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What Caught my Attention

Published June 12th, 2014 in Eat for Health

by Tammera J. Karr, PhD
© 2014 Holistic Nutrition for the Whole you

As many of you know I have been spending a lot of time in airports lately…. When waiting for planes to arrive or depart you have a certain amount of time you can finally catch up on all those emails you have been meaning to get too.

This week the following caught my attention:
May 8, 2014 American Heart Association – “Eating more fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of stroke worldwide, according to a new analysis of 20 studies conducted in Europe, the United States and Asia. The American Heart Association advises the average adult to eat four to five servings each of fruits and vegetables daily, based on a 2,000-calorie diet. A diet rich in a variety of colors and types of vegetables and fruits is a way of getting important nutrients that most people don’t get enough of, including vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. They are also naturally low in saturated fat.”

So as I read this, I looked around in the waiting area at the foods available to travelers and what the majority were selecting…. Well if you count iceberg lettuce as a vegetable and the wheat in the buns, catsup and potatoes…. Ya you guessed it there wasn’t a lot of selection. And the Tucson airport had one of the better selections of healthy food picks.

In Tucson’s airport there was a program that caught my attention and I made a donation to, it was in one of the gift shops and they were offering you the option of buying a food or clothing item for an armed forces member traveling through the airport. The clerk was telling a customer that they routinely find young men and women asleep in a corner or doorway while waiting for a seat on a plane home. I looked at the not so soft floor and handed over some money….

Next up:
One in Five Pregnant Women Take Opioid Painkillers May 6, 2014 Alliance for Natural Health reported.

“Alarmingly, a full 20% of pregnant women now use prescription painkillers, according to the New York Times. What’s worse, not all women are being prescribed opioid s equally: those with Medicaid, as well as those who live in the south, are being prescribed painkillers during pregnancy at much higher rates: 23% of women on Medicaid, compared to 14% of women with private insurance, are being prescribed opioid s.

The effects of opioid use during pregnancy haven’t been thoroughly studied, but initial research shows that it can lead to neural tube defects (remember, the FDA is currently trying to ban folate—which can prevent such defects—from dietary supplements). Take this potential for severe birth defects, and throw in the fact doctors are seeing a surge in infants born addicted to painkillers, and ask yourself why painkillers aren’t on the “banned” list for pregnant women.

The FDA classifies what drugs are “safe” for pregnancy. The agency sorts drugs into five categories:

  •   Category A: There is adequate evidence that there is no risk to fetuses.
  •   Category B: Animal studies have failed to show a risk to fetuses; no well-controlled studies have been completed in humans.
  •   Category C: Animal studies have shown a risk to fetuses; there are no well-controlled studies in humans. However, “potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women.”
  •   Category D: There is evidence of fetal risk, but “potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women.”
  •   Category X: There is too much evidence of risk to prescribe these drugs to pregnant women.

Note that in two out of the five categories, there is no evidence at all on the impact of these drugs during pregnancy. Fewer than 10% of FDA-approved medications have sufficient data to determine safety for expectant mothers.

For example, as an alternative to opioid s, aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen (the active ingredient in Aleve), doctors often prescribe acetaminophen. You already know the general dangers of acetaminophen, and new research suggests acetaminophen during pregnancy may promote severe ADHD in children.

Pain and discomfort during pregnancy is inevitable, remember there are many natural and alternative ways to manage pain, including massage (especially useful during pregnancy and especially during labor), acupuncture, psychical therapy, and meditation. As always, talk to your integrative practitioner before trying a new health regimen, all the more so if you’re pregnant.”

Well its time to jump on another plane, and my carry on is loaded with sliced apples, cooked meat strips, bagged salad and nuts along with my handy water bottle with it’s own water filter….. Leaving on a jet plane. I’m off to the Smithsonian and Julia Child’s Kitchen!

To your good health and healthy children.

Category: Eat for Health