Tag Archive for 'diabetes'

Weekly Highlights (2/22/2012)

We hope you had a fantastic long weekend! This week’s highlights was delayed a bit so I could devote some time to the arsenic and rice news that came out late last week. Here’s a little more of what I’ve been reading this past week. - Jasmine

In the News:

Johnson & Johnson Recalls Infant’s Tylenol - In case you missed it on our Facebook page, Johnson & Johnson has issued a nationwide recall of all infant tylenol on the market due to reported difficulties using the new dosing syringe.

You may recall that manufacturers of infant’s tylenol were in the process of changing the concentrations and dosing systems to make administering easier and safer. Unfortunately, back to the drawing board for J&J.

No adverse events have been reported, but if you’d like a refund you can visit their website or call for a refund. Consumers can still use the product if the flow restrictor remains in place. The instructional video below issued by McNeil demonstrates how to use the syringe.

Maine Groups Press for BPA Ban After Chemical Found in Baby and Toddler Food - 11 out of 12 major brands of jarred baby food tested positive for BPA in the lids, and tests also showed that the BPA had been found in the baby food. Levels were 1 to 3 parts per billion, but the physiology professor cited in the article says that’s enough to be concerned. Levels in toddler canned foods were found up to 134 parts per billion. Just one of the many reasons I chose to make my own baby food. If you’re interested, you can find tips here: Homemade Baby Food - As Easy as 1-2-3.

EPA Issues Long-Awaited Dioxins Report - After working on the report for decades, the EPA has released the first half of its assessment on the toxicity of dioxins, the most toxic of all man-made chemicals. The first release addresses the noncancerous effects, while the second half of the report is expected to address evidence of the chemical’s cancerous effects.

While the report concludes that dioxins are seriously toxic at low levels, it says that exposures have declined so much over the past few decades that most people should not be concerned. As one scientist put it, though, that statement is “very odd” as it ignores people who are exposed to higher levels or more sensitive to the effects, like fetuses and young children.

FDA Will Not Allow More Fungicide in Orange Juice - Back in January, the FDA halted imports of orange juice and began inspecting them after they received notification that Brazilian growers had been using a U.S.-banned fungicide. Now Brazil has requested an exception for the fungicide until they can phase it out, but the FDA has denied the exception. As a result, Brazil will have to stop exports of concentrated OJ until they can meet EPA limits for the fungicide.

New Research:

BPA’s Obesity And Diabetes Link Strengthened By New Study 
To date, studies have suggested a link between BPA and metabolic problems, but no one was really sure why until now. A new study released last week has determined that BPA fools a specific receptor into thinking that it is estrogen, an insulin regulator, and triggers the release of almost double the insulin actually needed to break down food. When that specific receptor was removed from the subject mice, the effect disappeared.

According to the author of the study, Angel Nadal, “When you eat something with BPA, it’s like telling your organs that you are eating more than you are really eating.” And surprisingly, the effects were seen at very low levels of exposure - a quarter of a billionth of a gram was enough to do the trick. What is most concerning is the impact on pregnant women and developing fetuses, who are particularly sensitive - ”The fetus is not only exposed to BPA but also to higher levels of insulin from the mother, making the environment for the fetus even more disruptive,” says Nadal. “This is a very delicate period.”

Children at Risk for Ingestion of PAHs from Pavement Sealant
Coal tar sealants, commonly used in the Central, Southern, and Eastern U.S. to refresh driveways and parking lots, are a source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, some of which can cause cancer. Researchers from Baylor University and the U.S. Geological Survey have found that children living next to driveways or parking lots coated with coal tar are exposed to 14 times the amount of the chemicals than those living near untreated asphalt. Exposure is primarily through contaminated dust tracked into the home, rather than food as once thought. Coal-tar-based pavement sealant has PAH concentrations 100 to 1,000 times greater than most other sources.

