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Sunday, December 11, 2011

CHILD OBESITY AND NUTRITION BASICS

With childhood obesity on the rise, parents, schools—even whole communities—are getting behind the movement to help young people eat healthier. FDA nutrition expert Shirley Blakely, the mother of two grown kids and a registered dietitian, says healthy eating at home and school begins at the grocery store.

As you head down the supermarket aisle, Blakely says you should zero-in on two things:

  • the Nutrition Facts label—tells the number of calories and percentage of a day’s worth of nutrients in one serving
  • the ingredients on the label of all prepared foods—lists every ingredient that went into the product, with the predominant ingredient first, the next most prominent second, and so on in descending order

OBESE CHILD Ingredients in prepared foods are listed in descending order of predominance. If the cereal your kids like has some type of grain listed first, that’s a good sign. But if fructose, high fructose corn syrup, or sucrose—in other words, sugar—is listed first, you’d best leave that item on the store shelf because added sugars are taking the place of other, more nutritious ingredients.

And sugar isn’t always an additive. Some foods—fruits, for example—are naturally sweet without adding any sugar at all. If you check the Nutrition Facts label on canned or dried fruits that have no added sugar, you’ll still see sugars listed. That’s because the sugars in pineapple, raisins, prunes, and other fruits occur naturally.

The same is true for fresh apples, bananas, melons, and other items on your grocer's produce aisle, but they don’t carry labels because they're completely unprocessed. If you want to know how many calories or nutrients they have, you’ll have to look on the Internet or ask in the produce section of your grocery store.

Blakely also says parents and kids should pay attention to portion sizes. Her advice: put just one serving on each person’s plate. And make sure everyone in the family knows how to use the Nutrition Facts label to guide their food choices. Blakely says there are three things everyone should check when they read the label:

Serving size—one container isn’t necessarily one serving; make sure you’re eating only one serving by pre-measuring your food and eating it from a plate or bowl instead of out of the container.

Percent Daily Value—tells what percentage of the recommended daily amount of each nutrient is in one serving of a food. Based on the amount of each nutrient recommendation for one day, 5 percent or less is low; 20 percent or more is high.

Nutrients—try to get 20 percent or more of protein, fiber, and some essential vitamins and minerals (such as vitamin C and calcium) in a single serving; but limit your intake of saturated fats and sodium to 5 percent or less per serving of food. Strive for 0 trans fat, or trans fatty acids—this harmful fat raises your bad cholesterol (LDL) and lowers your good cholesterol (HDL).   

  child obesity

This article appears on FDA's Consumer Update page, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

EAT FOR A HEALTHY HEART

Making healthy food choices is one important thing you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease—the leading cause of death of men and women in the United States. According to the American Heart Association, about 80 million adults in the U.S. have at least one form of heart disease—disorders that prevent the heart from functioning normally—including coronary artery disease, heart rhythm problems, heart defects, infections, and cardiomyopathy (thickening or enlargement of the heart muscle).

HEALTHY HEART FOOD Experts say you can reduce the risk of developing these problems with lifestyle changes that include eating a healthy diet. But with racks full of books and magazines about food and recipes, what is the best diet for a healthy heart?

Food and Drug Administration nutrition expert (FDA's) Barbara Schneeman says to follow these simple guidelines when preparing meals:

  • Balance calories to manage body weight
  • Eat at least 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables a day, including a variety of dark-green, red, and orange vegetables, beans, and peas.
  • Eat seafood (including oily fish) in place of some meat and poultry
  • Eat whole grains—the equivalent of at least three 1-ounce servings a day
  • Use oils to replace solid fats.
  • Use fat-free or low-fat versions of dairy products.

The government’s newly released “Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010” also says Americans should reduce their sodium intake. The general recommendation is to eat less than 2,300 mg. of sodium a day. But Americans 51 or older, African-Americans of any age, and people with high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease should restrict their intake to 1,500 mg. The government estimates that about half the U.S. population is in one of those three categories.

Packaged and Restaurant Food

Schneeman, who heads FDA's Office of Nutrition, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements, says one way to make sure you’re adhering to healthy guidelines is by using the nutrition labels on the packaged foods you buy.

“Product labels give consumers the power to compare foods quickly and easily so they can judge which products best fit into a heart healthy diet or meet other dietary needs,” Schneeman says. “Remember, when you see a percent DV (daily value of key nutrients) on the label, 5 percent or less is low and 20 percent or more is high.”

Follow these guidelines when using processed foods or eating in restaurants:

  • Choose lean meats and poultry. Bake it, broil it, or grill it.
  • In a restaurant, opt for steamed, grilled, or broiled dishes instead of those that are fried or sautĂ©ed.
  • Look on product labels for foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol. Most of the fats you eat should come from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, such as those found in some types of fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.
  • Check product labels for foods high in potassium (unless you’ve been advised to restrict the amount of potassium you eat). Potassium counteracts some of the effects of salt on blood pressure.
  • Choose foods and beverages low in added sugars. Read the ingredient list to make sure that added sugars are not among the first ingredients. Ingredients in the largest amounts are listed first. Some names for added sugars include sucrose, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, maple syrup, and fructose. The nutrition facts on the product label give the total sugar content.
  • Pick foods that provide dietary fiber, like fruits, beans, vegetables, and whole grains.

image 

This article appears on FDA's Consumer Updates page, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

GLUTEN FREE NATURAL PRODUCTS

Gluten (from Latin gluten "glue") is a protein composite processed from wheat and related species, including barley and rye used in foods. It gives elasticity to dough, helping it to rise and to keep its shape, and often giving the final product a chewy texture. There are many cases reported worldwide about gluten sensitivity. So, many foods  are now labeled whether they contain gluten as a component. Gluten is extracted from flour by draining out the starch.

Gluten free Around 1.0 percent of people in the United States are sensitive to gluten due to celiac disease. Allergies and neuropathies are also caused by gluten consumption

Some foods are naturally free of gluten. Here are some examples:

  • milk not flavored with ingredients that contain gluten, such as malt
  • 100 percent fruit or vegetable juices
  • fresh fruits and vegetables
  • butter
  • eggs
  • lentils
  • peanuts
  • seeds, such as flax
  • tree nuts, such as almonds
  • non-gluten-containing grains, such as corn
  • fresh fish, such as cod
  • fresh shellfish, such as clams
  • honey
  • water, including bottled, distilled, and spring

Source: FDA

Sunday, November 13, 2011

SUNDAY DIET MENU FOR RENAL PATIENTS

Renal Food Renal Dialysis Patients must take extreme care about having a healthy and balanced food.Consult your Doctor or Dietitian before starting this menu.

