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NutriTeam's Health Watch

The frequency of serious gastrointestinal illness, a common gauge of food poisoning, "is 34 percent higher than in 1948," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We do have a real problem," said Joe Levitt, food safety director for the Food and Drug Administration. The variety of foods available has expanded much faster than the government's ability to inspect them. In the last decade alone, grocery stores have doubled the number of items they stock, from all over the world, some carrying organisms that scientists have yet to identify, much less treat.

"We are the canaries in the coal mines," said Dickson Despommier, professor of Public Health at Columbia University.


Free radicals and Blood pressure linked.
Common treatment for prostate cancer may be worse than cancer.

Listeria Can Be Deadly.

Gasoline and other benzenes more toxic than thought...
Another Good Reason to Take GSE: Drug Resistant Germs. 
AP Report on Bottled Water: Not Good.
Why a Balance of Health is Harder than Ever- 

Assoc.Press Report on Hospital Infections 1/6/99 
Info on Grapefruit Seed Extract. 

Aspartame: NOT What Nature Intended.
Are Colloidal Minerals Really Better?
Poultry Germ Killing Hundreds: 90% of Poultry may be infected 
 U.S. Health Crisis Worsens: 180,000 yearly die from Medical abuse/neglect 
Drug-Resistant Staph Looming 
"Browned Beef Not Safe" -CNN 
Key to Long Life? 
Soil Test Confirms: GSE Environmentally Safe. 
New parasite cause for worry? 

IF YOUR SIBLING HAS HEART DISEASE, YOU MIGHT BE AT RISK

Apparently healthy brothers or sisters of people with premature heart disease may be up to 12 times more likely to develop coronary heart disease than the general population, according to a study by Johns Hopkins researchers.

Results of the study were published in the Nov. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

The Hopkins team studied 846 siblings, ages 30 to 59, of people with premature heart disease. While the study group showed no apparent signs of heart disease, they had a high prevalence of coronary risk factors. Overall, they had higher levels of cholesterol and fats in their bloodstream, and higher blood pressure than the general population. They also were more likely to smoke cigarettes.

"Although all siblings had a source of medical care and most saw their physicians at least once a year, most were unaware of their elevated lipid levels and blood pressure," says Diane M. Becker, Sc.D., lead author of the study and director of The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Promotion. "This calls for more aggressive national guidelines for heart disease and better screening for the apparently healthy siblings of people with heart disease."

HEALTH FRAUD ALERT: These Tapes Don't Tell Little Lies.

Have you heard the audio cassette with the arresting title, "Dead Doctors Don't Lie"? On these tapes, Joel Wallach, DVM, argues that medical doctors are so poorly informed about nutrition in general and specifically about mineral supplementation that they die much younger than the average population. Dr. Wallach asks his listeners, "So, why should we listen to them?" He goes on to suggest that because of his many years of study of animal health and because of commonalities he says exist in certain long-lived human populations, certain types of mineral supplementation are the key to prevention of all sorts of disease and are the key to long life.

The basic contention that vitamins, minerals and good nutrition are important for good health, is a position that we agree with. However, Wallach's logic and support for colloidal minerals is both flawed, and in many instances, entirely absent. In fact, many of his specific points on longevity, nutrition, health and disease are completely inaccurate.

Dr. Wallach's basic premise is that mainstream medical doctors are so poorly informed about nutrition in general and specifically about mineral supplementation that they die much younger (av. 58 yrs.) than the average population (av. 75); so why should we listen to them?

The Facts Are: Dr. Wallach cites no legitimate studies or recognized statistics as support for this incredible assertion on his tapes. He does indicate that his hobby is collecting doctor's obituaries and recording their age at death. This is not, by any definition, a scientific study of life expectancy.

The US government does collect detailed statistics on life expectancy for various demographic factors, such as occupation. And of course insurance companies have detailed statistics on life expectancy for all sorts of variables including occupation. Neither of these sources would support Dr. Wallach's 58 year claim for doctors.

Actually, a recent study(there have been others, conducted in 1925, 1942, 1951, and 1973 -this one covered 344,823 physicians), conducted by the Center for Health Care Policy, in 1988, found that the life expectancies of medical graduate physicians is somewhere between 75 and 88.

Dr. Wallach gives the names and ages at death of several doctors. He suggests that their own incompetence brought about their early deaths. Such an unkind, insensitive characterization of people he's never met, without any thought as to the feelings of their families and loved ones is an amazingly crass and heartless misuse of public information. Meanwhile Dr. Wallach simply assumes, with no evidence forthcoming, that if they died young, they were not supplementing with minerals. That is not science.

He Says: Dr. Wallach lists several examples of the efficacy of veterinary medicine. He uses these as examples of what humans need nutritionally. (Please be reminded that Dr. Wallach is not a medical doctor.)

