Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Feds probe salmonella outbreak

On the heels of the recent E.Coli outbreak, federal officials are now looking into how salmonella bacteria has sickened 172 people in 18 states over the last two weeks. While not life-threatening, it can cause diarrhea, nauseau, vomiting, abdominal cramps, fever, and headache. While very early in the investigation, officials hypothesize that produce may be the culprit.

Bonnie - this unfortunately, is becoming a redundant theme...if the host is healthy, it is more difficult for virulent substances to express themselves negatively. It is similar to genetic expression, where many chronic diseases are derived from genes that have been negatively expressed through poor lifestyle choices.

These organisms have been around forever and are here to stay. They are always part of our gut flora. As we continue to try to kill them off, they will continue to mutate.

What are a few easy things we can do to arm ourselves?
  • Antibiotics, used for any reason, make the problem worse because they kill good flora. One must be very cautious and judicious about its use.
  • Supplement with probiotics! Yogurt and kefir will not cut it because much of its cultures are rendered ineffective on its way down the digestive tract.
  • Reduce sugar consumption. There is nothing that impedes proper immune system function more than sugar.

Children: antibiotics unhelpful against many ear infections

Antibiotic treatment for children with ear infections is not helpful in all cases, a new study has found. The report, which appears in the Oct. 21 issue of The Lancet, analyzed data from six studies and included more than 1,600 children from 6 months to 12 years old. In a few cases, researchers found, antibiotics were useful. Fifty-five percent of untreated children under 2 with infections in both ears still had pain or fever after three to seven days, while only 30 percent of those given antibiotics did. But treating infants who had infection in only one ear was ineffective — 40 percent of untreated children under 2 still had pain after three to seven days, and so did 35 percent of those who received antibiotics. In children older than 2, antibiotics were generally unhelpful. Twenty-six percent of untreated children still had pain or fever after three to seven days, and so did 19 percent of children who received treatment.

Courtesy NY Times

Steve - this is not really news, because we have cited several studies over the last few years that have found similar results. The reason we are posting this is to remind you to be cautious with the use of antibiotics.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Bonnie appears today on CNBC's Morning Call

Congrats Bonnie on your appearance today on CNBC's Morning Call. Your insight on trans fats will further continue the movement towards eliminating them from the food supply!

Vitamins may help infertility

Some infertile women could improve their chances of having children by taking multivitamin tablets, research in the US has suggested.

The dietary supplements can protect against failure to ovulate, according to a Harvard Medical School study of 18,000 nurses over eight years. Women who took multivitamins six times a week were 40 per cent less likely to fail to ovulate than those who took none. Less frequent use had a smaller effect. Ovulation failure affects 8.4 per cent of those in Britain who have problems conceiving.

Jorge Chavarro, who led the study, told the American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in New Orleans that the beneficial effects seemed to derive from folic acid, which helps to prevent birth defects: “I don’t think I could say ‘use vitamins to prevent infertility’, but using vitamins is unlikely to have a detrimental effect. If a woman is thinking about becoming pregnant, she should be thinking about taking folic acid and it would be reasonable to consider a multivitamin.”

KFC to switch to no-trans-fat frying oil

KFC, a unit of Yum Brands Inc., on Monday said it will switch to a cooking oil with no trans fat in all its U.S. fried-chicken restaurants by April 2007.

Yum Brands joins hamburger chain Wendy's International Inc. in a move to cut its use of the artery clogging oil at a time when fast-food restaurants have come under criticism that their food contributes to obesity.

McDonald's Corp. promised in 2002 to reduce trans fats in some of its products. While the chain has introduced healthier foods -- such as apple and walnut salads -- it has yet to convert its oils entirely, saying that it has not found an alternative that works as well.

Yum said it would start using low linolenic soybean oil, a zero trans-fat cooking oil. The change will take effect in all 5,500 U.S. restaurants following a two-year trial to identify cooking oils with the same characteristics as the trans fats.

Courtesy Reuters

Steve - as we said when McDonald's made their announcement...we'll believe it when we see it!

Quick fixes feed obesity rate

Misinformed consumers rely on unproven weight-loss products, a new survey says.

The nation's soaring obesity rates won't fall until Americans stop placing their faith in unproven and possibly fraudulent weight-loss products and treatments. That's the message from some of the nation's top obesity experts, commenting on new data about Americans' continued, naïve hope for the quick fix.

A national survey released last week at the annual meeting of the Obesity Society, a scientific group dedicated to the study of obesity, contend that the nation's weight problem — two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese — is exacerbated by the scores of weight-loss products and treatments on the market that make unsubstantiated claims.

Courtesy LA Times

Steve - this a breath of fresh air. I like this organization. Last year, the Obesity Society came out and said for sustained weight-loss and proper balanced eating, meals need to be 30% protein, 50% carbohydrate, and 20% healthy fat. That mirrors our Circle of Health. This year, they say that quick fixes from weight-loss products are not the answer. We could not have said it better ourselves.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Curcumin linked to better performance for elderly brains

Curcumin, the natural pigment that gives the spice turmeric its yellow colour, could slow mental decline in elderly people by 49 per cent, suggests a study of non-demented Asian people.

Cognitive performance declines naturally with age, but the results of the new study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 164, pp. 898-906) suggests that eating curries "often or very often" had significantly better cognitive performance than those who "never or rarely" ate the dish.

