|Issue #101 - February 2011|
Welcome to this issue of Naturopathic News, issue #101. It's my mission to help you find optimal 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 please 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.
Excerpted from the RDA Newsletter:
PennFuture is holding a series of community workshops across the region concerning drilling for gas in the Marcellus Shale. Here’s a list of the upcoming workshops:
PennFuture Natural Gas Workshop for Local Citizens
6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 15th
James V. Brown Library, 19 East Fourth Street in Williamsport
Local citizens and landowners have an indispensable role in helping to protect communities from the risks posed by gas drilling. This workshop provides an overview of the relevant laws and regulations, an update on production and development, and where to go from here.
DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: I’m going to this one tonight. See you there.
Gas Leasing in Public State Forest Lands
7:00 p.m. Wednesday, February 16th
Lycoming College, Heim Science Bldg, Room G-11.
This free and open public meeting is sponsored by Lycoming College Clean Water Institute and Susquehanna Chapter of Trout Unlimited. Nels Johnson, of The Nature Conservancy Harrisburg office, will describe the study conducted by PA DCNR on impacts of leasing additional State Forest Land. The study includes a mapping analysis of surface disturbance effects on the sustainable balance and wild character of remaining State Forest Lands not yet leased for gas development.
For more information, contact:
Carey Entz-Rine, Lycoming County Conservation District, Watershed Specialist
"Marcellus Shale and the Impact on Local Communities" series at Bucknell University
February 15 – 7:30 PM (Forum): Public Health
Thomas Shelley, Chemical Safety and Hazardous Materials Specialist, Cornell Environmental Health and Safety (retired), Cornell University
Sharon Larson, Co-Director Rural Health Policy Institute, Geisinger Center for Health Research
Susan Everett, Director of Outpatient Rehab, Susquehanna Health
March 3 – 7:30 PM (Gallery Theatre): Severance Tax
Gene Yaw, State Senator, 23rd Senatorial District
Rick Marabito, State Representative, 83rd Legislative District
These events are all free and open to the public. The location for all three events is Bucknell’s Elaine Langone Center in the middle of campus on Moore and 7th Avenues. The Gallery Theater is on the 3rd floor, and the Forum is on the 2nd floor, both of which you can access via the stairs or the elevator on the ground floor.
PA STATE FORESTS UNDER SIEGE
Last month, a Marcellus Shale gas drilling well erupted in the middle of Tioga State Forest, spilling thousands of gallons of toxic waste for nearly four hours. This isn’t the first time this has happened, and unless we take action it may not be the last. Blowouts like this one have occurred before, including a spill of 12,000 gallons of toxic drilling mud last spring in Sproul State Forest.
The Tioga State Forest blowout occurred at a well owned by Talisman Energy, which operated 150 wells at the end of last year. When this company's wells were inspected last year, the Department of Environmental Protection found 151 violations, the second highest for any drilling company. And yet, companies like Talisman are still permitted to drill in our state forest.
If Governor Tom Corbett gets his way, our last remaining areas of pristine wilderness could be lost to more drilling, spills, destructive roads, well pads and pipelines.
S.O.S! Save our state forest. Sign RDA’s petition at www.SOSInPA.org
ORGANIC FOOD LABELS
It’s easy to be cynical about food and food labels. Special definitions allow agribusiness to call catsup a vegetable and use synthetic chemicals to make ‘natural flavors’.
When it comes to organic food labels here’s what is important to know:
Products labeled "100% Organic" must contain only organically produced ingredients
Products labeled "Certified Organic" must contain at least 95% organic ingredients
The label "Made with Organic Ingredients" can contain anywhere between 70-95% organic ingredients
I think it’s a slippery slope when there’s that much leeway in a product label—70-95%. That’s a huge range. The whole point is to avoid pesticides, herbicides, etc. If what you’re consuming has 30% non-organic ingredients what’s the point?
I recommend staying away from products that use "Made with Organic Ingredients", unless it states that it uses at least 95% organic ingredients. The "Made with Organic Ingredients" is clearly the most misused and misleading, as it allows for plenty of conventionally-produced ingredients.
