Archive for November, 2010
Children are not drinking as much water as they should and the deficiency can have far-reaching implications.
Even mild dehydration can affect physiological function and cause fatigue, muscle weakness, headaches and dry mouth. Impaired cognitive and mental performance are also linked to inadequate hydration. Only 15 to 60 percent of boys and 10 to 54 percent of girls, depending on age, drink the minimum amount of water recommended by the U.S. Institute of Medicine.
Children obtain much of their water from sweetened beverages rather plain old H2O, the researchers found.
And those who drink the most plain water consume fewer sweetened beverages and eat fewer high-calorie foods.
The researchers looked at the water intake of 3,978 boys and girls, aged 2 to 19 years, who had been included in a national nutrition study from 2005 to 2006. Included in their analysis was water itself, water in moist foods, and (water) in all beverages and nutritious drinks such as milk and juice.
The investigators found that water intake from all sources varied by age: 2- to 5- year-olds drank 5.9 cups a day; 6- to 11- year-olds got 6.8 cups, and 12- to 19- year-olds consumed 10/1 cups daily. Girls generally drank less than boys.
Kids of all ages are more likely to drink beverages rather than water at mealtime. More than two-thirds of water consumption was derived from beverages with main meals, while only one-third of the plain water was consumed with meals, the researchers found.
“Efforts to moderate the consumption of sweetened beverages and promote plain water intake should not only continue to promote plain water for snacks, but also should recognize the importance of replacing non-nutritive beverages at meal time with plain water.”
As the children got older, consumption of plain water increased while intake of nutritive beverages, such as milk, decreased.
Water makes up 55 to 75 percent of total body weight. “We cannot live without water for more than a few days because our bodies cannot store water. Thus, is it essential we replace the water our bodies lose every day.”
A nutritionist and dietitian, advise starting children on water early. “Give them water instead of sweetened beverages during the day and between meals,” she said.
“To make it more appealing, put sliced cucumbers, oranges, lemons or strawberries in ice water”, she suggested.
“And if your child is hooked on sodas, we advised transitioning to plain soda water or flavoured soda water instead.
Source: Noyes News – Issue: November/December 2010
New research proves that ‘gender-bending’ chemicals, which leach from human products into rivers and oceans, can have a significant impact on the ability of fish to breed. The study has important implications for understanding the impacts of these chemicals.
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) affect hormones. They are found in products ranging from contraceptive drugs to liquid detergents.
They have been seeping into rivers through the sewage system for decades and alter the biology of fish, changing male fish to make them more female.
“Until now, there has been no solid evidence to show the long-term impact of this effect on fish in the wild — but the new research focusing on wild roach in two UK rivers (Bourne and Arun) has provided new evidence
… It was found that intersex fish — those that had their sexuality compromised by EDCs and which contain both male (sperm) and female (eggs) sex cells — had their reproductive performance reduced by up to 76 percent.”
– Eurekalert October 26, 2010
– Environmental Health Perspectives October 8, 2010
COMMENTS BY DR. MERCOLA
Intersex fish contain both sperm and eggs, and this new study found that their reproductive abilities may be reduced by up to 76 percent. How did these fish end up “intersex”?
Through exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that are polluting the environment — a finding that raises serious implications for humans as well because all vertebrates have similar sex hormone receptors.
Already these chemicals, nicknamed “gender-benders,” are causing the males in many species to become feminized. In some rivers in Britain, up to 50 percent of male fish are now growing eggs along with sperm in their testes. Hermaphrodite polar bears have also been found.
What are Some of the Most Common Gender-Bending Chemicals?
These chemicals are virtually everywhere in the modern world, lurking in personal care products, food containers, medical tubing, toys and more. Some of the top offenders you should be aware of, and watch out for, include:
* Phthalates — Exposure to phthalates can lead to incomplete testicular descent in fetuses, reduced sperm counts, testicular atrophy or structural abnormality and inflammation in newborns.
Phthalates are found in vinyl flooring, detergents, automotive plastics, soap, shampoo, deodorants, fragrances, hair spray, nail polish, plastic bags, food packaging, garden hoses, inflatable toys, blood-storage bags, and intravenous medical tubing.
