Tuesday, May 31, 2011
A recent study published in Dermatitis suggests bilateral symmetrical lesions on the face and thigh from the use of two mobile phones simultaneously are reported as a novel pattern of mobile-phone dermatitis. Phoning for 3 to 4 hours a day and frequently using two mobile phones reveal evidence of nickel release from the metal casings. The number of reports of nickel-induced allergic contact dermatitis from the metallic exterior parts of mobile phones has increased during the last decade.
Friday, May 27, 2011
By Jamie Allman
If chicken nuggets are your default dinner every time you hit the drive-through with your kids, you’ve probably wondered how healthy they are.
It all starts on a chicken farm.
Usually, only retired egg layers are destined for nugget fame since their meat is dirt cheap. Tendons, tissue, cartilage, organs and other chicken extras are ground up into a fine poultry paste. Because that paste is typically crawling with bacteria, it’s washed with ammonia, and treated with an artificial flavoring. To get rid of the pink color, the paste is dyed.
Doesn’t sound too appetizing, but plenty of kids are making it part of their regular diet and not collapsing, so it can’t all be bad, can it?
“We basically looked at the nuggets like these and determined that they’re 53 percent meat,” said Dr. Bruce Hemming, a microbiologist with Microbe Inotech Laboratories. The St. Louis-based company conducts food-safety audits for the food-services industry.
What about the rest of the nugget?
“Breading and other components make up the coating of the nugget,” Hemming said. “The big issue is the nutritional content here, but you have to talk to a nutritionist.”
Nutritionist Sally Hemming at Microbe Inotech describes a chicken nugget as “half chicken, half nugget, more than half fat.” And that fat is hydrogenated fat, the “bad” fat.
So only half of the nugget is chicken or chicken parts. The other half is not chicken. And remember, half of those calories are coming from fat.
The rule of thumb is that for every 100 calories, look for three grams of fat or less. Most chicken nuggets don’t pass the test, according to information on company websites.
◆ A four-piece serving of McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets are 190 calories, 100 from fat with 10 grams of protein in a 64-gram serving.
◆ At Chick-fil-A, a four-count Nuggets in the kid’s meal has 130 calories, 54 from the 6 grams of fat it contains with 14 grams of protein in a 57-gram serving.
◆ From the grocery store, a five-piece serving of Tyson’s Chicken Nuggets has 270 calories, 160 from fat with 14 grams of protein in a 90-gram serving.
A top-of-the-line nugget we tested had only 85 percent of the expected value of meat. They’re made up of the worst parts of retired egg layers, ground up, turned into a pink paste, and loaded with fat.
Hemming said a less expensive nugget may contain even less meat. And while she said eating nuggets once a week is acceptable, she suggests looking for nuggets labeled “white meat chicken” since they’re better for you.
By law, the ingredients on a package should be listed by weight and chicken always should be the first ingredient.
Gannett News Service
Clif Shot Electrolyte
Vitamin Water Zero
Glaceau Smart Water
Whole Foods 365 Electrolyte Water
Dr. Tim’s ISO coconut water
Lifeway’s BioKefir Shots
4 oz. Orange Juice with 8-12 oz. filtered water are the best of the best in drinks.
Sports Energy Bars
Nutiva Hempseed Bars
Why a new icon? The pyramid really does not capture the public's attention anymore, Robert C. Post, PhD, deputy director of the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.
"Consumers can look forward to a new, simple, easy-to-understand cue to prompt healthy choices," Post says. "You will get this monumental effort across all agencies as well as the private sector. A partnership with the goal of improving the health of all Americans."
The release of the icon marks the launch of a massive effort to promote the USDA/HHS dietary guidelines announced last January.
Bonnie - I am waiting with bated breath (not really).
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Bonnie - because the individuals were also taking statins, this does not mean that Niaspan is ineffective. I would have pitted it against the subjects taking statins!
