“Natural Flavoring” in your food – TOXIC?

“Natural Flavoring” in your food – TOXIC?

 

Here are the FDS’s statements on food labeling. You can go down to part (3) where natural flavors are defined.

[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 21, Volume 2]
[Revised as of April 1, 2018]
[CITE: 21CFR101.22]

 

TITLE 21–FOOD AND DRUGS
CHAPTER I–FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
SUBCHAPTER B–FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION

PART 101 — FOOD LABELING

Subpart B–Specific Food Labeling Requirements

Sec. 101.22 Foods; labeling of spices, flavorings, colorings and chemical preservatives.
(a)(1) The term artificial flavor or artificial flavoring means any substance, the function of which is to impart flavor, which is not derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof. Artificial flavor includes the substances listed in 172.515(b) and 182.60 of this chapter except where these are derived from natural sources.

(2) The term spice means any aromatic vegetable substance in the whole, broken, or ground form, except for those substances which have been traditionally regarded as foods, such as onions, garlic and celery; whose significant function in food is seasoning rather than nutritional; that is true to name; and from which no portion of any volatile oil or other flavoring principle has been removed. Spices include the spices listed in 182.10 and part 184 of this chapter, such as the following:

Allspice, Anise, Basil, Bay leaves, Caraway seed, Cardamon, Celery seed, Chervil, Cinnamon, Cloves, Coriander, Cumin seed, Dill seed, Fennel seed, Fenugreek, Ginger, Horseradish, Mace, Marjoram, Mustard flour, Nutmeg, Oregano, Paprika, Parsley, Pepper, black; Pepper, white; Pepper, red; Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Savory, Star aniseed, Tarragon, Thyme, Turmeric.

Paprika, turmeric, and saffron or other spices which are also colors, shall be declared as “spice and coloring” unless declared by their common or usual name.

(3) The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional. Natural flavors include the natural essence or extractives obtained from plants listed in 182.10, 182.20, 182.40, and 182.50 and part 184 of this chapter, and the substances listed in 172.510 of this chapter.

(4) The term artificial color or artificial coloring means any “color additive” as defined in 70.3(f) of this chapter.

(5) The term chemical preservative means any chemical that, when added to food, tends to prevent or retard deterioration thereof, but does not include common salt, sugars, vinegars, spices, or oils extracted from spices, substances added to food by direct exposure thereof to wood smoke, or chemicals applied for their insecticidal or herbicidal properties.

(b) A food which is subject to the requirements of section 403(k) of the act shall bear labeling, even though such food is not in package form.

(c) A statement of artificial flavoring, artificial coloring, or chemical preservative shall be placed on the food or on its container or wrapper, or on any two or all three of these, as may be necessary to render such statement likely to be read by the ordinary person under customary conditions of purchase and use of such food. The specific artificial color used in a food shall be identified on the labeling when so required by regulation in part 74 of this chapter to assure safe conditions of use for the color additive.

(d) A food shall be exempt from compliance with the requirements of section 403(k) of the act if it is not in package form and the units thereof are so small that a statement of artificial flavoring, artificial coloring, or chemical preservative, as the case may be, cannot be placed on such units with such conspicuousness as to render it likely to be read by the ordinary individual under customary conditions of purchase and use.

(e) A food shall be exempt while held for sale from the requirements of section 403(k) of the act (requiring label statement of any artificial flavoring, artificial coloring, or chemical preservatives) if said food, having been received in bulk containers at a retail establishment, is displayed to the purchaser with either (1) the labeling of the bulk container plainly in view or (2) a counter card, sign, or other appropriate device bearing prominently and conspicuously the information required to be stated on the label pursuant to section 403(k).

(f) A fruit or vegetable shall be exempt from compliance with the requirements of section 403(k) of the act with respect to a chemical preservative applied to the fruit or vegetable as a pesticide chemical prior to harvest.

(g) A flavor shall be labeled in the following way when shipped to a food manufacturer or processor (but not a consumer) for use in the manufacture of a fabricated food, unless it is a flavor for which a standard of identity has been promulgated, in which case it shall be labeled as provided in the standard:

(1) If the flavor consists of one ingredient, it shall be declared by its common or usual name.

(2) If the flavor consists of two or more ingredients, the label either may declare each ingredient by its common or usual name or may state “All flavor ingredients contained in this product are approved for use in a regulation of the Food and Drug Administration.” Any flavor ingredient not contained in one of these regulations, and any nonflavor ingredient, shall be separately listed on the label.

(3) In cases where the flavor contains a solely natural flavor(s), the flavor shall be so labeled, e.g., “strawberry flavor”, “banana flavor”, or “natural strawberry flavor”. In cases where the flavor contains both a natural flavor and an artificial flavor, the flavor shall be so labeled, e.g., “natural and artificial strawberry flavor”. In cases where the flavor contains a solely artificial flavor(s), the flavor shall be so labeled, e.g., “artificial strawberry flavor”.

(h) The label of a food to which flavor is added shall declare the flavor in the statement of ingredients in the following way:

(1) Spice, natural flavor, and artificial flavor may be declared as “spice”, “natural flavor”, or “artificial flavor”, or any combination thereof, as the case may be.

(2) An incidental additive in a food, originating in a spice or flavor used in the manufacture of the food, need not be declared in the statement of ingredients if it meets the requirements of 101.100(a)(3).

(3) Substances obtained by cutting, grinding, drying, pulping, or similar processing of tissues derived from fruit, vegetable, meat, fish, or poultry, e.g., powdered or granulated onions, garlic powder, and celery powder, are commonly understood by consumers to be food rather than flavor and shall be declared by their common or usual name.

(4) Any salt (sodium chloride) used as an ingredient in food shall be declared by its common or usual name “salt.”

(5) Any monosodium glutamate used as an ingredient in food shall be declared by its common or usual name “monosodium glutamate.”

(6) Any pyroligneous acid or other artificial smoke flavors used as an ingredient in a food may be declared as artificial flavor or artificial smoke flavor. No representation may be made, either directly or implied, that a food flavored with pyroligneous acid or other artificial smoke flavor has been smoked or has a true smoked flavor, or that a seasoning sauce or similar product containing pyroligneous acid or other artificial smoke flavor and used to season or flavor other foods will result in a smoked product or one having a true smoked flavor.

(7) Because protein hydrolysates function in foods as both flavorings and flavor enhancers, no protein hydrolysate used in food for its effects on flavor may be declared simply as “flavor,” “natural flavor,” or “flavoring.” The ingredient shall be declared by its specific common or usual name as provided in 102.22 of this chapter.

(i) If the label, labeling, or advertising of a food makes any direct or indirect representations with respect to the primary recognizable flavor(s), by word, vignette, e.g., depiction of a fruit, or other means, or if for any other reason the manufacturer or distributor of a food wishes to designate the type of flavor in the food other than through the statement of ingredients, such flavor shall be considered the characterizing flavor and shall be declared in the following way:

(1) If the food contains no artificial flavor which simulates, resembles or reinforces the characterizing flavor, the name of the food on the principal display panel or panels of the label shall be accompanied by the common or usual name of the characterizing flavor, e.g., “vanilla”, in letters not less than one-half the height of the letters used in the name of the food, except that:

(i) If the food is one that is commonly expected to contain a characterizing food ingredient, e.g., strawberries in “strawberry shortcake”, and the food contains natural flavor derived from such ingredient and an amount of characterizing ingredient insufficient to independently characterize the food, or the food contains no such ingredient, the name of the characterizing flavor may be immediately preceded by the word “natural” and shall be immediately followed by the word “flavored” in letters not less than one-half the height of the letters in the name of the characterizing flavor, e.g., “natural strawberry flavored shortcake,” or “strawberry flavored shortcake”.

(ii) If none of the natural flavor used in the food is derived from the product whose flavor is simulated, the food in which the flavor is used shall be labeled either with the flavor of the product from which the flavor is derived or as “artificially flavored.”

(iii) If the food contains both a characterizing flavor from the product whose flavor is simulated and other natural flavor which simulates, resembles or reinforces the characterizing flavor, the food shall be labeled in accordance with the introductory text and paragraph (i)(1)(i) of this section and the name of the food shall be immediately followed by the words “with other natural flavor” in letters not less than one-half the height of the letters used in the name of the characterizing flavor.

(2) If the food contains any artificial flavor which simulates, resembles or reinforces the characterizing flavor, the name of the food on the principal display panel or panels of the label shall be accompanied by the common or usual name(s) of the characterizing flavor, in letters not less than one-half the height of the letters used in the name of the food and the name of the characterizing flavor shall be accompanied by the word(s) “artificial” or “artificially flavored”, in letters not less than one-half the height of the letters in the name of the characterizing flavor, e.g., “artificial vanilla”, “artificially flavored strawberry”, or “grape artificially flavored”.

