Food and Environmental Sensitivities
Why be Concerned?
More and more classrooms are requiring to be allergy free. Headaches, darkness under the eyes, fatigue, digestive concerns, attention & behaviour concerns, sleep difficulties, PMS and many other health concerns that maybe allergy or intolerance related are often left untreated. The WHO ranks allergies as the 6th leading health concern, with a 30% increase in the last 5 years alone.
Why is this happening?
Increased carbon dioxide release due to global warming increases plants intake of it causing increased pollen release and thereby concentration in the air.
What are the Connections Related To This Trend?
Hypersensitivity to foods and or the environment can be related to many factors including stressed nervous system, weakened adrenal function , overloaded liver and thus digestive changes that lead to “Leaky gut syndrome”. Leaky gut is when the digestive lining is worn away from irritation of incomplete digestion of foods, medications, excess sugar in the diet and stress. The incompletely digested foods are then absorbed at levels of the digestive tract in which they normally aren’t and the body recognizes them as foreign setting up this hypersensitivity reaction. Up to 70% of Immunity can be related to the bowels.
What is the difference between an allergy and a sensitivity or intolerance?
“Allergies” can follow two pathways either an Immunoglobulin E (IgE) response which is an immediate reaction or an Immunoglobulin G (IgG) response which is a delayed response. In an allergic reaction the mast cells in the immune system then release histamine to produce traditional allergy symptoms. This is compared to a “Intolerance or Sensitivity” in which the reaction doesn’t follow either pathway above creating symptoms that you are genetically predisposed to.
What are the ways to test for Allergies vs Intolerances?
The Options Include:
- Allergy Testing
Scratch Testing (Allergist MD Performs)
- The benefits are that the results are available immediately
- The drawbacks multiple sites need to be done one for each allergen and can be painful especially for kid’s also false negatives can result if child is nervous or upset ( i.e. releasing a lot of adrenaline)
IgE (MD,ND Performs)
- Uses a one blood draw serum and then as many different allergens as you wish can be tested
- This analyzes allergy reactions that occur immediately
IgG (MD, ND Performs)
- Uses a one blood draw and then as many different allergens as you wish can be tested.
- This analyzes allergy reactions that occur over time or delayed reactions.
- Here is a link helping you understand the difference http://www.rmalab.com/index.php?id=18
At Revivelife we perform IgE and IgG using a lab called MVA labs http://www.meridianvalleylab.com/allergy_dept_details.html
The test can detect both IgE and/or IgG4 allergic reactions. Thus both immediate and delayed food reactions can be detected.
The cost is E- 95 common food allergies 209 US plus 25 gammadynacare blood draw fee
A-95 seasonings and other foods 209 US plus 25 gammadynacare blood draw fee
Both E and A Combo 316 US plus 25 gammadynacare blood draw fee
- Sensitivity Testing
Food Sensitivity Testing
- Results available immediately
- Followed by the traditional Elimination Challenge
- Helpful when a person is feeling unwell but unsure why
What are our Treatment Options?
- Homeopathy-Research shows a significant reduction in symptoms of allergies with the use of one of the Naturopathic methods- Homeopathic treatment( lancet, 1986-881-6). Another research study showed homeopathic ortigens can improve nasal flow in allergy patients ( British medical J, Taylor)
- Acupuncture- Very effective especially implemented one month before allergy season
- Detoxification Liver-When the allergy reactions are related to liver congestion significant improvement to possible elimination may occur
- Detoxification Bowels- When the allergy reactions are related to bowel weakness this method is very effective
- Organ Program to build the nervous system and adrenal gland
- Antioxidants i.e. pycnogenol
- Stinging Nettle. If you decide you need an antihistamine but want a natural option, stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) without the unwanted side effects of dry mouth and drowsiness. Nettle actually inhibits the body’s ability to produce histamine. Studies have shown that taking about 300 milligrams daily will offer relief for most people.
- Immune building botanicals Licorice, Astragalus
- Butterbur (Petasites hybridus) is another alternative to antihistamines. A Swiss study, published in British Journal of Medicine, found that butterbur was as effective as the drug cetirizine, the active ingredient in Zyrtec.. Participants in the study took 32 milligrams of butterbur a day, divided into four doses. Note best used for non-ragweed specific allergies as it is in the same family as ragweed.
- Bioflavanoids-Quercitin and Hesperidin. Bioflavanoids help stabilize mast cells and prevents them from releasing histamine. Quercetin also is a natural antioxidant that helps mop up molecules called free radicals that cause cell damage, which can lead to cancer
- Vitamin C Antioxidant and Immune boosting
- Allergy Fighting Foods. A German study, published in the journal Allergy, found that participants who ate foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids were less likely to suffer allergy symptoms than those who didn’t regularly eat these foods. Omega-3s help fight inflammation and can be found in cold-water fish, walnuts and flaxseed oil, as well as grass-fed meat and eggs.
Wellness Foods of the Month Organic or Not Organic: Did You Know? Organic or Non Organic ?
