Friday, December 31, 2010

Childbirth deaths from regional anesthesia rising

From Reuters:

Researchers stress that such deaths remain rare. But they also say the results point to an area where anesthesia can be made safer for women.
In the new study, researchers found that between 1979 and 2002, childbirth deaths related to any anesthesia complication dropped by 59% among U.S. women.
Per million live births, there were three anesthesia deaths between 1979 and 1990, vs just over one between 1991 and 2002, the researchers reported online December 20th in Obstetrics & Gynecology.
However, while deaths related to general anesthesia kept falling in the 1990s, deaths related to regional anesthesia rose slightly, from 2.5 deaths for every million C-sections in 1991-1996 to 3.8 per million in 1997- 2002.
"It is concerning," said lead researcher Dr. Joy L. Hawkins, of the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora.
For their study, she and her colleagues used a U.S. government database that collects information on pregnancy-related deaths nationwide. Between 1991 and 2002, the system received 56 reports of anesthesia-related deaths during childbirth.
Most of the women who died - 48 of the 56 -- had undergone a C-section. In the rest of the cases, the type of delivery was not reported.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How to naturally increase progesterone

Does your menses start before 14 days have past following ovulation?  If so, you may have something called Luteal Phase Defect, which has to do with insufficient progesterone.  PRO-GEST erone as you can probably guess, is necessary for nurture a pregnancy.  Your doctor can take an endometrial biopsy to look at your levels, but what might be simpler is looking at you basal temps and seeing if they  are falling too quickly post-ov.

The good news is, you can supplement with vaginal suppositories (need your doctor to write you a script) and there are many herbs such as wild yam that can help and there are foods that will help.  Here's a great article on the food, which includes things like soy, walnuts, etc:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Newest Research on treating Breast cancer During Pregnancy

I actually know a few women who had cancer and pregnancy discoveries at the same time: 

From Newswise, the journalists'-only site:

Newswise — Do not delay treatment of breast cancer just because a woman is pregnant, said lead researcher Sibylle Loibl, Dr. med, of the German Breast Group.
This suggestion is based on study results detailing the effects of different treatment options on the infant. Loibl presented this data at the 33rd Annual CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 8-12, 2010.
“At the time we started the study in 2003, there was hardly any information on breast cancer therapy during pregnancy, but we felt there was a medical need for it,” she said.
Although the incidence of pregnancy among breast cancer patients is small (about 2 to 3 percent), women are delaying childbirth until later in age, which may increase the instances of cancer cases among pregnant women, according to Loibl.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Swine flu vaccine causing miscarriages?

I'm not a big fan of vaccines in/around pregnancy because your body is going through so many intense hormonal changes.  Here's an article you might want to read about the H1N1 vaccine being implicated in miscarriages.  In our area the H1N1 vaccine is mixed into the "regular" flu vaccine. 

p.s. because my husband and I teach at a college, we get "free" flu vaccines, which we used to totally take advantage of.  We've stopped in the past 5 years and have interestingly not only not gotten the flu, but been healthier than even, even as our students sneeze on us...buyer beware!

(NaturalNews) Recent data presented to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Advisory Committee on Children's Vaccines has revealed some shocking information about the effects of the H1N1 / swine flu vaccine on pregnant women. According to the report, the rate of miscarriage among pregnant women during the 2009 H1N1 / swine flu pandemic soared by over 700 percent compared to previous years, pointing directly to the vaccine as the culprit -- but the CDC denies the truth and continues to insist nobody has been harmed.

According to the CDC, nearly 50 percent of all pregnant women were vaccinated with the H1N1 vaccine during the 2009 / 2010 influenza season. Those whose physicians instructed them to get a seasonal flu shot were three times more likely to get it, while those instructed specifically to get the H1N1 shot were ten times more likely to get it. And the numbers clearly show that along with the rise in vaccinations due to the H1N1 scare came the sharp increase in miscarriages, including a slew of actual reported adverse events.

Learn more:

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Even LOW doses BPA in plastics disrupts fertility

Another reason you MUST avoid any products with  Bisphenol-A (found in soft plastics) if you want to get pregnant and have a healthy pregnancy!

The latest fresh off the press from Newswise, the journalists'-only news site:

Newswise — Exposure to a ubiquitous environmental chemical during pregnancy may impair reproductive capacity of female offspring, according to a study published online in advance of print on December 2 in Environmental Health Perspectives. Fertility decreased over time in female mice that had been exposed during fetal and neonatal (perinatal) development to doses of bisphenol-A (BPA) that were lower than or equal to human environmental exposure levels.

Mice exposed to BPA in the womb and during nursing subsequently had fewer successful pregnancies and delivered fewer pups over the course of the study,” reported one of the study’s co-senior authors, Ana M. Soto, MD, professor of anatomy and cellular biology at Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) and member of the cell, molecular and developmental biology program faculty at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Better than plastic surgery?

For reasons I will reveal in good time, I was attending a medical conference where a Brazilian dermatologist gave a presentation on how people could skip all the expensive plastic surgery procedures for things like stretch marks (and baldness, acne, WRINKLES!) by using this nifty little implement called a Derma roller than makes tiny little "injuries" (no blood, though) with tiny little needles that you roll on whatever part of the skin you are interested in healing and the skin produced more circulation and collagen in the process. 

This intrigued me because of some of the slides she showed and also because my father, an acupuncturist, had a little device that looked a lot like that.  I was also surprised to find, after talking to her after, that you can easily buy these devices online such as this FDA approved one here.  I have ordered one and found it a little annoyingly painful on my face, but pleasantly tingly on my stretch marks and scalp.  Too soon to see if it works BUT it's totally non invasive. 

The other advice I received from the derm is to look out for the needle size.  For the scalp you should never go longer than 1.5mm.  For sensitive skin, you will need to go shorter, for results for tough stuff like stretchmarks, you'll need to go longer, up to 3.0 mm.  Again, this is not medical advice but just  passing on some kwoledge I picked up. 

If anyone else tries this, please report back! 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Toothpaste has that same stuff in hand sanitizer

Great, now toothpaste manufacturers are adding Triclosan, a chemical that is banned in Europe, to toothpaste and it may be causing (1) superbugs and (2) is an endocrine disruptor (a BIG no-no for fertility).  Also, you NEED good bugs in your mouth, they balance out the bad ones.  This whole suuper-disinfecting thing (using ammonia on meat, bleach on veggies) is getting a little out of hand.  For fast whitening and freshness, use baking soda (read secret to white teeth here) !  No one needs toothpaste. 

From the UK's Daily Mail:

For it seems an antibacterial chemical commonly added to toothpaste, including Colgate's Total range, may pose a threat to health. It is also widely used in handwashes and cosmetics.
The EU's Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety has warned that triclosan may promote widespread bacterial resistance to antibiotics and has called for further safety studies.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration is worried about bacterial resistance, as well as evidence that the chemical is a hormone disruptor.

