Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

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BBP and Obesity?

An interesting article on how our environment can epigenetically influence our physiology – in this case fat stores in the unborn. Benzyl butylphthalate or BBP is a chemical used in food preparation equipment and can leach into the foods prepared nearby. It is banned by the EU but is not so restricted in the U.S. To learn more about epigenetics, click HERE.


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Should We Take Probiotics?

Inside a bacterium

Inside a bacterium

There is a lot of attention being paid to altering the gut microbiota to confer health benefits and even prevent obesity. The solution? Take a probiotic. Not so fast – there is a great need for more carefully conducted research on this approach. So far, the research is weak and often flawed. Also are the products living up to their claims? Do they survive the digestive process and are they still viable in the supplement itself? For a previous post on this topic, click HERE.

Bottom Line: It is best to get probiotics from active, live cultures found in yogurts or fermentable foods. Check with your doctor when taking probiotics for antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Some may interfere with the effectiveness of the antibiotic.


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The Alkaline Diet?


Another fad diet that’s been around in many forms for decades -based on the misguided premise of the need to “detox.”  The diet plan mimics many others in terms of a sensible plan with more fruits and vegetables and avoiding highly processed foods;  however, there is no science behind its basis – detoxification. For the origin of this kind of thinking, click HERE.


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Problems with Golden Rice?

Golden Rice  was touted to be a promising biotechnology success to prevent malnutrition in developing countries, in this case, vitamin A deficiency and blindness. Here is the latest article I could find on its current status. According to this source, when you attempt to alter the DNA, other genes are affected. The reason in this case may be the growing ability of the rice. So the situation becomes somewhat complicated.

FYI: A gene for beta-carotene is borrowed from corn and inserted into rice DNA. Beta-carotene is then converted to vitamin A in the body.GMF


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News about Labeling Laws and G.M.O.


An interesting unbiased article supporting the labeling of GMO foods. There are still controversies depending on what side of the debate you are on.

Some considerations:

There are still only short-term, small feeding studies; no long-term studies reflecting a lifetime.

There are doubts about the efficacy of increased crop yields and feeding the world.

There are still some doubts about whether glyphosate is carcinogenic to humans.

Why hide the fact that some foods are produced using biotechnology? Most consumers want to know and 64 countries require it (even China).

Where are the studies on improved nutritional content?

Based on the ties between academia and the biotech industry, can we count on their conclusions?



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