(3) Wherever the name of the characterizing flavor appears on the label (other than in the statement of ingredients) so conspicuously as to be easily seen under customary conditions of purchase, the words prescribed by this paragraph shall immediately and conspicuously precede or follow such name, without any intervening written, printed, or graphic matter, except:

(i) Where the characterizing flavor and a trademark or brand are presented together, other written, printed, or graphic matter that is a part of or is associated with the trademark or brand may intervene if the required words are in such relationship with the trademark or brand as to be clearly related to the characterizing flavor; and

(ii) If the finished product contains more than one flavor subject to the requirements of this paragraph, the statements required by this paragraph need appear only once in each statement of characterizing flavors present in such food, e.g., “artificially flavored vanilla and strawberry”.

(iii) If the finished product contains three or more distinguishable characterizing flavors, or a blend of flavors with no primary recognizable flavor, the flavor may be declared by an appropriately descriptive generic term in lieu of naming each flavor, e.g., “artificially flavored fruit punch”.

(4) A flavor supplier shall certify, in writing, that any flavor he supplies which is designated as containing no artificial flavor does not, to the best of his knowledge and belief, contain any artificial flavor, and that he has added no artificial flavor to it. The requirement for such certification may be satisfied by a guarantee under section 303(c)(2) of the act which contains such a specific statement. A flavor user shall be required to make such a written certification only where he adds to or combines another flavor with a flavor which has been certified by a flavor supplier as containing no artificial flavor, but otherwise such user may rely upon the supplier’s certification and need make no separate certification. All such certifications shall be retained by the certifying party throughout the period in which the flavor is supplied and for a minimum of three years thereafter, and shall be subject to the following conditions:

(i) The certifying party shall make such certifications available upon request at all reasonable hours to any duly authorized office or employee of the Food and Drug Administration or any other employee acting on behalf of the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Such certifications are regarded by the Food and Drug Administration as reports to the government and as guarantees or other undertakings within the meaning of section 301(h) of the act and subject the certifying party to the penalties for making any false report to the government under 18 U.S.C. 1001 and any false guarantee or undertaking under section 303(a) of the act. The defenses provided under section 303(c)(2) of the act shall be applicable to the certifications provided for in this section.

(ii) Wherever possible, the Food and Drug Administration shall verify the accuracy of a reasonable number of certifications made pursuant to this section, constituting a representative sample of such certifications, and shall not request all such certifications.

(iii) Where no person authorized to provide such information is reasonably available at the time of inspection, the certifying party shall arrange to have such person and the relevant materials and records ready for verification as soon as practicable: Provided, That, whenever the Food and Drug Administration has reason to believe that the supplier or user may utilize this period to alter inventories or records, such additional time shall not be permitted. Where such additional time is provided, the Food and Drug Administration may require the certifying party to certify that relevant inventories have not been materially disturbed and relevant records have not been altered or concealed during such period.

(iv) The certifying party shall provide, to an officer or representative duly designated by the Secretary, such qualitative statement of the composition of the flavor or product covered by the certification as may be reasonably expected to enable the Secretary’s representatives to determine which relevant raw and finished materials and flavor ingredient records are reasonably necessary to verify the certifications. The examination conducted by the Secretary’s representative shall be limited to inspection and review of inventories and ingredient records for those certifications which are to be verified.

(v) Review of flavor ingredient records shall be limited to the qualitative formula and shall not include the quantitative formula. The person verifying the certifications may make only such notes as are necessary to enable him to verify such certification. Only such notes or such flavor ingredient records as are necessary to verify such certification or to show a potential or actual violation may be removed or transmitted from the certifying party’s place of business: Provided, That, where such removal or transmittal is necessary for such purposes the relevant records and notes shall be retained as separate documents in Food and Drug Administration files, shall not be copied in other reports, and shall not be disclosed publicly other than in a judicial proceeding brought pursuant to the act or 18 U.S.C. 1001.

(j) A food to which a chemical preservative(s) is added shall, except when exempt pursuant to 101.100 bear a label declaration stating both the common or usual name of the ingredient(s) and a separate description of its function, e.g., “preservative”, “to retard spoilage”, “a mold inhibitor”, “to help protect flavor” or “to promote color retention”.

(k) The label of a food to which any coloring has been added shall declare the coloring in the statement of ingredients in the manner specified in paragraphs (k)(1) and (k)(2) of this section, except that colorings added to butter, cheese, and ice cream, if declared, may be declared in the manner specified in paragraph (k)(3) of this section, and colorings added to foods subject to 105.62 and 105.65 of this chapter shall be declared in accordance with the requirements of those sections.

