Thursday, February 25, 2010

Survey Data on Lead in Women's and Children's Vitamins

When I talk to people about supplements, one of the things I mention is the importance of knowing who makes them.  For one thing, you want to be sure that they are using quality ingredients.  If you click on the link below, you will see a long list of supplements that contain lead.  If yours is on that list, you may want to consider trying something else.  My vitamins are from a 54 year-old company with a stellar reputation in the industry, and I can assure you,  they do not contain lead.

Survey Data on Lead in Women's and Children's Vitamins

I hope you will share this information with your friends too.  No one needs extra lead in their bodies!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Natural Approach to ADD/ADHD

There is increasing concern about the growing number of children on Ritalin and similar drugs, and many parents are looking for more natural alternatives. The following is a summary of some of the nutrients and herbs that many parents are using with good results to offer nutritional support for learning and brain function.

To give a good nutritional foundation to the brain and nervous system and to the whole child, a good program should always begin with a high quality multi-vitamin/mineral. The B vitamins are really important for the brain…parents have reported that they makes children not only smart, but pleasant!

Calcium-magnesium: These essential minerals are often referred to as natural nerve tranquilizers and muscle relaxants. Pediatric Allergist Dr. Doris Rapp and other authorities feel many learning and behavioral problems are related to allergies and brain sensitivities. Therefore, many recommend limiting milk and dairy products as well as artificial dyes, flavorings, preservatives, etc.

Zinc: In addition to its reputation for improving our immune systems, especially viruses and sore throats, zinc is essential for the brain and helps protect the eyes from aging.

Bifidus and Acidophilus (Probiotics): Essential friendly bacteria that ideally live in our lower intestines. These good bacteria help prevent over growth of bad bacteria and Candida yeast – often associated with attention deficit disorder.

Probiotics are especially important for a child who has ever been on an antibiotic or steroid-based medications (common with asthma). These medications kill off much of these essential “friendly microbes” that live in the lower intestine. Without adequate amounts of these microbes, research now shows the body is more susceptible to infection (especially sinus and upper respiratory) because 70% of the immune system resides in the intestines.

It is very difficult to find an acidophilus/bifidus product that guarantees live delivery of microflora to the intestine. Tests show that many of them do not make it live to your door, much less to your colon. 90% of the microflora alive in these products at the time of manufacture are killed off long before they reach the intestine. So please choose wisely—I know of only one product that guarantees delivery of 500,000 live microorganisms to the intestines without being destroyed by the highly acidic environment of the stomach.

In addition to the above recommendations, for hyper activity, allergies or asthma consider replacing your cleaning and laundry products with non-toxic alternatives. Here’s an excerpt from a powerful testimony: “In your homes, laundry soap stays in the fabric, cleaning chemicals under the sink give off fumes in the air (remember the smell of the cleaning isle in the store!!)…. I wanted to get "as much as possible" out of my son's we went completely Shaklee!! BIG difference !!!! After we cleared out the chemicals and started to clean and do laundry with Shaklee, his rash on his face cleared, all of our sinus infections cleared up, my husband now comments on the smell of homemade bread, and best of all my son has calmed down a great deal !!!”

The best and most affordable health insurance is a diet based on 6 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and a basic supplementation program combined with regular exercise… and lots of love and laughter.

Feel free to contact me to request information on nutritional programs for ADD/ADHD.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Do Toxic Homes Cause Asthma?

Note: Today’s blog entry was written by Dr. Stephen Chaney. Dr. Chaney is a professor of biochemistry, biophysics and nutrition at UNC Medical School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He is also a prominent cancer researcher with a well established research lab he directs at UNC.

Everybody is going green. Biodegradable cleaners are finally in fashion.

But did you realize that many of the cleaners that you buy in the supermarket - and some of the biodegradable cleaners that you buy in the health food store - release toxic fumes in your home that can adversely affect the health of you and your children?

I'm going to focus on just one aspect of this topic - household chemical exposure and childhood asthma.  But first a bit of background information: The prevalence of childhood asthma increased 74% between 1980 and 1994 and has continued to increase in the years since.

The causes of this rapid increase in asthma prevalence are likely to be complex, but evidence has accumulated in recent years that some of the increase may be caused by early exposure to toxic chemical fumes in the home.

Why is that?

The American consumer keeps demanding cleaners that work better (It's considered a big plus if they require no effort) and are easy to use (Don't bother with messy liquids and pastes - just spray it on).  And manufacturers have been willing to oblige by adding ever more exotic chemicals to household cleaners and putting them in aerosol spray cans.

And of course no one opens their windows any more. That would be wasting energy and contributing to global warming.

The result is that these toxic chemicals accumulate in the air that we breathe in our own homes. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency has stated that the air inside our homes is often more polluted than in Los Angeles or New York on a smoggy day.

A number of studies have pointed to an association between these toxic household fumes and childhood asthma, but I'd like to focus on one particularly good study on this topic that was published recently in the European Respiratory Journal (31: 54-57, 2008).

This study measured the household chemical exposure of 7,162 pregnant women in England and looked at the incidence of asthma in their children at age 8.5 years.

A maternal composite household chemical exposure (CHCE) score was derived by measuring the pregnant mother's exposure to a number of common household products known to contain toxic chemicals.

The household products used most frequently were disinfectants (87.4%), bleach (84.8%), aerosols (71.7%), air fresheners (68%), window cleaners (60.5%), carpet cleaners (35.3%) and pesticides/insecticides (21.2%). (For information on the toxic chemicals in these and other common household products visit:

Asthma was quantified based on persistent wheezing (reported by the parents) and several lung function tests that were administered at age 8.5 years.

To make sure that the asthma was not caused by simple allergies the children were also given a skin prick test against a panel of 6 common childhood allergens (house dust mites, cats, mixed grass, mixed nuts, peanuts and milk).  The study also controlled for confounding variables such as exposure to tobacco smoke, damp housing, pets in the home and maternal history of asthma.

In short, this was a very large and particularly well controlled study.

And the results were clear.  Higher household chemical exposure during pregnancy was associated with a 41% increase in childhood asthma in children with no known allergies.

What does that mean to you and me? It means that it is not enough to select household products that are safe for the environment.  We also need to select products that we use in our homes on the basis of their safety for us and our family - not just on the basis of cost and convenience.

To Your Health!

Dr. Stephen G Chaney

P.S. Shaklee, the company that brought us one of the very first biodegradable cleaners and the very first company in the world to be certified as climate neutral, makes a "Get Clean" line of household cleaners that are not only biodegradable but also contain no toxic fumes that could be harmful for your health.

For an additional viewpoint check out Toxic Brew: