Blog

Is BPA Harmless? Will the Science be Settled in 2018?

by January 29, 2019

If I asked you this question…..

What do you know about BPA is?

Would you know the answer?

Before getting down to the nitty gritty details of the research, I would have answered with something along the lines of…..

 

“Isn’t that the stuff that used to be in baby’s bottles but they took it out?”

 

That knowledge was just information from headline reading throughout the years and also noticing a lot of product marketing claiming that their products were safer because they were BPA free. And I went along, buying everything BPA free without really knowing exactly why.

BPA has been for buzz word in plastic for over two decades. There has been much controversy surrounding its safety and possible adverse effects on human beings. Some countries have banned the use of BPA containing products, while other countries, such as Australia, have considered it to be safe to humans.

So what is the low down?

But first……

What Is BPA?

 

The boring definition is as follows…….

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical (monomer) produced in large quantities for use primarily in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins.

But, BPA’s story didn’t begin with the manufacture of plastic.  BPA was first developed in 1891 for use as a potential synthetic oestrogen. In 1953 two scientists discovered, almost on the same day, that this monomer could be used to form polycarbonate (PC) resin. The exciting discovery that was made on this day saw the birth of  a chemical compound that hardened and consequently, couldn’t be broken.

Winning!

Fast forward to the future and they had a substance that could tolerate manipulation without breaking. Seems too good to be true…..

The accidental discovery that lead to panic.

In the early 1990’s there was an accidental but alarming discovery made by a team of scientists. The head of this team was Dr David Feldman,  a professor of medicine with specialist training in endocrinology (the study of hormones). The team were initially tasked to study whether estrogen evolved from yeast but when they looked further realised that they had accidentally found a molecule that was leaching out of plastic, this molecule looked and behaved exactly like estrogen. Concerned, and knowing BPA’s estrogenic hormone like properties, Dr Feldman theorised that BPA may have the potential to be harmful to humans.

Sounding the Alarm on BPA

Dr Feldman and his team wanted to let governmental authorities and the manufacturers know what they had found. The problem was that the manufacturers could not find BPA upon testing in their lab, the reason being, their instruments could only test for levels more than what were ‘acceptable’ (25-50 ppb). Assumingly, the FDA insisted that any amount under this was considered ‘safe’.  Dr Feldman had the capability to test at lower levels and found that they were, in fact, seeing biological estrogenic effects at 5-10 ppb, much lower levels than the recommended ‘safe’ level.

Dr Feldman had proven that BPA had an effect on the body at much lower levels than were deemed safe by the FDA. It is to ponder what the health effects may be on a diverse population that is exposed to BPA on a daily basis.

It seems that this debate on whether BPA is safe still rages on decades later. There are hundreds of clinical studies to be found on the topic, but yet, there seems to be no clear answer to the question.

Will the Science be Settled in 2018?

 

As of 2018, research and debates are still ongoing.

Back in 2008 The National Toxicology Program (a branch off the FDA) evaluated mountains of available scientific literature regarding the possibility that BPA was, in fact, harming the health of human beings. The National Toxicology Program reported that there was some cause for concern in certain systems of the body, such as the brain. Despite the findings from the National Toxicology Program, the FDA remained firm on its stance that BPA is safe but they support the voluntary removal in consumer products such as baby bottles, food containers and packaging.

Fast forward to the future, 2018.

This may be the year that we find the answers to this highly debated and confusing issue.

The CLARITY_BPA CORE STUDY is a huge research operation designed by The National Toxicology Program (NTP), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), an the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The study aims to test the effects of BPA on human health in order to make further decisions of its fate as a chemical in the manufacture of plastic.

Many grants were given to scientists from all over that had a particular interest or skill in a certain area. The studies were conducted under strict guidelines using animal models. The particular aim of the study was to look at perinatal (in utero) effects as well as long term exposure, these critical areas of research have been lacking in previous studies.

The preliminary report of CLARITY_BPA is in…..

 

Some  tentative results of the report have been published so far.  The paper needs to be peer reviewed which mean the final paper will not be available until August 2018. Whilst awaiting this final report, let’s take a look at the studies and conclusions that have been made available to the public.

 

CLARITY_BPA First draft report. Individual Scientist Reports/Findings

 

The Brain

 

The scientists looks at the effects on the amygdala transcriptome, and whether exposure to BPA affects neurodevelopment.  Analysis of the transcriptomes are used to understand the molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways controlling early embryonic development.

The study demonstrated that the prenatal BPA exposure can disrupt the neonate amygdala at dose BELOW the FDA’s ‘No Observed Adverse Effect Level” (NOAEL).

The results were sex specific, affecting the female subjects.  The authors also provide additional evidence that developmental BPA exposure can interfere with oestrogen, oxytocin and vasopressin signalling pathways.

Although these are preliminary findings, they are quite concerning especially regarding the fact that these permanent changes are happening in utero and below the levels already established as ‘safe’ by the FDA.

 

Memory and Awareness

 

The Barnes Maze tool was used in this study to try and determine whether exposure to BPA in utero affected spatial learning and memory in the test group.

Spatial memory describes the part of the memory responsible for recording information about one’s environment and orientation.

The mice in the test group demonstrated prolonged latency in the Maze compared to the control group. The authors put forward the results suggesting that developmental exposure to BPA in utero may disrupt spatial memory and learning.

The results were found with the female mice only.

Ovarian Follicle Numbers and Sex Steroids

 

Although there have been studies done on the relationship between BPA exposure and ovarian follicle number, there were shortcomings in those studies that prompted the need for further testing.

In the past the studies have used mainly short term exposure, small study groups and no data linked to chronic exposure.

In this study the mice were subjected to different dose and for different periods of time to attempt to reflect the outcomes of chronic exposure to BPA.

Data from the study indicated that exposure to BPA at some doses and time points affects ovarian follicle numbers and also sex steroid levels.

Cardiovascular System.

 

There have been numerous studies done suggesting that  BPA exposure might cause adverse cardiovascular anomalies.

The authors for this study found that the test mice, when compared to the control group, had a marked decrease in collagen within the heart at the chronic dose range. This was found to be sex specific to the female rats. As well as the increased collagen, it was also found that the female had significantly increased cardiomyopathy compared to the control group.

Myocardial degeneration was observed with both male and female test subjects, compared to the control group.

In light of these new findings, combined with past studies and historical uses of BPA, there seems to be a cause for concern regarding health.

Despite mountains of studies showing links to BPA and negative health effects, there has been a somewhat casual approach to health monitoring from government bodies especially in Australia. So far the CLARITY_BPA CORE study is showing data that correlates with previous finding on BPA in regards to a huge variety of negative health effects from neonatal development through to cardiovascular damage.

Unfortunately BPA is a ubiquitous substance in our environment and to avoid exposure to this substance would prove impossible. Many health experts have expressed concerns that BPA may be affecting the health of the population. The CLARITY study is a landmark study that will hopefully push for stringent changes in manufacturing and, in turn, reducing human exposure to BPA

Heidi Dahlenburg is a Registered Nurse and Naturopathic Clinician with 19 years in Professional Health Care.  With a passion for preventative health, Heidi is continually immersed in studying and keeping up to date with the latest research on important health matter. Spending 13 years in the hospital system pushed Heidi to begin speaking and writing on the topic of preventative health, patient education and integrative healthcare.

Always seek the advice of you doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Easy Ways to Transition Children Off Junk Food.

by January 25, 2019

Have  you been advised that you need to make changes in your child’s diet?

The reasons may be due to a multitude of factors and this article will help anybody that needs to make more positive transitions for better improvement of their child’s health.

Being a mother that has had to do just this, I know the feeling. One of the biggest challenges of changing a diet is doing it with a child that is a picky eater to begin with.

The diet of a child plays a MAJOR role in their behaviour. Although many publications have tried to debunk this, I have seen time and time again with both clients and my own children that diet is crucial in the management of not only behavioural issues but also cognitive function, concentration and academic performance. 

If you work with a health practitioner that is taking a biomedical approach, one of the first things we do is  clean up the childs diet. A child’s growing body requires essential nutrients to function, this is especially true for brain function. More often than not, a child will present with a diet high in processed carbohydrate, dairy and sugars.

So what do I mean when  say ‘clean up the diet’.

Remove Processed Foods

Removing processed food is the first step that I recommend for clients. When I get people to give me an honest list of the foods their children consume in a regular day, often the parents are themselves shocked at the amount of processed food that has made its way into their household.

There are several issues with consuming these foods.

Processed foods are stripped of life giving essential nutrients and enzymes. When consuming processed foods, the body will then have to take nutrients from its own reserves to break down this food, therefore depleting the body further.

