Friday, December 30, 2011

Use Neti pot intelligently

While many of us use Neti pots safely to clear congestion from our sinuses, several fatal infections from a water-borne pathogen contracted by neti pot use should act as a good reminder of how to safely use them. In short, try not to use tap water in the Neti pot. If you do use tap water, boil it first. Tap water contains pathogens that, while cannot survive our digestive tract, can be extremely harmful if they enter our nasal passages unimpeded.

If you can you distilled water, that would be ideal.

Are colonics safe?

If you ask the allopathic medical community, the answer would be no. Our opinion has always been somewhere in between. Like everything else, it depends upon the individual.

Colonics, also known by various names such as colonic irrigation, high colonics, colonic hydrotherapy, and colon lavage, is the process of delivering water and sometimes other ingredients (eg, herbs, coffee, probiotics, enzymes, or sodium phosphate) into and out of the rectum for "cleansing of the large intestine (colon) and sigmoid (lower bowel) of metabolic waste..."

Colonics can be performed by colon therapists, also known as colonic hygienists, or can be self-administered. Water is pumped into the rectum through a rectal tube and removed through another tube. Amounts ranging from one-half to 25 gallons are described on various Websites. This process may be repeated multiple times.

The benefits and risks of any medical intervention must be considered. A systematic review of the mainstream and complementary and alternative literature on the benefits of colon cleansing found no methodologically rigorous trials to substantiate claims. In addition, there is no specific licensing body to regulate colon therapists. Ask your doctor or licensed health professional for a name they trust.

Generally, for those who prefer colonics for detoxification purposes, we suggest getting them no more than once or twice per year. However, people with a history of gastrointestinal disease, such as diverticulitits, Crohn disease, or ulcerative colitis, are at higher risk for adverse effects of colonics. Other conditions such as severe hemorrhoids, a history of colon surgery, heart disease, or renal impairment also increase adverse risk.

Pizza wins in the battle for school lunches

Folic acid and B-12 improve cognitive function

The objective of a study in the January issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition was to determine whether oral folic acid + vitamin B-12 supplementation prevented cognitive decline in 900 community-dwelling older adults aged 60-74 years with elevated psychological distress. The researchers found that the combination promoted improvement in cognitive functioning after 24 months, particularly in immediate and delayed memory performance.

Vitamin D Deficiency, Supplementation and Relation to CVD, Mortality

According to the January 2012 issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, low vitamin D status may increase mortality risk. Researchers used the highest compared with the lowest categories of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] serum concentrations and mortality in 59,231 individuals. The results found that there was a decrease in mortality risk as circulating 25(OH)D increases, with optimal concentrations between 75–87.5 nmol/L.

In another study from the November issue of American Journal of Cardiology, evidence supports an association between vitamin D deficiency and hypertension, peripheral vascular disease, diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, coronary artery disease, and heart failure. The researchers examined the associations between vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D supplementation, and patient outcomes in 10,899 patients by looking at serum vitamin D measurements for 5 years and 8 months. 3,294 (29.7%) were in the normal vitamin D range and 7,665 (70.3%) were deficient. Vitamin D deficiency was associated with several cardiovascular-related diseases, including hypertension, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, and diabetes. Vitamin D deficiency was a strong independent predictor of all-cause death. Moreover, vitamin D supplementation conferred substantial survival benefit. In conclusion, vitamin D deficiency was associated with a significant risk of cardiovascular disease and reduced survival. Vitamin D supplementation was significantly associated with better survival, specifically in patients with documented deficiency.

Bonnie - make sure to have your vitamin D level checked at your next physical.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bonnie, Steve's Blog on Hiatus until 1/2/12

Wishing you a happy, healthy holiday and New Year to you and yours.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Walnuts good for the brain

MyPlate different than most American's plates

The nutritionally balanced quadrants of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) MyPlate --- the new federal dietary guidelines that depict a healthful daily diet -- look quite different from what’s actually on the plates of most Americans, according to new research from The NPD Group. Using its National Eating Trends (NET) research, NPD has continually tracked the eating and drinking habits of U.S. consumers for more than 30 years. NPD calculated MyPlate days based on consumers who, on the same day, achieved at least 70 percent of the daily recommended intake for dairy, fruit, grains, proteins and vegetables.

