Thursday, December 29, 2005

Year-End Review 2005

Here's our list of the 10 Best and Worst Nutritional and Public Health Trends of 2005. Let's start with the worst:

10 Worst

1. 40% of the U.S. population are obese; 65% are overweight. Enough said.

2. The release of 2005 MyPyramid Food Guide. An abomination and disgrace to our tax dollars. Feeds the Big Foods coffers and will do nothing to curb obesity. The only saving grace is recommending an increase in fruit and vegetable intake.

3. USDA will not enforce rules against junk food sales in schools and Congress refuses to curb junk food advertising on television. A travesty for our children. It is okay for the United Kingdom to ban junk food in schools and on television, but not us?

4. Misuse of reflux medication in infants and young children. Read Bonnie's article in special reports at

5. Government launches $2.7 billion, 21 year study to find out what makes kids unhealthy. Couldn't they just put that money towards education programs? We'll give them the information for free!

6. Soy is in everything! Milk, corn, wheat, and now soy. Is it not interesting that our most plentiful crops find there way into just about every food. Is it not also a coincidence that these foods are the most common allergens in the U.S. Not to mention that there have been a bevy of less than impressive studies to come out this year with regard to soy's health benefits (or lack thereof).

7. Sucralose in everything! It has now replaced Aspartame (Equal, Nutrasweet) as the most popular synthetic sweetener. Do not believe the marketing that it is a natural substance. It is not. The manufacturer is currently being sued for false advertising. We have also had a plethora of new clients this year who had major digestive issues go away after they stopping the substance.

8. Pandemics/Shmandemics. First SARS and now the Avian Bird Flu...what's next? If world health officials could scare us half as much about our diet and lifestyle, we'd be a whole lot better off.

9. Vitamin E thrown under the bus. A perfect example of how the media gets ahold of a story and runs with it. One bogus meta-anaylsis study and on tiny review study made hundreds of thousands eliminate vitamin E supplementation after decades of safety. See Bonnie's comments at Special Reports at

10. "Expert Panel" allows Vioxx back onto market. Certain scientists were discovered to have ties to the makers of Vioxx. Suprised? No.

10 Best

1. Balanced, not Fad Diets are here to stay. One of our greatest moments of the year was when The Obesity Society said at their annual conference that
an abundance of "new" evidence supporting diets that foster 30% protein, 20% fat, and 50% carbohydrate increase satiety and accelerate weight loss if overweight. That breakdown mirrors our Circle of Health exactly.

Vitamin D, Omega 3 Fish Oil, Magnesium, and Dark Chocolate dominate the headlines. Numerous positive studies were published this year promoting these substances...all of which we have been touting for years!

Soft Drinks & Fruit Juices receive crushing blows. Doctors, news media, government, and school officials alike lambasted these products for contribuitng to childhood obesity. It's about time!

Protein takes center stage. More studies than we can count were published this year lauding the benefits of increased dietary protein. Of course, our government did not take notice as MyPyramid exhibits a poverty of protein.

Illinois, California, and Iowa ban vaccines with mercury. Not satisfied with the federal government's voluntary removal of mercury from vaccines, these three states made it mandatory. Many more states will follow.

Reduction of antidepressant, attention deficit medication intake seen in children. A welcome statistic. Although, it must take black box warnings on antidpressants and who knows how many injuires and suicides to achieve this.

Avocado gets a new lease on life. Unschackled from decades of being categorized as a "fattening food," avocado is now recommended for many reasons as a staple of our diet.

Organic produce is being purchased more frequently. As every year passes, more and more consumers are choosing pesticide-free produce, helping their own health as well as the environment.

The government finally acknowledges that too many Americans are overmedicating. They finally realize that in order to achieve a preventative, proactive health policy as oppsed to a reactive health policy, they must drastically reduce the amount of medications that are dispensed to the average American. This is a good first step.

FDA & Big Pharma get what was coming to them. I cannot remember a year so devastating to the integrity of both of these groups. From over-the-line advertising, to drug-related deaths, to conflicts of interest, to class-action lawsuits, it has been a sobering year. All we can say's about time. While this usually comes a decade or two late, the public always finds out, and when they do, it is not pretty.

On a selfish note, if we had to add two more to the 10 best list, it would be the advent of this blog and the creation of our Action Plans. We hope you agree.

Have a happy, healthy New Year!

Bonnie & Steve

Barley products can claim heart benefits

Here we go!

While barley is not half as allergenic as wheat (because it not nearly consumed as much), it is a wheat cousin and a glutenous grain.

Quinoa has three times as much fiber as barley. Avocado has 4 times as much fiber as barley. Would the FDA ever claim they have heart benefits? Probably not.

So the question is why barley? Because major US food producers, in their effort to meet MyPyramid requirements for more whole grain, are putting barley in many of their products.

Elementary my dear Watson!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Vitamin-rich diet cuts risk of vision malady: study

A vitamin-rich diet lowers the risk of contracting macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness among the elderly in developed countries, according to this week's issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The eight-year study involved more than 4,000 older residents of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. It found those whose diets included more than the median levels of vitamins C and E, beta carotene and zinc had a 35 percent lower risk of developing macular degeneration, compared with those whose diets provided a below-median level of any of the four nutrients.Participants with a below-median consumption of all four of the nutrients had a 20 percent higher risk of macular degeneration.

Vitamin D 'can lower cancer risk'

High doses of vitamin D can reduce the risk of developing some common cancers by as much as 50%, US scientists claim. Researchers reviewed 63 old studies and found that the vitamin could reduce the chances of developing breast, ovarian and colon cancer, and others.

Experts cautiously welcomed the University of California study but warned too much vitamin D could harm the kidneys and liver. The "natural" form of the vitamin, called D3, is normally produced in the skin after exposure to sunlight, but is also obtained from certain foods such as oily fish, butter and meat.

The research, done at the University of California in San Diego, looked at the relationship between blood levels of vitamin D and cancer risk. The papers reviewed, published worldwide between 1966 and 2004, included 30 investigations of colon cancer, 13 of breast cancer, 26 of prostate cancer and seven of ovarian cancer.

Scientists said analysis showed that, for at least some cancers, the vitamin D factor could not be ignored. Taking 1,000 international units (IU) - or 25 micrograms - of the vitamin daily could lower an individual's cancer risk by 50% in colon cancer, and by 30% in breast and ovarian cancer, they said.

The findings have been published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Steve - While we are always wary of meta-analysis studies (because they tend to make gross generalizations), we are well aware how crucial it is to have sufficient vitamin D stores. The cancer prevention connection is not suprising because sufficient vitamin D stores suppress Tumor Necorsis Factor (TNF), which when expressed, is implicated in increased cancer risk.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Another downside to heartburn drugs

According to a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, people on prescription heartburn drugs, such as Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium, are at greater risk to getting a dangerous form of diarrhea caused by the bug Clostridium difficile. The study explains that because the drugs reduce the amount of gastric acid in th gut, patients have a weakened resistance to bacteria and viruses.

