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Tue, 17 Oct 2017
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How Much Vitamin D? What's Missing From the New Recommendations

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© newbedfordguide.com
One day, vitamin D seems like the cure for everything, and the next, we are inundated with warnings about dangers and lack of science. Confusion is rampant about the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI's) for Calcium and Vitamin D recently released from the Institute of Medicine.

I have reviewed the report carefully and gathered input from international experts on vitamin D and the clinical team at my medical center - which includes four master's degrees in nutrition, authors of textbooks on nutrition, and international leaders in nutrition education for physicians and dietitians. Collectively we have 100 years of reviewing nutrition research and applying it with thousands of patients. Here is what I think about the new vitamin D recommendations based on a synthesis of all this information.

Info

Is Butter Healthy?

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© n/a
Ah, butter. The old-fashioned fat. The perfect partner for a baked potato. My misunderstood friend. It's creamy, flavorful, and downright delicious on toast. But is butter healthy?

I started out writing a post on why butter is healthy, and quickly realized the merits of butter are so far-reaching it will take more than one post to even begin to delve into this controversial subject. After all, most of us have been told for decades that butter belongs on the top of the "do not eat" list. It takes more than one simple blog post to undo years of USDA propaganda.

Comment: For more information about Why Butter is Better read what the Weston A. Price Foundation says about nutrition and how butter can be a very healthy part of your diet.


Heart

Broth: A Food That Heals

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© farmersfreshcsa.com
Homemade broth is one of those foods that anyone can make - and a food that everyone should make. Canned broth must have seemed like a great invention at the time, but stocks and broths found on grocery store shelves are devoid of nutrients and real flavor. Large amounts of refined salt and harmful additives like monosodium glutamate (MSG) are usually added to make these more palatable. Real broth made at home is filled with nutritionally valuable trace minerals in their natural state. And nothing can compare with the depth of rich flavor a homemade broth can bring to so many dishes.

The nutritional value of real broth was well-known in ancient cultures and is still revered in traditional communities today. Broth is often viewed as a powerful health elixir which can strengthen the joints and bones, prevent and cure illnesses, and provide ample amounts of energy and stamina. These claims are not antiquated myths, though it may seem like that if you try to cure modern ailments with canned broth. That won't work. But by preparing your own stock the old-fashioned way, you can reap many health benefits from it.

Health

Potential Celiac Patients Show Signs of Disease

Patients who are diagnosed with "potential" celiac disease appear metabolically similar to those who actually have the disease, researchers say.

Among 29 "potential" patients, 24 were classified as having the disease on metabonomic analysis, Ivano Bertini, MD, of the University of Florence in Italy, and colleagues reported in the Journal of Proteome Research.

"Our results demonstrate that metabolic alterations may precede the development of small intestinal villous atrophy and provide a further rationale for early institution of a gluten-free diet," they wrote.

In genetically susceptible patients, celiac disease is triggered by ingestion of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. It has been shown to have a well-defined metabonomic signature, the researchers said.

Often, its clinical symptoms will disappear with a gluten-free diet.

Yet the condition remains underdiagnosed, experts say, partially because some patients who have immunological abnormalities don't show clear celiac disease on jejunal biopsy.

So to determine the metabolic profile of these potential patients, the researchers used magnetic resonance metabolic profiling to analyze the biochemical markers in the blood and urine of 61 patients with celiac disease, 29 with potential disease, and 51 healthy controls.

Magnify

Year of mystery meat: Blogger eats school lunch every day

A forgotten lunch one day turned into part of a movement for national reform

Blame it on the bagel dog.

If not for that sad excuse for an entree, the blogger known as Mrs. Q might never have gotten so disgusted with school lunches that she decided to show the world how bad they are. She never would have eaten, photographed and blogged about 160 elementary-school lunches - one per school day for the past year. She never would have attracted the attention of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and food activist Marian Nestle.

And Mrs. Q (who hides her identity to protect her job) might have gone on thinking that school lunch is "just food." Instead, she told TODAYshow.com, "I have learned that food is personal, food is life, food is health."