The Singapore National Mental Health Survey of the Elderly, led by Tze-Pin Ng from the National University of Singapore, recruited 1,010 elderly Asian subjects (average age 68.9) and compared scores for the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). When the researchers looked at the consumption of curry with measures of cognitive impairment (scores below 23 on the MMSE), it was reported that those who consumed curry “often or very often” were associated with a 49 per cent reduced risk of cognitive impairment, compared to those who never or rarely consumed. Eating curry “occasionally” was associated with a 38 per cent reduced risk.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Highlights - October

As we do every month, we give you the latest from our favorite nutrition journal:
  • Vitamin D2 should not be regarded as a nutrient suitable for supplementation or fortification (vitamin D3 is the source required).
  • A study of overwight Swiss children showed that as young as six years-old, elevated concentrations of inflammatory markers were expressed. Intakes (or lack thereof) of the antioxidants vitamin E, vitamin C, and Beta Carotene were significant predictors of increased inflammation.
  • Plant sterol-infused orange juice was effective in reducing CRP (C-Reactive Protein) and LDL cholesterol, both markers of cardiac health.
  • In a large Danish study (43,000 men and women) over a five year period, lower waist circumference was associated with those who ate predominately fruit and vegetable carbohydrates. Higher waist circumference was exhibited in than those who ate more carbohydrates from simple sugars, added sugars, refined grains, and whole grains. In addition, lower waist circumference was found in those who ate sufficient animal protein, while there was no association with vegetable protein.
  • During pregnancy, a diet emphasizing low glycemic index foods may influence favorable long-term outcomes.
  • In obese, insulin-resistant persons, a calorie-restricted diet consisting of low carbohydrate, high unsaturated fats is as efficacious as the traditional low-fat diet in producing weight-loss and more beneficial in reducing markers for CVD.
  • Neither decaffeinated or caffeinated filtered coffee (sans sugar or cream) has a detrimental effect on endotheial function (an inflammation marker). In fact, coffee consumption may reduce the inflammation associated with increased endothial expression.
  • Higher maternal total intakes of antioxidants during pregnancy may decrease the risks for wheezing illnesses in early childhood.
Steve - I would say some very compelling studies to nosh on!

New Mexico legislators demand aspartame withdrawal

Eleven legislators in New Mexico have asked President GW Bush, FDA chief Von Eschenbach and the Health Secretary Michael Leavitt, to override and cancel the previous approval of Aspartame, a controversial artificial sweetener that was approved over the resistance of FDA scientists, as a result of the political intervention of now Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. In their letter, the legislators reason that the sweetener's FDA approval should be rescinded, citing the tendency of aspartame to be metabolized into methanol and formaldehyde, both highly toxic to humans. Additionally, when Aspartame is heated, it turns into a brain tumor-causing agent called diketopiperazine.

Courtesy of Healthy News Service

Foods most likely to contain trans fats

  1. Spreads (such as margarine and nut butters)
  2. Packaged foods
  3. Soups
  4. Fast food
  5. Frozen food
  6. Baked goods
  7. Chips and crackers
  8. Breakfast foods
  9. Cookies and candy
  10. Toppings and dips
  11. Fried foods

These foods are in random order, not most to least.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Alderman Burke adds to trans fat requirements

Chicago Adlerman Ed Burke proposed additional legislation that restaurants post trans fat warnings on their packaging. Specifically, he wants the warnings to say "increases the risk of cornoary heart disease."

Burke wants to impose strict trans fat limits on restaurant conglomerates that make at least $20 million in gross annual revenues. Currently, restaurants do not have to list ingredients on their menus, which includes often used trans fats.

Steve - we support Alderman Burke's proposal. We wish he would go further.

Being overweight takes toll at gas pump?

Want to reduce gasoline consumption in the United States? Lose weight.

According to a study released by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, overweight drivers and passengers are responsible for cars on U.S. roads burning about 1 billion additional gallons of gasoline each year.

Some 1.7 million cars could be filled with gas for an entire year using the 938 million gallons of fuel that could be saved by trimming down the weight of drivers and passengers.

Further details of the study show that heavier Americans are cancelling out some of the vehicle fuel-economy improvements achieved by keeping tires inflated to the proper pressure, tuning up engines and removing unnecessary items from trunks.

Steve - something the average person would never think about. However, this is pretty significant data.

Infertility link to child autism

Couples with fertility problems are three times more likely to have a child with serious conditions like autism and cerebral palsy, research suggests. The extra risk is likely to be caused by health problems that make it difficult for these couples to conceive in the first place, scientists believe. Fertility treatments, such as IVF, may contribute too, an American Society for Reproductive Medicine meeting heard. But the experts stressed the overall risk was still relatively low.

They said couples should be counselled about the risks and encouraged to improve their health before undergoing fertility treatment. Professor Mary Croughan, who led the University of California research on 4,000 women and their children aged up to six years, explained those with fertility problems were also more likely to have other health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes, and were more at risk of pregnancy and labour complications. She said: "What has caused them to be unable to conceive goes on to cause problems. "It is as if a brick wall has stopped you becoming pregnant. Treatment allows you to climb over the wall, but it is still there and it goes on to cause problems."

Her team found the risk of five conditions - autism, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, seizures and cancer - was 2.7 times higher among the children born to 2,000 women who experienced fertility problems than among those born to the 2,000 women who did not have difficult conceiving. For autism alone, the risk was four times higher. Moderate developmental problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities or serious sight or hearing disorders were also 40% more common in the children born to the couples who struggled to start a family.

Courtesy of BBC

Bonnie - while only one study, it is one that we must take notice of. As I mentioned in yesterday's blog entry, I cannot emphasize enough taking proper lifestyle and nutritional action well before a couple tries to conceive.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Mutated gene found to raise risk of autism

This is the first study to find a definitive genetic link to the disorder, which affects as many as 1 in 175 U.S. children.

Dr. Pat Levitt and colleagues at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, studied 743 families in which 1,200 family members were affected by autism spectrum disorders, which range from fully disabling autism to Asperger's syndrome.

They found a single mutation in a gene called MET, which is known to be involved in brain development, regulation of the immune system and repair of the gastrointestinal system.

"This is a vulnerability gene," Levitt said. "There are not genes that actually cause autism. It raises the risk." People with two copies of the mutated gene have 2 to 2.5 times the normal risk of autism and people with one mutated copy have 1.7 times the risk, he said.

The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offer a way to start looking for the actual causes of autism, Levitt said.

Levitt said the mutation does not change the function of the gene, but changes gene expression -- how active the gene is. "Let's say it is exposure to some chemical. It is a long list of everything from food additives to mercury to fertilizers. This will help."

Courtesy of Reuters

Bonnie - this is a very important discovery. The most important thing the researchers said is that the gene needs to be expressed to promote autistic symptoms. How long have we said that poor diet, lifestyle, and environment contributes to genes expressing themselves negatively. It is not a coincidence that the lead researcher mentioned food additives and mercury as two of the examples. When you are thinking about having children, the process of taking care of yourself starts even before conception, during pregnancy, and though lactation (if applicable). Then, the process of taking care of your child lasts until they can take care of themselves.