The Facts Are:The idea that successes in veterinary medicine have not been investigated for humans is nonsense. Promising animal results are often followed up with many additional studies including human trials. However, Human metabolism and physiology are not exactly like any other animal metabolism or physiology. (For example, dogs make their own vitamin C.) In most cases, animal results alone are not sufficient to allow for regular human usage or to make specific human nutritional health claims. Also, humans live much longer than most animal species. The impact of animal studies is, therefore, problematic. Is Dr. Wallach unaware of these facts, or is he just interested in a more exciting sales pitch?

Regarding Colloidal Minerals

He says: The most efficient way to absorb minerals is in the colloidal form; they're 98% absorbable. Dr. Wallach cites no studies to support this contention. He says this is true because

1. they're in liquid form 
2. they're very small, and 
3. they're negatively charged and so attract to the intestinal lining which is positively charged.

The Facts Are: We were unable to find any scientific studies which support Dr. Wallach's contention that colloids are particularly well absorbed. If a type of mineral was found to have 98% absorbability, you can be certain there would be at least dozens of studies investigating that type of mineral; we were unable to find one.

As to his supporting points:
1. There is no absorption advantage for liquid minerals. It's always a good idea to drink water with your supplements, and throughout the day, but Dr. Wallach is stretching the truth. 
2. At 7000 times smaller than a red blood cell, colloidal minerals are still substantially larger than ionized or chelated minerals. It is instructive to point out that colloids are by definition(do check a good dictionary) difficult to absorb into living tissue; part of the problem is their relatively large particle size. 
3. Minerals need to pass beyond the charged surface of the intestinal wall in order to be absorbed and assimilated. By carrying a neutral charge, mineral chelates are better able to pass through the villi or pores of the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream. Many medical and nutrition textbooks recognize the value of mineral chelation for supplementation. Dr. Wallach has no similar support for the usefulness of colloids.

He says: There are several societies around the world with particularly long lived populations. He says these are in Tibet, Eastern Pakistan, Southern Russia, and Southeastern Peru. He says they get minerals in a form similar to colloidal minerals because they are drinking "glacial milk", i.e. water from glacial melt with a high mineral count.

The Facts Are:Stories about the long lives of people from these areas have been circulating for a long time. Longevity researchers and anthropologists have carefully investigated these rumors. In every case these are areas where birth records are poorly kept except by oral histories, and where long life is viewed as a sign of grace or elevated social status. Thus these are all instances where documentation is absent and where there are incentives favoring inaccuracy. In every society, including our own, there are some individuals who live longer. However, none of these four are societies where the average person lives longer. In fact, Dr. Arianna Carughi, a member of Golden/Neolife's Scientific Advisory Board, is from Peru and is familiar with the tribes in the area that Dr. Wallach refers to. Dr Carughi is aware of research which found that those tribes actually age relatively quickly. Dr. Carughi would also point out that there are no glaciers in Peru and any atlas will also show there are no glaciers in southern Russia. It would appear Dr. Wallach didn't check his facts first. He is merely restating old, unproved rumors and presenting fanciful stories as factual.

Dr. Wallach is an engaging and entertaining speaker. He will probably sell a large amount of his colloidal minerals. His product probably won't hurt anyone(we hope it is clean, at least), but this is a snake-oil sales pitch if there ever was one. 
Rather than drinking hard water to obtain mineral supplementation, many experts recommend distilled water.  

Soil Test Confirms: GSE Environmentally Safe.

A five-year study was completed to determine the presence or absence of Grapefruit Seed Extract(GSE) in soil, when applied using ordinary garden spraying equipment as a fungicide(or soil viricide).

Florida sand and Georgia clay were isolated in 6 x 4 foot traces in lots of 1000 square feet, 12 inches deep.

GSE was diluted in tap water at 50 PPM and 100 PPM and sprayed over a total of 1000 square feet for each dilution.

After the concentrations were applied, heavy water was applied over the sprayed soil surface, a minimum of 1 inch, and 100-gram soil samples were removed.

Using gas chromatography for analytical quantification, repeated results of 5 years' testing netted less than 1 part per billion in 1/2 inch deep soil, at both 50 and 100 PPM, when tested 1 hour after spraying.

Radioassays showed that GSE was fully degraded in 24 hours at 50 PPM, and fully degraded in 8 days at 100 PPM. 

In a study performed by Bio/Research Laboratories, Inc. of Redmond, Washington, Citricidal® brand Grapefruit Seed Extract(GSE) was proven to be 100% biodegradable. The Standard Test Method for Determining the Anaerobic Biodegradation Potential of Organic Chemicals employs an anaerobic digestion system and measures the amount of gas produced.