Patients with prescriptions for powerful acid-fighters called proton pump inhibitors, which include Prilosec and Prevacid, were almost three times more likely to be diagnosed with the bug than those not taking the drugs. Those on less potent prescription drugs called H2 receptor antagonists, which include Pepcid and Zantac, were two times more likely than nonusers to get C-diff infections.

Certain colonoscopy preparations may increase risk of kidney damage

In rare instances, certain popular bowel-cleansing preparations that patients gulp down the day before a procedure can severely damage the kidneys.

The products are oral preparations made with sodium phosphate and they include Visicol tablets, sold by prescription, and over-the-counter solutions like Fleet-Phosphosoda and store-brand versions that contain the same active ingredients.

A team of doctors from the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons recently reported 21 cases of acute kidney failure from such products, including three that led to permanent dialysis and one to a kidney transplant. The study appeared in the November issue of The Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

The new findings lengthen the list of people who may be especially vulnerable to kidney damage. Among the dozen or so groups now thought to have a slightly elevated risk are healthy elderly people, patients with unstable angina or who have had heart attacks and anyone who is especially likely to become dehydrated, including people who take certain hypertensiondrugs and people who do not drink enough fluid to replenish that lost in bowel cleansing.

While experts agree that the likelihood of severe kidney damage is very small, some say that any added risk is unnecessary, and that people in these risk groups should avoid phosphate-based bowel preparations.

Courtesy of NY Times

Fewer children being given antidepressants

Use of antidepressants by children continued to drop sharply this year in the wake of warning labels linking the prescription drugs to suicidal behavior, according to market analyses.

The decrease signals that doctors and parents are taking a more careful look at benefits and risks of treatments for depression, says child psychiatrist David Fassler of Burlington, Vt. "Not all depressed kids need medication. There are effective therapies, especially for milder forms of depression."

The Food and Drug Administration ordered "black boxes," the most severe safety warning, for antidepressants in October 2004, and these stronger labels were on the medicines by March. The FDA said two out of 100 children were more likely to think about or try suicide because they were taking the pills.

There has been a 25% drop in pediatric prescriptions for antidepressants since the FDA started issuing safety warnings in 2003, according to a September analysis by Medco Health Solutions, pharmacy-benefit managers. About a 20% overall drop is reported by NDC Health Inc. from March 2004 to June.

Courtesy of USA Today

Bonnie - This is welcome news!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Grapefruit may cut gum disease

Eating grapefruit could help fight gum disease, a study suggests.

Researchers found people with gum disease who ate two grapefruits a day for a fortnight showed significantly less bleeding from the gums.

They believe this is due to an increase in blood levels of vitamin C, known to promote wound healing and cut damage by unstable free radical molecules.

The research, by Friedrich Schiller University in Germany, is published in the British Dental Journal.

The study of 58 people with chronic gum disease found that eating grapefruits had a positive effect on both smokers and non-smokers.

Steve - keep in mind that while grapefruit has its benefits, when mixed with certain medications and dietary supplements, it can create adverse effects. Contact your pharmacist to see if any of your medications contraindicate with grapefruit. In addition, this study showed benefits from people eating grapefruits, not grapefruit juice. There is a big difference.

High-vegetable diet reduces cancer risk

Eating at least five portions a day of certain fruit and vegetables could cut the risk of developing pancreatic cancer by 50%, US researchers believe.

Onions, garlic, beans, carrots, corn, dark leafy vegetables and citrus fruits were among the most protective foods, according to a University of California team comparing the diets of 2,200 people.

The report, published in the Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention journal, said eating five portions daily of the most protective vegetables cuts the risk in half or eating any nine fruit or vegetables could have the same effect.

Raw vegetables were found to be more protective than cooked ones, the study said after conducting interviews with 532 people with the cancer, and 1,700 people who did not have the disease.


Friday, December 23, 2005

Removing mold in your house

Cleaning up after mold can pose health dangers. Government and private industry experts give these tips:

- Dry out a building as soon as possible, ideally within 24 to 48 hours of flooding or rainfall. Open doors and windows and use fans.

- Don't start mold removal until the area in and around the building is dry or it will just reappear.

- When in doubt, take it out is the rule for furniture, etc.

- Fix water problems fueling the mold , such as leaks in roofs, walls or plumbing.

- To remove mold from hard surfaces, use commercial products, soap and water, or a solution of 1 cup bleach in 1 gallon of water. Use a stiff brush on rough surfaces like concrete. Never mix bleach with ammonia (can cause toxic fumes), and open windows and doors for fresh air. Wear gloves and protective eyewear.

- If you think mold is inside air conditioners or heating systems, don't turn them on. That could blow spores throughout the building.

- If the moldy area is less than 10 square feet (roughly 3 feet by 3 feet), most people can handle the job themselves. If more than that, consult the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guide "Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings," available at 800-438-4318 or

- If you hire a contractor, make sure he has experience cleaning up mold. Several associations certify mold remediators.

Courtesy of Associated Press

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Dannon to launch Activia yogurt in U.S. in January

The dairy products company said it is expecting Activia, a so-called pro-biotic yogurt that contains special bacteria it says can help regulate the digestive system if eaten daily for two weeks, to expand the overall U.S. yogurt market, currently estimated at about $2.5 billion a year. It originated in France.

Steve - They can keep it! Check out the ingredients of the natural flavor Activia...

Skim milk, concentrated skim milk, cream, sugar, fructose, whey protein concentrate, corn starch, gelatin, active bacterial cultures.

A house of horrors for many of us!

Most of us know already that yogurt has probiotic cultures. Dannon is trying to capitalize using probiotics as a marketing ploy to separate the its product from the rest. Don't buy into the hype.

Bonnie's Blog is back! Green tea extract 'is cancer aid'

A green tea extract may help patients with a form of leukaemia, a study says.

The team from the Mayo Clinic in the US found it appeared to improve the condition of four patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL).

Experts said the Leukaemia Research journal study was interesting but more research was needed.

The Mayo researchers decided to try green tea after a test tube study in 2004 showed it killed leukaemia cells.

Four CLL patients being treated at the clinic took green tea extract tablets containing epigallocatechin gallate, an antioxidant thought to fight cancer cells.

Within a few months, doctors realized that three out of four patients were showing signs of the cancer regressing.

The fourth patient also showed a slight improvement, but it was not judged to be clinically relevant.

Report author Tait Shanafelt said: "Green tea has long been thought to have cancer-prevention capabilities. It is exciting that research is now demonstrating this agent may provide new hope for CLL patients.