Organic food sales have more than quadrupled in the last 10 years, according to a report released by the USDA in 2007. You’re in a bit of a dilemma standing in front of the produce section of your local supermarket. In one hand, you’re holding a conventionally grown carrot . In your other hand, you have one that’s labeled organically grown. Both appear nutritious . Both provide vitamins and fiber, and both are free of fat, sodium and cholesterol. The conventionally grown carrot costs less and is a proven family favorite. But the organic carrot has a label that says “USDA Organic.” Does that mean it’s better? Safer? More nutritious?
Several differences between organic and nonorganic foods exist. Become a better informed consumer for your next trip to the supermarket.
What is the determines if a food is organic?
The word “organic” refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural products, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and meat. Organic farming practices are designed to encourage soil and water conservation and reduce pollution for the environment. Farmers who grow organic produce and meat don’t use conventional methods to fertilize, control weeds or prevent livestock disease. For example, rather than using chemical weed killers, organic farmers may conduct sophisticated crop rotations and spread mulch or manure to keep weeds at bay.
The differences between conventional farming and organic farming:
|Conventional farmers||Organic farmers|
|Apply chemical fertilizers to promote plant growth.||Apply natural fertilizers, such as manure or compost, to feed soil and plants.|
|Spray insecticides to reduce pests and disease.||Use beneficial insects and birds, mating disruption or traps to reduce pests and disease.|
|Use chemical herbicides to manage weeds.||Rotate crops, till, hand weed or mulch to manage weeds.|
|Give animals antibiotics, growth hormones and medications to prevent disease and spur growth.||Give animals organic feed and allow them access to the outdoors. Use preventive measures — such as rotational grazing, a balanced diet and clean housing — to help minimize disease.|
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Canadian Department of Agriculture has established an organic certification program that requires all organic foods to meet strict government standards. These standards regulate how such foods are grown, handled and processed. Any farmer or food manufacturer who labels and sells a product as organic must be USDA certified as meeting these standards. Only producers who sell less than $5,000 a year in organic foods are exempt from this certification; however, they must follow the same government standards to label their foods as organic. If a food bears a USDA Organic label, it means it’s produced and processed according to the USDA standards and that at least 95 percent of the food’s ingredients are organically produced. The seal is voluntary, but many organic producers use it.
Products certified 95 percent or more organic display this USDA seal. ________________________________________ What does some of the labelling mean?
Foods containing less than 70 percent organic ingredients can’t use the organic seal or the word “organic” on their product label. They can include the organic items in their ingredient list, however. You may see other terms on food labels, such as “all-natural,” “free-range” or “hormone-free.” These descriptions may be important to you, but don’t confuse them with the term “organic.” Only those foods that are grown and processed according to USDA organic standards can be labeled organic. “USDA organic” or “ Certified Organic it has been third party independently tested standards in. “Organically grown” means that the food has been produced without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. “Pesticide free” no pesticides where added to the growing period of this food To Note: There is still a risk of cross contamination from non-organic farms in organic produce but research does show that organic foods had about one-third as many pesticides as the conventionally grown versions and were also far less likely to contain residues of more than one pesticide.
Products that are completely organic — such as fruits, vegetables, eggs or other single-ingredient foods — are labelled 100 percent organic and can carry a small USDA seal. Foods that have more than one ingredient, such as breakfast cereal, can use the USDA organic seal or the following wording on their package labels, depending on the number of organic ingredients: ? 100 percent organic. Products that are completely organic or made of all organic ingredients. ? Organic. Products that are at least 95 percent organic. ? Made with organic ingredients. These are products that contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients. The organic seal can’t be used on these packages.
Will eating organic make a difference in our quality or longevity of life? Research exists for both sides and there is no conclusive evidence either way. To reduce “Leaky Bowel Syndrome” and the impact of chemicals in our system consider organic foods.
What we do know is:
Organic Foods Reduce Exposure to :
- Pesticides, which is especially important in children. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that some substances used in pesticides are known, probable or possible carcinogens. Studies have found that people who work with pesticides as part of their job are at higher risk than the average person of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma and leukemia as well as prostate, kidney, brain and lung cancers. (1).
- Heavy Metals, such as arsenic, lead & mercury An accumulation of heavy metals is associated with many diseases such as allergic reactions, nerve disorders and cancer. (2) • Solvents such as benzene & toluene-(3) • Antibiotics-The reduction of can reduce the number of antibiotic resistant diseases (4)
Organic Foods May be more Nutritious than Non Organic Foods: The results of numerous studies found that on average organic foods can be higher in nutrients including the following:
- Vitamin C- Average of 27% higher • Iron-29% higher • Phosphorus-14% higher
A study by Globe and Mail and CTV news, found that today’s potatoes, compared with those from 50 years ago, contain 57% less vitamin C, 57% less iron, and 50% less riboflavin. Modern industrial broccoli has 63% less calcium, 34% less iron, and a decrease in seven other vital other nutrients.(5)
What about meats such as Organic Chicken? Why eat organic chicken?
