Health, Medicine & Nutrition
The One Ingredient Label You Have Never Read… And Should! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 13:53
You Probably Know What’s In Your Kids’ Peanut Butter, But Do You
Know What’s In Their Toothpaste?

Most parents are careful about learning what’s in the stuff their kids eat and drink. They avoid artificial dyes, preservatives, chemicals, and sweeteners. Yet ask just about any of those same folks if they have ever looked at what is in their toothpaste and you’ll likely get blank stares.

Considering the fact that children – and adults -- ingest toothpaste twice a day every day, it’s probably the most frequent thing we put in our mouths other than water or other beverages. And still, most people have never looked at what is in their toothpaste.

Dentist and national oral health care expert Harold Katz, (www.therabreath.com), suggests that needs to change. Many ingredients in some commercial toothpastes are of questionable benefit and some are just plain bad for you.

Consumers have become increasingly aware of the hidden toxins in foods, beverages and eating and drinking utensils, he says. They avoid high fat and high sodium foods, sulfates in their personal care products, aerosol sprays, and toxic chemicals in their household cleaners.

“They’re taking no chances, and rightfully so. Remember the rush to replace plastic baby bottles with glass ones after the BPA scare in 2008?” he asked.

However there has been a surprising lack of attention to toothpaste, Katz says. The dentist suggests that all consumers – but especially parents – take the time to read their toothpaste tubes today. Effects of potentially unhealthy toothpaste ingredients are multiplied in the smaller bodies of children.

Here are a few ingredients to stay away from:

• FD&C blue dye No. 2: This commonly used toothpaste dye is one of several on the list of additives to avoid, maintained by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. It’s said to be linked to learning, behavioral and health problems, severe allergic reactions, and headaches, among other problems.

• Sodium lauryl sulfate: The American College of Toxicology reports this ingredient in cosmetics and industrial cleaning agents can cause skin corrosion and irritation. Doses of .8 to 110 grams/kilogram in lab rats caused depression, labored breathing, diarrhea and death in 4 out of 20 animals.

• Triclosan: An anti-microbial ingredient, the federal Environmental Protection Agency lists triclosan as a pesticide and regulates its use in over-the-counter toothpastes and hand soaps. According to the agency’s fact sheet, “Studies on the thyroid and estrogen effects led EPA to determine that more research on the potential health consequences of endocrine effects of triclosan is warranted. … Because of the amount of research being planned and currently in progress, it will undertake another comprehensive review of triclosan beginning in 2013.”

• Saccharin and aspartame: Both of these artificial sweeteners are on the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s list of additives to avoid.

Toothpaste buyers should look for natural ingredients, such as aloe vera juice, which cleans and soothes teeth and gums and helps fight cavities, according to the May/June 2009 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry's clinical, peer-reviewed journal. Aloe vera tooth gel is said to kill disease-causing bacteria in the mouth, Katz says.

Also, avoid all toothpastes that contain sodium lauryl sulfate, a harsh detergent that has been linked to canker sores. Toothpastes that are free of sulfates include Weleda’s Salt Toothpaste, TheraBreath and Tom’s of Maine.

Brush your teeth at least twice a day and get children into the habit from a young age, Katz says. You’ll have fresh breath, avoid painful dental problems, and be far more likely to have your teeth in your mouth when you go to sleep at night as you age.

Just be sure to check what’s in your family’s toothpaste and avoid buying anything with problematic ingredients. And when it comes to brushing kids teeth use a pea-sized drop of paste on the brush – no more – and oversee brushing to ensure young children don’t swallow their toothpaste, says Dr Katz.

About Dr. Harold Katz

Dr. Harold Katz received his degree in bacteriology from UCLA and is the founder of The California Breath Clinics and author of The Bad Breath Bible. He has been featured on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” CBS’s “Early Show” and “The View” with Barbara Walters and countless other TV shows. Dr. Katz’s formulated the TheraBreath oral care program in 1994 and has continued to update products in order to make use of the most effective and most natural ingredients.

 
Grassley calls on Administration to rescind invasive health care rule PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Sen. Chuck Grassley   
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 13:40

 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley today called on the Secretary of Health and Human Services to rescind the Obama Administration’s health care rule that will force religious affiliated organizations to either abandon their freedom of conscience or pay a fine of up to $2,000 per employee.

The rule issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, as part of the department’s implementation of the sweeping Affordable Care Act of 2010, mandates that religious-affiliated charities, schools and hospitals provide coverage for controversial contraceptive products.

“The federal government does not have the right to tell religious groups to provide a service that violates their faith,” Grassley said.  “This rule emphasizes one of the many concerns Americans have with the 2010 health care law, that it is a dramatic overreach into personal freedoms and liberties.”

In a letter to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Grassley said the mandate as written will result in litigation that could be avoided with a regulation that shows respect for religious freedom.  Here is the text of his letter.