"The experience of these individuals provides some suggestion that our previously published laboratory findings may actually translate into clinical effects for patients with this disease."

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Bonnie's Blog on Vacation

Due to the editor's absence, Bonnie's Blog will be on hiatus from 12/14-12/22.

So now there is really nothing left to eat!

After reading this week's Chicago Tribune mercury in fish "expose," it's official...there is really nothing left to eat!

We were warned to stop eating eggs for fear of developing high cholesterol and salmonella.

We were warned to stop eating red meat due to elevated cholesterol and mad cow disease.

We were warned to stop eating poultry to protect us from the Avian flu.

We have discovered that cow's milk..."nature's perfect food"... is really only perfect for calves. It often carries estrogen and bovine growth hormone residues, cannot be well-digested by at least two-thirds of the world's population, and is the number one food allergen in the United States.

Now we've been warned that eating heart healthy fish can produce mercury toxicity.

The answer seems to be: stop eating all animal foods...except that a strict vegan diet makes it nearly impossible for most people to get enough bioavailable protein, not to mention the negative affects of eating a heavy soy diet and consuming pesticide-laced fruits and vegetables.

What's wrong with this picture? It's not the life-giving foods that are to's man's greed and belief that we can keep destroying our environment and abusing ourselves with toxic foods, air, and water without paying the price.

Our holiday wish for all of you is to do your part to demand and ensure that our foods and environment will be safe for future generations.

Have a blessed holiday season, Bonnie and Steve

Changing Attitude Towards Long-Term Health

According to Health Focus' The National Study of Public Attitudes and Actions Towards Shopping and Eating, consumers are rejecting diets and dieting, in favor of healthy choices they can live with over a lifetime. The study shows that fewer are dieting to lose weight. And, 75% of shoppers stongrly agree that it is more important to eat light rather than diet.

The study also predicts that the focus on limiting carbohydrates will have a lasting impact on how consumers think about health and weight management. The focus will be on smart carbs such as fiber, fruits, and vegetables to help manage blood sugar levels, and satiating proteins to satisfy one's appetite.

Steve - Wow! It is so refreshing to hear that consumers are starting to get it. As we have said from the beginning, there are no "quick-fixes." Time and time agian, research has shown that dieting may help short-term weight-loss, but is not a long-term healthy lifestyle solution. Dietary lifestyle changes create long-term health. It is also wonderful to see consumers mention fruits, vegetables, fiber, and protein as staples for a healthy diet.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Study Finds Omega-3 Fatty Acids Help Decrease Postpartum Depression

A new clinical study shows positive effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on postpartum depression. "Omega-3 fatty acids were assessed in a double-blind dose-ranging trial," says Marlene P. Freeman, M.D., director of the Women's Mental Health Program and assistant professor of Psychiatry, Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. "Subjects in the trial were randomized to 0.5 g, 1.4 g, or 2.8 g per day (N=16). Among all three doses, patients with postpartum depression improved substantially during the trial. Scores on depression measures decreased by approximately 50 percent, and differences were statistically significant." The Omega-3 fatty acids were well tolerated.

In addition, a larger, placebo-controlled trial for perinatal depression is now in progress at the University of Arizona (Marlene P. Freeman, M.D. and colleagues).

Friday, December 09, 2005

Business stresses role of proper diet

Nutritional Concepts appeared in the business Section of the Daily Herald today.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Magnesium could reduce osteoporosis risk

Increasing magnesium intake could increase bone density in the elderly and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, suggests a large American study.

"Higher Mg intake through diet and supplements was positively associated with total-body [bone mineral density] BMD in older white men and women. For every 100 mg per day increase in Mg, there was an approximate 2 per cent increase in whole-body BMD," said Kathryn Ryder and colleagues.

More than 2,000 volunteers aged 70 to 79 took part in the cross-sectional American study by completing a food-frequency questionnaire. All supplements and dietary intakes of magnesium were calculated from ingredients databases.

Dietary sources of magnesium include green, leafy vegetables, meats, starches, grains and nuts, and milk. Earlier dietary surveys show that a large portion of adults do not meet the RDA for magnesium (320 mg per day for women and 420 mg per day for men).

Responding to this study, a spokesperson for the UK-based charity, the National Osteoporosis Society, said: "Although there have been previous studies into the effect of magnesium on bone density, it is always encouraging to learn of studies which help build upon our knowledge of bone health."

The study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society (November, Vol 53, No 11, pp 1875-1880).

Steve - Music to our ears. For many of you that know us well, we have been touting magensium as one of the most important yet most deficient nutrients in humans.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Panel Doesn't Want Junk Food Aimed at Kids

The Institute of Medicine said television advertising strongly influences what children under 12 eat. Their report said the food industry should spend its marketing dollars on nutritious food and drinks. "The foods advertised are predominantly high in calories and low in nutrition -- the sort of diet that puts children's long-term health at risk," said J. Michael McGinnis, a senior scholar at the institute and chairman of the report committee.

The growth in new food products targeted to kids has been huge, from 52 introduced in 1994 to nearly 500 introduced last year, the report said. The panel said the government should use tax breaks and other incentives to encourage the shift away from junk food and said if it doesn't happen, Congress should mandate it.

An arm of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine is congressionally chartered to advise the government on medical issues.

Courtesy of Associated Press

Aspartame carinogenic in rats

Italian researchers found that apspartame is a multipotential carniogenic agent, even at a daily dose much less than the current acceptable daily intake. Aspartame was administered to 8 week-old rats at varying concentrations. The treatment lasted until natural death. Increased incidence of malignant tumors were exhibited in both male and female rats at multiple concentrations. In particular, lymphomas, leukemias, transitional cell carcinmoas of the renal pelvis and ureter and their precursors (dysplasias), and schwannomas of peripheral nerves were discovered. The researchers plea is as follows: "On the basis of these results, a re-evaluation of the present guidelines on the use and consumption of aspartame is urgent and cannot be delayed."

Steve - This is further clarification of our 12/5/05 post. We recently learned of this study which appeared in Environmental Health Perspectives, published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. We rarely comment on studies not performed on humans, but given the fact that no substantative study has ever been done on humans with regard to aspartame, we are taking liberty here given the devastating findings the study produced.

Stress 'hinders healing process'

Researchers at The Ohio State University focused on 42 married couples and found wounds on hostile couples healed at 60% of the healing rate for non-hostile couples.

The team told the journal Archives of General Psychiatry the findings showed hospitals should try to minimise stress for patients ahead of surgery. This could lead to shorter hospital stays and save money, they added.

The researchers focused on a group of 42 married couples who had been together an average of at least 12 years.

Steve - if stress can affect wound healing, what do you think it can do to us day in and day out? Stress management is a pillar in the foundation of good health. It's easy for health professionals to say "reduce stress." Although, it is much harder to do. Finding the right stress management technique for you is of the utmost importance.