Read more:

read more about how toothpaste is spreading superbugs and disrupting your hormones here.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Ultrasound risks for female babies

I'm  not a big fan of ultrasound in general, being into energy medicine, but also check this out:

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Sep 23 - Using ultrasound to gauge gestational age could put late-term female fetuses at risk of poor outcomes and even death, a new study from Sweden shows.
Indeed, up to a third of stillbirths among girls born post-term could be due to inaccuracies in these estimates, the researchers conclude.
Since the early 1990s, doctors have used second-trimester ultrasound measurements to determine the age of a fetus and estimate when the baby will be born, Dr. Alkistis Skalkidou of Uppsala Universitet and colleagues note in their paper, published online August 27th in Epidemiology.
But female fetuses, even at the end of the first trimester of pregnancy, are smaller than male fetuses, on average, Dr. Skalkidou and colleagues add, raising the possibility that a smaller, post-term female fetus could be misclassified as having a younger gestational age based on ultrasound measurements.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Test to see if you're a good candidate for in vitro (IVF)

This is important news.  I remember friends getting more and more IVFs, no one telling them that it was unlikely it would work (age, health issues).  Now scientists have discovered a test that gave fairly accurately give you and idea:

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Stanford University researchers have developed a test to determine whether a patient is likely to conceive a child through in vitro fertilization - a breakthrough that could save women tens of thousands of dollars in fruitless procedures, as well as the heartbreak of failed treatment.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Blood Type Diet

Morning folks,

I became interested in the Blood Type Diet when I read (and saw, experimentally with my friends) that most autistic/vaccine damaged kids are Type A, which is also prone to inflammatory autoimmune diseases, of which I, as a TypeA-er, have.  In addition the broad outlines: eat less meat, more vegetarian; avoid scary/violent movies and crowds; don't a bunch of other things were already things I didn't like to do (e.g., have been a vegetarian for a long time, never been crazy about meat, HATE and cannot watch violent movies), so I'm trying this diet that suggests foods that are good and bad for you.

For instance, since type As don't produce enough HCL in the stomach, digestion-friendly foods like a glass of red wine and a cup of coffee actually can be beneficial.  Whoopee!  My chiro's office even had a good on Blood Type Diet and FERTILITY.  Will check that out, and check back for updates.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Chemical in breakfast cereal

Petroleum products are here, there, everywhere, even if you don't live in the Gulf.  The Washington Post reports via Planet green:

Federal regulators, who are charged with ensuring the safety of food and consumer products, are in the dark about the suspected chemical, 2-methylnaphthalene. The Food and Drug Administration has no scientific data on its impact on human health. The Environmental Protection Agency also lacks basic health and safety data for 2-methylnaphthalene -- even though the EPA has been seeking that information from the chemical industry for 16 years.
Read more here.  

How to avoid these awful contaminants?  Buy real food from people you know, make what you need.  I have a chicken stock bubbling on the stove right now from a chicken I helped to gut and clean, veggies from the same organic farm--and it's all the parts of the veggies we could have discarded.  And it smells heavenly!  

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

B Vitamins Help Aging Brain

Horrible story in the New York Times today about how Eli Lilly's new alzheimer's drug made people have MORE cognitive decline than the placebo--oops!

But there is something simple to improve your brain  health AND your fertility.  B vitamins!  Folate, for instance, can help with depression in women as well as prevent neural tube defects in babies.  Check out this article from Newswise: 

Newswise — B vitamins–B-6, B-12 and folate–all nourish the brain. But much remains to be discovered about the relation between these essential nutrients and our brainpower.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutritionist Lindsay H. Allen has collaborated in ongoing research that has taken a closer look at the role these nutrients may play in preventing decline in brain function. The investigations, led by Mary N. Haan of the University of California-San Francisco, are part of the multiyear Sacramento (Calif.) Area Latino Study on Aging, or “SALSA.” Begun in 1996, the study attracted nearly 1,800 Hispanic seniors, ages 60 to 101, as volunteers...

An analysis of volunteers’ blood samples showed that lower levels of one B vitamin, folate, were associated with symptoms of dementia and poor brain function, also called “cognitive decline," as determined by standard tests of memory and other factors. The impairments were detectable even though less than 1 percent of the volunteers were actually deficient in folate....

In women, but not men, low levels of folate were associated with symptoms of depression. In fact, female volunteers whose plasma folate levels were in the lowest third were more than twice as likely to have symptoms of depression as volunteers in the highest third. That finding provided new evidence of an association between lower blood folate and depression. Depression is already known to affect brain function.

In research with vitamin B-12, the SALSA team determined that a protein known as holoTC, short for holotranscobalamin, might be key to a new approach for detecting cognitive decline earlier and more accurately.
The researchers have published these and other findings, beginning in 2003 and continuing through

this year, in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, The Journal of Nutrition, and The Journal of Nutrition, Health, and Aging.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

3 Things you Think Are Bad for You Are Actually Good For You

My friend asked me to submit a "3 Things Thursday" for her blog (which is being turned into a book!) on farming and healthy eating.  These three surprising things should help your health and fertility.  Got a lot of feedback from my healthy (and fertile!) Korean American friends, who totally agree.

Monday, August 16, 2010

3 chemicals in your environment that can affect your baby's thyroid

Another great article from Mary Shomon (I *highly* advise you to subscribe to her newsletter if you are ttc, have thyroid disease or are a woman--I'm not kidding!)

New research reported on in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives has found that three common contaminants can affect thyroid hormone levels in infants.

The three contaminants -- perchlorate, nitrate and thiocyanate - are found in water, food and tobacco smoke. The research found that exposure to these pollutants blocks iodine uptake, and results in elevated levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), which can be a sign of hypothyroidism -- an underactive/slowed thyroid function.

read more here.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Chances Of Pregnancy Diminish After Multiple Attempts Using Same Fertility Treatment

This is SO interesting, Check it out and MAKE sure you optimize every cycle of whatever you're doing: make sure you have been following good nutrition practices (e.g., getting a prenatal vitamin with plenty of folic acid), consider using acupuncture before AND after your treatment, get enough sleep, detox, etc. Instead of rushing to do it sooner, it may pay to try to wait until you're ready and in optimal health.

Chances Of Pregnancy Diminish After Multiple Attempts Using Same Fertility Treatment, Study Finds
Main Category: Fertility
Also Included In: Women's Health / Gynecology
Article Date: 09 Aug 2010

The probability that a woman will become pregnant decreases after two or three failed attempts using the same fertility treatment, according to a new study in Fertility and Sterility that offers insight into how many treatment cycles doctors should offer before trying another tactic, Reuters reports.

For the study -- which involved 408 couples at eight infertility centers -- researchers at the University of California-San Francisco analyzed the success rates of three infertility treatments: fertility drugs, intrauterine insemination and in-vitro fertilization. Of the participating couples, 21% did not undergo any of the three treatments. The total pregnancy rate across the group was 28% over 18 months.

Couples who underwent one to two cycles of fertility-drug treatment had a pregnancy rate of 85%, while IUI couples and IVF couples had success rates of 71% and 59%, respectively, after one attempt. However, according to Reuters, "the advantage of each of the three treatments declined after a certain number of attempts." For example, six couples who received three or more rounds of fertility drugs had a pregnancy rate of 29%, while 35% of the 52 couples who attempted IVF three or more times achieved pregnancy.

The findings show that individual fertility treatments have "diminishing success" over time, according to lead author James Smith, an assistant professor of urology at UCSF. Smith suggested that "[i]f couples are not getting pregnant after several cycles of each, a change to a different strategy is probably warranted" (Norton, Reuters, 8/4).

Reprinted with kind permission from You can view the entire Daily Women's Health Policy Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery here. The Daily Women's Health Policy Report is a free service of the National Partnership for Women & Families.

© 2010 National Partnership for Women & Families. All rights reserved.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Bone Marrow Donation

Hi folks,

I received an interesting call (which I have to admit, subsequent ones I ducked the first couple of times after I heard the message) that I am a bone marrow match for a 24-year-old man with active lymphoblastic leukemia.