It is possible to keep negative gene expression at bay!

Alkaline potassium supplements linked to thicker bones

According to new research published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, for the first time, the benefits of pH regulation with potassium and the subsequent effects on bone mineral density (BMD) has been established.

pH balance is important for regulating body fluids, blood pressure, muscle and nerve cells, osmotic pressure and water balance. Its effect on bone mineral density makes sense, but has never been researched until now.

Of 161 post-menopausal women with low bone mass, those taking an alkaline potassium supplement saw a significant 1% increase in BMD compared to those taking a non-alkaline potassium supplement.

Women taking the alkaline potassium were also found to have lower amounts of calcium excreted in the urine.

The mechanism behind the apparent benefits is proposed to be by the alkaline supplement neutralizing the high acidity of the modern Western Diet. "In the modern diet, acid is generated from foods like dairy products, grains and meats," explained one of the researchers. "Previous studies have found that the kidney does not quite keep up in removing excess acid load."

Bonnie - this is such an important study and backs up what I have been saying for a long time. Excess acidity contributes to bone loss! I have used a sodium/potassium bicarbonate supplement for years to balance pH in my clients with high osteoporatic risk.

Hospitals trying preventive care for uninsured

With the number of uninsured people in the United States reaching a record 46.6 million last year, up by 7 million from 2000, a small number of hospital systems around the country to have done the math and acted on it. Officials decided that for many patients with chronic diseases, it would be cheaper to provide free preventive care than to absorb the high cost of repeated emergencies.

“Patients can have better care and we can reduce the costs for the hospital,” said Dr. Melissa Smith, medical director of three community health centers run by Seton, a Roman Catholic hospital network that uses its profits and donations to provide nearly free care to 5,000 of the working poor. Smith has seen many patients medical bills have been cut nearly in half.

Reaching out to uninsured patients, especially those with chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, congestive heart failure or asthma, is a recent tactic of “a handful of visionary hospital systems around the country,” said Karen Davis, president of the Commonwealth Fund, a foundation in New York that concentrates on health care. These institutions are searching for ways to fend off disease and large debts by bringing uninsured visitors into continuing basic care.

“For most preventive efforts there is an upfront expense,” said Alan D. Aviles, president of the corporation. “But over the long term it saves money.”

Courtesy of NY Times

Steve - wow! This piece says a mouthful. It is a breath of fresh air to see a few hospitals catching on. Unfortunately, the reason is not because of improving patient care, it is because they see the monetary savings. Regardless of the reason, they are seeing improvement in their patients' health. That is all that matters.

Here's a novel idea: drink water instead of sugary drinks - lose weight!

In a shocking discovery :) by The Obesity Society, you can lose five pounds per year by replacing sugary drinks with water.

The organization released another revelation: foods that are marketed as lowfat are really not! They still are full of calories and the chemicals added to the products create more adipose (fat) tissue to house the toxins.

Steve - for the frequent readers of this blog, none of this comes as a surprise. However, for the average American, it may be a revelation. Once again, you are always better off eating "real" foods.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Another diet/memory loss prevention link: vegetables

Elderly people who reported eating at least 2.8 servings of vegetables a day compared to people who ate less than one serving a day saw their rate of memory loss and other mental decline slow by 40 percent over six years, according to research published in the journal Neurology.

People who ate the most green leafy vegetables such as lettuce and spinach had the least memory loss, on average. Next best were yellow vegetables such as squash and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli.

Steve - stop the presses! Sometimes, it amazes me that research needs to be done to confirm this. Yet, many of us need that extra motivation to eat their veggies every day! I'm hard pressed to find a better motivation than maintaining your mental faculties.

Huge study shows further effects of trans fat

According to results from Harvard's prestigious Nurse's Health Study (41,518 women), every increase of one percentage point in the portion of calories from trans fats translated to a two-pound weight gain over eight years. For example, a woman who was consuming 6% of calories from trans fat would be 12 pounds heavier after eight years than someone eating none.

Courtesy of USA Today

Steve - and restaurants are putting up a fight against removing them? What else do they need to see? In addition, the current trans fat labelling law needs to be refined because in its current state, a product can say no trans fat even though there is 0.5% in the product.

Fears of a new bacterial threat

Excerpt taken from an article by Shari Roan, LA Times Staff Writer, October 23, 2006

While infections with drug-resistant staph and E. coli have been grabbing headlines and public attention in recent months, a new bacterial threat has quietly emerged. Typically seen in elderly hospitalized patients, the illness has begun popping up in the community at large — specifically among healthy younger people, including children and pregnant women.

The bacterium responsible, called Clostridium difficile, or C. difficile, has been blamed for recent outbreaks of intestinal infections in about 10 states, as well as Canada and Europe. Patients become ill with frequent bouts of watery diarrhea, fever and abdominal tenderness. In rare cases, the infection can progress to sepsis, colitis and even death. The strain, identified as NAP1, appears to be more virulent than its predecessor.

C. difficile is found in feces and is one of the leading causes of hospital-acquired diarrhea. People become infected by touching items or surfaces contaminated with the bacterium and then transmitting it to their mouths. It gains ground when patients take antibiotics — often broad-spectrum antibiotics, such as clindamycin, penicillin and increasingly the class of drugs called fluoroquinolones. The drugs upset the balance of normal bacteria in the colon, killing good types of bacteria that protect the body.

In doing so, they allow C. difficile to flourish and begin releasing toxins that damage the intestines, says Dr. L. Clifford McDonald, a medical epidemiologist with the CDC who has studied C. difficile trends. Two primary toxins, toxin A and toxin B, cause the diarrhea and inflammation. The NAP1strain may also explain why more cases are being identified outside of the hospital and in people who haven't taken antibiotics.

The use of proton pump inhibitors for gastric reflux disease has been proposed as a possible cause of the C. difficile upsurge because the medications can have an antibiotic effect and can lower acid levels in the gastrointestinal tract. The acid would normally kill harmful bacteria. But the hypothesis is controversial.

Researchers are also stumped as to why children, and pregnant and postpartum women and other gynecological patients, seem particularly likely to be affected. A study in this month's issue of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found a 6.7% rate of C. difficile in children admitted to an emergency room with severe diarrhea — far above the 1.9% rate found in a previous study of diarrhea among children in a community.

