Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hand Sanitizer and Antibacterial Soap: Look at the Ingredients!

Manufacturers are turning away from using triclosan as an antimicrobial ingredient in soaps, toothpastes and other products over health concerns. And now scientists are reporting new evidence that appears to support these worries. Their study, published in Chemical Research in Toxicology, found that triclosan, as well as another commercial substance called octylphenol, promoted the growth of human breast cancer cells in lab dishes and breast cancer tumors in mice.

Hormonal imbalances seem to play a role in the development of breast cancer. Given that link, researchers are investigating whether endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which are compounds that act like hormones, might spur cancer cell growth. EDCs have become ubiquitous in products, in the environment and even in our bodies. Research has found that two EDCs -- triclosan, an antimicrobial ingredient in many products, including soaps, cosmetics and cutting boards; and octylphenol, which is in some paints, pesticides and plastics -- have accumulated in the environment. Additionally, triclosan is reportedly in the urine of an estimated 75 percent of Americans.

In tests on human breast cancer cells and in special immunodeficient mice with tissue grafts, the scientists found that both agents interfered with genes involved with breast cancer cell growth, resulting in more cancer cells. Mice that were exposed to the two compounds had larger and denser breast cancer tumors than the control group.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wal-Mart to Push Organic More Mainstream


Shellfish Irradiation Proposed by FDA

Steve: As long as irradiated shellfish is labeled, we have no problem with this. In this ruling, the FDA mandates that shellfish be labeled, with two exclusions: shellfish mixed with other foods and restaurants. Please tell the FDA that these exclusions are not acceptable. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is amending current food additive regulations to allow the safe use of ionizing radiation on crustaceans (e.g., crab, shrimp, lobster, crayfish, and prawns) to control foodborne pathogens  and extend the shelf life. The action responds to a food additive petition submitted by the National Fisheries Institute.  The decision is based on a rigorous safety assessment that considered 1) potential toxicity, 2) the effect of irradiation on nutrients, and 3) potential microbiological risk that may result from treating crustaceans with ionizing radiation. The evaluation also considered previous evaluations of the safety of irradiation of other foods including poultry, meat, molluscan shellfish, iceberg lettuce, and fresh spinach.  This rule covers raw, frozen, cooked, partially cooked, shelled, or dried crustaceans, or cooked, or ready-to-cook, crustaceans processed with spices or small amounts of other food ingredients.

At the maximum permitted dose of 6.0 kiloGray, this new use of ionizing radiation will reduce, but not entirely eliminate, the number of pathogenic (illness causing) microorganisms in or on crustaceans. The maximum dosage of irradiation approved is capable of reducing a number of pathogens that may be found in crustaceans, including Listeria, Vibrio, and E. coli. Irradiation is not a substitute for proper food-handling practices; therefore crustaceans treated with ionizing radiation must be stored, handled, and cooked in the same way as non-irradiated foods.

Under 21 CFR 179.26(c), we require that irradiated foods bear the international symbol for irradiation (radura) and carry the statement "Treated with radiation" or "Treated by irradiation" on the food label. Consumers will continue to be able to identify irradiated foods, including crustaceans, by the presence of the irradiation statement and symbol on the label. For foods not in package form, the logo and phrase must be displayed to the purchaser with either the labeling of the bulk container plainly in view or a counter sign, car, or other appropriate device bearing the information that the product has been treated with radiation.  We do not require that multi-ingredient foods that contain ingredients that have been irradiated (e.g., spices) be labeled if the food itself has not been irradiated, nor do we require labeling of irradiated food served in restaurants.

Submit comments electronically to the FDA docket through Docket No. FDA-2001-F-0049 (formerly Docket No. 01F-0047).

To submit comments by mail, send to FDA at:
Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305)
Food and Drug Administration
5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061
Rockville, MD 20852

All submissions must include the agency name and docket number.

Produce prices on the rise


Vermont first state to pass GMO labeling


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Broader Access to Test Results.

Patients may obtain their test results directly from the laboratory that produced them, without having to go through their doctors, under regulations recently announced by the Obama administration.

The rule is part of a broader effort by the administration to give Americans more control over their health care. It supersedes state law and will have particular significance in 13 states that prohibit labs from releasing test results directly to patients.

Consumer groups said the rule will empower patients and reduce mistakes. A 2009 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that providers failed to notify patients of abnormal test results 7 percent of the time. Other estimates have put that rate higher.

Officials at the Department of Health and Human Services said the new rule will give patients another way to get information about lab-test results besides relying on their doctors.

Here is the official rule: https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2014-02280.pdf

Friday, April 18, 2014

Client Testimonial

“Are you overweight and having a real difficult time losing weight? Are you having pains in the abdominal region? You need to make an appointment with Bonnie. She has this amazing food intolerance test which will enlighten you on the foods that are affecting you and will help you get well again.” Claude E

Thursday, April 17, 2014

IBS Treatment No One-Size-Fits-All


America's Catching on to Food Intolerance.