I registered as a donor ALMOST 20 YEARS ago with the Cammy Lee Foundation, a foundation set up to find more Asian American donors (AAs sadly have a low registration rate) and of course in the back of my mind I thought I'd NEVER get called.

Now I'm married and have a special needs child, as most of you know, and the stakes are somewhat different, and some relatives are worried. But after having the initial intake interview and being made aware of the risks and possible side effects as well as being laid up (they take the marrow out of your pelvis) for a few days, I have given my consent, and my husband is being super supportive.

Of course, I am also interested in WHY SO MANY YOUNG PEOPLE ARE GETTING CANCER. I think we know the answer to this, at least in part: chemicals.

But in the meantime, time to concentrate on one person. And by the way, Cammy Lee, the pediatric leukemia patient DID find a match through her foundation!

If you want to register (they no longer need to take your blood, it's just a cheek swab!):

Cammy Lee Foundation

National Bone Marrow registry

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dioxins in menstrual products

I'm traveling right now, and while I normally use organic pads (see here why you should avoid tampons), I had a limited amt of baggage so so thought I'd just buy some form the drugstore. I know they have dioxin and bleach and icky things, but the absorption is much less than using tampons and I thought, just this once...

But then I saw this article, and next time, I am going to trek to the health food store and, if I must use disposables, get dioxin free natural pads. Ugh.

Dioxin & Feminine Hygiene Products

According to a February 2000 report from the Food & Drug Administration, tampons and feminine hygiene products currently sold in the U.S. are made of cotton, rayon, or blends of rayon and cotton. Even though these products are now produced using elemental chlorine-free or totally chlorine free bleaching processes, these methods can still generate dioxins at "trace levels." Thus, there may be low amounts of dioxin present from environmental sources in cotton, rayon, or rayon/cotton tampons and feminine hygiene products. By contrast, a report released by The US Environmental Protection Agency clearly describes dioxin as a serious public health threat. The EPA report states, there is no "safe" level of exposure to dioxin - even trace amounts are a risk. Further, the EPA report confirmed that dioxin is "a cancer hazard to people;" that exposure to dioxin can also cause severe reproductive and developmental problems (at levels 100 times lower than those associated with its cancer causing effects); and that dioxin can cause immune system damage and interfere with regulatory hormones.

Dioxin exposure to women in particular, poses additional risks than just that of their own health: it crosses the placenta into the growing infant and is also present in the fatty breast milk, thereby exposing the child.

Evidence of dioxin as a catalyst for Endometriosis has been well-documented. In a 1996 Environmental Protection Agency study, dioxin exposure was linked with increased risks for Endometriosis, as well as the increased risks of pelvic inflammatory disease, reduction of fertility, and interference with normal fetal and childhood development. The EPA conclusions regarding dioxin exposure are particularly alarming in light of a 1989 Food and Drug Administration report, which stated that "possible exposures from all other medical device sources would be dwarfed by the potential tampon exposure." Dr. Philip Tierno, Jr., Director of Clinical Microbiology and Diagnostic Immunology at New York University Medical Center states that "dioxins, though they exist in the environment, have a worse effect when they contact mucous surfaces like the vagina."

Read more about how dioxin levels in menstrual products--and playground sand, thanks, Jack Welch!) are almost ENTIRELY UNREGULATED and what they found when they tested some Playtex tampons: click here for UGH.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fertility treatments up risk of cerebral palsy

Unfortunately with artificial fertiltiy techniques, it's hard to tell some of the side effects until enough people have done them to see a pattern and/or the kids have grown old enough. Here's an article on ART and risk of cerebral palsy:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Military Small Pox Vax can sexually transmit live virus

I had to get a postpartum MMR shot, and I remember being reassured the LIVE VIRUSES would not be transmitted to my sweet newborn--there's a reason people wash their hands before holding babies: they don't have a working immune system.

Then my friend contradicted this, telling me that a recently MMR'd person was not allowed near a family member with leukemia due to transmission worries. So I looked it up in the Physician's Desk Reference, and yep, there is was--MMR can be transmitted via respiration AND breast milk. GAHHHHH.

Part of the problem is, we don't really know what vaccines do, besides the antibody thing, and we don't really care. Here's a case of the smallpox vax infecting a sexual partner, and what does the doctor do? Even though she tells him about the vax, he only tests her for STDs?

Military folks (the only ones who really get the smallpox vaccine these days) andt hose who have sex with them watch OUT:

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- After having sex with a soldier recently vaccinated against smallpox, a young woman in Washington state developed an illness caused by the vaccinia virus used in the shot, U.S. health officials report.

This type of viral transmission, while rare, is not unheard of, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

read more here.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Flame retardants can harm your thyroid and pregnancy

Gah, 10 years ago we got rid of our carpets and brand new couch when we were about PBDEs, the common flame retardant. The stupid thing is, as we heard from our friend who is a furniture maker, that PBDEs make stuff burn A FEW SECONDS slower than untreated stuff and then you have the fumes. So basically the flame retardants do nothing.

So we bought new stuff from IKEA because PBDEs are banned in Europe. However, I've heard lately that because of US reg's IKEA stuff now reeks because they have special US-export pieces that they impregnate.

One of the horrible things the PBDEs do is disrupt your endocrine system, including your thyroid. Interestingly, both my cat and I developed thyroid problems in the house where we had the new stuff (PBDEs degrade/outgas over time). Especially if you're pregnant now you might want to read about how PBDEs can affect your pregnancy. From Pubmed:

Polybrominated Diphenylether (PBDE) Flame Retardants and Thyroid Hormone during Pregnancy.


Saturday, July 03, 2010

Happy 4th

I hope everyone has a happy, safe Fourth. With my parents being immigrants, they took the Fourth very seriously. I remember even traveling to NYC to celebrate the Bicentennial.

That said, while holidays are a nice time to get together, the weather's usually right for BBQ, is anyone else weirded out about the quasi-flag/patriotism worship this holiday engenders, as kind of a knee-jerk thing? It makes me wonder if this is one of those subtle things that sets up thinking apart as opposed to being part of a larger world.

For instance, Koreans probably have to be as patriotic and love their country as much as anyone. But to envision a holiday celebrating the country, and feeling compelled to fly a flag AND eat and bake renditions of it, would seem really strange, maybe pompous, too.

Sorry if I'm a stick in the mud. But if you're the type who really, really likes an excuse to eat a lot of red and blue food coloring, here's a whole slew of "patriotic" foods to choose from, couresty of the Huffington Post.

Sorry, wrong Twitter account

I was wondering where this feed of all this K-Pop (Korean-pop) stuff was coming from. Some other user has my old Twitter handle and my name, "MyungOk."

Please follow me as MarieLee_Writer. I post a lot of the quicker, more urgent health news here as time permits.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Immunity and pregnancy

I've already written a million times about my late-great immunologist, Dr. Alan Beer, who put together many of my underlying health mysteries; Chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme, secondary infertility. The infertility community, like many medical communities, can be very closed and resistant to change--and why? Just like with cancer, their success rates are lousy. I always felt bac about how Dr. Beer was so hounded at the end of his life when all he wanted to do was help (and many of my allergy symptoms and CFS improved quite dramatically on his fertility regimen).

But I even remember my local OB saying "He's a charlatan!" And of course not even know what he was talking about. Interestingly, much of the science in a lot of illness and dysfunction is coming back to the immune system. This is from Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (May 29, 2010) — Researchers at Yale School of Medicine and their colleagues at the Society for the Investigation of Early Pregnancy have helped clarify the function of a unique protein called Preimplantation Factor, which is produced by healthy embryos to direct embryo attachment and help the mother adapt to pregnancy.