For the average consumer, only 2 percent of their days (about seven days a year) come close to resembling the USDA’s MyPlate dietary guidelines, the research showed. When a MyPlate day is achieved, consumers are highly likely to consume more than three meals a day.

Two bills proposed to restrict GMO use

Helping Those in Need

If you or someone you know does something to help those in need, we would like to know about it. This way, we can get the word out about all the wonderful things people are doing for others.

You can add to this list by posting in the comments box below. Or, just email us at Write c/o Helping Those in Need. Please leave your name and email address, person(s) or organization you would like to mention, what and how they help those in need, and contact info for them.

  • Local Food Pantries Benefit From Leftover Crops
  • Battered and Abused Women and Children and Erie House, Chicago Toy Drive
  • Donations to Safe Place Shelter for Domestic Abuse, Lake County IL
  • Feed My Starving Children -
    There was a mobile packing event at Lake County Fairgrounds this past weekend. The goal was to pack 800,000 meals. A meal for 6 is assembled in a plastic bag and contains a flavoring/nutrition powder, dehydrated vegetables, soy protein, and rice. This has been developed as a food that a malnourished body can handle and thrive on. Also, rice is a universal food that is recognized by all and cooking is not a mystery.

    When we finished our 1 1/2 hour shift, they shared pictures of an eight year old boy that arrived at one of their feeding centers weighing 18 pounds! After 17 days, he had a smile. After 6 months, he weighed 73 pounds. A life was saved! Just from our shift, they said 231 children could receive a meal a day for a year. This food goes around the world to places with famine or disasters, where adequate food is not available.

    The organization has a permanent packing facility in Naperville and another on the South Side. So it is possible to get involved with this effort throughout the year.

Surprise, surprise: cancer screening overdone in elderly

More than half of surveyed seniors reported that their physicians continue to recommend cancer screening, despite ambiguity about its value for men and women over age 75, according to data analysis of a nationwide sample.

Among adults between the ages of 75 and 79, 57% were screened for colorectal cancer, 62% for breast, 53% for cervical, and 56% for prostate cancers. In the group that was 80 years or older, rates varied from a low of 38% for cervical cancer screening to a high of 50% for breast cancers, as reported in Archives of Internal Medicine.

Researchers analyzed data from the U.S. National Health Interview Survey, an annual in-person survey of 49,575 adults,

At age extremes, the likelihood of a person living long enough benefit from cancer prevention and detection becomes quite small, while likelihood of harm becomes larger. The data raises the issue of whether quality measures should address the overuse of cancer screening. Currently quality measures in cancer screening focus on increasing screening in persons younger than 75 years, but what about the problems of overscreening?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gutless Grains

This interview with renowned Paleolithic researcher Loren Cordain, PhD was posted on a blog called Me and My Diabetes.

Q: Why do grains irritate the human gut?

Grains are the seeds of a plant. They’re its reproductive material, and plants don’t make their reproductive material to give away for free to other animals. If they did they’d become extinct, and so the evolutionary strategy that many plants, particularly cereal grains have taken to prevent predation is to evolve toxic compounds so that the predator of the seeds can’t eat them, so that they can put their seeds in the soil where they’re meant to be to grow a new plant and not in the gut of an animal to feed it. We hear that whole grains are especially valuable because of their many vitamins and special nutrients.

Q: Why don’t you like the parts of the grain that make it a “whole grain?”

If we look at the outside part of the seed, that’s the part that comes in contact with the environment and that’s the one that has the concentrated sources of anti-nutrients, so all these nasty things that we’re finding in grains that cause problems are concentrated in the outside portion of it. So that’s where the fiber is, is in the bran portion, and that’s where many of the anti-nutrients are. I had a friend whose knees ached when she ate whole grains, but they felt fine when she ate white French bread.

Q: Now, I’m not advocating white bread as a health treat, but why might it cause less problem for her achey knees than a whole grain bread?

Whole grains are concentrated sources of anti-nutrients, more so than white bread. White bread certainly isn’t good because of high glycemic load. It also contains gliadin which is one of the elements that open up the gut, but lectins do too, and lectins are more concentrated in the outside layer of wheat berries. People think grains are a good source of fiber and actually they’re not. Fruits and vegetables contain orders of magnitude, at least vegetables do, contain an order of magnitude greater amount of fiber per calorie than grains. There’s no human requirement for grains. That’s the problem with the USDA recommendations. They think we’re hardwired as a species to eat grains. You can get by just fine and meet every single nutrient requirement that humans have without eating grains. And grains are absolutely poor sources of vitamins and minerals compared to fruits and vegetables and meat and fish.