A History of Kids and Sleep: Why They Never Get Enough
I wouldn’t say that the article explains why children never get enough, but a recent review of about 300 studies on sleep duration in children found some interesting results:

  • Over the 112 years the study covered, age-specific recommendations for sleep and actual sleep duration of children has declined at similar rates.
  • Over that same period, children have lost about 75 minutes of shut-eye with overstimulation and modern technology to blame.
  • There’s not much evidence behind sleep recommendations; they’re pretty subjective. Kids consistently get at least 30 minutes less than the recommendations.
  • Different countries have different standards, but American children sleep less than nearly all other children.

Fantastic Finds:

How to Get Rid of Facebook Timeline, Bring Back a Simpler View - Anyone else struggling to get used to the new timeline view? It seems cluttered and messy to me. LifeHacker just published an article with a plugin that can be used to adjust your browser’s Facebook view for a cleaner look. I’m definitely going to try this out.

Clean Protein & Organic Foods, Does it Matter? - An absolutely fascinating read on why it’s important to look beyond the organic label and really understand where your food came from and how it was raised.

4 Health Reasons to Eat Chocolate (and Cons to Consider) - With Valentine’s Day behind us and chocolate floating around the house, this article is timely and informative.

From Playdate to Parliament: Mom Takes Tot to Work - Adorable. Little Victoria Ronzulli conducts important business at the European Parliament alongside mother and Italian politician, Licia Ronzulli.

Recalls, February 14 – February 21:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls

No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it to jasmine@purebebe.com.

What is Your Vitamin D ‘Number?’

A few months ago I went to the Dr. to have some blood work done. My doctor wanted a “full workup” since I was expecting my third child. About a month later, during my next appointment, the nurse told me that I was one of the first pregnant women that they had tested in a while who had normal vitamin D levels. When I asked what my level was, they told me 34.3.

Although I tested within what the general medical community would define as the “normal” range (30-70), I was disappointed. I had been going to a holistic pharmacist who had me on 5,000IUs a day. But when I found out I was expecting, I wasn’t sure how this would affect the baby and cut back to what was provided in my natal vitamin, plus an extra 1000IUs. It also didn’t make me feel any better to hear my nurse tell me that her number was 6 when tested, so that my 34.3 was “really good.” Seriously, I was concerned for her health if her vitamin D was a mere 6, and I was concerned about all of the other pregnant women walking around deficient in vitamin D.

I recently called my holistic pharmacist because I couldn’t remember what range he had suggested. He told me that recent studies have shown that a range of 50-70 is “normal,” and that 60 would be optimal for most people.

What is vitamin D?
According to the NIH, “Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. It is also produced endogenously when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis.”

And as we all know, no one is getting enough sunlight these days, especially throughout the winter months.

Why does my body need vitamin D?
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, which is needed for bone growth and overall bone health, and helps prevent osteoporosis in adults and rickets in children. According to the NIH, laboratory and animal studies suggest that vitamin D could help prevent colon, prostate and breast cancers. Additionally, “a growing body of research suggests that vitamin D might play some role in the prevention and treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, hypertension, glucose intolerance, multiple sclerosis, and other medical conditions.” In fact, studies have shown that taking vitamin D seems to reduce women’s risk of getting Multiple Sclerosis by up to 40%!

What about my exclusively breastfed baby, who doesn’t get vitamin D from the sun or other food sources?
The NIH also states that “Prolonged exclusive breastfeeding without the AAP-recommended vitamin D supplementation is a significant cause of rickets, particularly in dark-skinned infants breastfed by mothers who are not vitamin D replete.” In other words, if you exclusively breastfeed your baby, you should discuss adding a daily vitamin D liquid vitamin to your infant’s breastmilk. We gave D Vi Sol, a vitamin D supplement, to both of our girls while they were exclusively breastfed, to prevent rickets.

So how do you find out your (or your child’s) vitamin D level, you ask?
Quite simple, really. The next time you to go to the doctor, ask for a blood test. It takes less than 5 minutes.

-Have you had your vitamin D levels checked recently?
-Are you currently taking a vitamin D supplement?