(1) A color additive or the lake of a color additive subject to certification under 721(c) of the act shall be declared by the name of the color additive listed in the applicable regulation in part 74 or part 82 of this chapter, except that it is not necessary to include the “FD&C” prefix or the term “No.” in the declaration, but the term “Lake” shall be included in the declaration of the lake of the certified color additive (e.g., Blue 1 Lake). Manufacturers may parenthetically declare an appropriate alternative name of the certified color additive following its common or usual name as specified in part 74 or part 82 of this chapter.

(2) Color additives not subject to certification and not otherwise required by applicable regulations in part 73 of this chapter to be declared by their respective common or usual names may be declared as “Artificial Color,” “Artificial Color Added,” or “Color Added” (or by an equally informative term that makes clear that a color additive has been used in the food). Alternatively, such color additives may be declared as “Colored with ________” or “________ color,” the blank to be filled in with the name of the color additive listed in the applicable regulation in part 73 of this chapter.

(3) When a coloring has been added to butter, cheese, or ice cream, it need not be declared in the ingredient list unless such declaration is required by a regulation in part 73 or part 74 of this chapter to ensure safe conditions of use for the color additive. Voluntary declaration of all colorings added to butter, cheese, and ice cream, however, is recommended.

[42 FR 14308, Mar. 15, 1977, as amended at 44 FR 3963, Jan. 19, 1979; 44 FR 37220, June 26, 1979; 54 FR 24891, June 12, 1989; 58 FR 2875, Jan. 6, 1993; 63 FR 14818, Mar. 27, 1998; 74 FR 216, Jan. 5, 2009]

Support healthy stomach acid levels for good digestion

When we go to the doctor with symptoms of acid reflux, gas, bloating and heartburn, typically the diagnosis of high stomach acid is based purely on symptoms — not a lab test for stomach acid levels — resulting in a prescription for antacids, histamine type 2 receptor agonists (H2 blockers), Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs), or even surgery.

For some people these remedies get to the root cause, however for a large percentage they fall far short of the real target and actually serve to increase the problem.

Antacids reduce stomach acid temporarily, then more acid is automatically produced to bring the stomach back to its intended pH level. This only treats the temporary symptoms and does nothing to fix the actual problem.

H2 blockers block a substance in the body that encourages acid production in the stomach. They work more slowly than antacids and are intended to last for longer periods of time. On the down side, they stop production of pepsin, a digestive enzyme necessary for breaking down protein.

Proton pump inhibitors permanently block an enzyme that tells your stomach to produce acid.

All of these methods are linked to serious side effects and can even contribute to the root causes for continued chronic low stomach acid and other serious health conditions.

5 Ways to test stomach acid levels

Because hypochlorhydria isn’t well known to most patients, many never trace it back to their chronic health condition and they continue to suffer.

The good news is multiple options exist for testing stomach acid levels, which will help you create a clear game plan for remedying the situation at its foundation.

1. Gastric acid secretion test. Highly invasive and expensive, this test is typically done if a patient is diagnosed with a stomach ulcer. It can be helpful to track if anti-ulcer medication is working and to see if material from the intestines is coming back into the stomach.

2. The Heidelberg Stomach Acid Test. Considered the gold standard test for hypochlorhydria, a small capsule with a radio transmitter is ingested to measure the pH of the stomach as you drink a solution with baking soda (reduces acidity). The baking soda will naturally neutralize the HCL in the stomach. If the body does not return it to normal, it’s a sign of hypochlorhydria.

This test provides a graph showing your specific stomach response to the baking soda challenge, and can help determine if you have hypochlorhydria, hyperchlorhydria (high acid), or achlorhydria (complete lack of acid). At a cost of about $350, this test is not covered by most insurance plans.

3. CBC and CMP. These are common factors on a metabolic blood panel, typically covered by insurance. A skilled clinician can diagnose hypochlorhydria by taking into account these lab results in combination with your symptoms.

4. Betaine HCl challenge. An at-home test considered to be quite reliable, however false positives are possible so it’s recommended to repeat the test three times. The betaine HCl costs about $20. If you have low stomach acid, you can then take it to help restore your HCl levels.

  1. Buy Betaine HCl with pepsin.
  2. Eat a high-protein meal containing at least 6 ounces of meat (veggies are allowed with this).
  3. In the middle of the meal (not the beginning) take one betaine HCl pill.
  4. Finish the meal and observe what happens.