Sunday Breakfast for Renal patients

  • 120 ml Pineapple juice
  • Sliced Bread with half spoon jam  or butter
  • One boiled egg with 4 ounce black tea (with or without sugar)

Sunday Lunch for Renal patients

  • Noodles half cup.
  • Half cup cooked vegetables. If non vegetarian, 50gms of beef grilled.
  • Half cup fresh green salad filled with carrot and cucumber.
  • One fresh fruit (apple or pear or pineapple or cherry or grapes)

Sunday Evening menu for Renal patients

  • Biscuits and Tea without milk

Sunday Dinner for Renal Patients

  • 50 gm of grilled chicken
  • Macaroni with out salt
  • Half cup boiled vegetables
  • Half cup fresh green salad filled with cauliflower

Then eat fresh fruit piece, such as apple or pear or pineapple or cherry or grapes.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

SATURDAY DIET MENU FOR RENAL PATIENTS

RENAL FOOD MENUAsk your Dietitians and Doctors advice before following the below given Menu. Please note that, Diabetic patients must have sugar free diet. Patients with high cholesterol levels must reduce fat content and oily foods. Hypertensive patients must be careful in taking food with high salt content.

Saturday Breakfast for Renal patients

  • 4 ounce (120 ml) Lemon juice
  • Sliced Bread with half spoon jam  or butter
  • One boiled egg with 4 ounce black tea (with or without sugar)

Saturday Lunch for Renal patients

  • Half cup Macaroni or Noodles.
  • Half cup cooked vegetables. If non vegetarian, 50gms of chicken or beef.
  • Half cup fresh green salad filled with onion and cucumber.
  • One fresh fruit (apple or pear or pineapple or cherry or grapes)

Saturday Evening menu for Renal patients

  • Biscuits and Tea without milk

Saturday Dinner for Renal Patients

  • 50 gm of grilled liver
  • Bread or Macaroni  with out salt
  • Half cup boiled vegetables
  • Half cup fresh green salad filled with carrot

After 10 minutes, eat fresh fruit piece, such as apple or pear or pineapple or cherry or grapes.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

THURSDAY DIET MENU FOR RENAL PATIENTS

RENAL DIET A full day diet menu of healthy food for Renal Dialysis Patients or Renal patients. Renal patients with chronic diseases such as Diabetes, Hypertension, must strictly consult your Doctor or Dietitian before implementing this menu.

Thursday Breakfast for Renal patients

  • 4 ounce (120 ml) Apricot juice
  • Unsalted bread, 2 slices
  • One fried egg
  • Half cup black tea (with or without sugar)

Thursday Lunch for Renal patients

  • Half cup Noodles
  • Half cup cooked vegetables. If non vegetarian, 50gms of boiled chicken.
  • Half cup fresh green salad filled with lettuce and cauliflower.
  • One fresh fruit (apple or pear or pineapple or cherry or grapes)

Thursday Evening menu for Renal patients

  • Biscuits and Tea without milk

Thursday Dinner for Renal Patients

  • 50 gm of chicken Shawarma
  • Half cup white rice
  • Half cup fresh green salad filled with carrot and cucumber

Give a break of 30 minutes and then eat fresh fruit piece, such as apple or pear or pineapple or cherry or grapes.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

WEDNESDAY DIET MENU FOR RENAL PATIENTS

This post will suggest you a Menu about Wednesday diet. Consult your Doctor or Dietitian before implementing this diet.renal food menu

Wednesday Breakfast for Renal patients

  • 4 ounce (120 ml) Lemon juice
  • 2 pieces bread and cheese without salt
  • Egg Omelet
  • Half cup black tea (with or without sugar)

Wednesday Lunch for Renal patients

  • Half cup rice
  • Half cup cooked vegetables. If non vegetarian, 50gms of grilled fish.
  • Half cup fresh green salad filled with lettuce and cauliflower.
  • One fresh fruit (apple or pear or pineapple or cherry or grapes)

Wednesday Evening menu for Renal patients

  • Biscuits and Tea without milk

Wednesday Dinner for Renal Patients

  • 50 gm of grilled Shrimp
  • Unsalted bread with Half cup boiled vegetables
  • Half cup fresh green salad filled with carrot

After half an hour, a fresh fruit salad with  apple, pear,pineapple, cherry or grapes is advisable.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

TUESDAY DIET MENU FOR RENAL PATIENTS

A healthy food for Renal Dialysis Patients or Renal patients with a combination diet. Renal patients with chronic diseases such as Diabetes, Hypertension, must strictly follow their physicians advice. Diabetic patients must have sugar free diet. renal diet menuPatients with high cholesterol levels must reduce fat content and oily foods. Hypertensive patients must be careful in taking food with high salt content. Please consult your Doctor or Dietitian before implementing this diet.

 

Tuesday Breakfast for Renal patients

  • 4 ounce (120 ml) Pine apple juice
  • 2 pieces  toast and cheese without salt
  • Half cup black tea (with or without sugar)

Tuesday Lunch for Renal patients

  • 3 pieces of  bread.without salt
  • Half cup cooked vegetables. If non vegetarian, 50gms of boiled chicken.
  • Half cup fresh green salad filled with carrot and cucumber.
  • One fresh fruit (apple or pear or pineapple or cherry or grapes)

Tuesday Evening menu for Renal patients

  • Biscuits and Tea without milk

Tuesday Dinner for Renal Patients

  • 50 gm of grilled kofta
  • Half cup boiled vegetables
  • Half cup fresh green salad filled with lettuce and carrot

After 10 minutes, eat fresh fruit piece, such as apple or pear or pineapple or cherry or grapes.

Friday, September 30, 2011

FRIDAY DIET MENU FOR RENAL PATIENTS

renal food menu In this post a full day menu for Renal Dialysis patients is explained as Friday Diet Menu for Renal Patients. Menu for other days are also available in this blog. Please view the blog archives to read menu for other week days. Kindly consult your Dietitian and Doctor, before following this diet.

Friday Breakfast for Renal patients

  • 120 ml Apple juice
  • 2 pieces  toast and cheese without salt
  • Half cup black tea (with or without sugar)

Friday Lunch for Renal patients

  • Half cup butter rice
  • Half cup cooked vegetables. If non vegetarian, 50gms of boiled duck.
  • Half cup fresh green salad filled with cauliflower and cucumber.
  • One fresh fruit (apple or pear or pineapple or cherry or grapes)

Friday Evening menu for Renal patients

  • Biscuits and Tea without milk

Friday Dinner for Renal Patients

  • 50 gm of Chicken Tikka
  • Half cup boiled vegetables
  • Half cup fresh green salad filled with lettuce and carrot

After 10 minutes, take fresh fruit piece, such as apple or pear or pineapple or cherry or grapes.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Barbecue Bliss: Keeping Bacteria at Bay

Summer brings out barbecue grills—and bacteria, which multiply in food faster in warm weather and can cause food borne illness (also known as food poisoning). Following a few simple guidelines can prevent an unpleasant experience.

