Wednesday, December 24, 2014

NIH pulls children's study

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has pulled the plug on the National Children's Study (NCS), an ambitious study that would have examined the effects of environmental influences on the health and development of more than 100,000 children by following them from birth until age 21 years.

About $1.3 billion has been spent on the project since 2007, however, the NCS as currently designed is not feasible.

In a statement, James M. Perrin, MD, FAAP, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), said the decision to close the NCS is "disappointing. In our view, the NCS had the potential to help answer crucial questions about the health and development of children. We recognize, however, the significant challenges the study faced in a time of constrained public resources."

"The goals set forth in the Children's Health Act of 2000, which authorized the NCS, remain as relevant to child health today as they did 14 years ago," Dr Perrin said, and it is "essential that the United States maintain its commitment to these essential research priorities. The need for pediatric research has not diminished."

Bonnie: I am appalled that they could not find a way to make this study work. With the overall health of our children regressing, not progressing, a study like this is imperative. 

More Phenomenal Feats for Folic Acid

Taking folic acid before conception significantly reduces the risk of small for gestational age at birth, suggests a new study published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Being small for gestational age is associated with increased neonatal morbidity and mortality and an increased risk of chronic diseases in later life such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cardiovascular disease and mental health problems, states the study.

Bonnie: Note that for at least 25% of  the human population, folic acid is not enough. A genetic defect does not all those 25% to transform folic acid into absorbable folate. That is why I recommend to either:

1) Test for the MTHFR gene to rule out the defect
2) Take a quality prenatal that contains not only folic acid, but the activated form of folate to ensure absorption.

Fast Food linked to school performance?

Researchers found that the more frequently children reported eating fast food in fifth grade, the lower their growth in reading, math, and science test scores by the time they reached eighth grade. Students who ate the most fast food had test score gains that were up to about 20 percent lower than those who didn't eat any fast food. The results are published online in the journal Clinical Pediatrics.

This study included about 11,740 students. They were tested in reading/literacy, mathematics and science in both fifth and eighth grades. They also completed a food consumption questionnaire in fifth grade. Fast-food consumption was quite high in these students.

Children who ate fast food four to six times per week or every day showed significantly lower gains in all three achievement areas compared to children who did not eat any fast food the week before the survey.

Children who ate fast food just one to three times a week had lower academic growth compared to non-eaters in only one subject, math.

Half of all kids autistic by 2025 says MIT Researcher

http://www.anh-usa.org/half-of-all-children-will-be-autistic-by-2025-warns-senior-research-scientist-at-mit/

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Be Careful What You Read Before Bed

If you curl up under the duvet with an e-book for a bedtime read then you are damaging your sleep and maybe your health.

A team from Harvard Medical School compared reading paper books and light-emitting e-readers before sleep.

They found it took longer to nod off with a back-lit e-reader, which led to poorer quality sleep and being more tired the next morning.

There has been growing concern about the dangers of light before bedtime.

Our bodies are kept in tune with the rhythm of day and night by an internal body clock, which uses light to tell the time.

But blue light, the wavelength common in smartphones, tablets and LED lighting, is able to disrupt the body clock.

Blue light in the evening can slow or prevent the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Beta carotene helps with inflammation

Low-grade inflammation is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Results from a recent study in Annals of Metabolism suggest that the beta carotene status may be inversely associated with low-grade inflammation in the long term by lowering C-Reactive Protein levels. CRP is a blood marker for inflammation.

Steve: For those of you who may not know, beta carotene is a form of vitamin A found in foods like carrots and sweet potatoes.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Lutein: The Seeing, Thinking Carotenoid

The link between the carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, and visual and cognitive health throughout life is growing stronger, according to a review of the research from Tufts University in Boston. Lutein and its isomer, zeaxanthin, are taken up selectively into eye tissue. Lutein is the predominant carotenoid in human brain tissue. Lutein and zeaxanthin in neural tissue have biological functions, including antioxidation, anti-inflammation, and structural actions. In addition, lutein and zeaxanthin are protective against eye disease by absorbing damaging blue light that enters the eye. In pediatric brains, the relative contribution of lutein to the total carotenoids is twice that found in adults, accounting for more than half the concentration of total carotenoids. The greater proportion of lutein in the pediatric brain also suggests a need for lutein during neural development. In adults, higher lutein status is associated with improved cognitive function, and lutein supplementation has been shown to improve cognition.

Lutein accounts for 59% of the carotenoids in the infant’s brain, even when it is low in the diet, according to a study from Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.

In Perspective: Lutein and zeaxanthin are two carotenoids found in dark green leafy vegetables, such as kale, spinach, chard, and collard greens. Research suggests we need at least 10 milligrams of lutein and 2 milligrams of zeaxanthin every day to protect ocular tissue from damage associated with macular degeneration and cataracts. That dosage requires at least a cup or more of dark green leafies every day, or supplement.  Optimal intake for brain function has not been determined.

US Health Care Lags for Those Over 65

http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/12/12/u-s-health-care-lags-worldwide-for-those-over-65/?ref=health&_r=0

Thursday, December 11, 2014

7 Big Benefits of Exercising Outside This Winter

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/11/working-out-in-cold-weather_n_6276544.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living

Women Should Say No to Aspirin

The pros of giving healthy women regular low dose aspirin to stave off serious illness, such as cancer and heart disease, are outweighed by the cons, suggests a large study published online in the journal Heart.

Participants were randomly assigned to take either 100 mg of aspirin or a dummy tablet (placebo) every other day, to see whether aspirin curbed their risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

During the trial period, which lasted 10 years, compared with placebo, regular aspirin was linked to a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, bowel cancer, and in some women, other cancers, but only marginally so.

And this slight health gain was trumped by the prevalence of internal gastrointestinal bleeding, which affected two thirds of the women taking the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.

The researchers calculated that over 15 years, 29 over-65s would need to be treated with aspirin to prevent one case of cancer or heart disease/stroke.

They concluded that blanket treatment "is ineffective or harmful in the majority of women with regard to the combined risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and major gastrointestinal bleeding."

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Doctors dole out prescriptions for exercise

http://www.wsj.com/articles/doctors-dole-out-prescriptions-for-exercise-1418080961

Probiotics Now Recommended for Infants

Probiotics should be consumed by pregnant and lactating women and their breast-fed infants to prevent the development of atopic dermatitis, according to recommendations that will soon be issued by the World Allergy Organization.

It will be the first time that probiotics will be recommended for allergy prevention by a medical organization. The announcement was made at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 2014.

