Our Better Health

Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


3 Comments

The Healthiest Water to Drink: Is There Such a Thing?

The science is clear: Staying hydrated and drinking enough water has health benefits.

Hydration can help lubricate and cushion joints, protect sensitive tissues in your body, flush out waste and keep your immune system and even your skin healthy.

Yet when it comes to bottled water, there are several types on the market: spring, purified, mineral, artesian and even alkaline. Is any type best?

It turns out that might come down to personal preference, as more research seems to be needed for a definitive answer.

“For the price, I’m going to get spring water,” said Dr. Eddie Fatakhov, a physician and nutritionist at the Center for Internal and Integrative Medicine in Alpharetta, Georgia. “Because I know it came from the spring.”

Spring, purified, mineral, artesian: What’s the difference?\

Spring water comes from an underground source and must be collected at the spring or through a borehole tapping the spring’s source, according to the International Bottled Water Association.
The association defines purified water as water that has been highly treated – through distillation, deionization or other suitable processes – in order to meet certain standards before being sold.

Mineral water is natural water that has a constant level and relative proportions of mineral and trace elements – containing no less than 250 parts per million total of dissolved solids, according to the water association. No minerals can be added to it.

Then there’s artesian water, which is derived from a well that taps a specific layer of rock or sand.
You also might have seen alkaline water on store shelves; it has a higher pH level than tap water. A pH level is a measure of how acidic or basic water is. Seven is a neutral pH. Higher pH levels are more alkaline, or basic; lower pH levels are more acidic.

“Tap water has a pH of roughly around 7, and alkaline water is closer to about 8 or 9,” Malina Malkani, a registered dietician nutritionist and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told CNN in January.

Could alkaline water provide any special health benefits? “There’s really not a lot of evidence either supporting of the health claims that are made about alkaline water or refuting the claims,” Malkani said.

In other words, the jury is still out.

Malkani noted that “if all the body systems are functioning as they should be, the blood pH isn’t going to vary too much. So it’s a misconception that you can, by drinking an alkaline water, drastically affect the pH of the body.”

Illnesses are common causes for changes in the blood pH level. Diabetes can make your blood more acidic, but kidney problems can make it more alkaline. Certain foods, including dairy products, also can make your blood more acidic.

It is more common for companies to manufacture alkaline water, but natural alkaline water can occur when water picks up minerals from areas such as springs, when it passes over rocks in the environment.

“Alkaline compounds are salts and metals that, when added to water, make it more basic,” Malkani said.

All in all, the general consensus among health experts for now is that making sure you are drinking enough water is more important than the type of water you prefer.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommend that men drink an average of about 3.7 liters (125 ounces) of water each day and that women drink about 2.7 liters (91 ounces). That water can come from beverages and foods, according to the recommendations.

So, for men and women respectively, “that’s 15 cups of water and 11 cups of water, from the eight cups we were taught to believe,” Fatakhov said.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated, according to the Mayo Clinic, which noted that the Office on Women’s Health recommends that women who breastfeed consume about 13 cups of fluids a day.

“North America is dehydrated,” Fatakhov said, and that’s a problem because “83% of your lungs is water. If you take the heart and the brain, 73% is water. If you take the bones, about 31% is water. If you take the kidneys and muscles, about 76% is water. Your body is made up of water.”

‘Water boosts energy’

Water not only benefits your health, it could help you control your weight.

A study published in the Annals of Family Medicine in 2016 found a significant association between not being adequately hydrated and having an elevated body mass index, known as BMI.
BMI is determined based on a person’s height and weight. Having a BMI of 30 or higher is categorized as obese.

The study was based on data from 9,528 people ages 18 to 64, whose levels of hydration were measured in urine samples. Those whose samples showed inadequate hydration tended to have higher BMIs and higher odds of being obese, compared with the hydrated adults.

Water can benefit weight management because staying hydrated helps you better understand when you are actually hungry, and it can boost your metabolism and energy.

“Because of our high water content, it makes sense that our bodies need water to keep our systems functioning. So the next time you hit that afternoon slump, drink a glass of water to increase your energy levels,” Fatakhov said.