These findings are published fast track for the benefit of the scientific community in the current issue of American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. They were first presented orally in February at the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine Scientific Meetings in Chicago by lead author Michael J. Paidas, M.D., associate professor and co-director of the Yale Women and Children's Center for Blood Disorders.

The research showed that Preimplantation Factor modulates maternal immunity, promotes attachment of the early embryo, and influences remodeling of uterine cells.

read more here.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Natural Hair Products that Actually Work II

I love almost everything about the Sea Chi line, which is made with real raw organic kombucha and love by its owner.

Her peppermint shampoo makes your scalp feel nice and tingly, it balances you out, and I am actually trying to wash my hair as little as possible, as a dab will do it.

More info here.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sunscreens with acceptable amounts of chemical glop

I actually don't use sunscreen for myself or the family--hard to get Vit D as it is, we've managed to escape burns even at the beach. But if you do, it's important to find a sunscreen without chemicals OR "supplemental" add-ins like Vitamin A that sounds good but may actually make the sun's rays MORE cancerous! Environmental Working Group did a thorough study and sadly found few to recommend but here's the whole report.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Natural Hair Products that Actually work

Yes, if you follow this blog you must have read the zillion posts about all the endocrine-disrupting, cancer-causing, caustic chemicals in our lovely haircare products, many chemicals that are banned in places like Europe. I also loved how BP couched the safety of its chemical dispersant (hello, also banned in Europe) but NOT wanting to tell us what's in it but assuring us it's the same stuff as in a lot of "household products." E.g., lye, antifreeze, etc.

I have hair that can turn frizzy in humidity, but no silicone gel things for me. Unfortunately a lot of natural products just turn goopy, heavy, or attract dust. I tried a lot of things and found that a lot of the "natural" stuff that sort of worked actually had chemicals like dimethicone, etc., in it--cheaters!

However, here's a product that I love and that helps condition your hair:

john masters organics Shine On Leave-In Treatment for Supernatural Shine & Softness 4 oz (113 g)

It's made of seaweed and super conditioning carrot oil, and the more you use it, the more conditioned your hair becomes, instead of just laying on more chemicals and junk. It also adds volume and makes your hair not only look healthier but actually healthier. It's a bit pricey, but a little goes a long way.

Okay, you cannot expect it to work like a silicone-based creme, but this is really good, trust me.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Antiradiation Shield means there be Radiation, right?

Um, should we be worried about radiation from out computers if now all these companies are making New York Times approved antiradiation shields for pregnant women? Should computers come with warning labels?

From the New York Times (small item in Sunday Times, also from the Gadgetwise blog):

Belly Armor, based in Singapore and New York, makes blankets and T-shirts for expectant mothers from a conductive textile made of fibers and metal. This creates a barrier much like a Faraday cage, a metal enclosure that protects those inside it from radiation.The idea is to neutralize environmental radiation before it reaches the fetus.

Belly Armor is available online and in stores in Asia, and will appear next month in some maternity boutiques in the United States.

read more here.

Friday, June 04, 2010

High Doses of Vitamin D may help protect pregnancy

Vitamin D is in the news for all sorts of things--cancer, osteoporosis. Wow, it's thought pregnant women should get *10* times the former recommendation. From Medscape:

May 5, 2010 — Women who take high doses of vitamin D during pregnancy have a greatly reduced risk of complications, including gestational diabetes, preterm birth, and infection, new research suggests.

Based on the findings, study researchers are recommending that pregnant women take 4,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D every day -- at least 10 times the amount recommended by various health groups.

read more here.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Toddlers now on psychiatric drugs

It's a little bit strange to me that uninformed random commenters often pillory me for using medical cannabis (read more here) with our son, as "it might screw up his brain." Cannabis has been used for thousands of years, including for things like labor pains, and it's about as safe as safe gets.

Now kids as young as two are being put on powerful antipsychotics, for which NO ONE knows the long-term effects. Also, someone here at Brown was actually cataloging pediatric DEATHS from these kinds of drugs (I think they were up to 45). From Natural News:

(NaturalNews) Children between the ages of two and five are being treated with antipsychotics at twice the rate they were ten years ago, according to a study conducted by researchers from Columbia University and published in the journal Health Affairs.

"It is a worrisome trend, partly because very little is known about the short-term, let alone the long-term, safety of these drugs in this age group," researchers Mark Olfson said.

Although a handful of antipsychotics have been approved by the FDA for use in children, they are intended for older children because few if any studies have been conducted into the effectiveness or safety of the drugs in younger children.

read more here.

Monday, May 31, 2010

How your Primary Doc Makes a Referral to a Specialist--the reason may NOT be what you expect

When your primary care doc finds something concerning, alarming, or otherwise worthy of further perusal, you assume the specialist he/she is sending you to is a product of much thought, concern, and motivated by sending you to the "best" person, after all your, primary doc should know.

Actually, there may be a lot of reasons (akin to the "free pens" from the pharma reps) why your doc might send you somewhere, and reasons that have nothing to do with medicine and your condition.

This doctor tells us:

Here are some reasons, beyond medical quality, why certain medical specialists are chosen.

• Reciprocity –- patients are referred in both directions
• Personal relationships
• Corporate enforcement keeping consultations within the network
• Economic pressure exerted by consultants to maintain referrals. I have seen this happen.
• Specialist willingness to do tests and procedures on request
• Habit
• Patient or family request

That is, you might serve yourself a little better by doing some research on your OWN and seeing how things compare instead of immediately being sent to the guy's goofball neer-do-well brother-in-law who will supposedly figure out what that suspicious lump is.

Read more here.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hidden (not to me!) Risks of Egg Donations/IVF

They recently had a big article in the New York Times about the soaring prices infertile couples are paying for eggs...again, little mention of the possible long-term side effects of the repeated blasts of synthetic hormones. Over the years I've noticed women who've publicly shared their infertility journies, and I've noted that a lot of women who undergo IVF, especially if it fails, seem to develop ovarian cancer (a stated risk of ovarian stimulating drugs, for obvious reasons). Interested to see I'm not the only one keeping track. Here's a letter published in response to the article:

Dear Editor:

Re “Payment Offers to Egg Donors Prompt Scrutiny” (May 11): After postwar physicians routinely placed pregnant women at risk for miscarriage on diethylstilbestrol, it took decades before the deadly effects of that synthetic hormone were uncovered.

Without long-term follow up, it is simply not possible to offer potential egg donors a truly informed consent about the long-term risks of taking the powerful synthetic hormones associated with the egg retrieval process. Yet, there is no effort now under way to establish a registry to find out what the long-term risks are. Why is that?

Consider what happened to magazine editor Liz Tilberis, comedian-actor Gilda Radner, playwright Wendy Wasserstein and many other women who underwent hyperstimulation and died of cancer in the prime of their lives. Shouldn’t we first attempt to provide a full informed consent before financially encouraging women to take powerful hormones?

Diane Beeson

Tina Stevens

San Francisco

More reading on egg donation with some interesting firsthand comments here:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

ADHD Kids have high levels of Pesticides

Look, we already know that pesticides are probably implicated in Parkinsons and many cancers. This is HUGE news. Need better motivation to go organic?

From Medpage:

Children with greater exposure to organophosphate pesticides appear to have an increased risk of developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a cross-sectional study showed.

