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What is Acrylamide?

Acrylamide is a chemical used mainly in certain industrial processes, such as in making paper, dyes, and plastics, and in treating drinking water and wastewater. There are small amounts in some consumer products, such as caulk, food packaging, and some adhesives. Acrylamide is also found in cigarette smoke.

Acrylamide can also form in some starchy foods during high-temperature cooking, such as frying, roasting, and baking. Acrylamide forms from sugars and an amino acid that are naturally in food; it does not come from food packaging or the environment.

How are people exposed to acrylamide?

In certain foods

Acrylamide has probably always been in some foods, but this wasn’t known until Swedish scientists first found it in certain foods in 2002.

Acrylamide doesn’t appear to be in raw foods themselves. It’s formed when certain starchy foods are cooked at high temperatures (above about 250° F). Cooking at high temperatures causes a chemical reaction between certain sugars and an amino acid (asparagine) in the food, which forms acrylamide. Cooking methods such as frying, baking, broiling, or roasting are more likely to create acrylamide, while boiling, steaming, and microwaving appear less likely to do so. Longer cooking times and cooking at higher temperatures can increase the amount of acrylamide in foods further.

Acrylamide is found mainly in plant foods, such as potato products, grain products, or coffee. Foods such as French fries and potato chips seem to have the highest levels of acrylamide, but it’s also found in breads and other grain products. Acrylamide does not form (or forms at lower levels) in dairy, meat, and fish products.

In cigarette smoke

Acrylamide is also found in cigarette smoke. This is probably one of the major ways smokers are exposed.

On the job

People who work in certain industries (particularly in the paper and pulp, construction, foundry, oil drilling, textiles, cosmetics, food processing, plastics, mining, and agricultural industries) may be exposed to acrylamide in the workplace, mainly through skin contact or by breathing it in. Regulations limit exposure in these settings.

Does acrylamide increase the risk of cancer?

Researchers use 2 main types of studies to try to figure out if a substance causes cancer.

  • Lab studies: In these studies, animals are exposed to a substance (often in very large doses) to see if it causes tumors or other health problems. Researchers might also expose normal cells in a lab dish to the substance to see if it causes the types of changes that are seen in cancer cells. It’s not always clear if the results from these types of studies will apply to humans, but lab studies are a good way to find out if a substance might possibly cause cancer.
  • Studies in people: This type of study looks at cancer rates in different groups of people. It might compare the cancer rate in a group exposed to a substance to the cancer rate in a group not exposed to it, or compare it to the cancer rate in the general population. But sometimes it can be hard to know what the results of these studies mean, because many other factors might affect the results.

In most cases neither type of study provides enough evidence on its own, so researchers usually look at both lab-based and human studies when trying to figure out if something causes cancer.

Based on the studies done so far, it’s not yet clear if acrylamide affects cancer risk in people.

Studies in the lab

Acrylamide has been found to increase the risk of several types of cancer when given to lab animals (rats and mice) in their drinking water. The doses of acrylamide given in these studies have been as much as 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than the levels people might be exposed to in foods. It’s not clear if these results would apply to people as well, but in general it makes sense to limit human exposure to substances that cause cancer in animals.

Studies in people

Since acrylamide was first found in certain foods in 2002, dozens of studies have looked at whether people who eat more of these foods might be at higher risk for certain cancers.

Most of the studies done so far have not found an increased risk of cancer in humans. For some types of cancer, such as kidney, endometrial, and ovarian cancer, the results have been mixed, but there are currently no cancer types for which there is clearly an increased risk related to acrylamide intake.

The studies that have been done so far have had some important limits. For example, many of the studies relied on food questionnaires that people filled out every couple of years. These questionnaires might not have accounted for all dietary sources of acrylamide. In addition, people might not accurately remember what they have eaten when asked in personal interviews or through questionnaires.

While the evidence from human studies so far is somewhat reassuring, more studies are needed to determine if acrylamide raises cancer risk in people. The American Cancer Society supports the call by federal and international agencies for continued evaluation of how acrylamide is formed, its health risks, and how its presence in food can be reduced or removed.


What expert agencies say

Several national and international agencies study substances in the environment to determine if they can cause cancer. (A substance that causes cancer or helps cancer grow is called a carcinogen.) The American Cancer Society looks to these organizations to evaluate the risks based on evidence from laboratory, animal, and human research studies.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is part of the World Health Organization (WHO). Its major goal is to identify causes of cancer.

IARC classifies acrylamide as a “probable human carcinogen” based on data showing it can increase the risk of some types of cancer in lab animals. The evidence in humans was considered to be “inadequate” at the time of the last IARC review of the subject (1994), and at that time acrylamide was not known to be found in foods.

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) is formed from parts of several different US government agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In its most recent Report on Carcinogens (2014), the NTP has classified acrylamide as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen” based on the studies in lab animals.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), an electronic database that contains information on human health effects from exposure to various substances in the environment. The EPA classifies acrylamide as “likely to be carcinogenic to humans” based on studies in lab animals.

(For more information on the classification systems used by these agencies, see Known and Probable Human Carcinogens.)

It’s important to note that the determinations above are based mainly on studies in lab animals, and not on studies of people’s exposure to acrylamide from foods. Since the discovery of acrylamide in foods, the American Cancer Society, the FDA, and many other organizations have recognized the need for further research on this topic. Ongoing studies will continue to provide new information on whether acrylamide levels in foods are linked to increased cancer risk.