The Guidelines for Allergic Disease Prevention are still officially under review. The first section, on probiotics, is scheduled to be released at the end of January 2015. Sections on vitamin D and prebiotics will follow.

Steve: The expected probiotic recommendations are a revelation, especially for people like us who have recommended them for decades. However, specific strains or combinations of strains need to be put in the guidelines. For example, the strains that showed the more consistent results are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Impact of Nutrition on the Aging Process

This is directly from a study in the November issue of British Journal of Nutrition

Human life expectancy has been increasing steadily for almost two centuries and is now approximately double what it was at the beginning of the Victorian era. This remarkable demographic change has been accompanied by a shift in disease prevalence so that age is now the major determinant of most common diseases. The challenge is to enhance healthy ageing and to reduce the financial and social burdens associated with chronic ill health in later life. Studies in model organisms have demonstrated that the ageing phenotype arises because of the accumulation of macromolecular damage within the cell and that the ageing process is plastic. Nutritional interventions that reduce such damage, or which enhance the organism's capacity to repair damage, lead to greater longevity and to reduced risk of age-related diseases. Dietary (energy) restriction increases lifespan in several model organisms, but it is uncertain whether it is effective in primates, including humans. However, excess energy storage leading to increased adiposity is a risk factor for premature mortality and for age-related diseases so that obesity prevention is likely to be a major public health route to healthy ageing. In addition, adherence to healthy eating patterns, such as the Mediterranean dietary pattern, is associated with longevity and reduced risk of age-related diseases.

Cargill Can Still Call Truvia Natural

A court in Hawaii has approved a settlement between Cargill and a series of plaintiffs alleging it misled shoppers by marketing its Truvia consumer products (which contain stevia extract Reb-A and erythritol) as ‘natural’ for $6.1 million.

The lawsuits allege that Cargill misled shoppers by marketing its Truvia tabletop sweetener as ‘natural’ as the Reb-A steviol glycoside it contains is "highly chemical processed" and the bulking agent (erythritol) is “synthetically made”.

Cargill manufactures Truvia's synthetic erythritol in a patented process by first chemically extracting starch from GM corn and then converting the starch to glucose through the biochemical process of enzymatic hydrolysis. The glucose is then fermented utilizing moniliella pollinis, a yeast."

Here's the dumbfounding thing: under the settlement, Cargill does not admit liability, and still reserves the right to call Truvia a ‘natural sweetener' or 'Nature’s Calorie-Free Sweetener'. However, it has agreed to make changes to its labeling and marketing. Cargill agreed to:

  • Put a notice on its label directing consumers to the Truvia website for clarification about how the ingredients are made.
  • Clarify its “Nature’s Calorie-Free Sweetener” and “Truvia Natural Sweetener provides the same sweetness as two teaspoons of sugar” statements by adding an asterisk inviting consumers to look at the FAQ page of its website so they "can fully understand how the product is made and why Cargill believes it is natural".

The settlement was not huge victory for the plaintiffs. The settlement in this case runs contrary to the view that labeling misleads consumers by allowing 'natural' claims to continue while relegating 'substantive' labeling changes to asterisks that direct consumers to the FAQ section of Truvia’s website.

Cargill already did its job and gained huge market share with its false label claims. $6.1 million is nothing to them because they already have their shelf space and loyal customers, and at the same time forced wonderful, natural brands like Sweet Leaf off the shelves.

65% of the country need help with weight-loss

New weight-loss guidelines issued last year recommend behavioral treatment for 140 million American adults - 65% of the population, a new study indicates.

This is a "staggering" increase in the number of Americans for whom weight-loss therapies are recommended, researchers stated at Obesity Week 2014.

"It points to the need for public-health solutions, because it's going to be very difficult for the medical establishment to deal with this many people. We're going to have to try to do what we can on all fronts," they said.

Overweight Category Now Includes More People

The guidelines for treating individuals with excess weight that were issued last year by the American Heart Association (AHA), American College of Cardiology (ACC), and the Obesity Society (TOS) would recommend weight-loss treatment for 13% more Americans than the previous obesity-treatment guidelines issued in 1998. Overweight individuals need to have only one as opposed to two cardiovascular risk factors, and one of the risk factors could be extra girth around the waist.

Criteria for Recommending Weight-Loss Treatment in Adults

  • Obese
  • Overweight or large waist plus at least 2 of 7 CVD risk factors:
  • Hypertension
  • Impaired fasting glucose
  • Abnormal LDL cholesterol
  • Low HDL cholesterol

Men above age 44; women above age 54 or postmenopausal

  • Smoking
  • Family history of premature CHD
  • Overweight plus at least 1 of 4 CVD risk factors:
  • Hypertension
  • Prediabetes or diabetes
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Large waist

One way to help? New physical activity guidelines examined in the most recent issue of British Journal of Sports Medicine:

Adults partook in moderate-intensity aerobic activity a minimum of 30 min on 5 days, or vigorous-intensity activity of 20 min on 3 days, each week. Compared with inactive subjects, those that met or exceeded physical activity gaining meaningful weight of was significantly lower.

CDC Says Flu Shot Less Effective This Season

A sampling of flu cases so far this season suggests the current flu vaccine may not be a good match for the most common seasonal flu strain currently circulating in the United States, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday.

The U.S. health agency issued an advisory to doctors noting that flu virus samples the agency took from Oct. 1 through Nov. 22, showed that just under half were a good match for the current influenza A (H3N2) component contained in flu shots for the 2014-2015 season, suggesting the virus has drifted.

Here is a link to the health advisory.

Calcium lowers periodontal disease risk

Researchers investigated the relationships between calcium intake and the prevalence of periodontal disease in women with a mean age of 31.5 years. Compared with the lowest group of calcium intake, the highest group was significantly associated with a lower prevalence of periodontal disease. The study appeared in November's Nutrition Journal.

Keep in mind that the ideal range of supplemental calcium intake is between 500 to 800 mg. Higher doses is dependent upon individual needs and should be taken in conjunction with a qualified health professional.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Plants can use benficial bacteria like we do

Scientists using a microbe that occurs naturally in eastern cottonwood trees have boosted the ability of two other plants -- willow and lawn grass -- to withstand the withering effects of the nasty industrial pollutant phenanthrene and take up 25 to 40 percent more of the pollutant than untreated plants, according to a new study in Environmental Science & Technology.