Specifically, mothers of children with autism were significantly less likely than those of typically developing children to report having taken prenatal vitamins during the three months before and the first month of pregnancy. It is the first to suggest a concrete step women can take that may reduce the risk of having a child with autism.
Consuming prenatal vitamins may be especially effective for genetically susceptible mothers and their children. This finding appears to be the first example of gene-environment interaction in autism. Researchers collected data from approximately 700 Northern California families with 2- to 5-year-old children who had autism or typical development and were participants in the Childhood Autism Risk from Genetics and the Environment (CHARGE) study between from January 2003 to December 2009. If this finding is replicated, it provides an inexpensive, relatively simple evidence-based action that women can take to reduce risks for their child, which is to take prenatal vitamins as early as possible in a pregnancy and even when planning for pregnancy.
Steve - if you are a client or reader of this blog, you know that we advise taking a quality prenatal at least three to six months before you plan to conceive. We will also be publishing a pregnancy data update in our next issue of NCI Well Connect.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Of 61,433 Swedish women, the researchers found that those who had been consuming approximately 750mg of calcium per day had the lowest risk of fracture. Those who started having more calcium (than 750mg) over time did not experience any improved risk.
Bonnie - how many more studies do we need to convince the medical community that their across-the-board recommendation of 1200 mg. calcium daily is too much?! Especially after a new study this week in Journal of the American College of Cardiology revealed that an increase of calcium deposits at the base of the heart may be associated with covert brain infarcts (silent strokes).
Bonnie - unnecessary screenings lead to unnecessary medication and further procedures? Unfortunately, this is how our healthcare system works and one of the main reasons why such as huge portion of our GDP goes towards paying for it.
The study shows that the entry of computers into the home has contributed to changing children's habits in such a manner that their reading does not develop to the same extent as previously. The frequency of leisure reading and the number of leisure books borrowed from the library have both fallen as computer use in the home has increased.
Bonnie - as shocking is this data is, Big Pharma is licking their chops because it opens up that many more children to medication. However, anyone with a developmental delay diagnosis should read this first: Study: Diet May Help ADHD Kids More Than Drugs. Many parents who have children with developmental disorders have already implemented various incarnations of dietary modification. In fact, a study presented at this week's International Meeting for Autism Research exploring the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) showed dietary treatments were the most common (nearly 1 in 5 children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are placed on special diets by parents as a potential treatment).
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Bonnie - given the details of this data, it is painfully obvious that choosing to go on medication should be a "last resort" option.
This is a perfect example of why advertising junk food to children needs to be reigned in.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Cedars-Sinai researchers have also reported an understanding between bacterial overgrowth and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Scientists looked at small bowel cultures to confirm the presence of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth -- or SIBO -- in patients with IBS. Of those patients with IBS, 37.5 percent were positive for bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, compared to fewer than 10 percent of those who did not have the disorder.
Steve - these findings further legitimize the results a recent study in Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology showing that taking a combination probiotic that we have recommend for years, containing specific strains of lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidus, reduced abdominal bloating by 27 percent after taking twice daily compared to placebo in subjects with IBS. As we have said so many times, probiotics are crucial for normalizing the balance of gut bacteria. The importance cannot be overstated.
Use of zoledronic acid (marketed by Novartis under the trade names Zometa, Zomera, Aclasta and Reclast) for osteoporosis may be associated with seizures, according to three case reports published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. If zoledronic acid, a bisphosphonate injection, is given to older persons with osteoporosis and a history of seizures, you need to ensure an adequate vitamin D and calcium intake. The researchers went on to re-emphasize adequate calcium and vitamin supplementation is mandatory to prevent hypocalcemic episodes that may lower the seizure threshold. Patients prone to hypoglycemic seizures should have their glucose levels checked and eat a light meal before the injection as well.