Q: When you state the obvious, anyone can do that. Get a computerized dietary analysis program and put in the eight whole grains and then put in the 20 most commonly consumed fruits and the 20 most commonly consumed vegetables and look at the nutrient density. The nutrient density is much greater in fruits and vegetables than it is in grains. So why are we putting grains at the base of our food pyramid and telling people that they have to eat them? There’s absolutely no nutrient in grains that we can’t get elsewhere. Many nutritionists argue that we need to eat grains for the fiber, in order to avoid constipation. Do you agree?

You do need bulk and what we call prebiotics, which is fiber, but there are basically 2 types of fiber, soluble and non-soluble. And grains, except for oats, contain mainly non-soluble fiber. Fruits and vegetables contain soluble fiber which tends to be therapeutic because it slightly lowers cholesterol and benefits some other blood parameters. But even more, it provides soluble fiber which is an environment for healthy bacteria to live in our gut, and so what we’re finding now is that probiotics along with prebiotics, help us to have a healthy flora of bacteria in our gut, and when we have a healthy flora of bacteria in our gut, it tends to prevent leaky gut, and it tends to prevent chronic low level inflammation that occurs when our gut is colonized with gram negative bacteria more than gram positive bacteria. In contrast, if you eat an average low reside western diet, high glycemic load diet, it tends to promote flora that is not therapeutic.

Q: Once somebody has full fledged diabetes or they’re on the way to that, while they could have eaten a paleolithic diet before that might have helped prevent their diabetes, they may not be able to have as many carbohydrates as a paleo-diet tends to have. Are you comfortable when people tend to modify a paleo diet so they eat more fats and they eat fewer fruits and starchy vegetables?

There are two types of diabetes. The most common type in the US is Type 2 diabetes, and that’s the type that is essentially a lifestyle issue. People with obesity, people that are insulin resistant, develop Type 2 diabetes, and that can be cured. It’s not an incurable disease, and so by losing weight and changing diet and reducing carbohydrate in their diet, these people can end up becoming non diabetic, and coming into complete remission with their disease. The other type of diabetes is Type 1 diabetes which is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the beta cells that produce insulin in the pancreas and destroys those beta cells. The thinking has always been there’s no such thing as remission from Type 1 diabetes because once the Beta Cells in the pancreas are destroyed, then you have to inject insulin for the rest of your life. What we have found now, surprisingly in the last three or four years, we have had two or three anecdotal cases of people with physician diagnosed Type 1 diabetes, who were insulin brittle, so they were injecting themselves with insulin, we have at least three cases that I’m aware of where they have actually come into complete remission, and myself, I was the biggest skeptic of all. I said you can’t come out of the disease, but we heard these people did, and so they stopped injecting insulin, and there are certain blood parameters you can measure to determine whether or not someone still has the disease, and so I’m working on this with a colleague here in our department, and another immunologist outside the U-S, and we think what’s going on is that the immune system all but destroys most of the beta cells in the pancreas, but there are what are called stem cells, and a few stem cells are left that can become beta cells, and if you can stop the immune assault on the beta cells, on the body’s own tissues, if you can completely stop it, then those stem cells might be able to regenerate beta cells, sufficiently to restore pancreatic function.

Q: There is a woman who is advertising on the web right now about her twin boys, who she put on a what I believe she describes as a plant-based diet, where they were both diagnosed as Type 1 diabetics, and now they don’t take any medications.

That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me because the only way you can eat a plant-based diet is by eating grains and legumes, and those are two factors that can irritate the gut. Hundreds of scientific papers show that legumes and grains increase intestinal permeability, and they do it through the mechanisms we talked about earlier, through lectins and saponins, and what are called thaumatin-like proteins, so I would say that vegetarian or vegan diets would be one of the worst ways a person with autoimmune disease could go. I recommend not doing that.

Q: You have mentioned several blood-carried protein markers that indicate when someone is not digesting foods completely, making the proteins in those foods “leak” into the bloodstream, where they can trigger inflammation. Those could be a powerful way to figure out whether someone is eating foods that lead their own gut to be leaky. That could be helpful for people with arthritis, MS, autism . . . a huge list of ailments. It would be fun, wouldn’t it, to get all these markers together and have experts look at them and comment on the same thing.