Possible outcomes:

1. You notice no symptoms. This is likely a sign of low stomach acid.

2. Indigestion. Burning, heat, or heaviness in your chest likely indicate adequate stomach acid levels.

It is recommended to repeat the betaine HCl challenge two or three times to confirm your results. Three positive tests are a good indication of low stomach acid.

False positives are possible if:

  • You consume too little protein. A low protein meal doesn’t require much acid, so the betaine HCl can cause too much increase in acid.
  • You took the capsule before the meal, which can cause indigestion.
  • You have esophageal sphincter dysfunction. A hiatal hernia or poor esophageal sphincter tone can cause increased indigestion symptoms. Rule this out with a medical exam if you suspect it.

5. Baking soda stomach acid test. While not as accurate as the above tests, this is a free at-home test you can use to get an indication of your stomach acid levels. The results can vary from person to person depending on interpretation of the results. Some use it as a baseline measure and to track changes over time.

First thing in the morning, before eating or drinking anything:

  1. Mix ¼ tsp baking soda in 4 to 6 ounces of cold water.
  2. Drink the baking soda solution.
  3. Time how long it takes for a burp to occur. Time it for up to 5 minutes:

If you have not burped within five minutes, it may be a sign of insufficient stomach acid. Early and repeated burping may be due to too much stomach acid (do not to confuse this with small burps from swallowing air when drinking the solution). Any burping after 3 minutes is an indication of low stomach acid levels.

Associated tests

Low stomach acid can be associated with other health issues that have far-reaching consequences. If you suspect low stomach acid, ask our office about testing for the following:

B12 levels: Intrinsic factor is a glycoprotein in the stomach necessary for absorption of vitamin B12. When stomach acid is too low, intrinsic factor can’t do its job. This results in vitamin B12 deficiency, which is a serious health concern.

Homocysteine levels: Stomach acid is important for proper absorption of vitamin B12, a key factor in methylation that keeps inflammatory homocysteine at the right levels. When B12 is low, homocysteine elevates.

Supporting healthy stomach acid

Eat protein foods at the beginning of your meal to stimulate the digestive enzymes necessary for digesting protein.

Chew thoroughly. This is one of the most important parts of digestion. Food proteins need to be broken down to be properly digested.

Limit liquid intake during meals until at least 30 minutes after a meal to allow for proper stomach acid production, pathogen sterilization, and protein metabolism.

Stay hydrated between meals to support proper gut motility; this pushes the contents of the intestines out of the body instead of back into the stomach. This is very important for those who are prone to SIBO.

Betaine hydrochloride supplements help support healthy gut function and safely restore normal gastric acidity. (Do not confuse betaine HCl with anhydrous betaine, a methyl-donor nutrient taken to control homocysteine levels.)

Always take the betaine HCL either half-way through the meal or right at the end of the meal. Taking it before a meal may create a false experience of heartburn and can turn off stomach acid production for this meal. Caution: Do not take HCL if you are taking any NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, Tylenol or aspirin.

HCl with pepsin. Add these to your diet when you consume protein. When you feel warmth in your stomach, that means you are taking enough. Then back it down a notch and monitor your response. Some people need one capsule, others need more as everyone is unique.

Pepsin. Typically used in conjunction with HCl, pepsin is considered very safe when administered to assist digestion.

Digestive enzymes help to break down food proteins. Make sure to get a high-quality blend.

Apple cider vinegar. One tablespoon in a bit of water right before a meal can help with digestion.

Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, pickled ginger, and water kefir contain organic acids, enzymes and probiotics to assist with proper digestion. They are also anti-microbial and fight H. pylori, arch enemy of stomach acid production.

Taking the time to improve your stomach acid levels will make a huge difference in your symptoms and quality of life. Please contact my office for more help.

 

Household disenfectants promote obesity gut bacteria

Our gut microbiome consists of several pounds of gut bacteria and research increasingly shows how powerfully these bacteria influence our overall health.

The composition of the gut microbiome determines much about our immune health, personality, brain function, and weight. In fact, scientists are increasingly discovering a connection between our microbiome signature and a propensity toward obesity.

For instance, being born via C-section, bottle feeding versus breast feeding as an infant, and frequent antibiotic use in childhood has been associated with a much higher risk of obesity.

Also, both mice and human studies shows that inoculating the gut of an obese subject with the gut bacteria of a thin subject causes swift weight loss. The reverse is also true — thin mice quickly become fat when inoculated with the gut bacteria of obese mice.