Monday, December 05, 2005

These supplements didn't make the grade, an independent laboratory in the business of testing dietary supplements in the marketplace, recently found that these products did not meet label claim for a variety of reasons:
  • Theragran-M® Advanced Formula High Potency Multivitamin/Multimineral Supplement Mfd. by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. Exceeded limit for lead (3.5 mcg lead in 1 unit dose).
  • L'il Critters™ Gummy Vites® Dietary Supplement Dist. by Northwest Natural Products® Inc. Low in folate. Exceeded limit for lead (1.25 mcg lead in 1 unit does, 2.5 mcg lead in 2 unit dose).
  • Doctor's Best Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM Dietary Supplement Dist. by Doctor's Best, Inc. Less than 85% of labeled amount of chondroitin sulfate.
  • Glucoflex 24™ Patented 24-Hour Release Glucosamine & Chondroitin Sulfate with Cox II Inhibitors & MSM Mfd. by Windmill™ Health Products Only 18% of the labeled "chondroitin sulfate complex" was chondroitin.
  • Life Extension™ Chromium 200 mcg Caps Dist. by Life Extension Foundation Buyers Club, Inc. Contaminated with chromium VI (3.85%).
  • EZ-Trim™ Mfd. by Scientific Weight Loss Labs. Only contained 25% claimed chromium.

Chocolate study proves eye-popping

Keeping your hands off chocolate can be difficult — and you may have your eyes to blame. For three weeks, researchers at Cornell University and the University of Illinois-Champaign gave 40 women several dozen chocolate Hershey Kisses in clear or opaque candy jars either on their desks or six feet away. They refilled the candy jars each day and tracked how much the women ate.

They found that women ate nearly twice as many Hershey Kisses when the candy was in clear containers on their office desks (7.7 pieces per day) than when the candy was in opaque jars (4.6 pieces per day).

Distance also played a role. On average, women ate 5.6 Kisses a day when the candy was visible in clear containers placed six feet away from their desks compared with 3.1 chocolates a day when the candy was in a non-translucent jar.

"If we want to reduce our consumption of sweets, we should keep them out of sight and inconvenient," said James Painter, professor of nutrition at Eastern Illinois University and a co-author of the study.

The study was presented at a North American Society for the Study of Obesity meeting this fall and will soon be published in the International Journal of Obesity.

Courtesy of the LA Times

Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Overweight Kids

Ohio State University researchers found that babies born to women who were overweight at the start of their pregnancies had up to three times the risk of becoming overweight themselves compared to children of women at normal weight. In mothers who smoked during their pregnancy, the risk of a child becoming overweight was nearly doubled. The findings appear in the December issue of Pediatrics.

Their analysis included more than 3,000 children, who were weighed when they were roughly ages 3, 5 and 7 years.

"As parents, we need to look at ourselves and see how we take care of ourselves. That will influence what our children see. Childhood obesity isn't a child's problem; it's a family problem and ultimately, society's problem. We can't just address childhood obesity; obesity is the issue," said Dr. Helen Binns, director of the nutrition evaluation clinic at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

Courtesy of HealthDay

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Nutritional Concepts Healthy Holiday Tips

  1. Alcohol is loaded with calories. Try substituting with sparkling water or club soda (an added benefit is feeling more full with water so you won’t eat as much). Add a small amount lemon or lime to your water for added flavor. Another great alcohol substitute is a festive virgin “bloody mary” with a celery stick.

  2. Eat healthy foods before you go to a party, especially protein foods. Your blood sugar will be more stable and you won't eat as much. At the party, eat plain fish or lean meats (i.e. cold shrimp, turkey breast, and smoked salmon).

  3. At a buffet, graze to take a taste of enticing items, but spend most of your time with the raw vegetables and heart healthy guacamole and humus dips.

  4. If you want a rich dessert, keep your fat and carbohydrate intake low the rest of the day to compensate.

  5. Watch out for raw foods (raw fish, steak tartare and eggnog made with raw eggs) or foods left out too long at room temperature. They could harbor harmful pathogens such as salmonella, shigella, listeria, or e coli.

  6. Avoid foods high in saturated fat. These are typically very high in calories. For example: 8 oz. eggnog = 340 calories, 1 slice pie with whipping cream = 520 calories; 1 cup standard poultry stuffing = 500 calories.

  7. Exercise more to burn more calories during the holidays. Cycling, fast-walking, and cross-country skiing are great ideas. Even shoveling the snow off of your driveway and sidewalk counts.

  8. Offer to bring your favorite healthy recipe to the party and spend most of your time eating it. That way, you won’t have to worry about leftovers.

  9. If you have food sensitivities or allergies, call your host before the party to determine what foods would be safe. There is nothing worse than having an allergic reaction or digestive distress when you are trying to have fun.

  10. Don’t begin a diet during the holidays or become obsessive about avoiding tempting holiday fare. If you restrict yourself too much, you’ll either be depressed or “pig out” later. Remember that the average adult gains 6 lbs. from Thanksgiving Day through New Year’s Day. If you can even maintain your weight during the holidays,
    you’ll be one step ahead when it is time to make your New Year’s resolutions.

  11. If you you've eaten too much and you need to cull the indigestion, take a couple of Vitaline Alka-Aid (sodium/potassium bicarbonate tablets)!

© Copyright 2005. Nutritional Concepts

Nutritional Concepts Unveils "The New American Breakfast"

Our newest Action Plan has put the kibosh on the tired, unhealthy standard American breakfast and replaced it with something healthily exciting! It has appeal to all lifestyle "gears." The "I don't have time for breakfast" excuse will not cut it anymore. Read the first 2 pages. This is surely an Action Plan ALL OF US can use!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Acetaminophen poisonings on the rise

Despite more than a decade's worth of research showing that taking too much acetaminophen can ruin the liver, the number of severe, unintentional poisonings from the drug is on the rise, a new study reports. The drug is best known under the brand name Tylenol. But many consumers don't realize that it is also found in widely varying doses in several hundred common cold remedies and combination pain relievers.

These compounds include Excedrin, Midol Teen Formula, Theraflu, Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Medicine, and NyQuil Cold and Flu, as well as other over-the-counter drugs and many prescription narcotics, like Vicodin and Percocet.

The authors of the study, which is appearing in the December issue of Hepatology, say the combination of acetaminophen's quiet ubiquity in over-the-counter remedies and its pairing with narcotics in potentially addictive drugs like Vicodin and Percocet can make it too easy for some patients to swallow much more than the maximum recommended dose inadvertently.

Dr. Davern and a team of colleagues from other centers led by Dr. Anne Larson at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, tracked the 662 consecutive patients who showed up with acute liver failure at 23 transplant centers across the United States from 1998 to 2003.