PPIs Impair Synthroid's Effectiveness
According to Darrell Hulisz, PharmD, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, the product labeling for levothyroxine recommends that it not be simultaneously coadministered with antacids. If concurrent use is necessary, administration of the agents should be separated by 4 hours. The absorption of levothyroxine (Synthroid) is best when exposed to an acidic environment in the gut lumen. PPIs block gut acidity. While it is well-known that calcium antacids such as calcium carbonate or aluminum hydroxide antacids block Synthroid absorption, PPIs effects are not as well-known. If you are required to take PPIs on a long-term basis (specially after six months or more), you may require an increased dose of oral thyroxine, which suggests that normal acid secretion is necessary for effective oral absorption of thyroxine.
PPIs Linked to Fracture Risk Yet Again
Proton pump inhibitor (PPI) use is linked to fracture risk, according to a report in the May/June issue of the Annals of Family Medicine. Risks for any fracture and hip fracture were increased with long-term use of PPIs. Vertebral fracture risk was also increased by 54% with PPI use. In contrast, long-term use of H2RAs was not significantly associated with fracture risk. According to the researchers, widespread use of PPIs with the potential risk of fracture is of great importance to public health. Clinicians should carefully consider their decision to prescribe PPIs for patients already having an elevated risk of fracture because of age or other factors.
Melatonin-Infused Desserts? Bad Idea
Products such as Lazy Cakes, Kush Cakes and Lulla Pies are being sold online and at stores like 7-Eleven and Walgreens. They are marketing their products as a harmless way to promote relaxation and as an antidote for stress and sleep deprivation. They contain roughly 8 milligrams of melatonin per brownie or cookie, which is incredibly high for an individual that may not even have a melatonin deficiency. While melatonin is more “natural” and has far less side effects than the drugs such as Ambien, it is a synthetic hormone and has no place as being marketed as a functional food. We treat melatonin, much like 5-HTP, more like a medication than a dietary supplement.
Statin-Induced Eye Problems
Researchers published a study in American Journal of Medicine in which they found 256 cases of statin-induced eye problems due to muscle weakness in medical reports
Thursday, May 19, 2011
McDonald's Corp spurned calls to assess the impact of its food on childhood obesity, and said its trademark clown Ronald McDonald would be hawking Happy Meals to kids for years to come. "This is about choice and we believe in the democratic process," Chief Executive Jim Skinner told a packed room at its shareholders' meeting, to an enthusiastic wave of applause. "This is about the personal and individual right to choose."
Steve - does this not sound exactly like Big Tobacco from yesteryear?
Shareholders of the world's largest fast-food chain resoundingly rejected a proposal that would have required it to issue a report outlining its role in the childhood obesity epidemic, saying customers were free to make their own dietary choices.
"Ronald McDonald is an ambassador to McDonald's and he is an ambassador for good. Ronald McDonald is going nowhere," Skinner said firmly, prompting more cheers from shareholders. Among the dissenters at the meeting was Dr. Donald Zeigler, director of Prevention and Health Lifestyles at the American Medical Association, who asked when the burger chain will stop marketing to children using Ronald McDonald. Zeigler, who is also visiting assistant professor at Rush University Medical Center, was one of 550 healthcare professionals who had signed an open letter to McDonald's pleading that it "stop making the next generation sick." On Tuesday, a watchdog group placed ads in newspapers across the country calling for McDonald's to stop marketing to children through the clown, toy giveaways and other tactics.
McDonald's shares have gained nearly 12 percent in the last four months and rallied to a record high of $82.63 on Thursday. But as experts point out, obese children often grow into obese adults, overburdening the entire healthcare system. Ironically, Miles White, chairman and chief executive of diversified healthcare company Abbott Laboratories, has been a director of the McDonald's board since 2009. Abbott makes a broad range of drugs, including cholesterol-lowering statins, and medical devices, such as heart stents used on patients with clogged arteries.
Steve - would I be going out on a limb to assume that if McDonald's offered a healthy menu at their current pricing, many more parents would choose the healthier fare?
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Courtesy of Associated Press
Watermelons have been bursting by the score in eastern China after farmers gave them overdoses of growth chemicals during wet weather, creating what state media called fields of “land mines.”