“Think about it like this: I tell you to drink water, and you drink water. Your body has to convert that water back to your body temperature. So if you drink cold water, your body has to turn it back to body temperature,” he said. “That’s why they say it’s better to drink cold water than hot water if you’re trying to burn calories.”

If you think you’re not drinking enough water, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers some tips:
=> Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day for easy access to water.
=> Choose water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages, even when eating out.
=> Add a wedge of lime or lemon to water to help improve taste.
=> Try chilling freezer-safe water bottles for easy access to ice-cold water throughout the day.

CNN Digital Expansion 2016 Jacqueline Howard
By Jacqueline Howard, CNN
Wed March 20, 2019
source: www.cnn.com

glass_water

Top Ten Reasons to Oppose Water Fluoridation

There are many reasons to oppose water fluoridation, including safety concerns and health risks.

Reason #1 to Oppose Water Fluoridation: Fluoridation is a violation of the individual’s right to informed consent to medication.  Within a community water supply, fluoride is being added to the water of everyone, even if some people do not want it and still others do not even know about the fluoride being added to the water or about its health risks.  Informed consumer consent is needed for water fluoridation, especially because of the alarming lack of safety for this chemical and its health risks.
Reason #2 to Oppose Water Fluoridation: Fluoride is not an essential nutrient. Fluoride is not a required component for human growth and development. In fact, fluoride has been recognized as one of 12 industrial chemicals known to cause developmental neurotoxicity in human beings. Researchers have repeatedly challenged the alleged safety and effectiveness of fluoride.
Reason #3 to Oppose Water Fluoridation: Hundreds of research articles published over the past several decades have demonstrated potential harm to humans from fluoride at various levels of exposure, including levels currently deemed as safe. Fluoride is known to impact the cardiovascular, central nervous, digestive, endocrine, immune, integumentary, renal, respiratory, and skeletal systems, and exposure to fluoride has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, infertility, and many other adverse health outcomes, including fluoride toxicity.
Reason #4 to Oppose Water Fluoridation: People are now exposed to fluoride from an array of sources.  Since water fluoridation began in 1940s, an array of products containing fluoride have been introduced to the average consumer including water, dental products, pesticides, fluoride supplements, other prescription drugs, and many other sources. There is no current accurate estimate of just how much fluoride people are taking in from all of these sources. However, dental fluorosis is recognized as the first visible sign of fluoride toxicity. It is likewise a warning signal of the human health risks associated with fluoride exposure. According to 2010 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 23% of Americans aged 6-49 and 41% of children aged 12-15 exhibit fluorosis to some degree
Reason #5 to Oppose Water Fluoridation: A “one dose fits all” level is unacceptable.  Susceptible populations with low body weights, such as infants and children, and individuals who consume increased amounts of water, such as athletes, military personnel, outdoor laborers, and those with diabetes or kidney dysfunction, can be more intensely effected by fluoride.  Additionally, fluoride is also known to impact each individual differently based on allergies, nutrient deficiencies, genetic factors, and other variables. Notably, a bottle-fed baby in a fluoridated area gets up to 200 times more fluoride than a breast-fed baby, resulting in an increased risk of dental fluorosis and other adverse effects.
Reason #6 to Oppose Water Fluoridation: There is not a wide-spread understanding about how fluoride interacts with other chemicals.  This issue is crucial to understanding risks of artificial water fluoridation, as the multiple chemicals to which we are exposed to can produce distinct reactions and interactions. For example, the fluoride added to many water supplies attracts lead, which can be found in certain plumbing pipes. Likely because of this affinity for lead, fluoride has been linked to higher blood lead levels in children.
Reason #7 to Oppose Water Fluoridation: Does it even work to prevent tooth decay?  The trend of decreased decayed, missing, and filled teeth over the past several decades has occurred both in countries with and without the systemic application of fluoridated water. This suggests that increased access to preventative hygiene services and more awareness of the detrimental effects of sugar are responsible for these improvements in dental health. Research has also documented decreases of tooth decay in communities that have discontinued water fluoridation.  Even proponents of fluoride have suggested that fluoride primarily works to reduce tooth decay topically (i.e. scrubbing it directly onto to teeth with a toothbrush), as opposed to systemically (i.e. drinking or ingesting fluoride through water or other means).
Reason #8 to Oppose Water Fluoridation: Ethical questions have been raised in regard to the use of fluoride, especially because of fluoride’s ties to the phosphate fertilizer and dental industries. Furthermore, researchers have reported difficulties with getting articles published that are critical of fluoride, and an urgent need for an appropriate application of the precautionary principle (i.e. first, do no harm) related to fluoride usage has emerged.
Reason #9 to Oppose Water Fluoridation: Fluoridation discriminates against those with low incomes. Research has indicated that fluoride does not aid in preventing pit and fissure decay (which is the most prevalent form of tooth decay in the U.S.) or in preventing baby bottle tooth decay (which is prevalent in poor communities). Also, research has suggested that in malnourished children and individuals of lower socio-economic status, fluoride can actually increase the risk of dental caries due to calcium depletion and other circumstances. Moreover, people on low incomes are least able to afford avoidance measures (reverse osmosis or bottled water) or medical and dental treatment for dental fluorosis and other fluoride-related ailments.
Reason #10 to Oppose Water Fluoridation: It also poses threats to animals (pets and wildlife), as well as the environment at large.  Animals are exposed to fluoride in the environment through pollution of air, water, soil, and food. It is important to consider their overall fluoride exposure as a result of each of these sources. Harmful effects of fluoride, including species vulnerability, have been reported in an array of wild animals. Even domestic pets have been subjects of reports raising concerns about fluoride exposure, especially through their water and food.
source: iaomt.or
Advertisements


