Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Juice anyone? Really?

By now everyone has probably seen the latest trouble that Tropicana has gotten into with their orange juice. It didn't surprise any of us here at Doctor's Nutrition since we have been on the 'all natural only' band wagon for more years than I like to think about. Seems that it is not 'fresh' after all. And after they alter it with so much heat, it doesn't taste like orange juice, but they put in an flavoring agent so that it tastes like OJ again. Whew, makes you dizzy just trying to keep up.

We, it seems that the OJ thing is just the latest 'bad press' Tropicana has had to deal with. Recently the Center in the Science for Public Interest (CSPI) just put out info that Tropicana Twister Cherry Berry Blast contains 0 % cherry or berry juice. Oh, but is does have some neat dyes to make it look pretty, like Red 40. Red 40 dye has been linked to things like hyperactivity, ADD, ADHD, etc. Just what we want to feed the kids for sure.

The CSPI folks didn't want to leave out anyone, so they let the cat out of the bag about Betty Crocker and General Mills also. Seems that in the Betty Crocker Carrot Cake Mix is actually carrot free! It does have "carrot flavored pieces" though. Those 'pieces' are made of corn syrup, flour, corn cereal, partially hydrogenated cottonseed or soybean oil (think bad fats here) as well as Yellow 6 and Red 40. Most likely all  from genetically modified organisms (GMO).

We have to ask, why do these large food companies ( I use the term loosely, not sure you could call it food) do such? PROFITS! It is cheaper to put in artificial ingredients than use 'real food'.

Interesting side bar here, California is proposing an amendment to the ballot next year requiring food companies to have to put on the label any and all GMO ingredients. An executive of a seed company owned by Monsanto once said, "putting the GMO on the label would be like putting a skull and cross bones on the label". I think he was right, who would really want the stuff once you know what is in it?

Don't think it is just juices and cake mixes either. If you read labels you will find dyes and other unwanted items in everything in a can or box. And all these unwanted items are considered OK by the FDA. An item of interest here is the fact that these ingredients have been found to be 'safe' individually, but have never been looked at when combined with each other. No telling what is happening when all the chemicals get mixed together in your body. You can bet it will not lead to great health.

Moral of the story? Read those labels.
Dr. Jim

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Latest on vitamin D

By now, we all should be used to the negative news on various vitamins. Think back just a short time and we can remember the flack about vitamin E. Granted it was an ill conceived statistical nightmare once you got to the guts of the 'research', but it  made great evening news. Now we have a similar blurb about vitamin D.

The headline "Vitamin D doesn't prevent heart attack or cancer, study says". Sounds ominous. Let's get in and look around.

Published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, the research states that seniors who are taking vitamin D for bone health, do not decrease their chance of dying of cancer or vascular disease. Wow, doesn't look good for vitamin D, does it. Let's look a little deeper.

In the study group were all over 70 years of age and had bone fractures. They divided the participants into four groups. One group took calcium 1,000mg per day. Another group took vitamin D 800 i.u. per day. The third group took both calcium and vitamin D (that is the group I would have wanted to be in), and yet another group took a placebo pill.

The people in the study took the pills for two to five years and were followed for another three years. So far, so good.

The data showed that the people took vitamin D, 32 out of 100 died, with 33 out of 100 died. Not statistically different. And from this they extrapolated that D did not prevent heart attack or cancer? Wow. What a reach.

There is some very good supporting research that has indicated that vitamin D can and does have beneficial effects in both cardiac and cancer areas. I am of the opinion that if we are going to make broad statements like this about a nutrient, which can cause a lot of concern in the public, we need to have good data to back it up. The public in confused enough already due to 'disinformation' or at best, misleading information. At Doctor's Nutrition we always try to sift through the data and try to find some truth. That you can count on.
Dr. Jim