Wash your hands

image Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food. If you're eating where there’s no source of clean water, bring water, soap, and paper towels or have disposable wipes/hand sanitizer available.

Marinate food in the refrigerator

Don’t marinate on the counter—marinate in the refrigerator. If you want to use marinade as a sauce on cooked food, save a separate portion in the refrigerator. Do not reuse marinade that contacted raw meat, poultry, or seafood on cooked food unless you bring it to a boil first.

Keep raw food separate

Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood in a separate cooler or securely wrapped at the bottom of a cooler so their juices won’t contaminate already prepared foods or raw produce. Don't use a plate or utensils that previously held raw meat, poultry, or seafood for anything else unless you wash them first in hot, soapy water. Have a clean platter and utensils ready at grill-side for serving.

Cook food thoroughly

Use a food thermometer to make sure food is cooked thoroughly to destroy harmful bacteria. Refer to the Safe Minimum Temperatures chart for safe internal temperatures for foods. Partial precooking in the microwave oven or on the stove is a good way to reduce grilling time—just make sure the food goes immediately on the preheated grill to finish cooking.

Keep hot food hot and cold food cold

Keep hot food at 140°F or above until served. Keep cooked meats hot by setting them to the side of the grill, or wrap well and place in an insulated container.

Keep cold food at 40°F or below until served. Keep cold perishable food in a cooler until serving time. Keep coolers out of direct sun and avoid opening the lid often.

Cold foods can be placed directly on ice or in a shallow container set in a pan of ice. Drain off water as ice melts and replace ice frequently.

Don’t let hot or cold perishables sit out for longer than two hours, or one hour if the outdoor temperature is above 90°F. When reheating fully cooked meats, grill to 165°F or until steaming hot.

Transport food in the passenger compartment of the car where it’s cooler—not in the trunk.

Put these items on your list

These non-food items are indispensable for a safe barbecue.

  • food thermometer
  • several coolers: one for beverages (which will be opened frequently), one for raw meats, poultry, and seafood, and another for cooked foods and raw produce
  • ice or frozen gel packs for coolers
  • jug of water, soap, and paper towels for washing hands
  • enough plates and utensils to keep raw and cooked foods separate
  • foil or other wrap for leftovers

bacterial infection

 

This article appears on FDA's Consumer Updates page, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.

MONDAY DIET MENU FOR RENAL PATIENTS

RENAL MENU Think about a healthy food for Renal Dialysis Patients or Renal patients. Here is some idea for a combination diet. Kindly consider this as a suggestion. Please consult your Doctor or Dietitian before implementing this system. Renal patients with chronic diseases such as Diabetes, Hypertension, must strictly follow their physicians advice. Diabetic patients must have sugar free diet. Patients with high cholesterol levels must reduce fat content and oily foods. Hypertensive patients must be careful in taking food with high salt content.

Monday Breakfast for Renal patients

  • 4 ounce (120 ml) Apple juice
  • Sliced Bread with half spoon jam  or butter
  • One boiled egg with 4 ounce black tea (with or without sugar)

Monday Lunch for Renal patients

  • Cooked rice half cup.
  • Half cup cooked vegetables. If non vegetarian, 50gms of beef fried without oil.
  • Half cup fresh green salad filled with lettuce and cucumber.
  • One fresh fruit (apple or pear or pineapple or cherry or grapes)

Monday Evening menu for Renal patients

  • Biscuits and Tea without milk

Monday Dinner for Renal Patients

  • 50 gm of grilled liver
  • Bread or Macaroni or Noodles with out salt
  • Half cup boiled vegetables
  • Half cup fresh green salad filled with lettuce and carrot

After 10 minutes, eat fresh fruit piece, such as apple or pear or pineapple or cherry or grapes.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Arsenic and apple juice - Apple Juice is Safe To Drink

Arsenic and apple juice. Not words you like to see in the same sentence.There has been publicity recently over the amount of arsenic in the apple juice that many children drink. But the Food and Drug Administration has every confidence in the safety of apple juice.

apple juice and arsenic Donald Zink, Ph.D, senior science advisor at FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), explains that arsenic is present in the environment as a naturally occurring substance or as a result of contamination from human activity.  It is found in water, air, food, and soil in organic and inorganic forms.As a result, small amounts of arsenic can be found in certain food and beverage products—including fruit juices and juice concentrates.“As a parent and grandparent myself, I understand the concern over recent reports that arsenic has been found in apple juice,” says Zink.

But, he says, there is no evidence of any public health risk from drinking these juices, Zink says. And FDA has been testing them for years.

 

Hunting Inorganic Arsenic

Organic arsenic is essentially harmless, according to Zink, but the inorganic kind can be harmful at high and long-term levels of exposure.

FDA has been tracking total arsenic contamination in apple and other juices for about six years, since foreign producers started gaining an increasing share of the juice market, says Henry Kim, Ph.D., a supervisory chemist at CFSAN.

The agency searches for potential contaminants in fruit juices and fruit juice concentrate in three ways:

  • FDA issues import alerts to keep potentially dangerous products from other countries out of the U.S. marketplace. The agency has issued a specific alert that requires importers to prove their fruit juices and concentrates are safe for consumption before they are allowed to enter the U.S.
  • As part of the FDA Total Diet Study program, the agency annually tests baby foods and apple juice samples for the presence of arsenic.
  • The agency collects and tests food and beverage samples in another program that looks for harmful substances in foods. Apple juice is one of the targeted products because investigators want to check for total and, if necessary, inorganic arsenic.

There is no evidence of any public health risk from drinking these juices. And FDA has been testing them for years.

 

Levels Set for Water

Why hasn’t FDA defined the point at which arsenic levels are unsafe in apple juice when such levels have been established for public drinking water and bottled water?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set the arsenic standard for public drinking water at 10 parts per billion (ppb) to protect consumers from the effects of long-term exposure to arsenic, which could include skin damage, circulatory problems and an increased risk of cancer.

In concurrence with EPA, FDA has also set the arsenic standard at 10 ppb in bottled water.

So why not set safe levels for arsenic in apple juice?

Kim says that you can’t compare water and juice for several critical reasons. They include the fact that inorganic arsenic is the form found in drinking water, whereas organic arsenic is the form mostly found in food, including juices.

FDA will continue to test juices and juice concentrate and evaluate data provided by industry, consumer groups and government agencies, as well as data published in scientific literature. If the agency finds too much inorganic arsenic in any juice, it will take steps to remove that product from the market, says Zink.

