Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pain-Relieving Drugs Linked with Accelerated Mental Decline

Your brain need a bail-out? Stop taking Motrin!

There are many homeopathic and other things you can use for those headaches and things.

Not to mention ibuprophen and other drugs do a number on your stomach...

(NaturalNews) Painkillers not only have no effect on preventing mental decline in patients with family histories of Alzheimer's disease, they may actually accelerate it, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and published in the Archives of Neurology.

Some researchers have suggested that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen may decrease the risk of Alzheimer's by reducing inflammation in the brain that might be linked to the disease. But the current research found no evidence for this claim.

"The drugs we studied did not seem to improve cognitive function and, if anything, there was some weak evidence for a detrimental effect," said researcher Barbara Martin. "So we don't at this time recommend taking NSAIDs for the purpose of preventing Alzheimer's or cognitive decline."

The researchers examined 2,117 people over the age of 70 who had a family history of Alzheimer's disease but were not exhibiting any symptoms of dementia. Participants were given either 200 milligrams of Celebrex, 220 milligrams of naproxen, or a placebo two times per day.

Naproxen is also marketed as Aleve and Naprosyn.

The researchers were forced to halt the trial early, after less than three years, when other researchers discovered that Celebrex raised the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Based on tests of cognitive function given once per year, neither Celebrex nor naproxen decreased the rate of cognitive decline compared to a placebo. On the contrary, participants taking naproxen had lower scores for overall cognitive function than those taking a placebo. Those taking either painkiller also scored lower on one specific test of cognitive function.

read more here.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Cadbury says Chinese-made chocolate have melamine

For those of you living under a rock, melamine is the poisonous substance unscrupulous food traders in China (and possibly other places) use to up the protein content--first, the pets died, and then the babies died from melamine-tainted milk formula. Nabisco also has an Oreo plant in China--let this be a reason to stop eating those Oreos. Watch out!

From the AP this morning:

27 minutes ago

HONG KONG - A Cadbury spokesman says preliminary results show its Chinese-made chocolates contain the industrial chemical melamine.

The spokesman said Monday it was too early to say how much melamine the chocolates contained.

He declined to give his name because of company policy.

Cadbury said earlier the tests "cast doubt" on the safety of its Chinese-made products but didn't elaborate.


GreenFertility's Organic/Wildcrafted/Fair trade recommendation:

Theo Origin makes some great organic or fair trade chocolates that are single-sourced (i.e., not from China).

Read the review here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Please Donate...

In the in-box this a.m.

Haha, at first we thought oh, another one of those Nigerian email scams. But this isn't SPAM, it's for real, get all your account #s ready:

Dear American:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship
with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.
I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country
has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of
800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it
would be most profitable to you.
I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my
replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you
may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation
movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.
This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the
funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds
in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under
surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a
reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the
funds can be transferred.
Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund
account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to wallstreetbailout@treasury.gov
so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After
I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information
about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Paints and sperm abnormality

If your man is a fixer-upper, check this out from Natural News:

(NaturalNews) Men who are regularly exposed to a common ingredient of water-soluble paints are 250 percent more likely to have a specific sperm abnormality, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Universities of Manchester and Sheffield in the United Kingdom, and published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

As part of a study into the effect of workplace chemicals on male fertility, researchers interviewed 2,118 men attending 14 fertility clinics in 11 cities. The men were asked about their lifestyles, including their jobs and their exposure to certain chemicals.

Men who were regularly exposed to glycol ethers were 250 percent more likely to have problems with sperm motility than men who were not regularly exposed. Such men included painters and decorators, who spend significant amounts of time around paints and similar chemicals.

Motility refers to how well an individual sperm cell moves, and is a significant predictor of fertility. Other sperm factors that can influence fertility include the size and shape of the sperm cell, or the quality of its DNA. While problems with these factors were not tested for in the current study, certain chemicals have been known to produce such effects as well.

"We know that certain glycol ethers can affect male fertility," said researcher Andy Povery, "and the use of these has reduced over the past two decades. However, our work suggests they are still a workplace hazard, and further work is needed to reduce such exposure."

Other sources of sperm motility problems included regular manual labor, wearing tight underpants and a history of testicular surgery. Even after the researchers adjusted for these factors, however, the correlation between motility problems and glycol ether exposure remained strong.