About 20 farmers around Danyang city in Jiangsu province were affected, losing up to 115 acres (45 hectares) of melon, China Central Television said in an investigative report.
Prices over the past year prompted many farmers to jump into the watermelon market. All of those with exploding melons apparently were first-time users of the growth accelerator forchlorfenuron, though it has been widely available for some time, CCTV said.
Chinese regulations don’t forbid the drug, and it is allowed in the U.S. on kiwi fruit and grapes. But the report underscores how farmers in China are abusing both legal and illegal chemicals, with many farms misusing pesticides and fertilizers.
Wang Liangju, a professor with College of Horticulture at Nanjing Agricultural University who has been to Danyang since the problems began to occur, said that forchlorfenuron is safe and effective when used properly.
He told The Associated Press that the drug had been used too late into the season, and that recent heavy rain also raised the risk of the fruit cracking open. But he said the variety of melon also played a role.
“If it had been used on very young fruit, it wouldn’t be a problem,” Wang said. “Another reason is that the melon they were planting is a thin-rind variety and these kind are actually nicknamed the ‘exploding melon’ because they tend to split.”
Farmer Liu Mingsuo ended up with eight acres (three hectares) of ruined fruit and told CCTV that seeing his crop splitting open was like a knife cutting his heart.
“On May 7, I came out and counted 80 (burst watermelons) but by the afternoon it was 100,” Liu said. “Two days later I didn’t bother to count anymore.”
Intact watermelons were being sold at a wholesale market in nearby Shanghai, the report said, but even those ones showed telltale signs of forchlorfenuron use: fibrous, misshapen fruit with mostly white instead of black seeds.
In March last year, Chinese authorities found that “yard-long” beans from the southern city of Sanya had been treated with the banned pesticide isocarbophos. The tainted beans turned up in several provinces, and the central city of Wuhan announced it destroyed 3.5 tons of the vegetable.
The government also has voiced alarm over the widespread overuse of food additives like dyes and sweeteners that retailers hope will make food more attractive and boost sales.
Though Chinese media remain under strict government control, domestic coverage of food safety scandals has become more aggressive in recent months, an apparent sign that the government has realized it needs help policing the troubled food industry.
The CCTV report on watermelons quoted Feng Shuangqing, a professor at the China Agricultural University, as saying the problem showed that China needs to clarify its farm chemical standards and supervision to protect consumer health.
The broadcaster described the watermelons as “land mines” and said they were exploding by the acre (hectare) in the Danyang area.
Many of farmers resorted to chopping up the fruit and feeding it to fish and pigs, the report said.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
McNeil Nutritionals has introduced new Splenda Essentials no-calorie sweetener products. The new line of products from the Splenda brand includes Splenda Essentials no-calorie sweetener with B vitamins and Splenda Essentials no-calorie sweetener with antioxidants. "We're thrilled to launch the new Splenda Essentials sweetener product line, giving consumers an entire line of products that offer additional nutritional benefits, like B vitamins to help support a healthy metabolism," said Fred Tewell, group product director for Splenda sweetener products. "Consumers may not focus on getting all their recommended vitamins in a day, but they never forget to sweeten their coffee — these products are all about helping people make small, good-for-you choices each day so that they can get closer to meeting their health goals."
A new study from American Journal of Clinical Nutrition explains maternal weight gain in pregnancy and its potential long-term effects on offspring adiposity. The huge sibling study showed that in normal-weight mothers, most of the association between maternal weight gain and later offspring BMI is explained by shared familial (genetic and early environmental) characteristics, whereas evidence indicates a contribution of intrauterine mechanisms in overweight and obese women.
Friday, May 13, 2011
Bonnie - adding this to the mounting evidence proving that there are numerous cross-reactive foods that must be avoided during the height of the allergy season.
