega-3 PUFAs is inversely associated with risk of stroke, whereas dietary cholesterol is positively associated with risk."

Long chain polyunsaturated omega 3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA are found in fish oil.


Cinnamon Helps Fight Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

By Jimmy Downs

Monday Sept 23, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- A new study in International Journal of Preventive Medicine suggests that taking cinnamon supplements daily can help prevent or even treat type 2idabetes mellitus

This is a second trial in the past month to demonstrate that cinnamon can improve a range of metabolic parameters associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome.

M. Vafa of Department of Nutrition, Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran and colleagues conducted the small trial involving 44 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus of whom 37 completed the study.  In the study, 22 patients were assigned to three grams of cinnamon supplement per day and another 22 controls were given a placevo per day for a total of eight weeks.

For the study,  weight, height, body fat mass,

systolic and diastolic blood pressure, the fasting blood glucose, insulin, HbA1c (indicator for diabetes severity), total cholesterol, LDL C, HDL C, Apo lipoprotein A I and B were measured at baseline and at the end of the 8-week trial.   At the beginning of the trial, both groups had similar characteristics, dietary intakes, and physical activity.

At the end of the trial,  those receiving the cinnamon supplement improved the levels of fasting blood glucose, HbA1c, triglyceride, body weight, body mass index, and body fat mass decreased drastically compared to baseline.  

No change in any of the parameters in the control group. The cinnamon group and the control group had similar levels of glycemic status indicators, lipid profiles and anthropometric indicators

The researchers concluded "These data suggest that cinnamon may have a moderate effect in improving glycemic status indicators," in type 2 diabetes mellitus.


Substantial Reduction of PMS Symptoms Enjoyed by Women Taking Vitamin E

To evaluate the effectiveness of daily vitamin E supplementation in improving premenstrual symptoms (PMS), a carefully screened population of women with PMS were given 400 IU natural-source vitamin E or placebo in randomized double blind study.  A standardized PMS questionnaire was administered to all subjects with 15 symptom categories.

 In all 15 categories of symptoms, vitamin E supplemented women reported 27 to 42% reduction of severity.  Placebo treatment was associated with moderate reduction in only 9 of 15 categories.  The researchers concluded that vitamin E supplementation appears to be a rational approach to PMS management.

“The results of the present investigation are consistent with our previous observations that alpha tocopherol supplementation reduces symptoms of PMS with no demonstrable side effects.”

London, R.S. et. al.  “Efficacy of Alpha Tocopherol in the Treatment of the Premenstrual Syndrome.” J. Reprod. Med 32:400-404, 1987.

An earlier study involved 75 women.  Those given vitamin E experienced improvement in 3 of the 4 classes of PMS symptoms on a standardized questionnaire.  Controlling for age and pretreatment score, vitamin E had a significantly greater effect than placebo.

London, R.S. et. al.  “The Effect of Alpha Tocopherol in the Treatment of the Premenstrual Symptomatology: A Double Blind Study.” Journal of American College of A Nutrition 2:115-22, 1983.

Rate of Severe Reactions Higher Than Thought in Young Children With Food Allergies

Young children with allergies to milk and egg experience reactions to these and other foods more often than researchers had expected, a study reports. The study also found that severe and potentially life-threatening reactions in a significant number of these children occur and that some caregivers are hesitant to give such children epinephrine, a medication that reverses the symptoms of such reactions and can save lives.

"This study reinforces the importance of doctors, parents and other caregivers working together to be even more vigilant in managing food allergy in children," said Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

The study results appear online in the June 25 issue of Pediatrics and are the latest findings from the Consortium of Food Allergy Research (CoFAR), a network established by NIAID to conduct clinical trials, observational studies and basic research to better understand and treat food allergy.

The research is part of an ongoing CoFAR observational study that enrolled 512 infants aged 3 to 15 months who at study entry were allergic to milk or egg, or who were likely to be allergic, based on a positive skin test and the presence of moderate-to-severe eczema, a chronic skin condition. The investigators are carefully following these children to see whether their allergies resolve or if new allergies, particularly peanut allergy, develop. The study is ongoing at research hospitals in Baltimore; Denver; Durham, N.C.; Little Rock, Ark.; and New York City.

CoFAR investigators advised parents and caregivers to avoid giving their children foods that could cause an allergic reaction. Study participants also received an emergency action plan, describing the symptoms of a severe allergic reaction to food and what to do if a child has one, along with a prescription and instructions on how to give epinephrine if a severe reaction occurred.

Data compiled from patient questionnaires and clinic visits over three years showed that 72 percent of the children had a food-allergic reaction, and that 53 percent of the children had more than one reaction, with the majority of reactions being to milk, egg or peanut. This translated into a rate of nearly 1 food-allergic reaction per child per year. Approximately 11 percent of the reactions were classified as severe and included symptoms such as swelling in the throat, difficulty breathing, a sudden drop in blood pressure, dizziness or fainting. Almost
all of the severe reactions were caused by ingestion of the allergen rather than inhalation or skin contact.

In only 30 percent of the severe reactions did caregivers administer epinephrine, a drug that

 alleviates the symptoms of severe reactions by increasing heart rate, constricting blood vessels and opening the airways. Investigators found that caregivers did not give children epinephrine for a number of reasons: the drug was not available, they were too afraid to administer it, they did not recognize the symptoms as those of an allergic reaction, or they did not recognize the reaction as severe.

"This study documenting the natural history of allergic reactions to three of the major food allergens in pre-school children provides important new information for parents, caregivers and health care workers because of the large number of children involved and the rigorous follow-up," said Daniel Rotrosen, M.D., director of the NIAID Division of Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation, which oversees CoFAR. "The findings not only reveal that food-allergic reactions occur at a much higher rate in young children than we thought, they also suggest that more vigilance and increased use of epinephrine is needed."

Almost 90 percent of allergic reactions to egg, milk or peanut occurred after a child accidentally ate the food. The reasons for the accidental exposures included caregivers misreading food labels, not checking a food for an allergen, and unintentionally allowing a food allergen to come into contact with other foods (cross-contamination).

The study also found that approximately 11 percent of allergic reactions to egg, milk or peanut occurred after a caregiver -- most often a parent -- provided a child the allergenic food intentionally.

"Intentional exposures to allergenic food are typically reported in teenagers, who tend to take more risks or who might be embarrassed about their food allergy," says David Fleischer, M.D., the lead study author. "What is troubling is that in this study we found that a significant number of young children received allergenic foods from parents who were aware of the allergy."

CoFAR investigators are exploring possible reasons for these intentional exposures, but they speculate that it could reflect parents' at-home tests to determine if children have outgrown the food allergy. Because giving children allergenic foods could possibly result in life-threatening reactions, such testing should only be conducted under the direct supervision of a health care professional trained in performing food challenges. The study findings reinforce the importance of caregivers working closely with their doctors to understand how to effectively manage a child's food allergy.

Resource: NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "Rate of severe reactions higher than thought in young children with food allergies." ScienceDaily, 25 Jun. 2012. Web. 25 Jun. 2012.

 

Eating This Kind of Seafood Can Increase Belly Fat

By: Kelley Herring, Healing Gourmet

Eating seafood can provide a bevy of health benefits. It can reduce the risk of heart disease, boost your brainpower and even keep your skin looking radiant, supple and youthful.

But new research published in the journal Obesity found that a “hidden” ingredient in seafood can actually increase belly fat. And it is this “visceral” fat that is the most dangerous to your health.

Beer Bellies and Muffin Tops… from Pollutants?

In the PIVUS study, researchers measured the levels of 23 persistent environmental toxins in more than 1,000 participants. They also evaluated the amount of belly fat in nearly 300 of the participants using magnetic imaging.

The researchers found that high levels of persistent organic pollutants often found in seafood – including PCBs – were associated with a high proportion of abdominal fat.

So how do these pollutants add inches to your waistline?

They disrupt your hormonal system. This impacts the way fat is metabolized. It also increases cortisol and estrogen levels.

Man-Made “Seafood”: Concentrating the Chemicals

You may wonder how seafood gets contaminated with PCBs in the first place.

The answer is concentrated fish meal.

On average, it takes five pounds of fish meal to produce just one pound of farmed fish. And this makes farmed fish a highly concentrated source of PCBs.

In fact, the journal Science reports that farmed salmon contain ten times more toxins (PCBs, dioxin, etc.) than wild salmon. What’s more, seven out of ten pieces of farmed fish tested had concentrations of PCBs that were high enough to trigger health warnings from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

And while belly fat is certainly unsightly, PCB exposure is a lot more serious than just your appearance.  Exposure to PCBs has also been linked to diabetes, heart disease, infertility, thyroid dysfunction, neurological damage, and cancer… as well as memory and learning problems.

Take a look:

  • •    A study published in Diabetes Care found that people getting the most PCBs and other persistent organic pollutants were almost 3,800% more likely to have diabetes.
  • •    Infants and children with higher PCB exposures during development can experience lower IQ scores and reduced hearing.
  • •    Older adults (49 to 86 years old) who ate fish containing PCBs and other contaminants had lower scores on several measures of memory and learning.
  • •    Fish consumption data shows that nearly a million U.S. adults eat enough PCBs from farmed salmon to exceed the allowable lifetime cancer risk 100 times over!

Worse still, is that PCBs are actually increasing in our seafood supply. Although these chemicals have been banned for many years, the EPA found that PCBs increased 177% in seafood samples between 1993 and 2003.
 
Choosing Safe, Healthy Seafood

The good news is that you can largely protect yourself from the dangers of PCBs, while still enjoying delicious seafood. Here’s how:

  1. Always choose wild seafood. By law, all fish must be marked wild or farm-raised.
  2. Opt for short-lived species that are relatively low in the food chain (ie- salmon, cod, sablefish, shellfish and sardines)
  3. If you do choose to eat larger, long-living species such as tuna and halibut, pick only younger, smaller members. The longer a fish has lived, the more pollutants it has accumulated over time.
Because 80% of the fish consumed in the Unites States is farm-raised, most restaurant and supermarket fish is contaminated with PCBs and other toxins, such as pesticides and antibiotic residues. When in doubt, pass.
And when shopping for seafood, make sure you buy from a trusted company that only sources wild, sustainable seafood that is independently tested for purity. I recommend Vital Choice, carried by U.S. Wellness Meats Not only will you do a great deal to protect your family from the dangers of PCBs… you’ll also help protect the environment.