The approach is much like when humans take probiotic pills or eat yogurt with probiotics to supplement the 'good' microbes in our guts. Microbes that take up residence in the inner tissue of plants and don't cause negative symptoms are called endophytes. In nature, endophytes have a welcomed, symbiotic relationship with plants. In polluted soil, for instance, if the right endophytes are present they consume toxins coming up through plant roots. Beneficial bacteria (probiotics) can do the same thing in humans.

Major Yogurt Brands Accused of Turning Health Food into Junk Food

http://www.cornucopia.org/Yogurt

Lowering stroke risk in women

Women with a healthy diet and lifestyle may be less likely to have a stroke by more than half, according to a study published in Neurology.

The study looked at five factors that make up a healthy lifestyle: healthy diet; moderate alcohol consumption; never smoking; physically active; and healthy body mass index (BMI). Compared with women with none of the five healthy factors, women with all five factors had a 54-percent lower risk of stroke. 31,696 women were followed for an average of 10 years.

The Result of Poor Contact Lens Care

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/11/13/363774495/poor-contact-lens-care-leads-to-a-whole-lot-of-eye-infections

Friday, November 14, 2014

Be choosy with furniture

Courtesy of UPI

The vast majority of mass-produced furniture in America is coated in a variety of flame retardants. A new study recently attempted to ascertain what happens to those chemicals when they come into contact with the humans that sit, sleep and eat on the furniture.
According to a new study by research organization Silent Spring, Americans may be more exposed to flame retardant chemicals than previously thought. In testing urine samples of 16 California residents in 2011, researchers found evidence of six phosphate flame retardants (PFRs) -- likely absorbed into the body via house dust.

"We tested urine samples of California residents for biomarkers of six chemicals that have been rarely studied in the US, and we found all of them," researchers wrote in a press release. "This was the first time the known carcinogen, TCEP, was detected in Americans."

The Massachusetts-based research group, whose recent study was aided by scientists in Belgium, recommends consumers request furniture free of flame retardant chemicals. Other health groups make similar suggestions, warning that some studies suggest chemicals like TCEP, TDCIPP and other PFRs have cancer-causing properties.

"We might have been really naive about the health effects of these chemicals," Dr. Catherine Thomasson, executive director for Physicians for Social Responsibility, told the San Jose Mercury News.

"If you touch something (like a couch), then put food in your month, you've eaten (the chemicals)," Thomasson said. "These flame retardants stay in the fat of people. They don't leave the body very readily."

None of the chemicals detailed in the study are listed as carcinogens by the CDC or NIH, but California law includes a more expansive list of toxins banned from certain uses for their suspected role in enabling tumor growth. The law, called Proposition 65, bans both TCEP and TDCIPP from certain consumer products -- like children's pajamas.

But those chemicals and others aren't banned entirely, which is why they continue to be employed in furniture production and why they're showing up in people's bodies.

The new research was published this week in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Steve: The key statement is that these chemicals stay in our white fat cells, not only increasing our toxicity, but creating more white fat cells to house the toxins.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Mashed potato alternatives

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/11/07/a-low-carb-switch-for-mashed-potatoes/?ref=health&_r=0

Pollution contributes to ADHD

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2014/11/06/link-found-between-mothers-exposure-to-air-pollution-and-adhd/

Group Says Fruit Juices, Smoothies Should Not Count as Veggies

Fruit juices and smoothies touted as healthy for children contain high amounts of sugar and should not count towards fruit and vegetable intakes, says UK-based campaign group Action on Sugar.

According to the findings of their survey, more than a quarter of products that are marketed as healthy for children (57 of the 203) contain the same amount or more sugars than Coca-Cola, while even more (59 of 203) contain ‘unnecessary’ added sugars. Indeed, over half (117) of the drinks surveyed would receive a ‘red’ (high) label for levels of sugars per standard 200ml equivalent serving, said Action on Sugar, noting that portion sizes vary greatly.

The campaign group warned that the use of five-a-day messages on fruit juices that are packed with sugars are unhealthy and backing for such statements should be withdrawn. A small (150ml) glass of unsweetened 100% fruit juice can count as one servingOnly six products are actually sold in 150ml portion size packaging.

Americans need more omega-3's

While we are eating fewer of the bad fats, however, we have not been eating enough omega-3 fatty acids—known as EPA and DHA—from fatty fish like mackerel or salmon. The numbers following that data have remained constant—which means very low.

Researchers at university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis reports that “The recommendation is 0.25 grams or 250 milligrams of DHA and EPA, two common Omega-3s, per day.” She divulges that between 2007 and 2009 both men and women involved with the study only took in 0.08 grams of DHA and only 0.04 of EPA.

Low omega-3 intake creates a whole host of issues, inflammation being number one on the list.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Iodine Facts From Breast Health Summit

This note is from our Chiropractor, Dr. Lisleotte Schuster after attending a recent Breast Health Summit.

"Hi Bonnie,

I enjoyed the Iodine speaker Lynne Farrow. Here is my synopsis of her talk: She wrote a book, "The Iodine Crisis", along with other articles, is a journalist and researcher. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer Lynne researched it for 2 years, which led to writing her book. Before diagnosed with breast cancer, she had fibrocystic breasts and found that inflammation of the breast is often caused by an iodine deficiency. A high percentage of woman who have unhealthy inflamed breast tissue, those with fibrocystic breasts, get cancer. Unfortunately doctors say having sore and lumpy breasts is common and have them use anti-inflammatory meds or supplements, yet the Iodine deficiency is often the cause of the inflammation.

For the past 40 years the incidence of cancer has increased as the level of Iodine decreased. In the 70's it was taken out of foods, and was replaced with Bromine, which is anti iodine. She goes into more detail in an article she wrote called "The Perfect Storm". Bromine is also in pesticides, fertilizers and all flame retardant materials found in furniture, clothes, computers, etc... Fluoride is in the same family as bromine yet the level of Bromine exposure is even greater than Fluoride, which has similar reactions like Bromine. The exposure to Bromine is so intense that the sea animals, seaweed and kelp are contaminated with Bromine.

Iodine normalizes the estrogen and progesterone receptors in the breast. The breast, thyroid and ovaries need lots more iodine in their cells then other tissues of the body and Iodine helps the architecture of the breast tissue. There is an Iodine Load Urine test or if one has fibrocystic breasts or other symptoms.

Because everyone is exposed to so much Bromine everyday she recommends taking it. The only contraindication is for the rare Autonomous Nodule in the Thyroid, which one would know they have. This nodule produces thyroid hormone so one can't take Iodine if they have this.