Chlebowski RT, Johnson KC, Kooperberg C, Pettinger M, Wactawski-Wende J, Rohan T, Rossouw J, Lane D, O’Sullivan MJ, Yasmeen S, Hiatt RA, Shikany JM, Vitolins M, Khandekar J, Hubbell FA; Women’s Health Initiative Investigators. Calcium plus vitamin D supplementation and the risk of breast cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2008 Nov 19;100(22):1581-91.

Garland CF, Gorham ED, Mohr SB, et al. Vitamin D and prevention of breast cancer: pooled analysis. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2007;103:708-711.

Lappe JM, Travers-Gustafson D, Davies KM, et al. Vitamin D and calcium supplementation reduces cancer risk: results of a randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2007; 85:1586-1591.

Medline Plus: Vitamin D

Weekly Highlights (8/22/2011)

Welcome to “Weekly Highlights”, our weekly post that recaps important child health and safety news, research, and recalls from the previous week but also give us an avenue to share some of the other great reads we’ve come across in our internet travels.

Beginning this week, we’re moving Weekly Highlights to Mondays to recap the week before. But of course, because we missed last weekend you’ll get two weeks in one today. Happy reading!

In the News:

Adult-Inspired Lingerie Marketed for Young Girls - A French lingerie company aims to create a new market for loungerie (lingerie inspired loungewear) for girls ages 4-12. Much controversy ensues. What’s your take?

FDA Says Walnuts Are Illegal Drugs - I can think of better ways that the FDA can spend their time.

Schools Restore Fresh Cooking to the Cafeteria – A back-to-scratch movement is taking shape in schools in response to concerns over obesity and nutrition in our children. Let’s hope this movement gains momentum.

Asian Honey, Banned in Europe, Is Flooding U.S. Grocery Shelves - Investigative reporting highlighting concerns over imported honey.

Tax-Free School Shopping Underway - Sales-tax holidays are taking effect in various states over the next few weekends.

Babysitter Charged After Putting a Baby In a Stroller in the Back of a Moving Pickup Truck -”It’s not like they give you a handbook…” What??

New Research:

Window Falls Remain a Childhood Hazard
Based on data collected from 6,100 hospital emergency rooms over a 19 year period ending in 2008, an average of nearly 5,200 children a year — about 14 a day — are admitted to hospital emergency rooms after falling from windows.  83% of these falls were from windows with screens. Take note: A window with a screen is not enough.

Diabetes, Pesticide Link Intensifies in New Study
“Another study has drawn a link between high levels of pesticides in blood tests and increased risk of type 2 diabetes, particularly in individuals that are already overweight.”

Preschoolers Lunches Carried Into the Danger Zone
An examination of 1,361 food items in packed lunches of 235 preschool children (ages 3 to 5) found only 22 items at food-safe temperatures…even though 49 percent contained ice packs and another 12 percent were stored in a refrigerator. Read the article for tips on packing safe meals.

Toxicity of Insecticides = The Sum of its Parts
A study of pyrethyroid insecticides commonly used on food crops found that their combined effect on rodent brain cells was equal to the sum of the effects of each individual insecticide. The study verifies prior animal studies and confirms that mixtures of these insecticides produce an additive effect when combined.

Good Reads:

Q. What’s With the Turkey Recall? A. Same Old, Same Old. from Food Politics - How the USDA has dragged its feet in the latest turkey recall.

Family Happiness and the Overbooked Child from The NY Times - Let’s relax, and enjoy life along with our children at a slower pace.

GoodGuide Toolbar: Help for Busy Parents Seeking Safer and Greener Products from Non-Toxic Kids - An internet toolbar that helps you identify products that are safe, healthy, green, and socially responsible? Sounds like something I’d like to look into.

Recalls, August 7 – August 22:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls
No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

We’d love your feedback! If there is anything you’d like us to add or change, we’d love to hear it! If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it our way to purebebeblog@gmail.com. We hope your week is off to a great start!


Jasmine & Heather

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