 ____________________________________

ED NOTE: Kelley Herring is the Founder
and Editor of Healing Gourmet – the leading
provider of organic, sustainable recipes
and meal plans for health and weight loss.
Be sure to grab your free copies of Eating
Clean & Saving Green: Your Guide to Organic Foods on a Budget and Eat Your Way Into Shape: Flip Your Body’s Fat Blasting Switch and Melt 12 Pounds in 2 Weeks (with a delicious 7-day meal plan!).
Claim your free copies here...

 ____________________________________

 

REFERENCES:

1.    Lee DH, Lind L, Jacobs DR Jr,
Salihovic S, van Bavel B, Lind PM.
Associations of persistent organic pollutants
with abdominal obesity in the elderly: The
Prospective Investigation of the Vasculature
in Uppsala Seniors (PIVUS) study. Environ Int.
2012 Apr;40:170-8. Epub 2011 Aug 10.


2.    Lee DH, Lind PM, Jacobs DR Jr, Salihovic
S, van Bavel B, Lind L. Polychlorinated
biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides in
plasma predict development of type 2 diabetes
in the elderly: the prospective investigation of the vasculature in Uppsala Seniors (PIVUS) study.
Diabetes Care. 2011 Aug;34(8):1778-84. Epub
2011 Jun 23.


3.    “PCBs in Farmed Salmon | Environmental
Working Group.” EWG Home | Environmental
Working Group. Environmental Working Group,
July 2003. Web. 12 Oct. 2009.


4.    Ronald A. Hites, Jeffery A. Foran, David O. Carpenter, M. Coreen Hamilton, Barbara A.
Knuth, Steven J. Schwager. Global Assessment
of Organic Contaminants in Farmed Salmon.
Science 9 January 2004: Vol. 303 no. 5655
pp. 226-229 DOI: 10.1126/science.1091447


5.    Ronald A. Hites, Jeffery A. Foran, David O. Carpenter, M. Coreen Hamilton, Barbara A.
Knuth, Steven J. Schwager. Global
Assessment of Organic Contaminants in
Farmed Salmon. Science 9 January 2004:
Vol. 303 no. 5655 pp. 226-229 DOI: 10.1126/science.1091447


6.    Lymbery, P. CIWF Trust report, "In Too
Deep - The Welfare of Intensively Farmed
Fish" (2002)


7.    EWG. PCBs in Farmed Salmon. Jane
Houlihan. July 2003.


8.    Miyazaki,W., Iwasaki, T. Takeshita, A.
Polychlorinated Biphenyls Suppress Thyroid
Hormone Receptor-mediated Transcription
through a Novel Mechanism J. Biol. Chem.
2004 279: 18195-18202. First Published on
February 25, 2004, doi:10.1074/jbc.
M310531200


9.    Schantz, SL., Widholm, JJ and Rice, DC.
2003. Effects of PCB exposure on
neuropsychological function in children. Environ
Health Perspect 111 (3): 357-576.


10.    Import Alert: Government Fails
Consumers, Falls Short on Seafood Inspections.
Food and Water Watch. May 30th, 2007


11.    In China, Farming Fish in Toxic Waters: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/15/world/asia/15
fish.html?_r=1


12.    Alvarez-Pedrerol M, Ribas-Fitó N, Torrent M, Carrizo D, Grimalt JO, Sunyer J. Effects of PCBs, p,p'-DDT, p,p'-DDE, HCB and beta-HCH on thyroid function in preschool children. Occup Environ Med. 2008 Jul;65(7):452-7. Epub 2007 Oct 12.

13.    Human thyroid in the population exposed to high environmental pollution by organochlorinated pollutants for several decades. [Endocr Regul. 2005]PMID:16107134

14.    Effects of exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides on thyroid function during pregnancy. [Am J Epidemiol. 2008] PMID:18550560
 

Alzheimer’s: Just Another Form of Diabetes?

A recent article about Alzheimer’s in a major health publication stated that “Age is the biggest risk factor for the disease.” The author was referring to the fact that the prevalence of Alzheimer’s doubles every five years in people over 65.

The same is true for most chronic diseases (including macular degeneration, cancer, heart disease and others). Their prevalence increases as we grow older. But this is merely a correlation. Age itself is not the “cause” of these diseases.

Degenerative diseases have very little to do with chronological aging. Instead, they are the long-term ramification of unhealthy choices. It is the end result of chronic stress, poor nutrition and toxic overload that occurs over a long period of time.

But here’s the good news: There is a lot you can do right now to protect health (and your memory) tomorrow. And the first step to protecting your memory into your golden years is to dramatically reduce your sugar intake.

Type 3 Diabetes: The Blood Sugar Connection to Alzheimer’s

Did you know that insulin isn’t just produced in the pancreas… but also in the brain?

It’s true. And just as the cells of the pancreas wear out over time due to excess levels of sugar in the diet, it can also cause brain cells to deteriorate insulin receptors there to malfunction. This can lead to those embarrassing “senior moments”… and potentially Alzheimer’s.  


In fact, researchers from Brown Medical School

are now calling Alzheimer’s “Type 3 Diabetes” and link the disease to impaired blood sugar metabolism. When these researchers looked at the brain tissue of 45 Alzheimer’s patients, they found abnormal protein deposits that were similar to those found in the pancreases of diabetic patients.

It’s no wonder that people with diabetes have a 65% increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s!
 
Balance Your Blood Sugar, Protect Your Brain
Eating a low sugar, low glycemic diet is the best way to lose weight, reduce cravings, boost mood, reduce inflammation and balance hormones.

It also happens to be one of the best ways to reduce the risk of chronic disease – including Alzheimer’s.

Eating less sugar equates to better brain health by reducing inflammation.

Low glycemic foods - like vegetables, leafy greens, wild seafood, grass-fed meats and nuts -  enter the bloodstream at a slower rate than higher glycemic foods - like grains, starches and sweets. Delaying the entry of carbohydrates into the bloodstream reduces the production of insulin, which in turn, reduces the generation of an inflammatory compound called arachidonic acid.

But you don’t have to know all the chemistry behind the glycemic index and how inflammation works in the body to get the brain-protecting benefits of a low glycemic diet.

Simply base your meals around leafy greens, bright colored non-starchy vegetables, grass-fed meats, pastured poultry and wild fish to keep your body and brain in tip top shape – at any age!


Taking Calcium without Magnesium Is a Health Risk

Written By:
Carolyn Dean, MD, ND

In 2011 the NIH reported that approximately 43% of the U.S. population (including almost 70% of older women) use dietary supplements containing calcium. What’s not said is that without balancing their calcium with proper amounts of magnesium, they may be at risk.

There is a growing amount of scientific evidence pointing to high calcium–low magnesium intake leading to calcification, or hardening, of arteries (atherosclerosis—the number one cause of death in the US), osteoporosis and osteoporotic bone fractures. A 2011 British Medical Journal study showed a higher risk of heart disease and stroke in women taking calcium supplements.

Most people, and the majority of MDs, do not understand certain key facts about calcium and its sister mineral, magnesium:

• Typically, less than half of calcium intake is actually absorbed in the gut. Of the remainder, some is excreted (but causes constipation on the way out), and the rest helps to form kidney stones, gallstones, heel spurs, atherosclerotic plaque in artery walls, and breast calcifications.

Magnesium stimulates the hormone calcitonin, which helps to preserve bone structure and draws calcium out of the blood and soft tissues back into the bones, all the while lowering the likelihood of osteoporosis, some forms of arthritis, heart attack and kidney stones.

Adequate levels of magnesium are essential for the absorption and metabolism of calcium and vitamin D. Magnesium actually converts vitamin D into its active form.

Recommendations for calcium intake vary greatly. In the United States, adults are told to take 1,000 mg per day and women over 50 are told to take up to

 1,500 mg. In the United Kingdom, the RDA is 700 mg daily, while the World Health Organization recommends only 400–500 mg.

Often supplementation is taken without consideration for the amount of calcium in the diet both from food sources and from water (some tap and mineral waters). Many people, especially those consuming dairy products, have high-calcium diets. This can lead to a greater amount of unabsorbed calcium unopposed by magnesium

The commonly accepted ratio of 2:1 calcium to magnesium found in many cal-mag supplements traces back to the French scientist Dr. Jean Durlach, who stipulated the 2:1 ratio as an outermost not-to-be-exceeded level when considering calcium intake from all sources (food, water and supplements). This has been largely misunderstood and has been taken instead as an outright recommendation.

The fact that most people do not get their minimum daily requirement of magnesium exacerbates the situation. The high calcium–low magnesium diet of most Americans when coupled with calcium supplementation can give a Ca to Mg imbalance of 4: or 5:1 or higher, which constitutes a walking time bomb of impaired bone health, compromised muscles and nerves, and heart disease.

Magnesium is a "safer" product than calcium because it is excreted more completely and doesn’t build up in the body. Most people can supplement with magnesium citrate powder orally and get positive results. The easily obtainable Natural Calm is the one I recommend. Building up to 300 mg twice a day is a good treatment dose, and sipping it in water throughout the day keeps it from causing any laxative effects.

The only people who should avoid self-administering of magnesium are those with heart block (the type that requires a pacemaker), myasthenia gravis (because their muscles are already too relaxed), bowel obstruction, and people on kidney dialysis.


Vitamin D Deficiency High Among Trauma Patients

ScienceDaily (Feb. 7, 2012) — New research presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) found that 77 percent of trauma patients had deficient or insufficient levels of vitamin D.

Researchers have linked a lack of vitamin D with muscle weakness, bone fractures, and the inability of bones to fully heal. In a new study, investigators sought to determine the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among orthopaedic trauma patients.

Investigators reviewed the medical records of 1,830 adult (ages 18 and older) patients at a university Level 1 trauma center from Jan. 1, 2009 to Sept. 30, 2010. Participants with vitamin D levels below 20 ng/mL were categorized as "deficient," and those with levels between 20 and 32 ng/mL, "insufficient" (levels between 40 and 70 ng/mL are considered "healthy").

Thirty-nine percent of all patients were vitamin D deficient, and another 38.4 percent had insufficient levels of vitamin D. Patients ages 18 to 25 had the lowest levels of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency of any age group, and yet 29 percent were deficient, and 54.7 percent, insufficient.

"Vitamin D deficiency affects patients of all ages and is more prevalent than we thought it was," said Brett D. Crist, MD, lead investigator and co-director of the Orthopaedic Trauma

Service, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Missouri. The findings are important "as vitamin D deficiency has been linked to increased incidence of fracture nonunions (bone breaks that fail to heal)."

With the new data showing that a significant number of patients have deficient or insufficient levels of vitamin D, physicians should consider treating fracture patients with a supplement to ensure optimal outcome, said Dr. Crist, who provides vitamin D and calcium supplements to all trauma patients in his care, except to those patients for whom higher levels of calcium are not recommended.

