Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pesticides and Chlorine May Cause Food Allergies

Why are food allergies becoming so common? The hygiene hypothesis has been around for a while, linking extra-clean households with allergies. A recent study offers a possible reason: Pesticides and chlorine may kill the naturally occurring "good" bacteria in humans’ digestive systems, causing food allergies.

Antibiotics were previously linked in the same way. We need certain bacteria in our guts in order to digest food properly. Killing of the bacteria that live inside us may be hazardous to our health.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Methylene Chloride in Enteric Coating

I take SAM-e (S-adenosyl methionine) on the advice of my doctor. It's said to help relieve arthritic-type pain and depression. I'm supposed to take 400 mg. before breakfast and 200 mg. later in the day. I look for brands that are free of yeast and sugar alcohols. 

Recently I ordered a new box of SAM-e online and when it came, I was surprised to see Isopropyl Alcohol and Methylene Chloride listed as ingredients. They were not listed on the online ingredient list when I purchased them.

Isopropyl alcohol and methylene chloride are toxic, so the amount used in the supplement is small. But methylene chloride is found in some furniture strippers and has caused fatalities. (See So I called the manufacturer (Natrol). Their customer service rep explained that methylene chloride and isopropyl alcohol are part of the enteric coating. They have been in the product all along but were not required to be listed until recently! So I imagine that we will be seeing a lot of these ingredients revealed on labels now that regulations require it. Obviously the amount in a single tablet is small, but people who take a variety of coated medications and supplements might be consuming more than desirable. I was not able to find a site dealing with this issue but there must be one out there. Let me know in the comments if you know of a study on the safety of methylene chloride as an ingredient. 

NOTE: Although SAM-e is available without prescription in the USA, persons with bipolar conditions are advised to not take it. (See article.)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

September Update

I apologize for neglecting this blog. Like so many bloggers, I got busy with other things including spending too much time on Facebook. But let me give you an update on my health status, which is not bad compared to what a lot of people suffer.
  1. Heartburn/ Reflux. This is my most annoying health challenge and it continues in spite of various treatments. The prescription drugs did not work for me so my functional doctor suggested dietary changes. They've been hard to follow; the hardest being giving up coffee, even decaf. But I did it and I still have heartburn. One thing that helped for a long time was melatonin, 6 mg. nightly. However, this eventually stopped working. Other treatments that didn't work for me are enzymes (the ones I tried, anyway), probiotics, and lemon juice. 
  2. Overweight. I have struggled with my weight for years. The only diet that worked for me was Atkins but I got so constipated on it that I had to stop. Last year I went on a low-glycemic diet for other health reasons but I quickly gained five pounds and decided to stop. Weight is too hard to lose, so I just don't want to gain any.
  3. Back pain, leg pain and core strength. I'm working with a physical therapist to build core strength. My hope is that this will cut down on back pain, leg pain, and frequent weakness. I do a set of exercises every day and I believe it is helping.
  4. Food allergies and sensitivities. I have more than ever before, and so far there is no cure that works. I have to avoid a long list of foods, which is sometimes impossible when eating in restaurants because even the staff doesn't know what's in everything. Combine this with trying to avoid heartburn and eating is not fun anymore.
  5. Fatigue. It's not as bad as it was a year ago but it's still an issue. 
  6. Depression. Not too bad in the summer because I get plenty of sunshine, but I have to really fight it in the winter. Vitamin D, SAM-e, St. John's Wort, and bright lighting are my wintertime friends.
  7. Sore feet. I get these thick spots on my soles that one doctor calls seed corns. They are painful and have to be removed regularly.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Most Folks Don't Eat Enough Veggies

In a recent poll, 61% of respondents said they eat one or two servings of fruits and vegetables daily, 33% said they eat three or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily, while 6% said they they don't eat fruits and vegetables on a daily basis!

So a majority of Americans are getting much less than the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. Or maybe they don't know what a vegetable is!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

When the State Delays Abortion

State governments sometimes try to interfere with abortion by passing regulations that delay it. Examples are Virginia's proposed ultrasound requirement and various requirements for notifying third parties.

Whenever the government requires a procedure that delays abortion, it is risking an INCREASE in the chance of an embryo feeling pain. Many abortions are performed before the embryo is capable of feeling pain, which is at around 6 weeks after fertilization. Since a woman typically suspects pregnancy between 2 and 3 weeks after fertilization, she has a window of opportunity of only about 3 weeks before the nervous system starts working and the embryo's heart starts beating.

If the state delays abortions by requiring extra processes or tests, it increases the chance that the abortion will cause pain to the embryo or "stop a beating heart." Thus the politicians become party to what they supposedly want to prevent!

If people are serious about not hurting an embryo that is capable of feeling, they should encourage early abortions, not cause them to become later ones!

Of course, this is not what politicians are really concerned about. I realize some of them want to stop abortion altogether. If that's what they want, let them make it easier for women to raise children by guaranteeing that children will not go hungry or otherwise uncared for.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Is Your Fleece Polluting the Ocean?

One more thing to worry about: fibers from polyester and acrylic are polluting the oceans. See
Laundry Lint Pollutes the World's Oceans - ScienceNOW

I'm not a big fan of polyester or acrylic fabrics because they attract static unless you treat them with fabric softener, which to me has an unpleasant odor. But I didn't know that their fibers are showing up in sand all over the world!

I guess if you have these fabrics, you should wash them rarely, which means wearing them less, until we find out how much of a threat this is to marine animals and those who eat them. (That includes ourselves.)