On the other hand, the "100% Organic" label means that the product cannot be irradiated, and cannot contain preservatives or flavor enhancing chemicals, genetically modified ingredients, heavy metals, etc. It must also be grown and processed using organic farming methods that recycle resources and promote biodiversity—so it encompasses organic in a holistic way, from start to finish. Crops must be grown without synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes, petroleum-based fertilizers, or sewage sludge-based fertilizers, and livestock cannot be given growth hormones.
ECZEMA AND BREAST MILK
In a study involving 310 mother-infant pairs in the Netherlands, higher concentrations of omega 3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPs) were found to be associated with lower risk of parent-reported eczema, atopic dermatitis, and sensitization at age 1 year.
One of the explanations for the increasing prevalence of atopic diseases is a relative low perinatal supply of omega 3 fatty acids.
The authors conclude, "...this is the first study in humans confirming results from animal studies of protective effects of ruminant fatty acids against the development of atopic manifestations."
"Fatty acids in breast milk and development of atopic eczema and allergic sensitization in infancy," Thijs C, Muller A, et al, Allergy, 2011 Jan; 66(1): 58-67
DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: It’s interesting to look at the nutrition of the mother and how it relates to the health of the nursing baby. In this case, omega 3 essential fatty acids, which are deficient in cases of eczema, protect against it if the mother changes her diet.
WHERE’S THE MEAT?
Here’s the ingredient list for Taco Bell’s "Taco Meat Filling, (from Gizmodo):
Beef, water, isolated oat product, salt, chili pepper, onion powder, tomato powder, oats (wheat), soy lecithin, sugar, spices, maltodextrin (a polysaccharide that is absorbed as glucose), soybean oil (anti-dusting agent), garlic powder, autolyzed yeast extract (often MSG in disguise), citric acid, caramel color, cocoa powder, silicon dioxide (anti-caking agent), natural flavors, yeast, modified corn starch, natural smoke flavor, salt, sodium phosphate, less than 2% of beef broth, potassium phosphate, and potassium lactate.
All together the filling is 36% beef. The other 64% consists of the ingredients listed above. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), this can't be called ‘beef" at all. Beef is officially defined as "flesh of cattle", and ground beef is defined as:
“Chopped fresh and/or frozen beef with or without seasoning and without the addition of beef fat as such, shall not contain more than 30 percent fat, and shall not contain added water, phosphates, binders, or extenders.” According to the USDA there has to be 40% beef as defined before you can call it beef.
DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: First of all, it seems Orwellian that something can be called beef when it only contains 40% beef. It would be funny if so many people didn’t eat this stuff.
Second, I’m not surprised by this. Yes, it’s been great fodder for late night tv comics. Everyone is so shocked. Hey, you’re paying less than what you pay for a latte. Why would you think you were getting real food?
I expect fast food to be crap. There, I said it. Someone should write a story about an Alternate Earth where there are no fast food restaurants. Where the food in restaurants was more about nutrition, sustainability, and taste then it was about chain jingles, movie action figures, and speed of pick up. If you never saw another fake clown or king selling garbage masquerading as food would you be deprived or liberated? Pick your answer. One thing, you’d have better choices to eat out.
STOP THE COGAN HOUSE CAFO
If you’re on Facebook please join the Cause, Stop the Cogan House CAFO. Last month I wrote about the Concentrated Feeding Operation proposed for Cogan House Township. If the idea of 4800 hogs being raised in a factory, with associated odor, air, water, and soil pollution seems wrong, join our cause.
Here are some pages that are of particular interest:
Store: There are 331 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.
Newsletter: Here you will find all 100 issues of my health newsletter, "Naturopathic News”.
Optimal Health Points: This is my blog that I update periodically. Check out my latest post, “No Deaths From Vitamins, Minerals, Amino Acids Or Herbs”.
Come join my fan page at www.facebook.com/NaturalDoc
Help me bring information, news, and stories about natural medicine to the Facebook community.
For those of you who don’t know, Facebook is a social networking website. Users can add friends and send them messages, and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves. Additionally, users can join networks organized by city, workplace, and school or college.
Facebook pages help you discover new artists, businesses, and communities as well as those you already love. On my fan page www.facebook.com/NaturalDoc I post discussions that you can join in with and relay breaking health news related to disease prevention, clinical nutrition, and ways to make you healthier.