"Although we've gone to treating most patients with weekly high dose vitamin D, in addition to daily vitamin D and calcium, continual monitoring of vitamin D levels is important," said Dr. Crist. Vitamin D deficiency is "easy to manage," and "can prevent future fractures and improve healing of current fractures."

It is extremely difficult to naturally obtain enough vitamin D. An adult needs at least 1,000 International Units (IU) of vitamin D (10 glasses of milk and one fish meal each day), and a child, 400 to 800 IUs for good health, depending on age, weight and growth.

To ensure appropriate levels of vitamin D, a daily supplement is recommended for children and adults. 

Glutathione May Reduce Symptoms of Aging

It’s no surprise that the body changes with age. Movements become more difficult, and it’s easy to worry about pain and injury. Older adults have been shown to have reduced concentrations of glutathione.  By taking cysteine and glycine, glutathione may be regained to young adult levels.

Glutathione protects the body’s overall immunity by being a powerful defense mechanism in its antioxidant properties, acting as a shield barrier. Glutathione is made from three amino acids: glutamate, cysteine and glycine. Glutathione levels decrease with age and may be replenished with a cysteine and glycine supplement.  A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition measured the effects of glycine among younger and elderly subjects. 16 individuals were divided into two groups based on their age range of 60-75

and 30-40. The 60-75 age group had lowered concentrations of glycine and cysteine compared to the other group. After this group received additional cysteine and glycine, glutathione levels significantly increased while decreasing oxidative stress.  Due to natural declines in giutathione as we age, it may be important to consider taking supplemental cysteine and glycine.

Sekhar R, Patel S, Guthikonda A, Reid M, Balasubramanyam A, Taffe G, and Jahoor F. “Deficient Synthesis of Glutathione Underlies

Oxidative Stress in Aging and Can Be Corrected by Dietary Cysteine and Glycine Supplementation.” The American Journal

of Clinical Nutrition. American Society for Nutrition. Web. 25 Aug. 2011.

 

Omega-3s and Heart Health

A recent study published in the journal Diabetes Care has found that low doses of the Omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosaheaxaenoic acid (DHA), and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) reduced the risk of heart arrhythmia-related events in diabetic patients who had previously suffered a heart attack.

1,014 diabetic patients, aged 60 to 80 years old, were randomized into four groups and consumed margarine that contained either 223 mg EPA and 149 mg DHA, 1.9 g ALA, both EPA/DHA and ALA, or no Omega-3 fatty acids every day for 40 months. The group that consumed the margarine with EPA/DHA and ALA experienced an 84 percent lower risk of arrhythmia-related events and a 72 percent lower risk of arrhythmia-related events and fatal coronary events when compared to the group
consuming the plain margarine. Heart arrhythmia is van irregular heartbeat, and canlead to cardiac arrest.

The authors of the study suggest a few possible reasons why these Omega-3s might be helpful in diabetics with heart disease. One, they might play a role in regulating insulin sensitivity, an important factor in diabetes. Two, they may help to lower blood sugar levels. And three, their anti-inflammatory properties may help to reverse insulin resistance. All these factors can lead to heart disease if unaddressed.

More studies will be done to determine the precise role each Omega-3 plays in heart arrhythmia and heart disease, but this study adds to the thousands of studies illustrating the heart-healthy benefits of Omega-3s.

Vitamin E & C Protected Against Pre-Eclampsia in Pregnancy

A leading cause of premature birth, preeclampsia occurs in about 4% of all pregnancies and can be fatal.

Researchers conducted randomized trials in 283 at-risk pregnant women taking 400 IU of
natural-source vitamin E with 1000 mg of

vitamin C daily in one group and placebo in the other. They found “a highly significant reduction in the incidence of pre-eclampsia in the treatment group” and now several multicenter trials are in progress including one involving 2,400 high-risk women in the U.K.

Probiotics may reduce anxiety and depression, suggests study

By Nathan Gray, 30-Aug-2011

Related topics: Health and nutritional ingredients, Science

Probiotic bacteria may have the potential to alter brain neurochemistry, affecting anxiety and depression-related disorders, says new research.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, demonstrated that mice fed with Lactobacillus rhamnosus JB-1 showed significantly fewer stress, anxiety and depression-related behaviours than those fed with just broth.

Moreover, the research team, led by Professor John Cryan at the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre in University College Cork, Ireland, reported that ingestion of the bacteria resulted in significantly lower levels of the stress-induced hormone, corticosterone.

“This study identifies potential brain targets and a pathway through which certain gut organisms can alter mouse brain chemistry and behaviour,” said Cryan.

“These findings highlight the important role that gut bacteria play in the bidirectional 

communication between the gut and the brain,the gut–brain axis, and opens up the intriguing opportunity of developing unique microbial-based strategies for treatment for stress-related psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression,” he added.

Gut-brain interactions

The authors noted the increasing, but largely indirect, evidence pointing to an effect of the gut microbiota on the central nervous system.

“Together, these findings highlight the important role of bacteria in the bidirectional communication of the gut–brain axis and suggest that certain organisms may prove to be useful therapeutic adjuncts in stress-related disorders such as anxiety and depression,” they added.

Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1102999108
“Ingestion of Lactobacillus strain regulates emotional behavior and central GABA receptor expression in a mouse via the vagus nerve”
Authors: J.A. Bravo, P. Forsythe, M.V. Chew, E. Escaravage, H.M. Savignac, et al

 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Shown To Prevent Or Slow Progression Of Osteoarthritis

New research has shown for the first time that omega-3 in fish oil could "substantially and significantly" reduce the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis.

According to the University of Bristol study, funded by Arthritis Research UK and published in the journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, omega-3-rich diets fed to guinea pigs, which naturally develop osteoarthritis, reduced disease by 50 per cent compared to a standard diet.

The research is a major step forward in showing that omega-3 fatty acids, either sourced from fish oil or flax oil, may help to slow down the progression of osteoarthritis, or even prevent it occurring, confirming anecdotal reports and "old wives' tales" about the benefits of fish oil for joint health.

Lead researcher Dr John Tarlton, from the Matrix Biology Research group at the University of Bristol's School of Veterinary Sciences, said classic early signs of the condition, such as the degradation of collagen in cartilage and the loss of molecules that give it shock-absorbing properties, were both reduced with omega-3.

"Furthermore, there was strong evidence that omega-3 influences the biochemistry of the disease, and therefore not only helps prevent disease, but also slows its progression, potentially controlling established osteoarthritis," he said.

Dr Tarlton added: "The only way of being certain that the effects of omega-3 are as applicable to humans as demonstrated in guinea pigs is to apply omega-3 to humans. However, osteoarthritis in guinea pigs is perhaps the most appropriate model for spontaneous, naturally occurring osteoarthritis, and all of the evidence supports the use of omega-3 in human disease."
Medical research director of Arthritis Research UK, Professor Alan Silman, said: "The possibility that omega-3 fatty acids could prevent osteoarthritis from developing has been a tantalising one. Some limited, previous research in dogs has suggested that we were a long way away from understanding the potential use in humans. However, this current research in guinea pigs is exciting as it brings us closer to understanding how omega-3 might fundamentally interfere with the osteoarthritis process, and that it could potentially be taken as a treatment."

On the back of the results of his study, Dr Tarlton said that following government guidelines on dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids could be effective in reducing the burden of osteoarthritis. Fish oil is far more effective than the flax oil based supplement, but for vegetarians flax oil remains a viable alternative.

"Most diets in the developed world are lacking in omega-3, with modern diets having up to 30 times too much omega-6 and too little omega-3. Taking omega-3 will help redress this imbalance and may positively contribute to a range of other health problems such as heart disease and colitis."

Further studies are needed to determine the influence of omega-3 fatty acids on established disease in guinea pigs, and to confirm the effects in human osteoarthritis, said Dr Tarlton.

Osteoarthritis affects around eight million people in the UK, and is caused when the cartilage at the ends of bones wears away and the underlying bone thickens, leading to stiff, painful joints. Currently, there is no effective treatment to slow down disease progression, and treatment is limited to pain relief and ultimately joint replacement.

Exposure to BPA Has Been Underestimated, New MU Research Says

Results indicate BPA accumulates more rapidly within the body than previously thought

June 06, 2011

Story Contact(s):
Steven Adams, AdamsST@missouri.edu, 573 882-8353

COLUMBIA, Mo. – A new University of Missouri study shows that the exposure to the controversial chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) through diet has been underestimated by previous lab tests. In the study, researchers compared BPA concentrations in mice that were given a steady diet supplemented with BPA throughout the day, compared to the more common lab method of single exposure, and found an increased absorption and accumulation of BPA in the blood of mice.

Cheryl Rosenfeld, associate professor in biomedical sciences and Bond Life Sciences investigator, found BPA in diet has been underestimated by previous lab tests.

This is the first study to examine concentrations of BPA in any animal models after exposure through a regular, daily diet, which is a better method to mirror the chronic and continuous exposure to BPA that occurs in animals and humans. Cheryl Rosenfeld, associate professor in biomedical sciences and Bond Life Sciences investigator, is the corresponding lead author of the study published in Environmental Health Perspectives on June 6.

The authors continuously exposed the mice to BPA through their feed, which is considered the primary route of exposure to this chemical in animals and humans. In previous studies examining the effects of BPA, mice were exposed to BPA only through a one-time administration. Following the exposure through the diet, a significantly greater increase in the active form of BPA, which is the greatest threat as it is the form that can bind to sex steroid receptors and exert adverse effects, was absorbed and accumulated in the animals.

“People are primarily and unknowingly exposed to BPA through the diet because of the various plastic and paper containers used to store our

food are formulated with BPA,” Rosenfeld said. “We know that the active form of BPA binds to our steroid receptors, meaning it can affect estrogen, thyroid and testosterone function. It might also cause genetic mutations. Thus, this chemical can hinder our ability to reproduce and possibly cause behavioral abnormalities that we are just beginning to understand.”

The study notes that more than 8 billion pounds of BPA are produced every year, and more than 90 percent of people in the United States have measurable amounts of BPA in their bodies.

“We believe that these mouse model studies where the BPA exposure is through the diet is a more accurate representation of what happens to BPA as the human body attempts to processes this toxic substance,” said Rosenfeld. “When BPA is taken through the food, the active form may remain in the body for a longer period of time than when it is provided through a single treatment, which does not reflect the continuous exposure that occurs in animal and human populations. We need to study this further to determine where the ingested BPA becomes concentrated and subsequently released back into the bloodstream to be distributed throughout the body.”

