American Holistic Health Association (AHHA)
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The monthly AHHA Special Updates from the American Holistic Health Association are eReports with items of interest to those actively enhancing their health and well-being. Each eReport features a health or health freedom issue. It also features a research item and an AHHA resource.

These free eReports are sent out to subscribers. You can have these AHHA Special Updates sent to you personally by signing up online.

The Archives of these AHHA Special Reports are maintained here for those who have not yet signed up to receive them by email and those who wish to review past issues.


April 11, 2014

FEATURED RESEARCH
Pro vitamin D
Patients dealing with cancer are aware that nutrition is an important part of their treatment program. Researchers are alerting breast cancer patients to consider their vitamin D blood levels. These patients and their physicians are encouraged to review the article, "Vitamin D Linked to Increased Breast Cancer Survival" in the March 2014 issue of Natural Standard's Integrative Medicine Newsletter.

FEATURED ISSUE
Labeling end run?
Are there some negative changes mixed in with the many positive changes in the proposed FDA revision of our nutrition and supplements labels? The purpose of the changes is to update the Nutrition Facts given on food packaging labels. Most agree that it would be useful to have calories in a larger font size, more nutrients included, added sugar disclosed, and more realistic serving sizes. However, some groups are extremely concerned about the "needed" levels of vitamins and minerals given on the label being reduced to amounts less than what would keep a person healthy. There is also concern about a requirement that would ban use of the word "folate" (a naturally occurring form of vitamin B), but allow "folic acid", which is a synthetic, modified version that many people cannot convert to a form they can use. This folate concern is viewed as avenue for this natural vitamin to become available only as a prescription drug.

The government has invited submittal of comments through June 2, 2014. For those of you who wish to learn more about this matter (and perhaps even submit a comment to the FDA), we have compiled some articles to get you started on your research.

ISSUE: Proposed 3/3/14 FDA revision of nutrition and supplement facts labels

PRO
Food Labeling: Revision of the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels (3/3/14)
A Proposed Rule by the Food and Drug Administration
Comment period ends 6/2/14

Public Comment Period Now Open For FDA's Nutrition Facts Label Changes (3/3/14)
Obama Foodorama

Updates proposed for nutrition labels on food packages (3/5/14)
ISHN

CON
The FDA's New Food Label Guidelines - A Sneak Attack on Your Dietary Supplements (3/26/14)
by Scott Tips
National Health Federation

Breaking News: FDA's Sneak Attempt to Ban Another B Vitamin (3/11/14)
Alliance for Natural Health USA

More on the New Nutrition Labels (3/11/14)
Alliance for Natural Health USA

We also encourage you to go to our blog at ahhablog.org and post your comments. And use this opportunity to share additional resources you have found relating to this health issue.

FEATURED AHHA RESOURCE
Everyday Choices
More and more diseases are being documented as being the result of poor lifestyle choices. AHHA's booklet, Wellness From Within: The First Step, reminds you of the power of the decisions you make throughout the day. Take time to review the options included in this FREE booklet. Choose to change one thing in your everyday routine. Various formats of the booklet are available online in English, plus one online in Spanish.


March 14, 2014

FEATURED RESEARCH
Naturally lower blood pressure
If your physician has said that you need to lower your blood pressure, what options do you have? A recent study offers a promising non-drug approach to review with your physician. The article, "Vegetarian Diets May Lower Blood Pressure" in the February 2014 issue of Natural Standard's Integrative Medicine Newsletter, outlines the research that concludes that eating a vegetarian diet is associated with lower blood pressure.

FEATURED ISSUE
Toxic packaging?
It is a reality that most of us are consuming packaged food. There are known toxic materials in the packaging. What is the cumulative impact on humans from long-term exposure to these food contact materials (FCMs)? Researchers are not in agreement.