I’m looking forward to exploring this community with you. See you there!
LET ME HELP YOU MAKE WISE SUPPLEMENT CHOICES
As is often the case, a recent new patient asked if I would review their choice and use of supplements and herbs. Why does this happen so often? For many, taking a vitamin or herb is their introduction to natural medicine. Their desire to be healthier drives them to take supplements and herbs. The death, pain, discomfort, and side effects experienced with over the counter and prescription drugs compels people to look elsewhere. It’s very different with supplements and herbs which, when used correctly, have an incredibly low risk of harm.
Some people take this to an extreme and take every supplement or herb that someone tells them is ‘good for them’. It might be a clerk, an internet ‘expert’ source, or a friend who is marketing the latest or greatest fad. Most of these individuals or companies have no professional training or experience in the medical use of the supplements or herbs that they’re selling. The people they’re selling to come into my office with 5, 10, 15, or more supplements that they’re taking. Sometimes it’s been so long since they started taking them that they don’t remember why they’re doing it. When I ask, they can’t tell me what, if anything, a particular product is doing for them. Yet, they can be quite fearful of stopping any of these items, as if their health would careen off a precipice without them.
Why do I think my approach is any different? Partly, it’s because of my background. I’ve literally been working with nutritional supplements since 1974. That’s 36 years assessing the quality and effectiveness of supplements. Beginning in 1980 I started working with Western and Chinese herbs. The quality of herbs used and how they’re combined together has the greatest effect on the efficacy of the final product. Because I’ve grown, identified, harvested, and produced medicinal herbal products I recognize a good formula when I see one.
Licensed naturopaths like me receive the most extensive academic and clinical training in the use of nutritional supplements and herbal medicines of any professional in the United States. Nothing can substitute for such hands on experience, especially when you see, and are responsible for, the results of your treatments. Very different from the clerk in the store, or coworker who’s part of a MLM scheme.
What I’m offering to is easy access to this experience and training. Both for you and your family. If you have questions about the supplements or herbs you are taking, or are thinking about taking, now is the time to ask. Send me an email with the brand and name of the product you’re taking. Let me know that you want to bring the bottles in at your next visit, so I can see what you’re taking. Start a discussion on my Facebook fan page. Either way I’ll give you honest feedback about what I think is good, or what isn’t. We’ll fine tune what you’re taking to maximize effect and eliminate waste.
Let me hear from you and we’ll get started.
GET YOUR VITAMIN D TEST WITH ZRT LABORATORY
It just happened again the other day. A patient sent me a copy of the Vitamin D test she just had done. With frustrating results. The wrong test was done. After all these years, and all the information available, MDs and laboratories still order the wrong test. What a waste of money and time.
For a long time I looked for a home Vitamin D test. One that would be simple, easy, and accurate to do on your own. I finally found one. ZRT Laboratory in Beaverton OR. ZRT emphasizes research and technological innovation.
Until now, venipuncture blood serum has been the standard medium for testing Vitamin D. ZRT has developed and refined Vitamin D testing in blood spots. A few drops of blood from a quick and nearly painless nick of the finger, placed on a filter paper to dry are all that is needed. The total 25 (OH) Vitamin D is then determined by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). This method has been shown to be as accurate as the assay standard.
Ordering A Vitamin D Test
ZRT allows anyone to order a Vitamin D test kit for $95 plus shipping and have it sent to their home. ZRT will let me prepay for kits and send them to my office for $55 each, plus $8 shipping. I am charging $65 per kit for patients to cover the total.
If you are interested in getting a Vitamin D test done through my office please prepay so I can order you a kit. Then you can either pick it up at my office or have it shipped to your home. Once you’ve taken the sample and sent it back to ZRT it’s only a matter of time before your results are sent back to me. I can even look at them online before the mail arrives.
If your doctor has refused to order a Vitamin D test or worse, ordered the wrong one, this is the fastest, least expensive, most accurate way to do it ourselves. Once we know what your Vitamin D levels are, the next step is making sure that you achieve optimum levels for prevention of disease and maintenance of health.
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 know.
Gregory Pais, ND, DHANP
580 E. 3rd. St.
Williamsport PA 17701