Anyone with diarrhea lasting more than three days and accompanied by a fever or blood in the stool should seek help. Proper hand washing is essential to reduce spread of the illness. Antibiotics should be prescribed only when clearly necessary.

"We hope all clinicians and patients will think about antibiotic use," McDonald says. "They are important and save lives, but they are not without risk. If there is a silver lining in the C. difficile problem, it might be just that. It brings a little closer to home that antibiotics can have severe consequences."

Bonnie - I have seen many clients with C. difficile and the common threads are that they have been on antibiotics and/or GERD (reflux) medication. While the aforementioned article mentioned the reflux meds as just theory, I have seen it clinically. If a physician from the CDC is speaking this strongly about the effect antibiotics have on normal gut bacteria balance, the public should take it seriously.

For ANYONE going on or have been on antibitoics, you must supplement with a high quality, high potency broad-spectrum probiotic to replenish destroyed beneficial gut bacteria. Yogurt and Kefir is not going to cut it.

For those on GERD/Reflux meds, try to minimize the length of time on them and get to the cause of the GERD through dietary modification. Besides lowering gut acid, which keeps pathogens at bay, GERD/Reflux meds also deplete essential vitamins and minerals.

Friday, October 20, 2006

High bread consumption tied to kidney cancer

A diet high in refined cereals, and bread in particular, is associated with an elevated risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC), the main type of kidney cancer, according to a study in Italy.

Diet and nutrition are thought to play a role in the development of RCC, but the effect of specific food groups on the risk of this malignancy is controversial, explain Dr. Francesca Bravi and colleagues in the International Journal of Cancer.

Comparing the highest with the lowest intakes, consumption of bread increased the risk of RCC by 94 percent, pasta and rice by 29 percent, and milk and yogurt by 27 percent.

Conversely, high intake of poultry, processed meat, and vegetables appeared to reduce the risk by 26 percent, 36 percent, and 35 percent, respectively.

Courtesy of Reuters

Low-dose folic acid could reduce homocysteine levels

The findings may also have an impact on cognitive function with epidemiological studies reporting that high levels of homocysteine associated with suspected or confirmed dementia. Indeed, the Framingham study reported that people with homocysteine levels above 14 micromoles per litre of serum had twice the risk of dementia.

The new study, published in the journal Nutrition Research (Vol. 26, pp. 460-466), reports that even a low-dose folic acid supplement (400 micrograms) could lead to significant reductions in hyperhomocysteinemic elderly people.

Analysis of specific genotypes also showed a significant effect. The researchers looked at potential genetic defects in the metabolic pathway of homocysteine involving the 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene mutation. People with the so-called TT homozygote genotype with low folate status are reported to have higher homocysteine concentrations than the other genotypes, putting this subset at increased risk of CAD and cognitive decline.

Steve - the genotype is an important point. Roughly 20-25% of the human population has a genetic defect that does not allow proper abosorption of folic acid to folate. It takes three enzymatic processes for folate to be absorbed (Folic acid>L-5-methyl tetrahydrofolate>5-formyl tetrahydrogfolate). There are specific formulations that contain all three forms, which bypasses the genetic defect for premium absorption. One such product is Metagenics ActiFolate.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Orthorexia - the new eating disorder on the block?

A Colorado doctor came up with a phrase several years ago for people who are addicted to healthy food. The term "Orthorexia" has caught a bit of steam recently. The doctor believes that an extreme obsession over eating healthy food can cause a fixation on how it is prepared to avoid daily stressors or negative emotions. In essence, they allow food to rule their lives. In some extreme cases, he believes it can lead to malnutrition, extreme weight loss, and even death.

Bonnie - I do know people that become so rigid about their healthy regimen that they constantly obsess and cannot eat out with friends or family. It is really another form of anorexia. It is the opposite spectrum of the individual who never thinks of food issues and is addicted to fast food restaurants, or anything that fills them up.

The Orthorexic has a control issue. The "Junk Food Junkie" is out-of-control. Which is worse? When you consider that the Junkie outnumbers the Orthorexic about 100,000-1, and obesity is the number health issue, you decide.

If you, or anyone you know thinks you have an issue with Orthorexia, please have them come see me!

Value of cholesterol targets is disputed

When the National Cholesterol Education Program, a government appointed panel, came out with very aggressive target levels for LDL cholesterol, there was not much dispute.

A new paper published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, while supporting the use of cholesterol-lowering statins, does not believe there is enough evidence to support the target numbers for LDL cholesterol set forth by the NCEP.

Of course, the author's argument challenges mainstream thinking and the consensus among most cardiologists that the lower the cholesterol is, the better. Dr. Rodney Hayward, one of the authors, says, "This paper is not arguing that there is strong evidence against LDL targets, but rather there's no evidence for them. If you are going to take two or three drugs to get to these levels, you need to know you're doing more benefit than harm."

Another paper written in 2004 by American College of Physicians' Dr. Vincenza Snow stated, "All the lipid-lowering trials that have been done have tested a dose of a statin as opposed to either another dose of a statin or another drug. They have never designed a trial to treat to a target. All this treating to a target is not supported by the evidence. The evidence supports putting someone on a certain dose of a statin."

Courtesy of NY Times

Bonnie - The Framingham Heart Studies found that too low of a total cholesterol (below 130) increased the risk of cancer and depression. It certainly behooves anyone who is making cholesterol target ranges to provide double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials first!

Antibiotic may treat irritable bowel syndrome

An Annal's of Internal Medicine study showed that 87 sufferers of irritable bowel who received the antibiotic Rifaximin helped overall symptoms for about 10 weeks. The researchers believe that the antibiotic targets excess bacteria in the gut.

Bonnie - this is scary. With all the talk about reducing the amount of antibitoics prescribed because of pathogens that are now resistant, we get this? If this is used as a therapy for irritable bowel, won't the bacteria that it supposedly targets become resistant as well? Not to mention the often devastating side effects antibiotics have, as well as critical nutrient depletion, this sounds like a drug company trying to prescribe off label to tap into the huge market of those with irritable bowel.