Are acrylamide levels regulated?

In the United States, the FDA regulates the amount of residual acrylamide in a variety of materials that come in contact with food, but there are currently no regulations on the presence of acrylamide in food itself. In 2016, the FDA issued guidance to help the food industry reduce the amount of acrylamide in certain foods, but these are recommendations, not regulations.

The EPA regulates acrylamide in drinking water. The EPA has set an acceptable level of acrylamide exposure, which is low enough to account for any uncertainty in the data relating acrylamide to cancer and other health effects.

In the workplace, exposure to acrylamide is regulated by the EPA and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Can I lower my exposure to acrylamide?

For most people, the major potential sources of acrylamide exposure are in certain foods and in cigarette smoke. It’s not yet clear if the levels of acrylamide in foods raise cancer risk, but for people who are concerned, there are some things you can do to lower your exposure.

Certain foods are more likely to contain acrylamide than others. These include potato products (especially French fries and potato chips), coffee, and foods made from grains (such as breakfast cereals, cookies, and toast). These foods are often part of a regular diet. But if you want to lower your acrylamide intake, reducing your intake of these foods is one way to do so.

The FDA’s advice on acrylamide is to adopt a healthy eating plan, consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, that:

  • Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products.
  • Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts.
  • Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.

This type of diet is likely to have health benefits beyond lowering acrylamide levels.

Acrylamide has been detected in both home-cooked and in packaged or processed foods. Acrylamide levels in foods can vary widely depending on the manufacturer, the cooking time, and the method and temperature of the cooking process. Since acrylamide is formed from natural chemicals in food during cooking, acrylamide levels in cooked organic foods are likely to be similar to levels in cooked non-organic foods.

When cooking at home, some methods may lower the acrylamide levels produced in certain foods.

For potatoes, frying causes the highest acrylamide formation. Roasting potato pieces causes less acrylamide formation, followed by baking whole potatoes. Boiling potatoes and microwaving whole potatoes with skin on does not create acrylamide.

Soaking raw potato slices in water for 15 to 30 minutes before frying or roasting helps reduce acrylamide formation during cooking. (Soaked potatoes should be drained and blotted dry before cooking to prevent splattering or fires.)

Storing potatoes in the refrigerator can result in increased acrylamide during cooking. Therefore, store potatoes outside the refrigerator, preferably in a dark, cool place, such as a closet or a pantry, to prevent sprouting.

Generally, acrylamide levels rise when cooking is done for longer periods or at higher temperatures. Cooking cut potato products, such as frozen French fries or potato slices, to a golden yellow color rather than a brown color helps reduce acrylamide formation. Brown areas tend to have more acrylamide.

Toasting bread to a light brown color, rather than a dark brown color, lowers the amount of acrylamide. Very brown areas contain the most acrylamide.

Acrylamide forms in coffee when coffee beans are roasted, not when coffee is brewed at home or in a restaurant. So far, scientists have not found good ways to reduce acrylamide formation in coffee.

Not smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke are other ways to potentially reduce your exposure to acrylamide, as well as to many other potentially harmful chemicals.

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Giant weed that burns and blinds spreads across Canada

Drew Halfnight   10/07/13 

A huge, toxic plant that can burn skin and cause permanent blindness has been found for the first time in eastern Ontario, prompting calls for a federal response to contain the spread of the poisonous plant as fear grows no province is immune.

A forestry official confirmed two new findings of giant hogweed last week in Renfrew County, west of Ottawa. It has previously been spotted in Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Quebec, southwestern Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. About 50 plants were spotted in Toronto’s Don Valley two weeks ago.

Contact with the weed’s clear, watery sap can be very dangerous, Jeff Muzzi, Renfrew County’s forestry manager and weed inspector.

“What it does to you is pretty ugly,” said Mr. Muzzi. “It causes blisters. Large blisters and permanent scarring. What’s left over looks like a scar from a chemical burn or fire.”

Even a tiny trace of sap applied to the eye can singe the cornea, causing temporary or permanent blindness, he added. The chemicals in the sap, furocoumarins, are carcinogenic and teratogenic, meaning they can cause cancer and birth defects.

Most provinces have not authorized official weed inspectors to destroy the poisonous plant because it does not impinge on agriculture.

Mr. Muzzi said he only began eradicating the plant because nobody else would. “It’s not really my job,” he said. “I just thought, somebody better take the bull by the horns here, ’cause this stuff is really dangerous.”

Giant hogweed is already rampant in parts of Europe including England, where the rock group Genesis wrote a 1971 ode to the plant and its “thick dark warning odour.”

Native to the Caucasus Region and Central Asia, it was brought to Europe and North America as a botanical curiosity in the 19th and 20th centuries and has spread rapidly. It typically grows on riverbanks, ditches and roadsides.

The risk of infection was so high, Mr. Muzzi wore a Tyvek suit, protective goggles, rubber gloves, “the whole nine yards,” to remove it, he said. “Which is really nice in 35-degree weather.”

The weed’s sap, which is found all over the plant, bonds chemically with human skin when exposed to sunlight and, within 48 hours, leads to inflammation, red colouring and itching, weeping blisters and eventually black and purplish scars.

“It’s those flower heads you want to get rid of,” Mr. Muzzi said. “I went out, suited up, cut all the flowerheads off and bagged them. Then I nuked the plants with Round-Up.”