Acetaminophen poisoning was to blame in nearly half the patients, the scientists found. The proportion of cases linked to the drug rose to 51 percent in 2003 from 28 percent in 1998.

"Part of the problem is that the labeling on many of these drugs is still crummy," said Dr. William Lee, a liver specialist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Nearly two-thirds of the people in the transplant center study who unintentionally poisoned themselves were taking one or another of the roughly 200 prescription drugs that contain acetaminophen plus an opiate.

Courtesy of the New York Times

Monday, November 28, 2005

Breast-feeding lessens women's diabetes risk

Breast-feeding, backed for the health effects it bestows on the baby, also appears to reduce the mother's risk of developing adult-onset diabetes.

The protective effect probably comes from the way breast-feeding uses up energy and keeps blood sugar levels stabilized, said the report from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.

A look at women 15 years after they had their last baby "found that each year a woman breastfeeds reduced her risk of diabetes by 15%," said Alison Stuebe, a physician who led the study.

The finding was based on a look at more than 150,000 U.S. nurses whose health histories have been tracked for years.

A woman with two children who breast-fed each of them for a year could reduce her risk of diabetes by nearly a third in later years, she said.

"A breast-feeding woman uses up about 500 calories a day making milk for her baby. That's the equivalent of running about four to five miles a day … a lot of energy," Stuebe said.

The study was published in the combined Nov. 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Assn.

Courtesy of LA Times

Bonnie Minsky Chimes in on Grains

In case you missed it, Bonnie was quoted in the Sunday Trib.

Going against the grain

Outside the mainstream is a group that touts vegetables and fruits over our daily bread

By Ross Werland
Tribune staff reporter

November 27, 2005

Though most nutrition experts would agree that there is something fundamentally very wrong with the way we eat, a small segment of that group has singled out as a villain what the mainstream food culture touts as one of the good guys.


It's so deeply a part of our lives that even our religions rely on it for their timeless messages and ceremonial munchies.

The man turning over the tables in this temple is Loren Cordain, a professor of health and exercise science at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins. He has studied diet via fossils and determined that people have never evolved to eat bread, cereal, pasta, cake, pie, cream puffs or whatever else many of us might call the greatest gastronomical inventions of mankind, no matter how good they smell.

A large portion of his message, he points out, has caught on with main-line nutrition. His list: reducing saturated fats; reducing trans fats; increasing omega-3 fats; increasing monounsaturated fats found in nuts, olive oil and avocados; reducing salt; reducing refined sugars; reducing refined grains; reducing processed foods; increasing fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats and seafood.

These "are pretty much mainstream, and you would be hard pressed to find any nutritionist anywhere who wouldn't agree with these points," he said. "What most nutritionists object to is when I take it a step further and suggest that all grains, refined or whole, should be severely cut or eliminated and replaced with fresh fruits and vegetables.

"From a nutrient-density perspective, we have made direct comparisons showing that whole grains cannot hold a candle to fruits and veggies when it comes to all vitamins and minerals on an energy-comparison basis."

On her own, certified nutrition specialist Bonnie Minsky reached the same conclusions when she suspected that her own children's allergies and the behavioral problems of teenage students she counseled were rooted in the foods they ate.

"A lot of these things are not really allergies, they're intolerances," she said. In other words, people aren't meant to tolerate the foods, so their bodies react poorly whether through obesity or diabetes or even poor behavior.

In her Northbrook practice, Nutritional Concepts, wheat in particular has drawn her attention.

"If you're going to do a whole grain, people are programmed to think it's wheat," she said. "Every client who comes in to see me, when I tell that I don't recommend whole wheat, they're in shock."

Citing wheat gluten as one of the most common food allergens in this country, she said, "Isn't it fascinating that there is no fruit or vegetable out there that is considered a common allergen other than soy, but that's only because they put it in everything."

If someone is determined to consume grains, a variety such as brown, or whole, rice is superior to wheat, she said.

Tucson nutritionist Melissa Diane Smith, author of "Going Against the Grain," also lines up against grain and wheat in particular. "There's no doubt that bones were stronger and healthier when our ancestors ate meat and vegetables than when they ate a lot of gluten grains," she wrote.

Among the beefs with refined grains is their radical action within the body. They are broken down quickly into blood sugar, causing it to spike much more rapidly than it would with whole grain or especially vegetables. Vegetables deliver their carbohydrate load much more slowly, in tempo with the body. With refined grain, the resulting rise, then plunge in blood sugar can lead to hunger pangs or, over time, insulin resistance and diabetes, according to Smith.

Further, Smith said in agreement with Cordain, fruits and vegetables, as whole, unrefined foods, deliver much greater nutrition than even whole grains.

Nevertheless, from the federal government through the ranks of dietitians and even the Harvard School of Public Health, whole grain remains a strong recommendation, though refined grain has fallen from favor, even if it's still reportedly 95 percent of the grain consumed worldwide.

Jennifer K. Nelson, a registered dietitian at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., responded this way: "Each person is a unique human being and is subjected to different genetics and risk factors. To answer this question [of excluding grain] is not an easy thing to do. What we do know is that people who are healthiest are people who eat a wide variety of foods. Those who have less variety are less healthy."

So her point is that excluding grains, particularly whole varieties, serves to limit the diet and possibly deny the body nutrients.

Nevertheless, the pro-vegetable group insists that even whole grains don't compare in nutrient content. Yet studies showing benefit in whole grain are released fairly regularly.

The question is, whole grain versus what? From their own observations, the anti-grain group insists their side will win any head-to-head faceoff.

As for the rest of us, they say, just try substituting vegetables and fruits and watch the "swelling" go down.

Copyright (c) 2005, Chicago Tribune

Friday, November 25, 2005

Mediterranean diet good for the heart

Eating a Mediterranean-style diet for three months can reduce the risk of heart disease by 15 percent, a new study shows.

The heart-healthy effects of the Mediterranean diet -- rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish and olive oil and light on red meat -- are well documented, Dr. Denis Lairon of the Faculty of Medicine Timone in Marseille, France and colleagues note in November's American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. But just one other study has looked at what happens when healthy people are actually put on a Mediterranean-style diet.

To investigate, the researchers assigned 212 men and women at moderate risk for heart disease to eat a Mediterranean diet or a standard low-fat diet for three months. Participants on the Mediterranean diet were instructed to eat fish four times a week and red meat only once a week. Men were allowed two glasses of red wine daily, while women were limited to one.

Recommendations for people on the low-fat diet were to eat poultry rather than beef, pork and other mammal meats; eat fish two or three times a week; stay away from animal products rich in saturated fat; and eat fruit and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and vegetable oils.

Among people on the Mediterranean diet, total cholesterol dropped by 7.5 percent, and it fell by 4.5 percent in the low-fat diet group. Based on this reduction, the researchers write, overall cardiovascular risk fell 15 percent with the Mediterranean diet and 9 percent with the low fat diet.

