Tag Archives: research

Pesticides linked to ADHD in Kids?

Brought to you by Foodfacts.com:

Exposure to pesticides used on common kid-friendly foods — including frozen blueberries, fresh strawberries and celery — appears to boost the chances that children will be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, new research shows.
blueberries4
Youngsters with high levels of pesticide residue in their urine, particularly from widely used types of insecticide such as malathion, were more likely to have ADHD, the behavior disorder that often disrupts school and social life, scientists in the United States and Canada found.

Kids with higher-than-average levels of one pesticide marker were nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD as children who showed no traces of the poison.

“I think it’s fairly significant. A doubling is a strong effect,” said Maryse F. Bouchard, a researcher at the University of Montreal in Quebec and lead author of the study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

The take-home message for parents, according to Bouchard: “I would say buy organic as much as possible,” she said. “I would also recommend washing fruits and vegetables as much as possible.”
pears
Diet is a major source of pesticide exposure in children, according to the National Academy of Sciences, and much of that exposure comes from favorite fruits and vegetables. In 2008, detectable concentrations of malathion were found in 28 percent of frozen blueberry samples, 25 percent of fresh strawberry samples and 19 percent of celery samples, a government report found.

ADHD affects 4.5 million U.S. kids
Bouchard’s study is the largest to date to look at the effect of pesticides on child development and behavior, including ADHD, which affects an estimated 4.5 million U.S. children. About 2.5 million kids take medication for the condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Bouchard and her colleagues measured levels of six pesticide metabolites in the urine of 1,139 children ages 8 to 15 selected from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2000 and 2004. The study included 119 children who were diagnosed with ADHD.

Unlike other studies of pesticides’ impact, Bouchard’s sample provided a glimpse into average insecticide exposure in the general population of children, not a specialized group, such as children of farm-workers. Because certain pesticides leave the body after three to six days, the presence of residue shows that exposure is likely constant, Bouchard said.

She found that kids with a 10-fold increase in the kind of metabolites left in the body after malathion exposure were 55 percent more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. Because the researchers didn’t review the kids’ diets, they couldn’t say why some children had such high levels of pesticide residue. Children are at greater risk from pesticides because their young bodies are still developing and may not metabolize chemicals as well as adults’.
apples
The most alarming finding was a near-doubling in odds of ADHD diagnoses among kids with higher-than-average levels of the most common of the six metabolites detected. Kids with high levels of dimethyl thiophosphate were 93 percent more likely to have the disorder than children with with undetectable levels of the marker.

The research may add to anxiety about ADHD, which has no known cause, said Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York.

“It does seem to suggest that at non-extreme or more typical levels, there does seem to be some increased risk,” said Adesman, who is on the professional advisory board for Children and Adults with ADHD, an advocacy group.

Pesticides prey on nervous system
Boucher studied organophosphate pesticides, which account for as much as 70 percent of the pesticide use in the U.S. They work by interfering with the nervous systems of insects, but have a similar effect in mammals, including humans. Most people in the U.S. have residues of the products in their urine.

Cheminova, the Danish firm that is the leading manufacturer of malathion in the world, declined to comment on the conclusions of the new research. Diane Allemang, vice president for global regulatory affairs, said she hadn’t seen the study.
Parents of children with ADHD, however, said Bouchard’s work will give them one more thing to worry about.
raspberries
“We’re all completely obsessed with food,” said Jamie Norman, 32, of Freeburg, Ill., whose 6-year-old son, Aidan, was diagnosed with ADHD six months ago.

The stimulant medication Aidan takes, Adderall XR, depresses his appetite, so Norman said she’s always trying to find good foods that he’ll want to eat. Other parents of kids with ADHD choose to use diet, not medication, to control the disorder and they’re constantly monitoring food, too.

News that some of the best foods for kids might be tainted with something linked to ADHD is worrisome, Norman said.
“I’ve known for some time that strawberries, in particular, contain high levels of pesticide, but as far as frozen fruit, I don’t give that a second thought,” she said.

Buy organic, make sure to wash

The best advice for parents — and anyone who wants to avoid pesticides — is to choose foods least likely to contain them. The Environmental Working Group, a consumer advocacy organization, advises shoppers to buy organic versions of a dozen fruits and vegetables that grow in the ground or are commonly eaten with the skin, because they’re most likely to be contaminated.

Make sure to wash all fruits and vegetables under cold running tap water and scrub firm-skinned produce with a brush. Be sure to rinse frozen fruits and vegetables, too.

But don’t wash produce with soap. The Food and Drug Administration says that could leave behind residues of detergent, yet more chemicals that everyone would do best to avoid.