Most susceptible to infection are gardeners, campers and children, who have been known to use the plant’s large, hollow stems as play telescopes or pea-shooters.

“If a person takes a weed-whacker to this stuff, they get the sap all over,” Mr. Muzzi said.

While the weed is on the federal government’s official noxious weeds list, there is apparently no national or provincial strategy in place to stop its spread.

Guy Baillargeon, a biologist with the Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility, called the weed an “emerging” problem, not yet a national one.

“Very few people are aware of it right now,” he added. “I am not aware that this species is on any provincial list yet.”

Mr. Baillargeon said a federal plan is in the works to deal with invasive species in general, but not hogweed in particular.

“I believe the plant has been here long enough that it would now be difficult to eradicate it,” Mr. Baillargeon said.

“So I don’t expect that things will happen overnight. But we need to talk about it.”

A 2005 study of the plant’s spread in Canada said it was likely to continue for the next 25 to 100 years “with worsening ecological, economic and health effects.”

source: National Post

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The Dark Side of Food Colors

Michelle Schoffro Cook    May 10, 2013

The next time you’re at a child’s birthday party, notice the beautiful array of cakes, cookies, and cupcakes, all showcasing a rainbow assortment of artificial colors.  While they may make these sweets look appetizing to children, these synthetic ingredients often take the place of nutrition in foods.  For example, fruit juice that contains colors is typically devoid of any fruit, making it artificially-colored sugar water.  Worse than that, many food colors are linked to hyperactivity disorders and cancer.

Artificial coloring is a serious problem in fast food and fake food.  A recent petition by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group, has called for a ban on the use of artificial dyes in food.  The group has targeted its petition at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, seeking the phasing out of eight artificial food dyes linked to serious health risks.  While they have made their case based on the risks to children, I have no doubt these artificial colors are wreaking havoc on adults as well.

Many Guises

While the names of the dyes are meaningless to most people (yellow 5 or tartrazine, which is derived from coal tar, and blue 2 or indigotine, for example), their effects are not.  These toxins are commonly found in concentrated fruit juices, condiments, and some cheeses, to name a few.  An article in the Globe and Mail reported that many popular snacks such as Smarties, Froot Loops, Cheetos, Doritos, and Reeses’ Pieces simply list colors without defining whether they are from a natural or artificial source.

A Carcinogen by Any Other Name

Blue dye number 1 and 2 are linked with cancer in animal tests, while red dye number 3 causes thyroid tumors in rats.  Green dye number 3 is linked to bladder cancer, and yellow dye number 6 is linked to tumors of the kidneys and adrenal glands.  While these colors are readily used in most processed, prepared and packaged foods, what bothers me the most is that they are commonplace in the diets of children.

Most candy, cakes, cupcakes, baked goods, maraschino cherries, fruit cocktail, gelatin desserts, and soft drinks contain these harmful substances, which serve no other purpose than to make so-called food look “pretty” and attract children whose bodies are particularly sensitive to them during the developmental years.

While those in the natural health and nutrition fields are aware of the dangers of these dyes, it appears a 2007 study in The Lancet, a reputable, mainstream medical journal, brought wider attention to this health concern.  Health Canada, the federal government health department in Canada has stated that it has begun to require the lebeling of colors in food using the specific name, but that doesn’t get the toxins out of the food.  Knowing what it is doesn’t make it less dangerous, only avoidable for those who both read the label and know what to look out for.  And, I don’t see too many eight-year-olds reading labels.  Not many adults do either.

The food industry must be accountable for the ingredients they use and strong disincentives are needed to keep dangerous additives and artificial colors out of the food supply, particularly as many are known carcinogens.

source: Care2.com

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Use in Cosmetics

BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT(butylated hydroxytoluene) are closely related synthetic antioxidants used as preservatives in lipsticks and moisturizers, among other cosmetics. They are also widely used as food preservatives.

Health and Environmental Hazards

BHA and BHT can induce allergic reactions in the skin [1]. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies BHA as a possible human carcinogen [2]. The European Commission on Endocrine Disruption has also listed BHA as a Category 1 priority substance, based on evidence that it interferes with hormone function [3].
Long-term exposure to high doses of BHT is toxic in mice and rats, causing liver, thyroid and kidney problems and affecting lung function and blood coagulation [4].BHT can act as a tumour promoter in certain situations [5]. Limited evidence suggests that high doses of BHT may mimic estrogen [6], the primary female sex hormone, and prevent expression of male sex hormones [7], resulting in adverse reproductive affects.
Under the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic, BHA is listed as a chemical of potential concern, noting its toxicity to aquatic organisms and potential to bioaccumulate [8]. Likewise, a United Nations Environment Program assessment noted that BHT had a moderate to high potential for bioaccumulation in aquatic species (though the assessment deemed BHT safe for humans) [9].

Regulatory Status

The use of BHA and BHT in cosmetics is unrestricted in Canada, although Health Canada has categorized BHA as a “high human health priority” on the basis of carcinogenicity and BHT as a “moderate human health priority”. Both chemicals have been flagged for future assessment under the government’s Chemicals Management Plan.
International regulations are stronger. The European Union prohibits the use of BHA as fragrance ingredient in cosmetics. The State of California requires warning labels on products containing BHA, notifying consumers that this ingredient may cause cancer.
International regulations are stronger. The European Union prohibits the use ofBHA as fragrance ingredient in cosmetics. The State of California requires warning labels on products containing BHA, notifying consumers that this ingredient may cause cancer.