Vegetarians need DHA supplements, says Nutrinova

Vegetarians are unlikely to gain a sufficient level of omega-3s from a non-fish diet. Omega-3 fatty acids as well as fish consumption have been linked to reduced risk of heart disease.

For the double-blind, randomized, intervention study, the researchers gave 104 healthy vegetarians a DHA supplement (0.94 g DHA) or an olive oil placebo for eight weeks.

Although most of the participants reached recommended intakes for essential fatty acids, such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), none of them reached a recommended omega-3 index of at least 8 per cent, shows the study reported in the August issue of Lipids (vol 40, issue 8, pp807-14).

At the end of the study, the omega-3 index increased significantly in the supplement group, with 69 per cent of these subjects reaching an omega-3 index above 8 per cent.

None of those in the placebo group attained this level.

Courtesy of

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Bonnie's Turkey Day/Winter Holiday Recipe Tips Part II

Other side dish recipes to add to that succulent bird!

Squash Soup

-1/2 c. green onions, chopped
-1/2 c. white onions, chopped
-2 large carrots, sliced or 8 baby carrots, sliced
-1 T. canola oil
-2 c. frozen or homemade baked acorn squash
-6 c. organic or homemade chicken broth
-2 T. fresh parsley
-1/2 tsp. garlic powder
-1/2 tsp. allspice
-dash of sea salt
Directions: saute onions and carrots on oil in a 4-quart pot. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 1/2 hour. Puree soup in a blender. For a festive Halloween or Thanksgiving Centerpiece, use a large scooped out pumpkin for a soup tureen or save in individual acorn squash halves. Serves 8

Rice Tabbouleh
-Water and chicken/vegetable broth, equal parts for cooking rice
-1 1/2 c. wild rice, quick-cooking variety
-2 c. medium long grain rice, cooked
-3 T. fresh lemon juice or brown rice vinegar
-1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
-2 garlic cloves, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/8 tsp. salt
-1 c. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
-1/2 c. thinly sliced green onions
-1 c. zucchini (seedless), peeled and cut into small pieces
-1 c. halved grape or cherry tomatoes
-1/2 tsp. salt
Directions: follow package directions for both rice preparations, Cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes. While rice cools, whisk together lemon juice, oil, and garlic paste in a large serving bowl. Add rice, parsley, tomatoes, zucchini, green onions, and salt. Toss well. Serve at room temperature. Serves 12

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Garlic
4 large sweet potatoes, peeled, and sliced into 1/2 inch thick rounds
1/4 c. olive oil (or enough to coat sweet potatoes slices)
10 cloves garlic, peeled
Fresh rosemary sprigs (3-4)
Directions: coat sweet potatoe slices with olive oil on both sides. Place in a pyrex baking dish and place olive oil coated garlic cloves in between sweet potato slices. Add rosemary sprigs. Bake (turning potatoes, if necessary) about 25-30 minutes in a 400 degree oven until tender and crusty.

French Green Beans with Almonds or Peas with Pearl Onions
1 pkg. frozen green beans (fench-cut) or peas with pearl onions
1 tsp. butter
2 T. water
Heat on stovetop or in microwave. Serves 4-6 (Cascadian Farms brand carries both)

Mini Zucchini Muffins
3/4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. oat flour
1/2 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs, well-beaten
1/2 c. canola oil
1/4 c. pure maple syrup
1/4 c. unsulphured molasses
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. organic pureed pumpkin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Directions: grease with canola oil spray 3 dozen mini muffin tins. In a small bowl, combine eggs, oil, sweetener, vanilla, and spices. Add slowly to dry ingredients until just blended. Gently blend in shredded zucchini. Pour mixture into muffin tins and bake for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from tins and cool on wire reack for 2 minutes. Serve warm. Yields 36 mini muffins

Bonnie's Cranberry Sauce
-2 packages fresh cranberries, thoroughly washed with soft ones removed
-2 12 oz. cans frozen organic apple juice
-1 cup water
-1-2 swet apple (fuji, golden or red delicious) peeled and diced or grated
pure maple syrup, optional to taste
Directions: in a large pot with lid, pour in frozen apple juice and wafer. When defrosted (on low temperature), add the cranberries and apple. Bring to a boil, reduce temperature to medium (or medium high) and cover. When cranberries have popped, remove lid, stir, add maple syrup for added sweetness, and cool to room temperature. Cool in refrigerator in glass or ceramic.

Enjoy these at Thanksgiving or other Winter Holidays!

Silicon may boost calcium/Vitamin D bone benefits

New research adds to mounting evidence that silicon delivered as choline-stabilised orthosilicic acid (ch-OSAT) may boost the ability of calcium and vitamin D to build bone mineral density (BMD) in osteoporosis and osteopenia sufferers.

The latest study, led by Professor Tim Spector of St Thomas Hospital in London, UK, builds on an earlier investigation indicating that the benefits of ch-OSA in helping build and maintain bone lie in its regulation of bone mineralization, which help trigger the deposition of calcium and phosphate, reducing the number of bone-destroying cells (called osteoclasts) and increasing the number of bone-building cells (osteoblasts).

Spector and his team divided a group of 114 women, all of whom suffered from osteoporosis or osteopenia (bones that are less dense than normal, giving the individual a higher risk of developing osteoporosis), into four groups.

Over a 12-month period the placebo group received the standard recommended dose of calcium and vitamin D3 for osteopenia and mild osteoporosis each day – that is, 1000mg and 800IU respectively.

The other three groups received the same calcium and vitamin D3 doses, but in addition from Jarrow Formulas).

Their findings were presented at the weekend at the conference of the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research in Nashville, Tennessee.

Overall, they noted that the ch-OSA seemed to confer some additional benefit to Ca/Vit D3 supplementation. The effect was particularly pronounced in the PINP, the most sensitive bone formation marker. In the groups receiving six and 12mg of silicon, the improvements were “significant”.

"This study suggests that combined therapy of ch-OSA plus Ca/Vit D3 is a safe, well tolerated treatment that has a potentially beneficial effect on bone turnover, especially bone collagen, and possibly femoral BMD, compared to Ca/Vit D3 alone," concluded the researchers.

Courtesy of

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Calcium from food better than from supplements

A Finnish study appearing in this month's American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found young girls who get extra calcium from food tend to gain more bone mass than those who get it from supplements.

Steve - this study echoes many of the things that we have been saying for years.

It is always preferred to get calcium from food. Although, unless we eat tons of dairy (which is not advised) or leafy green vegetables (which we should tons of, but do not), we have to supplement. The key point to this study is that when one gets extra calcium from food sources, the calcium is usually accompanied by many other trace minerals and micronutrients that enhances its absorption.