Source: This article appears on FDA's Consumer Updates page, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

SEVEN TIPS FOR CLEANING FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

Federal health officials estimate that nearly 48 million people are sickened by food contaminated with harmful germs each year, and some of the causes might surprise you. Although most people know animal products must be handled carefully to prevent illness, many don’t realize that produce can also be the culprit in outbreaks of foodborne illness. In recent years, the United States has had several large outbreaks of illness caused by contaminated fruits and vegetables—including spinach, tomatoes, and lettuce.

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES CLEANING Glenda Lewis, an expert on foodborne illness with the Food and Drug Administration, says fresh produce can become contaminated in many ways. During the growing phase, fruits and veggies may be contaminated by animals, harmful substances in the soil or water, and poor hygiene among workers. After produce is harvested, it passes through many hands, increasing the contamination risk. Contamination can even occur after the produce has been purchased, during food preparation, or through inadequate storage.

FDA says to choose produce that isn’t bruised or damaged, and make sure that pre-cut items—such as bags of lettuce or watermelon slices—are either refrigerated or on ice both in the store and at home. In addition, follow these recommendations:

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before and after preparing fresh produce.
  • Cut away any damaged or bruised areas before preparing or eating.
  • Gently rub produce while holding under plain running water. There’s no need to use soap or a produce wash.
  • Wash produce BEFORE you peel it, so dirt and bacteria aren’t transferred from the knife onto the fruit or vegetable.
  • Use a clean vegetable brush to scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers.
  • Dry produce with a clean cloth or paper towel to further reduce bacteria that may be present.
  • Throw away the outermost leaves of a head of lettuce or cabbage.

Lewis says consumers should store perishable produce in the refrigerator at 40 degrees or below.

 

More to Read

 

This article appears on FDA's Consumer Updates page, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

DANGER BEHIND CAFFEINATED ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned four companies that the caffeine added to their malt alcoholic beverages is an “unsafe food additive” and said that further action, including seizure of their products, is possible under federal law. When alcoholic beverages are mixed with energy drinks, a popular practice among youth, the caffeine in these drinks can mask the depressant effects of alcohol. At the same time, caffeine has no effect on the metabolism of alcohol by the liver and thus does not reduce breath alcohol concentrations or reduce the risk of alcohol-attributable harms. Drinkers who consume alcohol mixed with energy drinks are 3 times more likely to binge drink (based on breath alcohol levels) than drinkers who do not report mixing alcohol with energy drinks.

FDA’s action follows a scientific review by the Agency.  FDA examined the published peer-reviewed literature on the co-consumption of caffeine and alcohol, consulted with experts in the fields of toxicology, neuropharmacology, emergency medicine, and epidemiology, and reviewed information provided by product manufacturers.  FDA also performed its own independent laboratory analysis of these products.

The four manufacturers and their products are:

  • Charge Beverages Corporation,
    which makes "Core High Gravity HG Green," "Core High Gravity HG Orange," and "Lemon Lime Core Spiked"*

    three drink cans: Green HG Core High Gravity , Orange HG Core High Gravity, Lemon Lime Core Spiked

  • New Century Brewing Company, LLC,
    which makes "Moonshot"*

    a bottle of Moonshot

  • Phusion Projects, LLC (doing business as Drink Four Brewing Company),
    which makes "Four Loko"*

    six drink cans of Four Loko in various colors

  • United Brands,
    which makes "Joose" and "Max"*

    fourteen drink cans in various colors showing Joose and Max products

The companies receiving Warning Letters and their products are:

• Charge Beverages Corp.: Core High Gravity HG, Core High Gravity HG Orange, and Lemon Lime Core Spiked
• New Century Brewing Co., LLC: Moonshot
• Phusion Projects, LLC (doing business as Drink Four Brewing Co.): Four Loko
• United Brands Company Inc.: Joose and Max

“FDA does not find support for the claim that the addition of caffeine to these  alcoholic beverages is ‘generally recognized as safe,’ which is the legal standard,” said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Principal Deputy Commissioner.  “To the contrary, there is evidence that the combinations of caffeine and alcohol in these products pose a public health concern.”

Experts have raised concerns that caffeine can mask some of the sensory cues individuals might normally rely on to determine their level of intoxication.  The FDA said peer-reviewed studies suggest that the consumption of beverages containing added caffeine and alcohol is associated with risky behaviors that may lead to hazardous and life-threatening situations.

The agency said the products named in the Warning Letters are being marketed in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FFDCA). Each Warning Letter requests that the recipient inform the FDA in writing within 15 days of the specific steps that will be taken to remedy the violation and prevent its recurrence. If a company does not believe its products are in violation of the FFDCA, it may present its reasoning and any supporting information as well. 

If the FDA believes that the violation continues to exist, the agency may pursue an enforcement action that could include seizure of the products or an injunction to prevent the firm from continuing to produce the product until the violation has been corrected.

FDA’s action today follows a November 2009 request to manufacturers to provide information on the safety of adding caffeine to their products.

FDA is aware that on November 16, Phusion Projects, LLC, the maker of Four Loko, announced its intention to remove caffeine and other stimulants from its drinks.  FDA views this announcement as a positive step. FDA has not yet heard officially from the company about this announcement, including how quickly it will remove present product from circulation and how quickly it will reformulate its product.  FDA intends to work with Phusion Projects, LLC and the other manufacturers to assure their products meet safety standards.

Source: http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodIngredientsPackaging/ucm190366.htm

More to Read:

DONOT FEED DANGEROUS THICKENING PRODUCT SIMPLY THICK TO INFANTS

Do not feed the thickening product called SimplyThick to infants born before 37 weeks gestation because it may cause a life-threatening condition.This advice to parents, caregivers, and health care providers from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is based on reports of infants with necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in which tissue in the intestines becomes inflamed and dies.

SIMPLY THICK SimplyThick is a brand of thickening agent—available to consumers and medical centers—to help manage swallowing difficulties. It is sold in packets of individual servings and in 64-ounce dispenser bottles. The product can be purchased from distributors and local pharmacies throughout the United States.Benson M. Silverman, M.D., director of FDA’s Infant Formula and Medical Foods Staff—himself a neonatologist—explains that the thickening agent is added to breast milk and infants’ formula to help the premature babies swallow their food and keep it down, without spitting up. The product is also used in older children and adults with swallowing problems caused by trauma to the throat, he notes.

 

The Problem

FDA first learned of bad side effects possibly linked to SimplyThick on May 13, 2011. Silverman says he was alerted by two reports in FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting system. He followed up with the physicians who filed those reports and subsequently with a network of other neonatologists.

Karl Klontz, M.D., a medical officer in FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, says the severity and scope of the problem soon became apparent. To date, the agency is aware of 15 cases of NEC, including two deaths, involving premature infants who were fed SimplyThick mixed with mothers’ breast milk or infant formula products. The mixture was fed to infants for varying amounts of time.

