Archive for the ‘Avoid’ Category

Yes, you heard me right….with the right anabolic steroids you can grow a chicken in 40 days.  But wait a second….if we consume food that is treated with steroids won’t they affect us as the consumer?  According to information obtained from Cornell University, ” there are six different kinds of steroid hormones that are currently approved by FDA for use in food production in the US: estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, zeranol, trenbolone acetate, and melengestrol acetate. Estradiol and progesterone are natural female sex hormones; testosterone is the natural male sex hormone; zeranol, trenbolone acetate and melengesterol acetate are synthetic growth promoters (hormone-like chemicals that can make animals grow faster).”

The European Union no longer allows the use of these steroids due to concerns that they may pose a risk to pregnant women and children and because of the impact on the environment from the transfer of hormones through animal excrement.  The EU has also banned imports of meat from Canada and the U.S. because of the continued use in animals to promote growth. (Assessment of Potential Risks)

What about the use of pesticides on the food we consume?  There are numerous studies which indicate that pesiticide exposure may contribute to serious health conditions such as breast cancer, non-hodgkins lymphoma, diabetes, and parkinsons disease.

 Check out this preview of the movie, “Food, Inc.,” which discusses how big business is putting profit ahead of safety when it involves our food supply.  You may never look at your food the same way again.

Food, Inc. The Movie

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For those who follow my ramblings you may wonder why I post information which doesn’t pertain to herbs.  Well, as a Natural Health Practitioner I feel it is my responsibility to keep people informed on any and all issues that may affect their health.  That is why I would like to address the issue of mercury in dental amalgams.

Many, many groups and individuals have been aware for years that dental amalgams contain mercury and that mercury is toxic.  However, it has taken the FDA all these years to finally admit this to the public. 

The FDA has reclassified dental amalgams and now states that, “Dental amalgam contains elemental mercury. It releases low levels of mercury vapor that can be inhaled. High levels of mercury vapor exposure are associated with adverse effects in the brain and the kidneys”.  The FDA also states that, “Dental amalgams contain mercury, which may have neurotoxic effects on the nervous systems of developing children and fetuses.”  Here is the full version of the FDA’s new position…. FDA Reclassification of Dental Mercury

Unfortunately, the FDA only revised their position because of a law suit that was filed by an organization called Moms Against Mercury.  What the FDA doesn’t admit is that mercury accumulates in the body.  With continuous exposure to mercury levels may reach potencially lethal doses.  Even low levels of mercury can have a detremental effect on health.  Here is a video which explains how mercury affects neurological function.  “How Mecury Causes Brain Neuron Degeneration“.

Now, before you rush off to the dentist demanding to have all of your amalgams removed be advised that you need to see a dentist who is familiar with the speicial precautions that need to be taken when removing fillings which contain mercury.  Here is a link to the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology.  On their website they describe the procedures which need to be taken to protect the patient and the dentist when mercury fillings are removed.  Safe Removal of Dental Amalgams

Check with your dentist to see if they use these procedures.  Also, when having fillings replaced ask about alternatives to mercury fillings.

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What’s in your food?

I try to provide my family with healthy nutritious food. I mostly buy organic foods and avoid refined and processed foods. I also have a garden which provides some of our produce and am working on planting more fruit trees. However, with the cost of groceries it can be a real struggle for many people and I am not surprised that people find it difficult to eat healthy. What really offends me is that the food manufacturers along with the FDA prey on low income families by providing lower cost food items which are lased with so many chemicals.

It is estimated that there are over 3000 different food additives. Although, all additives are tested they are not necessarily safe for consumption. For example, Butylated hydroxyanisole or BHA is considered an antioxidant and is commonly added to foods such as cereals and breads. The FDA lists Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)as safe for human consumption while the National Institutes of Health list BHA as a known carcinogen and states, “is reasonably anticipated to be a
human carcinogen based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in
experimental animals (IARC 1986, 1987).”

And what about Monosodium glutamate (MSG)which is used as a flavor enhancer in foods? Once added primarily in Asian food it has enveloped almost the entire food market. The health effects of MSG are numerous and include an increase in free radicals, headaches, weight gain leading to insulin resistance, coronary artery disease, strokes, heart attacks, glaucoma and endocrine disruption. These are just some of the health concerns related to MSG.

I could go on all day about how these industries are polluting our children and destroying our health. I am a fanatic label reader so it takes me a while to do my shopping especially if I am incorporating something new.

I am not writing this article to be an alarmist and to scare people, but I just want to let people know what these chemicals are doing to our bodies. So, try to stick to organic whole foods whenever possible along with meats which have no been polluted with antibiotics and steroids. Whole foods are foods that are eaten the way they are found in nature. Try an apple instead of an apple turnover, some broccoli instead of broccoli in cheese sauce. You may end up spending a little more money, but you can think of it as investment in your health.

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Splenda…Not so sweet after all.

Seems like everyone I know who is not as holistically minded as me is turning to Splenda as a substitute for sugar. When I have asked these people what they thought Splenda was their answers were all the same….Sugar.

Unfortunately, for consumers there is a great deal of propaganda circulating to make people think that Splenda is the same as sugar. In fact, Splenda derives from a chlorocarbon chemical that contains three atoms of chlorine which the manufacture calls sucralose. The manufacturer calls it sucralose because it sounds like sucrose which is actually table sugar.

There have been no long term studies conducted on the human consumption of Splenda so, like aspartame there is no way of knowing if this product is even safe for consumption.

One study that was conducted at Duke University concluded “Evidence indicates that a 12 week administration of Splenda exerted numerous adverse effects, including a reduction in beneficial faecal microflora, an increased faecal pH, and enhanced expression levels of P-gp, CYP3A4, and CYP2D1, which are known to limit the bioavailability of orally administered drugs,” concluded the researchers.” (Click here for study)

The good news is that the FDA, although not officially approving Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) as a natural sweetener, has issued letters of non-objection for it’s use. What this means is that even though it has not been “officially” approved it can be used in food and beverages.

Since I am an herbalist and this is an herbal blog I thought I would take this opportunity to tell you a little about Stevia rebaudiana:

Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana)

Stevia is a herb which is native to South American and has been used for centuries as a natural sweetener. The use of the herb as a sweetener adds no calories and no known side effects. The leaves are said to be 300 times sweeter than sugar.

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