Hope this has been helpful.
Lilo"

Lucky to be lactose intolerant

People with lactose intolerance are at lower risk of suffering from lung, breast and ovarian cancers, according to a new study in British Journal of Cancer

There are large differences in the incidence of breast and ovarian cancers between different countries. Their incidence is highest in North America, Western Europe and the Nordic countries, and lowest in East Asia and Central African countries. Lifestyle factors such as high consumption of milk and other dairy products have been suspected to contribute to the high incidence of breast and ovarian cancers in North America and Western Europe.

In 22,788 individuals with lactose intolerance, the risk of lung cancer, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer were significantly lower in people with lactose intolerance compared to people without lactose intolerance, irrespective of country of birth and gender. By contrast, the risks in their siblings and parents were the same as in the general population. This suggests that the lower cancer risk in people with lactose intolerance may be due to their diet.

Bonnie: While the researchers do not have a hypothesis for why this result was found, I do.

1) Dairy products activate insulin like growth factor in humans, which put cell creation on overdrive. Healthy cells, as well as rogue cells, can be accelerated.

2) Dairy products, especially conventional, are chock full of hormones and antibiotics, which can be carcinogenic.

3) Dairy products are inflammatory. Cancer is an inflammatory condition.

The Bad Air in Our Gyms

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/11/05/the-bad-air-in-our-gyms/?ref=health&_r=0

One way to help your child heal from cyberbullying

Cyberbullying victimization relates to internalizing, externalizing, and substance use problems in adolescents and that the frequency of family dinners attenuate these associations.

A new study from JAMA Pediatrics found the frequency of cyberbullying positively related to all 11 internalizing, externalizing, and substance use problems. However, victimization related more closely to rates of problems in adolescents that had fewer family dinners.

These results suggest that family dinners (ie, family contact and communication) are beneficial to adolescent mental health and may help protect adolescents from the harmful consequences of cyberbullying.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Benefits from pumpkin seeds

A client forwarded this to us:
  • Only seed that is alkaline
  • Can lower LDL cholesterol
  • 100 grams seeds provide 30 grams protein
  • Prevents kidney stone formation
  • Good for prostate health
  • Promotes good sleep
  • High in zinc

The price we pay for sleep deprivation

We are a nation of sleep-deprived people and all ages suffer in various, unhealthy ways. For children, sleep deprivation can lead to behavior problems, trouble focusing and learning in school and it can affect their immune systems. Chronic tiredness makes it harder to cope and process what's going on around you. When children enter the teen years, sleep becomes a bigger issue. Teen's circadian rhythm, or internal body clock, tells them to stay awake later and sleep later than children and adults do. Only 15 percent of teenagers get the recommended sleep they need.

For adults, sleep loss is even more serious. It accumulates over the years and has been shown to contribute to several chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression and obesity. Adulthood is also when sleep-related disorders, such as insomnia or sleep apnea, are more likely. During menopause, women often experience night sweats and insomnia due to changing levels of hormones. As men age, an enlarged prostate can lead to more frequent trips to the bathroom overnight. Certain medications can also disrupt sleep, such as those for heart arrhythmia, high blood pressure and asthma.

Here are the recommended hours of sleep we should get throughout our lifetime, according to the National Sleep Foundation:

Infants: up to 16 hours total, including naps
Toddlers (1-3 yrs): 12-14 hours, including naps
Preschool (3-5 yrs): 11-13 hours, most do not nap after age 5
School-age (5-12 yrs): 10-11 hours
Teens: 8.5-9.5 hours
Adults: 7-9 hours

7 minute scientific workout

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/10/24/for-a-7-minute-workout-download-our-new-app/?ref=health

Big Milk Crying White Tears

Researchers have found that a high intake of milk may be associated with higher mortality and fracture risks in women and higher mortality risk in men, according to a new study in BMJ.

During a median of 22 years of follow-up, 15,541 women died and 17,252 women had a fracture. During a median of 13 years of follow-up, 10,112 men died and 5379 men had a fracture.

The researchers found that women who drank three or more glasses of milk a day had almost twice the risk for death compared with women who drank less than one glass a day. Women who drank more milk also had a higher risk for any type of fracture and for hip fracture specifically.

Although the researchers found that men who drank 3 or more glasses of milk had a higher risk for death compared with those who drank less than one glass, men did not have the excess risk for fracture seen in women.

The researchers found an association between high milk intake and oxidative stress and inflammation.

No similar association was found in fermented milk products.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Kids' Packed Lunches Fail

More than 40% of U.S. kids bring their own food to school, but there have been very few studies of what kids have in their lunchboxes. For the new study in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, researchers discovered that most of the foods were pre-packaged salty snack foods and sugary desserts - much less fruits and vegetables.

The most common lunch items were sandwiches, which were found in 59% of lunches. About 34% of lunches contained fruit and 11% had vegetables.

Roughly 42% of lunches had snack items and 28% included dessert.

For beverages, 28% of lunches included water, 24% included sugar-sweetened drinks and 3% included milk. Another 11% of kids planned to buy milk at school.

The study team found that only 27% of the lunches met at least three of the five National School Lunch Program standards from the federal government, which include fruit, vegetables, grains, meat or another protein source and milk.

Only 4% of snacks met at least two of the four Child and Adult Food Care Program standards, which are similar to the lunch standards but combine fruit and vegetables into one category.

Bonnie - Believe it or not, many of the school lunches currently offered are better than what many parents send with their kids to school. Yikes!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Acid Blocking Meds Make Getting Sick Easier

Researchers in a recent JAMA Pediatrics study wanted to determine if acid-suppression use results in gastric bacterial overgrowth, if there are changes in lung microflora associated with the use of acid suppression, and if changes in lung microflora are related to full-column nonacid gastroesophageal reflux in children ages 1 to 18 years. They found that 46% of patients taking acid-suppression medication had gastric bacterial growth compared with 18% of untreated patients. Staphylococcus and Streptococcus were found more commonly and in higher concentrations in the gastric fluid of treated patients. 

Bonnie: As we have said incessantly, acid suppression increases the risk of infection. We need a 60/40 (acid/alkaline) ratio in our gut to ward off infection.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Reason for Seasonal Affective Disorder Confirmed

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-29691479

Steve: All the more reason to make sure you are getting as many serotonin boosters as possible during the months with the least light.

Alcohol consumption affects sperm quality

Alcohol intake is linked to lower sperm quality, according to a study of young men in BMJ Open. Adverse effects on semen can be seen at levels as low as five drinks per week, although the trend is more pronounced among men who drink more than 25 units per week. A unit is defined as 25 grams of ethanol, the approximate amount in one beer or one glass of wine.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Chef-Created Dish Increases School Participation

To demonstrate the feasibility of introducing a main dish designed by a professional chef in the National School Lunch Program and to document the impact on child participation, a chef was recruited to design pizza to be served in an upstate New York school district.