* Bisphenol A (BPA) — A common ingredient in many plastics, including those in reusable water bottles and resins lining some food cans and dental sealants, can change the course of fetal development in a way that increases your risk of breast cancer. Polycarbonate plastics contain BPA.
BPA has been detected in the umbilical cord blood of 90 percent of newborn infants tested.
* Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) — Found in grease- and water-resistant coatings like Teflon and Gore-Tex, is a likely carcinogen.
* Methoxychlor and Vinclozin — An insecticide and a fungicide respectively, have been found to cause changes to male mice born for as many as four subsequent generations after the initial exposure.
* Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) — Known to be potent endocrine disrupters, these chemicals affect gene expression by turning on or off certain genes, and interfere with the way your glandular system works.
They mimic the female hormone estrogen, and have been implicated as one reason behind some marine species switching from male to female.
* Bovine growth hormones commonly added to commercial dairy have been implicated as a contributor to premature adolescence.
* Non-fermented soy products, which are loaded with hormone-like substances.
* MSG — A food additive that’s been linked to reduced fertility.
* Fluoride — This chemical in the U.S. water supply has been linked to lower fertility rates, hormone disruption and low sperm counts.
What each of these substances has in common is that they can affect you and your children’s, endocrine system and reproductive health.
The glands of your endocrine system and the hormones they release influence nearly every cell, organ, and function of your body. They are instrumental in regulating your mood, growth and development, tissue function, metabolism, as well as sexual function and reproductive processes.
Numerous studies over the past decade confirm that males may be particularly at risk to these chemicals. Decreased sperm motility and concentration, as well as genital abnormalities in baby boys have been linked to these chemicals.
Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals Pose Steep Risks to Baby Boys
The more a pregnant woman is exposed to high levels of one type of endocrine-disrupter known as phthalates, the greater the risk her son will have smaller genitals and incomplete testicular descent, leading to impaired reproductive development. The chemical also appears to make the overall genital tracts of boys slightly more feminine.
It is believed that phthalates have these adverse effects because they reduce testosterone synthesis by interfering with an enzyme needed to produce the male hormone.
In one study, women who had higher concentrations of two types of phthalates (DEHP and DBP) also had boys who appeared more feminized in their personality while playing.
The presence of phthalates in the mothers was not associated with any differences in the girls’ play behavior. However, that is NOT an indication that phthalates are “safe” for women.
They also affect women’s endocrine systems and reproductive health although the effects are different between the genders. For instance, girls are also reaching puberty earlier than ever before, and these chemicals may be culprits.
Bovine growth hormones used in food production, soy foods, and bisphenol-A (BPA), just to name a few, add to the problem as they also mimic estrogen and disrupt your endocrine system.
Other studies have linked the chemicals to thyroid problems in both women and men, and researchers have also suggested a link between phthalates and illnesses like allergies, asthma, and contact dermatitis, all of which are on the rise in children.
How to Reduce Your Exposure to Gender-Bender Chemicals
Although legislators in Washington, Vermont and California have restricted phthalate use in children’s goods, and several major retailers, including Wal-Mart, Toys-R-Us, Lego, Evenflo and Gerber are phasing out phthalate-laden toys voluntarily, these chemicals are still very widely used.
You can help to cut back on your exposure with the following tips, and though they are important for everyone, pregnant women and women who may become pregnant should pay particular attention to reducing their exposure as much as possible:
1. As much as possible, buy and eat organic produce and free-range, organic foods to reduce your exposure to pesticides and fertilizers.
2. Rather than eating conventional or farm-raised fish, which are often heavily contaminated with EDCs, PCBs and mercury, supplement with a high-quality purified fish or krill oil, or eat fish that is wild-caught and lab tested for purity.
3. Eat mostly raw, fresh foods, steering clear of processed, prepackaged foods of all kinds. This way you automatically avoid artificial food additives of all kinds, including dangerous artificial sweeteners, food coloring and MSG.
4. Store your food and beverages in glass rather than plastic, and avoid using plastic wrap.
5. Have your tap water tested and, if contaminants are found, install an appropriate water filter on all your faucets (even those in your shower or bath).