The researchers also found that men who drank alcohol regularly tended to have better sperm motility, although the source of this correlation was not clear.

Sources for this story include: news.bbc.co.uk.

Monday, September 22, 2008

How to undo MSG damage

This is kind of interesting, especially since red clover is a blood purifier and good for fertility (it's mildly estrogenic herb, so check with your health care person if you have hormonal issues, and as with everything, moderation is key), but Susun Weed thinks red clover is the # fertility herb.

Also, don't just pick clover if you see it in a farmer's field--it's likely been sprayed!

So, since MSG is pretty ubiquitous (even in health foods, likely in almost all restaurant food) check it out (also, I grow clover from seed in window boxes outside with my Biobagged compost of course...it's pretty):

(NaturalNews) If you are into healthful eating, it can be tough when friends or family want to go out to the local restaurant to eat. You know most of the food there is laced with monosodium glutamate (MSG), and this knowledge can really spoil your fun. Now a new study has found that pre-treating yourself with a supplement of red clover before you go out can nullify the potential for brain damage from MSG.

The study

The June 5, 2008 edition of Phytomedicine reports a study based on an idea generated by the knowledge that estrogen has been shown to affect neuronal growth, differentiation and survival. Genistein, diadzein and other isoflavones have been shown to mimic the pharmacological actions of the steroid estrogen, due to their similarity of structure. So, researchers hypothesized that the natural mixture of phytoestrogenic isoflavones found in red clover could protect the brain from glutamate toxicity. They used a human cortical cell line to test the efficacy of the red clover. Neuronal viability was determined and neuronal membrane damage was quantitatively measured.

...Supplementing with red clover

No serious side effects from red clover have been reported in humans. Infertility has been noted in grazing animals that consume large quantities.

read more here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Review: Biobags and Composting System

Hey kids, composting is fun again!

Actually, it was always fun, but because we eat so many veggies and things, we were also starting our own fruit fly farm, or it would be a massive pain to dump the compostables several times a day.

So Biobags to the rescue. These guys are not only biodegradeable, but they are NON GMO. I checked with the company; I thought they'd think I was a bit on the anal side, but our compost DOES go into our food--ahem--and guess what, the company uses corn from Europe specifically to keep us safe from GMOs and who knows what else. Pwew!

My suggestion is you treat yourself to the entire system. This bag and ventilated bucket is not only attractive enough for your countertop, it pre composts things, and it has a LID so you can wait 'til it's filled up and dump the whole thing in the composter.

One usage tip: the bags are breathable, so take care with dumping in wet coffee grounds or other liquids, it will leak.

GreenFertility gives this two green thumbs up! Info here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Survival Instincts Propel ‘Difficult Patient’ to Insist on Quality Care

I can see why doctors hate it when people bring in reams of unexpurgated stuff downloaded from the internet..but it always pays to make yourself the captain of your own ship. Remember, YOU know YOU the best.

From Newswise, the journalists'-only site:

Newswise — Michelle Mayer had to become a “difficult patient” before she could get her physicians to accurately diagnose the disease that was destroying her health.
And once the diagnosis was made, she had to continue to be what many physicians describe as “difficult” before she could get the best treatment for scleroderma, a chronic autoimmune disease in which hardening of the skin is a major element.

Mayer, a research assistant professor of health policy and management at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health, writes about her experiences as a patient in the September issue of Health Affairs, a publication aimed at enhancing communication between health policy researchers, legislators, decision-makers and professionals concerned with developing, implementing and analyzing health policy.Mayer’s essay from a patient’s perspective is paired in the same issue by an essay from an Illinois physician, describing “difficult patients” from the physician’s perspective. Their viewpoints are quite different, but, as the magazine explains, both Mayer and the physician decry policies that result in brief office visits that don’t allow enough time for patients and doctors to get to know one another, discuss medical issues and reach appropriate decisions. They agree both patients and doctors need time to work together and listen to each other. Mayer said she is hoping to influence legislators and other policy makers to understand the consequences of certain policies and regulations.

In her essay, Mayer describes severe swelling and cold intolerance she developed in her hands 12 years ago while she was a public health student. She was diagnosed with Raynaud’s phenomenon, a condition where small vessels of the hands and other parts of the body severely constrict in response to cold and stress, depriving surrounding tissues of oxygen.