Now, a new study adds more weight to these findings by showing that multi-surface cleaning disinfectants are another factor that promote an obesity microbiome. Children who grow up in households that use these products regularly are more prone to obesity.

The Canadian study showed that three-year-old children who grew up in homes where these products were used two or more times a week were more overweight than their peers who grew up in homes where these products were used less often or not at all.

The bacterium scientists looked at is called Lachnospiraceae. In animal studies, higher levels of Lachnospiraceae is associated with increased body fat and insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a stepping stone condition to diabetes and is often found in people with obesity.

Fecal samples from children in homes that used eco-cleaners or detergents free of the bacteria-killing ingredients did not show the same elevated levels of Lachnospiraceae.

It was important in the study to look at the home environments three-year-olds grew up in because microbiome researchers find that our lifelong gut microbiome is largely determined by age three.

Although more work needs to be done in this arena, animal studies have produced similar results.

Can you alter your gut microbiome signature?

Although it looks like the gut microbiome signature we develop in infancy plays a large role in our lifelong health, it is not completely set in stone.

In fact, the gut microbiome is increasingly being viewed as a dynamic organ that can change composition in as little as three days. The foods you eat profoundly influence your gut bacteria.

The best strategy to promote a healthy gut microbiome that favors fat burning over fat storage, healthy immunity, and balanced brain function is to eat a large and diverse array of produce, mainly vegetables, at every meal. It’s important to eat many different kinds of produce on a regular basis. Gut bacteria health is based on diversity, which is created by a diverse produce-based diet.

Gut bacteria also respond positively to regular exercise, an environment and diet as free of environmental chemicals as possible, and consumption of fermented and cultured foods and drinks, such as kefir water, kimchi, and sauerkraut.

Ask my office for more ways to promote a healthy gut microbiome.

 

Antacid and antibiotics raise allergy risk in children

Antacid and antibiotics raise allergy risk in children

Addressing the root cause of your child’s acid reflux or frequent illnesses instead of a pharmaceutical quick fix could save you both bigger headaches down the road — a large study shows antacid and antibiotic use in early childhood significantly raises the risk of developing allergies.

Researchers looked at the records of almost 800,000 children born during a 13-year period to families in the military.

Surprisingly, almost 10 percent of the babies were treated with antacids such as Zantac or Pepcid for acid reflux; spitting up is common in infants and does not typically need to be medicated.

Also surprising was that more than half of the children in the study went on to develop allergies, rashes, asthma, or hay fever.

However, the children who received antacids in infancy were twice as likely to develop allergic diseases compared to the rest.

What’s worse is that their risk of developing anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can be deadly, was 50 percent higher compared to the non-medicated children.

Children who received antibiotics as babies were twice as likely to have asthma and had a 50 percent higher likelihood of hay fever and anaphylactic allergies.

Why you must take care of the gut to avoid allergies and immune-based diseases

The researchers suggested the negative impact antacids and antibiotics have on gut bacteria, also called the gut microbiome, play a role in the development of allergies and other immune disorders.

Are you concerned about your microbiome? You can have a FREE 15-Minute Consultation with Dr. Celaya to see if it is an issue. 

Additionally, by neutralizing the acidity of the stomach, which is necessary to break down foods, antacids may be allowing undigested foods into the small intestine. This negatively impacts the gut microbiome and inflames the digestive tract.

The health of the digestive tract and gut microbiome profoundly influences immune health. When the gut is inflamed and damaged and gut bacteria is unhealthy and full of bad bacteria, this predisposes a person to myriad immune-based disorders, including:

  • Allergies
  • Food sensitivities
  • Chemical sensitivities
  • Eczema and other skin-based disorders
  • Asthma and other respiratory disorders
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Brain-based disorders

Look for the root cause of childhood illness

Although spitting is up normal for babies, if a baby is spitting up excessively you have to ask why.

Also, if a child has reoccurring infections that require antibiotics over and over, again you have to ask why.

These are signs that the health of the digestive tract, the gut microbiome, and the immune system are already in distress.

For instance, the child could be eating a food to which they are intolerant, such as gluten or dairy — two primary triggers of immune disorders. The child may have been born with food intolerances or autoimmunity (when the immune system attacks the body) passed on from the mother.

A child born via c-section and fed formula is likely to have a less healthy gut microbiome than a child born vaginally and breastfed. This may predispose a child to excess acid reflux or reoccurring infections.

