- WEBSITE SERVICES
- FOOD LABELS--MSG
- FOOD NUTRITION--ZUCCHINI
- LEAD FOR LUNCH
- FOOD GROUPS AND BONE MINERAL DENSITY
- HRT RISK TOO GREAT
- ELDERLY AND VITAMIN D
- REUSING COOKING OIL INCREASES BLOOD PRESSURE
- EMERSON ECOLOGICS
Welcome to this
issue of Naturopathic News, issue #59. It's my mission to help you find
natural solutions to health problems. This newsletter is one way to do
that. The more educated you are about your health options the better
able you will be to take control of your health. If you would like to
stop receiving my newsletter send me an email and let me know. If you
have a friend or family member who you think would appreciate the
information provided, send me their email address.
As of Friday October 6, 2006, my website is up and running. Here are some pages that are of particular interest:
There are 177 products from Emerson listed on this page. If yours isn't
one of them please let me know and I will add it so you can order
online. This is particularly convenient after hours or on the weekend.
Of course, you can always order by phone from Emerson at 800-654-4432.
Here you will find all 59 issues of my health newsletter, "Naturopathic
News".If you haven't read the article on Dynamic Disease in May's
newsletter, I highly encourage you to do so. This article talks about
the nature of disease and how it should be treated.
Optimal Health Points:
This is my blog that I update a few times per week. Check out
"MULTIVITAMINS DURING PREGNANCY PREVENT CHILDHOOD CANCERS" from Aug. 15.
Glutamic acid is an amino acid-one of
the building blocks of proteins. It occurs naturally in many foods such
as tomatoes, milk, and mushrooms. It is also found in the cells of our
bodies, including mother's milk, and functions as a neurotransmitter in
the brain. This natural glutamate in plants and animals is known as
L-glutamic acid.Our digestive process slowly breaks down this natural
glutamic acid and it is then delivered to glutamate receptors in our
body and brain. Broken down this way, it is harmless. In a factory,
however, the bound glutamic acid in certain foods (corn, wheat,
molasses) is broken down or made "free" by various processes
(autolyzed, hydrolyzed, modified or fermented with strong chemicals,
bacteria, or enzymes) and refined to a white crystal that resembles
sugar. This substance is known as monosodium glutamate or MSG. It is
78.2% glutamate, 12.2% sodium, and 9.6% water. It is odorless and has
no distinct flavor, although some describe a salty/sweet flavor. Its
chemical formulation has been modified and it is technically known as
D-glutamic acid. It also contains some L-glutamic acid, pyroglutamic
acid, and other contaminants. Artificial MSG causes more serious
reactions than any other form of glutamic acid. Remember, there is no
D-glutamic acid, pyroglutamic acid, or other contaminants found in
plants and animals, only L-glutamic acid.
MSG is an excitotoxin, a
chemical toxin that becomes involved in brain cell communication. The
problem is that excitotoxins can over stimulate your brain cells,
causing premature cell death. Aside from harming your brain, MSG has
also been linked to eye damage, headaches, fatigue, disorientation and
Children are significantly at risk from MSG. The blood brain barrier,
which keeps toxins in the blood from entering the brain, is not fully
developed in children. MSG can also penetrate the placental barrier and
affect unborn children as well. Nonetheless, most major brands of
infant formula contain some processed free glutamic acid (a form of
It's almost impossible to be sure if MSG (monosodium glutamate) is in
your food, because it goes by so many names. Almost every canned,
frozen, bagged, or bottled processed food contains this artificial
flavor enhancer. You can avoid this toxic additive by choosing fresh,
unprocessed foods. If you are familiar with the hidden names of MSG you
can determine what foods are safe to eat.
This is a list of common ingredients that contain MSG:
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)
It's not just found in Chinese restaurants but most commercial
restaurants. When eating out always be sure to tell your server that
you don't want MSG added to your food.