1. U.S. National Library of Medicine, in Haz-Map: Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents, 2010, http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov.
2. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans vol. 17 (Paris: International Agency for Research on Cancer), vol. 40 (1986).
3. Study on Enhancing the Endocrine Disrupter Priority List with a Focus on Low Production Volume Chemicals, Revised Report to DG Environment (Hersholm, Denmark: DHI Water and Environment, 2007),http://ec.europa.eu/environment/endocrine/documents/final_report_2007.pdf.
4. UNEP and OECD, 2,6-di-tert-butyl-p-cresol (BHT) Screening Information Data Set: Initial Assessment Report (Paris: OECD, 2002),http://www.inchem.org/documents/sids/sids/128370.pdf.
5. Baur, A.K. et al., “The lung tumor promoter, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), causes chronic inflammation in promotion-sensitive BALB/cByJ mice but not in promotion-resistant CXB4 mice,” Toxicology 169, no. 1 (December 2001): 1-15.
6. Wada, H. et al., “In vitro estrogenicity of resin composites,” Journal of Dental Research 83, no. 3 (March 2004): 222-6.
7. Schrader, TJ and GM Cooke, “Examination of selected food additives and organochlorine food contaminants for androgenic activity in vitro,” Toxicological Sciences 53, no. 2 (February 2000): 278-88.
8. “OSPAR List of Substances of Possible Concern. Fact sheet for Butylhydroxyanisol.” (OSPAR, April 15, 2002), http://www.ospar.org.
9. UNEP and OECD, 2,6-di-tert-butyl-p-cresol (BHT) Screening Information Data Set: Initial Assessment Report.

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Eating red meat raises ‘substantially’ risk of cancer or heart disease death

Data collected over 28 years reveal striking link – and show that consuming fish or poultry instead contributes to a longer life
Press Association     guardian.co.uk, Monday 12 March 2012
Regularly eating red meat increases significantly risk of death from heart disease and cancer, according to a study of more than 120,000 people carried out over 28 years.
The findings show that each extra daily serving of processed red meat – equivalent to one hot dog or two rashers of bacon – raised mortality rate by a fifth.
Conversely, replacing red meat with fish, poultry, or plant-based protein foods contributed to a longer life. Nuts were said to reduce mortality rate by 20%, making a case for swapping roast beef for nut roast.
Data from 121,342 men and women taking part in two large US health and lifestyle investigations were analysed to produce the findings, published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.
The studies monitored the progress of their participants for more than 20 years and gathered information about diet.
Scientists documented 23,926 deaths, including 5,910 from heart disease and 9,364 from cancer, and there was a striking association in the data between consumption of red meat and premature death.
Each additional daily serving of unprocessed red meat, equivalent to a helping of beef, lamb or pork about the size of a deck of cards, raised the mortality rate by 13%, while processed meat increased it by 20%.
When deaths were broken down into specific causes, eating any kind of red meat increased the chances of dying from heart disease by 16% and from cancer by 10%. Processed red meat raised the risk of heart disease death by 21% and cancer death by 16%.
Senior author Professor Frank Hu, of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, US, said: “This study provides clear evidence that regular consumption of red meat, especially processed meat, contributes substantially to premature death.
“On the other hand, choosing more healthful sources of protein in place of red meat can confer significant health benefits by reducing chronic disease morbidity [illness] and mortality.” Previous research has linked red meat consumption to cancer risk.

The study found that cutting red meat out of the diet entirely led to significant benefits. Halving red meat consumption could have prevented 9.3% of deaths of men and 7.6% of women taking part in the study.

The researchers came to their conclusions after taking account of known chronic disease risk factors such as age, body weight, physical activity and family history.
The World Cancer Research Fund recommends that people avoid processed meat entirely and limit their consumption of red meat to 500g a week. Dr Rachel Thompson, the charity’s deputy head of science, said: “This study strengthens the body of evidence which shows a link between red meat and chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
“The study calculates that lives would be saved if people replaced red meat with healthy protein sources such as fish, poultry, nuts and legumes. We would like to see more people replacing red meat with these type of foods.”
The findings were challenged by Dr Carrie Ruxton, of the Meat Advisory Panel, an expert body funded by the meat industry.
She said: “This US study looked at associations between high intakes of red meat and risk of mortality, finding a positive association between the two. However, the study was observational, not controlled, and so cannot be used to determine cause and effect.”
Dr Ruxton pointed out that meat and meat products were significant sources of essential nutrients such as iron, zinc, selenium, B vitamins and vitamin D.
In the UK, red meat was “critically important” to zinc intake, contributing 32% of the total for men and 27% for women. Red meat also contributed about 17% of total dietary iron intake in the UK.
Victoria Taylor, a dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, said: “This study links red meat to deaths from CVD [cardiovascular disease] and cancer.
“Red meat can still be eaten as part of a balanced diet, but go for the leaner cuts and use healthier cooking methods such as grilling. If you eat processed meats like bacon, ham, sausages or burgers several times a week, add variation to your diet by substituting these for other protein sources such as fish, poultry, beans or lentils.”
• This article was amended on Tuesday 13 March. The original stated that an extra serving of red meat raised mortality rate by a fifth without specifying frequency of consumption. This has been corrected.