Here is a glowing article from the Wall Street Journal About Food Intolerance.

More People Pick Elimination Diets to Discover Food Sensitivities.
By Sarah Nassauer, Wall Street Journal

The adage that you are what you eat doesn't quite ring true for some people. A growing group is swearing by the idea: You are what you don't eat.

Elimination diets—which call for cutting out a certain food or group of foods—are having a moment. People often start the diets in an effort to cure a symptom that doesn't necessarily seem worth seeing a doctor about: headaches, skin irritation, joint pain, digestive problem or just feeling tired. Maybe cutting out certain foods will help, they think. Weight loss often isn't the primary motivation.

Eating in this manner is different than elimination diets intended to detect sometimes immediate and life-threatening allergic reactions, often done under close supervision of a doctor.

The idea behind these elimination diets is to help people identify more subtle, gradual reactions to common food groups such as dairy, soy, nuts, eggs, gluten, sugar and alcohol. They completely avoid those foods for a few weeks. Later each food is added back one by one to test the body's response.

There is little science to prove specific cause-and-effect behind this style of elimination diet and an improvement in symptoms, many doctors say. Yet lots of people report feeling significantly better. Is that because "they are eating healthier or because, say, wheat was taken away?" says Linda Lee, director of the Johns Hopkins Integrative Medicine & Digestive Center.

Still, there is little harm in cutting out a food group for a limited time if people aren't at risk of poor nutrition, don't begin to develop a fear of food and don't have a history of eating disorders, which restrictive diets can trigger, say most doctors.

After years of increasingly uncomfortable stomach cramps and other intestinal issues, Amanda Deming, a 35-year-old mother and legal assistant, saw a friend post rave reviews on Facebook about an elimination diet called the Whole 30. It recommends cutting out gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and other grains), dairy, sugar and sweeteners, white potatoes, alcohol, some food additives and even legumes and grains for 30 days. What's left? "You eat meats, fruits and vegetables," says Ms. Deming, who lives in Greenville, S.C. Within two weeks of starting the regimen her stomach felt better. "And that means the world to me," she says. "I have more energy."

She stuck with the eating habits past 30 days, even though it has been hard to skip her family's Friday pizza night. Also, her food budget has gone up. "I don't have a meal that doesn't have meat in it," she says.

The Whole 30 plan is intended to improve overall health, break bad eating habits and in some cases will identify food sensitivities,says Melissa Hartwig, a sports nutritionist and co-owner of Whole 9, the company that designed the plan.

Harry Eschel, vice president of products and marketing for a mobile software company, noticed his weight creeping up and sports injuries piling up. "I used to travel a lot, so dinner was McDonald's," says Mr. Eschel, 48, who lives in Wilmette, Ill. A year ago he tried a two-week elimination diet with a holistic health coach to jump-start weight loss. He gave up gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol, eggs, soy and other foods.

After losing 10 pounds in the first two weeks, he decided to stick with many of the habits. Now he doesn't eat fast food, has mostly stopped eating gluten, sugar and dairy, and he has taken up yoga. "I got a lot of teasing for [the yoga], but now friends are going, 'he hasn't thrown his back out,' " he says.

Many elimination diet proponents suggest the regimen can help find the cause of leaky gut syndrome or increased intestinal permeability. The idea is that some foods irritate the intestines and cause food proteins to leak through the intestinal wall where they shouldn't be. Once there, the proteins come into contact with large numbers of immune cells that live just below the intestinal wall, says Dave Rakel, director of the University of Wisconsin Integrative Medicine Program at the School of Medicine and Public Health.

"The immune system along the gut is triggered to see friend or foe," says Dr. Rakel. If foe, an immune attack begins causing inflammation that can move throughout the body, he says.

In recent months, Katie Collette, a 36-year-old graduate student in pharmacology, physiology, and therapeutics, had daily headaches she thought were related to seasonal allergies. At one point, her allergist suggested an elimination diet, says Ms. Collette. Guided by what she read online about a book called "the Virgin Diet" by J.J. Virgin, she cut gluten, eggs, dairy, soy, peanuts, corn and sugar for three weeks. "I just assumed I should cut alcohol," as well, says Ms. Collette.

Her headaches became less frequent on the diet and when she brought back soy—a small amount of edamame—she got a headache and runny nose. She plans to avoid most soy in the long term. "No more tofu for me," she says.

Compared with an allergic reaction, people are more often able to eat the offending food again in limited quantities after giving the body a break from the food causing the inflammation, says Dr. Rakel. He recommends a three-week elimination diet to patients with digestive problems, joint inflammation, asthma and reoccurring sinus infections, among other symptoms—but not to everyone. Overall, people should eat a "high-fiber, multicolored, whole-food diet," he says.

