Turns out deadly dairy fats is another myth

❝ …Difficult as it may be for Millennials to imagine, the average American in the 1970s drank about 30 gallons of milk a year. That’s now down to 18 gallons, according to the Department of Agriculture. And just as it appears that the long arc of American beverage consumption could bend fully away from the udder, new evidence is making it more apparent that the perceived health risks of dairy fats (which are mostly saturated) are less clear than many previously believed.

❝ A new study this week in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is relevant to an ongoing vindication process for saturated fats, which turned many people away from dairy products such as whole milk, cheese, and butter in the 1980s and ’90s. An analysis of 2,907 adults found that people with higher and lower levels of dairy fats in their blood had the same rate of death during a 22-year period.

The implication is that it didn’t matter if people drank whole or skim or 2-percent milk, ate butter versus margarine, etc. The researchers concluded that dairy-fat consumption later in life “does not significantly influence total mortality.”

You can develop a sensitivity to dairy fats. Especially as you get to be a geezer. Like some allergic reactions, indigestion can be bothersome. There are intermediating OTC pills available. In my own case, I just stick to low-fat cheese, low and non-fat milk products…mostly…though I seem to have no problems with my new favorite cultured butter from Brittany by way of Trader Joe’s.

I don’t feel especially threatened. You don’t die from burps or farts. And I passed what was my projected end-of-shelf-life when I retired – several years ago.

Bite From This Tick Makes You Allergic To Red Meat


Wikimedia Commons

❝ The Lone Star tick is distinct for the star-shaped marking on its back. That, and for the fact that, if it bites you, you might not be able to truly enjoy a hamburger ever again.

This carnivore’s nightmare is caused by a sugar molecule known as Alpha-Gal…When someone is bitten by a Lone Star tick, the body’s immune system has to rewire itself in order to combat this newly introduced molecule…

❝ In other words, your body has to create Alpha-Gal antibodies to fight the molecule. Unfortunately, this same molecule is also highly prevalent in red meat.

Many victims don’t realize what’s happened until the next time they eat meat — since the antibodies are most highly activated after the molecule has traveled through their gastrointestinal tract.

“Hours later, patients wake up with hives, shortness of breath, vomiting, and diarrhea,” Stone said. “Some patients have had to be given life support because their blood pressure is so low that they’re in…danger of dying.”

❝ For a lot of people, it takes a few reactions before they realize meat is triggering the outbreaks. After all, they’ve eaten meat their entire lives and been totally fine.

Cases of these kinds of tick bites are on the rise, spreading from the southeastern U.S. all the way up through New York and Minnesota.

As of now, there’s no cure or vaccine.

Ticks are worth avoiding as a general rule, anyway. Lots of bad stuff can get passed along into your circulatory system. And, no, I don’t think it’s a GMO plot by PETA.

Got an itch? 2013 Allergan of the Year – often in moistened wipes

equate feminine wipes
Yes, MI is an ingredient listed in these

“In the last two or three years, we’ve suddenly seen a big increase in people with this type of allergy,” said Dr. Matthew Zirwas, director of the contact dermatitis center at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center. “For some patients, their rash has been unexplained and going on for years.”

Zirwas says the chemical preservative is MI (methylisothiazolinone) and it has been around for years. MI is found in many water-based products like liquid soaps, hair products, sunscreen, cosmetics, laundry products and cleaners as well as pre-moistened personal hygiene products and baby wipes.

“Concentrations of the preservative have increased dramatically in some products in the last few years, as manufacturers stopped using other preservatives like paraben and formaldehyde,” Zirwas said.

The irritated skin can be red, raised, itchy and even blistery, appearing much like a reaction to poison ivy. The three most common areas affected by the allergic reaction include the face, from using soaps and shampoos, the fingers and hands, from handling the wipes, and the buttocks and genitals from using moistened flushable wipes.

“If someone suspects an allergy to moistened wipes, they need to stop using them for at least one month. A week or two isn’t enough time,” Zirwas said.

Zirwas is nationally-known as a kind of ‘dermatologist detective.’ He has spent nearly 10 years sleuthing out the causes of mysterious rashes that others can’t solve. Over the years, he has identified allergies to shoe glue, hot tub chemicals, nickel in food, even a chemical in escalator hand rails. Patients have traveled from as far as Alaska to have him diagnose their skin allergies.

Zirwas says it isn’t clear how many Americans might react to MI, but he says manufacturers are aware of the growing allergy problem and are working on alternatives.

