Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fungus Food Draws Ire of CSPI

The Future of Food

Microbiome the Movie

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)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Real Reason We Yawn

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

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

FDA, Worried About Triclosan in Colgate's Total, Approve it Anyway

Like You Needed Another Reason to Stop Soda

A study in the September issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined the association of soda, including specific types of soda, and risk of hip fracture in postmenopausal women over a 30 year period.

Each additional serving of total soda per day was associated with a 14% increased risk of hip fracture. Risk was significantly elevated in consumers of both regular soda AND diet soda and also did not significantly differ between colas and noncolas or sodas with or without caffeine.

Aside from the chemicals, sugars, and noncaloric artificial sweeteners, the the large amounts of phosphorous in soda is awful for your bones.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Help your intestinal lining

Good bacteria that aid in digestion help keep the intestinal lining intact. The findings, reported in the journal Immunity, could yield new therapies for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and a wide range of other disorders.

Scientists found that absorption of a specific bacterial byproduct is crucial for maintaining the integrity of the intestinal epithelium -- the single-cell layer responsible for keeping intestinal bacteria and their toxins inside the gut and away from the rest of the body. Breaching of the intact intestinal epithelium is associated with a number of diseases.

A metabolite called indole 3-propionic acid (IPA) -- produced exclusively by so-called commensal bacteria, which aid in digestion -- both strengthens the intestinal epithelium's barrier function and prevents its inflammation.

Adding probiotics to the intestine is another option we may be able to use to prevent or treat IBD and other inflammatory disorders that occur when the intestinal epithelium has been compromised.

Total darkness during the night is a key to success of breast cancer therapy

Over 65 and Vitamin D Deficient? You'd Better Read This.

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease in older people, according to the most robust study of its kind ever conducted.

An international team, led by Dr David Llewellyn at the University of Exeter Medical School, found that study participants who were severely Vitamin D deficient were more than twice as likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

The team studied elderly Americans who took part in the Cardiovascular Health Study. They discovered that adults in the study who were moderately deficient in vitamin D had a 53 per cent increased risk of developing dementia of any kind, and the risk increased to 125 per cent in those who were severely deficient.

Similar results were recorded for Alzheimer's disease, with the moderately deficient group 69 per cent more likely to develop this type of dementia, jumping to a 122 per cent increased risk for those severely deficient.

The study was part-funded by the Alzheimer's Association, and is published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. It looked at 1,658 adults aged 65 and over, who were able to walk unaided and were free from dementia, cardiovascular disease and stroke at the start of the study. The participants were then followed for six years to investigate who went on to develop Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

They expected to find an association between low Vitamin D levels and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, but they actually found that the association was twice as strong as we anticipated.

The study also found evidence that there is a threshold level of Vitamin D circulating in the bloodstream below which the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's disease increases. The team had previously hypothesized that this might lie in the region of 25-50 nmol/L, and their new findings confirm that vitamin D levels above 50 nmol/L are most strongly associated with good brain health.

Bonnie: Levels over 50? Hmm, from whom have we heard that before? When I see results like this, it makes me smile from ear to ear.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Unlikely cause of food intolerance

A study from the FASEB Journal has just shown that perinatal exposure to low doses of BPA, which is considered to be risk-free in humans, could increase the risk of developing food intolerance in adulthood.

A sizable portion of the global population suffer from food intolerance. Aside from diet, an environmental origin for these adverse food reactions is strongly suspected.

These findings support the decision made by the French authorities to ban the use of BPA in any amount in containers used for infant foods as early as 2013, and in all food packaging as from 2015.