(MSNBC)

4 Foods You Should Try!

Brought to you by Foodfacts.com:

There have been a variety of studies that suggest different foods promote beneficial health effects. We know walnuts help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease; yogurts help promote proper digestion; carrots play a role in eye health; and so on. Well, there are a few other foods that can be both delicious and valuable to your health.
Purple Potato blog.foodfacts.com
Purple Potatoes:
A new study done by the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania suggests that purple potatoes, which contain polyphenols found in most purple fruits and veggies, can help to reduce blood pressure by approximately 5% a month. These potatoes are a little more difficult to find, but are commonly found in natural food stores and farmers markets. Also, we would like to note that a similar study done at Harvard also mentioned slight weight gain with frequent consumption of purple potatoes, which isn’t too surprising.
kohlrabi
Kohlrabi:
This German turnip is packed with nutrients, potassium, and free-radical fighting antioxidants. It has a similar flavor to a radish or apple, and is commonly consumed in Kashmir where it is referred to as monj. This root vegetable would be a great addition to seasonal salads or used in combination with other veggies in a stir-fry.
85906
Amaranth:
A popular grain originating during an era of pre-Columbian Aztecs, Amaranth is a bit more advanced than grain we’re used to these days. This grain has a great amount of protein in its seeds, 5 times more fiber than wheat, and contains phosphorous, potassium, calcium, iron, and vitamins A & C. It is commonly used in diets for those recovering from illnesses because it is very digestable; and contains linoleic acid as a form of unsaturated fat.
yerba mate tea
Yerba Mate:

This tea has been found to promote cell revival faster and more effective than that of red wine and green tea. It contains natural forms of caffeine and alkaloids which help to promote muscle relaxation, and mood-enhancing properties.
Check out your local grocery stores and farmers markets to try new healthy foods!

“Half of the adults in the United States will be obese by 2030″

adult-obesity

Thank you to one of our Foodfacts.com followers for bringing this article to our attention. It won’t come as a shock to most that our population continues to fall deeper into the obesity epidemic. We find this article helpful because it discusses a possible new theory to cut calories, rather than the rule of excluding 500kcal from your current diet. If anyone knows anyone dealing with obesity, or experiences it themselves, make sure to share and read this article in hopes of starting your own journey towards a healthier weight. Also, if you have any tips of your own that has helped you reach a more desirable weight, post it on our Foodfacts.com Facebook Page in an effort to help others!

(Washington Post) Based on trends, half of the adults in the United States will be obese by 2030 unless the government makes changing the food environment a policy priority, according to a report released Thursday on the international obesity crisis in the British medical journal the Lancet.

Those changes include making healthful foods cheaper and less-healthful foods more expensive largely through tax strategies, the report said. Changes in the way foods are marketed would also be called for, among many other measures.

A team of international public health experts argued that the global obesity crisis will continue to grow worse and add substantial burdens to health-care systems and economies unless governments, international agencies and other major institutions take action to monitor, prevent and control the problem.

Changes over the past century in the way food is made and marketed have contributed to the creation of an “obesogenic” environment in which personal willpower and efforts to maintain a healthful weight are largely impossible, the report noted.

It also laid out a new way of calculating how many calories to cut to lose weight, giving what it said is a more accurate means of estimating projected weight loss over time.

The common weight-loss wisdom is that reducing calorie intake by about 500 calories a day “will result in slow and steady weight loss of about 0.5 kg (about a pound) per week.” That rule doesn’t take into account the way the body adapts to the change. In particular, as anyone who has actually lost weight can attest, the less you weigh, the fewer calories you can consume if you wish to lose more weight or maintain the loss.

The report said that weight loss should be viewed over a longer period of time and proposed a new “approximate rule of thumb” for an average overweight adult. It said that “every change of energy intake of [about 24 calories] per day will lead to an eventual body-weight change of about 1 kg (just over two pounds) . . . with half of the weight change being achieved in about 1 year and 95 percent of the weight change in about 3 years.”

Though the report acknowledged that it’s ultimately up to individuals to decide what to eat and how to live their lives, it maintained that governments have largely abdicated the responsibility for addressing obesity to individuals, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations. Yet the obesity epidemic will not be reversed without government leadership, regulation, and investment in programs, monitoring, and research, it said.

The report, issued in a four-part series published in the Lancet, was released in advance of the first high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly focused on noncommunicable disease prevention and control, which will take place in New York next month.

Skin Cancer Risk Reduced by Coffee

cuisinart-coffee-maker4
Brought to you by Foodfacts.com: New research is showing that coffee consumption may help to prevent skin cancer by killing potentially cancerous skin cells. Check out the article below to learn more!

A cup of caffeinated coffee a day helps prevent cells from dying off due to UV rays.

WASHINGTON — Coffee has been shown to reduce the risk of skin cancer by helping kill off damaged cells that could otherwise turn into tumors, according to a US study published on Monday.