At least four different medical centers around the U.S. have reported the illness in infants who became sick over the past six months.

This situation is unusual because NEC most often occurs in babies while they are in the hospital early in their premature course. But some of the ill babies that FDA is aware of got sick after they had been discharged from the hospital and sent home on a feeding regimen that included SimplyThick.

At this time it is not known what about SimplyThick is making babies sick. FDA is actively investigating the link between SimplyThick and these illnesses and deaths.

In the meantime, adds Klontz, parents should stop using the product even if their babies don’t appear to be sick. “Why take the risk?” he asks.

 

Symptoms to Watch for

  • bloated stomach
  • greenish-tinged vomiting
  • bloody stools

 

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

  • Do not feed SimplyThick to premature infants, including those in the hospital and those sent home from the hospital within the past 30 days.
  • Contact your health care professional if your baby has any of the symptoms listed above or if you have other concerns related to using SimplyThick.
  • You or your health care professional may report side effects related to using SimplyThick to FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program by:
What FDA Is Doing

FDA is actively investigating the link between SimplyThick and the illnesses and deaths. FDA will provide updates as information is made available.

This article appears on FDA's Consumer Updates page, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.

More to Read:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

NEW EATING DISORDERS

Eating disorders are well explained as abnormal eating habits due to insufficient or excessive food intake to the detriment of an individual's physical and mental health. Eating disorders are increasing all over the world among both men and women. The exact cause of eating disorders is not entirely understood. It is believed that genetical factors determine eating disorder and environmental or social factors trigger the eating disorder. Broadly explaining eating disorder will  precipitate biological, psychological, genetical and environmental factors may cause eating disorders. 

EATING DISORDERSThe major types of Eating disorders can be classified as Anorexia nervosa, Bulimia nervosa,  Binge eating disorder (BED), Compulsive overeating, (COE), Purging disorder, Rumination, Eating disorders not otherwise specified, Pica, (characterized by a compulsive craving for eating, chewing or licking non-food items or foods containing no nutrition), and Night Eating Syndrome.

New Eating Disorders

Adult Selective Eating or ASE which is defined as the stage when adults limit their food choices to things like pizza, pasta, chicken nuggets.

Drunkorexia, which is defined as the condition of binge drinking combined with the typical self-imposed starvation seen with anorexia nervosa

Manorexia, which is defined as a male suffering from anorexia nervosa.

Diabulimia, which can be explained as the deliberate manipulation of insulin levels by diabetics in an effort to control their weight.

Orthorexia nervosa, is defined as the stage in which a person becomes obsessive about their eating patterns and tend to strictly follow pure diet habits.

Treatment for Eating disorders

Deciding a treatment is purely based on the nature of eating disorder. The most common treatment methods are cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, music therapy, recreation Therapy, art therapy, nutrition counseling, medical nutrition therapy, psychoanalysis and inpatient care.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

REPORT FDA ABOUT NEGATIVE EFFECTS FROM YOUR COSMETIC

Cosmetic products have become an unavoidable part of human beings. Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act defines “cosmetics” as products that are intended to be applied to the body “for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance.” But the legal definition includes items such as face and body cleansers, deodorants, moisturizers and other skin lotions and creams, baby lotions and oils, hair care products, dyes, conditioners, straighteners, perms, makeup, hair removal creams, nail polishes, shaving products, perfumes and colognes, face paints and temporary tattoos and permanent tattoos and permanent makeup. Countries have different list of such products. So, you must contact the Food, Drug and Cosmetics regulatory authority before identifying a marketed product as “Cosmetic”.

COSMETIC SIDE EFFECTS

  Regarding FDA, most of these products don’t require FDA approval before they’re sold in stores, salons, and at makeup counters. So consumer feedback is one of FDA’s most important resources when it comes to identifying problems of such products. If you’ve had a negative reaction to a cosmetic product as listed above,then you must report it to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), if you resides under the jurisdiction of FDA. Most of the countries maintain their own reporting system, which you can get information from health authorities in your country.

 

How and what to report

Consumers should contact FDA if they experience any sort of undesired effect while using a cosmetic even if they fail to follow specific instructions by the company on using the product.

When you contact FDA for reporting an undesired effect, then you must include the following information such as

  • the name and contact information for the person who had the reaction;
  • the age, gender, and ethnicity of the product’s user;
  • the name of the product and manufacturer;
  • a description of the reaction—and treatment, if any;
  • the healthcare provider’s name and contact information, if medical attention was provided; and
  • when and where the product was purchased

 MedWatch, FDA’s problem-reporting program, on the Web  is the easy and quick method to report by consumers. Alternatively you can contact over telephone at 1-800-332-1088; or contact the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

What FDA do on such a report from consumer

FDA enters the information into a database of negative reactions based on the feedback provided by the consumer. There is nothing to worry about this as the identity of consumer who reported the problem will remain confidential. FDA scientists and experts review the issue and try to find similar issues being reported from other consumers. If they identify this as a serious issue, then actions could be depending upon the product and the problem that may range from issuing a consumer safety advisory to taking legal action.

Source: FDA's Consumer Updates page

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ENSURE SAFETY OF PRODUCTS MADE IN JAPAN

After the recent tsunami, Japan is suffering from nuclear leak from many of its nuclear reactors. Steam with radionuclide contamination disperses in the air and deposits on water/ground surface. The contamination, however depends on how wide an area depends, how high the steam is propelled and on wind speeds at that altitude range. If the radionuclide deposits on water, it is further dispersed but If the amount of water available is large, the concentration becomes very low.  Scientists and experts say that due to the great quantity of water in the Pacific Ocean, radioactive material that may dispersed in water will get diluted quickly and seafood are likely to be unaffected.

NUCLEAR CONTAMINATION Japan is a big exporter of human and animal foods, medical devices and radiation emitting products, cosmetics, animal and human drugs and biologics, dietary supplements, and animal feeds. The most common food products exported include seafood, snack foods and processed fruits and vegetables. The earthquake and  tsunami caused extreme damage to the area due to which almost 95% of the production, processing and exporting got interrupted prior to the explosion at the reactor. So it is believed that most of the Japanese products now available in the markets are possibly free of contamination.

Most countries have already initiated testing and analysis of food products imported from Japan. Until now no country reported any sort of  contamination in their imported products from Japan. In US, FDA is on high alert in monitoring and testing food products, including seafood, from all areas of Japan. United States Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents routinely use radiation detection equipment to screen food imports, cargo, and travelers. This screening helps identify and resolve potential safety or security risks.

Usually FDA will conduct a field examination, including time/temperature changes, water damage and collect a sample for radionuclide analysis at FDA laboratories. Regarding food and feed imports from Japan that originate outside the area of concern, FDA will collect a sample for any radiation pager for radionuclide analysis reading of 1-8, and as additional surveillance and as resources allow, collect other samples for radionuclide analysis as resources permit, for readings of 0 on the radionuclide pager.