1 Comment

Why Everyone Should Care About Endocrine Disruptors

BY CHERYL BIGUS    SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

You endocrine system is an information superhighway that regulates your bodily functions. It releases hormone “messengers” through your body’s glands to stimulate and regulate everything your body does to keep you alive.

Understanding endocrine disruptors is a first line to balancing your endocrine system and hormone functions.

What are endocrine disruptors?

Endocrine disruptors and man-made chemicals that alter, mimic or block hormone production or the system that carries them. You can call these external stressors, while your internal stressors that affect the system are rooted in negative emotions, fear, trauma and stress.

Where can endocrine disruptors be found?

You might be surprised at how common they are, and that you’re exposed to them every day. They can be found in:

  • common household cleaners
  • yard, garden and farm chemicals
  • personal care products
  • preservatives
  • artificial and “natural” flavors in processed food products
  • parfum, “natural” fragrance, or anything “unscented.”

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council some of the proven endocrine disruptors include dioxin, PCBs, DDT, and other pesticides.

cans

Some of these disruptors are surprisingly abundant in your internal and home environment. Here are some of the most common ones, along with the products that often contain them:

  • Bisphenol: BPA, BPS in plastics and in the lining of canned goods.
  • Triclosan: “antibacterial” products that interfere with thyroid hormones.
  • Phthalates (DBT, DEHP): haircare products, lotions, some plastic food containers, vinyl.
  • Perfluorinated chemicals: Teflon, Gore-Tex, PFOS, PFOA, as well as anything “stain-resistant,” make-up, nail polish and (surprise) dental floss.
  • Parabens: butyl-, methyl-, ethyl-, and propyl-parabens act as synthetic estrogen.
  • Sodium lauryl sulphates (SLS): a foaming agent in personal care and cleaning products.
  • Fluoride: blocks proper absorption of iodine by the thyroid gland as well as affects the pineal, parathyroid and pancreas. It causes dental and skeletal fluorosis.

These are some of the major culprits, and by no means is this a complete list. There are more than 80,000 chemicals and pesticides on the market in the U.S. that have never been tested for safety, and they’re in everything from food packaging to your clothes, your furniture, carpets and cabinetry.

Why should you care?

These chemicals are in the air you breathe and many water supplies in the US. They affect everything in the food chain from plants, fish, birds and the mammals that eat them (that means you).

Even with the EPA in place, there isn’t proper testing done on chemicals to determine toxicity or the effects on the population. The government takes the stance that many of these chemicals are GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) … until proven otherwise.