A 10-fold increase in the concentration of the most common dialkyl phosphate metabolites -- a measure of organophosphate exposure -- was associated with a 1.55-fold increase in the odds of having ADHD (OR 1.55, 95% CI 1.14 to 2.10), according to Maryse Bouchard, PhD, of the University of Montreal, and colleagues.

read more here.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Don't take these herbs with these drugs

Herbs can actually interfere with some prescription drugs, so watch out for

ST. John's Wort - Don't take with antidepressants--can cause serotonin syndrome

Turmeric - Don't take with blood thinners like Coumadin (wafarin)

Licorice - Don't take with diuretics for high blood pressure.

Feverfew - Don't take if you have allergies to ragweek, don't take with blood thinners

Monday, May 03, 2010

Freakishly obese the new norm

On my flight yesterday, I saw between two men who were AT LEAST this large. This is what "freakishly obese" looks like now:

"Chauncy Morlan (1869-1906) who, because of his 'freakish' weight, people once paid good money to see as he toured Europe and America with the Barnum & Bailey circus".


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

More coffee news

More on my coffee abstinence experiment soon. But in the meantime:

Studies have been showing that coffee seems to ward off dementia by helping regulating insulin. Now it might even dissolve amyloid plaques, the gunk that causes Alzheimer's...

read more here.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spanish translation of prescription med instructions can be deadly!

I didn't realize most pharmacies use COMPUTER translation programs to translated Rx directions. Not a good idea. Also, using a mix of Spanish and English (Spanglish) results in some inadvertent problems:


The use of "Spanglish" also created some potentially dangerous situations. For example, the word "once" means "eleven" in Spanish. "You mean to say 'once,' as in 'take once a day,' and a Spanish-speaking person could interpret that to mean 'eleven,'" Sharif said. Such a mistake could result in an overdose.

read more here.

Friday, April 09, 2010

THYROID: Really Low TSH likely OK in pregnancy

My lovely fertility doctor, the late Dr. Alan Beer, was TOTALLY ahead of his time, and people in the medical community gave him SO much grief for it. For one thing, he advocated a preconception TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone--common test of thyroid function) of less that 2 (5 is considered "normal"). I usually feel best a 1.5 or below, so this was great news. But I remember one of my HARVARD endocrinologists yelling at me, saying I was going to have heart problems, etc, and refusing to let my TSH get lower than 5...while trying to get me to take Clomid!

I found a new endo and now feel pretty good, because he follows Dr. Beer's theories. Interestingly, I worked in a clinic for pregnant women and saw all sortsr of charts of women who DIDN'T have thyroid disease, a LOTS of them, in fact most, had TSH of around 0.5. So there you go.

Anyway, now a study tracking women with so-called "subclinical hyperthyroidism" had the same pregnancy outcomes as people without disease. So don't be afraid to push your endo to get your levels down to where YOU feel better. And also, consider taking "natural" (e.g., Armour) thyroid rather than synthetic. The Harvard endo and I battled about this, too. Glad I'm not with her anymore. Also, the natural thyroid doesn't have dyes in it...yay.

Read the study here.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Not so safe or effective drugs...why do we take them?

Since I'm a quasi health journalist, I'm on a lot of wire services, etc., and see so many announcements like this go by. Why do we even take most drugs, I wonder? Also, atrial fibrillation (something that I have) is actually benign. I've learned to control it with stress reduction. My mother was put on drugs that made her hair fall out--for forty years--and she still gets palpitations, too. There you go:

Controversial Arrhythmia Drug Provides Only Modest Efficacy and No Clear Safety Benefits
In a rigorous new review of the antiarrhythmic drug dronedarone (Multaq), researchers at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute conclude that the controversial drug is only modestly effective and has no clear safety benefits. The review, to be published in the April 23 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, assessed data on dronedarone submitted during the drug's FDA approval process and determined that dronedarone is 50 percent less effective than amiodarone (Cordarone), a frequently used treatment for atrial fibrillation, a common type of heart rhythm disorder. (Embargo expired on 05-Apr-2010 at 17:00 ET)
Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 23-Apr-2010

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Men's sexual satisfaction depends on health, not Viagra

This is an interesting conclusion from a recent study at the University of Chicago: "Sexual activity, good quality sexual life, and interest in sex were higher for men than for women and this gender gap widened with age. Sexual activity, quality of sexual life, and interest in sex were positively associated with health in middle age and later life. Sexually active life expectancy was longer for men, but men lost more years of sexually active life as a result of poor health than women."

There is also some evidence that sex (didn't say exactly what kind, if it meant just orgasm, etc.) might do positive things for your immune system. I suppose this might be the next excuse celebrity philanderers trot out, "I just wanted to help my immune system!"

read more here.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Agave nectar WORSE than High Fructose Corn Syrup?

Hm, I've seen agave nectar touted as a great alternative to sugar, it's been served at a lot of the fertility retreats I attended while writing my fertility article for Natural Health. I know the jury's been out on it, but it IS true that I haven't been able to find any historical evidence that it's a food that ancient people used (not like the way it's been distilled into alcohol spirits), and I have seen it being possibly linked to miscarriage (because of the saponins) and so I am inclined to agree with Dr. Mercola and at the very least suggest that things are murky enough that you might want to stick with truly natural sweeteners like honey (and in moderation)!

If it's true that it causes insulin resistance, that's something that can REALLY screw up your fertility...


Agave syrup has the highest fructose content of any commercial sweetener -- ranging from 70 to 97 percent, depending on the brand, which is FAR HIGHER than high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which averages 55 percent.

This makes agave actually WORSE than HFCS.

It is important to understand that fructose does not increase insulin levels, which is not necessarily good as what it does do is radically increase insulin resistance, which is FAR more dangerous. You see, it’s okay for your insulin levels to rise, that is normal. You just don’t want these insulin levels to remain elevated, which is what insulin resistance causes.

That is why fasting insulin is such a powerful test, as it is a very powerful reflection of your insulin resistance.

In addition to insulin resistance, your risk of liver damage increases, along with triglycerides and a whole host of other health problems, as discussed in this CBC News video about the newly discovered dangers of high fructose corn syrup. The study discussed in this news report is about HFCS, however, it's well worth remembering that agave contains MORE fructose than HFCS, and in all likelihood, it's the FRUCTOSE that is causing these severe liver problems.

read more here.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Big Downside to Vitamin K shot--it also may not be necessary

Wow, I remember feeling AWFUL about doing this to J:

By Dr. Mercola

It has been standard practice in the U.S., and most western countries, since 1944 to welcome babies into the world by subjecting them to a variety of medical interventions, one of which is a painful jab with a syringe full of vitamin K.

This injection is routinely done to almost all newborns, unless you, as a parent, refuse to consent.

Birth is an overwhelming sensory experience for your baby. He has never before experienced cold or hunger, been blinded by artificial lights, or felt the touch of hands or metal instruments, paper or cloth. Even gravity is a foreign sensation.

A needle stick is a terrible assault to their suddenly overloaded sensory system, which is trying to adjust to the outside world.

Is this injection really in your baby’s best interest? Is vitamin K really necessary immediately after birth? Or is there a more compassionate alternative?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

PepsiCo to Invent Designer Junk Food To Kill You More Slowly

Argh, I saw the happy announcement in the Yale Alumni Bulletin how Pepsi gave the university about a gazillion dollars to set up a research institute on....junk food. But it's junk food with the Yale imprimateur. They are researching, basically, on how to make high-tech junk food that will kill you more slowly.