6. Only use natural cleaning products in your home.
7. Switch over to natural brands of toiletries such as shampoo, toothpaste, antiperspirants and cosmetics. The Environmental Working Group has a great safety guide to help you find personal care products that are free of phthalates and other potentially dangerous chemicals.
8. Avoid using artificial air fresheners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners or other synthetic fragrances.
9. Replace your Teflon pots and pans with ceramic or glass cookware.
10. When redoing your home, look for “green,” toxin-free alternatives in lieu of regular paint and vinyl floor coverings.
11. Replace your vinyl shower curtain with one made of fabric or install glass shower doors.
A new study in the Journal of the American Dental Association finds once again that, contrary to what most people have been told, fluoride is actually bad for teeth.
Exposure to high levels of fluoride results in a condition known as fluorosis, in which tooth enamel becomes discolored. The condition can eventually lead to badly damaged teeth. The new study found that fluoride intake during a child’s first few years of life is significantly associated with fluorosis, and warned against using fluoridated water in infant formula.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is of a similar opinion. According to their website:
“Recent evidence suggests that mixing powdered or liquid infant formula concentrate with fluoridated water on a regular basis may increase the chance of a child developing … enamel fluorosis.”
– Journal of the American Dental Association October 14, 2010; 141(10):1190-1201
– CDC May 28, 2010
COMMENTS ON FLUORIDE BY DR MERCOLA
It was 2007 when the American Dental Association (ADA) first warned that parents of infants younger than a year old “should consider using water that has no or low levels of fluoride” when mixing baby formula, due to concerns about fluorosis.
Now the Journal of the American Dental Association has published a study that found increased fluorosis risk among infants who were fed infant formula reconstituted with fluoride-containing water, as well as used fluoridated toothpastes.
The authors noted:
“Results suggest that prevalence of mild dental fluorosis could be reduced by avoiding ingestion of large quantities of fluoride from reconstituted powdered concentrate infant formula and fluoridated dentifrice.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also followed suit, warning on their Community Water Fluoridation page that mixing powdered or liquid infant formula concentrate with fluoridated water on a regular basis may increase the chance of a child developing enamel fluorosis.
They also state:
“In children younger than 8 years of age, combined fluoride exposure from all sources—water, food, toothpaste, mouth rinse, or other products—contributes to enamel fluorosis.”
This is as far as the CDC warnings go, however, and they continue to state that water fluoridation is safe — and dental fluorosis is only a “cosmetic” problem. In reality, neither of these assertions is true.
Dental Fluorosis is a Sign of Excessive Fluoride Intake
Dental fluorosis results in white and brown spots on your teeth. It is only caused by fluoride — typically due to ingesting too much fluoride during your developing years, from birth to about 8 years of age. According to the CDC, about one-third of U.S. children aged 12 to 15 years have very mild to mild forms of enamel fluorosis on their teeth.
Promoters of fluoridation say that these markings are “just cosmetic,” but it can also be an indication that the rest of your body, such as your bones and the rest of your organs, including your brain, has been exposed to too much fluoride also.
As Dr. Paul Connett, a chemist specializing in environmental chemistry, explained in our recent interview:
“We know that 32 percent of American children have been overexposed to fluoride because you have this telltale sign of dental fluorosis, which in its mildest form is little white specs. But when it gets more serious, it affects more of the surface of your teeth and it becomes colored; yellow, brown and orange mottling of the teeth …
The teeth are the window to the bones. If you’ve seen the damage to the teeth, what damage can you not see?”
In other words, if fluoride is having a detrimental, visual effect on the surface of your teeth, you can be virtually guaranteed that it’s also damaging something else inside your body, such as your bones.
Bone is living tissue that is constantly being replaced through cellular turnover. Bone building is a finely balanced, complicated process. Fluoride has been known to disrupt this process ever since the 1930s.
Why it’s Dangerous to Swallow Fluoride
The United States is one of only eight countries in the entire developed world that fluoridates more than 50 percent of its water supply. It is added under the guise that it helps prevent and control tooth decay …
This is in spite of the fact that there never been any demonstrated difference in tooth decay between countries with fluoridated and non-fluoridated water, and no difference between states that have a high- or low percentage of their water fluoridated.
