Antibacterial Personal Care Products Are Linked to Allergies in Children

June 20th, 2012

 From Science Daily (June 19, 2012) This study gives us yet another reason to use more natural products! Cathie— Exposure to common antibacterial chemicals and preservatives found in soap, toothpaste, mouthwash and other personal-care products may make children more prone to a wide range of food and environmental allergies, according to new research from Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.  Results of the NIH-funded study are published online ahead of print June 18 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Using existing data from a national health survey of 860 children ages 6 to 18, Johns Hopkins researchers examined the relationship between a child’s urinary levels of antibacterials and preservatives found in many personal-hygiene products and the presence of IgE antibodies in the child’s blood. IgE antibodies are immune chemicals that rise in response to an allergen and are markedly elevated in people with allergies.

“We saw a link between level of exposure, measured by the amount of antimicrobial agents in the urine, and allergy risk, indicated by circulating antibodies to specific allergens,” said lead investigator Jessica Savage, M.D., M.H.S., an allergy and immunology fellow at Hopkins.   Continue reading »

Kids and Glasses

September 27th, 2011

From ScienceDaily: Young children tend to think that other kids with glasses look smarter than kids who don’t wear glasses, according to a new study.

Children between the ages of 6 and 10 who were surveyed for the study also thought that kids wearing glasses looked more honest than children who don’t wear glasses.

Otherwise, the survey suggested that children don’t tend to judge the attractiveness of their peers who wear glasses when asked about their appearance, potential as a playmate or likely athletic abilities.

The findings might give children some comfort when they are fitted with their first pair of eyeglasses, said lead study author Jeffrey Walline, assistant professor of optometry at Ohio State University.

“If the impression of looking smarter will appeal to a child, I would use that information and tell the child it is based on research,” Walline said. “Most kids getting glasses for the first time are sensitive about how they’re going to look. Some kids simply refuse to wear glasses because they think they’ll look ugly.”

Walline surveyed children in this age range because they are more likely to be prescribed eyeglasses than contact lenses.

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Meditation For ADHD Teens & Adults

May 1st, 2011

Mindfulness meditation significantly helped three-quarters of the participants in a study described here by Dr. David Rabiner: Because of the wide spread interest in new ADHD interventions — particularly non-pharmaceutical approaches — I try to cover credible research in this area when ever I come across it. I was thus pleased to learn about a very interesting study of mindfulness meditation as a treatment for adults and adolescents with ADHD that was published in the Journal of Attention Disorders.

Although medication treatment is effective for many individuals with ADHD, including adolescents and adults, there remains an understandable need to explore and develop interventions that can complement or even substitute for medication. (…)

In recent years, mindfulness meditation has been used as a new approach for stress reduc­tion and incorporated into the treatment for a variety of psychiatric dis­orders, including depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Of special rele­vance to the treatment of ADHD are findings that meditation has the potential to regulate brain functioning and attention. For example, research has demon­strated that mindfulness meditation can modify attentional networks, modulate EEG patterns, alter dopamine levels, and change neural activity.

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Healthiest Response to Radiation Concerns — Donate!

March 17th, 2011

In the wake of tragic news from Japan, Americans are buying iodine supplements to protect themselves from what they fear will be a radiation plume knocking on their front door.

Shocked and concerned, we want to do something, and misleading information leads us to “do something” that is absurd and dangerous.  In fact, the level of radiation that reaches U.S. shores will be low, bringing few, if any, health concerns.  There is no reason to buy iodine!  It can actually damage your health.

There is something you can do: donate the money you were willing to spend at the health food store, and more, to relief efforts in Japan.

To help, you can text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific.  Or, go to redcross.org and donate to “Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami.”

Here is a list of organizations that are mounting relief efforts.

Donating is not only healthier for your body than worrying—it’s good for your soul. — Cathie

The Trouble With Plastics

March 6th, 2011

From All Things Considered by John Hamilton: Most plastic products, from sippy cups to food wraps, can release chemicals that act like the sex hormone estrogen, according to a study in Environmental Health Perspectives.

(R)esearchers bought more than 450 plastic items from stores including Walmart and Whole Foods. They chose products designed to come in contact with food — things like baby bottles, deli packaging and flexible bags, says George Bittner, one of the study’s authors and a professor of biology at the University of Texas, Austin.

Then CertiChem, a testing company founded by Bittner, chopped up pieces of each product and soaked them in either saltwater or alcohol to see what came out. The testing showed that more than 70 percent of the products released chemicals that acted like estrogen. And that was before they exposed the stuff to real-world conditions: simulated sunlight, dishwashing and microwaving, Bittner says. Continue reading »