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Foods that Contain the Highest Amount of Pesticides

By Jordan Miller Guest Writer for Wake Up World 6th April 2012

Much of the produce that is sold today in supermarkets is supplied from farmers who practice conventional farming methods. In other words, the produce has been grown using chemical fertilizers as well as pesticides and herbicides.

Many scientific studies suggest that the effects of synthetic pesticides can be detrimental to our health; one study suggests that the consumption of pesticides may lead to ADHD in children; in some other cases, exposure can lead to many forms of cancers, infertility problems and birth defects. Along with the many other poor ‘food like’ products we are eating, there is an array of foreign substances that are entering our bodies.

As we expose ourselves to these synthetic substances over the years, our bodies become overloaded, and our ‘cleaning’ mechanisms fail to work. As a result, many of us develop sickness and disease because our bodies cannot efficiently remove these toxins anymore. In order to help give your body a break from this chemical onslaught, we have suggested what foods should be eaten organically. The foods listed below are some of the most toxic to our bodies if eaten from conventional sources. Based the Environment Working Group (EWG), they contain the most pesticides on or in them compared to other foods; so, if you are considering in switching to organic, we would suggest considering the below foods as a first propriety in your transition.

Top 12 Foods You Should Eat Organically (From lowest to highest amount of pesticides)

1. Apples: They contain 42 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 42 pesticide residues, there are 7 known carcinogens, 19 suspected hormone disruptors, 10 neurotoxins, 6 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 17 honeybee toxins.

2. Cherries: They contain 42 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 42 pesticide residues, 7 known or probable carcinogens, 22 suspected hormone disruptors, 7 neurotoxins, 8 development or reproductive toxins, and 18 honeybee toxins.

3. Green Beans: They contain 44 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 44 pesticide residues, there are 8 known carcinogens, 22 suspected hormone disruptors, 11 neurotoxins, 8 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 18 honeybee toxins.

4. Collard Greens: They contain 46 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 46 pesticide residues, there are 9 known carcinogens, 25 suspected hormone disruptors, 10 neurotoxins, 8 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 25 honeybee toxins.

5. Spinach: It contains 48 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 48 pesticide residues, there are 8 known carcinogens, 25 suspected hormone disruptors, 8 neurotoxins, 6 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 23 honeybee toxins.

6. Sweet Bell Peppers: They contain 49 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 49 pesticide residues, there are 11 known carcinogens, 26 suspected hormone disruptors, 13 neurotoxins, 10 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 19 honeybee toxins.

7. Lettuce: It contains 51 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 51 pesticide residues, there are 12 known carcinogens, 29 suspected hormone disruptors, 9 neurotoxins, 10 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 21 honeybee toxins.

8. Blueberries: They contain 52 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 52 pesticide residues, there are 8 known carcinogens, 24 suspected hormone disruptors, 14 neurotoxins, 7 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 21 honeybee toxins.

9. Strawberries: They contain 54 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 54 pesticide residues, there are 9 known carcinogens, 24 suspected hormone disruptors,11 neurotoxins, 12 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 19 honeybee toxins.

10. Kale: It contains 55 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 55 pesticide residues, there are 9 known carcinogens, 27 suspected hormone disruptors, 10 neurotoxins, 10 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 23 honeybee toxins.

11. Peaches: They contain 62 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 62 pesticide residues, there are 10 known carcinogens, 29 suspected hormone disruptors, 12 neurotoxins, 11 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 25 honeybee toxins.

12. Celery: It contains the most at 64 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 64 pesticide residues, there are 13 known carcinogens, 31 suspected hormone disruptors, 12 neurotoxins, 14 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 20 honeybee toxins.

Honourable Mentions

Broccoli: It contains 33 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program.

Cucumbers: They contain 35 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program.

Grapes: They contain 34 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program.

Potatoes: They contain 37 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program.

Tomatoes: They contain 35 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program

5 Foods that Contain the Lowest Pesticide Residues

Bananas: They contain 12 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 12 pesticide residues, there are 4 known carcinogens, 7 suspected hormone disruptors, 2 neurotoxins, 5 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 2 honeybee toxins.

Grapefruit: It contains 11 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 11 pesticide residues, there are 4 known carcinogens, 4 suspected hormone disruptors, 4 neurotoxins, 4 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 2 honeybee toxins.

Almonds: They contain 9 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 9 pesticide residues, there are 1 known carcinogens, 4 suspected hormone disruptors, 3 neurotoxins, 0 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 4 honeybee toxins.

Asparagus: It contains 9 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 9 pesticide residues, there are 1 known carcinogens, 7 suspected hormone disruptors, 4 neurotoxins, 3 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 5 honeybee toxins.

Onion: It contains 1 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 9 pesticide residues, there are 0 known carcinogens, 0 suspected hormone disruptors, 0 neurotoxins, 0 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 0 honeybee toxins.

When buying produce always consider buying organic. Better yet, to ensure freshness, ensure to buy local as much as you can. When you can buy both local and organic, you can guarantee that the product is both free of pesticides, and full of nutrients. Further to this, you will also avoid any potential foods that may have been genetically modified. To check out pesticide residues on other sources of food, you may visit: whatsonmyfood.org. By substituting the top 12 pesticide laden foods with organic, you can eliminate up to 80% of pesticides from your diet.