Organic chicken allowed access to the outdoors has 21% less total fat, 30% less saturated fat, 28% fewer calories, 50% more vitamin A, and 100% more omega-3 fatty acid than poultry not allowed outdoor access (6). . Richer sources of niacin and selenium found in organic chicken also provides great antioxidant support. Chicken is a very good source of the cancer-protective B vitamin, niacin. Components of DNA require niacin, and a deficiency of niacin (as well as other B-complex vitamins) has been directly linked to genetic (DNA) damage. A four-ounce serving of chicken provides 72.0% of the daily value for niacin. Chicken is also a good source of the trace mineral, selenium. Selenium is of fundamental importance to human health. It is an essential component of several major metabolic pathways, including thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense systems, and immune function. Accumulated evidence from prospective studies, intervention trials and studies on animal models of cancer have suggested a strong inverse correlation between selenium intake and cancer incidence.
Research published in the August 2004 issue of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry indicates regular consumption of niacin-rich foods like chicken provides protection against Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline.
For optimal efficiency , if you are going to choose to eat organic consider “ The Dirty Dozen”
A simulation of thousands of consumers eating high and low pesticide diets shows that people can lower their pesticide exposure by 90 percent by avoiding the top twelve most contaminated fruits and vegetables ( “Dirty Dozen”) (See addendum 1) and eating the least contaminated instead. Eating the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables will expose a person to nearly 20 pesticides per day, on average. Eating the 12 least contaminated will expose a person to a fraction over 2 pesticides per day. With that in mind, the Environmental Working Group brings us their list of the most contaminated (the dirty dozen!) and least contaminated fruits and vegetables out there. • For a wallet size downloadable guide visit http://www.foodnews.org/walletguide.php?key=35891624 • For more input on is organic better for you? http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/organic-food-better?page=2
Addendum 1- Dirty Dozen List and Best Dozen List
12 Most Contaminated – Buy These Organic
- Apples • Bell Peppers • Celery • Cherries • Imported Grapes • Nectarines • Peaches • Pears • Potatoes • Red Raspberries • Spinach • Strawberries
12 Least Contaminated
- Asparagus • Avocados • Bananas • Broccoli • Cauliflower • Corn (sweet) • Kiwi • Mangos • Onions • Papaya • Pineapples • Peas (sweet)
Organic Animal Products ( to reduce exposure to hormones and antibiotics especially for women)
- Dairy • Eggs • Meat
References: (1)Cancer health effects of pesticides; Systematic review; K.L. Bassil MSc C. Vakil MD CCFP FCFP M. Sanborn MD CCFP FCFPD.C. Cole MD MSc FRCPC J.S. Kaur MD K.J. Kerr MD DIP ENV HEALTH ABSTRACT Vol 53: October • Octobre 2007 Canadian Family Physician • Le Médecin de famille canadien (2) Goyer, R. A. (1996). “Toxic Effects of Metals.” In Casarett & Doull’s Toxicology: Basic Science of Poisons, ed. C. D. Klaassen. New York: McGraw-Hill
(3)Environmental Health Perspectives, Volume 104, Supplement 6, December 1996 (4) The World Health Organization report“ WHO Global Strategy for Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance, 2007. (5)Organic Foods vs Supermarket Foods: Element Levels by Bob L. Smith; Doctor’s Data Inc., PO Box 111, West Chicago, IL 60185. Published in the JOURNAL OF APPLIED NUTRITION, VOL 45- 1, 1993. Copyright © International Academy of Nutrition and Preventive Medicine
(6)USDA Sustainable Agriculture & Research Education Program, 2006.
(7)Good Morning America, ELISABETH LEAMY and SHEILA EVANS Published August 13, 2009
(8)FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Pesticide Program: Residue Monitoring 1999, August 2000. (9)Organic produce. Consumer Reports 63(1):12-18, 1998.
Natural Encyclopedia Pizzorno and Murray
Excellent overall Natural Treatment approaches
Sources 1. Cancer health effects of pesticides; Systematic review; K.L. Bassil MSc C. Vakil MD CCFP FCFP M. Sanborn MD CCFP FCFPD.C. Cole MD MSc FRCPC J.S. Kaur MD K.J. Kerr MD DIP ENV HEALTH ABSTRACT Vol 53: October • Octobre 2007 Canadian Family Physician • Le Médecin de famille canadien 2. “Toxic Effects of Metals.” In Casarett & Doull’s Toxicology: Basic Science of Poisons, Goyer, R. A. (1996); ed. C. D. Klaassen. New York: McGraw-Hill 3. Environmental Health Perspectives, Volume 104, Supplement 6, December 1996 4. The World Health Organization report“ WHO Global Strategy for Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance,”2006 5. Organic Foods vs Supermarket Foods: Element Levels by Bob L. Smith; Doctor’s Data Inc., PO Box 111, West Chicago, IL 60185. Published in the JOURNAL OF APPLIED NUTRITION, VOL 45-1, 1993. Copyright © International Academy of Nutrition and Preventive Medicine 6. Good Morning America, ELISABETH LEAMY and SHEILA EVANS Published August 13, 2009 7. FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Pesticide Program: Residue Monitoring 1999, August 2000. 8. Organic produce. Consumer Reports 63(1):12-18, 1998.