However, medicating a child with antacids and antibiotics only further destroys the gut microbiome and dysregulates the immune system. This makes the child significantly more prone to immune disorders, such as allergies, anaphylaxis, autoimmunity, asthma, eczema, obesity, and other chronic issues.

The key is to address the underlying causes of an inflamed gut, an unhealthy gut microbiome, and inflammation. Want to know more? Schedule a FREE 15-Minute consultation with Dr. Celaya. 

Try new veggies and fruit to boost healthy gut bacteria

Try new veggies and fruit to boost healthy gut bacteria

Want to improve your mood, health, and brain function? An ample and diverse supply of healthy gut bacteria has been shown to be essential, and that is best obtained through eating lots of different kinds of produce. Try going out of your comfort zone in the produce aisle and incorporating some new varieties of vegetables and fruits.

The digestive system is host to nearly four pounds of bacteria — some considered “good,” some considered “bad” — and while both have roles to play, it’s critical to actively support the good bacteria to avoid leaky gut, SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth), and systemic inflammation, all of which contribute to autoimmunity and other chronic illnesses.

Gut bacteria rely on the fiber from fruits and vegetables as a source of energy. When bacteria metabolize fiber, they produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), vital compounds that regulate immune function, reduce inflammation, and boost brain health.

Support gut bacteria with plentiful and varied produce

Simply eating plentiful — and diverse — fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to support a diverse population of bacteria in your gut. Also, probiotics work best in a gut environment that’s already being supported with plenty of fiber — the fruits and vegetables on your plate.

The recommended produce consumption is seven to 10 servings a day. That may sound like a lot, but one serving is only a half cup of chopped produce or a cup of leafy greens. Aim for produce low on the glycemic scale — sugary fruits may create problems for those with unstable blood sugar.

Are you curious about the health of your digestive system? Schedule a FREE 15-Minute Consultation with Dr. Celaya. 

Expand your options with new and unusual produce

If you are looking to expand your consumption of produce and need some inspiration, seek out some of these fresh fruits and vegetables at international or health food stores that bring in varieties of produce lesser known in the west:

Ayote is a tropical squash used similarly to summer squash or pumpkin. It can be eaten whole when tender, or when mature, made into a stew, creamy soup, or sweet dessert or pie.

Bitter melon (balsam pear, bitter gourd, bitter cucumber) is a tropical green melon native to Asia, Africa and parts of the Caribbean. Unripe it is bitter, but allowed to ripen, the interior turns a reddish hue and has a sweeter flavor. Cooked like zucchini, bitter melon has cancer-fighting properties, is reported to help cure diabetes, and can help cleanse the body of toxins.

Camote: A starchy white sweet potato that can be prepared and eaten in the same way as the sweet potato. In Costa Rica camotes are used in soups or mashed into a puree and served with a bit of milk, butter, and sugar. Camote can also sub for sweet potato in casseroles.

Cherimoya (cherimolia, chirimolla, anone): Native to southern Ecuador and northern Peru cherimoya is the size of a large apple or grapefruit, with a green dimpled skin and a creamy white, sweet-tart flesh. The flavor is a blend of pineapple and banana. Eat cherimoya like an apple, cubed, scooped out with a spoon, or cut in half and peeled. It can also be pureed and used as mousse or pie filling.

Choy Sum (bok choy sum, yu choy sum, flowering Chinese cabbage) looks much like baby bok choy, but its yellow flowers set it apart. The leaves are more bitter than the stems, and the entire plant is edible. Steam or saute, or try blanching and then cooking in oyster sauce.

Daikon Radish (Asian or Oriental radish, mooli, lo bok) is a large white radish with a lighter flavor than small red radishes. Used in kimchi, as a palate cleanser, and as an accompaniment to sashimi, it’s also great in light salads where its flavor isn’t overwhelmed by other ingredients.

Galangal (galanga root, Thai ginger, blue ginger) resembles ginger in appearance but has a distinct waxy skin ringed with reddish-brown skin. The flesh is white but turns brown when exposed to air. Used in the same way as ginger root, galangal is more spicy and pungent.

Guava: A common tropical fruit, guava can have white, pink, or red flesh. It is eaten fresh, juiced, made into jam or preserves, and used in desserts.

Lemongrass (citronella grass, fever grass, hierba de limón) is a native Southeast Asian plant with a thick woody stem used to flavor dishes. To impart its lemony flavor, bruise the stalks, simmer or saute in the dish, then remove before serving. Lemongrass also makes a nice herbal tea infusion.