The pizza was designed to meet both the cost and ingredient requirements of the NSLP. High school students were significantly more likely to select the pizza prepared by the chef. While the chef had no significant impact on main dish consumption given selection, more students took a vegetable and vegetable consumption increased by 16.5%.

The pilot study published in the December issue of journal Appetite demonstrates the plausibility of using chefs to boost participation in the school lunch program, and potentially increase nutrition through side selection, among high school students.

Statins: The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown

Conclusions from a Medscape reader survey as reported by Dr. Gordon Sun

"In summary, several important issues were broached in comments by Medscape readers, reflecting the notable controversy generated by the latest ACC/AHA cholesterol guidelines, nearly a year after publication:

• Up-to-date meta-analyses of statin use as primary prevention in women and the elderly have provided further evidence of their usefulness in these populations, although some of the literature was inconclusive and many Medscape readers remain skeptical.

• Myopathy potentially related to statin use was the most commonly reported adverse event by Medscape readers.

• Medscape readers were concerned that the guidelines did not sufficiently emphasize the benefits of positive lifestyle habits on prevention of CVD. A randomized trial comparing statins with beneficial lifestyle changes and examining clinical outcomes has yet to be conducted.

• Studies contrasting statin use and healthy lifestyle adherence—the "statin-lifestyle interaction"—demonstrate conflicting results. Recent research hypothesized that statin-related myopathy might actually compromise the ability to exercise, thus complicating patients' ability to adhere to good lifestyle habits.

It would be fair to say that this debate is far from settled."

Steve: This survey did not even mention the increased risk for diabetes and memory loss.

Taking the pain out of shots

Such painless injections could be possible with a device that applies pressure and vibration while the needle is inserted in the skin, according to a study presented at the Anesthesiology 2014 annual meeting. As many as 1 in 10 people experience needle phobia. Using a device that applies pressure and vibration before the needle stick could help significantly decrease painful sensations by closing the 'gate' that sends pain signals to the brain.

The perception of pain was significantly decreased when a specific amount of pressure and vibration was applied to the site for 20 seconds prior to using the plastic needle. The addition of heat added a small benefit. 

The concept likely works by distraction as well as employing the gate-control theory of pain, in which these sensations (pressure, vibration and potentially temperature) close the gate that allows the brain to register pain.

What's Your Fitness Age?

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/10/15/whats-your-fitness-age/?_php=true&_type=blogs&ref=health&_r=0

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Making blood tests easier to understand

http://online.wsj.com/articles/medical-labs-make-test-results-easier-for-patients-to-understand-1410822452

Dr. Mark Hyman on Magnesium

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUWL1o2hSrs

Viable supplemental iron sources

Supplementing with 30 mg/d of elementary iron, either as ferrous sulfate or iron bis-glycinate chelate for 90 days, showed positive effects on increasing ferritin concentration in schoolchildren with low iron stores, and this effect persisted 6 months after supplementation. Nutrition Journal 7/2014

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Secret to Well Behaved Teens

While American pediatricians warn sleep deprivation can stack the deck against teenagers, a new study from journal of Learning, Media and Technology reveals youth's irritability and laziness aren't down to attitude problems but lack of sleep.

This interesting paper exposes the negative consequences of sleep deprivation caused by early school bells, and shows that altering education times not only perks up teens' mood, but also enhances learning and health.

Our sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm, is the result of a complex balance between states of alertness and sleepiness regulated by a part of the brain called Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SNC); in puberty, shifts in our body clocks push optimal sleep later into the evening, making it extremely difficult for most teenagers to fall asleep before 11.00PM. This, coupled with early school starts in the morning, results in chronically sleep-deprived and cranky teens as well as plummeting grades and health problems.

A number of initiatives -- including the Start School Later campaign and the establishment of the National Sleep Foundation -- indicate a change may be in the air for education policies and practices in the US.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Weight stigma is real

Appetite November 2014
Weight stigma is highly pervasive, but its consequences are understudied. This review draws from theory in social psychology, health psychology, and neuroendocrinology to construct an original, generative model called the cyclic obesity/weight-based stigma (COBWEBS) model. This model characterizes weight stigma as a “vicious cycle” – a positive feedback loop wherein weight stigma begets weight gain. This happens through increased eating behavior and increased cortisol secretion governed by behavioral, emotional, and physiological mechanisms, which are theorized to ultimately result in weight gain and difficulty of weight loss. The purpose of this review is to evaluate the existing literature for evidence supporting such a model, propose ways in which individuals enter, fight against, and exit the cycle, and conclude by outlining fruitful future directions in this nascent yet important area of research.

The Girl Scouts Just Don't Get It

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laurie-david/girl-scouts-nestle_b_5879300.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living

Lower Risk of Heart Attack 86%

A healthy diet, moderate alcohol consumption, a smaller waist circumference, and not smoking were each independently associated with a lower risk of myocardial infarction (MI), or heart attack, in a large group of healthy Swedish men.

When these four lifestyle behaviors were combined with physical activity, individuals who adhered to all five healthy practices had an 86% lower risk of MI when compared with a high-risk group of individuals who didn't adhere to any to healthy behaviors. When compared with the rest of the study cohort, which included individuals who practiced some but not all of the healthy lifestyle behaviors, the risk of MI was reduced 79% compared with those who adhered to all five, according to a study in the September 30, 2014 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

However, just 1% of the 20 721 men adopted all five of what the researchers referred to as "low-risk behaviors." That number is dismal! And Swedes are supposed to be healthier than Americans!

Not adhering to the healthy diet and drinking alcohol more excessively accounted for nearly one in four MIs in the study population, while the combined absence of three healthy behaviors—diet, alcohol, and not smoking—explained nearly half of the MIs.

Icing injuries may not be warranted

http://stoneathleticmedicine.com/2014/09/icing-injuries-are-we-evidence-based/

Govt on alternatives for chronic pain

http://nccam.nih.gov/health/providers/digest/chronic-pain?nav=cd

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Grocery Chain Stuns Industry

Found this on BevNet:

Although Raley’s introduction of new supplier guidelines, in which dozens of additives and preservatives will be banned from its stores, could be viewed as expected considering Americans’ continuing tilt toward healthier consumption, it is nevertheless a stunning move in which one of the country’s largest conventional grocers appears to be repositioning itself as a natural-focused retailer.