The question easily comes to mind – what level of testing did manufacturers of products like moistened bum-wipes utilize if doctors are discovering allergic reactions are becoming common? Did anyone at the Consumer Product Safety Commission or the FDA happen to ask this question?

Plant-based alternatives to yogurt

Researchers at the Universitat Politècnica de València have obtained new products fermented with probiotic bacteria from grains and nuts — what is known as plant-based or vegetable “milks” — which are an alternative to conventional yogurts. The products are specially designed for people with allergies to cow’s milk, lactose or gluten intolerance, as well as children and pregnant women.

From the laboratories at the Institute of Food Engineering for Development, the team has worked with almonds, oats and hazelnuts and soon will evaluate the use of walnuts and chestnuts as raw material for these new products…

The in vitro studies conducted show how some of the products developed have anti-inflammatory properties in intestine cells, which could alleviate allergic reactions caused by food, and increase the bioavailability of iron. The caseins of cow’s milk as well as being on the list of allergens components hinder the absorption of iron…

Furthermore, the research conducted offers new clues to improve commercial plant-based “milks” available in the market today, which have deficiencies related to low physical stability during storage…

These plant “milks” are characterized by a profile of healthy fatty acids and carbohydrates with low glycaemic index suitable for diabetics. Moreover, they constitute an important source of vitamins B and E, antioxidant compounds…and dietary fibre, which helps to improve intestinal health.

They are also rich in potassium and very low in sodium, so these drinks help maintain a healthy balance of electrolytes.

The “milks” derived from nuts are especially recommended for pregnant women because of its richness in folic acid and its good calcium/phosphorus ratio. “This last property, together with the absence of lactose, milk protein and gluten, are what make these drinks good substitutes for cow’s milk,” concludes Chelo González.

So-called common knowledge says folks who are lactose intolerant shouldn’t have a problem digesting milk-based yogurt. Well, I’m one where that standard flops. The only yogurt I can consume without a problem is the non-fat variety.

Plus – as a fan of adding nuts to your nutrition – I’m looking forward to trying some of these new milks. Now, can you make scamorze or mozzarella with one of them?

BTW – yes, I’m aware of the wide variety of similar products already on the market. Ain’t ever anything wrong with more study. 🙂

Eating nuts during pregnancy = lower allergy risk in children

A new study suggests that mothers who eat nuts during pregnancy can eat them without fear of causing nut allergies in their babies.

Researchers used data from a large prospective study of health and lifestyle among female nurses. They studied 8,205 mothers who were not allergic to nuts and their children born from 1990 to 1994, and found 140 cases of peanut or tree nut allergy among the offspring.

After adjusting for age, race, season of birth, smoking, consumption of fruits and vegetables and other factors, they found that mothers who consumed nuts at least five times a month were almost 70 percent less likely to have a baby with a nut allergy than those who ate nuts less than once a month.

“We showed an association between diet and allergy,” said the senior author, Dr. Michael C. Young, an allergist at Boston Children’s Hospital, “but not cause and effect…”

Still, Dr. Young said, “Previously, women were concerned that eating nuts during pregnancy probably would lead to an allergic baby, but our data dispels that. A woman who is pregnant can eat peanuts without fear that she will have a baby allergic to peanuts.”

Plus – as I posted here previously – developing a habit of eating nuts when there is no risk of allergy is beneficial to your health.

An egg a day to keep your allergies away?

Avoiding sweet treats like pumpkin bread and cookies this holiday season might not be necessary for children with egg allergies. New studies presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting found 56 percent of allergic children can tolerate baked hen’s egg, while 55 percent outgrow their egg allergy entirely.

“More than half of egg allergic children can tolerate hen’s eggs when they are baked at 350 degrees in products such as cakes and breads,” said allergist Rushani Saltzman, M.D….“Dietary introduction of baked egg by an allergist can broaden a child’s diet, improve quality of life and likely accelerate the development of an egg tolerance…”

In a separate study also presented at the meeting, Ruchi Gupta, M.D….found that out of the eight common food allergens, children most commonly outgrew egg allergy.

“Food tolerance was observed in one in four children, with 55 percent outgrowing their egg allergy by age seven,” said Dr. Gupta. “Developing an egg tolerance is the most common for children, followed by milk. A small proportion outgrew shellfish and tree nut allergies.”

If children have shown a severe reaction to eggs in the past they are less likely to outgrow the allergy, according to researchers. Severe symptoms include rapid swelling of the skin and tissue, difficulty breathing and life-threatening anaphylaxis.