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FDA APPROVED PRODUCTS FOR TREATMENT OF INTERNAL CONTAMINATION WITH RADIOACTIVE IODINE

The earthquake, Tsunami and the nuclear reactor explosion raised many questions in the mind of common people. The news about nuclear contamination to sea water and the surroundings in certain areas of Japan triggered panic among regular customers of imported Japanese food especially seafood. Scientists and experts say that due to the great quantity of water in the Pacific Ocean, radioactive material that may dispersed in water will get diluted quickly and seafood are likely to be unaffected.

MEDICINE NUCLEAR CONTAMINATION I recently got an email asking about the products that are available in the market that can treat a possible internal contamination of radionuclide material. I believe to depend of FDA approved stuff, so stating details about such drugs and products. After the nuclear incident in Japan, the demand for drugs used to prevent and treat harmful effects caused by radiation exposure or contamination with radioactive materials have increased. But after referring many websites, I suggest that there is no need to panic in countries other than Japan.

As they say in the FDA website, there are three FDA-approved potassium iodide (KI) products for use as an adjunct to other public health protective measures in the event that radioactive iodine is released into the environment. The three over-the-counter products are:

  • Iosat Tablets (130 mg), Anbex, Inc., Williamsburg, Va.,
  • ThyroSafe Tablets (65 mg), Recipharm AB, Jordbro, Sweden,
  • ThyroShield Solution (65 mg/mL), Fleming & Company Pharmaceuticals, Fenton, Mo.

When administered at the recommended dose, KI is effective in reducing the risk of thyroid cancer in people at risk for inhalation or ingestion of radioactive iodine. KI floods the thyroid with non-radioactive iodine and prevents the uptake of the radioactive molecules. Potassium iodide works only to prevent the thyroid from uptaking radioactive iodine. It is not a general radioprotective agent.

Potassium iodide is the only FDA-approved medication available to treat contamination with radioactive iodine. There are FDA-approved products available that increase the rate of elimination of other radioactive elements. They include:

  • Calcium-DTPA and Zinc DTPA, Hameln Pharmaceuticals. Approved to treat known or suspected internal contamination with plutonium, americium, or curium to increase the rates of elimination.
  • Radiogardase (Prussian blue insoluble capsules), HEYL Chemisch-Pharmazeutische Fabrik GmbH & Co. KG. Approved to treat known or suspected internal contamination with radioactive cesium and/or radioactive or non-radioactive thallium to increase their rates of elimination.

The FDA is alerting consumers to be wary of internet sites and other retail outlets promoting products making false claims to prevent or treat effects of radiation or products that are not FDA-approved. These fraudulent products come in all varieties and could include dietary supplements, food items, or products purporting to be drugs, devices or vaccines.

Consumers should be wary of the following:

  • claims that a product not approved by FDA can prevent or treat the harmful effects of radiation exposure;
  • suggestions that a potassium iodide product will treat conditions other than those for which it is approved, i.e., KI floods the thyroid with non-radioactive iodine and prevents the uptake of the radioactive molecules, which are subsequently excreted in the urine;
  • promotions using words such as “scientific breakthrough,” “new products,” “miraculous cure,” ”secret ingredient,” and ”ancient remedy”;
  • testimonials by consumers or doctors claiming amazing results;
  • limited availability and advance payment requirements;
  • promises of no-risk, money-back guarantees;
  • promises of an “easy” fix; and,
  • claims that the product is “natural” or has fewer side effects than approved drugs.
  • claims that kelp, seaweed, and other food products contain enough iodine to protect against radioactive iodine. These products contain very little iodine when compared to the approved drug products. There are no foods or dietary supplements approved by FDA for protection against radioactive iodine

Don't be fooled by professional-looking Web sites. Avoid Web sites that fail to list the company's name, physical address, phone number, or other contact information. For more tips for online buying, visit Buying Medicines and Medical Products Online. To determine if a particular drug is FDA approved, check The Orange Book or Drugs@FDA.

Consumers and health care professionals are encouraged to report adverse side effects or medication errors from the use of both approved and unapproved radiation exposure products to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program at www.fda.gov/MedWatch or by calling 800-332-1088.

Source: FDA

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

ASBESTOS IN BUILDING CAUSES MESOTHELIOMA CANCER

Mesothelioma, or malignant mesothelioma, is a rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos in buildings. Malignant Mesothelioma develops from the mesothelium, the protective lining that covers many of the body's internal organs. Mostly it is affected in outer lining of lungs, called pleura . Mesothelioma is rarely seen in the lining of the abdominal cavity called peritoneum, and also in the pericardium of the heart. The common symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath due to fluid between the lung and the chest wall or chest wall, pain, weight loss, Fatigue or anemia, Wheezing, hoarseness, or cough and Blood in the sputum (fluid) coughed up (hemoptysis) etc.

Who is on risk of Mesothelioma Cancer?

ASBESTOS CANCER

Working  with and exposure of asbestos is the major risk factor for mesothelioma. Mesothelioma have seen more on people who faced instances of inhaled asbestos and glass particles, or they have been exposed to asbestos dust and fiber in other ways.

There are studies proved that washing the clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos or glass can put a person at risk for developing mesothelioma. Several studies proved that Mesothelioma has also been associated with irradiation, intrapleural thorium dioxide, and inhalation of other fibrous silicates, such as erionite.

Many building materials used in both public and domestic premises contain asbestos. This is another risk factor for mesothelioma. People who are living in newly constructed houses with asbestos, are more likely to get mesothelioma due to the exposure of dust of asbestos through their food and water. The presence of asbestos fibers in water supplies and food products posing high risk of mesothelioma cancer, especially to children.

In many Asian countries, asbestos has been widely used in many industrial products, including cement, brake linings, gaskets, roof shingles, flooring products, textiles, and insulation. In manufacturing units, the workers are heavily prone to asbestos dust. Therefore the family members and others living with asbestos workers have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma cancer.

Treatment

Other than some newer chemotherapies and multimodality treatments, there is no major developments in this section. If any of our readers can share some good news, please comment here to share with readers.

References:

  • Ashrafian H, Athanasiou T, Yap J, DeSouza AC. Two-chamber intracardiac mesothelioma. Asian Cardiovasc Thorac Ann. 2005 Jun;
  • Eastbourne Today. "Woman's death from asbestos". Retrieved 2008-10-28.
  • Alastair J Moore, Robert J Parker, John Wiggins (2008). "Malignant mesothelioma". Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases 3
  • Muscat JE, Wynder EL (May 1991). "Cigarette smoking, asbestos exposure, and malignant mesothelioma".
  • EBSCO database verified by URAC; accessed from Mount Sinai Hospital, New York
  • Roggli VL, Sharma A, Butnor KJ, Sporn T, Vollmer RT (2002). "Malignant mesothelioma and occupational exposure to asbestos: a clinicopathological correlation of 1445 cases".
  • "Mesothelioma risks and causes : Cancer Research UK : CancerHelp UK". Cancerhelp.org.uk. 2010-06-23.

