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...

From Mercola.com:

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.

From safelawns.org:

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.