“While these studies show many positive findings for children with egg allergy, parents must practice caution,” said allergist Richard Weber, M.D., ACAAI president-elect. “Introducing an allergen back into a child’s diet can have severe consequences, and only should be done under the care of a board-certified allergist.”

Still, the findings are positive, good news for many.

My wife dealt with a ton of allergies, not uncommon among folks growing up in the American Southwest. She started treatment with an allergist a few years back – and over time the visits [and the cost] diminished as the range of allergies bothering her have been reduced in strength and frequency.

‘Ring tone therapy’ to cure hayfever, promote weight loss

Japan is well ahead of the rest of the world in mobile phone technology: handsets that can pick up TV channels have been standard for years and in many shops payments can be made by swiping a phone over a sensor.

But the latest craze is ring tones said to be therapeutic.

Across Japan the arrival of spring is bringing out the cherry blossom but it is also making people reach for their handkerchiefs as, at this time of year, hay fever is rife.

A company called the Japan Ringing Tone Laboratory has developed what it claims is a cure.

For relief, sufferers need only wait for a call on their mobile phone. The sound is supposed to dislodge pollen if the user holds the handset up to their nose.

Do they have a version for constipation?

Another of the so-called therapeutic ring tones is for those trying to lose weight.

We have enough eejits in America that this outfit could make a bundle.

Distinguishing food allergies from false alarms

For Ingelisa Keeling, a Houston mother of three children with multiple allergies, mealtime was a struggle. Nuts, eggs, wheat, beef, peas and rice were all off limits — banned by the children’s allergist.

But recently, Keeling learned that her family’s diet need not be so restrictive. Although her children do have real allergies — to peanuts, milk and eggs, among other foods — extensive testing at a major allergy center showed that they were not in fact allergic to many of the foods they had been avoiding. Her 2-year-old son, who had been living on a diet primarily of potatoes, fruit and hypoallergenic formula, has resumed eating wheat, bananas, beef, peas, rice and corn.

“His diet had become so, so restricted that nutrition had become a real concern,” said Keeling, who traveled to specialists at National Jewish Health in Denver last summer for answers about her children’s diet and eczema problems. Among other findings, she learned that neither of her younger children was really allergic to wheat.

“That’s the big one,” she said. “Wheat is in everything, so it makes life a whole lot easier.”

Doctors say that misdiagnosed food allergies appear to be on the rise, and countless families are needlessly avoiding certain foods and spending hundreds of dollars on costly nonallergenic supplements. In extreme cases, misdiagnosed allergies have put children at risk for malnutrition…

And avoiding food in the mistaken fear of allergy may be making the overall problem worse — by making children more sensitive to certain foods when they finally do eat them.

Continue reading

TSA agents being poisoned by their uniforms?


(try not to scratch…try not to scratch…!)

The new blue uniforms issued to Transportation Security Administration officers at hundreds of airports nationwide may have a snazzy look, but they have become a major irritant for some of those employees.

The new uniforms are causing rashes and other irritations among transportation security officers who screen passengers at airports, according to the union representing the workers.

“We’re hearing from hundreds of TSOs that this is an issue,” said Emily Ryan, a spokeswoman for the American Federation of Government Employees. Most of the complaints have been for skin rashes, but they have also included runny or bloody noses, lightheadeness, red eyes, and swollen and cracked lips, union officials say.

The union blames formaldehyde, which is a chemical byproduct of the permanent-press finish applied by clothing manufacturers to prevent mildew and stains.

So, now, you not only get to deal with ignorance and foolishness, you might be questioned by someone with a rash on their crotch, as well. Cripes!

Teen convicted of assault – with peanut butter

A former Wenatchee High School student will spend four days in jail for smearing peanut butter on the forehead of a fellow student he knew was allergic to peanuts. Joshua Hickson, 19, of Malaga, was convicted of simple assault Tuesday in Chelan County District Court.

“What were you thinking when you did this?” Judge Nancy Harmon asked Hickson before sentencing…

The incident turned out to be fairly innocuous but could have been fatal,” Wenatchee Police Officer Steve Evitt wrote in the report. The victim told police he had suffered a severe reaction to peanuts in the past.

Harmon said she honored the four-day sentence recommendation in part because a recent mental-health evaluation concluded that Hickson suffers some cognitive deficiencies.

“Had it not been for that, the court would have punished you severely,” Harmon said. She could have imposed a jail sentence of up to one year.

I’ve actually witnessed some pretty severe, almost instantaneous, allergic reactions. The systemic shock suffered by those allergic to bee venom especially comes to mind.

Hickson is a fool.