Nutrition

Nutrition

Our bodies need fuel to function.  We are fueled by vitamins, minerals, amino acids, carbohydrates, fats, and water.  Hundreds of years ago the food we consumed was locally grown and organic. There were no pesticides.  Roundup hadn’t been invented.  Our soils were nutritionally dense.  Today we eat processed food, trans fats, artificial colors and sweeteners and far too much high fructose corn syrup.  With the quality of our food supply changing, it is more and more difficult to avoid these unhealthy chemicals.   Recently, there has been a push to remove trans fats from our food supply which is a step in the right direction but there is a long way to go.

 

On a more positive note there have been significant advances in our understanding of nutritional biochemistry and there are many ways to improve our health with nutrition.  There is even a new field of medicine called epigenetics, which studies how our gene expression can be altered by our diet and environment.   We are learning how and why vitamin supplementation is helpful as well as simple changes we can make in our diet.  These simple changes can make a huge difference in how we feel and function.

 

There are several ways to assess overall nutritional status.  Blood tests, Hair Analysis, and Red blood cell mineral tests are a few examples.   Our goal is provide you the information you need to make the best decisions for your health and improve your quality of life.

 

Q: Is there an easy way to test my nutritional status?

A: Yes,  simple Hair analysis can inexpensively and non-invasively assess your overall nutritional status.  It also screens for the potential exposure to toxic heavy metals.

 

Q: Is it common to be deficient in vitamins today?

A:  Yes, very.  Take vitamin D for example.   This is done via blood test and an extremely high percentage of the population is testing low on vitamin D.    A significant body of evidence now shows many health benefits of vitamin D.   It is essential for maintaining normal nervous system function, immune system function and has been shown to play a role in preventing cancer.  According to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin D may play a role in osteoporosis, alzheimers, cancer and several other diseases.

 

Q: What types of vitamin treatments do you offer?

A:  Most deficiencies can simply be corrected with oral supplementation.   We also offer several IV therapies for nutritional support such as multivitamin, felice, gaby, myers cocktails, vitamin C IVs, and others.  IV nutrition has the advantage of immediate effect, it bypasses the gut and therefore any absorption issues, and larger doses can be used safely.

 

Q: Do big poultry producers really bathe the chickens in chlorine?

A: Yes. Organic farmers do not use chlorine to kill the bacteria on the chickens, because they do not have to.  The way the chickens are grown and handled results in much healthier chicken and less bacteria. However, chickens from big poultry processing plants often have a high amount of bacteria, so they routinely use the lethal chemical chlorine to decrease the amount of bacteria on the chickens after they have been slaughtered.

 

Q: Are chickens really fed arsenic? And isn’t arsenic toxic?

A: Yes and yes.  Arsenic is toxic to chickens and to humans. Some poultry farmers put arsenic in chicken feed to kill off intestinal parasites which can result in bigger chickens.  The arsenic deposited in the chickens tissue can then be consumed by humans.  When humans consume arsenic they can develop symptoms of arsenic exposure/poisoning including the following:

 

Burning sensation in the mouth & throat Constricted feeling in the throat
Abdominal pain Cramping
Diarrhea Vomiting
Garlicky odor to stools Garlicky odor to breath
Vertigo Delirium
Coma Convulsions
Liver failure Renal failure ensues
Fatigue Weakness

 

Q:  Can the antibiotics fed to chickens lead to problems?

A:   Yes.  Chickens have been fed large amounts of antibiotics since the 1940’s.  This can lead to antibiotic resistance.

 

Q: Are there any problems with cattle being feed corn instead grass?

A:   Until World War II all beef was grass fed.  The majority of beef today comes from corn fed cows which in the short term is a less expensive option.  However, cows fed corn have a more acidic stomach which leads to a plethora of negative health consequences including bloating, diarrhea, ulcers, liver disease, a weakened immune system and infections.  These cattle are then fed antibiotics to help combat all these problems but this can cause other problems.  One organism that can thrive in corn fed cows is E.Coli.  The deadly E. coli strain 0157:H7 is believed to have evolved in the gut of corn fed cattle.  According to the CDC humans become infected with E. coli when they ingest small “usually invisible amounts of human or animal feces.”  This happens more often than we would like to think.   When we are eating corn fed cattle we are eating meat from cows that are less healthy and this has an impact on our health.

 

Q: What are genetically modified or genetically engineered foods?

A: According to the World Health Organization, “genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be defined as organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally.”

 

Q: Is it possible for genes from genetically modified foods to transfer to bacteria or human cells?

A: Yes.

 

Q: Could gene transfer from genetically modified (GM) foods cause problems?

A: Yes.   According to the World Health Organization, “Gene transfer from GM foods to cells of the body or to bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract would cause concern if the transferred genetic material adversely affects human health. This would be particularly relevant if antibiotic resistance genes, used in creating GMOs, were to be transferred.”   Common GMO foods we eat today are soybeans, corn, canola oil, and cottonseed oil.

 

Q: What percent of food is genetically modified?

A: Since their introduction in 1996 the amount of genetically engineered food has sky rocketed. According to the United States Department of agriculture from 2010 to 2011 ~90% of soybeans, ~70% cotton, ~65-70% of corn were genetically modified.  According to California’s Department of Food and Agriculture, 70% of processed foods in American supermarkets now contain genetically modified food.

 

Q: How do I know if the food I am eating is genetically modified?

A: In the US, food that is genetically modified does NOT have to be labeled genetically modified.   You can read the label if the food contains either soybean, cotton, corn or canola oil there is a good chance it is genetically modified.  You can also look for foods that say “NON-GMO”, which some suppliers are doing voluntarily to give the public the option to choose.

 

Q: Do other countries have labels on genetically modified food?

A: Yes, the European Union, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Russia and China have laws requiring genetically modified food to be labeled.

 

Q: What do animals think of genetically modified foods?

A:  Animals, unlike humans, often have a natural sense of what is good for their health.  In the book, Seeds of Deception, author Jeffrey Smith tells a story of cows going out of their way to eat natural non genetically modified corn. They will always choose natural non modified corn if given a choice.  They will only if eat genetically modified corn if forced to do so.

Resources:
http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/divisions/dfbmd/diseases/ecoli_o157h7/#difference
http://www.ers.usda.gov/Data/BiotechCrops/
http://www.healthytheory.com/corn-fed-vs-grass-fed-beef
http://justlabelit.org/right-to-know/
http://www.organicitsworthit.org/quick/gmos-101
http://www.thedailygreen.com/living-green/blogs/organic-parenting/chlorine-chicken-55063002
http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/biotech/20questions/en/

 

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