There’s a biological template that allows scientists to look into the future, and it’s called the evolutionary template, and if you don’t use it, it’s like playing soccer, running uphill on a soccer field, against a team that’s running downhill. And any nutritionist or biologist or physician that doesn’t use the evolutionary template to help guide them to the correct decision is inevitably going to to end up with the wrong answer. And that’s part of the problem with the governmental recommendations right now by the USDA is that we’re not putting the evolutionary template over the problem of diet and health.I’m kind of in an odd role here in what I do research wise. I’ve pushed pieces around on a chess board. We’re kind of a think tank here and me and my graduate students I work with around the world, we’re not bench scientists per se. We don’t do the cooking, we invent the recipes. Or rather, we suggest the recipes, and some scientists are interested in our ideas and testing them, but many scientists many bench scientists are very close to a very narrow idea and that’s what they pursue. They don’t look at the big picture, and I have the luxury of looking at the big picture.

Fever helps immune cells

Scientists have found more evidence that elevated body temperature helps certain types of immune cells to work better, according to the Journal of Leukocyte Biology."An increase in body temperature has been known since ancient times to be associated with infection and inflammation," said the researcher. "Since a febrile response is highly conserved in nature (even so-called cold blooded animals move to warmer places when they become ill) it would seem important that we immunologists devote more attention to this interesting response."

Scientists found that the generation and differentiation of a particular kind of lymphocyte, known as a "CD8+ cytotoxic T-cell" (capable of destroying virus-infected cells and tumor cells) is enhanced by mild fever-range hyperthermia. Specifically, their research suggests that elevated body temperature changes the T-cells' membranes which may help mediate the effects of micro-environmental temperature on cell function.

"Having a fever might be uncomfortable," said researchers, "but this research report and several others are showing that having a fever is part of an effective immune response. We had previously thought that the microbes that infect us simply can't replicate as well when we have fevers, but this new work also suggests that the immune system might be temporarily enhanced functionally when our temperatures rise with fever. Although very high body temperatures are dangerous and should be controlled, this study shows that we may need to reconsider how and when we treat most mild fevers."

"Got Milk" campaign's new face

The International Dairy Foods Association has reported that while U.S. milk production reached a record 192.8 billion pounds in 2010, the long-term trend of declining sales of packaged fluid milk products continued. Another revelation is that many Americans stop drinking milk in their teenage years. How does the IDFA plan to bring them into the fold? To market chocolate milk as the next sports drink, of course. Meet the new face of the "Got Milk" campaign.

Feel free to leave a comment below.

Friday, December 09, 2011

BPA in soup the last straw for the FDA

I guess the recent media exposure of BPA in canned soups and drinks was the straw that broke the camel's back for the FDA. They have vacillated for several years over what to do about BPA. They have now given themselves a May 31, 2012 deadline to decide if it should be removed.

Arsenic in our food. Cause for alarm?

Two recent media stories exposed potentially high levels of arsenic in two major American foodstuffs: rice and apple juice. Should their be cause for concern?

There is virtually no data or oversight on naturally-occurring arsenic, or any heavy metal in rice for that matter. We applaud scientists for wanting to exploring the issue. It is a complex one that depends on many factors before a consensus can be drawn. For instance, the location of the rice field has a lot to do with the amount of heavy metals in the soil. Are the fields sprayed with pesticides or near farms that do? Do the farmers use well water, usually higher in arsenic, or receive runoff from rivers or tributaries high in heavy metals? Additionally, soil in different areas of the world have varying amounts of arsenic. For instance, California soil has less arsenic in its soil than Texas.

In our opinion, there is no cause for alarm at the moment. The new study scientists' cite to is small and has many confounding variables. If you are worried, purchase organic rice. This way, you can check off pesticides as one less potential contributor to high heavy metals. If you are gluten intolerant or celiac and consume copious amounts of rice, do not deviate for what works. If you are worried, you can always do a hair analysis or serum blood test to rule out high arsenic or other heavy metals.