“During the next six months I accumulated symptoms,” she writes. “I’d been an avid cyclist, and suddenly I had difficulty getting out of bed each morning. When I returned to the rheumatology clinic for a follow-up appointment, the doctor attributed my symptoms to stress, irritably dismissing me with, ‘You just have Raynaud’s.’ I knew that physicians often blamed stress for the ‘inexplicable’ ailments of young women; I refused to be dismissed so easily. I sought a second opinion from another rheumatologist at a different major academic medical center, and he reiterated the same diagnosis. Although I truly believed that I had scleroderma, I wanted to be wrong. So I acquiesced and, by doing so, caused further delay in my diagnosis.”
Mayer goes on to describe years of inappropriate and ineffective treatment, struggles to get physicians to listen to her, and hopelessness.

“But my husband prodded me to fight,” she writes, “and soon my survival instincts kicked into high gear.”

She sought physicians who were supportive and helpful, traveling hundreds of miles for appointments. She and her husband longed to have children, so, after searching the medical literature, she determined she was not at high risk for developing complications for herself or the baby. Defying the recommendations of scleroderma experts, she became pregnant and, over 26 months, gave birth to two healthy babies without causing additional harm to her own condition.

“I’ve faced many decisions about my care during the past 12 years,” she writes, “and my assertiveness has been greeted variably with contempt, resignation and, at times, support.”
The doctor/patient relationship must be based on trust, she said. And that trust has to go both ways.

“I wasn’t interested in being told what to do and I expected my doctors to respect my right to make truly informed choices that were consistent with the way in which I wanted to intervene in my disease and live my life,” she writes. “But being a difficult patient is a tricky proposition. By advocating for myself, I risk incensing the person on whom I depend for care.”
Efforts have been made recently to get patients more involved in their health care, Mayer said. She references health literacy initiatives, public reporting of quality indicators and consumer-directed health care. While these approaches aim to get patients more involved with their own treatment, they will fail if physicians are unwilling to make the transition to more patient-based care, she said.

“I don’t regret being difficult,” she writes, “but I do regret that so many people must settle for substandard care because they lack what it takes to advocate for their own needs.”
She concludes: “We must rethink a system that disproportionately rewards medical testing and procedures rather than thorough and complete histories and physical exams. But ultimately, improvements in patient-provider communication will require a willingness to bridge the deep divide created by notions of professional dominance and a passive patient role. We will need to encourage patients and physicians to relate to each other as fellow human beings, each with much to bring to the examining table.”

Mayer’s blog “Diary of a Dying Mom,” essays on parenting, living and dying, is ahttp://diaryofadyingmom.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

PreConception test: Is your husband a rodent?

From Dr. Ben Kim's site, where you can find a lot of great health info:

Dr. Ben Kim's Natural Health Newsletter
September 9, 2008

Dear Reader,

Imagine that you were about to get married to someone
you adore, but discovered that the object of your love
carries a gene that makes him or her susceptible to
cheating on you. Would you still get married?

For more on this topic, view this week's featured
article here:

Help, My Husband is a Rodent!

And yes, a recent study shows that some men carry a
gene that may explain why they might be more likely
than others to stray.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Soy, OY!

When I was a vegeterian, there was nothing like grabbing some Tofu Pups or a Boca Burger, finish it off with some soy ice cream since I was milk intolerant.

As you know from reading previous posts, the only soy foods the FertilityBitch recommends are fermented ones and the occasional tofu, bean sprouts, etc.

This article from Emagazine is mostly about how soy isn't quite the "green" food it's made out to be, either. And a fun fact: "
But for most of history, soy protein was a waste product, and mainly used in the U.S. as a sealant on cardboard,"which was how it was determined to be "safe." Blech.


The Tofu Trap

Our Soy Habit Has Environmental Consequences

By Erin Barnes

Global soybean production increased ninefold between 1965 and 2005, from 30 million to 270 million tons, according to the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy oil production increased sevenfold over the same time period. And it’s no accident: The American soy industry spends $80 million annually finding new markets for soy consumption. The industry is in the hands of just a few companies, namely Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and Bunge.

read more here and consume with caution...