The study, “Comparison of Serum Bisphenol A Concentrations in Mice Exposed to Bisphenol A through the Diet versus Oral Bolus Exposure,” is available online starting June 6.

Funding from this study came from a National Institute of Environmental Health and Sciences challenge grant program that was established to investigate the biological effects of exposure to BPA.

For further information on Rosenfeld’s work, visit http://bondlsc.missouri.edu/news/story/45/1

 


The Sun IS Your Sunscreen

By Al Sears, MD

Dear Health-Conscious Reader,

Corporations would have you believe the sun is a cancer-causing ball of radiation threatening our planet.  But the fact is, the sun protects you from cancer. It enhances your health and is vital to your well-being.

One of the most important ways the sun protects you is through your skin, which makes vitamin D from its ultraviolet type B rays. And it’s vitamin D that keeps you from getting not just skin cancer, but more than a dozen others.

Here’s the proof in black and white:

  • • A study by the journal Anticancer Research says very clearly that the more you make vitamin D from UVB rays, the lower your chances are of dying from 15 kinds of cancer. (1)
  • • Another study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that vitamin D can lower the chance you’ll get cancer by 77 percent. (2)
  • • The European Journal of Cancer looked at cancer rates all over the world. Their study says plainly that vitamin D production in the skin decreases the likelihood you’ll get any of these cancers: stomach, colorectal, liver and gallbladder, pancreas, lung, breast, prostate, bladder and kidney cancers.(3)
  • • A study done for the journal Nature shows that the active form of vitamin D (calcitriol or D3), and its derivative vitamin D2, both cause skin cancer cells to die.(4)
  • • And did you know that people who work outside like construction workers, roofers and lifeguards have a much lower risk of skin cancer than those who work inside? (5)

I could go on …

Meanwhile, if you followed conventional medical advice, you’d be putting sunscreen all over your body.  But sunscreen lowers your body’s ability to make vitamin D by up to 95 percent.

Today, I’m going to show you how to let the sun work with your body to prevent cancer. Keep reading to find out what’s really in sunscreens, when you should use sun protection and safe ways to help prevent sunburns.

We Were Made to Live Under the Sun

If you’ve been to a doctor, turned on the television, been on the Internet, or read a magazine lately, you’ve probably heard some formof this message:

“The sun causes cancer. If you’re going outside, wear sunscreen no matter what. No excuses.”

Does it seem as though scientists think nature must be wrong? I get the feeling they think millennia of trial and error resulted in a mistake with our survival. And even worse, that we need some kind of intervention – some synthetic chemicals – to make it right again.
The truth is, your body already has everything it needs to properly protect itself from the sun’s UV rays. The real problem isn’t the sun. It’s that you might not spend enough time outdoors to trigger these natural defenses.

Let me explain...

Your native ancestors survived outdoors just fine. They lived and worked in the sun’s rays every day. They didn’t use sunscreen and they didn’t burn themselves to a crisp or die off from diseases caused by the sun.

Why? Because our bodies are designed perfectly to live in our natural environment.

When you’re out in the sun, your body itself takes action. Besides making vitamin D, which I talked about earlier, your body also starts to produce another natural protectant. A built-in sun block called melanin.

Melanin is what causes your skin to darken or tan. And with just a little bit of sunshine every day – 20 minutes if you have light skin and up to three times longer if your skin is darker – you’re stimulating melanin production.

By slowly developing this basic darkening, you allow yourself even more time in the sun without risk of burning.

Sunscreen – A Toxic Skin Cocktail

Corporations and modern doctors want you to put on sunscreen to block UVB rays. We’ve already seen how this affects vitamin D production. But sunscreen has another effect. It delivers chemicals and known carcinogens into your skin…chemicals that are banned in other countries.

One of the main chemicals used in sunscreens to filter out UVB light is octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC).

OMC can be found in 90 percent of sunscreens on the market even though studies found it can kill mouse cells – even at extremely low doses. And it becomes even more toxic when it’s exposed to sunlight. Other harmful chemicals include benzophenone and avobenzone.  These attack the cells in your body causing premature aging. They are also estrogen mimics that can create hormonal imbalances, cause allergic reactions and skin irritation, and are known to promote the onset of breast cancer.(6)

And there’s plenty more. Below is a chart of some of the common chemicals found in sunscreen that you should avoid.

Chemical

Health Risks

Parabens

Endocrine disruptor.  Mimics estrogen, upsets hormonal balances, can cause reporductive cancer in men and women

PABA (may be listed as octyl-dimethyl or padimate-O

Attacks DNA and causes genetic mutation when exposed to sunlight

Mineral oil, paraffin, petrolatum

Coats skin like plastic and clogs pores, traps toxins in, slows skin cell growth, disrupts normal hormone function, suspected of causing cancer      

Sodium laurel, lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate (sometimes listed as "from coconut" or "coconut derived"

Combined with other chemicals, it becomes nitrosamine, a powerful cancer-causing agent; penetrates your skin’s moisture barrier, allowing other dangerous chemicals to enter your bloodstream

Phenol carbolic acid

Circulatory collapse, paralysis, convulsions, coma, death from respiratory failure

Acrylamide

Breast Cancer

Toluene (may be listed as benzoic, benzyl, or butylated hydrox toluene)

Anemia, low blood cell count, liver and kidney damage, birth defects

Propylene glycol

Dermatitis, kidney and liver abnormalities, prevents skin growth, causes irritation

PEG, polysorbates, laureth, ethoxylated alcohol

Potent carcinogens containing dioxane

 

It’s Tough to Get Enough

The problem is that even if you have the best intentions, there are a dozen other obstacles in the modern world besides sunscreen that keep you from getting enough sunshine:

  1. We wear clothing.
  2. We don’t migrate with the sun.
  3. We don’t live near the equator.
  4. We work inside during the day.
  5. We drive cars that block the sun.

And during the winter months, it’s not uncommon – even if you live in a warm, sunny climate like I do in South Florida – to get less sunshine just because the days are shorter.  When that happens, you produce less melanin, and become more sensitive to the sun when you are exposed.

You’ll need to be careful until melanin production kicks in again and can help prevent your skin from burning.

Fortunately, there are ways you can help defend your skin until you can get more sunshine without chemical sunscreens:

  1. One way to help your skin is to boost the three nutrients your body uses to produce its master antioxidant, SOD (superoxide dismutase). SOD is your best defense against harmful molecules that attack your skin.  The best food for this job is blueberries. You probably know blueberries are good for your brain, and that they have beta carotene and lots of vitamins. But the real power of the blueberry is that it has all three co-factors for SOD – copper, zinc and manganese. Eat a cup of blueberries every day, especially during the winter, and you’ll be doing your skin a big favor.
  2. Another excellent skin-defender is any food that has the omega-3 EPA. In one study of using omega-3 to reduce ultraviolet radiation sensitivity, researchers found that EPA supplementation reduces sensitivity to UV rays by 36 percent. And the chemical changes to skin induced by UV radiation exposure were cut in half.(7) The study concluded: “Longer-term [EPA] supplementation might reduce skin cancer in humans.”  The best sources for EPA are small, cold-water fish like herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines. Eggs and grass-fed beef also are good sources. Grass-fed beef has double the omega-3s of grain-fed beef.  In addition, you can get omega-3s in some plant-based sources like Sacha Inchi nuts, butternuts, walnuts and chia seeds. But these omega-3s are in the form of alpha linolenic acid, which then has to be converted to EPA in the body.
  3. If you are going to be out in the sun for a long time, and you haven’t had a chance to let your body generate enough melanin to darken you up a bit, you should use a natural sunscreen. Choose one made from natural ingredients like zinc oxide. It’s been used all over the world for over 75 years as a safe sunscreen. And unlike chemical sunscreens that absorb ultraviolet light, zinc oxide sits on top of your skin to reflect and scatter UV rays.

Zinc oxide works even better when you add shea butter. That way, your pores won’t clog and you’ll add extra moisture to keep your skin smooth.

To Your Good Health,
 

Al Sears, MD
___________________________________________________________

Sources:

1 Grant, W.B. et al, “The association of solar ultraviolet B (UVB) with reducing risk of cancer: multifactorial ecologic analysis of geographic variation in age-adjusted cancer mortality rates,” Anticancer Research 2006; 26:2687-2700
2 Lappe, J.M., et al, “Vitamin D and calcium supplementation reduces cancer risk: results of a randomized trial,” Am. J. Clin. Nutr. June 2007;85(6):1586-91
3 Tuohimaa, P., et al, “Does solar exposure, as indicated by the non-melanoma skin cancers, protect from solid cancers: vitamin D as a possible explanation,” Eur. J. Cancer July 2007;43(11):1701-12
4 Danielsson, C., et al, “Differential apoptotic response of human melanoma cells to 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 and its analogues,” Cell Death Differ. 1998; 5:946
5 Elwood, J.M., et al, “Cutaneous Melanoma in Relation to Intermittent and Constant Sun Exposure – The Western Canada Melanoma Study,” Int. J. Cancer 1985;35:427
6 Hanson, K., et al, “Sunscreen enhancement of UV-induced reactive oxygen species in the skin,” Free Radical Biology & Medicine 2006
7 Rhodes, Lesley E., et al, “Effect of eicosapentaenoic acid, an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, on UVR-related cancer risk in humans,” Carcinogenesis March 2003; 24 (5): 919-925


Organics could prevent staph-infected meat Mon, 2011-04-18 21:41
Natural Foods Merchandiser
Pamela Bond
Byline:  Pamela Bond
A new study found that nearly a quarter of U.S. meat is infected with antibiotic-resistant staph, causing a food fight over antibiotic use in livestock production. But the solution is simple: organics. 

Nearly half of meat and poultry—47 percent—sold at U.S. grocery stores is infected with Staphylococcus aureusbacteria. And more than half of those bacteria are resistant to three classes of antibiotics, according to a new study.

To get these results, researchers collected and analyzed 136 samples — covering 80 brands — of beef, chicken, pork and turkey from 26 retail grocery stores in five U.S. cities: Los Angeles, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Flagstaff and Washington, D.C. Through DNA testing, researchers found that the food animals were the major source of contamination.

“The fact that drug-resistant S. aureus was so prevalent, and likely came from the food animals themselves, is troubling, and demands attention to how antibiotics are used in food-animal production today,” said Lance B. Price, PhD, senior author of the study and Director of TGen’s Center for Food Microbiology and Environmental Health, in a release.