Give Additives The Boot

Chemical and artificial additives used in food have been shown in many studies to have effects on brain function and also to play a big part in disruptive behaviours such as hyperactivity, low attention spans and cognitive deficits.

I think it is crucial that parents learn to read labels in order to understand additives therefore being able to make better choices. Not all additives are created equal, so it is important to be able to scan a label and make a choice before you buy. A great source of information is Fed Up, a website devoted to education about food additives and what they can do to your health.

Based on my clinical observations, children with Autism, ADHD and other neurological/behavioural issues generally appear to have lower zinc levels than other children that are the same age.  A child that has a low zinc level will tend to be a picky eater.  Picky eating will then further exacerbate the nutritional issues and creates a negative cycle.

I always recommend Zinc Level Testing as one of the first parts of treatment. Having a baseline is crucial, not only that, it is always important to determine a deficiency before supplementing. Contact your healthcare provider for testing. Blood tests are my preferred method of determining levels.

When food is processed, synthetic supplement such as iron and folic acid have to be added back in by law. But, this seemingly benign process could have impacts on certain individuals health. The impacts may be seen with a  person who has the MTHFR gene mutation,   something you may be familiar with if you have a child on the spectrum receiving biomedical treatment. Studies have shown that people with this mutation  cannot metabolise folic acid efficiently and an excess consumption leads to high blood levels of folate. Recently some scientific journals have published concerning studies of an excess of folate and it’s detrimental effect on the immune system.

There are just too many variables and processed foods should be eliminated completely.

Remove Sugar

This comes under the umbrella of removing processed food but I think deserves a category all of its own.

Children today are consuming ridiculously high levels of sugar. You only have to look around at malls, movies, theme parks and beach days. Small children with drinks that look like a pulverised unicorn in a cup size that is bigger than their head. Refined sugar contains no nutrient value therefore stripping the body of its stores to be able to metabolise it.

When a child consumes sugar  their blood sugar level get a kick up sky high… and this comes at a cost. A child’s  little pancreas then scrambles to release insulin in order to bring that blood sugar down so it does not damage the body. This blood sugar reaction then creates a low blood sugar and the child feels hungry again as the body signals the brain that it needs to bring the blood sugar back to a safe level. Both high and low blood sugar can cause changes in a child’s behaviour.

Even if it’s the first step at least – eliminate all processed sugar. If you are new to these changes it means learning to read labels and identifying hidden sugar in foods.

Getting Started

Get educated !

Learning about food can be a daunting process. There is so much information out there that can end up being extremely confusing, in the beginning it all seems too hard..

Like any skill, it takes time to learn. My biggest tip is…..

START SLOW!!…. pick one  battle, it may be starting with a mission to find hidden sugar, or perhaps learning which additives can set your kids behaviour off the charts. Once you get skilled at one thing then you can move onto another.

Let’s face it.…  nobody wants the house in chaos by suddenly taking away all the undesirable foods. If you do this it can backfire as it is not do-able or sustainable straight away. 

Eventually you will get to the pantry with no junk in it!

An example of this transition might be if the child eats four pieces of bread per day – cut down to three and replace the fourth with a suitable food. If the child has a soft drink with dinner, cut it to half for a week then a quarter then switch to plain water of soda water.

In future blogs/videos, I will help you find suitable replacements for foods if you are going gluten free/dairy free/additive free and sugar free.

The feedback I get a lot is that there are just no good replacements. Sometimes the foods we have grown with and have been used to are not good for our health and have to be eliminated.  sometime there may not be a ‘yummy alternative’. Bread is the most common. Finding a replacement for bread is tricky.  I generally do not recommend gluten free bread unless you have thoroughly read all the ingredients. Sometime these concoctions are just as processed as regular bread and therefore not good option.

Get Creative…and Sneaky

Be creative with food is important.

As the diet get cleaned up , it then gets easier to add nutritious ‘extras’ into a meal that your child will already eat. Examples of this include adding fermented coconut yogurt to a curry, grated vegetables into spaghetti and basically anything into a smoothie for the morning.

It can be done, I have seen the proof many times over!! The end result, happy mum, happy kids and a healthier future!

Heidi Dahlenburg is a Registered Nurse and Naturopathic Clinician with 19 years in Professional Health Care.  With a passion for preventative health, Heidi is continually immersed in studying and keeping up to date with the latest research on important health matter. Spending 13 years in the hospital system pushed Heidi to begin speaking and writing on the topic of preventative health, patient education and integrative healthcare.

