Fast Food Wrappers Coated With Dangerous Chemicals

A recent study has shown that the chemicals widely used in producing the paper food wrappers used in fast food establishments is making its way into the general population’s blood stream.

The research was done at the University of Toronto with the specific intent to identify whether or not the chemicals called perfluoroalkyls are ending up in humans. These chemicals (abreviated as PAPs) are synthetic chemicals designed to repel oil, grease, and water, which makes them very hand for food packaging. “PAPs are applied as greaseproofing agents to paper food contact packaging such as fast food wrappers and microwave popcorn bags,”said Jessica D’eon of the University of Toronto. Environmental chemists Scott Mabury and Jessica D’eon of the University of Toronto led this study, as well as a preliminary study in 2007. They concluded that perfluoroalkyls, or perfluorinated chemicals are migrating from wrappers into the population’s blood streams. “We suspected that a major source of human PFCA exposure may be the consumption and metabolism of polyfluoroalkyl phosphate esters, or PAPs,” explained D’eon. “In this study we clearly demonstrate that the current use of PAPs in food contact applications does result in human exposure to PFCAs, including PFOA,” said Mabury, the lead researcher. According to the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances, elevated levels of these chemicals in the blood have been associated with changes in cholesterol and sex hormones.

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Prostate Cancer Natural Remedy: Soy

A newly discovered component that naturally exists in soy has just been found to prevent the spread of cancer cells. New research from Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University shows the positive results of an ongoing study regarding the natural soy chemical called Genistein’s ability to stop and prevent the spread of prostate cancer.

The natural chemical triggers an increase in activity from cancer suppressing genes and a decrease in activity by cancer promoting genes. In the past most prostate cancer drugs in the past failed to yield positive results. “The first step is to see if the drug has the effect that you want on the cells and the prostate, and the answer is ‘yes, it does,’” explained Bergan, a professor of hematology and oncology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. “All therapies designed to stop cancer cell movement that have been tested to date in humans have basically failed have because they have been ineffective or toxic,” Bergan continued.

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Top Five Worst & Best U.S. Cities For Air Pollution

New research has just come to the surface linking air pollution to COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). The study was published in the online version of the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. The study was led by Zorana Andersen, Ph.D., post doctoral fellow at the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology of the Danish Cancer Society in Copenhagen.

“We found significant positive associations between levels of all air pollution proxies and COPD incidence,” said Dr. Andersen. “When we adjusted for smoking status and other confounding factors, the association remained significant, indicating that long-term pollution exposure likely is a true risk factor for developing COPD.” For those of you who are wondering whether or not you live in a city with high or low air pollution, below is a handy list of the top five best and worst cities for air pollution. There are three categories that air pollution is rated in, year round particulate, short term particulate, and ozone. These ratings are for Best and Worst when taking an average of two of the three categories, namely short term and year round particulate. Worst Air Pollution:

  1. Bakersfield, CA
  2. Los Angeles, CA
  3. Pittsburgh-New Castle, PA
  4. Fresno-Madera, CA
  5. Birmingham-Hoover-Cullman, AL

Least Air Pollution:

  1. Cheyenne, WY
  2. Santa Fe-Espanola, NM
  3. Tucson, AZ
  4. Amarillo, TX
  5. Salinas, CA

Source: ALA At HEALTHandMED.com we carry a new product that was featured on Dr. Oz’s and Oprah’s respective T.V. shows that many are reporting is helping them with various respiratory ailments. The product is called a Himalayan Salt Air Inhaler. Research is still forthecoming, and in the mean time people are having lots of success with it. See the Himalayan Inhaler Here.

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The Dangers Of…Shampoo?

Have you ever wandered through the local health food store and observed the selection of natural hair care products? Have you noticed that the shampoo’s and conditioners have more labeling about what ingredients are NOT in them then there are for what ingredients ARE in them? Here are ten reasons why:

1. Of the twenty or so ingredients in the average shampoo, only about three of them actually have anything to do with cleaning your hair. 2. Roughly two-thirds of the average bottle’s volume serves a purpose other than cleaning your hair. 3. Nearly one-fourth of the ingredients are there simply to thicken the shampoo. Some of these thickening ingredients are benign, others not so much. Here are some commonly used thickeners: Glycol distearate, salt, cetyl alcohol, ammonium xylene sulfonate and others. 4. Some of the non-cleansing ingredients are put there to increase lather. Chemicals such as cocamide MEA and the plastic PEG-7M. 5. Coloring and sparkling agents are added as well. Chemicals used for coloring have a tainted history. Remember good old red dye no. 3 that was finally banned in the 1990′s? 6. Inorder to create a desired smell, shampoos are laced with ingredients that manufacturers are not required to list the ingredients for. Some may be toxic, while others are benign. 7. A silicone-based chemical called dimethicone that is found in caulking, Silly Putty, and herbicides is used in many shampoo’s as a conditioning agent to replace some of the natural oils removed while washing. 8. Countless ingredients like fruits, vitamins, herbs etc. are added for what may or may not be beneficial health reasons. They certainly don’t add much utility to the cleansing properties. 9. All of the differen’t non-detergent additives need to be preserved, and so preservatives are added to the mix. Sodium Benzoate ring a bell? 10. Natural shampoo manufacturers focus on creating a product that cleans your hair and then only has minimal, and natural additives to improve smell etc. These are ten reasons why it matters what isn’t in your shampoo. I hope you find them helpful.

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Probiotics Study Reveals Health Benefits

Natural health promoters have been touting the health benefits of probiotics for years. New research has just given probiotic fans scientific reasoning to back up what to them already seemed obvious, that they are good for human health.