Headquartered in West Sacramento, Calif., Raley’s owns and operates 132 stores in California and Nevada, including those under the Bel Air Market, Nob Hill Food and Food Source banners. With an estimated $3.2 billion in sales for the fiscal year ending on June 28, the grocery chain is ranked number 42 in Supermarket News’s list of the “Top 75 North American Food Retailers and Wholesalers for 2014.”

Placing it squarely at the forefront of natural food trends and greater demand for traceable goods, Raley’s has curated a list of 83 ingredients that will no longer be acceptable for inclusion in products sold in its stores. The list is similar to that of Whole Foods’ “Unacceptable Ingredients for Food,” which includes 78 ingredients commonly used by food and beverage producers, including artificial colors, high fructose corn syrup and sucralose, as well as a number of preservatives, such as sodium benzoate. Also listed are potassium bromate (often used as a leavening agent), azodicarbonamide and brominated vegetable oil (BVO), each of which has been the subject of recent controversy regarding potentially harmful food additives.

There are, however, a few significant differences between the two lists. Unlike Whole Foods, Raley’s will no longer stock food products that are made with genetically modified organisms (GMO). While Whole Foods last year issued an edict declaring “full GMO transparency” in its stores by 2018, the natural grocer will continue carry products made with GMOs. And though Whole Foods is well-known for its policy of selling meat, poultry and fish that are raised without the use of antibiotics, Raley’s explicitly names antibiotics as being banned for use in any products that it sells.

Raley’s has also prohibited the use of bST, rbST bGH, rbGH, each a widely used bovine growth hormone that is injected into dairy cows to boost milk production, from supplier products.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Health Hazards of Sitting

http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/page/national/the-health-hazards-of-sitting/750/

Vitamin E Critical in So Many Ways

Amid conflicting reports about the need for vitamin E and how much is enough, a new analysis published today suggests that adequate levels of this essential micronutrient are especially critical for the very young, the elderly, and women who are or may become pregnant.

A lifelong proper intake of vitamin E is also important, researchers said, but often complicated by the fact that this nutrient is one of the most difficult to obtain through diet alone. It has been estimated that only a tiny fraction of Americans consume enough dietary vitamin E to meet the estimated average requirement.

Some of the best dietary sources of vitamin E -- nuts, seeds, spinach, wheat germ and sunflower oil -- don't generally make the highlight list of an average American diet. One study found that people who are highly motivated to eat a proper diet consume almost enough vitamin E, but broader surveys show that 90 percent of men and 96 percent of women don't consume the amount currently recommended, 15 milligrams per day for adults.

Findings from the Advances in Nutrition study:

  • Inadequate vitamin E is associated with increased infection, anemia, stunting of growth and poor outcomes during pregnancy for both the infant and mother.
  • Overt deficiency, especially in children, can cause neurological disorders, muscle deterioration, and even cardiomyopathy.
  • Critically important to the early development of the nervous system in embryos, in part because it protects the function of omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA, which is important for brain health. The most sensitive organs include the head, eye and brain.
  • Vitamin E supplements seem to benefit slowing progression in those with Alzheimer's disease.
  • Elderly with a lifelong dietary pattern that resulted in higher levels of vitamins B,C, D and E had larger brain size and higher cognitive function.
  • The most compelling evidence about vitamin E is about a 1000-day window that begins at conception. It is critical to neurologic and brain development that can only happen during that period. It's not something you can make up for later.

More protein, lower BP

Adults who consume a high-protein diet may be at a lower risk for developing high blood pressure (HBP), according to a study in the American Journal of Hypertension. Participants consuming the highest amount of protein (an average of 100 g protein/day) had a 40 percent lower risk of having high blood pressure compared to the lowest intake level.

Important Infection Prevention Tip

The homes of many children infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) may be environments in which MRSA strains live on common household surfaces, according to an article published in JAMA Pediatrics.

That was the case for almost half of the children with MRSA infections in a recent study, in which researchers found MRSA most commonly on bed linens (18%), television remote controls (16%), and bathroom hand towels (15%).

S aureus had colonized in 6 (23%) of 26 dogs tested and 1 (7%) of 14 cats tested; 1 of the 6 colonized dogs had had a skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI) during the past 6 months. In comparison, 4 dogs out of 33 noncolonized pets had had an SSTI in the past 6 months.

Of the 50 children, 20 (40%) had either a colonizing or infecting strain type that was concordant with an environmental strain recovered from a household surface. Surfaces most commonly contaminated with a concordant strain were:

  • children's bed linens (8 of 41, 20%)
  • television remote controls (8 of 40, 20%)
  • bathroom light switches (7 of 41, 17%)
  • bathroom hand towel (5 of 31, 16%)
  • bathroom sink (6 of 41, 15%).

Interestingly, surfaces commonly perceived to be contaminated (such as toilet seats and door handles) were not major reservoirs of MRSA.

Steve: Make sure whomever cleans around your dwelling cleans these surfaces!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

USDA Approves New GMO Seed

http://www.cornucopia.org/2014/09/usda-ignores-risks-farmers-approves-dows-controversial-genetically-engineered-corn-soybean-seeds/

Chiropractic eases leg pain

People with leg pain related to back problems had more short-term relief if they received chiropractic care along with exercise and advice, rather than exercise and advice alone. The combination resulted in advantages in pain reduction, disability, global improvement, satisfaction, medication use and general physical health status after 12 weeks, as reported in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Off the Drugs, Onto to the Cupcakes

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/09/15/addiction-recovery-weight-gain-nutrition/?_php=true&_type=blogs&ref=health&_r=0

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Alzheimer's Prevention for 30 somethings

Oh do we love to read this! This is how it is supposed to work!!

http://online.wsj.com/articles/alzheimers-prevention-for-30-somethings-with-no-symptoms-1410823276

What's a big reason why being overweight is harmful?

Overeating increases the immune response. This increased immune response causes the body to generate excessive inflammation, which may lead to a number of chronic diseases. It is therefore important to keep a balance. Too little and too much nutrition may both upset the immune defense system and increase the risk of disease.

Storage of energy causes an inflammatory reaction. The explanation lies in the close connection between the body's immune system, energy conversion and the way in which we store energy. Humans are not made to eat so much. We are intended to toil for our food.

Overeating causes stress to the mitochondria. The mitochondria are the cells' powerhouses, converting fatty acids to energy. When the cells receive excessive energy, the system starts to falter. Long-term stress on the mitochondria causes low-grade chronic inflammation over many years. When damaged mitochondria accumulate, the immune response is activated. This immune response is what causes the inflammation.