When taking calcium supplements, most just take calcium by itself, rarely accompanied by vitamin D, magnesium, and other trace minerals. This is when calcium can become ineffective and harmful. This is precisely why we always harp on the fact that one must always take calcium with magnesium and vitamin D to assure proper absorption.

MCHC calcium (microcrystalline hydroxyapatite) is our preferred calcium source because it is a whole bone food that contains many of the trace minerals that form the matrix of bone. This is why we have been using MCHC for approximately 15 years.

Bonnie's Turkey Day Cooking Tips

Just a few last minute ideas for your Turkey Day!

Buying the Turkey

Ideally, you want a bird that is natural and free-range, organic, heritage and wild, or kosher (free of antibiotics and hormones).

Turkey Prep

Organic or natural turkeys have less fat, so brining one to two days before cooking helps keep them moist and adds seasoning. Instructions:
  1. after removing the neck and giblets, rinse bird and put in a brine container large enough to submerge the entire bird in cold water
  2. add one cup kosher salt for every gallon of water used; stir salt until mostly dissolve
  3. store in refrigerator or in cool place (33 to 40 degrees) for 24 to 36 hours, turning the turkey once
When ready to cook the turkey, follow instructions on the package to figur out how long it will take to cook.

Stuffing & Gravy Prep

There is always a concern about growing salmonella or other unwanted organisms in stuffed turkeys. I've never had a problem in 35 years because I immediately begin roasting the turkey directly after stuffing it. I think turkey stuffing and the turkey taste better this way.

Long Grain and Wild Rice Stuffing
3/4 c. quick cooking long grain rice
1/2 c. quick cooking wild rice
1 c. chicken or vegtebale broth
1 c. filtered water
1/2 c. celery, finely chopped
1/2 c. onion, finely chopped
1 T. canola oil or grapeseed oil
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. marjoram (optional)
1/4 tsp. thyme (optional)
1/4 c. blanched, slivered almonds (optional)
Saute celery and onion in hot oil until onion is translucent. Add water and broth and bring to a boil. Add remaining ingredients and simmer on low, covered, for about 20 minutes until most, but not all, of the water is absorbed. Cool to room temperature before sutffing loosely into poultry cavity. This recipe may also be baked in a small, greased casserole for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Serves 8


Turkey Sausage Stuffing
2 T. butter or no trans fats margarine
1 c. onions, finely chopped
4 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 lb. turkey sausage
1/2 c. chopped parsley leaves
12 cups herb bread cubes
2 eggs well beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. - 2/3 c. chicken broth
Melt fat in a large non-stick pot over medium heat. Add onions and celery pieces. Saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Add sausage. Chop into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook until the sausage is cooked through. Mix the eggs, salt and parsley with the sausage mixture. Gently fold in the bread cubes. Add enough broth to prveent the cubes from sticking. Stir until the cubes have softened. Transfer the stuffing to a greased casserole (bake for 30 minutes covered and 15 more minutes uncovered) or stuff into turkey and roast until turkey is done. Serves 12

Turkey/Chicken Giblet Stock

turkey/chicken giblets (I use only the neck)

4 c. water

4 c. (1 qt.) organic chicken broth

2 cloves garlic (cut into quarters)

2 large onions (cut into quarters)

4 stalks celery (with leaves)

1 c. sliced carrots (optional)

1 c. fresh parsley

sea salt to taste

fresh/dreid herbs to taste

Cover all with water. Cook for 3-4 hours or while the bird is roasting. Strain. Reheat to a boil and keep boiling for 5 mintes to reduce. Use immediately to make gravy. Yields about 8 c. (2 qts.)

For thickening gravy - to avoid using flour (which can cause lumps and must be avoided for gluten intolerance or wheat allergies), puree the vegetables used in roasting the turkey. They provide the thickening agent. Use about 1 c. of the pan juices and add 1-2 c. of the stock. Use a strainer just before serving.

Monday, November 21, 2005

American Journal Clinical Nutrition highlights

As we try to do as much as possible, here are the highlights (Oct/Nov) from the most cutting edge nutritional journal in the world:
  • General adherence to the "Mediterranean diet" is associated with elevated total antioxidant capacity and lower LDL (bad cholesterol) concentrations, which may indicate its beneficial role on the cardiovascular system.

  • A diet high in sugar-sweetened soft drinks, refined grains, diet soft drinks, and processed meat, but low in wine, coffee, cruciferous vegetables was associated with an associated risk in diabetes and chronic inflammation (which was the main focus of the study).

  • Elevated homocysteine levels and low folate (folic acid) concetrations are independent predictors of the the development of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

  • Low B vitamin and high homocysteine concentrations predict cognitive decline in a general population of aging men.

  • Vitamn D may reduce susceptability to gingival inflammation (Gingivitis) through its antiinflammatory effects.

  • Older men with a diet predominately of high-glycemic load foods indiciated an association with selcted predictors of type 2 diabetes.
Steve - It is so exciting to see the bevy of research focusing directly on how our diet affects every common condition and disease.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Long-term dietary protein intake good for young bones

In an effort to show yet again how important an influence protein and alkalizing minerals have in influencing bone status, German researchers unveiled some promising results in November's American Journal Clinical Nutrition.

In 229 healthy children and adolescents ages 6-18, long-term dietary intakes were collected yearly over a 4 year period before a one-time bone analysis. The following was discovered:
  • There is a consistent positive association of dietary protein with overall bone health (including bone mineral content) and bone stability.

  • Until recently, protein was believed to have a negative effect on bone health. Most believe it is due to the excess acidity high protein intake produces. This study shows that if alkalizing mineral intake is adequate, the acid issue is a non-factor.

  • Increasing intake of fruits and vegetables (alkali-forming foods) decrease urinary calcium excretion and show a positive effect on bone health.

  • This study failed to detect any positive association between calcium intake and bone variables.

  • Researchers support the health benefit of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, in accordance with the "5-A-Day" campaign.

  • In children, alkali intake should be achieved through appropriate nutrition, and only if this is not possible with alkalizing supplements, i.e., potassium bicarbonate.

  • What the study greatly emphasized was that dietary influences on bone health should involve an integrative approach, because a focus on a single nutrient (i.e. calcium) is not sufficient.
This study is music to our ears! Stay tuned for Bonnie's comments.

More protein, less carbs may cut heart risk

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that substituting about 10 per cent of calories from carbohydrate to either protein-rich foods, mostly from plant sources, or to monounsaturated fats, contained in olive and canola oil, had a greater benefit on the heart than a carbohydrate rich diet, similar to that known in the US as DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).

The study, called the Optimal Macronutrient Intake Trial to Prevent Heart Disease (OmniHeart), compared the effects of three different diets, each consumed over a six-week period, on blood pressure and fat in the bloodstream of 164 adults with pre-hypertension.