Apple Juice
In the case of apple juice, there is more data to draw from and depending on the brand of apple juice, there may be cause for concern. Additionally, because apple juice is a processed food, it is much easier to perform arsenic testing before releasing the product to the public. The fact that the FDA is considering more oversight means that it is an issue. We would also suggest going organic in this case if you drink apple juice. However, we are not big advocates of juice in any form because of its high glycemic index and load. We always prefer consuming the real thing!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Acai weight loss scam gets the boot

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it had filed a court order together with the State of Connecticut to halt an Internet operation that runs bogus news sites featuring fake stories about açaí weight loss pills. The fake news sites are promoted on banner ads and web page links by affiliate marketers and eventually link to supposedly free trials for açaí supplements—though many consumers complained of unwittingly paying $79.99 for monthly shipments. FTC asserts that the scam’s perpetrators have defrauded customers of over $25 million. The court order placed an injunction on LeanSpa LLC, NutraSlim LLC and NutraSlim U.K. Ltd., the companies responsible for the scam. The companies operate with various websites—such as, and—which are linked to various fake news websites—including, and—run by affiliate marketers. The news websites feature fake investigative reports with titles like "Açaí Berry Diet Exposed: Miracle Diet or Scam?" and employ logos from credible news sources such as CNN and MSNBC.

FTC had announced its intent to crack down on these açaí weight-loss supplement sellers last spring, filing 10 different complaints against the affiliate marketers themselves. At the time, an FTC attorney asserted that “tens of billions” of these false advertisements were present across the internet.

Best and worse kids cereals

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Dark or Light Roast?

Dark Roasted Coffee Improves Human Antioxidant Status
Recent results from prospective cohort studies have shown that moderate coffee consumption is associated with a reduced risk for diabetes mellitus type II or Alzheimer's disease. Since reactive oxygen species (ROS) are believed to be involved in the pathogenesis of these diseases, antioxidants in coffee might contribute to this risk reduction. We aimed at elucidating whether a dark roast coffee beverage has stronger antioxidant effects on human erythrocytes than a light roast. Intake of the dark roast most effectively improved the antioxidant status of erythrocytes: superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activity decreased by 5.8 and 15%, respectively, whereas tocopherol and total glutathione concentrations increased by 41 and 14%, respectively. Furthermore, administration of the dark roast led to a significant body weight reduction in pre-obese subjects, whereas the light roast did not.
Molecular Nutrition & Food Research

Major news publication fair to supplements for depression,0,6917033.story

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Crackdown on HCG Weight-Loss Product

Bonnie and Steve - as you know, we do not always agree with the FDA and their decisions. However, in this case, we wholeheartedly agree.

Courtesy of USA Today

The government is cracking down on companies that sell popular over-the-counter weight-loss products containing the hormone HCG.The Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission announced today that they have sent seven warning letters to companies that make the products, notifying them that they are violating federal law by selling drugs that have not been approved and by making unsupported claims for the substances. There are no FDA-approved HCG products for weight loss, says Elizabeth Miller, the FDA's acting director of the division of non-prescription products and health fraud.

HCG weight-loss products, which promise dramatic results and claim to be homeopathic, are sold as drops, pellets and sprays in retail stores and on the Web, including GNC. The homeopathic HCG products contain HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, which is a hormone made by the placenta during pregnancy. The hormone itself is approved as a prescription treatment for infertility and other conditions, the FDA says.

Many of these products claim to "reset your metabolism," change "abnormal eating patterns" and shave 20 to 30 pounds in 30 to 40 days, the FDA says. "These products are marketed with incredible claims, and people think that if they're losing weight, HCG must be working," Miller says. "But the data simply does not support this — any loss is from severe calorie restriction, not from the HCG. "The products are supposed to be used in combination with a very low-calorie diet of 500 calories a day so they are potentially dangerous and could lead to gallstone formation, electrolyte imbalance and heart arrhythmia, she says. Miller says the FDA doesn't know how many consumers are using the products, "but we understand they are very popular." The products are mostly sold on the Internet, so it's difficult to track sales.

HCG began being used for weight loss in the 1950s when a British physician had a theory that it could help people on a near-starvation diet not feel hungry. Since then, there have been a number of clinical trials debunking that theory. Duffy MacKay, vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition, an industry group, says the HCG weight-loss products "are totally illegal," because they don't meet the criteria for either a dietary supplement ingredient or a homeopathic product. "I am not aware of any scientific evidence that supports its use when taken orally for weight loss," he says.