How to stop sweating the small stuff

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/12/sweating-the-small-stuff_n_5804524.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pessimism not all bad

http://online.wsj.com/articles/a-perfect-dose-of-pessimism-1407196064

Better blood sugar breakfast

Blood sugar surges -- after-meal glucose "spikes" -- can be life threatening for the 29 million Americans with diabetes. Diabetic blood sugar spikes have been linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, kidney failure, and retinal damage. Now a new study, published in Diabetologia, suggests a novel way to suppress these deadly post-meal glucose surges: the consumption of whey protein concentrate, found in the watery portion of milk separated from cheese curds, before breakfast. According to the study, consumption of whey protein before meals may even keep diabetics' need for insulin treatment at bay.

The researchers found that glucose levels were reduced by 28 percent after the whey pre-load over the 180-minute post-meal period, with a uniform reduction during early and late phases. With whey pre-load, insulin and GLP-1 responses also were significantly higher (105 and 141 percent, respectively), producing a 96 percent increase in early insulin response.

Bonnie: This has to do with whey being a protein. Protein normalizes blood sugar, which is why we have always suggested eating a protein with carbohydrates.

Infant feeding practices

A recent study in Pediatrics found:

An association between longer duration of breast-feeding and later introduction of foods and beverages other than breast milk, and lower rates of ear, nose, throat, and sinus infections.

An association between longer breast-feeding and increased consumption of water, fruit, and vegetables, and decreased consumption of fruit juice and sugar-sweetened beverages at age six years.

Blood Type Matters for Memory Loss

People with blood type AB may be more likely to develop memory loss in later years than people with other blood types, according to a study published in the September 10, 2014 issue of Neurology.

AB is the least common blood type, found in about 4 percent of the U.S. population. The study found that people with AB blood were 82 percent more likely to develop the thinking and memory problems that can lead to dementia than people with other blood types.

The study was part of a larger study of more than 30,000 people followed for an average of 3.4 years. In those who had no memory or thinking problems at the beginning, the study identified 495 participants who developed thinking and memory problems, or cognitive impairment, during the study. They were compared to 587 people with no cognitive problems. People with AB blood type made up 6 percent of the group who developed cognitive impairment, which is higher than the 4 percent found in the population.

Researchers also looked at blood levels of factor VIII, a protein that helps blood to clot. High levels of factor VIII are related to higher risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. People in this study with higher levels of factor VIII were 24 percent more likely to develop thinking and memory problems than people with lower levels of the protein. People with AB blood had a higher average level of factor VIII than people with other blood types.

Combat prolonged sitting with short walks

In recent years, the evidence that long hours sitting at a desk or on a couch is bad for one's health has mounted. But new research suggests a quick five-minute walk every hour can reverse the ill-effects of a person's hunched posture and sedentary nine-to-five routine.

The experiment looked at sitting's ill effects -- specifically at the consequences for blood flow, or arterial function. Participants who sat for three hours showed declining arterial function, as expected. But those who walked for five minutes once each hour were able to mostly mitigate that decline. The study included only healthy, non-obese men, ages 20 to 35.

American adults sit for approximately eight hours a day. The impairment in endothelial function is significant after just one hour of sitting.

The study will be published in the next issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Fish really is brain food and more!

Cook Your Fish Right
Eating a piece of baked or broiled fish -- any fish -- once a week boosts brain health, according to new research by doctors at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Regular fish consumers were also found to be better educated about healthier lifestyles.

Feds Get in on the Act
FDA and EPA Issue Draft Updated Advice for Fish Consumption
Emerging science indicates that limiting or avoiding fish during pregnancy and early childhood can mean missing out on these important nutrients that have a positive impact on growth and development before birth, in early infancy for breastfed infants, and in childhood. As a result, FDA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are encouraging pregnant women, those who might become pregnant, breastfeeding mothers, and young children to eat more fish—and to eat a variety of fish lower in mercury. Here’s how:

  • Eat 8 to 12 Ounces of Fish/Shellfish Per Week. (That’s 2 or 3 servings of fish a week.)
  • Give young children 2 to 3 servings of fish a week with the portion right for the child’s age and calorie needs
  • Choose Fish That Are Lower in Mercury.Many of the most commonly eaten fish are lower in mercury, such as salmon, shrimp, pollock, tuna (light canned), tilapia, catfish and cod.
  • Avoid 4 Types of Fish: tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, shark, swordfish and king mackerel. These fish are highest in mercury. Limit white (albacore) tuna to 6 ounces a week.
  • Pay attention to fish advisories when eating fish you or others have caught from streams, rivers, and lakes, on those bodies of water. If advice isn’t available, adults should limit consumption of these fish to 6 ounces a week and young children to 1 to 3 ounces a week, and not eat other fish that week.

Deciphering How Omega-3's Function in the Brain
Consuming oils with high omega-3s is beneficial for the health because their presence makes the membranes more malleable and therefore more sensitive to deformation and fission by proteins. The results, published August 8th in Science, help explain why the abundance of these lipids in the brain represent a major advantage for cognitive function.

Considering that the body cannot synthesize them and that they can only be supplied by a suitable diet (rich in oily fish, etc.), it seems important to continue this work to understand the link between the functions performed by these lipids in the neuronal membrane and their health benefits.

Newest reason to choose organic

People with food allergies always have to watch what they eat. Now, they may have to watch what their fruits and vegetables eat, as it seems it's possible to have an allergic reaction to antibiotic residues in food.

An article published in the September issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, examines the case of a 10 year-old girl who had an anaphylactic (severely allergic) reaction after eating blueberry pie. Although she had a medical history of asthma and seasonal allergies, and known anaphylaxis to penicillin and cow's milk, she wasn't known to be allergic to any of the ingredients in the pie.

After weeks of testing on both the young girl and a sample of the pie, the article authors decided that what had caused the reaction was a streptomycin-contaminated blueberry. Streptomycin, in addition to being a drug used to fight disease, is also used as a pesticide in fruit, to combat the growth of bacteria, fungi, and algae.

"As far as we know, this is the first report that links an allergic reaction to fruits treated with antibiotic pesticides," said allergist Anne Des Roches, MD,FRCP, lead study author. "Certain European countries ban the use of antibiotics for growing foods, but the United States and Canada still allow them for agricultural purposes."