 

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

SECRET FORMULA OF COCA COLA REVEALED?

Several multinational companies started hunting the ex-executives in Coca Cola who had some experience in dealing with the manufacturing process of Cola giant Coca Cola. Recently we received an email stating that the secret formula of Coca Cola is no more a secret. This post we are writing just after hearing another interesting news from West. "This American Life," a weekly radio program, said it found the closely guarded formula in an article in Coke's hometown newspaper, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, from February 1979.

This American Life recipe

COCA COLA RECIPEOn February 11, 2011 Ira Glass revealed on his NPR radio show, This American Life, that the secret formula to Coca-Cola had been uncovered in a 1979 newspaper. The formula found basically matched the formula found in Pemberton's diary.

The recipe revealed contains:

  • Fluid extract of Coca: 3 drams USP
  • Citric acid: 3 oz
  • Caffeine: 1 oz
  • Sugar: 30 lbs
  • Water: 2.5 gal
  • Lime juice: 2 pints (1 quart)
  • Vanilla: 1 oz
  • Caramel: 1.5 oz or more for color

The secret 7X flavor (use 2 oz of flavor to 5 gals syrup):

  • Alcohol: 8 oz
  • Orange oil: 20 drops
  • Lemon oil: 30 drops
  • Nutmeg oil: 10 drops
  • Coriander oil: 5 drops
  • Neroli oil: 10 drops
  • Cinnamon oil: 10 drops

In 1993, Mark Pendergrast published what he believed to be Coke's original formula in For God, Country and Coca-Cola. He'd come across the following among John Pemberton's papers:

  • Citrate Caffein, 1 oz.
  • Ext. Vanilla, 1 oz.
  • Flavoring, 2.5 oz.
  • Fluid extract of coca, 4 oz.
  • Citric Acid, 3 oz.
  • Lime Juice, 1 Qt.
  • Sugar, 30 lbs.
  • Water, 2.5 Gal.
  • Caramel sufficient

Mix Caffeine Acid and Lime Juice in 1 Qt Boiling water add vanilla and flavoring when cool.

Flavoring

  • Oil Orange, 80
  • Oil Lemon, 120
  • Oil Nutmeg, 40
  • Oil Cinnamon, 40
  • Oil Coriander, 40
  • Oil Neroli, 40
  • Alcohol, 1 Qt., Stand for 24 hours.

Just because of presence of  cocaine is naturally in coca leaves, today's Coca-Cola uses "spent," or treated, coca leaves, those that have been through a cocaine extraction process, to flavor the beverage. The coca leaves are imported from countries like Peru and Bolivia and treated to prepare Fluid Extract Coca.

Some other suspected recipes of Coca Cola are given below

Pemberton recipe

This recipe is attributed to a diary owned by Coca-Cola inventor, John S. Pemberton, just before his death in 1888.

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 oz (28 g) caffeine citrate
    • 3 oz (85 g) citric acid
    • 1 US fl oz (30 ml; 1 imp fl oz) vanilla extract
    • 1 US qt (946 ml; 33 imp fl oz) lime juice
    • 2.5 oz (71 g) "flavoring," i.e., "Merchandise 7X"
    • 30 lb (14 kg) sugar
    • 4 US fl oz (118.3 ml; 4.2 imp fl oz) powder extract of cocaine (decocainized flavor essence of the coca leaf).
    • 2.5 US gal (9.5 l; 2.1 imp gal) water
    • caramel sufficient
  • "Mix caffeine acid and lime juice in 1 quart boiling water add vanilla and flavoring when cool."
  • Flavoring (Merchandise 7X):
    • 80 oil orange
    • 40 oil cinnamon
    • 120 oil lemon
    • 20 oil coriander
    • 40 oil nutmeg
    • 40 oil neroli
    • 1 US qt (946 ml; 33 imp fl oz) alcohol
  • "Let stand 24 hours."

This recipe does not specify when or how the ingredients are mixed, or the flavoring oil quantity units of measure (though it implies that the "Merchandise 7X" was mixed first). This was common in recipes at the time, as it was assumed that preparers knew the method.

Reed recipe

This recipe is attributed to pharmacist John Reed.

  • 30 lb (14 kg) sugar
  • 2 US gal (7.6 l; 1.7 imp gal) water
  • 1 US qt (950 ml; 33 imp fl oz) lime juice
  • 4 oz (110 g) citrate of caffeine
  • 2 oz (57 g) citric acid
  • 1 US fl oz (30 ml; 1.0 imp fl oz) extract of vanilla
  • 3/4 US fl oz (22.18 ml; 0.78 imp fl oz) fluid extract of kola nut
  • 3/4 US fl oz (22.18 ml; 0.78 imp fl oz) fluid extract of coca
Merory recipe

Recipe is from Food Flavorings: Composition, Manufacture and Use. Makes one 1 US gallon (3.8 l; 0.83 imp gal) of syrup. Yield (used to flavor carbonated water at 1 US fl oz (30 ml; 1.0 imp fl oz) per bottle): 128 bottles, 6.5 US fl oz (190 ml; 6.8 imp fl oz).

  • Mix 5 lb (2.3 kg) of sugar with just enough water to dissolve the sugar fully. (High-fructose corn syrup may be substituted for half the sugar.)
  • Add 114 oz (35 g) of caramel, 110 oz (3 g) caffine, and 25 oz (11 g) phosphoric acid.
  • Extract the cocaine from 58 drachms (1.1 g) of coca leaf (Truxillo growth of coca preferred) with toluol; dry the cocaine extract.
  • Soak the coca leaves and kola nuts (both finely powdered; 15 drachms (0.35 g) in 34 oz (21 g) of 20% alcohol.
  • California white wine fortified to 20% strength was used as the soaking solution circa 1909, but Coca-Cola may have switched to a simple water/alcohol mixture.
  • After soaking, discard the coca and kola and add the liquid to the syrup.
  • Add 1 oz (28 g) lime juice (a former ingredient, evidently, that Coca-Cola now denies) or a substitute such as a water solution of citric acid and sodium citrate at lime-juice strength.
  • Mix together
    • 12 drachms (0.89 g) lemon oil,
    • 14 drachms (0.44 g) orange oil,
    • 110 drachms (0.18 g) cassia (Chinese cinnamon) oil,
    • 25 drachms (0.71 g) nutmeg oil, and, if desired, traces of
    • coriander,
    • lavender, and
    • neroli oils,
  • Add 110 oz (2.8 g) water to the oil mixture and let stand for twenty-four hours at about 60 °F (16 °C). A cloudy layer will separate.
  • Take off the clear part of the liquid only and add the syrup.
  • Add 710 oz (20 g) glycerine (from vegetable source, not hog fat, so the drink can be sold to Jews and Muslims who observe their respective religion's dietary restrictions) and310 drachms (0.53 g) of vanilla extract.
  • Add water (treated with chlorine) to make a gallon of syrup.