Sources: whatsonmyfood.org/index.jsp

source: wakeup-world.com

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The Medicinal Wonder of Flaxseed

By Sayer JiWake Up World 20th January 2012

Flaxseed has remarkable therapeutic properties, with over 50 potential applications in the prevention and treatment of disease, as documented in the peer-reviewed biomedical literature itself*

Flaxseed’s role in breast cancer is one of the more compelling areas of research, considering this is the #1 form of cancer afflicting women today, and that most women still equate “prevention” with subjecting themselves to annual breast screenings involving highly carcinogenic 30 kVp gamma rays — overlooking entirely the role of diet, as well as avoidable chemical exposures. (More on this topic)

Given that flaxseed already has an exceptional nutritional profile, there are a broad range of reasons to incorporate it into the diet, even if only as a nourishing food. The main reason why the public is so enthralled by flaxseed (and rightly so!) is for its relatively high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, and the density of soothing, mucilaginous fiber it contains. Now, an accumulating body of scientific research reveals flaxseed’s hitherto secret ‘second life’ as a medicinal powerhouse, confirming how timelessly true was Hippocrates proclamation that food is also medicine.

In 2005, the journal Clinical Cancer Research published a placebo-controlled study involving patients who received a 25 gram flaxseed-containing muffin over the course of 32 days. After observing a reduction in tumor markers and an increase in programmed cell death (apoptosis) in the flaxseed-treated patients, the authors concluded: “Dietary flaxseed has the potential to reduce tumor growth in patients with breast cancer.”

Additional animal research supports flaxseed’s role in suppressing human breast cancer. In immunosuppressed mice (thymus removed), flaxseed and an extract of pure secoisolariciresinol diglucoside from flaxseed was capable of suppressing the estrogen-fed (estradiol-17 beta) growth of transplanted human breast cancer tumors.

The anti-cancer effects of flaxseed are not limited to breast cancer alone. Prostate cancer, another archetypally hormone-senstive cancer, is also benefited from this remarkable seed. In a 2008 study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, prostate cancer patients scheduled at least 21 days before prostate removal were randomnly assigned to one of 4 groups: 1) control (usual diet) 2) flaxseed-supplemented diet (30 g/d) 3) low-fat diet 4) flaxseed-supplemented, low-fat diet. The authors noted “Proliferation rates were significantly lower (P < 0.002) among men assigned to the flaxseed arms.” The study concluded: “Findings suggest that flaxseed is safe and associated with biological alterations that may be protective for prostate cancer.”

How does flaxseed work to prevent and/or regress hormone-associated cancers? The surprising answer is it is due to flaxseed’s distinctively hormonal and/or hormone-modulating activity. Flaxseed contains compounds known as phytoestrogens which have the ability to interact with cellular estrogen receptors. Although an increasingly common mantra in the conventional medical community (particularly in the field of oncology) is to identify all estrogens, including phytoestrogens, as “carcinogenic,” the weight of the evidence stands against this accusation, both in the case of soy and flaxseed. Our indexing project, for instance, has identified 36 studies on soy’s anti-breast cancer properties. It helps to understand the biochemistry in order to make sense of how a plant estrogen may actually reduce estrogen activity in the body…

The byproducts of flaxseed fermentive biotransformation in the colon: namely, enterodiol (END) and enterolactone (ENL), are known to modulate estrogen levels in tissues affected by these compounds. They are weakly estrogenic, which explains why they may alleviate hot flash symptoms in women dealing with hormone insufficiency, but are also antiestrogenic, capable of binding to estrogen receptors and blocking out more powerful estrogens (both endogenous and xenobiotic) at the same time. This is also known as Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulation (SERM): the ability to down-regulate estrogen activity in one tissue (breast), and up-regulate it in another (bone or brain). Soy contains the phytoestrogen compound genistein, also a byproduct of the bacterial biotransformation, which shares in this dual-acting SERM activity. Although drug companies have attempted to reproduce SERM-like affects with novel, synthetic compounds, often the unintended, adverse affects far outnumber the intended therapeutic ones. This is one reason why the discovery of pharmacologically active principles in foods, i.e. food as medicine, holds so much promise as the drug-driven system of conventional medicine begins to collapse under the growing weight of its own incompetence.

In the meantime, while you are enjoying flaxseed as a nourishing food, it is reassuring to know you may gain protection from the following health conditions in the process:

Breast Cancer (12 articles)

Dry Skin (2 articles)

Prostatic Hyperplasia (3 articles)

Breast Cancer: Prevention (3 articles)

Diabetes Mellitus: Type 2 (3 articles)

Aging Skin (2 articles)

High Cholesterol (2 articles)

Lupus Nephritis (2 articles)

Prostate Cancer (3 articles)

Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity (1 article)

Blepharitis (1 article)

Cardiovascular Disease (1 article)

Cholesterol: LDL/HDL Raito (1 article)

Diabetes: Cardiovascular Disease (1 article)

Dyslipidemias (1 article)

Elevated CRP (1 article)

Estrogen Deficiency (1 article)

Hot Flash (1 article)

Meibomian gland dysfunction (1 article)

Metabolic Syndrome X (1 article)

Prostate: PSA Doubling Time (1 article)

Skin Diseases (1 article)

Colon Cancer (5 article)

Adiponectin: Low Levels (3 articles)

Polycystic Kidney Disease (3 articles)

Fatty Liver (2 articles)

Abdominal Obesity (1 article)

Arteriosclerosis (1 article)

And Many More…

*The information provided in this document is not intended to diagnosis, prevent, treat or cure any disease. By sharing this information, we are pointing the viewer to the research itself as source of education.