Antibiotic use on food animals concerns health officials because this practice is contributing to the rising number of antibiotic-resistant strains of disease in humans. “Scientists have found that the abuse of antibiotics—namely the sub-therapeutic use of antibiotics to prevent illness when there is overcrowding, not the treatment of an infection—has resulted in antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” said Barbara Haumann, senior writer/editor for the Brattleboro, Vt-based Organic Trade Association. “This means that antibiotics for use in treating human illness are becoming less effective, and, in some cases, totally ineffective. This is a serious issue.”

The Cambridge, Mass.-based Union of Concerned Scientistshas said that agricultural use accounts for 70 percent of all antibiotics used in the U.S., and this practice “provides resistant bacteria with a direct route into people’s kitchens.” In December 2010, the U.S. Federal Drug Administration estimated that 29 million pounds of antibiotics were sold for livestock use in 2009. In June 2010, the FDA released a policy statement recommending that agricultural uses of antibiotics should be limited to assuring animal health. According to the OTA, conventional meat producers feed animals antibiotics “to compensate for overcrowding and unsanitary conditions” and to promote weight gain and feed efficiency.

The U.S. government routinely surveys retail meat and poultry for four types of drug-resistant bacteria, but S. aureus is not among them, reported the study authors. The types of health problems linked to S. aureus range from mild skin infections to life-threatening diseases, such as pneumonia and blood poisoning, according to the National Institutes of Health.

What to do at the farm

Some meat advocacy organizations criticized the small sample size and the funding source for the study. The research was supported by The Pew Charitable Trusts as part of The Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming, which is working to phase out theoveruse of the drugs in food animal production. Also, the Washington, D.C.-based American Meat Institute pointed out that “these bacteria are destroyed through normal cooking procedures,” and, thus, aren’t necessarily a health risk.

 

“They’re right,” said Charles Benbrook, PhD, chief scientist for the Boulder, Colo.-based The Organic Center. “Adequately cooking meat definitely reduces the risk of contamination.” However, Benbrook noted that if people aren’t careful about cleaning cutting boards or the containers in which they store meat, a high-risk situation can result. “Let’s face it, people are busy and aren’t as careful as they should be," Benbrook said. "Sometimes juices and blood get around the kitchen. That’s where the risk is. That bacteria can hang around the fridge and get picked up by raw foods.” Or, let’s say you touched raw meat while making a meal and failed to thoroughly clean your hands. If you then prepared your baby’s bottle, the bacteria could infect the child. If this bacteria is resistant to antibiotics, any resulting sickness could be untreatable. 

A long-term fix, according to Benbrook, begins on the farm. The first step is to end the creation of new antibiotic-resistant genes on livestock farms. “We know how to do this: Stop using sub-therapeutic antibiotics on farms,” Benbrook said. To ensure that meat has been produced without antibiotics, retailers and consumers can choose products bearing the organic label, according to the OTA. These certified organic operations are federally regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The next step is to promote animal health and reduce stress, so the animals’ immune systems can handle bacteria that are a normal part of environment. “Conventional agriculture has gone overboard in maximizing the speed of animal growth,” Benbrook said. “Sure, the animals put on a lot of fat and grow fast, but they’re not healthy, and they’re susceptible to bacteria. Whether conventional or organic, farmers have to place a higher premium on healthy animal development.”

And the last step is to prevent cross-contamination of meat at the slaughterhouse, which can spread antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

What to do at the store

“Choosing foods bearing the organic label is the only way consumers can be sure meats and dairy products they buy have been produced without the use of antibiotics,” according to the OTA’s position paper on the issue.

Beyond being free of antibiotics, Diana Crane, spokesperson for Seattle-based PCC Natural Markets, said that “organic meats are ‘cleaner’—meaning free of harmful bacteria—than nonorganic meats.” As evidence, she pointed to a 2010 study published by Consumer Reports, which found that the store-brand organic chickens the magazine tested never had salmonella.

PCC is a certified organic retailer that sells antibiotic-free, organic beef and poultry, none of which come from CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations)—a situation “that contributes to the need for antibiotics and the spread of infection,” Crane said. The store staff educate shoppers on PCC standards and practices related to raw meat sourcing through the retailer’s website, monthly newspaper and in-store signage.

To take action on this issue, retailers and consumers can join PCC and other groups in their support of the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (H.R. 1549/S. 619). If passed, the PAMTA would require the FDA to review approvals for animal feed uses of seven classes of antibiotics that are viewed as important to human medicine. Approvals could be reversed for antibiotics the FDA finds are overused, resulting in antibiotic resistance

 


House Advances Budget With Significant Cuts to FDA

by Helena Bottemiller | May 25, 2011

House lawmakers sparred over proposed cuts to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in an appropriations markup on Tuesday. A proposal unveiled by House Republicans Monday seeks $285 million in cuts to the FDA in Fiscal Year 2012, an 11.5 percent reduction from FY 2011, just as the agency is working to implement a sweeping new food safety law.

Former chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), told Republicans on the panel that she believes their cuts, which were approved by the subcommittee in a voice vote Tuesday, will roll back "years of progress on food safety."

DeLauro, who called foodborne illness a "major" threat to public health, challenged Republicans on the spending measure, adding that she believes the proposal is "unacceptable."

"FDA is the cornerstone of our food safety system," said DeLauro during markup, noting that she believes the agency has had "limited funding and an outdated mandate."

"We passed the Food Safety Modernization Act to give the FDA better tools and this proposal would undo all of that," she said. "We should be strengthening our food safety system, not eviscerating it."

DeLauro cited a recent GAO report on imported seafood safety oversight, which called FDA's

system limited and called for more testing, as
the most recent example of why Congress should support strengthening FDA's oversight of food products.

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), chair of the subcommittee, emphasized the austere budget circumstances in which Congress is operating. It's "been tight for all of us," he said. "We have tried our best to focus on waste and duplication."

Consumer and regulatory advocates blasted the proposal as a threat to public health.

"FDA is a pre-eminent public health agency that assures that our food supply is safe and that drugs, vaccines and medical devices are safe and effective," said Christopher Waldrop, an Alliance for a Stronger FDA board member and director of the Consumer Federation of America's Food Policy Institute. "Multiple times every day, Americans use products for which FDA has oversight responsibilities. There is no back-up if the agency isn't there."
 
"FDA's job is much like national defense - -essential to our nation's well-being --- and providing protection that is too often taken for granted until a crisis occurs," said Richard Buckley, who also serves on the board for the Allaince, and is VP of Federal Government Affairs, at AstraZeneca. "Now is not the time to cut the FDA, even with economic pressures to decrease the deficit. A strong FDA is welcomed by the industries it oversees and spurs innovation that drives our economy."

Omega-3 Fatty Acids are Inversely Associated with Triglyceride Levels

A study investigated the association of omega-3 serum levels and triglyceride levels in Caucasian- American men, Japanese men, and Japanese- American men. The results of the study revealed that participants across all three groups with elevated concentrations of EPA and DHA in blood cell membranes also had lower triglycer­ide concentrations and blood lipid levels. The participants with increased levels of omega-3s achieved these levels through dietary and supplemental omega-3 fatty acid intake and the study was appropriately adjusted for factors

including age, body mass index, smoking history, and alcohol consumption. Since elevated levels of triglycerides are associated with coronary heart disease, the study also suggests that omega-3 fatty acids may have potential in reducing overall mortality.

Motoyama, K.R., Curb, J.D., Kadowaki, T., El-Saed, A., Abbott, R.D., Okamura, T., Evans, R.W., Nakamura, Y., Sutton-Tyrrell, K., Rodriquez, B.L., Kadota, A., Edmundowicz, D., Willcox, B.J., Choo, J., Katsumi, N., Otake, T., Kadowaki, S., Kuller, L.H., Ueshima, H., & Sekikawa, A. (2009). As­sociation of serum n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids with lipids in three populations of middle-aged men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;90:49-55.

Fish Oil Supplementation and Regular Exercise and its

Effect on CVD Risk Factors

Obesity trends in our country are on the rise, and this excess weight is often associated with many cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. This study aimed to design an interven­tion that targeted these risk factors. Subjects were instructed to use omega-3 supplements and regular aerobic exercise, alone or in combination, for three months. After the three-month trial, results were analyzed based on the effects each treatment had on the individuals’ body composition and CVD risk factors.

The results of this study found that regular fish oil supplementation of a moderate dose that was high in DHA improved many of the subjects’ risk factors including plasma triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, and flow mediated dilatation (which is a measure of the diameter of the brachial artery). The results of the study also revealed that both fish oil supplementation and regular exercise helped to reduce overall body fat in test subjects.

Hill AM, Buckley JD, Murphy KJ, & Howe PRC. Combining fish-oil supplements with regular aerobic exercise improves body composition and cardiovascular disease risk factors. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;8k5:1267-1274

Looks Great, Less Nutritious

Eating your vegetables was a lot better for you in the 1950's. Veggies weren't as pretty then, but they had a lot more vitamins and minerals than their modern counterparts. Today's crops are bred for size and color-not nutrients.

 

USDA data shows that compared to fifty years ago: Tomatoes have 58% less calcium, 46% less vitamin A, and almost a third less iron.  Carrots have 40% less iron. Broccoli has less than half the amount of vitamin A and calcium.


Vitamin E & C Reduced Inflammation after Knee Surgery

Researchers from the Linus Pauling Institute in Oregon conducted a clinical trial to determine whether supplementation with vitamins E and C prior to knee surgery of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) would have an anti-inflammatory effect.  Inflammation after ACL surgery is known to increase muscle atrophy (wasting), and vitamins E and C have been proven to exert anti-inflammatory effects.

 Nineteen patients scheduled for ACL surgery were instructed to consume 400 IU of natural vitamin E and 1,000 mg of vitamin C daily, or placebo, from two weeks prior up until 12 weeks after surgery (supplements provided by Carlson Laboratories).  Blood samples were taken before supplementation and then again at various points after surgery to compare inflammatory markers and vitamin concentrations in active and placebo groups.

 A difference in blood IL-10 concentrations (IL-10 is an anti-inflammatory cytokine that is produced by the body in response to inflammation) was observed between the active and placebo groups after surgery.  Higher levels of IL-10 are indicative of more severe oxidative stress.  The vitamin E and C group experienced a significantly small rise in IL-10 than the placebo group 90 minutes after surgery, suggesting that vitamins E and C had reduced inflammation and decreased the body’s requirement for this natural anti-inflammatory compound. 

 

This reduction in IL-10 may theoretically result in a reduction in muscle loss in the active group.  An additional summary analyzing the data at 12 weeks post-surgery will be published at a later date to clarify this issue.