Let's pick just one of the 4,000 chemicals used intentionally in FCMs. Almost all commercially available plastics leach synthetic estrogens that disrupt hormone levels in humans. If you read materials from industry groups and consumer groups, you will find widely divergent safety perspectives. A study conducted by the plastics industry reports that rats fed "more than 70,000 times what a typical American ingests, there was no change in bodyweight, reproductive organs or hormone levels." They insist that this proves that BPAs are safe for humans. Other researchers point out that this study tested using a type of rat (the Charles River Sprague Dawley) that oddly does not respond to synthetic hormones like BPA. For this reason, opponents do not accept the study's results as proving safety. Separately, a scientist found BPA bypasses the body's natural barrier system and so can be potent in even small doses. Other scientists insist that some "BPA-free" alternatives actually release synthetic estrogens that are more potent than the BPA they are replacing.

ISSUE: Does food packaging pose a risk to our health?

AHHA strives to maintain a neutral position on issues concerning your health. We have compiled the following Pro and Con online articles about FCMs as a convenient way for you to begin your research.

PRO
The Scary New Evidence on BPA-Free Plastics (March 2014)
by Mariah Blake
Mother Jones

The Longterm Health Impact of Toxic Food Packaging (2/25/14)
by Heather Callaghan
Activist Post

Food packaging and migration of food contact materials: will epidemiologists rise to the neotoxic challenge? (2/19/14)
Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health

CON
ACC responds to 'misleading' food packaging claims (2/21/14)
by Kari Embree
Packaging Digest

Maybe that BPA In Your Canned Food Isn't So Bad After All (2/26/14)
by Jon Hamilton
The Salt/ NPR

Concerns over chemicals in food packaging misplaced, say scientists (2/19/14)
by Sarah Boseley
The Guardian

We also encourage you to go to our blog at ahhablog.org and post your comments. And use this opportunity to share additional resources you have found relating to this health issue.

FEATURED AHHA RESOURCE
Knowledge Is Power
Perhaps the most important resource ever created by AHHA is the Health Information Search Services list. This unique list includes organizations whose experts can research treatment options for any health condition, plus they also answer other health questions. You can specify conventional medicine and/or alternative approaches. If you know of someone dealing with a life threatening or debilitating diagnosis, please let him or her know about this valuable support option.


February 21, 2014

FEATURED RESEARCH
Preventing colic?
Are you a new parent who walks the floor with a colicky baby? A recent study on probiotics for infants may be something you want to check out with your pediatrician. Researchers conducted a clinical trial to evaluate the effects of Lactobacillus reuteri supplementation on the onset of colic, acid reflux, and constipation during the first three months of life. The infants receiving the probiotics vomited and cried significantly less. For a happier, healthier baby, check out the article, "Probiotics May Reduce Gastrointestinal Problems in Infants" in the January 2014 issue of Natural Standard's Integrative Medicine Newsletter.

FEATURED ISSUE
Pro or Con Vitamins?
Have you noticed that the mainstream media are featuring more and more articles about how dietary supplements are of no value? But, while harder to find, there are also articles challenging the rationale behind this theory. Are you confused? It's likely that most of you will agree with the point of view you already hold. If you're still making up your mind, we share articles from both perspectives. You are encouraged to read them all and decide for yourself.

ISSUE: To accept or not accept the media's positions on the value of dietary supplements.

PRO
Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements (12/17/13)
Annals of Internal Medicine

Study questions health benefits of vitamin D supplementation (1/24/14)
by Honor Whiteman
Medical News Today

The Vitamin Myth: Why We Think We Need Supplements (7/19/13)
The Atlantic

CON
War on Integrative Medicine, Part Two: Eliminate Supplements (2/11/14)
Alliance for Natural Health USA

War on Integrative Medicine, Part Three: Get the Public to Believe Junk Science (2/11/14)
Alliance for Natural Health USA

Stop wasting money on multivitamins? The real story here (12/18/13)
by Todd Runestad
New Hope 360

We also encourage you to go to our blog at ahhablog.org and post your comments. And please tell us and your friends about additional resources you have found relating to this health issue.