Two-thirds of the children with autism traits in the study were in the mainstream school population, hadn't been diagnosed before and weren't getting any special services. It's not clear whether the children need special services or not, other experts said. The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health provided some funding for the study.
The study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, surveyed 36,000 schoolchildren, ages 7 to 12 over five years. The questionnaire used is a recognized screening tool for high-functioning autism such as Asperger's syndrome. It asks such questions as whether the child "stands out as different" in a number of ways, including lacking empathy, lacking best friends and being bullied by other children. About 2.6 percent of the population had some autism traits.
1 in 38 children is is a sobering statistic. If it is this high in South Korea, it is almost certainly higher in the U.S. We explore some of the most recent data and tips in this week's issue of NCI Well Connect. Click here for more information about how to subscribe.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Bonnie - while we are encouraged that Truvia (which contains stevia and erythritol) is beating far more unhealthy brands, Truvia is not the "end-all-be-all." Regardless of what Cargill claims, erythritol is a corn-based artificial sweetener that can cause digestive distress. I've had many clients tell me this over the last few years. Cargill could not release a pure stevia product because they needed something that tastes more like Splenda and Equal. Hence, the addition of erythritol. The other issue is that Cargill gets most of its stevia from China, where quality control is a major issue.
We continue to exclusively recommend the Sweet Leaf brand because it is stevia only and comes from Paraguay, where the herb originated.
The other non-caloric alternative we prefer is Emerald Forest Xylitol, which comes from birch bark, not corn.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Riechman and colleagues examined 52 adults from ages to 60 to 69 who were in generally good health but not physically active, and none of them were participating in a training program. The study showed that after fairly vigorous workouts, participants who had gained the most muscle mass also had the highest levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, "a very unexpected result and one that surprised us."
"It shows that you do need a certain amount of LDL to gain more muscle mass. There's no doubt you need both -- the LDL and the HDL -- and the truth is, it (cholesterol) is all good. You simply can't remove all the 'bad' cholesterol from your body without serious problems occurring." Cholesterol is found in all humans and is a type of fat around the body. A person's total cholesterol level comprises LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. LDL is almost always referred to as the 'bad' cholesterol because it tends to build up in the walls of arteries, causing a slowing of the blood flow which often leads to heart disease and heart attacks. HDL, usually called the "good cholesterol," often helps remove cholesterol from arteries.
"But here is where people tend to get things wrong," Riechman says. "LDL serves a very useful purpose. It acts as a warning sign that something is wrong and it signals the body to these warning signs. It does its job the way it is supposed to. "People often say, 'I want to get rid of all my bad (LDL) cholesterol,' but the fact is, if you did so, you would die," the Texas A&M professor adds. "Everyone needs a certain amount of both LDL and HDL in their bodies. We need to change this idea of LDL always being the evil thing -- we all need it, and we need it to do its job."
According to the American Heart Association, about 36 million American adults have high cholesterol levels. "Our tissues need cholesterol, and LDL delivers it," he notes. "HDL, the good cholesterol, cleans up after the repair is done. And the more LDL you have in your blood, the better you are able to build muscle during resistance training."
"The bottom line is that LDL -- the bad cholesterol -- serves as a reminder that something is wrong and we need to find out what it is," Riechman says. "It gives us warning signs. Is smoking the problem, is it diet, is it lack of exercise that a person's cholesterol is too high? It plays a very useful role, does the job it was intended to do, and we need to back off by always calling it 'bad' cholesterol because it is not totally bad."
Bonnie - finally, a researcher who understands LDL! I can guarantee that he is not paid by the makers of statin drugs.
Friday, May 06, 2011
Thursday, May 05, 2011
Currently, APHIS prepares an Environmental Assessment (EA) or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to show what impact a GE food or organism might have on the environment, to help determine whether it should be regulated or not. The petitioner requesting deregulated status (Monsanto, for example) has to submit specific information, but it is up to the APHIS to prepare the environmental documents and analyze all the info. Under this new program, the petitioners will submit the environmental documents and analysis themselves. The Monsantos of the world can give the USDA all the environmental “analysis” necessary to support their own case—removing objectivity entirely from the process.