Always seek the advice of you doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Tricks to Choosing the BEST Cod Liver Oil.

by January 13, 2019

What is the difference between Cod Liver and Fish Oil?

Cod Liver oil IS a fish oil, it just happens to be coming from cod, in particular, their livers. Fish oils (that are not cod liver) will contain higher amount of EPA.

Cod Liver has higher DHA levels and is the active form of omega 3. Cod Liver Oil Contains natural and active forms of vitamin A and D which what makes it the most AMAZING super food for assisting in safely correcting deficiencies related to either of these crucial vitamins.

Cod Liver is my ‘go to’ treatment for a vast array of illness, but the one thing I find it the best for is assisting the nutritional status of children with ASD/Autism and ADHD.

 

Why is Cod Liver Oil so important for overall health?

The essential fatty acids EPA and DHA are found in the structure of the lipid bi-layer of our cells. This layer around the cell is a universal component of all of our cell membranes. Essential fatty acids such as cod liver oil enhance cell structure and assist with cell fluidity and function therefore allowing better transport of essential nutrients into cells.

Cod liver oil regulates inflammation via several different pathways. Most chronic disease states have functioning levels of chronic inflammation.

The Importance of the right omega 3 balance.

Having omega 3 fats in our diet is crucial. We are a nation in a omega three depleted state….

Western diets most often have ratios with much higher omega 6 to omega 3 fat ratio. This less than ideal ratio is a driving force behind ongoing inflammatory illness therefore leading to a chronic disease process.

Ideal ratio 1:1 for ideal anti inflammatory action. For a more detailed article on these ratios please read Essential Oils are not called ‘essential’ for nothing!

How does Cod Liver Oil help?

The DHA is the Cold Liver Oil is excellent for the eyes and brain. DHA plus EPA are excellent fatty acid used to assist in maintaining the health of the the heart, bones and immune system

EPA works to resolve inflammation to make sure it is not ongoing. Inflammation is a sign that the body is fixing something that is damaged, the inflammatory process performs a very important part of  healing  through cell mediation (arachidonic acid cascade). In disease states and sick bodies though, that process can continue going in a destructive and perpetual loop. Cod Liver Oil can assist in regulating this inflammatory process.

The human body requires DHA for early childhood brain development and for development and function of the nervous system.

Studies have shown significant improvement of behaviour in the following disorders when supplemented with DHA

  • Oppositional defiant disorder
  • Cognitive problems
  • Hyperactivity
  • Inattention

I have seen excellent results using Cod Liver Oil in my clinic, especially with children with autism.  There is better concentration, less hyperactivity, better overall health and better sleep patterns.

In a western world with the number of children being diagnosed with neurological conditions climbing way too high, it is important to ensure that these essential fats are being consumed in the diet.

 

How to choose the right Cod Liver Oil

It’s a jungle out there…..or a rather large ocean….

All of us at one point or another has spent a small fortune on a supplement only to find out later that it wasn’t the right one, had something in it that was nasty or we had been mislead by labelling.

So how do you choose the right oil?

These oils can get pretty expensive so it’s always best to do your research. Here I will show you a few things to look out for before laying down the cash.

 

Finding the right fish!

TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) allows ALL Gadidae family species to be used for cod liver oil, this means any cod liver oil sold in Australia may have been from fish within that family, but these fish may not been from the Arctic Regions.

Not all Gadidae spp are called COD……

And not all spp called COD are Gadidae spp…..

Confused?

It can be confusing, but there are a few simple things to remember to ensure that you choose the right cod liver oil supplement.

One of the most important things  is to source ARCTIC COD, especially if you are looking at delivering key nutrients. The cod that congregate within the arctic region tend to have the highest levels of DHA, vitamin A and Vitamin D. The vitamin A&D are concentrated relative to the environment, the temperature, the conditions, the metabolic state and the diet. These factors all contribute to the final outcome of nutrients in the fish.

The waters in the arctic region tend to be the purest therefore minimising the risk of contamination.

Processing and purifying the oil can strip out some of the nutrients so by choosing a healthy fish source you can be confident that there will be nice amounts of nutrients left in the fish after this.  Only the mature from highly purified regions make a perfect food supplement

Reading Labels

So we already know that Cod Liver oil is an amazing whole food supplement giving us a beautiful balance of natural vitamin A as well as Vitamin D.

But, there are a few things to watch out for when reading labels and a couple of small tricks that can get you picking the perfect one.