Check this out from the Wall Street Journal (which, though it has a conservative bent that I largely disagree with, I find the WSJ has done some really, really good health reporting, and so I follow their leads):

Instead, working with scientists at about a dozen academic institutions and companies in Europe and the U.S., PepsiCo studied different shapes of salt crystals to try to find one that would dissolve more efficiently on the tongue. Normally, only about 20% of the salt on a chip actually dissolves on the tongue before the chip is chewed and swallowed, and the remaining 80% is swallowed without contributing to the taste, said Dr. Khan, who oversees PepsiCo's long-term research.

PepsiCo wanted a salt that would replicate the traditional "salt curve," delivering an initial spike of saltiness, then a body of flavor and lingering sensation, said Dr. Yep, who joined the company in June 2009 from Swiss flavor company Givaudan SA.

"We have to think of the whole eating experience—not just the physical product, but what's actually happening when the consumer eats the product," Dr. Yep explained.

read more here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Loki Wild Salmon jerky: Savory protein and Omega 3 snack!

I admit I'm a snacker, especially while I'm writing or reading. As you know I avoid processed foods, especially simple carbs and I don't eat wheat/gluten. But in terms of crunchy satisfying snacks, what is there besides popcorn, wheaty-y pretzels, chips, corn-y Pirate Booty, and crackers?

Ahhhhh..Loki Fish. Loki is the Norse trickster God, which is something I knew only because I'm from Minnesota where there are 100000 Norwegians. Loki Fish's salmon jerky is the perfect fertility snack. It's crunchy and a little bit chewy, sweetened with a bit of naturally sourced honey (I also don't recommend sugar, so this is perfect), no icky additives. They only use their own catch, i.e., it's WILD and they use varieties of salmon that are smaller and don't spend as much time in fresh water so it's low-toxin, like my other favorite salmon place, Vital Choice. Pink salmon in particular are the smallest of all the salmon, with the shortest (two year) life cycle and lighter, milder flesh. They are also subsequently the cleanest of all the salmon. Both fisheries are committed to sustainable fishing and I, like many environmental and health groups, recommend you NEVER eat farmed salmon.

So for a perfect snack full of fertility-friendly omega 3s and protein, Loki Salmon Jerky is the way to go. Support a family-run operation with a superior product. A 10% disccount: use coupon code GREENFERTILITY.

Friday, March 19, 2010

FDA Warning on Maalox!

I don't take these kinds of OTC products, but my friend who is an ER doc says they have people drink tons of Maalox when they come in for all sorts of abdominal pain and upset. So I guess it's used often, so check out this warning of a product that says MAALOX on the box but is not the same as the stuff people normally take. It can be dangerous!

From Medscape (a physicians' site where they often broadcast breaking news):

February 18, 2010 — At least five "serious adverse events" occurred in people who took Maalox Total Relief thinking it was Maalox antacid, the FDA warns.

The two over-the-counter drugs are not the same. Maalox Total Relief contains bismuth subsalicylate, a drug with aspirin-like side effects that include stomach and intestinal bleeding. This drug should never be used by people with a history of gastrointestinal ulcers or bleeding disorders.

Maalox Advanced Regular Strength and Maalox Advanced Maximum Strength contain antacid and anti-gas ingredients. People who are able to take regular Maalox may not be able to safely take Maalox Total Relief.

The drugs have different indications:

  • Maalox Total Relief is for diarrhea, upset stomach associated with nausea, heartburn, and gas due to overeating.
  • Maalox antacids are for acid indigestion, heartburn, sour stomach, upset stomach, and gas.

The drugs are not interchangeable. Yet the two products have similar labels that feature the Maalox brand name -- a name many consumers associate with the antacid.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Antidepressants May Permanently or Reversibly Affect Fetal Brain Development

No surprise that something that affects your brain may affect fetal brain development! Doctors do treat depression in pregnancy with SSRIs. But you should be informed of the risks beforehand.

From Medscape news:

March 2, 2010 — Antidepressants may permanently or reversibly affect fetal brain development depending on the timing of exposure during pregnancy, according to the results of a study reported online February 22 in the March issue of Pediatrics.

"In animals, antidepressant exposure in early life causes changes that persist into adulthood," write Lars Henning Pedersen, MD, PhD, from Aarhus University in Aarhus, Denmark.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dye Easter eggs with onions! Recessionistas: it's also free

I shudder to wonder what-all was in that Easter egg dye we used to use when we were little--it would also dye the egg white some unholy color, and then we'd eat it.

I was charmed to read that traditionally people used onion skins to color eggs--how cool! Recycling, repurposing, non toxic AND pretty AND free . You can get the instructions here.

Plus, it was fun to read the discussion of how many people's parents and grandparents did this. Where are all our fun, low cost non toxic folkways going, People?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Review: Transition Nutrition's Golden Princess Brittle

Raw chocolate is known to have high antioxidants, but sugar and other things can be a problem. I like Transition Nutrition's handmade chocolate brittle that uses organic maple for sweetener AND has the good-for-fertility pistachios.

Raw organic fair-traded cacao beans & butter from Ecuador, organic maple granules, raw organic Tahitian Vanilla, Royal Himalayan Pink Crystal Salt and raw organic pistachios and Himalayan raisins.

There's a spring sale going on, check it out here. PLUS you can get %15 off your paid order by mentioning GREEN FERTILITY. Enjoy!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fire Retardants also Retard Fertility!

Yuck, we got rid of our NEW foldout couches because of worries about PBDE for our son. (at the time, my husband thought I was a bit loopy). I didn't know it has such a huge impact on fertility. Ugh! My tip is to buy furniture from IKEA because they adhere to European standards--i.e., they already know to ban those @)(*#&$ chemicals there!:

If your home is your sanctuary, you might want to reconsider what you decorate it with, especially if you plan to get pregnant. A recent study out of the School of Public Health at the University of California in Berkeley has found that chemicals commonly used to fire-proof furniture, textiles, plastics and electronics manage to get into the bloodstream and apparently, exert a powerful influence on fertility.

The study involved 223 women who were trying to get pregnant. Those subjects who had high levels of certain fire-retardant chemicals in their blood took about twice as long to get pregnant as the women who had low levels. The chemicals, known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, became common in the 1970s. According to study author Dr. Km Harley, "For every tenfold increase in PBDEs in the blood, we saw a 30% to 50% decrease in the odds of becoming pregnant in any given month," said study author Dr. Kim Harley.

read more here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Elevated Levels of Cobalt and Chromium Found in Offspring of Moms with Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants

This is kind of scary considering how "popular" hip plants are getting. Makes you think of other things we just stick in the body (from Newswise):
Newswise — Women with metal-on-metal hip implants, where both the ball of the joint and the surface of the socket are made of metal, pass metal ions to their offspring during pregnancy, according to a study by researchers at Rush University Medical Center. The ions are the result of wear and corrosion as the metal parts rub against one another.

The data showed a correlation between levels of cobalt and chromium – components of metal implants – in mothers and their babies at the time of delivery.

The study will be presented March 9 at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in New Orleans.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Celery can help protect your memory

Remember when celery was touted as the perfect diet food because it supposedly burned more calories to eat than it contained? I don't know if it's true, but it DOES seem that celery contained a super ani-inflammatory flavonoid, luteolin, that may help protect your brain's hippocampus, and, theoretically improve and maintain your memory.