Monday, September 08, 2008

Top Foods for Long Term Storage

If you want to get ready for a nuclear holocaust or just enjoy stocking up in bulk, NaturalNews has a nice list of healthy foods that do okay with long term storage. Of course, I add KIMCHI to this list. It just gets more and more fermented until one day it's so delicious and sour you can make kimchi chigae (pictured) out of it.

(NaturalNews) With the recent surge in food prices it makes sense to buy foods that last and to obtain a bulk discount. However it is pointless to stock up on unhealthy food. During an emergency, having enough snacks won't increase the odds of survival. So what are some of the best foods to stock up on? The keys to consider are: shelf life, bulk price and nutritional content. This article will explore some of the best options.

Top 4 Packaged Foods to Store (Indefinite shelf life)

1) Jarred Raw Nut Butters - Sesamum indicum (Pedaliacea), Arachis hypogaea (Fabaceae)
Having peanut butter, almond butter and sesame tahini (sesame seed butter) will provide for many recipes and a concentrated protein source that is easy to prepare. $5.00 per pound.

2) Canned Tomatoes - Solanum Lycopersicum (Solanaceae)
The amount of Lycopene, the key phytonutrient in tomatoes, actually becomes more bioavailable when they are canned. Canned tomatoes can be used to make homemade pasta and pizza sauce along with chili. $1.25 per pound.

3) Canned Beans - Cicer arietinum (Faboideae), Phaselous vulgaris (Leguminosae)
Having cans of black beans, red beans, chili beans and garbanzo beans handy supports a variety of complementary sources of complete protein (when served with rice). Garbanzo beans are the key component of hummus. They are available in extra large 25 ounce cans and even 108 ounce cans. $1.15 per pound.

4) Canned Sardines - Harengula jaguana (Clupeidae) (Unsalted, in Spring Water)
Sardines are whole organisms with lots of healthy Omega-3 oil. Sardines offer a complete protein source along with trace minerals. The healthiest ones still have the bones. Small fish like sardines contain far less mercury than tuna. $2.00 per pound.

Top 4 Bulk Grains to Store (2 year shelf life)

1) Brown Rice - Oryza sativa (Poaceae)
A staple grain, brown rice is cheaper than white rice and while it doesn't taste as good it is a health food versus a junk food. A blend of brown and white rice is the ideal for both health and flavor $1.25 per pound.

2) Spelt flour - Triticum spelta (Poaceae)
Having the ingredients to make bread dough will provide for many recipes. It is important to keep flour sealed in water tight containers to keep out moisture and insects.

3) Popcorn - Zea Mays Everta (Poaceae)
Cooked on the stove top, fresh popcorn beats any snack from a bag and is a great source of fiber. Ideally one will buy organic as popcorn is one of the most pesticide-laden foods and might be GMO corn. Store in air tight containers to preserve freshness and keep out bugs. See recipe below. $1.26 per pound.

4) Dried Peas - Pisum sativum (Papilionaceae)
Dried peas are a great source of protein and if mixed with rice provide a balanced meal. Dried peas can be cooked with ham hocks or soup bones to make soup.

NOTE: Bulk rate is for 25 lb bag. Store grains in sealed containers or they will become host to bugs. Observe grains carefully before using.

Top 4 Protein Sources to Store (6-12 month shelf life)

1) Raw Milk Cheese from Grass Fed Cows - Bos taurus (Bovidae)
Raw milk cheese gets better with time and is a complete food, meaning you could survive and thrive consuming absolutely nothing but raw milk cheese! It should be aged 60 or more days. Buy it in one big piece if possible, and keep it at about 44-48 degrees (F). Keep an eye on mold growth, and if small spots develop just scrape them off. If the cheese has come in contact with plastic it should be scraped off as it will absorb the taste and chemicals in plastic. $8 per pound.

2) Grass Fed Beef and Lamb - Bos taurus (Bovidae), Ovis aries (Bovidae)
If purchased in bulk grass-fed beef costs as little as $3 per pound and lamb for as little as $5.25 per pound. It can be canned, frozen, or divided up. The bones are even cheaper and can be used to make nutrient dense stock. See the product review for Grass fed Beef and Lamb for details on buying meat in bulk. $3-$20 per pound.