FEATURED AHHA RESOURCE
Knowledge Is Power
Perhaps the most important resource ever created by AHHA is the Health Information Search Services list. This unique list includes organizations whose experts can research treatment options for any health condition, plus they also answer other health questions. You can specify conventional medicine and/or alternative approaches. If you know of someone dealing with a life threatening or debilitating diagnosis, please let him or her know about this valuable support option.


January 10, 2014

FEATURED RESEARCH
Best source of Omega-3?
We need the essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6 in our day-to-day diet. The omega-3 fatty acids have long been known to play critical roles in growth and are now recognized as reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and regulating cholesterol. A recent study looked at sources that might offer the most effective supplementation for increasing our omega-3 index. Many of us will be surprised to learn that krill oil beat out fish oil. You and your physician might want to review the details of this study as presented in the article, "Krill Oil May Raise Omega-3 Index More than Fish Oil" in the December 2013 issue of Natural Standard's Integrative Medicine Newsletter.

FEATURED ISSUE
Chloramphenicol dilemma
Some experts are saying a dangerous toxic chemical is contaminating a number of natural products. Other experts are saying it's nothing to worry about. Who do we believe?

Several months ago, when a company in India used a chemical to clean equipment used to process enzymes, the enzyme product produced by that equipment absorbed some of the cleaning chemical before it was exported to Japan, Europe, Canada, and the U.S. The contaminated enzymes were used to manufacture a number of products, including conventional foods, dietary supplements, and animal feed.

The concern is that the cleaning chemical used was chloramphenicol, which is a highly toxic veterinary antibiotic that has been banned by the FDA for most human uses, because it has been associated with a potentially fatal condition, aplastic anemia, that can lead to leukemia.

In October 2013, the Canadian government announced that this trace contamination was a potentially serious health risk to consumers. The Canadian media helped to spread the word. In November 2013, the U.S. FDA said that one company was voluntarily recalling a product, indicating a recall under recall category "might cause a temporary health problem or pose only a slight threat of a serious nature." But the U.S. media have not been informing the public about this recall.

AHHA strives to maintain a neutral position on issues concerning our health. To support those interested in learning more about this matter, we have compiled the following online articles as a convenient way for you to begin your research.

ISSUE: How will you respond to learning about the chloramphenicol contamination recall?

Articles from sources not concerned about contamination recall:
Vega Issues Voluntary Withdrawal of Vega One Nutritional Shakes and Vega Sport Performance Protein Product Due to Traces of the Antibiotic Chloramphenicol (1/8/13)
U.S. Food and Drug Administration

ETA Statement on Chloramphenicol Contamination of Enzyme Preparations (11/4/13)
Enzyme Technical Association

Antibiotic-tainted enzymes found worldwide (11/22/13)
Association of Corporate Counsel

Articles from sources concerned about danger of contamination:
Deadly Cholamphenicol Laces Nutritional Supplements and More (1/7/14)
by Katherine Carroll, NTP GreenMedInfo

All-Natural Vitamins (Now with Antibiotics! But Sssh! Don't Tell Anyone!) (1/3/14)
by Jonathan Jarry Cracked Science

Important Recall Information: A number of natural health products potentially contaminated with chloramphenicol may pose serious health risks to consumers (10/18/13)
Healthy Canadians

We encourage you to go to our blog at ahhablog.org and post your comments. Also please tell us and your friends about additional resources you have found related to this health issue.

FEATURED AHHA RESOURCE
Considering a healthcare career?
More and more people are contacting AHHA to gain information about a healthcare career that includes the holistic health approach. They want to help others learn how to make wise lifestyle decisions that will result in a higher level of wellness. In response to these queries, AHHA has compiled a special section of our website, Considering a healthcare career?, with links to valuable resources for those planning their careers. Be sure to share this resource with friends who may be contemplating a career change to healthcare.


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