A new study from the Faculty of Health and Society, Malmö University, of Sweden, shows that the probiotic called Lactobacillus reuteri (L. reuteri) is beneficial to human health. The bacteria L. reuteri naturally exists in around 30% of Americans and can be found in various foods like Kefir (a fermented milk similar to yogurt). The bacteria works with the intestines to improve overall health. This research, as well as other studies, show that L. reuteri has beneficial effects on everything from allergies to immune system response to dental health. “Studies show that L. reuteri is highly effective. We have multiple studies underway that directly address oral health and allergies,” concluded Gabriela Sinkiewicz, a researcher at the Faculty of Health and Society, Malmö University.

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Colon Cancer’s Natural Remedy: Black Rasberries

Black rasberries can now be considered a serious contender for fighting colon cancer. New research has just been released showing how black rasberries can be used as a natural colon cancer remedy. The study was published in the November issue of the journal Cancer Prevention Research.

“We saw the black raspberry as a natural product, very powerful, and easy to access,” said the study’s lead author Dr. Wancai Yang, assistant professor of pathology at the UIC College of Medicine. Colon cancer is the second highest cause of cancer-related death, and the third most common cancer. Results from the study found that the antioxidants in black rasberries reduced tumors by 60%. This study is on of the first to look at the connection between black rasberries and will be instrumental in motivating further research on the topic.

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Olive Oil Linked To Heart Disease & Cancer Prevention

Most people have heard that olive oil is good for human health, and many see it as a key reason that cultures that eat a “Mediterranean diet” have better health than most other cultures. A new study has just made these beliefs a little less speculative, and a little more factual.

The study was led by Mohamed Hammami from the University of Monastir, Tunisia and King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and a team of researchers. The study was published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism. “Olive oil is an integral ingredient in the Mediterranean diet. There is growing evidence that it may have great health benefits including the reduction in coronary heart disease risk, the prevention of some cancers and the modification of immune and inflammatory responses. Here, we’ve shown that extra virgin olive oil and its extracts protect against oxidative damage of hepatic tissue,” explained Mr. Hammami. In conclusion, Hammami stated, “The hydrophilic fraction of olive oil seems to be the effective one in reducing toxin-induced oxidative stress, indicating that hydrophilic extract may exert a direct antioxidant effect on hepatic cells. However, more detailed studies about the effect of antioxidant compounds separately and/or their interactions are necessary to substantiate these observations.”

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Medical Placebo Controversy

A study has just been published that looks into the mostly overlooked ingredients of placebo pills used in clinical trials and medical testing. The results are stirring controversy.

Researchers directed by the University of California Foundation Fund examined the data from several major medical journals for a two year period. The intent of the researchers investigation was to ascertain exactly how many medical studies list the ingredients of the placebo on average. “Most studies did not disclose the composition of the study placebo,” the study revealed. The researchers found that nearly 92% of the studies did not list their placebo ingredients. The danger of not knowing the ingredients of a medical study’s placebo are obvious. If the pharmaceutical company wants their new drug to yield benefits to the test subjects, they simply have to use placebo ingredients that adversely affect the condition that the new drug is supposed to mitigate. For a new drug to be considered a success it must simply be of more benefit to the test subjects than doing nothing, which is what the placebo is intended to represent. “Placebos were seldom described in randomized, controlled trials of pills or capsules. Because the nature of the placebo can influence trial outcomes, placebo formulation should be disclosed in reports of placebo-controlled trials,” concluded the research group.

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Organic Farming Pesticide: Tobacco

Growing resistance to chemical pesticides and the growing body of scientific evidence showing the link between chemical pesticides and poor health has created a demand for alternative ways of pest management for farmers. Tobacco has just been revealed as a player in the organic pesticide arena.

In an article published in the journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, researchers explained their discovery of an alternative use for the famous tobacco plant. Cedric Briens, Ph.D.  and fellow scientists at The University of Western Ontario, Canada found that by using a process called Pyrolysis to transform the tobacco into a oil-like substance that could be used in the agricultural experiments. The study reported that “Bio-oil was found to have valuable pesticide characteristics toward three problematic microorganisms as well as the Colorado Potato Beetle, a major agricultural pest.” The study added that “As the demand for tobacco is decreasing, the search for other valuable products from this resource is increasing. A natural pesticide that targets problematic species is a very valuable find. Further investigation into the active components and the potential applicability of using tobacco bio-oil as a natural pesticide will continue.”

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Study: Everyday Chemicals Harm Fish

Long standing theories about the effects of man made chemicals on wildlife have been validated by a new study on fish in the United Kingdom. A four year study, led by the universities of Brunel and Exeter, shows the resulting damage brought about by EDC’s (endocrine disrupting chemicals) on fish populations. EDC’s are found in everyday products like hand soap, plastic containers, birth control pills and hormone replacement drugs, among others.

Fish in the study were found to have their ability to reproduce diminished by nearly 80% due to exposure to the endrocrine disrupting chemicals. “Clearly this raises concerns about the implications on the future for wild fish populations living in UK rivers, but there’s also much wider issues raised by these findings. Some of the effects seen in fish could occur in other animals too as hormone systems are quite similar across all vertebrates,” said Charles Tyler, from the University of Exeter’s Biosciences department. “EDCs have been tentatively linked with human health impacts too, including, falling sperm counts and cardio-vascular disease. These findings remain more controversial,” Added Tyler. “In contrast, we have shown, unequivocally that environmental oestrogens alter sexual development in fish and now, through this study, that this can impact on their ability to breed”. “Fish still share many biological links with humans and the fact that their reproduction has the potential to be affected by EDCs is certainly a cause for concern. From a risk assessment point of view, these results are very significant,” concluded Tyler.

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