There is a much safer and cheaper alternative...Probiotics! The first thing I prescribe when I think a client has an imbalance in gut bacteria is a probiotic. There must be a equal balance of good and bad gut bacteria, and more often than not, the bad wins out. Ask us about well-researched probitoic strains that would be right for your situation.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Don't buy the hype of Enviga

Enviga, the new drink by Coco Cola claiming to burn calories, is as suspcted, yucky!

Ingredients: carbonated water, calcium lactate, concentrated green tea from tea leaves, citric acid, phosphoric acid, potassium sorbate and potassium benzoate, natural flavors, aspartame, caffeine (100mg), ace-k.

Take away the green tea and the ingredients are similar to Diet Coke.

Tics & Tourette's Syndrome - often ignored

There is a great article in the fall 2006 issue of NOHA News (Nutrition for Optimal Health Association) called Tics and Tourett's: Tracing the True Triggers.

For those who have trouble coping with their symptoms as well as finding a solution to the problems, it is a must read. To get a copy, go to www.nutrition4health.org.

Here are some highlights:

  • Environment plays as much a role in causing TS as genetics
  • Discovery of food and environmental allergens, and erdicating nutrient deficiencies can minimize or eliminate symptoms
  • Corn, wheat, cane sugar, and/or dairy are common food causes
  • Toxic cleaners, pesticides or perfume, a new carpet etc. are also common causes
  • Utilizing diet and nutritional therapy from a licensed professional is critical
  • Candida yeast growth in the intestines is another potential aggrivator

Two stories today on trans fats

From Associated Press

Two years ago Denmark declared war on killer fat, making it illegal for any food to have more than 2 percent transfats. Offenders now face hefty fines — or even prison terms. The result? Today hardly anyone notices the difference.

The french fries are still crispy. The pastries are still scrumptious. And the fried chicken is still tasty.

Denmark's experience offers a hopeful example for places like Canada and the U.S. state of New York, which are considering setting limits on the dangerous artery-clogging fats.

Even consuming less than five grams of transfat — the amount found in one piece of fried chicken and a side of french fries — a day has been linked with a 25 percent increased risk of heart disease.

"No other fat at these low levels of intake, has such harmful effects," said Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist at Harvard's School of Public Health.

For Danes like Troels Nyborg Andersen, the government's decision means he feels less guilty about his fast-food habit.

"I know transfats are bad, but you don't think about that when you're hungry," said the 27-year-old Copenhagen native, chomping a hamburger. "It's good that the Danish government got rid of transfats so that I don't have to worry about it."

That was the rationale that motivated the transfat ban.

"We wanted to protect people so that they would not even have to know what transfat was," said Dr. Steen Stender, one of the leading Danish experts who lobbied for the anti-transfat law.

Stender and other health experts say Denmark's transfat ban should be adopted worldwide.

"There's no reason it cannot be done elsewhere," he said, explaining that the food in Denmark is not markedly different from food anywhere else. "If you removed transfat from the planet, the only people who would feel the difference are the people who sell the transfat."

Steve - you go Denmark!

From the BBC

The Food and Drink Federation (UK) has said hundreds of well-known brands, such as Horlicks, Mars and Weetabix, are being reformulated to eliminate trans fats.

The FDF polled 20 top food and drink manufacturers, asking about their position on trans fats.

Of those, 11 companies came back with details while the other nine either had no trans fats in their products or did not release details.

Based on these responses, the FDF has put a retail value of £1.5 billion on the products being reformulated.

Julian Hunt of the FDF said many companies had "dramatically" cut trans fats over the past two years.

"The industry is committed to reducing the level of trans fats to as low as is technically possible and has been actively reducing these levels.

Steve - this is good to see. We are seeing the same thing in the US. Although, restaurants in the US are still exempt from showing the ingredients in their food and this practice needs to be stopped.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Company that makes gastric bands seek okay for youths

Allergan, the company that makes implantable gastic bands to cut food intake in adults, is seeking the FDA's okay to make them available for adolescents.

Gastric bypass, which is a surgical procedure surgery already performed on persons as young as fourteen, does not have to approved by the FDA. The gastric band is a device so it must be FDA-approved.

Bonnie - I can barley even comment on this because it is so unconscionable. This is a cop out by parents and health professionals who are too lazy to implement healthy eating habits and lifestyle.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Viral disease hitting India affects Western travelers

A viral disease called chikungunya, which causes aches, pains, and fever has sweeped through Inida and, thus, any tourists who have been there.

We have heard from several clients who had recently returned from India complain about having these symptoms, but were unable to definitively nail down the cause.

The virus, carried by mosquitoes, is rarely fatal, but the joint pain can last for weeks and months. There is no drug treatment at this time.

If you do travel to India or have just recently returned, I suggest supplementing with the natural substance Monolaurin, which has an anti-viral fighting property.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition highlights

These were from the August issue that somehow did not make it into the blog until now!
  • The consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has increased dramatically in the past decades, in parallel with increasing prevalences of overweight and obesity in the U.S. Sugar-sweetened beverages, particularly soda, provide little nutritional benefit and increase weight-gain and probably the risk of diabetes, fractures, and dental caries. Consumption of these products, including fruit drinks should be discouraged.

  • High-calcium mineral waters, including Sanfaustino (which we recommend often), had absorbabilites equal to milk calcium or slightly better. High-calcium mineral waters should be used to provide useful quantitites of bioavailable calcium.

  • In a large group of community-resident older persons, there was a significant relation between serum magnesium and muscle performance. Magnesium deficiency should be avoided and optimal magnesium concentrations should be obtained through food and supplemental sources.

  • Weight gain in early adulthood is related to a higher risk and earlier onset of type 2 diabetes than is weight gain between 40 and 55 years of age.
Steve - these are all incredibly fascinating studies that should be applied to our daily lifestyles.

Flu sesaon tidbits

We thought the October newsletter Health & Healing brought up some good points:
  • Infectious diseases are caused by one of two things: either an excessivley virulent bug, or a weakness in the host. It cannot be due to the virus suddenly becoming more virulent; viruses are equally infectious year round. Therefore, it has to have something to do with the colder, darker winter months. We are weakened during this time because we do not get enough vitamin D.