About the Author Sayer Ji is the founder of GreenMedInfo.com, the world’s largest, evidence-based, open-source, natural medicine database. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter

source: wakeup-world.com

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Bacon, Processed Meat Linked to Pancreatic Cancer

Ann Pietrangelo

January 13, 2012

Hold the bacon, hold the sausage. Researchers in Sweden suggest that eating an extra 50g of processed meat each day — that a couple of slices of bacon or a link of sausage — could increase your risk of pancreatic cancer by 19 percent.

The risk of pancreatic cancer increases by 38 percent for people who eat 100 grams a day and 57 percent for people who eat 150 grams a day of processed meat, compared to those who eat none.

Researchers analyzed data from 11 other trials, involving 6,643 patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, concludes that, “processed meat consumption is positively associated with pancreatic cancer risk. Red meat consumption was associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer in men. Further prospective studies are needed to confirm these findings.”

Pancreatic cancer has a relative survival rate of about 5.5 percent, making it one of the most lethal types of cancer.

Processed meat has been linked to a host of other health problems.

Associate Professor Susanna Larsson, study author based at the Karolinska Institutet, said in a press release:

“Pancreatic cancer has poor survival rates. So as well as diagnosing it early, it’s important to understand what can increase the risk of this disease.

“If diet does affect pancreatic cancer then this could influence public health campaigns to help reduce the number of cases of this disease developing in the first place.”

Sara Hiom, director of information at Cancer Research UK, said:

“The jury is still out as to whether meat is a definite risk factor for pancreatic cancer and more large studies are needed to confirm this. But this new analysis suggests processed meat may be playing a role.

“We do know that, among lifestyle factors, smoking significantly ramps up the risk of pancreatic cancer. Stopping smoking is the best way to reduce your chances of developing many types of cancer and other diseases as well.”

source: care2.com

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Consumer Reports Says Arsenic in 10% of Apple, Grape Juice Samples Too High

By Daniel J. DeNoon
WebMD Health News

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

Nov. 30, 2011 – Ten percent of store-bought apple and grape juice samples have more arsenic – and 25% have more lead – than the Environmental Protection Agency allows in bottled water, a Consumer Reports study finds.

Those total arsenic levels are well below the FDA’s current “level of concern” that prompts further tests. But the consumer advocacy group says the federal agency should be more worried.

A Consumer Reports poll shows that over a third of kids age 5 years and younger drink more apple juice (over 6 ounces or one juice box a day) than pediatricians recommend. Children are more sensitive to arsenic poisoning than are adults. And a lot of them drink at least 16 ounces a day, potentially exposing them to high levels of arsenic.

Moreover, a scientific survey commissioned by Consumer Reports – using CDC survey data – found that people who reported drinking apple juice or grape juice have about 20% higher levels of arsenic in the urine than those who didn’t drink juice.

“We’re concerned about the potential risks of exposure to these toxins, especially for children who are particularly vulnerable because of their small body size and the amount of juice they regularly consume,” Urvashi Rangan, PhD, director of safety and sustainability for Consumer Reports, says in a news release.

Arsenic has been used as a poison since ancient times. Just a postage-stamp size bit of inorganic arsenic is lethal.

But tiny amounts consumed over time can be deadly, too. Arsenic has been linked to bladder, lung, and skin cancer. It increases a person’s risk of heart disease, immune deficiency, and diabetes.

FDA: High Arsenic Levels in Some Juice Samples

The FDA last week reported that since 2005 it has tested 160 apple-juice samples for arsenic. The FDA findings were similar to those of Consumer Reports – except that a few of the samples tested by the FDA had much higher arsenic levels.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets a standard of 10 parts per billion (ppb) of total arsenic in drinking water. But that’s for “long-term, chronic exposure to arsenic in drinking water,” according to the EPA. According to the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, drinking water generally contains about 2 ppb of arsenic, although some areas have considerably higher levels.

Total arsenic isn’t the point, however. Organic arsenic isn’t currently considered dangerous. But inorganic arsenic is deadly – and Consumer Reports says that most of the arsenic in apple and grape juice is inorganic.

How much inorganic arsenic is a problem? The FDA currently worries about 23 ppb. But Consumer Reports says the cutoff should be much lower: 3 ppb for arsenic and 5 ppb for lead.

Can juice be made that safe? Apparently so. Over 40% of the juice tested byConsumer Reports had less than 3 ppb of arsenic and less than 5 ppb of lead.

In a Nov. 21 letter to consumer groups that had urged the FDA to set safety limits for arsenic in apple juice, the FDA hinted that it’s getting ready to take action.

“We are seriously considering setting guidance or other level for inorganic arsenic in apple juice and are collecting all relevant information to evaluate and determine an appropriate level,” wrote Michael M. Landa, acting director of the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

What “guidance or other level” means is hard to know. The FDA has the authority to make a formal rule setting an absolute tolerance level for heavy metals. But making such a rule is a lengthy process, and one that FDA almost never uses for chemicals.

The Juice Products Association says “juice is safe for consumers of all ages.”

In a statement issued in response to the Consumer Reports article, the industry group said: “The juice industry adheres to FDA guidelines and juice products sold in the U.S. and will continue to proactively meet or exceed the federal standards.”