Even promoters of fluoridation concede that the major benefits are topical; fluoride works from the outside of the tooth, not from inside of your body, so why swallow it?
The fluoride added to your drinking water is in fact a chemical waste product! It is NOT something you should use as a supplement to your diet.
There are plenty of studies showing the dangers of fluoride to your health, such as:
* Increases lead absorption
* Disrupts synthesis of collagen
* Hyperactivity and/or lethargy
* Muscle disorders
* Brain damage, and lowered IQ
* Bone fractures
* Lowers thyroid function
* Bone cancer (osteosarcoma)
* Inactivates 62 enzymes
* Inhibits formation of antibodies
* Genetic damage and cell death
* Increases tumor and cancer rate
* Disrupts immune system
* Damages sperm and increases infertility
As far as tooth decay is concerned, this is not caused by lack of fluoride.
Tooth decay is caused by acids in your mouth, typically created from sugar being metabolized by bacteria (Streptococcus mutans), and as you may already know, the number one source of calories in the United States is high fructose corn syrup.
The acid produced then attacks your enamel. Eventually the bacteria can get into the dentine, at which point tooth decay sets in. So there are far better options for decreasing tooth decay than using a topical or ingested poison, with a chief one being minimizing your intake of sugary foods and eating a healthful diet.
You typically don’t find dental caries in more primitive societies that do not consume vast amounts of sugar like in the United States.
Make Sure Your Children are Not Exposed to Fluoride
One of dentist Bill Osmunson’s main concerns is water fluoridation for infants. The ADA and the CDC now both recommend that infants NOT receive fluoridated water for drinking, nor for making their formula, as fluoridated water contains 250 times more fluoride than mother’s milk.
“We shouldn’t fluoridate water and harm our most vulnerable,” Dr. Osmunson says.
It is my strong belief and recommendation to avoid giving your children fluoridated water.
Unfortunately, the only way to ensure your water is pure enough to drink is by installing ahigh quality water filtration system in your house, such as a reverse osmosis filter that can filter out much of the fluoride and other dangerous water contaminants like disinfection byproducts (DBPs).
Remember that most bottled water also typically contains fluoride, even though it’s not stated on the label, and whatever you do, avoid using “nursery water,” which is fluoridated water sold specifically for infants.
Fluoride in your drinking water is one more reason why breastfeeding your infant is so essential. Nature has kept breast milk virtually fluoride-free for a reason.
If you are unable to breastfeed and are instead using formula, make sure the water you use is fluoride-free. Again, for now the best way you can provide pure, fluoride-free water to your family is by using a reverse osmosis filter, which you can install in your home.
Even better, if you are unable to breastfeed use this recipe to make homemade infant formula using raw milk and no water at all.
Keep in mind also that if you are a pregnant woman it is equally important for your water to be fluoride-free, as this chemical can harm your developing fetus.
Even though the ADA and the CDC have issued warnings that parents not use fluoridated tap water to make infant formula, neither of them has openly informed the public!
So there are millions of parents out there using tap water to make up formula, oblivious of the fact that the agencies that promote fluoridation in this country have issued a specific warning against using fluoridated water for this purpose.
COMMENTS BY H2O INTERNATIONAL SA
Many municipalities in South Africa still fluoridate their tap water, due to the misconception that fluoride in water helps to improve dental health in young children.
However as can be seen by the articles above, as well as many other published articles and research findings, there are in fact many negative health effects of consuming even small quantities of fluoride, especially for infants and young children.
Tests conducted on H2O International SA’s range of domestic GAC/KDF water purifiers have shown that they effectively reduce the levels of fluoride in municipal tap water by 70-80%, greatly improving the overall quality of tap water and the health and safety of your children by reducing their fluoride intake.
For 100% complete protection against fluoride in tap water, H2O International SA has just launched a new Activated Alumina Fluoride Reduction filter cartridge, that is designed to fit into the filter housing of an existing H2O International SA replaceable cartridge filter system.
This new filter cartridge will be available from the beginning of December, so contact your local H2O International SA Franchise, or email email@example.com to find out more.