Plantain: A staple crop throughout West and Central Africa, India, the Caribbean and Latin America, plantains are used both green and starchy like a vegetable, as well as yellow and sweeter like fruit. Plantains must be cooked. A green plantain can substitute for potato, and ripe yellow plantains are commonly baked, boiled, or fried in coconut oil and served with salt.

Rambutan: Very similar to lychee and longan fruit, rambutan are common in Costa Rican markets. Great for snacks, with a sweet and sour taste somewhat like grapes.

Taro Root (cocoyam, arrowroot, kalo, dasheen): A tuber native to Malaysia, its somewhat plain flavor makes it a good host for stronger flavors. In Hawaii, taro is used to make poi; in Indian cooking, slices of taro root are seasoned and fried; it’s also used in China as taro cakes and mooncakes. In the U.S. it’s common to find snack chips made from taro.

Yacón: Also known as Peruvian ground apple, this tuber consists mostly of water and contains inulin, a low-calorie, high-fiber sweetener that aids digestion while inhibiting toxic bacteria.

Yuca (cassava, manioc): Different from yucca, yuca is a starchy tropical tuber that is made into flour for bread and cakes and can be cooked just like a potato to make chips or mash.

You gut is the gateway into your body. Dont let your microbiome become weak. Remember they are like your protective soldiers. Schedule a FREE 15-Minute Consultation with Dr. Celaya to see if Functional Medicine can help you. 

Want to trash your lungs? Use basic cleaning products

Want to trash your lungs? Use basic cleaning products

Smoking is bad for you and cleaning house is good, right? Wrong, if you use conventional cleaning products — you may as well smoke. A new study shows the lung decline over 20 years caused by using conventional cleaning products, which have no federal regulations for health or safety, equals that of smoking 20 cigarettes a day. The toxic chemicals used in cleaning products damage the lungs little by little, adding up to a significant impact that rivals a pack-a-day smoking habit.

The Norwegian study tracked 6,000 women over two decades — women responsible for keeping the home clean, women who cleaned as a job, and women not regularly engaged in cleaning. Compared to the women who didn’t clean house, the regular home cleaners and occupational cleaners who used cleaning sprays and other products showed an accelerated decline in lung function.

This study was the first of its kind to look at the long-term effects of cleaning products on the respiratory tract. Shorter term studies have already established a link between cleaning products — bleach, glass cleaner, detergents, and air fresheners — and an increase in asthma. In fact, the women who cleaned regularly in the Norwegian study also showed an increased rate of asthma.

Household cleaners are toxic and damaging to multiple systems in the body

The lungs aren’t the only part of the body conventional cleaning products damage. They also impact the brain, immune system, hormonal system, and liver.

For instance, phthalates are used in the perfumed scents many cleaning products have. Phthalates lower sperm counts, cause early puberty in girls, and raise the risk of cancer and lung problems.

Perchloroethylene (PERC), a solvent used in spot removers, carpet and upholstery cleaners, and dry cleaning, raises the risk of Parkinson’s disease and cancer.

Although hundreds, if not thousands, of studies have repeatedly demonstrated the toxicity of chemicals in common household ingredients, their use in manufacturing is largely unregulated.

Our over exposure to toxic chemicals has been linked to skyrocketing rates of autoimmunity and even autism, which is a neurological presentation of autoimmunity in many people.

In the past few decades we have seen autism increase tenfold, leukemia go up more than 60 percent, male birth defects double, and childhood brain cancer go up 40 percent.

Helping protect your body from toxins

Unfortunately, it is not possible to be toxin-free in today’s world. Toxins have gotten into our air, water, food (even organic), and our bodies. Everyone carries hundreds of toxins in their bodies, even newborn babies.

When a person has a highly reactive immune system, various toxins and heavy metals can trigger inflammation in the same way a gluten sensitivity can, causing a flare up of autoimmune and inflammatory symptoms. By using functional medicine principles to keep inflammation as low as possible, we can help prevent toxins from becoming immune reactive.

To accomplish this, first avoid toxins as much as possible and use non-toxic products in your home and on your body. The Norwegian researchers suggested cleaning with a microfiber cloth and water.

Also, eat an anti-inflammatory whole foods diet consisting primarily of produce, nurture healthy gut bacteria, exercise regularly, spend time in nature, have healthy social interactions, and supplement with compounds such as vitamin D and glutathione precursors (the body’s master antioxidant). These are a few ways to support the body and make it more resilient to the many toxins it must battle.

Ask my office for more information on how to help protect your body from toxins.

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