We are not sure about the authenticity of these recipes. readers may try this at home and let us know which one tastes like the original Coke.

Sources:

  • http://voices.washingtonpost.com/blog-post/2011/02/this_american_life_bursts_coca.html
  • Products and Packaging Myths and Rumors - Cochineal, The Coca-Cola Company, accessed February 5, 2010.
  • Langman, Jimmy (October 30, 2006), "Just Say Coca", Newsweek on MSNBC.com, retrieved 2007-05-05
  • Allen, Frederick.   Secret Formula.    New York: HarperCollins, 1994.   ISBN 0-88730-672-1   (pp. 162, 446).
  •     Croft, Jay.   "Battle Goes on Over Coca-Cola Papers." The Atlanta Journal and Constitution.   13 March 1997   (p. H12).
  •     Miller, Michael.   "Things Go Better with Coca Extract." Rocky Mountain News.   22 November 1994   (p. A28).
  •     Pendergrast, Mark.   For God, Country, and Coca-Cola.    New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1993.   ISBN 0-684-19347-7   (pp. 421-425).
  •     Rochell, Anne.   "Has Writer Cracked Big Secret of Coke?"The Atlanta Journal and Constitution.   25 April 1993   (p. H1).

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Monday, February 07, 2011

Frequently Asked Questions about Mercury in Fish and Shellfish

Fish and shellfish is an excellent side dish that contain high-quality protein and other essential nutrients, omega-3 fatty acids and are low in saturated fat.Due to these reasons, most people include fish and shell fish in their diet, all over the world. Certain category of  fish and shellfish contain higher levels of mercury that may harm an unborn baby or young child's developing nervous system. So, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are advising women who may become pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children to avoid some types of fish and eat fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury.

MERCURY IN FISH

  1. What is mercury and methylmercury?
    Mercury occurs naturally in the environment and can also be released into the air through industrial pollution. Mercury falls from the air and can accumulate in streams and oceans and is turned into methylmercury in the water. It is this type of mercury that can be harmful to your unborn baby and young child. Fish absorb the methylmercury as they feed in these waters and so it builds up in them. It builds up more in some types of fish and shellfish than others, depending on what the fish eat, which is why the levels vary.
  2. I'm a woman who could have children but I'm not pregnant - so why should I be concerned about methylmercury?
    If you regularly eat types of fish that are high in methylmercury, it can accumulate in your blood stream over time. Methylmercury is removed from the body naturally, but it may take over a year for the levels to drop significantly. Thus, it may be present in a woman even before she becomes pregnant. This is the reason why women who are trying to become pregnant should also avoid eating certain types of fish.
  3. Is there methylmercury in all fish and shellfish?
    Nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of methylmercury. However, larger fish that have lived longer have the highest levels of methylmercury because they've had more time to accumulate it. These large fish (swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tilefish) pose the greatest risk. Other types of fish and shellfish may be eaten in the amounts recommended by FDA and EPA.
  4. I don't see the fish I eat in the advisory. What should I do?
    If you want more information about the levels in the various types of fish you eat, see the FDA food safety website or the EPA website at www.epa.gov/ost/fish.
  5. What about fish sticks and fast food sandwiches?
    Fish sticks and "fast-food" sandwiches are commonly made from fish that are low in mercury.
  6. The advice about canned tuna is in the advisory, but what's the advice about tuna steaks?
    Because tuna steak generally contains higher levels of mercury than canned light tuna, when choosing your two meals of fish and shellfish, you may eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) of tuna steak per week.
  7. What if I eat more than the recommended amount of fish and shellfish in a week?
    One week's consumption of fish does not change the level of methylmercury in the body much at all. If you eat a lot of fish one week, you can cut back for the next week or two. Just make sure you average the recommended amount per week.
  8. Where do I get information about the safety of fish caught recreationally by family or friends?
    Before you go fishing, check your Fishing Regulations Booklet for information about recreationally caught fish. You can also contact your local health department for information about local advisories. You need to check local advisories because some kinds of fish and shellfish caught in your local waters may have higher or much lower than average levels of mercury. This depends on the levels of mercury in the water in which the fish are caught. Those fish with much lower levels may be eaten more frequently and in larger amounts.

For further information about the risks of mercury in fish and shellfish call the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's food information line toll-free at 1-888-SAFEFOOD or visit FDA's Food Safetywebsite. Source: FDA

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Mercury in Fish and Shellfish–Posing danger to pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children

Fish and shellfish are an important part of a healthy diet. Fish and shellfish contain high-quality protein and other essential nutrients, are low in saturated fat, and contain omega-3 fatty acids. A well-balanced diet that includes a variety of fish and shellfish can contribute to heart health and children's proper growth and development. So, women and young children in particular should include fish or shellfish in their diets due to the many nutritional benefits.

SHELL FISH MERCURYHowever, nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of mercury. For most people, the risk from mercury by eating fish and shellfish is not a health concern. Yet, some fish and shellfish contain higher levels of mercury that may harm an unborn baby or young child's developing nervous system. The risks from mercury in fish and shellfish depend on the amount of fish and shellfish eaten and the levels of mercury in the fish and shellfish. Therefore, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are advising women who may become pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children to avoid some types of fish and eat fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury.

By following these 3 recommendations for selecting and eating fish or shellfish, women and young children will receive the benefits of eating fish and shellfish and be confident that they have reduced their exposure to the harmful effects of mercury.

  1. Do not eat
    • Shark
    • Swordfish
    • King Mackerel
    • Tilefish

    They contain high levels of mercury.

  2. Eat up to 12 ounces (2 average meals) a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury.

    • Five of the most commonly eaten fish that are low in mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, Pollock, and catfish.
    • Another commonly eaten fish, albacore ("white") tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna. So, when choosing your two meals of fish and shellfish, you may eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) of albacore tuna per week.
  3. Check local advisories about the safety of fish caught by family and friends in your local lakes, rivers, and coastal areas.

    If no advice is available, eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) per week of fish you catch from local waters, but don't consume any other fish during that week.

Follow these same recommendations when feeding fish and shellfish to your young child, but serve smaller portions.

Source: FDA

For further information about the risks of mercury in fish and shellfish call the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's food information line toll-free at 1-888-SAFEFOOD or visit FDA's Food Safetywebsite.

 

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