Arsenic in Rice, Other Foods

Arsenic in apple juice isn’t the only issue. It’s also found in chicken, rice, and, according to a June report at a scientific conference, in brand-name baby foods.

According to a 2004 study cited by Consumer Reports, arsenic was found most often in baby foods containing sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, and peaches.

Rice is also particularly good at soaking up the inorganic, poisonous form of arsenic.

“U.S. rice has among the highest average inorganic arsenic levels in the world — almost three times higher than levels in Basmati rice imported from low-arsenic areas of Nepal, India, and Pakistan,” Consumer Reports says.

Rice from the southeastern U.S. is particularly likely to be contaminated, according to an expert cited by Consumer Reports. But package labels rarely identify the source of the rice inside.

Reducing Arsenic Risk

Here is advice from Consumer Reports for reducing arsenic risk:

  • Test your water if you get it from a well or spring. Municipal water systems already test water for arsenic.
  • Limit how much juice your kids drink. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says infants under the age of 6 months should not drink fruit juice at all. Up to age 6, kids should drink less than 4 to 6 ounces a day. And those over age 6 should drink no more than 8 to 12 ounces of juice a day.
  • Consider organic chicken. Organic chicken is never given feed laced with arsenic, a common poultry practice. However, organic standards for juice and other foods isn’t so clear, as organic fruits may come from orchards with arsenic in the soil.
  • Get tested. If you’re worried, ask your doctor to test you or your child for arsenic.

The Consumer Reports report on arsenic in juice was published online on Nov. 30 and will appear in the January issue of the magazine.

SOURCES: Consumer Reports web site.News release, Consumer Reports.O’Bryant, S.E. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, published online, March 15, 2011.FDA web site.Siobhan DeLancey, spokeswoman, FDA.Statement, Juice Products Association.

2011 WebMD

source: Emedicinehealth.com

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Well-done red meat linked to aggressive prostate cancer

This is another piece of evidence for the notion that ... grilled meat, contains carcinogens, Ronald D. Ennis says

By Amanda Gardner, Health.com
November 23, 2011

(Health.com) — Cardiologists and other doctors already view artery-clogging red meat as a villain, and they now have another reason to urge their patients to steer clear: A new study has found that men have a higher risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer if they consume a lot of ground beef and other red meat — especially if the meat is grilled or well-done.

The men in the study who ate about two servings of hamburger or meat loaf per week were more than twice as likely to have been diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer as the men who ate none. But most of that increase in risk can be attributed to how the meat was cooked.

When the researchers looked only at the members of the burger-loving group who ate their meat grilled or barbecued, the numbers told a different story: The men who preferred their burgers well-done had double the cancer risk, while those who liked them medium (or rarer) had a negligible increase in risk — just 12 percent. A similar pattern was seen with grilled or barbecued steak.

“This is another piece of evidence for the notion that red meat, particularly grilled meat, contains carcinogens that may relate to prostate cancer,” says Ronald D. Ennis, M.D., director of radiation oncology at St. Luke’s — Roosevelt Hospital Center, in New York City, who was not involved in the study.

When meat is cooked — and charred — at high temperatures over an open flame, a reaction occurs that causes the formation of two chemicals: heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). In animal studies, these chemicals have been shown to cause several types of cancer, including prostate cancer.

Although by now it is well established that red meat increases the risk of heart disease and colorectal cancer, its role in prostate cancer has been less clear. Numerous studies have investigated a possible link between meat consumption and prostate-cancer risk, but the results have been inconsistent.

“This study not only associates red meat with a risk of prostate cancer but it takes it a little bit forward by looking at the method of cooking and the degree of cooking,” says Lee Richstone, M.D., an associate professor of surgery and a prostate-cancer specialist at the Smith Institute of Urology, in New Hyde Park, N.Y. “It helps contribute to our understanding of a potential mechanism in the form of [HCAs] and [PAHs].”

In the study, which was published this week in the journal PLoS One, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco compared about 500 men who recently had been diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer to a cancer-free group of similar size who served as controls. All of the participants filled out detailed questionnaires about their diets over the previous year, including the amount of meat they ate and how it was prepared.

Men who ate the most ground beef were 2.3 times more likely than men who ate none to have aggressive prostate cancer. Higher consumption of fatty lunchmeats (such as salami) and liver was also associated with an increase in cancer risk. On the other hand, poultry, bacon, and low-fat hot dogs and sausages appeared to have little influence on cancer risk.

The study “certainly supports the notion that these types of foods may be harmful in some ways,” Ennis says.

Close to one-fifth of U.S. men will at some point in their lives develop prostate cancer, which ranges in severity from benign tumors that need little or no treatment to very aggressive forms that are usually deadly. Age, family history, and genetics all have been shown to increase risk. The evidence for environmental risk factors — including diet — is less clear, though researchers have long suspected they play a role because of the wide geographical variation in prostate-cancer rates.

The study is far from airtight. The data on meat consumption relied on the memory of the participants, for instance. And although the researchers took into account several known risk factors for prostate cancer (such as family history, smoking, and body mass index), it’s possible that other unidentified factors contributed to the apparent link between meat consumption and cancer risk.

Still, the findings are compelling enough that men should consider exercising “moderation and caution,” Richstone says.

“There’s an expanding and building body of literature that does point to this type of connection, and I think papers like this make for a stronger and stronger argument that men need to moderate their intake of highly cooked meat,” he says.

Health Magazine 2011

source: CNN