  • Proponents of the flu shot report that the number of flu-related deaths would be much higher if it were not for the shots. However, researchers from the National Institutes of Health compared winter mortality rates in this age group with vaccination rates over the past 25 years. Although vaccination rates increased 15-20 percent before 1980 to 65 percent in 2001, the influenza-related death rate remained the same.
Bonnie - in addition, experts from the WHO get together every year and make an educated guess as to which influenza viruses are most likely to strike. More often than not, they do not guess perfectly. If tolerated, it is crucuail to supplement with adequate levels of vitamin D. Cod Liver Oil is my first choice for its bioavailability and extra benefit from omega 3's.

ALA-rich walnuts could protect arteries after high-fat meal

Twelve healthy people and 12 patients with high cholesterol levels were randomly assigned to a high-fat meal (80 g fat, 35 per cent saturated fat) supplemented with 40 grams of walnuts or 25 grams of olive oil. One week later, the participants were crossed over to eat the other supplemented high-fat meal. The Barcelona researchers report that blood flow in the arm in the brachial artery was improved in the people with high cholesterol after consumption of the walnut-supplemented meal (24 per cent increase).

“The fact that a single walnut meal positively affects postprandial vasoactivity further supports the beneficial effects of walnuts on cardiovascular risk,” wrote lead author Berenice Cortés in the October 16th issue of Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Inflammation, measured as a function of soluble inflammatory cytokine levels, were found to decrease independently of the meal, except for E-selectin, a molecule that plays a role in cell adhesion, which fell after the walnut meal. “Walnuts preserve the protective phenotype of endothelial cells,” concluded Cortés.

Steve - chalk another one up for walnuts. They are a wonderful Superfood along with other nuts such as almonds and pecans. If tolerated, make walnuts part of your diet. Try to rotate your consumption of nuts so you do not eat the same ones every day. Like consuming any food on a daily basis, developing an allergy or a sensitivity is always a concern.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Cola consumption may create lower bone density in women

According to the October issue of the American College of Clinical Nutrition, cola intake is associated with significantly lower Bone Mineral Density at each hip site, but not the spine, in women but not in men. The mean Bone Mineral Density of those with daily cola intake was 3.7% lower at the femoral neck and 5.4% lower at Ward's area than of those who consumed <1 serving cola/mo.Similar results were seen for diet cola. The study was conducted on 1413 women and 1125 men in the Framingham Osteoporosis Study by using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.

Bonnie - wow...is this a long time coming! I have said for so many years how excess acid contributes to osteoporosis. There is no substance more acidic to bone than cola!

Med diet can prevent Alzheimer's: study

A study involving 1,984 persons with the average age of about 76 indicated that such a diet can reduce the risk for the degenerative brain disease.

During the one year study period, the subjects' diet was closely monitored. Their age, weight, health conditions and other lifestyle aspects were also factored in the study but diet appeared to play a prominent role in controlling or preventing age-related mental decline.

People whose diets were most similar to the Mediterranean diet had as much as 68 percent lower risks compared to those who did not, the researchers observed.

The study was conducted by researchers from Columbia University and the report was published in the online version of the Archives of Neurology.

Another study in the same issue reports that Omega-3 fatty acid supplements can help slow down the mental decline among patients diagnosed with early or mild Alzheimer's.

Steve - this is basically consistent from what we have seen over the last decade of research with regard to the Mediterranean Diet.

Researchers finding adequate sleep is as crucial to a healthy life as diet and exercise

According to a piece in the LA Times, the Institute of Medicine issued a report in April confirming links between sleep deprivation and an increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack, stroke, and possibly immune function.

In an Archives of Internal Medicine editorial published in September, the authors called for assessment of sleep habits as a standard part of all medical checkups.

According to most experts, people need about 8 hours of sleep to fully recover from 16 hours of being awake. 40% of Americans get fewer than seven hours of sleep on weekdays.

Bonnie - Sleep regulates leptin and ghrelin. Inadequate sleep also lowers levels of growth hormone and increases risk greater adiposity (leptin and ghrelin are secreted in deepest stages of sleep). Translation...you need 8 hours of sleep!

Pine Bark could improve microangiopathy

In what was described as "clinically remarkable," the results of a small control study in September's Journal Angiology showed that 150mg pine bark extract given to 36 diabetic patients on insulin with severe microangiopathy improved blood flow between 34 and 68%. The 24 patients in the placebo group only showed a 4.7-8% improvement.

Microangiopathy, which is the deterioration of blood flow, affects almost everyone with diabetes.

Steve - there are limitations to this study. First, it was not a double blind control study. Second, it was a small number of patients. Third, the study was funded from the manufacturers of pine bark products. However, the results are statistically significant, and pine bark has also shown to be effective for numerous maladies.

FDA qualifies health claim for canola oil

Canola oil products can include on its labelling the following wording: "Limited and not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that eating about 1 1/2 tablespoons (19 grams) of canola oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the unsatured fat content in canola oil. To achieve this benefit, canola oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day. One serving of this product contains [X] grams of canola oil."

Bonnie - while olive oil is my favorite, canola oil is a good choice as long is it is organic and cold/expeller pressed. If it is not organic, canola is a crop that is heavily sprayed with pesticides.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Getting into college taxes teens, parents

The American Academy of Pediatrics warns that today's overscheduled lifestyle is robbing children of the developmental benefits of play. It also cites pressures created by the high-anxiety college admissions process.

The academy discusses this in a new book, Less Stress, More Success: A New Approach to Guiding Your Teen Through College Admissions and Beyond. USA TODAY's Mary Beth Marklein spoke with co-authors Marilee Jones, admissions dean at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and pediatrician Kenneth Ginsburg.

Q: Why the extra focus on college admissions?

Jones: It can be a big driver. Many of us in college admissions have set standards that are so high, and we've been sending the message that kids need to be perfect. We get rewarded by U.S. News rankings for admitting those kids, and as a result we're caught up in it. The other piece is that we have a tendency to want kids to look alike. We want them to take so many AP classes, we fixate on the scores, and oh, by the way, they should have so many activities and they should also be leaders. They get headaches, or migraines, or stomach problems — all the classic signs of stress — because the adults in their world are holding them to such a high standard. There's no room to fail.

Ginsburg: College admissions is just one of the factors that is pushing kids too fast too soon to grow up but, unlike, say, poverty, it's one of the forces we can address easily.

Q: Where do parents fit into all of this?

