Whole Life Magazine

January/February 2015

Issue link: http://digital.copcomm.com/i/456952

Contents of this Issue


Page 12 of 43

It might seem like a nutritional no-brainer to choose a cup of yogurt over a candy bar, but a shocking number of brands offer no more nutritional value, the Cornucopia Institute discovered. As revealed in their report, "Culture Wars: How the Food Giants Turned Yogurt, a Health Food, into Junk Food," many brands of yogurt are loaded with sugar and questionably safe artifi cial sweeteners, colors and emulsifi ers. On the fl ip side, although the yogurt industry's cam- paign, "Live and Active Cultures," promises healthy probiotics (microorganisms thought to improve digestion) in a number of popular brands, fi ndings reveal several top-rated organic brands aren't even included in the campaign, even though they contain higher levels of benefi cial bacteria than other brands. "What is most egregious," said Mark A. Kastel, co- director of Cornucopia, "is the marketing employed by many of the largest agribusinesses selling junk food masquerading as health food." whole living By Laura G. Owens Cold and fl u season is back with a vengeance. With the growing number of natural treatment options available, how do we know what works? According to the National Institute of Health's Center for Complementary and Al- ternative Medicine, a 2011 analysis showed oral zinc helps lower the length and severity of colds if taken within 24 hours after symptoms begin. Low doses taken for at least fi ve months reduced colds in children. Intranasal zinc, however, has been linked to irreversible loss of sense of smell. Vitamin C doesn't prevent colds but may improve symptoms. And although probiotics offer proven health benefi ts, evidence is weak that they prevent upper respiratory infections (the common cold). Vitamin D is also no match against colds and fl u, according to a 2012 fi nding by the Journal of the American Medical Association. It does help the immune system and several observational studies suggest people with higher levels of vitamin D have fewer colds, but fi ndings are mixed. NUKE A COLD CANDY-COATED YOGURT LANGUAGE OFCANCER Rock Body YOUR "Winning the war against cancer" sounds like a promising battle cry against the disease, but recent studies suggest when patients utter aggressive, enemy-based metaphors, it hurts their willingness to engage in prevention behaviors that may have a positive impact. Enemy-based metaphors focus on power and taking aggressive action, yet the bulk of cancer prevention behaviors, such as reducing alcohol and salty foods and quitting smoking, involve restraint and limitation. "Fight and battle are among the top 10 verbs used to describe cancer," said David Hauser, a U-M doctoral student in psychology and co-author of the studies. "Constant exposure to even minor metaphorical utterances may be enough to make enemy metaphors for cancer a powerful infl uence on public health—with unfortunate side-effects." HOME BIRTHS OVER HOSPITALS In a reverse recommendation, Britain's national health service now advises healthy women to deliver their babies at home or in a birth center, rather than a hospital. A 2011 study found that for low-risk pregnant mothers, giving birth in a traditional maternity ward increased the likelihood of surgical intervention and therefore infection. Moreover, hospital births were more likely to lead to cesarean sections, episiotomies and epidurals, which numb the pain of labor but also increase the risk of a protracted birth that requires forceps and damages the perineum. Mark Baker, clinical practice director for Britain's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, suggests that fi rst-time low risk mothers deliver in a midwife-led unit and second-time low risk mothers deliver at home. Not everyone agrees. "We believe hospitals and birthing centers are the safest places for birth," said Dr. Jeffrey L. Ecker, chairman of the committee on obstetrics practice for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Under Britain's integrated health system, should problems arise "they have a process and protocol for appropriately and quickly getting you somewhere else," which is not the case in the United States. Dr. Ecker also said he did not foresee the British guidelines coming to the U.S. anytime soon, because doctors would worry about losing patients to midwives. That's an irrelevant concern in Britain's taxpayer-funded system. february/march 2015 13

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Whole Life Magazine - January/February 2015