The findings indicate that moderate caffeine drinking, or perhaps even applying coffee to the skin, could be useful in warding off non-melanoma cancer, the most commonly diagnosed of all skin cancers.

Using mice that had been genetically altered to suppress a protein enzyme called ATR, researchers showed that the mice were able to fend off cancer even when exposed to ultraviolet light.

Previous studies have suggested that drinking about a cup of caffeinated coffee per day has the effect of suppressing ATR and triggering the die-off of cells harmed by UV rays.

The altered mice eventually did develop cancer, but three weeks later than normal mice, according to the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

After 19 weeks of ultraviolet light exposure, the engineered mice showed 69 percent fewer tumors and four times fewer invasive tumors than the control group.

However, the protective effects only went so far. After 34 weeks of UV exposure, all the mice developed tumors.

“Eventually, if you treat them long enough, the mice will develop cancer so it is not 100 percent protection forever,” Allan Conney, one of the study’s authors, told AFP.

“Really, with almost any carcinogen, eventually all the animals will develop tumors,” added Conney, who is director of the Susan Lehman Cullman Laboratory for Cancer Research at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Conney and his team were able to confirm their hypothesis that caffeine — when consumed or applied to the skin — works by inhibiting ATR. Now they say more studies are needed to see how it may work on humans.

“We want to see whether caffeine has an effect in people when you give it topically,” he said.

“Caffeine might become a weapon in prevention because it inhibits ATR and also acts as a sunscreen and directly absorbs damaging UV light.”

Skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the United States, with more than one million new cases each year, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Non-melanoma types of skin cancer, including basal cell and squamous cell types, are the most commonly diagnosed and are often treatable if detected early.

Previous studies have shown coffee drinkers tend to have fewer incidences of breast, uterine, prostate and colon cancers, but the beneficial effects are not seen in people who drink decaffeinated coffee.

(Kerry Sheridan, Mother Nature Network)

What foods can you get with $1?

hostess_twinkies
At Foodfacts.com we feel the need to emphasize the rising obesity epidemic occurring in the US. Since 1980, the prevalence of obesity has nearly tripled among children and adolescents in the US. Obesity trends reviewed by the CDC show that communities with relatively low-incomes tend to have larger numbers of obese children. It has been argued for many years that calorie-dense processed foods have played a major factor in these growing numbers, due to their commonly low prices. Below is a chart based upon research by Adam Drewnowski, an obesity researcher and epidemiologist at the University of Washington, that shows $1.00 is more likely to get you a bag of potato chips than a fresh apple.

Click around the chart to see the price ranges of different foods based on calories, sugar, and sodium!

                         
(Chart by Ration)

fries

Research shows NEGATIVE effects in mammals consuming GMOs

gmo1
Most “foodies” and concerned Foodfacts.com followers are familiar with the underlying fear of genetic modification (GM) in the worldwide food supply. Why does this subject frighten most? We barely know the effects that this type of engineering may have on our health and well-being. Most crops are much more complicated than a simple seed blooming into a root or flower. Instead, most seeds now have DNA and genomes crossed, or linked, to resist this one pesticide, but absorb this herbicide, and not to produce seeds, etc! Also, because there is not yet a labeling requirement for GMO products, we’re not quite sure what is and isn’t modified. We have little to no control over biotechnology, which leaves us vulnerable.

It is our understanding that different varieties of crops by genetic engineering became available starting in 1996. Currently, about 70 percent of corn, 96 percent of soy, and 80 percent of canola in the US is genetically modified. Unsurprisingly, the also US accounts for two-thirds of all GM crops. Other major players in the biotechnology game are Canada, Brazil, Argentina, and China.

Many people eat GM products, whether they know it or not. Sadly, a large portion of people would recognize the name “Britney Spears” before they recognized a GM company; which they potentially give business to everyday. However, this is because Monsanto and other major biotechnology companies pay to stay out of mainstream media. With their massive revenue and control over most agriculture processes, they are able to persuade government lobbyists to keep them under the radar.

Surprisingly, we’ve come across one study published in 2009 from the International Journal of Biological Sciences shining a negative light on genetic engineering. The interesting part, the trials were done by Monsanto. The European government was able to obtain the raw data to have it scrutinized and further evaluated. Three French scientists conducted a research paper using this data to examine the effects of genetically modified corn on general mammalian health. Three types of commercialized corn were given to rats over a 14 week period. During this time, urine and serum samples were collected to determine and compare physiological effects that occurred.

Researchers found the following results to be possibly associated with glyphosate-based herbicides such as Roundup; which are highly toxic at very low concentrations to human embryonic kidney cells, and other organs of the body.

- Renal leakage
- Weakened heart muscles
- Diminished liver function
- Elevated triglycerides
- Increased spleen, adrenal gland, heart and kidney weight
… to name a few.

Check out this study and let us know what you think!

http://www.biolsci.org/v05p0706.htm