Homeopathy is an alternative medicine practice of using very small or diluted preparations of medicines or remedies to treat a condition. Donna Ryan, an obesity researcher with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, says she is "delighted" by the government's actions."There is not a shred of evidence that HCG has any more than a placebo effect in promoting weight loss. It's yet one more unproven treatment for obesity that is unscrupulously marketed to patients," she says. The companies have 15 days to notify the FDA of the steps they have taken to correct the violations cited. Failure to do so may result in legal action, including seizure and injunction, or criminal prosecution.

Below is a list of the companies that received the warning letters as well as the products they sell:

Manufacturer/Distributor Name

Product Name

1. HCG Diet Direct LLC

HCG Diet Homeopathic Drops

2. The hCG Drops LLC

Homeopathic HCG

3. HCG Platinum LLC; RightWay Nutrition

HCG Platinum

HCG Platinum X-30

HCG Platinum X-14

4. Nutri Fusion Systems LLC

HCG Fusion 30

HCG Fusion 43


Homeopathic Original HCG

Homeopathic HCG


HCG Extra Weight Loss Homeopathic Drops

7. Natural Medical Supply

Alcohol Free hCG Weight Loss Formula

Home birth and the perils of free formula

The low incidence of adverse events suggests that women with low-risk pregnancies should be provided a choice of birth setting, according to the findings of a British Medical Journal study. Among the 64,538 women included in the study, the investigators found no significant differences in the odds of morbidity for births planned in any nonobstetric unit setting compared with those planned in obstetric units.

New mothers who are not offered free infant formula samples by hospitals after giving birth tend to breastfeed longer. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that hospitals refrain from the common practice of providing the sample formula packets to new mothers, largely because it has the potential to undermine breastfeeding efforts. A 2009 report from the Institute of Medicine on conflict-of-interest issues involved in the dissemination of industry-sponsored formula placed added pressure on hospitals to end the practice. Despite the recommendation, however, the majority of hospitals in the United States (91%) continue to distribute the formula sample packets, according to the authors of a study presented at the American Public health Association annual meeting. The researchers prospectively enrolled 527 breastfeeding women at Cooper Hospital in Camden, New Jersey — 284 before the policy to discontinue this practice was implemented (control group) and 243 after the policy was implemented (intervention group). Researchers called subjects weekly for 10 weeks after discharge to check on infant status and infant feeding practices. Those in the intervention group had significantly lower rates of stopping breastfeeding than those in the formula group).

Protein does not accelerate bone loss

According to a new study in European Journal Clinical Nutrition, high-protein (HP) diets exert a hypercalciuric effect at constant levels of calcium intake, even though the effect may depend on the nature of the dietary protein. Lower urinary pH is also consistently observed for subjects consuming HP diets. The combination of these two effects was suspected to be associated with a dietary environment favorable for demineralization of the skeleton. However, increased calcium excretion due to HP diet does not seem to be linked to impaired calcium balance. In contrast, some data indicate that HP intakes induce an increase of intestinal calcium absorption. Moreover, no clinical data support the hypothesis of a detrimental effect of HP diet on bone health. In addition, HP intake promotes bone growth and retards bone loss and low-protein diet is associated with higher risk of hip fractures. The increase of acid and calcium excretion due to HP diet is also accused of constituting a favorable environment for kidney stones and renal diseases. However, in healthy subjects, no damaging effect of HP diets on kidney has been found in either observational or interventional studies and it seems that HP diets might be deleterious only in patients with preexisting metabolic renal dysfunction. Thus, HP diet does not seem to lead to calcium bone loss, and the role of protein seems to be complex and probably dependent on other dietary factors and the presence of other nutrients in the diet.

Bonnie - this is the most succinct of the numerous studies over the last few years dispelling the myth of protein increasing bone loss.

Studies show fish to be cardio, neuroprotective

People who eat baked or broiled fish on a weekly basis may be improving their brain health and reducing their risk of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease, according to a study at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). People who consumed baked or broiled fish at least one time per week had better preservation of gray matter volume on MRI in brain areas at risk for Alzheimer's disease. The results also demonstrated increased levels of cognition in people who ate baked or broiled fish.

Young women may reduce their risk of developing cardiovascular disease simply by eating more fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, researchers reported in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association. In the population-based study of 49,000 women, 15-49 years old, median age of just under 30 years in early pregnancy, who rarely or never ate fish had 50 percent more cardiovascular problems over eight years than those who ate fish regularly. Compared to women who ate fish high in omega-3 weekly, the risk was 90 percent higher for those who rarely or never ate fish.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Krill Versus Fish Oil: Our Take

We have received numerous inquiries recently regarding our feelings about krill oil.