 

If you read the above label closely you will see that there is a static amount of vitamin A and it is at a high level.

When choosing an oil, the amounts of vitamin A should be  under 2500 IU (tsp) approximately and the number should be variable and give you a range (220-930IU).

The vitamin levels in the fish vary due to the change of seasons, catch to catch and other factors. The below label demonstrates a natural whole food fish supplement due to the varying levels, no fortified vitamins added to the label.

Cod Liver Oil should always have a higher level of DHA to EPA listed on the bottle.

Whether you choose a capsule or a liquid is up to personal choice. I always prescribe liquid as the dose is more easily met.

With a great cod liver oil, taste should not be an issue. My personal choice and the one I give to my children is the NORDIC NATURALS cod liver oil. The taste is great and it is from a pure source with no added nasties.

Heidi Dahlenburg is a Registered Nurse and Naturopathic Clinician with 19 years in Professional Health Care.  With a passion for preventative health, Heidi is continually immersed in studying and keeping up to date with the latest research on important health matter. Spending 13 years in the hospital system pushed Heidi to begin speaking and writing on the topic of preventative health, patient education and integrative healthcare.

Always seek the advice of you doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Essential Fatty Acids – Not Called ‘Essential” for Nothing!

by January 13, 2019

We need an ideal ratio of omega 6:omega 3 in our diet for optimal body function. The omega 6:3  ratio has a lot to do with our overall health ranging from mental health issues to cancer.

With the typical western diet of processed food , the normal ratio between the two is rarely ideal. The typical American diet tends to contain 11-30 times more omega 6 fatty acids than omega 3. This in turn contributes greatly to the manifestation of disease.

The body cannot make omega 3 and omega 6 oils, therefore they must be obtained from the food that we eat.

Getting the ratio right is important because if one fatty acid is in excess it can alter its overall biological effect within the body, and in turn negatively affecting health. However, these fatty acids are different than most other fats. Omega fatty acids are not simply used for energy or stored, they are biologically active and have important roles in processes like blood clotting and inflammation just as essential vitamins and minerals do.

The major types of omega-3 fatty acids used by the body are

 α-linolenic acid αLA)

EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid )

DPA ( docosapentaenoic acid)

DHA ( docosahexaenoic acid) .

Omega fats in the right concentrations can have marked positive effects on numerous health complaints.

Essential fatty acids play an essential role within the brain. The human brain has a high requirement for DHA, a fatty acid derived from omega 3 or obtained directly from fish oil such as Cod Liver Oil. This important fat is the structural component of not only the brain but the cerebral cortex, skin and retina.

Low DHA levels in the diet have been linked to low brain serotonin levels and low serotonin levels are connected to an increased tendency for depression and suicide. Clinically I have seen positive effects using DHA supplements, especially on children with autism but also any inflammatory condition, cholesterol synthesis problems and as a co-factor for vitamin D supplementation.

First it is important to understand what foods contain what types of omegas. Having the knowledge allows for better choices when choosing foods and reading labels.

For assisting in the treatment of inflammation or any other chronic disease including autoimmunity and cancer. The ideal ratio of Omega 6 and Omega 3 is a 1:1 ratio.

Let’s take a look at Omega ratios….

Healthy Diet 1:1

Disease Begins at 8:1

American/Aus Diet 20:1

Corn Oil 60:1

Safflower Oil 77:1

Soybean, sunflower, corn, peanut, cottonseed, grapeseed and canola (up to) 200:1

Three Easy Ways to Increase Omega 3’s in your Diet

Choose Grass Fed Beef

Grass fed beef will give you an approximate ratio of 3:1. Cattle fed primarily grass, significantly increased the omega 3 content of the meat, and also produced a more favourable omega 6 to omega 3 ratio than grain fed beef. Grain fed beef has also been found to have a negative impact on LDL, the lipoprotein responsible for carrying cholesterol from the liver and out to the body. By making the small switch to grass fed  beef, you are able to enhance your bodies cardioprotective mechanisms as well as lower inflammation.

Add hemp seeds to your diet!

Hemp seeds have an ideal omega 3 /6 ratio, the oil from the seeds contains the most favourable ratio out of all the oils available for human consumption. Recent studies have found that adding hemp seeds to the diet reduces LDL cholesterol levels by 22% without affecting HDL levels.  An excellent way to add these to you diet is to sprinkle them on salads, add to smoothies or make hemp milk to replace dairy milk.