Some doctors say the connection between many symptoms and gut health isn't well understood. Increased intestinal permeability "can be linked to disease, but by itself it isn't linked to things like headaches, fatigue and general malaise," says Jerrold Turner, associate chairman of the Department of Pathology at the University of Chicago. Dr. Turner last year co-authored the paper "Intestinal Permeability Defects: Is It Time to Treat?" But Dr. Turner adds: "If it makes people feel better, I'm not sure why we should oppose," elimination dieting.

After headaches, fatigue and other symptoms started to become more frequent last year, Jean Panko, a 35-year-old portfolio administrator in Edison, N.J., turned to a mail-in blood test that promised to reveal food sensitivities that could be causing her symptoms, she says. Based on her results, she stopped eating chicken, gluten, corn, soy, cane sugar, honey, apples, blueberries, grapes and other foods. "Within two days I felt like a new person," she says.

This type of blood test, which looks at cellular reactions to hundreds of foods and chemicals, is viewed as inconclusive by some doctors. "Ask the body the question rather than asking the lab," says Susan Blum, assistant clinical professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Andy Panko, Jean's husband, did the blood test after seeing how much better she felt. The experiment helped "kick the habit of eating all this junk, but I never actually felt better," he says.

He plans to try eating some of his forbidden foods soon like dairy, gluten and brewer's yeast, an ingredient in beer. "I very much miss dairy in my life. I miss pizza. I miss yogurt. I miss cheese," he says.

The entire article with added media is available here.

Bonnie: One caveat - I have never recommend doing elimination diets on your own. I have seen too many cases of nutrient deficiency and calorie deprivation. In addition, for especially sick people, there can be adverse effects/strong detox symptoms.

In most instances, doing a food intolerance screening is a smarter way to approach food intolerance. When I was doing elimination diets many years ago before we found a reputable lab to do blood screening, it often took much longer than a few weeks to discover the offending foods. In many cases, there are multiple offending foods so it can be quite confusing to find out which are the offenders. Our screening and subsequent menu plans can absorb and address multiple food intolerances at once.

Let there be no doubt that elimination diets are difficult, but as the article shows, when the right foods are removed and the clients comply, most of the time people feel MUCH better.

Lashing Out at Your Spouse?

Low levels of blood sugar may make married people angrier at their spouses and even more likely to lash out aggressively, new research from the April 14th issue of PNAS reveals.

In a 21-day study, researchers found that levels of blood glucose in married people, measured each night, predicted how angry they would be with their spouse that evening. At the end of the 21 days, people who had generally lower levels of glucose were willing to blast their spouses with unpleasant noises at a higher volume and for a longer time than those who had higher glucose levels.

The study shows how one simple, often overlooked factor -- hunger caused by low levels of blood glucose -- may play a role in marital arguments, confrontations and possibly even some domestic violence.

Steve: Folks, this is so easy to remedy. Mood swings are usually a direct result of low blood sugar or hunger. I have seen so many cases of people who are in horrible moods and snap out of it in minutes when they have a balanced snack or meal. With so many of us skipping meals, as well as an epidemic of blood sugar disorders, this study should not surprise.

The next time you feel ready to lash out, take a moment to think about the last time you have eaten something!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Trendy Food Now Kosher for Passover?


Unusual Bike Riding Injuries A Problem for Kids and Adults

Biking has plenty of health benefits, but riders also run the risk of an injury to the kidney or genitalia, according to a new study from Injury Prevention that found kids sustain about 10 times as many of these injuries as adults.

The researchers analyzed data that had been collected by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System between 2002 and 2012. An average of about 4,000 people sustained bicycle-related kidney or genital injuries during each year of the study. Children came to the ER for bicycle-related kidney or genital injuries about 10 times more often than adults. Adult injuries more often required hospital admission.

Boys and men accounted for 61% of injuries. About 70% resulted from direct contact with the bike - as opposed to hitting the ground - and nearly half of the overall injuries were due to contact with the top tube, which runs between the base of the seat and the handlebars.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Carbs Affect Cholesterol As Much As Fats

The fatty acid composition of blood reflects the quality of both dietary fat and carbohydrates,
according to new research in the journal Lipids. For example, the research team revealed that blood levels of oleic acid were found to be higher among children who consumed a lot of candy and refined grain products.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Better Nutrition Knowledge = Better Dietary Habits

Seems simple right? Not really, according to a study in the March issue of British Journal of Nutrition, that examined the relationship between nutrition knowledge and dietary intake in adults (mean age equal to or more than 18 years).