To be filed under, couldn't hurt, might help. Why not? Plenty of fiber plus water, trace minerals. And choose organic, so you're not introducing anything detrimental into your system.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Do Lawn Chemicals Make us Age more Quickly? Dr. Oz

We already know pestcides and fertilizers found in lawn chemicals are horrible for fertility and for little children (how ironic). How about for your aging? Again, it's a good idea to take your shoes off in the house--go Korean.


CHICAGO — Thanks to America’s most popular talk show host, Dr. Mehmet Oz is quickly becoming the nation’s go-to physician when it comes to diet and aging.

Dr. Oz, a regular guest on Oprah Winfrey’s syndicated talk show, turned the green industry on its collective ear on Monday, Nov. 5, when he linked common lawn chemicals to the aging process.

“It’s important to remove your shoes as soon as you enter your home,” said Oz. “Otherwise, you could track in the lawn chemicals that can lodge into your carpet and expose you and your family to the toxins.”

Oz, who is co-author of the best-selling book titled YOU: The Owner's Manual: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger, also recommended that homeowners avoid the chemicals commonly found in cleaning solutions, paints, fumigants and other household products.

The message, according to SafeLawns Founder Paul Tukey, is an important one.

“Growing up, I think we inherently knew not to mix household chemicals, but no one ever really told us that daily exposures to these common products would ever harm us if we used them as directed,” said Tukey. “To get the message out about toxicity in a forum like Oprah’s is tremendously powerful. It will ultimately protect people from the inherent danger in lawn chemicals in particular and make them think twice about exposing their families to these risks.”

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Green Tea May Not Be Good in Pregnancy

Interesting, green tea is so good for you, but it's possible that the compounds that make it anti-cancer may (in high doses) affect the way your body uses folate, which could lead to birth defects or other things. Not to mention caffeine, while the jury is out whether it hurts a pregnancy, doesn't seem to help, either.

Check it out:

Green tea is rich in antioxidants, and has a host of health benefits relating to dental health, blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and weight loss. But researchers have found, whilst examining the active constituent of green tea, the epigallocatechins, or EGCG for short, that it may affect the way the body uses folate. Folate is important for pregnant women as it prevents neural tube birth defects in babies.

The problem of green tea during pregnancy is that the EGCG molecules are structurally similar to a compound called methotrexate. Methotrexate is able to kill cancer cells by chemically bonding with an enzyme in the body called enzyme dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR). Healthy people have this enzyme also - it is part of what is called the folate pathway, which is the pathway, or steps, the body takes to transform nutrients like folate into something that can be used to support its normal functions.

read more here.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Get rid of Toxins in your home

Our world is so chemical saturated, now you need to dust, not because you're Martha Stewart, but FOR YOUR HEALTH. Our friends at Environmental Working Group put this list of what to do and how to do it:


Dust bunnies aren't just unsightly and sometimes allergenic; they contain toxic chemicals. Why? The many chemicals in and around your homes wind up in your indoor dust when they migrate from home products and come in through open doors and windows and on your shoes. But the good news is it's pretty easy to keep those dust bunnies at bay -- and reduce your family's toxic exposures, too. Read on to learn:

  1. Why your household dust is toxic
  2. How toxic dust can affect your family
  3. Tips to remove dust safely and effectively
  4. How to create less toxic dust in the first place
read more here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sara Lee "Eco Grain" greenwashing

I never trust corporations, ANY corporations (look at Toyota!) further than I can throw them.

From Natural News:

(NaturalNews) The Sara Lee company stands accused today of engaging in blatant greenwashing through its highly misleading marketing of its new "EcoGrain" bread.

The Cornucopia institute has released news describing how this product line by Sara Lee is made with "toxic agrochemicals" even though it's being marketed as better than organic.

The full statement from the Cornucopia Institute follows (

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Common culprit in infertility

In some of the immune-issue fertility lists I'm on, I'm noticing more and more people are going gluten (wheat) free. This makes sense for almost anyone because at the very least, wheat is hard to digest, and any energy you're spending on digestion could be used for, well, other purposes. Many top level athletes are going gluten-free, too.

This article on how it affect fertility is from

Millions of people have celiac disease, but most don’t know they have it, in part because symptoms can be so varied. It is an often overlooked digestive disorder that causes damage to the small intestine when gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, is eaten.

Infertility seems to be more common in women with untreated celiac disease. Other gynecological and obstetrical problems may also be more common, including miscarriages and preterm births.

For men, problems can include abnormal sperm -- such as lower sperm numbers, altered shape, and reduced function. Men with untreated celiac disease may also have lower testosterone levels.

The good news is that with proper treatment with a gluten-free diet and correction of nutritional deficiencies, the prognosis for future pregnancies is much improved.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pregnant Olympian!

This is interesting, a Canadian curler is 5 1/2 months pregnant...,219941

Review: Bamboosa Organic Bamboo flutter top

I love bamboo because it's renewable, green, doesn't need pesticides, and as a fabric it's silky, warm, drapes beautifully, antibacterial. Well, bamboo clothes don't get any nicer than this.

Bamboosa's Priya boat neck top is stylish, comfortable, and ORGANIC. It would also be the type of versatile clothing that would work well in early pregnancy. I like wearing Bamboosa's Priya line because it's comfy and stretchy--I can do yoga on the spot if I want to--but I can also throw a nice jacket over it and go out, go to work, etc.

Also, especially for people trying to conceive, these products are , free of chlorine and formaldehyde.
You may have seen a previous post where my friend who makes organic clothing said that yes, even organic clothes can have formaldehyde. Lastly, it's American Made and sweatshop-free.

Use the coupon GFertility10
for 10% off orders - will not apply to Sale or Gift Sets, which are already discounted.

Check it out here.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Day special

Chocolate may help lessen your chances for a stroke! Happy valentine's day, a little early. From Newswise, the journalists'-only new source:

Newswise — Eating chocolate may lower your risk of having a stroke, according to an analysis of available research that will be released today and presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 62nd Annual Meeting in Toronto April 10 to April 17, 2010. Another study found that eating chocolate may lower the risk of death after suffering a stroke.

The analysis involved reviewing three studies on chocolate and stroke.

“More research is needed to determine whether chocolate truly lowers stroke risk, or whether healthier people are simply more likely to eat chocolate than others,” said study author Sarah Sahib, BScCA, with McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Sahib worked alongside Gustavo Saposnik, MD, MSc, where the study was completed at St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Industrial Cleaner causes Parkinsons, especially auto parts workers.

It's not a well-known fact, but almost all medical scientists agree that Parkinson's is NOT a disease of old age, but some kind of environmentally-triggered illness. But from what? No one really wants to figure that out, especially if it might piss off some big company in our corporatocracy that makes a lot of money making poisons. But if someone you know works in an auto parts place or other, check this out about workers exposed to industrial cleaners are at risk for Parkinson's. From Newswise the journalists'-only site:

Newswise — Workers exposed to tricholorethylene (TCE), a chemical widely used to clean metal such as auto parts, may be at a significantly higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 62nd Annual Meeting in Toronto April 10 to April 17, 2010.

“This is the first time a population-based study has confirmed case reports that exposure to TCE may increase a person’s risk of developing Parkinson’s disease,” said study author Samuel Goldman, MD, with the Parkinson’s Institute in Sunnyvale, California, and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “TCE is a popular industrial solvent that is still widely used to clean grease off metal parts.”

Giving up coffee experiment

I'm giving up coffee. Check it out here:

Good news for older moms!