The more gas produced, the higher the biodegradability of the product. GSE was introduced to this system and the amount of carbon dioxide gas produced was measured. An inhibitous effect on gas production was observed during the first four weeks. However, by the eigth week gas production had reached a maximum level comparable to that of the control system, thus showing complete biodegradability after only 8 weeks. 

Reuters, 10:12 AM ET 07/27/97

Americans getting sick from food imports

By Leila Corcoran

WASHINGTON7 (Reuter) - It's Montezuma's revenge -- right in your own kitchen.

More Americans are getting sick from fresh fruits and salads imported from developing countries, and at least one of the newly-identified germs is stumping U.S. health officials.

So far this year, about 1,400 U.S. cases of cyclospora infection have been reported nationwide, although health officials believe the numbers are much higher. Symptoms include diarrhea, fatigue, dramatic weight loss, and despair, which can go on for weeks if unchecked.

``We think only the tip of the iceberg is reported on cyclospora sickness,'' said Dr. Barbara Herwaldt of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many people do not report their illness and the problem is so new the medical community has not been primed to look for it, she said.

Scientists are unsure how the parasite is transmitted and whether it infects animals other than humans. They do know it is hardy and highly resistant to chlorine, so washing produce in the kitchen sink may provide no prevention.

Dr. Herwaldt and dozens of other doctors, scientists and food safety experts gathered in Washington last week to pool information on the tiny parasite. The meeting was called by the Food and Drug Administration, which is responsible for safeguarding much of the nation's food supply.

Most of the outbreaks of cyclospora sickness this year and last have been linked to fresh raspberries from Guatemala. In May, the FDA suspended raspberry imports from that country and is now weighing whether to lift the ban this fall, when seasonally the risk of the cyclospora disappears.

But in a new wrinkle, in the past few months Americans have also caught the parasite after eating imported mesclun-- a mix of various types of baby lettuce leaves -- or fresh basil.

State and federal health officials are in the middle of investigating a cyclospora outbreak in the greater Washington, D.C. area in June and July. As many as 200 people may have gotten sick from basil sold by an upscale grocer with stores in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Investigators are still tracing where the basil was grown but FDA officials said it was unlikely that it was domestic.

Health officials say little is known about cyclospora, a waterborne parasite first identified in Nepal in the late 1970's. Until 1996, most cases in the U.S. were among international travelers.

``The challenging task at hand is to determine how these food items become contaminated so appropriate control and prevention can be adopted,'' Herwaldt said.

Cyclospora hits hard after a week's incubation, doctors said, causing diarrhea, fever and vomiting, then moving to intermittent diarrhea, persistent fatigue and weight loss. Symptoms can last for six or more weeks.

Dr. Bradley Connor of Cornell University Medical School said many people also despair because they have symptoms that ``go on and on and don't get better.''

The sickness can be cured in a week with sulfa drugs. The food safety problem comes as U.S. imports of fresh fruits, vegetables and meat have doubled in the past five years. At the same time, a recent government study showed the annual number of food inspections by FDA has dropped since 1981 to 5,000 from 21,000, largely due to budget cuts.

Consumer groups say federal regulators need to identify produce that poses food safety challenges for developing countries and implement appropriate restrictions.

``Consumers have asked me why it is safe to eat Guatemalan raspberries purchased from our local supermarkets when we don't consume the same fruit when we visit Guatemala,'' said Caroline Smith DeWaal, food safety expert at the Washington-based Center for Science in the Public Interest.

``We need to figure out which food products we need to grow closer to home,'' she said.

``The American food supply is one of the safest in the world,'' said FDA official Janice Oliver. She cited President Clinton's proposal to spend $43 million to track foodborne illnesses more agressively, among other steps taken by federal regulators.

^REUTER@ 

Why is a Balance of Health So Hard?

The American Chemical Society has just catalogued its 10 millionth man-made chemical. Each year, in the U.S. alone, $75 Billion is spent on pharmaceutical drugs, 2.6 billion pounds of herbicides and pesticides are sprayed onto the land and its produce, and more than a million tons of chemicals are added to food. All this, without even a consideration of the damage done by alcohol and tobacco, represents a fundamental change in the chemical exposure of this generation.

Many of these toxic chemicals are "anti-nutrients", preventing the uptake of nutrients. Or they may promote excretion or interfere in some way with how nutrients work in the body. According to British author and founder of the organization, "Institute for Optimal Nutrition"(ION), Patrick Holford, "Against the backdrop of this chemical onslaught, it would be crazy to think that a person's optimal nutritional needs would be the same as those of his or her great-grandparents. We need more nutrients, such as vitamin C, to combat these anti-nutrients. The balance of the two is what determines the health of a person's 'environment'." He goes on to observe, "The presence of disease simply means that a person's total environmental load has exceeded his or her genetic capacity to adapt."

 

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