Jones: Parents are a big problem, covertly and overtly. There are some parents who want their kids to win no matter what. And that means getting into a top-tier school. The majority of parents, though, want to do the right thing for their kids. But they look at neighbors and at other parents, and they worry that if they just let their child grow whatever way their child happens to grow, that somehow they'll be failing their child. They don't know how to behave, and that's why Ken and I wrote this book.

Ginsburg: It's also important to note that there are no villains here. Most parents absolutely have the best intention of helping their child succeed. We're trying to help them step back, get off the treadmill, and think, what is success? Success is not about getting your kid into the top school. Success is about developing a happy, resilient, thoughtful, generous, compassionate kid. When parents understand that, they'll also see that the current definition of success is hurting their child.

Q: Are parents who need this most going to recognize themselves?

Ginsburg: I don't know, but it's why we're trying to start a conversation. In the book we suggest talking with neighbors, so you realize you're not alone. Our book may not change the minds of every parent, but their community might be changed.

Jones: We're hoping people get it for their book club.

Q: Beyond concerns about personal health and happiness, are there other consequences?

Jones: From my perspective at MIT, I have deep fears about the future of innovation. I don't see as much individual creativity anymore among applicants. They're so busy, they don't have a chance to daydream. They're just moving from activity to activity to activity to try to satisfy the needs of all the adults in their lives. The Thomas Edisons of the nation, the individuals who will change the world, I don't see that. And that has dire consequences for our nation's ability to compete.

Ginsburg: Every great innovation was preceded by many failures. It has to be OK to not do well in your first 30 attempts.

Q: You mention MIT. Is this really a widespread problem? Or is it really just about the talented few who aspire to highly selective, prestigious schools like MIT?

Jones: It's much bigger. In this country's system of education, there is this kind of weird drive to try to mold kids a certain way and not really value who they are. It's not just the rich kids. It hits the kids at the low end, too. I believe that's the reason a lot of those kids drop out. They're not appreciated for who they are, they're not seen for who they are.

Steve - This article appeared in USA Today. It is a very important issue. Being a father of two
young children myself, I am always torn by how far to push the envelope with them.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Vitamin A may minimize inflammation

Vitamin A supplements could reduce the levels of a marker for inflammation by 30 per cent, particularly among the young.

The vitamin is thought to aid the immune system in fighting certain infections and inflammations, such as measles and infections caused by some food-poisoning organisms. Indeed, the impact of vitamin A supplements on diarrhea in children is reported to be due to an effect on the immune response in the intestine. The body’s response to a gastrointestinal infection by organisms such as E. coli is inflammation, which reduces the colon’s ability to absorb water and results in diarrhea.

The new science, published in the current issue of the Journal of Nutrition (Vol. 136, pp. 2600-2605), looked at the effect of vitamin A supplements on levels of the molecule, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), which is associated with a state of increased inflammation. The researchers, from ten different universities and hospitals in the US and Mexico including Harvard, the University of Texas, and the Universidad Autonoma de Queretero, recruited 127 Mexican children between the ages of 5 and 15 months and randomly assigned them to receive either a vitamin A supplement or a placebo at two month intervals.

“Overall, children who received the vitamin A supplement had reduced fecal concentrations of MCP-1 compared with children in the placebo group,” reported lead author Kurt Long from Harvard School of Public Health. Reduce levels of MCP-1 is associated with less inflammation, which in term suggests less diarrhoea. The supplementation also impacted on MCP-1 levels in children with infections, like the bacteria Escherichia coli or the human roundworm Ascaris lumbricoides. For children infected with E. coli and given the vitamin A supplement, MCP-1 levels were 62 per cent lower than the placebo group, while children infected with A. lumbricoides had MCP-1 levels 38 per cent lower after vitamin A supplementation than placebo. “These findings suggest that vitamin A has an anti-inflammatory effect in the gastrointestinal tract by reducing MCP-1 concentrations,” concluded the researchers.

Bonnie - for the bad rap vitamin A has been getting, we see here why it is such an important nutrient.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Drinking tea helps reduce stress

Regular cups of tea can help speed recovery from stress, researchers from University College London (UCL) said on Wednesday.

Men who drank black tea four times a day for six weeks were found to have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than a control group who drank a fake tea substitute, the researchers said in a study published in the journal Psychopharmacology.

The tea drinkers also reported a greater feeling of relaxation after performing tasks designed to raise stress levels.

In the study, 75 tea-drinking men were split into two groups, all giving up their normal tea, coffee and caffeinated drinks.

Half were given a fruit-flavored caffeinated tea mixture made up of the usual constituents of a cup of black tea.

The others were given a caffeinated substitute, identical in taste but without the active tea ingredients.

Neither the participants or the researchers knew who was drinking real or false tea.

At the end of six weeks the participants were given a series of tests designed to raise their stress levels, including being given five minutes to prepare and deliver a presentation.

The researchers found that stress levels, blood pressure and heart rate rose similar amounts in both groups.

But 50 minutes after the tasks cortisol levels had fallen an average of 47 percent among the tea drinkers, compared to 27 percent in the fake tea group.

Steptoe said it was not known which ingredients in tea were responsible for the effects found in the study.

Courtesy Reuters

Diabetes-cancer link examined

A large study of Japanese adults has found that those with diabetes were more likely to develop cancer, especially of certain organs such as the pancreas and liver.

Men with diabetes in the study of nearly 98,000 people were 27% more likely than non-diabetics to be diagnosed with cancer, the study by the National Cancer Center in Tokyo found. Women afflicted with diabetes were also more at risk for cancer, though the association was not as clear as with men.

One theory holds that adult-onset diabetes produces excess insulin that may promote cancer cell growth in the liver or pancreas. Diabetes may also alter levels of sex hormones that could contribute to ovarian cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. The study was published in the Sept. 25 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Bonnie - this makes a strong statement for never eating a carbohydrate alone! The study is especially timely as a Journal Pediatrics study just released data that 1 in 523 Americans under 20 have diabetes.

Americans fed up with fad diets

Americans seem to have lost their appetite for fad diets, a new national survey finds.

More than two-thirds (69 percent) of respondents said they're less likely to try a specialized or fad diet today compared to five years ago. Men are more skeptical than women of fad regimens, the survey found.

The poll was released Wednesday by the nonprofit group America On the Move, involved 2,339 adults age 18 or older.