3) Free Range Chicken - Gallus domesticus (Thesienidae)
Whole chickens with the organs are essential for providing long term health via chicken soup. They keep for long periods in the freezer. They can provide several different meals. For quality chicken, the lard is useful, and the skin is healthy to consume. Chickens can be stuffed with leftover (dried) bread scraps, the chicken organs fortify the gravy with nutrients, and the bones can be made into soup. Not to mention the meat itself. Leftover bone scraps can be composted or ground up for pet food.

4) Miso soup - Glycine max (Fabaceae)
Miso soup is extremely concentrated and provides a great source of protein. Miso is a fermented food that contains living enzymes. One or two tablespoons of miso paste make a whole pot of soup.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Coffee and Thyroid a MUST READ

Mary Shomon, my thyroid friend and Goddess, who is the Thyroid Guide for About.com has this important new about coffee and thyroid--a must read because if your thyroid is not functioning optimally it's that much harder to get and stay pregnant, not to mention that hypthyroidism during pregnancy has been shown to lower IQ of babies:

Attention Thyroid Patients: Coffee Can Interfere With Thyroid Medication Absorption

Wednesday September 3, 2008
Attention thyroid patients: your morning coffee may be interfering with proper absorption of your thyroid medication. I know, say it isn't so! You're already tired from being hypothyroid -- now they want to take away your coffee?

The findings were reported in a recent article in the journal Thyroid. What the researchers found is that in addition to some of the more commonly known issues with absorption of thyroid hormone (i.e., calcium, iron, and food taken at the same time as thyroid medication can interfere with absorption), coffee also interferes with the intestinal absorption of levothyroxine. In the study, patients took their levothyroxine (i.e., Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid, Unithroid), with espresso or coffee, and researchers found that the coffee/espresso reduced the rise of the T4 after taking the medication by at least 25% to as much as 57%.

read more on Mary's site here.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Some Ayurvedic Medicines Found to Have Lead and other contaminants

Just because something's an alternative remedy doesn't mean you can throw caution out the window. I actually buy my ginseng from American sources because even organic ginseng from China, I fear, could be contaminated with industrial chemicals and heavy metals. So, too, aryuvedic medicines have been found to contain lead, sigh! Similarly, use care when purchasing spices. If they are ground on old equipment...well, you might get a little more metal and things than you bargained for. Don't kill yourself trying to get healthy:

From the BBC:

A fifth of Indian herbal medicines sold on the internet contain potentially lethal substances, according to a new study in the United States.

The study at Boston university analysed 193 products and found that 20% of them contained lead, mercury or arsenic.

read more here.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Whole Foods Beef Sickens New Englanders

Ah, blech--another reason for eating local (p.s. the Brown Farmers Market starts today--11-2 on Wriston Quad):

The recall of Whole Foods Market ground beef sold between June 2 and Aug. 6 has shed a new spotlight on Nebraska Beef of Omaha, one of the country's largest meatpackers. Whole Foods has said it did not know that its vendor, Coleman Natural Foods, had used Nebraska Beef to process the meat.

Seven people in Massachusetts, from ages 3 to 60, sickened by E. coli had bought beef from Whole Foods stores in the Bay State, The Boston Globe has reported. The same strain has sickened 31 people in 12 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada, The Washington Post reported today. Whole Foods has asked customers to throw away the beef and bring in packaging or a receipt for a refund.

The Whole Foods ground beef was among 1.2 million pounds of Nebraska Beef recalled on Friday. The processor recalled 5 million pounds produced in May and June after its beef was blamed for another E. coli outbreak in seven states.

Today's Post article (click here for the full report) detailed sanitation violations over the past six years at Nebraska Beef.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Perfume a Danger to Pregnant Women

Most perfumes, while you think it's a lovely mixture of hibiscus and ginger, etc., is actually a weird concoction of chemicals. Not surprisingly, health experts are figuring you should use perfumes if pregnant (and probably while not pregnant, either).

From Scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com: PREGNANT women have been advised to avoid using perfumes or scented body creams after research suggested the products can cause unborn boys to suffer infertility or cancer in later life. Research on rats carried out by Professor Richard Sharpe has found that the reproductive system of male foetuses can be damaged as early as at eight weeks' gestation by chemicals including those found in many cosmetics. The damage can result in infertility or testicular cancer – both growing medical problems across the world – said Sharpe, principal investigator at the Medical Research Council's Human Sciences Unit.... more