 

February 7, 2012


The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius

Secretary, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

200 Independence Avenue, S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20201

 

Dear Secretary Sebelius,

I write to express serious reservations with the rule issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on January 20, 2012, mandating that religious-affiliated charities, schools, and hospitals provide coverage for controversial contraceptive products.  This decision would force many groups, including charities, schools, and hospitals, to provide coverage of contraceptive and abortifacient products despite strong objections to these drugs rooted in religious beliefs.

The federal government does not have the right to tell religious groups to provide a service that violates their faith.   It is disturbing that under the broad HHS requirement and narrow exemption, religious affiliated organizations will face a choice that Americans should not confront: adhere to their freedom of conscience or pay a fine of up to $2,000 per employee.  As currently written, this mandate will result in litigation that could be avoided if HHS issued a regulation that showed greater respect for religious freedom.

This rule highlights this Administration’s continued invasive role in designing the health care benefits available to Americans and underscores one of the numerous concerns Americans have with the Affordable Care Act.  That the definition of a preventative benefit services has morphed into a requirement to force Americans to buy a product that violates their conscience demonstrates the dramatic overreach of the law into Americans’ personal freedoms and liberties.  This burdensome and morally dubious regulation stands against more than 200 years of our nation's proud history of religious and individual liberty.  I strongly urge you to rescind this rule and ensure that any future issuance of a revised rule respects the conscience of not only medical providers, but healthcare consumers and faith-based organizations as well.

 

Sincerely,

Charles E. Grassley

United States Senator

 
Is A Health Insurance Rebate in Your Future? PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Elisha Smith   
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 13:10

By Steph Larsen, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Center for Rural Affairs

An estimated nine million Americans could receive rebates from their health insurers in 2012. Will you be one of them?

The Affordable Care Act, passed nearly two years ago in March 2010, protects consumers by requiring health insurance companies to spend between 80-85 percent of their premium dollars on medical care or improvements, instead of on administration, advertising or executive salaries. The purpose of this provision is to protect consumers from insurers who increase prices without good reason or justification.

If insurers fail to meet this standard – one that many insurers already achieve now – they will be required to issue rebates to their customers. The federal Health and Human Services Department estimates these rebates could average $165 per individual.

The customers most likely to receive rebates are those who are not part of a large plan through their employer, but instead purchase their insurance on the individual market. group includes many rural small business owners and self-employed workers, such as farmers, ranchers and rural mainstreet entrepreneurs.

Insurers will be required to publish the costs of their medical claims costs, administrative costs and taxes by June 1, 2012. Those who qualify for a rebate will receive checks this summer.

Of course, insurance companies can avoid paying rebates by lowering premiums. Either way, consumers win.

To find out more about health insurance rebates and other Affordable Care Act provisions contact Steph Larsen, at 402.687.2100 or StephL@cfra.org.


 
Study May Prove PTSD is a Medical, Not Psychological, Condition PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 06 February 2012 09:24

A Chicago physician is recruiting veterans with PTSD for a study of a medical treatment that erases symptoms in 30 minutes.

With $82,000 in funding from the state of Illinois, Dr. Eugene Lipov (www.ChicagoMedicalInnovations.org), author of Exit Strategy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, plans to treat 10 patients and follow up with biological marker tests that would help prove his theory that PTSD is a medical, not a psychological, condition. He’s seeking corporate donations to broaden the study in order to hasten the Veterans Administration’s acceptance of the procedure, which has been used to treat 95 patients.

“The Veterans Administration’s treatment for PTSD involves intensive psychological therapy and psychotropic drugs that works only about half the time and can take months or years,” Lipov says. “My treatment, stellate ganglion block (SGB), involves two injections and works very quickly. In 80 to 85 percent of patients, it completely erases symptoms.”

Lipov has treated 50 patients with SGB, an injection of anesthesia into a cluster of nerves in the neck. His success stories date back to his first patient, who remains symptom-free after three years. Another 45 or so veterans have undergone the treatment at four military institutions, including a small study still underway at the Naval Medical Center San Diego.

He theorizes that SGB works because it reduces excessive levels of cortisol, nerve growth factor and norepinephrine in the brain, all stimulated as an organic response to stress.

“This study will be the first that includes checking for post-treatment biomarkers,” Lipov says. “If I can show there’s a biological change, that the treatment’s success isn’t just a placebo effect, I can get more acceptance. Right now, part of the problem is credulity – people can’t believe there’s such a simple solution to a complex problem.”

Treating PTSD with SGB is a new application for a procedure that’s been safely used to treat other conditions since 1925. Lipov has FDA approval for its use for PTSD and recently it was approved for experimental studies by the Institutional Review Board.

But despite congressional support, he has been unable to secure federal funding for a large study that would hasten the treatment’s acceptance by the Veterans Administration. So he’s seeking private and corporate donors to match Illinois’ contribution to his non-profit, Chicago Medical Innovations, so he can expand the biomarker study. People who buy his book Exit Strategy, about the latest PTSD developments, also help fund veterans’ treatments; Lipov donates $5 from each book sale toward the two $1,000 injections.