The general population doesn’t have the resources to prove these chemicals are safe and government feels its a burden that is too much for industry to bear.

What can you do?

Start by getting rid of the plastics in your life and cleaning up your personal care products (including sunscreen) by replacing them with ones that don’t have parabens or SLS. Here are a few other rules of thumb that can help you eliminate some of the worst endocrine disruptors on the market today:

  • Don’t buy anything stain-resistant or Teflon.
  • Buy fresh or frozen instead of canned. There are a few companies that don’t use BPA-lined cans, such as Muir Glen and Eden Foods.
  • If it smells like plastic or vinyl, it’s off-gassing and your body is absorbing that through your skin (your largest organ) and your lungs.
  • Don’t purchase or use anything anti-bacterial which are in most personal care products to protect us from germs and microbes. Watch out it is in toothpaste now as well. Plain old fashioned non-detergent soap is good enough to fight most germs.
  • Use bamboo cutting boards instead of plastic. They are naturally anti-microbial.
  • Use fluoride-free dental products and water that you drink, cook with and bathe in.
  • Start swapping out your cleaning and laundry supplies for soaps instead of detergents.

Don’t try to attack this all at once. As you can afford, start replacing things that you use or that you are in contact with the most.


Leave a comment

Six Neurotoxic Industrial Chemicals Linked to Rise In Brain Disorders

The rise in disorders like autism, ADHD and dyslexia could be linked to the industrial use of neurotoxic chemicals, according to new research published in The Lancet (Grandjean & Landrigan, 2014).

The epidemiologists have identified six chemicals that could have negative effects on children’s development.

This is on top of a previous report in 2006 which listed five potentially dangerous chemicals.

The six chemicals include fluoride, manganese, a solvent called tetrachloroethylene, DDT (a pesticide) and a flame retardant containing polybrominated diphenyl ethers.

Author Philippe Grandjean, from the Harvard School of Public Health, explained:

    “The greatest concern is the large numbers of children who are affected by toxic damage to brain development in the absence of a formal diagnosis. They suffer reduced attention span, delayed development, and poor school performance. Industrial chemicals are now emerging as likely causes.”

The researchers identify studies providing evidence for connections between six chemicals and problems in children’s psychological development, including:

  •     Manganese has been associated with reduced intellectual function, reduced achievement in mathematics and increased hyperactivity.
  •     Flouride at higher levels in drinking water has been associated with seven point decrements in IQ.
  •     Pesticides like DDT, which are banned in richer countries, are still used elsewhere and have been associated with neurodevelopmental disorders.

These substances have been added to a growing list of chemicals which are well-known neurotoxins, like lead and methylmercury.

The authors suspect there may be many more chemicals in regular industrial use which may be damaging to children’s developing brains.

chemicals
Image credit: Josh Pesavento

These include Phthalates and bisphenol A, which are used in plastics and cosmetics and air pollutants like carbon monoxide.

For example, one study of pollution in California has linked pollution from car exhausts to higher rates of autism spectrum disorders (Volk et al., 2013).

Very few of these potentially dangerous chemicals are regulated simply because little effort has been made to look at the dangers and the very high standards of proof that are required.

The authors argue that:

    “The presumption that new chemicals and technologies are safe until proven otherwise is a fundamental problem. Classic examples of new chemicals that were introduced because they conveyed certain benefits, but were later shown to cause great harm, include several neurotoxicants, asbestos, thalidomide, diethylstilboestrol, and the chlorofluorocarbons.” (Grandjean & Landrigan, 2014).

The authors say that in order to protect children’s brains–which are highly sensitive–a new agency should be established to screen and test new chemicals used in industrial processes.

They end on a worrying note:

    “…the total number of neurotoxic substances now recognised almost certainly represents an underestimate of the true number of developmental neurotoxicants that have been released into the global environment. Our very great concern is that children worldwide are being exposed to unrecognised toxic chemicals that are silently eroding intelligence, disrupting behaviours, truncating future achievements, and damaging societies, perhaps most seriously in developing countries.” (Grandjean & Landrigan, 2014).

source: PsyBlog