 At the same time a reduction in IL-10 levels was observed in the active group, a significant drop in blood vitamin C levels was also witnessed.  The study authors propose that this drop in vitamin C reflects its use as an anti-inflammatory mediator, thereby blunting the full IL-10 response.

 Further studies are warranted to better elucidate this anti-inflammatory response of vitamins E and C after surgery.

 

Baker T, Leonard SW, et al.  Modulation of inflammation by vitamin E and C supplementation prior to anterior cruciate ligament surgery.  Free Radical Biology & Medicine, 2009;46:599-606.


Toxic Chemical In Canned Food?

You might want to reconsider that can of soup. Peek inside any can and you'll notice a thin film that separates your food from the metal. Most of these liners contain bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that can leach into food. Not good, very bad! The list of health problems researchers have tentatively linked to the chemical: obesity, diabetes, heart problems, and the list go on.  

In 2009, the nonprofit Consumers Union found BPA in over 90% of the canned foods it tested, including Progresso Vegetable Soup, Annie's Home Grown Organic Cheesy Ravioli, Similac Advanced Infant Formula, Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup and many other popular products.  This chemical does not belong in our food. Shop For the Good of It for quality, non-toxic, safe and healthy food.


Warning on Arthritis Drugs

Federal regulators added stronger warnings to a group of best selling drugs used to treat arthritis and other inflammatory diseases, saying they can increase the risk of cancer in children and adolescents.

 After more than a year of review, Food and Drug Administration scientists said the drugs appear to increase beyond 2 ½ years. 

The agency studied several dozen reports of cancer in children taking the drugs, some of which were fatal.  Half the cases were lymphomas, a cancer that attacks the immune system.

 The FDA will bolster the “black box” warning on the five drugs sold in the U.S., including Abbott Laboratories Humira, Johnson & Johnson’s Remicade and Simponi, and Enbrel, which is co-marketed by Amgen Inc. and Wyeth.


CoQ10 Improves Blood Vessel Function in Type 2 Diabetes Patients

CoQ10 is required for energy production and also functions as an antioxidant in cell membranes and blood lipids.  Statin therapy, often prescribed for patients elevated cholesterol levels, can reduce CoQ10 production, and lower blood levels of CoQ10.  Statins inhibit the cholesterol-producing enzyme that also produces CoQ10.  People on statin therapy often take coenzyme Q10 to maintain blood levels to support energy levels, and to prevent muscular discomfort associated with statin use.

A recent study suggests that CoQ10 may also improve cardiovascular health by improving endothelial dysfunction in patients with type 2 diabetes on statin therapy.  The endothelium lines the inside surface of blood vessels and is involved in the regulation of blood flow.

Increased dilation (relaxation) of a blood vessel in response to increased blood flow is called flow mediated dilation (FMD), and this process is impaired in endothelial dysfunction. Researchers gave statin-treated type 2 diabetes patients either 200mg of CoQ10 daily or placebo for 12 weeks.  These patients also had endothelial dysfunction.  The researchers measured flow mediated dilation (FMD) before and after the treatment with CoQ10 or placebo.  The results showed an improved FMD score in patients given CoQ10.  The researcher concluded that “CoQ10 supplementation improved endothelial dysfunction in statin-treated diabetic patients, possibly by altering local vascular oxidative stress.”

 

   

Call for Truth in Trans Fats Labeling by the FDA

Published: Monday, January 3, 2011 - 09:30 in Health & Medicine

Did you know that when you pick up a product promoted as trans fat free, you may still be ingesting a significant amount of this potentially harmful substance? An article by Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine student Eric Brandt, published in the January/February 2011 issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion, reveals that misleading labeling practices can result in medically significant intake of harmful trans fat, despite what you read on Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved labels. Indeed, consumers' inability to identify high-risk foods may cause individuals to exceed the daily recommended value of 1.11 grams of trans fat from processed foods and lead to adverse long-term health side effects. Ingestion of trans fat is a known public health concern. Top national health organizations, such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and American Heart Association, suggest trans fats be ingested in limited quantities. However, current FDA labeling protocol and policy prevents the public from accessing the true amount of trans fat contained in their food products.

Current law requires that fat content of greater than five grams be listed in one gram increments, less than five grams be listed in .5 gram increments, and lower than .5 grams as containing zero grams of fat. Meaning, if a product has .49 grams of trans fat, the label can list the trans fat content as zero, thus masking a significant amount of trans fat that can exceed recommended limits and potentially lead to various adverse health effects.

 


 

Trans fat consumption has been linked to increased risk of coronary artery disease, diabetes, and sudden cardiac death. Because the daily recommended amount of trans fat from processed foods is only 1.11 grams, one would only need to consume a few deceptively labeled trans fat foods to exceed the healthy recommended intake. As few as three deceptively labeled trans fat items would exceed the healthy recommended intake; for example, consuming three serving sizes each with .49 grams of trans fat, totaling 1.47 grams. Despite what seems to be a small amount of trans fat to ingest, research shows that increasing daily trans fat consumption from .9% to 2.1%, or from two grams to 4.67 grams, will increase one's risk of cardiovascular disease by 30%.

In an effort to adhere to its mission and responsibility in "helping the public get the accurate, science-based information they need to use medicines and foods to maintain and improve their health," Brandt recommends the FDA revise its labeling protocol in order to prevent misleading the public about the amount of trans fat they are consuming. He recommends the FDA require food labels to report trans fat content in smaller increments, enabling consumers to recognize significant levels of trans fat in food products and allow one to properly manage their consumption. The suggested change will increase awareness of accurate food trans fat content, empower informed food choices, and improve public health outcomes.

 

 

 

 

 

BIGGEST EGG SELLER RECALLS EGGS AFTER SALMONELLA FOUND

By Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press Writer 11/9/10

WASHINGTON — Evidence of salmonella has been found at an Ohio egg farm that's received financing from the owner of an Iowa egg farm that was behind a massive recall earlier this year.

Cal-Maine Foods (CALM), the nation's biggest egg seller and distributor, said it is recalling 288,000 eggs the company had purchased from supplier Ohio Fresh Eggs after a test showed salmonella at the Ohio farm.

No illnesses have been reported. According to Cal-Maine Foods, the Ohio Fresh eggs were distributed to food wholesalers and retailers in Arkansas, California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

The eggs were sold under the following labels:

• Sunny Meadow,

• Springfield Grocer,

• Sun Valley,

• James Farm.

RECALL: UPC codes and more info on recalled products

In a statement from company officials, Ohio Fresh Eggs said the farm had held back eggs from the Croton, Ohio, barn where the salmonella was found. However, through discussions with the FDA, the company discovered that some eggs from that barn were mistakenly sent to a distributor.
 

"Ohio Fresh Eggs sincerely regrets the error made on our farm, and we apologize to our customer and to consumers who may have purchased the eggs," the officials said. "We are redoubling our efforts to ensure thorough and ongoing training of our workers so that this situation is not repeated."

Cal-Maine Foods said the FDA told them about the positive sample.

Earlier this year, salmonella was found on two Iowa egg farms, Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms. The two companies recalled 550 million eggs in August when the products were linked to as many as 1,600 illnesses.

Austin "Jack" DeCoster owns Wright County Egg and has lent money to Ohio Fresh Eggs.

Ohio officials said DeCoster hid behind other farmers to get permits for the company in 2004. The permits listed two men who had put up just $10,000 apiece while DeCoster had pumped $126 million into the four farms, according to testimony in an administrative proceeding there. At the time, DeCoster had already been labeled a "habitual violator" of environmental laws in Iowa.

Ohio officials yanked the permits after learning about that, but an environmental appeals panel overturned that decision.

DeCoster has often tangled with the government. He has paid millions of dollars in state and federal fines over at least two decades for health, safety, immigration and environmental violations at his farms.

 


Spearmint Tea: Possible Treatment for Mild Hirsutism
(Excessive Hair Growth on the Human Body)

Research performed at the Suleyman Demirel University in Isparta, Turkey, shows that  drinking spearmint tea(Mentha spicata Labiatae) may reduce the level of androgen's in women with hirsutism. Anti-androgenic effects of spearmint and peppermint have been previously observed in animal studies. Female subjects, 12 with poly-cystic ovary syndrome and nine with idiopathic hirsutism, drank the herbal tea (one cup of boiling water over five grams of dried spearmint leaves, steeped for five to 10 minutes) for five days twice a day, in
 
the follicular phase of their menstrual cycles. After treatment with spearmint teas, there was a significant decrease in free testosterone, with an increase in
luteinizing and follicle-stimulating hormones, and estradiol. There were no significant decreases in total testosterone or dehydroepiand-rostenedione sulphate (DHEAS) concentrations. More studies are needed to confirm these findings. (Phytotherapy Research, published online: February 20, 2007; DOI: 10.1002/ptr.2074)


Back-to-School Basics...Three Simple Tips for Healthier, Happier Kids

Bring Back Breakfast
A wholesome breakfast consisting of high-fiber foods such as whole grains, fresh fruit and steel-cut oats, as well as lean protein gives kids the fuel they need to start their day and stay energized.   Studies show that children who eat breakfast perform better in school and are less likely to have behavioral problems.


Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Research shows that children who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to have difficulty concentrating in the classroom, and lack of sleep can also contribute to

 

mood swings, irritability and behavioral problems. Most experts agree that school-age kids should get at least 9 to 12 hours of sleep every night.

Essential Supplements
A healthy body begins with good digestion, so it’s important that kids get the nutrients they need to digest their food properly and eliminate waste effectively and efficiently. Daily supplementation with fiber, probiotics and digestive enzymes can help kids get the nutritional support they need for better digestion and overall health.

 


 

Vitamin D Tied to Parkinson's Disease

People with low levels of vitamin D were more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease ... and metabolic syndrome, which predicts diabetes and cardiovascular disease
by Craig Weatherby  

Vitamin D continues a run of positive research … a string of successes attributable to its unique, hormone-like nature and long-overlooked role in sustaining many vital bodily functions.

The results of two new studies add weight to researchers’ urgent calls to raise the recommended daily allowances for vitamin D.

First, a diet-health population study from the Netherlands supports prior indications that vitamin D helps deter key players in the cluster of six unhealthful blood fat, body fat, sugar control, and other signs called "metabolic syndrome" or MetS.

The Dutch team found that the people with the lowest vitamin D levels were 40 percent more likely to develop MetS, which raises the risk of developing diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease.

Second, a population study from Finland found that the participants with the lowest levels of vitamin D were three times as likely to develop Parkinson’s.