The majority of the studies reported significant, positive, associations between higher nutrition knowledge and dietary intake, most often a higher intake of fruit and vegetables. However, study quality ranged widely and participant representation from lower socio-economic status was limited, with most participants being tertiary educated and female. Well-designed studies using validated methodologies are needed to clarify the relationship between nutrition knowledge and dietary intake. Diet quality scores or indices that aim to evaluate compliance to dietary guidelines may be particularly valuable for assessing the relationship between nutrition knowledge and dietary intake. 

The researchers state that nutrition knowledge is an integral component of health literacy and as low health literacy is associated with poor health outcomes, contemporary, high-quality research is needed to inform community nutrition education and public health policy.

Overweight Dads Ups Child's Autism Risk

The objective of a study in the April issue of Pediatrics was to investigate the associations among maternal prepregnancy BMI, paternal BMI, and the risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in children.

Maternal obesity was only weakly associated with ASD risk, whereas paternal obesity was associated with an increased risk of autistic disorder and Asperger disorder. The risk of autistic disorder was 0.27% in children of obese fathers and 0.14% in children of fathers with normal weight. For Asperger disorder, the risk was 0.38% in children of obese fathers and 0.18% in children of normal-weight fathers.

The researchers concluded that paternal obesity is an independent risk factor for ASDs in children. The associations should be investigated further in genetic and epigenetic studies.

JAMA's opinion on zinc for the common cold in kids

In this week's issue of Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers asked the question: Is oral zinc associated with a shorter duration, decreased severity, and reduced incidence of the common cold compared with placebo in children?

Their "Bottom Line" was when initiated within 24 hours of symptom onset, oral zinc is associated with a shorter duration of the common cold in healthy people.

Used prophylactically, oral zinc is associated with a reduced cold incidence in children.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Parents Must Be Vigilant in Monitoring Children's Media Use.

This is an abstract from the most recent issue of JAMA Pediatrics.

Children spend more time with electronic media than they do in any other activity, aside from sleep. Many of the negative effects that stem from media exposure may be reduced by parental monitoring of children's media use; however, there lacks a clear understanding of the mechanisms and extent of these protective effects.

The objective of this study was t
o determine the prospective effects of parental monitoring of children’s media on physical, social, and academic outcomes.

Data were collected by in-home and in-school surveys in 2 communities in Iowa and Minnesota, where 1323 third, fourth, and fifth grade students participated. A primary caregiver and teachers also provided data about the student. Body mass index, average weekly sleep, school performance, prosocial behavior, and aggressive behavior were tabulated.

The results revealed that parental monitoring of children’s media influences children’s sleep, school performance, and prosocial and aggressive behaviors and that these effects are mediated through total screen time and exposure to media violence.

In conclusion, this study shows that parental monitoring of media has protective effects on a wide variety of academic, social, and physical child outcomes. Health professionals are uniquely positioned to provide scientifically based recommendations to families; encouraging parents to monitor children’s media carefully can have a wide range of health benefits for children.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Foods that make allergies worse

Cross-reactive foods have finally become mainstream (see CNN article). We have an Action Plan called "Conquering Allergy and Intolerance" that not only lists in detail cross-reactive foods for every type of environmental allergy, but gives you replacement foods to eat during the height of each allergy season.


Do you have a grass allergy? Now you can scrap allergy shots for sublingual allergy drops. it was just approved by the FDA this week! Where were these drops when I was growing up?!


Have a Food Craving? Play Tetris.

According to a study in the upcoming May issue of Appetite, Elaborated Intrusion Theory (EI) postulates that imagery is central to craving, therefore a visually based task should decrease craving and craving imagery.

The study provides the first laboratory test of this hypothesis in naturally occurring, rather than artificially induced, cravings. Participants reported if they were experiencing a craving and rated the strength, vividness and intrusiveness of their craving. They then either played ‘Tetris’ or they waited for a computer program to load (they were told it would load, but it was designed not to).

Participants who had played ‘Tetris’ had significantly lower craving and less vivid craving imagery. The findings support EI theory, showing that a visuospatial working memory load reduces naturally occurring cravings, and that Tetris might be a useful task for tackling cravings outside the laboratory.

Steve: I love that game! Not only does it work the mind, but I guess it takes your mind off your cravings.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Binge Drinking a Problem for Older Persons.

Binge drinking in the elderly is underreported and is a cause for alarm, new research suggests.

A national cohort study of more than 4800 adults older than 64 years showed that almost 10% reported binge drinking ― defined as having 5 or more drinks in 1 sitting for men and 4 or more drinks in a single sitting for women ― in the previous 30 days.

The author states, "I actually think this number would be much higher where we are in South Miami. I've worked in the nursing homes there, and you just see it. A lot of the health problems, such as falls, are due to alcohol consumption, and often they're sneaking it in."

The results were presented last week at the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry 2014 Annual Meeting.