According to the Journal of the American Dental Association,1 you can get too much fluoride by drinking a couple of glasses of fruit juice every day.Forty-three percent of the juices studied contained an amount above the recommended daily allowance. White grape juice contained the most fluoride; other offenders were prune, cranberry, pear, red grape, cherry, and apple-grape juices. Orange and pineapple juices, as well as lemonade all showed minimal, if any, amounts. The paper blames insecticide remnants on the fruit skins for the contamination. High levels of fluoride can lead to tooth discoloration, among other problems. These findings should be of special concern to people exposed to other sources of fluoride, for example, certain dental treatments.
1. JADA, February, 1997.
Fruit Juice, Part II
A study published in the January issue of Pediatrics implicates fruit juice as a cause of poor physical growth in children. The study looked at two and five-year-olds, correlating their juice consumption with their height and weight. In this relatively small study (168 children), those drinking more than 12 ounces each day were somewhat shorter and tended to be overweight. However, the study did not go on to look at development after age five. I wonder if fluoride could be a factor in these findings?
Have a Few, Teetotalers
A 10-year Harvard study of physicians reports that alcohol can have both positive and negative effects on a person's longevity, depending on the quantity consumed. In this study of 20,000 men, two to four drinks per week was judged to cut the risk of death by 28 percent compared to non-drinkers. The benefits seem to come from healthier cardiovascular, pulmonary, immune, and nervous systems. However, too much of a good thing (two or more drinks per day) increased death rates 51 percent, with lung cancer being a major cause of death.2
2. Archives of Internal Medicine, January 13, 1997.
A Few Will Help Your Circulation Too
While large amounts of alcohol can make your legs wobbly, a Harvard Medical School study suggests that smaller amounts will increase your distal circulation. Over an 11 year period of time, the study followed 22,000 male doctors, watching for peripheral artery disease. Moderately light drinkers (one or two drinks per day) had a 32 percent less incidence of the disorder compared to abstainers.3 Researchers advise, though, that if you are a smoker you would achieve much better results by quitting cigarettes than by taking up the bottle.
3. Circulation, February 4, 1997.
Warning Labels for Iron Supplements
The FDA has decided to require warning labels for nutritional supplements containing iron. The move is intended to help prevent young children from being poisoned by excessive amounts. Any product containing 30 mg or more must be packaged individually according to the new rules. Since 1986, there have been more than 110,000 episodes of iron poisoning, resulting in 36 deaths. Most of these were in children under the age of six.4
4. Reuter, January 15, 1997.
WHO Says Breast-Feeding Could Save 1.5 Million Children Annually
The United Nations Children's Fund is accusing many multinational baby-food companies of endangering infant lives through their marketing techniques. A UNICEF-backed study says that most, if not all, of these companies are breaking a 16-year international code established by the World Health Organization. A spokesman for UNICEF said in a press statement that women who decide not to breastfeed their baby should be told that their babies may be at risk, and that these children "don't receive their anti-bodies."
According to a technical expert in the WHO's food and nutrition division, "We estimate 1.5 million deaths could be averted annually through effective breast-feeding."5 He goes on to recommend that babies be breastfed exclusively during the first 4-6 months of life. At issue is the distribution of free samples immediately after birth and advertisements that suggest a higher social status for mothers who bottle-feed their babies.
5. Reuter, January 14, 1997, quoting Jim Akre.
Nicotine Patch Cheaters
A Duke University study of smokers who try to quit by using a nicotine patch has found a good indicator of who will fail. If you find yourself taking a drag on the first day you wear your patch, you might as well just throw it away. People who need to smoke that first day are 10 times more likely to fail in their quest to kick the habit.6 As it is, the average patch user only has about a 25 percent chance of succeeding. The study followed 200 people who were attempting to quit using the system that costs about $224 for an eight week supply.
6. Archives of Internal Medicine, February 10, 1997.
Get the Lead out
A lawsuit has been filed in San Francisco by the Center for Environmental Health against the country's largest manufacturer of lead acetate hair dyes. The group wants the maker of Grecian Formula to put warning labels on their products. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association7 found that lead residue migrated to other areas of the body where it could be easily transferred to children who came in close contact with the user.
7. JAPA, February, 1997.
A study by neurological researchers8 offers "concrete evidence"9 that a pregnant woman's intellectual abilities decrease during the final month or two of her pregnancy. The women performed 15 to 20 percent poorer on learning and cognitive tests during the last month than they did a few weeks after delivery. This surprised the researchers, who expected the higher estrogen levels of pregnancy to enhance mental ability. Another group of researchers at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in London says that women's brains temporarily shrink during pregnancy.
8. J. Galen Buckwalter, et al., from the University of Southern California. The findings were presented at an international symposium in Orlando on February 7, 1997.
9. United Press, February 7, 1997.
An American Tragedy
The Centers for Disease Control and Preventions says that U.S. children 15 years and younger die violent deaths at a rate five times higher than that of other comparable countries around the world. Epidemiologists looked at statistics from 1990 through 1995 for the United States and 25 other countries with similar economics, and populations of at least one million. In the United States, 2.57 children in every 100,000 are killed or commit suicide. The CDC plans to examine factors such as divorce rates, financial disparities, and firearm storage to try to find an explanation.10
10. Associated Press, February 7, 1997.
Acne Drug Blues
A Cincinnati dermatologist11 says that a common acne medication may discolor bone to the extent that a blue color shows through the patient's gums when they smile. The effect was seen in 10 percent of patients taking minocycline, an antibiotic, for one year. After four years, it the incidence rises to one in five.12
11. Drore Eisen of Dermatology Research Associates.
12. Letter published in The Lancet, February 8, 1997.
British Researchers Get to the Bottom of Health
A story published by Reuter News Service reports that British medical researchers have discovered that a healthy lifestyle can help you to become (get this) healthy. In a study of over 7,000 men in their 40s and 50s, strokes, heart attacks, and diabetes were nearly two and one half times more frequent in heavy smokers, compared to non-smokers. Obesity doubled the risk of those same ailments. Changing from a sedentary to active lifestyle reduces your risks 35-55 percent, according to Dr. Simon Thom of Imperial College London.13
13. Reuter, February 4, 1997.
Brian Sutton, DC
Manitou Springs, Colorado
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