Zucchini along with other summer squashes, as well a winter squashes,
are native to the Americas and belong to the family of curcurbita. One
cup of raw zucchini has about 35 calories. It contains about 340
milligrams of potassium, 530 International Units of beta-carotene and
70 milligrams of phosphorus. This ubiquitous vegetable is easy to grow
and produces a bountiful harvest with minimal effort. They're best
eaten when shorter than 6 inches long though you can use slightly
larger ones in zucchini bread.
LEAD FOR LUNCH
In the Fall of 2005 The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) reported finding lead in children's
soft vinyl lunch boxes. CEH, a nonprofit activist group, warned parents
and public health agencies that soft vinyl lunch boxes sold by major
retailers, such as Toys "R" Us and Walgreens, contained lead, either in
the box lining or in the exterior plastic.
Two independent labs tested one vinyl lunch box. The Angela Anaconda
made by Targus International in Anaheim, Calif., contained 56,400 parts
per million (ppm) of lead, according to the group. This is 90 times the
600-ppm federal limit for children's toys containing lead paint. The
paint threshold was used because there is no legal limit for lead in
vinyl, according to executive director Michael Green. The Los Angeles
Times quoted Michael Wood, a vice president and general counsel for
Targus, as saying, "I'm not certain it (the lunch box) does or doesn't
contain lead." The Times reported that the company was checking its
supplier to see whether lead was used in the lunch boxes.
Although the lead levels seemed high, the environmental group saw no
immediate threat. "The level of lead in these lunch boxes is not enough
to give a child an acute dose of lead poisoning," Green said in an
interview. However, the group has filed lawsuits against the
manufacturers and retailers of the lunch boxes, which include Targus,
DC Comics, Time Warner, Walgreens, Warner Brothers, and Toys "R" Us,
calling on them to eliminate lead from their products.
Tests on other makers' lunch boxes allegedly showed lead levels 2-25x
greater than the federal legal limit for paint in children's products.
The highest lead levels were found in the lining of the lunch boxes,
which can come in direct contact with food. Bruce Lanphear, M.D., a
professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical
Center said that the lunch of choice could exacerbate the risk from a
box, he added. "Anything that's acidic will tend to wear away a finish
or leach out more lead than something that is not acidic," Dr. Lanphear
said. "Apple juice," for example, "could make that lead more available
to a child."
Inorganic lead is not metabolized but is directly absorbed, distributed
in the body, and excreted. Children and pregnant women absorb a greater
proportion of lead from the gastrointestinal tract than do adults (up
to 70% versus 20%). Fasting, iron deficiency, and calcium deficiency
also may increase the gastrointestinal absorption of lead.
The symptoms of low-level lead poisoning can be subtle, such as
behavior problems, and delay in intellectual development, like reading.
High levels can cause neurological damage, seizures, hair loss, and
anemia. Lead poisoning affects more than 4% of all children in the
U.S., according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. The rates
are even higher in urban and low-income neighborhoods.
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: Paper bags for carrying your child's lunch may
seem drab in comparison to colorful advertisements for the latest movie
but at least they won't make your child sick.
You can test vinyl lunch boxes you already own using a hand-held lead
testing kit, often available at hardware stores. Two reliable and
easy-to-use brands are PACE's Lead Alert (also available by calling
1-800-884-6073) and LeadCheck. For a visual demonstration of how to use LeadCheck,
please visit www.testyourlunchbox.com.
If your child's lunch box tests positive please call CEH at
800-652-0827. They can help you interpret the results and can use your
product as evidence in their ongoing work to get the lead out of our
children's lunch boxes.
FOOD GROUPS AND BONE MINERAL DENSITY
The evidence for bone health benefits from high intakes of fruit and
vegetables has been reported for elderly populations, as well as for
teenagers and adolescents. The research group was different here as the
Chinese do not eat the same type of high animal food diet that
This study is part of an ongoing community-based osteoporosis study
initiated in 2003, among residents of Anhui Province, China. Men and
women aged 25-64 years were recruited. Bone mineral density was
measured at the total hip and whole body by DEXA in 5848 men and 6207
women. Dietary and supplemental intakes were assessed by
questionnaires. Information was also collected on occupation,
lifestyle, reproductive history, disease history, consumption of
alcohol, cigarette smoking, physical activity and history of fractures.