“The more money I raise, the more patients I can treat, and the more veterans who get better, the more I can publish the results,” Lipov said. “Basically, the more impressive the numbers, the more lives are saved.”

An estimated 300,000 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan suffered post-traumatic stress disorder or major depression, according to a Rand Corp. report. The debilitating condition is characterized by outbursts of rage, terrifying flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety and other issues that lead to substance abuse, violent crimes, joblessness and homelessness.

About Dr. Eugene Lipov

Dr. Lipov graduated from Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and completed two-year residencies in surgery and anesthesiology before receiving advanced training in pain management at Rush University Medical Center, where he worked as an assistant professor of pain management. Today he is the medical director of Advanced Pain Centers in Hoffman Estates, Ill. He has published research articles in several medical journals.

 
Feeling Anxious, Depressed? PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 06 February 2012 09:06
Stop Focusing on Money, Warns Financial ‘Whiz Kid’

He was the 31-year-old stockbroker dubbed “The Wall Street Whiz Kid” by Good Morning America’s Steve Crowley for his uncanny knack of predicting market highs and lows.

Now, after 25 years and two debilitating bouts of clinical depression, Peter Grandich, author of  Confessions of a Wall Street Whiz Kid, (www.confessionsofawallstreetwhizkid.com), says Americans’ market-driven fixation on amassing a fortune is driving us crazy.

“The fight to keep up with the Joneses is leading to more people with intolerable levels of anxiety and stress, which contribute to serious mental health problems,” says Grandich, who runs Trinity Financial Sports & Entertainment Management Co., a firm that specializes in offering professional athletes, celebrities and the general public estate planning from a Christian perspective.

A January Gallup poll found Americans at their highest money stress levels in 10 years, with 51 percent worried about maintaining their standard of living.

“Our whole culture now is built on the premise that we have to have more money and more stuff to feel happy and secure,” he says. “Public storage is the poster child for what’s wrong with America. We have too much stuff because we’ve bought into the myth fabricated by Wall Street and Madison Avenue, which rely on millions of people driven to make more money so they can profit from this insane quest.”

Grandich was one of those people, he says. He loved making money, making more, and spending it. By his mid-30s, he was a multi-millionaire suffering his first disabling panic attacks. Looking back, he says, part of the problem was a life out of balance.

“My priorities were, No. 1, me, my reputation and my ego, and then my wife and our daughter,” he says. “There was not much else.”

Everything rode on how he did in the market, and when that wavered, Grandich grew increasingly anxious. Within a year of his first panic attack, bouts of crippling anxiety and hopelessness rooted as a deep and pervasive depression. Twice, he came to the point of attempting suicide.

In 1995, Grandich left the professional money management and brokerage business, but it took him several more years to find his way back to enjoying his life. He wants to warn others caught up in the money chase, and to offer hope to the one in 10 Americans who suffer depression.

He offers this guidance from his own experience:

• Anybody who has suffered depression more than once is at risk to go through it again. Grandich says he learned he is genetically predisposed to clinical depression because of his family history. “Be prepared to understand that it will always be with you,” he says. “It’s medically driven due to chemical imbalances in the brain.”

• Get professional help. Without medical help you have no chance. “For me, it was talk therapy and pharmaceutical intervention to flip that chemical switch in my brain,” Grandich says. “You can’t just ‘snap out of it’ because you don’t think rationally.”

• It’s not a sign of weakness and nothing to be ashamed about. With men especially, the “macho thing” gets in the way of seeking help, Grandich notes. It’s not something that can be fixed with will power or that you can just snap out of; the brain is injured.

• Get seriously reacquainted with your Creator. Grandich grew up without religion and became a Catholic simply to marry his wife. He had no spiritual anchor and his relationship to God was “the occasional 9-1-1call.” He has found comfort in recognizing that there is “someone bigger than me” in control and in having rules that make sense for governing his life. When friends ask, “What if it turns out there really is no God and no afterlife?” he says, “It’s still a better way to live.”

Grandich says he’s grateful for the revelations he experienced, and that he found a way out of the painful darkness.

“I’m satisfied it happened for a reason, and not to use my experience to help others would be unfair,” he says. “The blessing for me is, I’ve been shown the mess I was. There are still a lot of people out there who don’t yet realize that, if money is their god, they’re headed for a lot of suffering.”

About Peter Grandich

Peter Grandich became renowned in the financial industry when he predicted market crashes and rebounds in The Grandich Letter, a newsletter he created in 1984. It’s currently a blog featuring his commentary on the world’s economies and financial markets as well as social and political topics. Grandich is co-founder, with former New York Giants player Lee Rouson, of Trinity Financial Sports & Entertainment Management Co., a firm that specializes in offering guidance from a Christian perspective to professional athletes and celebrities.

 
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