Iodine lacking for pregnant and breastfeeding women

Many pregnant and breastfeeding women in the U.S. may be lacking iodine in their diets, which is an essential element for their babies’ brain development, according to a new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Most of the salt in the U.S. diet is from processed foods, and that salt is not iodized. As consumption of processed foods has increased, so has the level of iodine deficiency, with about one-third of pregnant women in the U.S. being deficient. Pregnant and lactating women should take supplements that contain adequate levels of iodine, but only about 15 percent of this group does so.

Adequate iodine intake is needed to produce thyroid hormone, which is critical for brain development in children. Severe, untreated hypothyroidism in infancy has serious, permanent effects on the brain, and milder cases of hypothyroidism can also affect a child’s cognitive development. In addition, iodine deficiency in a mother increases both mother and child’s vulnerability to the effects of certain environmental pollutants -- most notably thiocyanate (found in cruciferous vegetables and tobacco smoke) and nitrate (found in certain leafy and root vegetables).

The AAP recommends iodine supplementation for breastfeeding mothers and should be considered for some other women of childbearing age.

Grocers lead kids to produce aisle through junk food marketing

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/08/25/341963166/grocers-lead-kids-to-produce-aisle-with-junk-food-style-marketing

Ways to avoid feeling off during workouts

http://online.wsj.com/articles/the-ways-to-avoid-feeling-off-during-workouts-1409602283

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fungus Food Draws Ire of CSPI

http://www.cspinet.org/new/201408181.html

The Future of Food

http://www.usatoday.com/experience/weekend/food/the-future-of-food/14001807/

Microbiome the Movie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DTrENdWvvM

Stress Related Skin?

Anyone who's had a pimple form right before an important event may wonder if stress caused the break out. While commonly linked anecdotally, proving the relationship between stress and inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne, psoriasis and rosacea, is another matter.

The American Academy of Dermatology says experimental data support the idea that the nervous system and stress affect inflammatory skin conditions in humans. Many types of cells in the skin, including immune cells and endothelial cells (cells that line blood vessels), can be regulated by neuropeptides and neurotransmitters, which are chemicals released by the skin's nerve endings. Stress can result in the skin's nerve endings releasing an increased level of these chemicals. When this occurs, it can affect how and at what level our body responds to many important functions, such as sensation and control of blood flow, and can contribute to the symptoms of stress that we feel. In addition, the release of these chemicals can lead to inflammation of the skin.

How does current research impact how people with inflammatory skin conditions are treated? More research needs to be done to further understand the role of the nervous system and stress on inflammatory skin conditions, especially since other factors play a role, including genetics.

You can experiment with stress reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga, or tai chi, but should continue your treatment plan as prescribed by their dermatologist if you have a skin condition.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

High Schoolers Need a Later School Day

Let them sleep!

That's the message from the nation's largest pediatrician group, which, in a new policy statement, says delaying the start of high school and middle school classes to 8:30 a.m. or later is "an effective countermeasure to chronic sleep loss" and the "epidemic" of delayed, insufficient, and erratic sleep patterns among the nation's teens.

Multiple factors, "including biological changes in sleep associated with puberty, lifestyle choices, and academic demands," negatively impact teens' ability to get enough sleep, and pushing back school start times is key to helping them achieve optimal levels of sleep – 8½ to 9½ hours a night, says the American Academy of Pediatrics statement, released Monday and published online in Pediatrics.

Just 1 in 5 adolescents get nine hours of sleep on school nights, and 45% sleep less than eight hours, according to a 2006 poll by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF).

"As adolescents go up in grade, they're less likely with each passing year to get anything resembling sufficient sleep," says Judith Owens, director of sleep medicine at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and lead author of the AAP statement. "By the time they're high school seniors, the NSF data showed they were getting less than seven hours of sleep on average."

Chronic sleep loss in children and adolescents "can, without hyperbole, really be called a public health crisis," Owens says.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Risks With Growth Hormone for Short Stature

The use of growth hormone for the treatment of short stature or growth hormone deficiency in childhood may increase the long-term the risk for stroke in young adulthood, hemorrhagic strokes in particular, French registry data show.

Investigators at the University of Lorraine in France found a significantly higher risk for stroke among patients treated with growth hormone in childhood compared with 2 population-based registries used as reference controls.

The excess risk for stroke was mainly attributable to a "very substantially and significantly higher risk" of hemorrhagic stroke, at a standardized incidence ratio (SIR) ranging from 3.5 to 7.0, depending on the registry rates considered.

The study was published online August 13 in Neurology.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Relief for Ragweed Pollen Sufferers

It is the height of ragweed season in the Chicagoland area. If you are allergic to ragweed, you can reduce your symptoms in half by removing food cross-reactors until the season is over (3-6 weeks from now). Here is a complete list of cross-reactors and suggested replacements from our Conquering Allergy and Intolerance Action Plan.

Nut Butter Recall (some of which are Whole Foods and Trader Joes products)

http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm410533.htm

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Real Reason We Yawn

http://online.wsj.com/articles/the-real-reason-we-yawn-1408403897?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsForth

Acid Suppression with Medication Raises Infection Risk.

A study published yesterday in JAMA Pediatrics concluded that acid-suppression use results in gastric bacterial overgrowth of Staphylococcus and Streptococcus. Even more shocking is that acid-suppression was associated with greater concentrations of bacteria in the lung. The researchers conclude that, "these results suggest that acid suppression use may need to be limited in patients at risk for infections".

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Young teeth: it's not just the sugar

Dental researchers are warning parents of the dangers of soft drinks, fruit juice, sports drinks and other drinks high in acidity, which form part of a "triple-threat" of permanent damage to young people's teeth.

For the first time, researchers in the Journal of Dentistry have demonstrated that lifelong damage is caused by acidity to the teeth within the first 30 seconds of acid attack.
The researchers say drinks high in acidity combined with night-time tooth grinding and reflux can cause major, irreversible damage to young people's teeth.

Dental erosion can lead to a lifetime of compromised dental health that may require complex and extensive rehabilitation -- but it is also preventable with minimal intervention. Often, children and adolescents grind their teeth at night, and they can have undiagnosed regurgitation or reflux, which brings with it acidity from the stomach. Combined with drinks high in acidity, this creates a triple threat to young people's teeth which can cause long-term damage.

What Is a Certified Nutrition Specialist?

While you may think registered dietitian is the only certification available to those in the nutrition field, think again.

To be a Certified Nutrition Specialist, you must have an advanced degree. This is why you see many doctors, nurses, and other health professionals besides nutritionists seek CNS certifications.

More importantly, the organization is not beholden to Big Food sponsors like the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is.

For more information, go to cbns.org.