Health updates

The following is new information regarding hair analysis and diet problems, and evidence linking toxic food containers to breast cancer risks in the womb.

Your hair reflects your diet

Researchers at Brigham Young University have discovered that eating disorders can be detected by analyzing hair samples. Scientists were able to pinpoint the problem in 80 percent of the samples they examined. The report’s lead author, Kent Hatch, says hair acts like a “tape recorder.” He is working to develop an affordable testing system for use in clinics that could indicate problem areas where a patient may be secretive or less than truthful, such as diet, alcohol or drugs.

Food containers linked to breast cancer 

Research indicates that PlasticsBisphenol A (BPA), an artificial estrogenic compound widely used in plastics for food containers, may increase adult breast cancer risk for female fetuses. This confirms earlier findings regarding a link between BPA and breast cancer.

A study exposed pregnant rats to bisphenol A at a range of doses from 2.5 to 1,000 micrograms per kg of body weight per day. The rats’ female offspring developed precancerous breast lesions during puberty at a rate three to four times higher than usual. BPA resulted in an increased level of lesions at all dose levels, which suggests that the current exposure limit set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (50 micrograms per kg per day) has put American women at risk of breast cancer.

BPA is used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics for many food and beverage containers, including baby bottles and canned food linings. Dental composites also can contain the chemical, which has also been linked to prostate cancer and brain tissue damage, even at extremely low levels.

Safer plastics for storing food and beverages, none of which is known to leach harmful substances, include: polypropylene, designated #5PP, high-density polyethylene, designated #2HDPE or low-density polyethylene, designated #4LDPE.

 

Resources: organicconsumers.org and mercola.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 26, Number 1, February/March 2007.

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