Green vegetables.

Our green veggies contain a perfect ratio 1:1 of omega 6:3, making them a perfect choice to add in abundance to the diet.

Cod Liver Oil

Consider adding a good Cod Liver Oil Supplement to your diet. A good supplement such as Nordic Naturals Cold Liver Oil contains no synthetic Vitamin A or Vitamin D therefore I do consider this a wholefood source of Omega 3.

What Went Wrong?

The inclusion of grain fed beef and beef products including butter has contributed significantly to the declining health of the population by directly reducing the omega 3 that we consume. The addition of cheap oils to the diet has also had a huge impact. Cheap oils are used in many processed foods as they are economical and easy to source. But, what comes with this is a decline in human health and chronic disease.

Considering the majority of the population consume a worrying omega 3:6 ratio, it is only reasonable to expect illnesses. Diseases will be born from underlying inflammation which has multiple negative effects on the body.

By missing these essential fats the body had reduced ability to repair tissue, carry fat soluble vitamins and keep blood healthy.

Heidi Dahlenburg is a Registered Nurse and Naturopathic Clinician with 19 years in Professional Health Care.  With a passion for preventative health, Heidi is continually immersed in studying and keeping up to date with the latest research on important health matters. Spending 13 years in the hospital system pushed Heidi to begin speaking and writing on the topic of preventative health, patient education and integrative healthcare.

Always seek the advice of you doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Why MSG should be Banned for Consumption.

by January 8, 2019

There is still a raging debate going on in regards to MSG, and whether it is safe for consumption. 

Let’s take a closer look at MSG, especially since labelling laws in Australia are too lax to provide enough information to consumers regarding MSG in food.

Are we unknowingly poisoning  our kids with the food that they eat?

If you think you don’t consume MSG, think again.MSG is often labelled as flavour enhancer 621, but other glutamates that aren’t so easily recognised can also be added to foods.

The catch here is the company can then label their product MSG FREE, even though that product may contain other glutamates, some of which have been shown to have adverse health effects.

MSG is only prohibited in Australia for use in baby foods. But essentially, this only means for products that are marketed for infants, it doesn’t cover anything else that a child of one may consume such as biscuits/crackers or chips.

Another day, another marketing loophole.

But MSG its natural, right? Wrong, sort of.

Part of the argument for MSG is that it is natural and occurs naturally in foods. Well this is true, but MSG is not in its natural state, it is a free glutamate, meaning several chemical steps have been taken to free the glutamate from its normally bound protein molecule.

Your body can use natural glutamate as it is bound to protein and present at low levels. When naturally occurring glutamates are eaten they are released slowly and the brain takes up what it needs for normal function.

MSG is not bound, it is free form and therefore the body cannot regulate how much affects the brain. To say they are the same is utterly absurd. The levels of chemically processed glutamate added to foods are highly concentrated and on top of that, they are found in much higher levels than naturally occurring glutamate.

Lobby groups such as The Glutamate Association appear at first as grass roots organisation. But unfortunatly it is not. This group aim to dispel any evidence that MSG may cause harm to health.  But look closely and you will find the organisation is supported by mostly food manufacturers. Food manufacturers that are only interested in keeping MSG in food and off consumers labels.

Conflict of interest perhaps?

Remember back to when smoking was healthy?

I can’t recall seeing any recipe books calling for the addition of MSG to a homemade dish to make it taste better.

The sad fact is, the product that needs the MSG added is of such a substandard quality that it need chemicals to manipulate its taste.

Food manufacturers do not care about you health unfortunately and the FDA and other Governing organisation such as FSANZ (Food Safety Australia and New Zealand)  cannot be relied upon to do this either.  

Manufacturers use MSG as a flavour enhancer, the end result is to get the consumer wanting more and more of their product. That almighty dollar at the expense of what?

Your dollar…

Your health…..

Your kids health……

So, let’s look at how its poisoning you..

The body uses MSG as a nerve transmitter in the brain, in addition to this, there are also glutamate-responsive tissues in other parts of the body. When any of these body functions are altered, it can lead to an array of problems, including neurological dysfunction, this has been demonstrated many times over in laboratory mice.

As health professionals will know, most neurological disease are labelled ‘idiopathic’, meaning ‘of unknown cause, this is frustrating when there are known neuro-toxins in food that are allowed to remain there and be considered safe.

Did you know?

