August 11th, 2011
By: Jonathan Benson
Consumption of omega-3 fatty acids is crucial for the development and maintenance of the brain and nervous system, especially in young children. And a new study published in the journal Pediatrics adds to this, having found that pregnant women who supplement with Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) during their pregnancies produce children that are much healthier and less prone to sickness than those born to women who do not supplement with, or otherwise consume enough, DHA.
Dr. Usha Ramakrishnan, associate professor at Emory University’s Hubert Department of Global Health, and her team conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled trial on 1,100 pregnant women and 900 infants from Mexico. Some women received 400 milligrams (mg) of DHA, while others received a placebo, during the 18 to 22 weeks of gestation through childbirth.
After all the women eventually gave birth, children born to mothers in the DHA group experienced less overall sickness, and shorter duration of sickness. Some of the results are as follows:
-At one month of age, babies from the DHA group were 25 percent less likely to catch a cold or have a cough with phlegm or wheezing.
-At three months of age, babies from the DHA group experienced 14 percent less illness time than those from the placebo group.
-And at six months, DHA babies had less fevers, nasal secretions, breathing problems, and rashes than babies from the control group.
“This is a large scale, robust study that underscores the importance of good nutrition during pregnancy,” remarked Ramakrishnan. “Our findings indicate that pregnant women taking 400 mg of DHA are more likely to deliver healthier infants.”
The form of DHA used in the study was derived from algae, which is not necessarily an ideal form. In some cases, companies are actually using genetically-modified (GM) algae to create omega-3 oils. Monsanto is even working on gaining FDA approval for a GM soybean that artificially produces omega-3s, which is why it is important to know the source of your omega-3s before consuming them.
DHA, as well as the entire gamut of omega-3s that includes arachidonic acid (ARA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), can be found in natural foods like grass-fed meats, salmon, flax, and hemp. They can also be found from high-quality fish and cod liver oils, as well as salmon oil.
July 11, 2011
By Mike Adams
High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is used as a sweetener in thousands of mainstream packaged foods sold in the United States and around the world, from bread to soda and even breakfast cereal. It has been blamed for increasing the number of empty calories in the U.S. diet, and researchers have linked it to type-2 diabetes and obesity.
Beyond the link to detrimental health effects, another danger from this ubiquitous ingredient comes from the toxic chemicals that are used to turn corn into corn starch and then finally into HFCS. One of these chemicals,glutaraldehyde, is a toxic chemical used in industrial water treatment systems and to sterilize medical equipment by killing living cells. It’s also a well-known embalming chemical. It is toxic to the human body and causes eye, nose, throat and lung irritation (asthma, sneezing, wheezing, burning eyes, etc.). It can also cause drowsiness, dizziness and headaches.
The chemical is so toxic that it can actually burn a hole in your stomach.
March 10, 2010
By David Gutierrez
The common painkiller acetaminophen may increase the risk of asthma and other allergies in both children and adults, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of British Columbia-Vancouver and published in the journal CHEST.
Acetaminophen, also known as paracetamol, is the active ingredient in the painkillers Tylenol, Anacin, Panadol, and others. Because it does not increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding the way aspirin, ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) do, it has become the favored analgesic and fever-reducer used in young children.
Researchers reviewed 19 prior studies on a total of 425,000 children and adults. They found that children who had been treated with the drug in the past year were 60 percent more likely to suffer from asthma than children who had not, while adults who had used the drug in the past year were 75 percent more likely to suffer from the condition. People who had taken higher doses of the drug had a higher risk of asthma than people who had taken lower doses. The data also showed a connection between acetaminophen use and wheezing, eczema, runny nose and itchy eyes.
The study was not designed to prove cause and effect, however.
Researchers have been looking for causes of the significant increase in asthma rates over the past 20 years. Suggested culprits have included air pollutants and overly sterile living environments, but the current study points to another potential contributor.
According to co-author Mark FitzGerald, it was roughly 20 years ago that doctors began to recommend acetaminophen rather than aspirin for the treatment of fevers and pain in children.
“There was a change in practice and in the succeeding 20 years or so the prevalence of asthma has increased also,” he said.
Although ibuprofen does not appear to increase the risk of asthma, it may cause liver and brain damage in some children.
“For adults, ibuprofen is probably the safer of the two in terms of asthma risk,” co-author Mahyar Etminan said. “For kids, pediatric guidelines still point to acetaminophen use — at least until we have a more definitive study.”
November 06, 2009
New research shows that the widely used pain reliever acetaminophen may be associated with an increased risk of asthma and wheezing in both children and adults exposed to the drug. Researchers from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada, conducted a systematic review and metaanalysis of 19 clinical studies (total subjects=425,140) that compared the risk of asthma or wheezing with acetaminophen exposure.
The analysis showed that the pooled odds ratio (odds ratio for all studies combined) for asthma among users of acetaminophen was 1.63. The risk of asthma in children who used acetaminophen in the year prior to asthma diagnosis or in the first year of life was elevated to 1.60 and 1.47, respectively.
Furthermore, results showed a slight increase in the risk of asthma and wheezing with prenatal use of acetaminophen by mothers. Researchers speculate that acetaminophen’s lack of inhibition of cyclooxygenase, the key enzyme involved in the inflammatory response of asthma, may be one explanation for the potential link between acetaminophen use and asthma.