I remember when I interviewed Dr. Christiane Northrup for an article on natural fertility, she said she didn't like how age 35 had become a "hex" for women, extinguishing hope just because some doctor tells you you're too old. She said she saw PLENTY of women in her OB/gyn practive getting pregnant in their 40s and 50s....this article from the BBC also bears out much of this observation. So don't let some doctor tell you your "eggs are too old." (I have heard this from so many people! Makes them feel like they have rotten eggs inside...)

From the BBC:

The Family Planning Association (FPA) believes the message on infertility and age has gone "too far".

Although fertility does wane, women can still fall pregnant well into their thirties, forties and even fifties.

Abortion rates for women aged 40 to 44 match those for the under 16s, figures for England and Wales show.

In 2008, both of these groups had an abortion rate of four per 1,000 women.

Whilst the message about fertility declining with age is an important one, it is often overplayed
FPA Chief Executive Julie Bentley

There are many reasons why some women opt for an abortion - including birth abnormalities in the baby, which are more common when the mothers are older.

But FPA says its anecdotal evidence suggests some of the abortions are because women wrongly assumed they could not get pregnant because they were too old.

read more here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pharma exec kills 8 year old son with Ambien and Xanax

Makes me wonder a bit if these younger stars (Heath Ledger, Brittany Murphy) are UNINTENTIONALLY ODing on RX drugs. p.s. the 8 year old in the story is autistic:

Monday, February 08, 2010

Review: Design & Asia pashmina scarf

Design & Asia has a cool green concept of a traveling green boutique that sells one-of--kind artisanal goods from all over Asia--and they have personal relationships with their crafters.

Pashmina is an excellent Valentine's day idea! It's light and comfy and all-season. Since it's so light, you can slip it in a bag to carry on the plane since they don't have blanekts anymore...

Check it out here.

Soft drinks cause pancreatic cancer

I'm not so surprised to hear about this...and it comes down to insulin resistance again. People with fertility issues need to be very careful about this (e.g., PCOS), as it's a leading cause of infertility. From Newswise, the journalists' only site:

Newswise — Consuming two or more soft drinks per week increased the risk of developing pancreatic cancer by nearly twofold compared to individuals who did not consume soft drinks, according to a report in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Although relatively rare, pancreatic cancer remains one of the most deadly, and only 5 percent of people who are diagnosed are alive five years later.

Mark Pereira, Ph.D., senior author on the study and associate professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota, said people who consume soft drinks on a regular basis, defined as primarily carbonated sugar-sweetened beverages, tend to have a poor behavioral profile overall.

However, the effect of these drinks on pancreatic cancer may be unique.

“The high levels of sugar in soft drinks may be increasing the level of insulin in the body, which we think contributes to pancreatic cancer cell growth,” said Pereira.


Also: other reasons soda pop is hard on your body

and Try Brain Toniq instead

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Look at the guy's fingers to determine fertility

Interestingly, you can judge a man's fertility by looking at his hands (try this at a bar!) Apparently testosterone makes the ring finger on the right hand grow longer...longer ring fingers have been associated with virility, fertility and aggression. Supposedly stock traders and soccer players have longer ring fingers...

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Rosasharn Farms Goat Milk Soaps

Love these soaps! I have been to this farm and can tell you these goats are well cared for, organic, HAPPY. And the soap is lovely, goat milk is really really rich so this soap doesn't dry you out (which is why people by products like Cetaphil--but why not do it naturally, organically and without the chemicals?), the botanicals are really neat.

I bought a bunch for my mother for Christmas and soon she was re-dividing them because everyone wanted some. Support Anne, a small farmer, and her cute, cute goats.

Ordering info here.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Avoid this if you want to get pregnant, or just be healthy

We already know how awful high fructose corn syrup is, but here are a few fun facts from Dr. Mercola. Just keep in mind that if your body is struggling to digest this stuff (don't forget insulin resistance can be a big part of fertility/infertility), there's less left over for conception:

High Fructose Corn Syrup Has Only Been Around One Generation!

HFCS was invented in 1966 in Japan and introduced to the American market in 1975. Food and beverage manufacturers began switching their sweeteners from sucrose (table sugar) to corn syrup when they discovered that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was far cheaper to make -- sucrose costs about three times as much as HFCS.

HFCS is also about 20 times sweeter than table sugar. So it was expected that less sweetener would be needed per product. Instead, the amount of sweeteners has steadily risen.

The switch from sugar to fructose drastically altered the average American diet. The statistics are beyond alarming:

  • Corn syrup is now found in every type of processed, pre-packaged food you can think of. In fact, the use of HFCS in the U.S. diet increased by a whopping 10,673 percent between 1970 and 2005, according to a report by the USDA[i].

  • The current annual consumption of sugar is 141 pounds per person, and 63 pounds of that is HFCS.

  • Adolescents are taking in 73 grams per day of fructose, mostly from soft drinks and juice drinks -- and 12 percent of their total caloric intake is from fructose alone.

  • In the past century, fructose consumption has increased 5-fold.

  • Processed foods account for more than 90 percent of the money Americans spend on meals.

You’ve probably heard the statistic that one soda a day is worth 15 pounds of fat per year. However, one soda today does not equal one soda of yesteryear. The original coke bottle was 6.5 ounces. Now, you have 20-ounce bottles and a 44-ounce Big Gulp.

Tragically, many infant formulas are more than 50 percent sugar -- 43 percent being corn syrup solids. You might as well be giving your baby a bottle of Coke or Pepsi.

No wonder there is an obesity epidemic.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Rocking embryos helps IVF

I'm not surprised by that gently rocking embryos (and maybe singing to them?) improved IVF success, but it also argues for getting yourself healthy and letting Mother Nature do her thing. I wonder if there will be any long term consequences from IVF...

From CBC news Canada:

(HealthDay News) - Scientists say they boosted the success of in vitro fertilization in mice by gently rocking embryos before implanting them into the womb.

No evidence yet proves that the same technique would work with human embryos, but authors of a new study hope it might do just that.

"By making the cells feel more at home, we get better cells, which is key to having better infertility treatment," said study co-author Shu Takayama, an associate professor in the University of Michigan's department of biomedical engineering.

The idea of the research is to mimic the motion that an embryo feels traveling through the fallopian tube to the uterus. Human embryos created with the assistance of in vitro fertilization don't get the benefit of such exposure.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Horrible Bpa source: receipts!

Just to show how chemicals have really invaded every corner of our lives, now they've found there's the endocrine-disrupting BPA (no good for anyone's fertility) in RECEIPTS. I had done a few posts on BPA in polycarbonate SIGG bottles, but this is even more serious.

From Science News:

While working at Polaroid Corp. for more than a decade, John C. Warner learned about the chemistry behind some carbonless copy papers (now used for most credit card receipts) and the thermal imaging papers that are spit out by most modern cash registers. Both relied on bisphenol-A...

“When people talk about polycarbonate bottles, they talk about nanogram quantities of BPA [leaching out],” Warner observes. “The average cash register receipt that's out there and uses the BPA technology will have 60 to 100 milligrams of free BPA.” By free, he explains, it’s not bound into a polymer, like the BPA in polycarbonates. It’s just the individual molecules loose and ready for uptake.

As such, he argues, when it comes to BPA in the urban environment, “the biggest exposures, in my opinion, will be these cash register receipts.” Once on the fingers, BPA can be transferred to foods. And keep in mind, he adds, some hormones — like estrogen in certain birth-control formulations — are delivered through the skin by controlled-release patches. So, he argues, estrogen mimics like BPA might similarly enter the skin.

read more here.