Dr. Mehmet Oz recently said on his show that krill oil may be even better than fish oil for fighting diseases. During the segment, he said krill may be a "faster and stronger" omega-3 source than fish oil. Dr. Oz used an infographic to show krill oil has been shown to be more bioavailable than fish oil. He referenced a study that showed krill oil has more omega-3s than a similar dose of fish oil. He also noted that krill oil contains astaxanthin, which he said helps krill oil from becoming oxidized.

The problem with the Dr. Oz effect is that he has purported as many failures as successes (i.e. acai, hoodia, among others). This is not to say that krill oil is all hype. It is not. However, we would not put away your fish oil any time soon.

Krill are little shrimp, so are not recommended for those with a shellfish allergy.

Krill is much more expensive than fish oil.

Provides Much Less EPA/DHA
Krill oil does not provide more EPA DHA than fish oil. For example, a popular krill product claims 2 capsules provides 90 mg EPA and 50 mg DHA. 2 softgels of your average fish oil provides 600 mg EPA and 400 mg, which is a suggested daily maintenance dose.

Contains Omega-6
Krill naturally contains omega 6 fatty acids (20 mg in product we researched). These are considered inflammatory fatty acids that compete with omega 3's.

High Phospholipids Not for Everyone
Krill contains a lot of phospholipids (mostly phosphatidylcholine, which can be beneficial if you need it, but not everyone does).

There are huge questions about krill's sustainability if it becomes more popular. Krill provides food to many large mammals (including whales) and is not easily replaced.
Calamari oil is much more sustainable and provides about the same amount of EPA/DHA.

The most beneficial aspect of krill oil is astaxanthin, which is an antioxidant that has gotten much attention recently (from none other than Dr. Oz).

In conclusion, we are not dissuading you from taking krill oil. However, for the aforementioned reasons, we still support supplementing with high quality fish oil.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Quorn finally on its way out?

Courtesy of Wall Street Journal

In November, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration, asking that the agency remove Quorn from store shelves, saying it carries a risk of severe allergic reaction. Its action takes place after it says it received more U.S. consumer complaints about the fungus-derived food—65 so far this year out of 140 world-wide—than it has received in any previous year. Over the past decade, CSPI says it has received 500 U.S. complaints and 1,200 more from Europe and Australia.

"Any novel food ingredient that causes hives, anaphylactic reactions, or vomiting so violent that blood vessels burst cannot, indeed must not, be considered by the FDA to be 'generally recognized as safe,' "

The product, sold at grocery chains including Whole Foods and Kroger, has plenty of fans. Mary Melvin of Greenwich, Conn., says she served Quorn to her 13-year-old son one day for lunch and, to her surprise, "He loved it. Usually he doesn't like anything not made by me." She says her children continue to eat it regularly. Then there are those who will never eat it again. For Thanksgiving last year, Ginny Linehan dined on Quorn "Turk'y Style Roast." Within three hours, the 56-year-old Minnesotan broke out in a cold sweat, vomited and passed out in the bathroom, hitting her head. Matt Ernst, 48, a software salesman in Florida, says he ate Quorn "chicken cutlets" at his girlfriend's house in June, then went for a run home. A mile from his house, his throat and skin got itchy. He says he started having trouble breathing and his faced swelled up. "I thought about calling 911," he says. Benadryl lessened the symptoms over a few hours. Both Ms. Linehan and Mr. Ernst filed complaints with the CSPI. Mr. Ernst, who has allergies to pollen and pets, says "The packaging did not say, 'This is a vat-grown fungus that could cause severe allergic reactions,'" The label says, "This product contains egg and wheat ingredients and is made in a facility that also processes milk. Mycoprotein is high in protein and fiber. This may cause intolerance in some people."

Critics of the labeling point out that few people know what mycoprotein is. (It is protein derived from fungus.) The Quorn formula is based on a fungus found originally in a field in West London. It's stringy, grows underground and looks a lot "like the roots of a strawberry plant," Mr. Wilson says. To that, the company adds wheat protein, starch, egg whites and other ingredients. "Obviously, the current label isn't adequate because it doesn't mention mold or fungus" allergies.