The first of these diets was rich in carbohydrates, but in the other two diets, approximately 10 per cent of the calories from carbohydrate were replaced with either monounsaturated fat or protein. In the protein-rich diet, about half came from plants.

Each diet was found to lower blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and estimated coronary heart disease risk. But when people reduced their carbohydrate intake, the benefits were greater.

Overall, the protein-rich diet decreased cardiovascular disease risk by 21 per cent, and the monounsaturated fat diet decreased risk by almost 20 per cent.

The carbohydrate-rich diet only decreased risk by roughly 16 per cent.

The findings were presented at the American Heart Association's annual meeting in Dallas yesterday and published in today’s issue of JAMA.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Breast-feeding may protect against celiac disease

Mothers who breast-feed their children may help to protect them from developing celiac disease, which is characterized by intolerance to a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.

In a review of 15 studies, they found that the longer children are breast fed the less likely they are to suffer from the illness.

Although, in a report published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, researchers are not sure whether breast-feeding delays the onset of symptoms of the illness or provides permanent protection against it.

People who suffer from celiac disease have an intolerance to gluten and are unable to eat wheat, barley and rye products. It is a genetic disease in which the immune system damages the small intestine when gluten is eaten.

The review, which involved more than 4,000 children, showed that if babies were breast-fed when they were introduced to solid foods containing gluten, it cut their risk of suffering from the illness by 52 percent compared to other youngsters.

Courtesy of Reuters

Bonnie - 52% reduction for developing celiac is an astounding number. Chalk up another point for breastfeeding!

Numbers do not lie when kids eat out

This story will get a lot of press, but it is essential that we address it as well.

Children who eat out are more likely to be unhealthy than those who eat at home. Here are some statistics of 126 Wisconsin children who ate out more than four times weekly compared to 495 children who ate out fewer than 4 times weekly:
  • Overall higher blood pressure
  • Lower levels of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol)
  • Ate foods higher in starchm sugar, sodium, fat, and cholesterol
  • Drank an average of six cups of soda and other sugary soft drinks
  • Overall increase in sedentary activity
Enough said.

Too much calcium may raise prostate cancer risk

According to the American Association for Cancer Research, based upon the 17 years of follow-up and 1269 incident cases of prostate cancer in the ATBC study, men who consumed more than 2000 mg calcium per day nearly doubled their risk of developing prostate cancer.

Bonnie - as we have said many times with calcium, "too much of it is not a good thing." If malabsorbed, it leeches into other areas of the body like the arteries (creating calcification), and the prostate. Calcium intake should be individualized. In addition, calcium should ALWAYS be taken with magnesium and vitamin D to ensure proper absorption.

NIH-sponsored trial lauds Glucosamine/Chondroitin

The widely respected Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT), sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, published its results of the six month trial involving 1500 osteoarthritis patients. According to the study, the combination of 1500 mg glucosamine and 1200 mg chondroitin was effective in treating moderate to severe knee pain due to osteoarthritis.

In another European study entitled the GUIDE trial, researchers claim that glucosamine sulfate was more effective in relieving osteoarthritis pain than the pain medicine acetaminophen.

Steve - while many studies have showed similar results, the fact that it is NIH-sponsored gives it credibility in the allopathic community. Keep in mind that as wonderful as these substances are for some, they are not for others. Make sure that you discuss glucosamine/chondroitin with your health professional before taking.

Government Publishes "A Healthier You"

It isn't enough that our government failed miserably this year when they released the latest version of the Food Guide Pyramid ("MyPyramid"), they are now selling a book about it for $12.95 in all brick and mortar and online retail outlets.

Our hard-earned tax dollars were wasted on the creation of MyPyramid, which directed everyone to the morass that is Many citizens who need dietary advice the most do not use computers or do not have the money or training to use a computer. So now, our government is asking them to pony up $12.95 to buy a 340 page book that they already paid for?

Surprised? Unfortunately, not. It takes far more to surprise us these days.

Stay tuned to our review of "A Healthier You."


"Wrap Up" to avoid catching a cold

Your mother always warned you to wear a lot of clothing to stay warm...she had a point.

In a 180 volunteer study at the Common Cold Centre in Great Britain, researchers asked half of them to keep their bare feet in icy water for 20 minutes. They found 29% developed a cold within five days, compared with only 9% in the control group not exposed to a chill.

According to the study, if one becomes chilled, this causes a pronounced constriction of the blood vessels in the nose and shuts off the warm blood that supplies the white cells that fight infection.

Of course, given how small the study was, more research is needed.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Nutritional Concepts Health Holiday Tips

  1. Alcohol is loaded with calories. Try substituting with sparkling water or club soda (an added benefit is feeling more full with water so you won’t eat as much). Add a small amount lemon or lime to your water for added flavor. Another great alcohol substitute is a festive virgin “bloody mary” with a celery stick.

  2. Eat healthy foods before you go to a party, especially protein foods. Your blood sugar will be more stable and you won't eat as much. At the party, eat plain fish or lean meats (i.e. cold shrimp, turkey breast, and smoked salmon).

  3. At a buffet, graze to take a taste of enticing items, but spend most of your time with the raw vegetables and heart healthy guacamole and humus dips.

  4. If you want a rich dessert, keep your fat and carbohydrate intake low the rest of the day to compensate.

  5. Watch out for raw foods (raw fish, steak tartare and eggnog made with raw eggs) or foods left out too long at room temperature. They could harbor harmful pathogens such as salmonella, shigella, listeria, or e coli.

  6. Avoid foods high in saturated fat. These are typically very high in calories. For example: 8 oz. eggnog = 340 calories, 1 slice pie with whipping cream = 520 calories; 1 cup standard poultry stuffing = 500 calories.

  7. Exercise more to burn more calories during the holidays. Cycling, fast-walking, and cross-country skiing are great ideas. Even shoveling the snow off of your driveway and sidewalk counts.

  8. Offer to bring your favorite healthy recipe to the party and spend most of your time eating it. That way, you won’t have to worry about leftovers.

  9. If you have food sensitivities or allergies, call your host before the party to determine what foods would be safe. There is nothing worse than having an allergic reaction or digestive distress when you are trying to have fun.

  10. Don’t begin a diet during the holidays or become obsessive about avoiding tempting holiday fare. If you restrict yourself too much, you’ll either be depressed or “pig out” later. Remember that the average adult gains 6 lbs. from Thanksgiving Day through New Year’s Day. If you can even maintain your weight during the holidays,
    you’ll be one step ahead when it is time to make your New Year’s resolutions.

  11. If you you've eaten too much and you need to cull the indigestion, take a couple of Vitaline Alka-Aid (sodium/potassium bicarbonate tablets)!

© Copyright 2005. Nutritional Concepts