Conversely, the Finnish volunteers with the highest vitamin D blood levels were two-thirds (67 percent) less likely to develop the brain disease

The current US RDA for people from infancy through age 50 is only 200 IU, and a skimpy 400 IU for people aged 51 to 70.  

Even with sun exposure considered “adequate” for internal manufacture of vitamin D – which often proves inadequate – these dietary amounts are proven unable to raise blood levels into the range associated with optimal health (80-120 nmol/L or 35-48 ng/mL). 

Most researchers call for the RDA to be raised to at least 1,000 IU and many recommend an adult RDA of 2,000 IU or more.

Let’s take a quick look at both studies.

High vitamin D levels linked to lower Parkinson’s risk

Parkinson's disease is a degenerative condition that impairs movement and balance and afflicts more than one million Americans annually … a figure expected to rise as the baby boom generation ages.

The disease affects nerve cells in several parts of the brain, particularly those that use the chemical messenger dopamine to control movement.

An epidemiological (diet-health) study by researchers from Helsinki, Finland was the first to look for associations between people’s vitamin D levels and their risk for developing Parkinson’s disease (Knekt P et al. 2010).

The Finnish team employed blood tests to confirm people’s vitamin D levels in 3,173 Finnish men and women aged between 50 and 79.

Over an unusually lengthy 29 year study period, the researchers documented 50 cases of Parkinson's disease, and found that the participants with the lowest levels of vitamin D were three times more likely to develop Parkinson’s, compared to those with the highest levels..

Why would vitamin D deter the brain disease?

We know that cells in the part of the brain affected most by Parkinson's, called the substantia nigra, have unusually high numbers of vitamin D receptors, which suggests vitamin D may be important for normal functions of these cells.

The authors suggested that vitamin D may also deter Parkinson’s through its antioxidant activities and its role in regulation of calcium levels, detoxification, modulation of the immune system, and enhanced conduction of electricity through neurons (brain cells).

The Finnish team said their results need to be confirmed in larger studies, because of

the small number of Parkinson’s cases versus the number of people in the study, and the possibility that other, unknown factors associated with having high vitamin D levels might be responsible for the link.

In an accompanying editorial, Marian Evatt, MD, MS, from Atlanta’s Emory University described the study as, “… the first promising human data to suggest that inadequate vitamin D status is associated with the risk of developing Parkinson's disease.” (Evatt ML 2010)

Low vitamin D levels linked to metabolic syndrome in seniors

Dutch researchers presented encouraging findings about vitamin D and the risk of metabolic syndrome at The Endocrine Society’s 92nd Annual Meeting in San Diego (Oosterwerff MM et al. 2010).

Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a condition characterized by abdominal obesity, hypertension, and abnormal glucose and insulin metabolism. MetS has been linked to increased risks of both type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The study involved 1,289 white Dutch men and women aged 65 and older.

Almost half were vitamin D deficient, and about 37 percent had the cluster of physical signs called metabolic syndrome.

After they drew blood samples from the volunteers, the team’s analysis showed that those with the lowest vitamin D levels were 40 percent more likely to have metabolic syndrome (MetS).

People with blood levels of vitamin D lower than 50 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L) were likelier to have the metabolic syndrome than those whose vitamin D levels exceeded 50 nmol/L. 

Most researchers consider blood levels below 50 nmol/L “insufficient”. Note: There are two common measures of vitamin D status: 50 nmol/L is the same as 20 nanograms per liter (ng/mL).

No differences in risk were found between men and women.

The study supports previous findings, including a report last year, showing that about 40 percent of elderly Chinese people with MetS had insufficient or deficient levels of vitamin D. (See “Vitamin D Seen to Stall Pre-Diabetic Syndrome” and “Vitamin D Clinical Trial Detects Anti-Diabetes Benefits”.)

Other research indicates that links between vitamin D levels and risk of metabolic syndrome are scientifically plausible.  

Vitamin D deficiency has previously been linked to impaired insulin secretion in animals and humans, and has also been linked to insulin resistance in healthy people. 

And another study present at the 2010 Endocrine Society meeting links higher vitamin D levels to higher (healthier) levels of insulin sensitivity … decreases in which precede and predict development of diabetes (Alvarez JA et al 2010). 

In addition to a potential link to an increased risk of MetS, vitamin D deficiency may promote or exacerbate osteopenia, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, fractures, common cancers, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases and cardiovascular diseases.

There is also some evidence that high levels of the vitamin may reduce the risk of type-1 diabetes and several types of cancer.

Sources

  • Alvarez JA et al. Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Is an Independent Determinant of Whole-Body Insulin Sensitivity. P1-169. Endocrine Society 92nd Annual Meeting, San Diego. Accessed at http://www.endojournals.org/abstracts/P1-1_to_P1-729.pdf
  • Evatt ML. Beyond vitamin status: is there a role for vitamin d in Parkinson disease? Arch Neurol. 2010 Jul;67(7):795-7.
  • Knekt P, Kilkkinen A, Rissanen H, Marniemi J, Sääksjärvi K, Heliövaara M. Serum vitamin d and the risk of Parkinson disease. Arch Neurol. 2010 Jul;67(7):808-11.
  • Oosterwerff MM et al. Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and the Metabolic Syndrome: A Population-Based Study. P1-168. Endocrine Society 92nd Annual Meeting, San Diego. Accessed at http://www.endojournals.org/abstracts/P1-1_to_P1-729.pdf 

 


Dryer Sheets and Fabric Softners Contain Toxic Chemicals

 

Dryer sheets and fabric softeners are not only costly, but they are incredibly harmful to your health and they contribute to ozone depletion.  These laundry products are the number 2 consumer complaint behind perfumes.  This is a list of the chemicals contained in dryer sheets and fabric softeners: Alpha-Terpineol, Benzyl Acetate, Benzyl Alcohol, Camphor, Chloroform, Ethyl Acetate, Limonene, Linalool and Pentane. Some of these chemicals appear on the EPA’s hazardous waste list. Liquid fabric softeners additionally may contain Formaldehyde.

(Listed at the end of the article is information regarding the dangers of these chemicals.)

People and pets are exposed to these chemicals by breathing the aromatic molecules in the air near the clothes or by absorbing them through the skin via direct contact with the clothes – clothing will retain some of the fabric softener/dryer sheet molecules indefinitely!  The warmth and moisture of the body dissolves these chemicals and like a sponge the skin absorbs them and takes them directly into the blood stream.  These products were designed to stay on clothing for a long period of time and slowly release their chemicals throughout the day which leads to prolonged exposure.

Chronic exposure to these chemicals usually takes years and the effects are often subtle and emerge slowly. These chemicals used in fragrant products can induce a narcotic effect in humans, while enticing a craving for more.  Some of the symptoms include headaches, nausea, fatigue, difficulty breathing, skin irritation, difficulty concentrating and remembering, cancer, dermatitis, irritation to the mucous membranes and respiratory tract, liver damage, numbness in the face and blurred vision.  There are numerous cases of SIDS associated with the use of fabric softeners and dryer sheets.  

In addition, various toxic chemicals are being emitted in the air through the dryer vent, contributing to the pollution and ozone depletion.  Some of these volatile chemicals will linger in the air for hours and pollute the air for blocks from the site of the user(s). 

Fabric softeners leave an oil coating on clothing, which don’t really leave them softer

or fluffy.  This oil builds up on the fibers and takes the absorbency out (oil repels water).  Dryer sheets and fabric softeners actually water proof clothing. 

Furthermore, fabric softeners and dryer sheets were created for synthetic fabrics.  Synthetic fabrics, when heated in a dryer, or for that matter, heated by our bodies, will emit an unfavorable smell, hence the development of these products. These products were designed strictly to mask these odors!

Reconsider the use of these products; there are safe alternatives available at your neighborhood Natural Food store or contact For the Good of It for more info.

1,4-dichlorobenzene and Para-dichlorobenzene, 1,4-Dioxane know chemicals that penetrates the skin.  Look at the ingredients of your moisturizers and other body lotions. 2-bromo-2nitropropone-1,3-diol or Bronopol used as preservative forms carcinogenic nitrosamines in cosmetics, shampoo, lotions and even baby products. 2-Butoxy-1-Ethanol or butyl cellosolve are in most aerosol propellants.  Alkyl Phenoxy, Polyethoxy, Ethanol or phenol is a natural pesticide and in everything.  Read your labels on every bottle or propellant you have in your home.  Ammonia and ammonium chloride, ammonium hydroxide, benzalkonium chloride and quaternary ammonium compounds irritate skin, eyes and breathing passages and cause skin cancer.  Take a look at your stff under the sink in the bathroom!  The EPA lists ammonia as a toxic chemical so why is it in a wide range of household cleaning products including glass cleaners, all-purpose cleaners, disinfectants and more.  Watch out for Ammonium Chloride, Ammonium Hydroxide, Amyl Acetate from banana oil, pear oil that irritate skin and affect the brain cells’.  Neurotoxins cause central nervous system and depression.  It’s in your furniture polish; nail finishes, nail polish remover and perfume.  Benzalkonium Chloride is used as a disinfectant in hand soaps, dishwashing detergents, disinfectants and cleaners.  Benzenel kills off your mucus membranes, poisons you if you swallow some and the fumes are toxic.  The EPA and OSHA admit it’s threat to the public health but oven cleaners, detergents, furniture polish, spot removers, nail polish remover all have this..

As for the dryer, fabric softeners leave a sticky residue on all the components such as the moisture sensors and drum of the dryer.  This residue is very flammable, which is why on the back of some fabric softeners it’s written not to use on towels, terry cloth or fleece.  And by the way fabric softeners take the fire retardant out of baby’s clothes.

Overtime, after using dryer sheets, this waxy film can actually encase the mesh of your lint filter, causing your dryer to overwork and eventually burn out the heating element.  The number one cause of house fires is from the dryer.


LIST OF TOXIC CHEMICALS IN
DRYER SHEETS AND FABRIC SOFTENERS

Continuing Research for Blood Sugar Support

Biotin and Chromium are probably the most extensively researched nutrients for blood sugar support.  Here’s just a sampling of some of that research.

▪ One double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial on Biotin showed that it sparked two specific glucose-metabolizing enzymes - called ACC and PC – into action.

▪  Another study done in Japan showed that, in experimental animals, Biotin improves the body’s ability to use glucose, without affecting insulin levels.

▪  In research done over 50 years ago, scientists discovered that Chromium could actually reverse impaired glucose metabolism.  In addition, both of these nutrients are crucial for burning protein, carbs, and fat.  They help you burn off what you eat, instead of storing it throughout the body, on your hips, thighs, and midsection!