Furthermore, instead of APHIS taking the analysis and developing an EA or EIS, an outside contractor will prepare the EIS—but the petitioner will provide the funds for it. This is another outrageous conflict of interest: petitioners will be providing the funds to support their own studies to determine the outcome of their own case. Would we trust a sugar company to fund a report on whether sugar causes cavities in teeth?
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
In patients with mild to moderate CHF, patients underwent heart catheterization and heart function were measured. One important measure was contractility, or how strongly the heart pumps blood. Contractility was measured before and after 2 grams of vitamin C were infused into the heart. After the infusion, the heart was able to work 20 percent better than before the vitamin C. For someone with CHF, such an increase is a remarkable improvement in function.
In another study published in the May Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers examined the relationship between vitamin C status and vascular dysfunction in healthy, college-aged lean and obese men with no history of dietary supplementation. Brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) was measured to determine vascular endothelial function. Plasma antioxidants (vitamin C, vitamin E, and thiols), inflammatory proteins (C-reactive protein [CRP], myeloperoxidase [MPO], and cytokines), and cellular adhesion molecules were measured. FMD was 21% lower in obese men. They also had 51% lower vitamin C intakes and 38% lower plasma vitamin C concentrations. Obese men had greater plasma concentrations of CRP, MPO, inflammatory cytokines, and cellular adhesion molecules.
The data suggest that low vitamin C status is associated with proinflammatory responses and impaired vascular function in lean and obese men. Additional study is warranted to determine whether improving dietary vitamin C intakes from food attenuate vascular dysfunction.
Bonnie - while the ADA is slow to suggest supplementation, in young, obese men, adding vitamin C supplements would definitely be warranted.
Fatty acid intakes of children and adolescents are not in line with the dietary intake recommendations for future cardiovascular health
Fatty acid intake data from thirty countries (mainly from developed countries) were included. In twenty-eight of the thirty countries, mean Saturated Fatty Acid intakes were higher than the recommended maximum of 10% energy, whereas in twenty-one out of thirty countries mean Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid intakes were below recommended (6–10% energy).
The available data clearly indicate that in the majority of the countries providing data on fatty acid intake, less than half of the children and adolescents meet the SFA and PUFA intake goals that are recommended for the prevention of chronic diseases. British Journal of Nutrition, May 2011
Tuesday, May 03, 2011
New York officials estimate that $75 million to $135 million in food stamp benefits are spent on sugar-sweetened beverages in the city each year. Such beverages, they say, are the single largest contributor to the obesity epidemic. City officials noted that federal policy already bans the sale of soft drinks in school lunch programs across the country. The mayor’s proposal would go further by banning the use of food stamps to buy carbonated and noncarbonated beverages that are sweetened with sugar or high-fructose corn syrup and have more than 10 calories per eight-ounce serving. Food stamp benefits are paid for entirely by the federal government, and the city is seeking permission from the Agriculture Department to test its proposal in a two-year project.
Steve - should we be surprised by the soft drinks companies' actions? No. As a taxpayer and expert in the nutritional field, I do not feel that my tax dollars should be contributing to the obesity epidemic. For people who need food assistance, the last thing they need are empty calories that are known contributors to multiple diseases. How do you feel about what mayor Bloomberg is trying to do?
The researchers asked one group to replace their dairy products with low-fat varieties for six months, while the other got no dietary advice. Both groups consumed similar amounts of dairy products, and the total calorie intake remained more or less stable over the study, which was supported in part by Dairy Australia. The low-fat group did consume less overall fat. At the end of the study, they got 13.3% of their total calories from saturated fat, compared to 16.6% in the comparison group. Their waistlines, BMI and weight were no different.
Bonnie - this study was even sponsored by Australia's dairy foundation, who had ever incentive for the study to show weight-loss.