Some other survey results:

  • Two-thirds of those surveyed said they'd started a new weight-loss or control program or diet at least once within the past five years. Sixty-five percent said those attempts to shed pounds failed, however.
  • Seven out of 10 respondents said they're currently doing something to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Of those, 14 percent said their current diet, activity or program isn't working, and they're frustrated with the lack of success. Another 7 percent said their attempts at weight loss/control are working, but they're not optimistic about long-term success.
  • One-third said that food and beverage companies need to create more choices and more affordable options for healthier foods.
  • Three-quarters of those polled percent said government has a role to play in tackling the obesity problem in the United States and helping people develop healthy lifestyles.
Bonnie - It's about time! Finding the right dietary balance for you as an individual has always been and always will be the real way to optimize and maintain health.

Study: Communities unready for elderly

Less than half of the nation's communities have begun preparing to deal with the needs of the elderly, whose ranks will swell dramatically with the aging of the baby boomers, according to a study to be released today.

A survey of more than 1,790 towns, counties and other municipalities found that just 46 percent are looking at strategies to deal with aging America.

The issue is critical because the baby boomers - those born between 1946 and 1964 - began turning 60 this year and are rapidly approaching retirement age. By 2030, the number of people over age 65 in the United States will exceed 71 million - double the number in the year 2000, according to the Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, or n4a, one of the sponsors of the study.

The report, titled "The Maturing of America - Getting Communities on Track for an Aging Population," looks at health care and nutritional programs, transportation, public safety and emergency awareness, volunteer opportunities and other services.

Among the key findings in the report:

- Health care. In one-third of the communities surveyed, older adults do not have access to services such as health screenings, counseling on prescription drugs or health education.

- Nutrition. Some 80 percent of communities have programs providing home-delivered meals for the elderly, but just 25 percent provide nutrition education.

- Exercise. More than one-third of communities do not have fitness programs for older adults.

- Housing. Just half of communities have home modification programs to help the elderly with physical limitations stay in their houses.

- Work force development. More than 40 percent of communities do not offer formal job training or retraining programs.

- Human services. Many communities have failed to create a central point for seniors to go to seek information.

Courtesy AP

Steve - for further reading on prevention through nutrition, view Bonnie's most recent article, Aging Gracefully and the Importance of Geriatric Nutrition.

Curcumin could cut plaque build-up linked to Alzheimer’s

Curcumin, found extensively in curries, could boost the body’s ability to clear the build up of plaques in the brain that are linked to Alzheimer’s disease, suggest results from a small laboratory study from the US.

Although the mechanism of Alzheimer’s is not clear, significant data exists supporting the build-up of plaque from beta-amyloid deposits. The new research appears to indicate that curcumin, the natural pigment that gives the spice turmeric its yellow colour, could help the body’s immune system clear away these deposits and reduce the risk of developing the disease. “Curcumin improved ingestion of amyloid beta by immune cells in 50 percent of patients with Alzheimer's disease,” said Dr Milan Fiala from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. The research, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (Vol. 10, pp. 1-7), adds to this by reporting on a small laboratory study using blood from six Alzheimer's disease patients (aged 65 to 84) and three healthy controls.

The new study extends previous findings examining the neuroprotective effects of curcumin. Experts recommend however that consumers wishing to make use of curcumin's properties consume it in supplement form rather than eating more curries, which tend to be rather high in fat in their Western form. The study was funded by the Alzheimer's Disease Association and private donors.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A joke of a study

Results of a new study do not support current thinking that a high consumption of 100 percent fruit juice and sweetened fruit drinks contributes to the rising number of overweight and obese children.

"More prospective studies are needed before any conclusive statement is made about beverage consumption and overweight," Dr. Theresa A. Nicklas from the Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston told Reuters Health.

Nicklas and two colleagues investigated ties between the types and amounts of beverages consumed and weight status in 1160 preschool-aged children in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 1999-2002.

They report in the journal Pediatrics that, on average, the 2- to 5-year-olds drank less than the two servings of milk each day recommended for this age group by the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

"Only 8.6 percent drank low-fat or skim milk, as recommended for children who are older than 2 years," they also report.

"Children consumed a mean amount of 4.7 ounces of 100 percent fruit juice per day, which meets the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation of no more than 4 to 6 ounces per day," Nicklas told Reuters Health.

A key finding, she said, was that increased beverage consumption, regardless of type of beverage consumed (i.e. milk, 100 percent fruit juice, fruit drinks, soda), was associated with an increase in total caloric (energy) intake but not with body mass index.

That is, "despite the increase in total caloric intake, beverage consumption was not associated with overweight," Nicklas explained.

Summing up, Nicklas said "dietary factors associated with childhood obesity are poorly understood and identifying single foods/beverages as the sole contributor to the obesity problem is unfounded."

"What makes intuitive sense," she said, "is that the obesity problem may reflect a combination of eating patterns that vary considerably among children, and their cumulative effect on overweight over time."

"There is no simple answer to a rather complex problem. If there were, we would have solved it."

Dr. Nicklas is a member of the speaker's bureau for the National Dairy Council, the National Cattlemen's and Beef Association, and a member of the advisory board for Cadbury Schweppes, Grain Food Foundation, and holds additional positions in the food and beverage industry.

Courtesy Reuters

Steve - Dr. Nicklas was almost able to indemnify or promote every special interest he represents in this study! The motive is so obvious...just confuse the public more, saying there is no simple answer. Unfortunately for the special interests, the data on fruit juice is so overwhelming with its contribution to obesity that the above should not sway the public.

Probiotics protect the gut when you take an antibiotic

A new meta-analysis of six studies, involving 836 children who were prescribed an antibiotic, discovered that those who were also given a probiotic suffered far less diarrhea than those who just took the antibiotic.

Source: Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2006; 175: 377-83.

Steve - we have said that you must take meta-analyses with a grain of salt. However, we have seen almost every one of these six studies. We have been recommending probiotics, including acidophilus, bifidus, and saccromyces boulardii to every client that goes on an antibiotic for many years.

Lip-Gloss Cure?

According to the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, new lip gloss products (can be found at joeynewyork.com) have fragrances that shows signs of being able to reduce food and nicotine cravings.

Steve - just when you think you have heard it all...