Say goodbye to the 2 o’clock slumps and caffeine and junk fixes.



Natural Pest Control
Research Entomologist Prescribes New Form of Pest Control

An Ohio State University entomologist affiliated with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center has recommended a new, innovative and chemical free variety of pest control, in the form of beneficial nematodes. The microscopic pest-killing nematodes aim to execute the same functions as traditional chemical pesticides, but minus the potential hazardous pollution. According to the scientist, nematodes also promise to be animal, human, and environmentally friendly.

The nematode first tracks down an insect, invades its body, releases bacteria, and it is dead within 48 hours. The nematode eats the bacteria and insect to mature into an adult to reproduce hundreds of thousands of nematodes looking for a new bug. "So their life cycle continues by finding newer insects," Dr. Grewal says.

They are already part of the ecosystem and are natural -- and they don't pose harm to people and wildlife. So, it's cheaper in the long term. "We cannot keep producing chemical pesticides," Dr. Grewal says. Biocontrol agents are becoming more popular as both the public and regulators recognize the environmental and human health risks associated with chemical pesticides. Nematodes can be used with standard sprayers, and could even be shipped to you at home -- collected in a sponge.

Pest-killing nematodes are tiny roundworms that can be applied through sprayers or irrigation systems to do the same job as chemical pesticides -- minus the  potential pollution. Unlike parasitic nematodes, which cause disease in plants, animals and humans, beneficial nematodes are used to fight

costly insect and slug pests in vegetables, turf grass, citrus, strawberry, cranberry and ornamental crops. They have also shown promise against fleas, ticks and lice. For instance, citrus growers in Florida rely on the microscopic worms to combat the root-feeding citrus weevil.

Nematodes eat grubs and rid lawns and groves of other common insect pests, such as black vine weevils, beetles, leas, and cutworm, by releasing a bacterium that kills the pest. Nematodes are best applied when soil conditions are wet -- right after it rains, for instance -- with a soil temperature of at least 60 degrees F. They should be applied late in the day, or when it is cool and overcast, since exposure to ultraviolet light will kill them. Nematodes are non-toxic, and start becoming effective within 72 hours of being released into the soil.

There are more than 15,000 known species of nematodes, and a single handful of garden soil may contain thousands of the creatures. They can lay more than 200,000 eggs in a single day. The nematode has an unusual skin that secretes a thick outer shell -- called a cuticle -- that is tough yet flexible, and is shed four times in the nematode's lifetime before it reaches adulthood. The head has a few tiny sense organs and a mouth so food can be pulled into the throat and crushed. Because they have no discrete circulatory or respiratory system, they are vulnerable to environmental conditions. Many nematodes can exist in a state of suspended animation (called cryptobiosis) in order to survive extreme conditions, such as dryness, heat or cold, returning to life when the environment becomes more favorable.


 

NPA Says JAMA Study on Ginkgo Biloba Effects on Rate of Cognitive Decline ‘Still Misses the Boat’

The study population should have been one situated closer to the onset of cognitive decline.

A study released on Tuesday in the December 23/30 issue of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association stated that adults who used the herbal supplement Ginkgo biloba for several years did not have a slower rate of cognitive decline compared to adults who received placebo.  The researchers analyzed results from the 2009 Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory (GEM) study to determine as a secondary outcome if G. biloba slowed the rate of cognitive decline in older adults who had normal cognition or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) at the beginning of the study.

The Natural Products Association has previously issued comments on the GEM study, which was originally  released in November of  2008, questioned the benefits of Ginkgo biloba on preventing dementia and  

Alzheimer’s disease (AD), saying the study “missed the boat entirely” because the universe of people studied was too limited to make broad statements about the benefits of the popular dietary supplement: [New JAMA Study on Ginkgo Biloba and Alzheimer’s Misses the Boat Entirely; NPA Member Update, November 18, 2008].

“As we stated in our comments regarding the GEM study last year, the boat has left the dock and this study isn’t on it,” said Daniel Fabricant, PhD., vice president for scientific and regulatory affairs at the natural Products Association.  “When one considers that age-related cognitive decline may initiate in healthy adults as early as their 30s, it would seem that if the authors were indeed serious about investing prevention as a secondary outcome, they would have selected a population that was situated closer to the onset of cognitive decline instead of one where its effects most likely have already taken hold.”


  Keep This in Mind When Buying Gifts

For some years, scientists have known that both bisphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates, two chemicals frequently found in a variety of consumer products, can mimic human hormones and disrupt the endocrine system.

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a basic building block of polycarbonate plastics.  In the bloodstream and body tissues, BPA mimics the hormone estrogen.  Low levels of BPA, including those well below the current regulatory safety threshold, have been shown to affect prostate development, promote prostate tumors, affect breast tissue development and sperm counts, and possibly even create and enlarge fat cells.  Scientists have also linked BPA exposure to premature puberty, attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, miscarriage, and birth defects like Down Syndrome.

For their part, phthalates are a group of industrial compounds widely used in common products. About 7.6 billion pounds are produced throughout the world each year.  The largest use of these chemicals is as a plasticizer in polyvinyl chloride and other soft plastic to keep them flexible.  Without the addition of phthalate plasticizers, these materials would be fairly stiff and difficult to use for their intended purposes.

used in food and soda can linings, toys, and dental sealants.  The molecular bonds that bind this chemical to its host material weaken over time, especially (though not exclusively) when those materials are exposed to heat, washing, or acidic materials like certain foods.  As a result, BPA is able to easily leach out of products that contain it and enter the bodies of people that some into contact with those products.  In fact, the Center for Disease Control has detected BPA in 95% of the people it tested.

Phthalates are also used as solvents that help keep other ingredients in a chemical formula dissolved and dispersed throughout the product.  Their oily texture helps lubricate other materials; and this ability to keep a chemical product evenly mixed makes phthalates an ideal additive in things like cosmetics, personal care products, perfumes, inks, and insect repellents, among many others.  Phthalates are also used in things like lotions to help them penetrate and soften skin.  In fact, these chemicals are now used in so many products and in so many places that they’ve even begun to appear as contaminants in products that don’t purposefully contain them.

Unfortunately, phthalates are easily volatized.  This means that they are readily able to leave the product they’re used in and enter the air. 



Kyolic Garlic vs. statin, aspirin and placebo study

Summary of Budff’s New Clinical Study

Design: placebo-controlled, double blind, randomized trial

Formula: 2 capsules of Kyolic 108, each capsule contains AGE (500 mg),

        Vitamin B-12 (200 mcg), Folic Acid (400 mcg), Vitamin B6 (25 mg)

        And L-Arginine (200mg)

Subjects: All 58 patients treated with statin and aspirin-but only half of the
   patients treated with Kyolic 108-the other half were treated with the statin,
   aspirin and placebo.

Duration: 1 year

Results shown significantly

Inhibition of coronary artery calcification:

 

Kyolic

Percent

Better Than

 

Decreased Calcium

Kyolic

83.5%

8 x

qVs placebo + statin and aspirin 10%

Total Cholesterol:

Kyolic (Down)

9.7%

3 ½ x

q Vs baseline (placebo: 2.5%q) statin & aspirin

LDL-cholesterol:

Kyolic (Down)

14.5%

17 x

q Vs baseline (placebo: 3.0%p) statin & aspirin

HDL-cholesterol:

Kyolic (Up)

16.7%

3 x

q Vs baseline (placebo: 5.9%p) statin & aspirin

Homocysteine:

Kyolic (Down)

15.0%

4 ½

q Vs baseline (placebo: 3.5%q) statin & aspirin

 

The Study on Kyolic was so impressive that Dr. Budooff was invited to the largest cardiovascular convention in Munich, Germany.  As the good Dr. says, “Taking Kyolic may save your life”—

P.S. -- No Side effects with those taking Kyolic – just side benefits . . .

uuPresentation Schedule of Dr. Budoff’s 2nd Clinical Study using Kyolic 108:
     Experimental Biology (EB 2008) San Diego, CA, April 9, 2008

uuAmerican Heart Association Meeting’s on : Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis & Vascular Biology 2008, Atlanta,
      Ga April 16-18 2008

     Quality of Care and Outcome Research in Cardiovascular Diseases & Stroke Conference 2008, Baltimore,
     MD, April 30-May 2, 2008


 
Study: Folic Acid Reduces Heart Attack, Stroke

                                                
    

A new study published in the British Medical Journal provides further evidence that lowering levels of the amino acid homocysteine can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.  And, since the B vitamin folic acid has been shown to reduce homocysteine levels, “Increasing intake of folic acid would be a relatively cheap and simple way of reducing heart disease,” according to researchers. The researchers analyzed a variety of previously published studies and concluded that homocysteine as

 

a cause of  cardiovascular disease “explains the observations from all the different types of study” and that “no single alternative explanation can account for all the observations. Since folic acid reduces homocysteine concentrations…it follows that increasing folic acid consumption will reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by an amount related to the homocysteine reduction achieved.”

Acrylamide Reduced in Wheat Crops…

According to a recent report in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, researchers at the University of Reading in the U.K. found that wheat grown in fields low on  sulfer had much higher concentrations of asparagines – an amino acid that, along with sugars, forms acrylamide during cooking. Acrylamide, a chemical linked to cancer and other possible ill effects, naturally occurs during

 the baking or frying process of starchy foods. Since being identified in 2002, scientists have tried to find ways to reduce or eliminate the amount of Acrylamide in foods without losing the appealing flavor that comes from browning. Researchers speculate that ensuring that crops have plenty of sulfur could reduce acrylamide in foods without changing the flavor.

Citrus Peel
Extract May Fight Diabetes...
          Supplementing daily with an extract from citrus peel may help ward off diabetes in humans, suggests an animal study.  Polymethoxylated flavones(PMFs), extracted from citrus peel, have been reported to help reduce cholesterol levels, but researchers conducting this study claim it's the first to look in detail at the benefits and report the positive effects on inflammation.  For the study, published in the journal Life Sciences (2006, vol. 79, no 4: 365-373), 28 hamsters on a fructose-rich diet (which induced
hyperglyceridimia and insulin resistance) were divided into four groups and fed one of four diets: chow; a control fructose diet; fructose plus low-dose PMFs (62.5 milligrams per kilograms body weight per day); or fructose plus high-dose PMFs (125 milligrams per kilograms body weight per day).  After four weeks on these diets, both PMF groups showed a significant decrease in serum triglycerides and cholesterol levels compared to the fructose-fed hamsters.
 
  
     
  
  
  

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