Higher seafood consumption was significantly associated with greater
BMD in women (p < 0.001), especially those consuming more than 250
grams per week of seafood. Higher fruit intake was found to be
significantly associated with higher BMD in both men and women (p <
Maturitas, 2006 June 26; [Epub ahead of print] 44437 (9/2006)
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: Other studies have demonstrated a correlation
between omega 3 essential fatty acids (found in fish) and a bone
protective effect. One mechanism of action may be the anti-inflammatory
effect that these fats play through their effect on prostaglandins.
Another possible mechanism is the synergistic effect of Vitamin D and
these essential fats when present together in sufficient amounts.
At first look, it may seem odd that consuming fruit has a positive
effect on bone mineral density. However, fruit are an important source
of nutrients needed for bone health like magnesium and potassium.
Consuming fresh fruit in general helps to alkalinize the system,
reducing bone breakdown. Magnesium's role in calcium metabolism is
incredibly important though this osteoporosis connection is seldom
mentioned. Potassium also helps to reduce bone loss by lessening the
acidity of the body.
HRT RISK TOO GREAT
A key commission has recommended that German doctors drastically reduce
the amount of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) that they prescribe to
older women. Issuing its first guidelines on HRT to doctors in Germany,
the country's Commission on the Safety of Medicines said that new
international studies had shown that the risks of HRT clearly
outweighed the benefits. It recommended that treatment be as short, and
the doses as low, as possible. Several recently published studies have
shown that HRT significantly increases the risk of breast cancer. Also,
the risk of venous thrombosis, heart attacks, and strokes increases as
early as one year after treatment, according to the studies.
In the opinion of the commission, the new studies show that the risks
of HRT far outstrip any potential benefits. Professor Bruno
M|ller-Oerlinghausen, the head of the commission, called HRT a
"national and international tragedy." Comparing it to thalidomide, a
drug that caused thousands of babies to be born with birth defects in
the 1950s, he said that the "naive and careless use of a medication
that is perceived as natural and optimal" had caused many unnecessary
deaths among women.
Professor Eberhard Greiser, of the Institute for Prevention Research in
Bremen, said in an interview with the state health insurance press
service that the use of hormone replacement therapy had resulted in
5000 extra cases of breast cancer in Germany every year and 2000 extra
cases of cancer of the uterus.
The commission also launched a fierce attack on the pharmaceutical
industry, suggesting that it had turned a "natural phase of life," the
menopause, into a hormonal sickness that needed treatment. Forty three
per cent of all women aged 50-70 years in Germany take hormone
preparations. However, the number of prescriptions that doctors issue
for hormone preparations has fallen by 13% in the wake of the recent
debate on the risks of the treatment, according to figures from the
German state health insurance companies.
The women's health initiative study (JAMA 2003; 289: 3243-53), showed
that the long-term use of HRT increased the risk of breast cancer by
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: Enough said. Homeopathy and lifestyle changes
effectively address menopausal symptoms. Vitamin D has the potential to
reduce the incidence of osteoporosis. Do we really need drugs that
cause cancer, heart attacks, and strokes?
ELDERLY AND VITAMIN D
This study found that almost half of elderly women in high-level
residential care, though not bedridden, were severely deficient in
vitamin D. Being vitamin D deficient puts the elderly at more of a risk
to fall and injure themselves, possibly leading to death. Vitamin D is
produced in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. It has also been
proven to assist in the function of healthy bones and muscle and brain
function. Lacking in either of these could cause an elderly person to
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society December 3, 2003
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: It seems as if conventional medicine is just now
waking up to the idea that vitamin D is deficient in many individuals.