Red Flag

Not Soy Fast

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© ryoryozo via Flickr
Thanks to Michael Pollan, many Americans are now aware that when a food boasts a health claim it usually means it's actually not that healthy after all. But there's one food that consistently flies below the radar despite its numerous health claims when found in processed and packaged foods: Soy. A long-time staple in the American health food repertoire, it is a prominent example of Pollan's observation. And the research is mounting that soy foods are not only questionable in terms of their benefits, but in fact, may be hazardous to your health.

Most recently, the Cornucopia Institute conducted research on the processing of soy foods and found that the industry commonly uses hexane - a petroleum-based solvent and known neurotoxin - to process soy ingredients found in many "natural" food products.

Thanks to their research and consumer concern, the Cornucopia Institute announced last week that some companies have voluntarily changed their processing practices and eliminated hexane from their products. Unfortunately, there are still well over two dozen "all-natural" nutrition bars and veggie burgers that still use hexane to process soy.

Info

Mythbusting: Cheap Food Does Not Equal a Higher Quality of Life

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© wayfaring.info
For decades, the federal government has watched idly while a few gigantic companies grabbed ever-greater control of the food industry. As big players gobble smaller ones, they concentrate power at the top of the food chain -- and apply relentless pressure to cut costs, giving rise to many of the things I hate about the food system. Workers, farmers, the environment, animals, public health -- all get abused so that mega-retailers like Walmart, meat producers like Smithfield, and corn processors like Cargill can keep costs down while profitably selling cheap food.

Well, in a sharp break from its predecessors, the Obama Justice Department is actually acknowledging the problem and contemplating actually doing something about it. The DOJ has been holding public meetings to let players in the food system air out their views on the issue.

I will be very surprised - and very pleasantly so - if anything substantial comes of the exercise. But it's fascinating to watch it play out.

Video

Canadians Vote Against Fluoridated Water Supplies


The residents of Waterloo, Ontario in Canada have voted to stop adding fluoride to their water supply. The decision has been welcomed by anti-fluoride campaigners.

The incoming head of the Ontario Dental Association, Dr. Harry Hoediono, has condemned the decision, claiming that people are unaware of the dental health benefits of fluoride. Campaigners against fluoride believe that adding the chemical to the water supply can cause health problems including cancer, thyroid disease and arthritis.

Cosmetic Dentistry Guide reports:
"Most councilors... voted in favor of stopping [fluoridation] to support public opinion... health officials had failed to run an effective campaign".
Sources

Cosmetic Dentistry Guide November 18, 2010

Fluoride Action Network

Book

Sandra Steingraber: There's a Taboo about Telling Industry and Agriculture that Practices must Change to Prevent Cancer

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© Goodreads.com
Having survived cancer, biologist Sandra Steingraber wrote a book to expose its link to the environment. As the film version premieres in Europe, she tells the Ecologist why we must all take a stand on air, food and water pollution.

The environment and cancer seems like an overwhelming and depressing problem, but its root causes are the same as those that are killing the planet.


Matilda Lee: Can you briefly explain the idea behind your book and film Living Downstream?

Sandra Steingraber: It represents my best attempts as a biologist to summarize the state of the evidence for the link between cancer and the environment. At the same time, as a cancer patient myself, it tells my own story of my diagnosis, aged 20, with bladder cancer, which has known links to the environment.

It's a personal memoir, and interwoven between the scientific analysis is a story about my return home as a woman in my 30s, a biologist investigating the environmental toxins in her home town. You see the story of my family, who still farm in Illinois and still use some toxic pesticides; the story of the industrial chemicals that leaked into the drinking water wells there. I really went in search of my own ecological roots and became an environmental detective.

I discovered that there is a cancer cluster where I grew up and I'm one data point in that cluster. But I also care for the other people who live there, and I care for the river and the farm fields. It's a kind of love story between me and this place, but at the same time it's a scientific analysis.

Health

Are These Dangerous Drugs in Your Medicine Chest?

© Martha Rosenberg
Humans are the real guinea pigs

Since direct-to-consumer drug advertising was legalized 13 years ago, Americans have become a nation of pill poppers -- choosing the type of drug they desire like a new toothpaste, sometimes whether or not they need it.

But if patients want the drugs, doctors and pharma executives want them to have them and media gets full page ads and huge TV flights (when many advertisers have dried up), is the national pillathon really a problem?

Yes, when you consider the cost of private and government insurance (Medicare's budget is bigger than the Pentagon's) and the health of patients who take dangerous drugs like these.