MSG is used to induce seizures in mice being used for medical experimentation proving that it is indeed, neuro-toxic.

Hammering thy Pancreas – A lesser known effect of MSG.

Previously in the article  I mentioned glutamate responsive tissues in the body.

One of the lesser known effects of MSG is its ability to distort the normal function of the beta cells within the pancreas. 

The pancreas has an important job and that is for it to recognise when blood sugar levels are getting too high (or too low), in the case of a blood sugar level too high, it then secretes insulin to bring those levels back to homeostasis. This process will cause fat storage, but  this isn’t the most concerning effect.

If you have eaten a Chinese meal or perhaps another flavoursome sort of take away, do you notice that you are starving the next morning, perhaps ravenous?

MSG works causing the pancreas to drive out insulin, this effectively creates a yo yo effect on blood sugar, insulin pumps out, blood sugar becomes low, you have the urge to eat again.

Not only is it hunger that this induces, it causes a blood sugar low that can leave some people shaky and sweaty and looking for food. One product (MSG), affecting one type of cell, then creating an undesirable metabolic cascade.

If MSG can do this to one cell, what could it do to all of the other cells in the body?

This is only a small example of the effects of MSG.

Numerous independent studies over the last few decades have consistently found unusual side effects from the additive, yet for other reasons, our government food bodies declare it as completely safe with no recommendation to even limit.

During my time in health care, I have lost count of the amount of people diagnosed with illnesses of ‘unknown cause’.

You have to be your own health advocate in your life, this means educating yourself on food and knowing what to look for when purchasing foods, especially foods for children. Each person is different therefore will react to substances in different ways. Being aware of you own body and keeping track of symptoms can often pin point a trigger.

A good ‘moto’ to follow is

“If man made it- Don’t eat it”

Although sometime not practical, every time you make a choice on what food to buy, keep this in mind.

B.Sc. (Nursing). Adv.Dip. Applied Science (Naturopathy) ANTA.AHPRA.

Heidi Dahlenburg is a Registered Nurse and Naturopathic Clinician with 19 years in Professional Health Care.  With a passion for preventative health, Heidi is continually immersed in studying and keeping up to date with the latest research on important health matter. Spending 13 years in the hospital system pushed Heidi to begin speaking and writing on the topic of preventative health, patient education and integrative healthcare.

Always seek the advice of you doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Hypothyroid Symptoms with Normal Thyroid Counts. Could it be REVERSE T3?

by January 5, 2019

Thyroid issues are very common in Australia today, with many factors affecting the function of this very important gland. You may have all the symptoms of hypothyroid disease, but annoyingly, all of your regular thyroid pathology has come back normal.

Commonly when standard tests are performed for thyroid function they will include TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), T3 and T4 levels and sometimes thyroid antibody tests. Unfortunately, it is uncommon in mainstream medicine to test for something called reverse T3

Thyroid hormone T4 must be converted into T3 for the body to actively use it. T4 is essentially inactive whilst T3 is active. T3 is the the hormone that drives our metabolism and basically all body functions.  Some refer to T3 as ‘the magic hormone. But in every story there must be a villain right?

Sometimes during the  conversion of T4 to T3, something goes awry, and this can be due to a multitude of reasons. For this  conversion to take place, an enzyme called 5-deiodinase is necessary. When something goes wrong in this conversion, too much reverse T3 may be produced causing an imbalance known as reverse T3 dominance. The problem with too much reverse T3 is that it is virtually inactive in the body. To add to this problem, reverse T3 will attach to the T3 receptor therefore blocking the critical function of T3 in the body.

Reverse T3 dominance will therefore cause hypothyroid symptoms but general pathology will come back as normal. It is worth having a chat to a practitioner if you suffer the symptoms of hypothyroid but have normal labs. Supplementing with some thyroid hormones can exacerbate reverse T3 dominance, so it is crucial to get to, and work on, the cause of the problem.

B.Sc. (Nursing). ADV.DIP.Applied Science (Naturopathic Mediicine).

Heidi Dahlenburg is a Registered Nurse and Naturopathic Clinician with 19 years in Professional Health Care.  With a passion for preventative health, Heidi is continually immersed in studying and keeping up to date with the latest research on important health matter. Spending 13 years in the hospital system pushed Heidi to begin speaking and writing on the topic of preventative health, patient education and integrative healthcare. 

Always seek the advice of you doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Subscribe to our newsletter

The Best way to stay up to date.

    Cart