Excuses of not enough information, or 'no scientific research' don't
cut it. This study is almost 4 years old. Why do most docs ignore
vitamin D? One reason may be that deficiency is corrected by lifestyle
changes and supplementation. Not drugs or surgery.
REUSING COOKING OIL INCREASES BLOOD PRESSURE
This study suggests that the number of times you reuse cooking oils can
affect your health. Spanish researchers found that people whose
kitchens contained any type of oil that had been reused many times over
were more likely to have high blood pressure than people whose cooking
oils were changed more frequently. People who ate foods cooked with
sunflower oil also showed a higher risk of high blood pressure, while
consuming more olive oil appeared to protect people from high blood
Based on the findings, study author Dr. Federico Soriguer of the
Hospital Civil Plaza in Malaga recommends that people cook with olive
oil whenever possible, and discard any oils after using them up to two
or three times. Although olive oil is generally considered to be a
healthy addition to meals, the findings suggest that repeatedly reusing
the oil may invalidate its favorable effects on health, Soriguer told
Reuters Health. Many of the study participants consumed the so-called
Mediterranean diet, which features liberal use of olive oil and has
been linked with numerous health benefits. Soriguer explained that
followers of the Mediterranean diet often use an "oil bath," or deep
fryer, to fry foods. However, when the same pot of oil is repeatedly
reheated, the oils begin to degrade, releasing substances known as
polymers and polar compounds that can become absorbed by food.
To measure the effects of repeated use of cooking oils, Soriguer and
his team measured levels of polymers and polar compounds from oil
samples taken directly from the kitchens of 538 adults. The more polar
compounds and polymers present in oil samples taken from a
participant's house-a sign the oil had been reused repeatedly-the more
likely it was that participant had high blood pressure. However, people
whose blood samples contained a relatively high concentration of fats
predominantly found in olive oil were less likely than others to have
high blood pressure, Soriguer and his team report in the American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Olive oil that had been repeatedly reused tended to show a lower
concentration of polymers and polar compounds than other types of oil,
suggesting that olive oil degrades more slowly than other types,
Soriguer explained. He added that although the Mediterranean diet
features heavy use of olive oil, its rising cost is inducing some
followers to substitute other types of oil, or to use a mixture.
Hypertension is related to the degradation of dietary frying oils. Am J Clin Nutr 2003 Dec;78(6):1092-1097.
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: For years I have been telling patients in
nutrition consultations that olive oil is one of the two best oils to
cook with. I go further in recommending that only 100% extra virgin
olive oil be used as this is minimally processed.
HUMOR-A Turn of Phrase
Dijon vu - the same mustard as before.
Practice safe eating -- always use condiments.
A hangover is the wrath of grapes.
Dancing cheek-to-cheek is really a form of floor play.
Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?
When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.
What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead giveaway.)
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
In democracy your vote counts. In feudalism your count votes.
A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.
If you don't pay your exorcist, you get repossessed.
When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.
The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.
A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.
A lot of money is tainted. It taint yours and it taint mine.
Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
Those who jump off a Paris bridge are in Seine.
Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.
I am often asked what supplements I recommend. Many of you have been
surprised to discover that I favor food over pills; lifestyle changes
over fads. I have been working with nutrition for over 30 years, herbs
for over 20 years. Where and when appropriate I recommend them to my
patients. I strive to act from knowledge, experience, and research.
Emerson Ecologics (800-654-4432) carries almost all of the nutritional
supplements and botanical extracts that I think are useful. Their
customer service is excellent and their delivery is reliable (often
only 2-3 days to this region). It's a great way to get physician
quality products at reasonable prices.
To offset the cost of shipping, reference my name when you establish
your account and receive a 10% discount on every order. If you have any
questions about these items feel free to email me.
That's it for this issue of Naturopathic News. If you've thought a bit
extra or learned something new, then I achieved my goal. As usual, if
you have questions or concerns brought up by these subjects, let me
Gregory Pais, ND, DHANP