Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Little Known Soy Health Risks

Soy’s Place in a Natural Diet

Packed with amino acids and other valuable nutrients, soy has earned a name as one of the most popular protein sources for vegetarians, vegans, and others who simply want alternatives to meat in their day-to-day diet. Whether eaten on its own, in tofu, or as part of a protein-rich additive, popular culture heralds this bean as a fail-safe super food. As with any aspect of a natural diet, however, moderation is the key, and no one food should be championed as a nutritional panacea.

Potential Soy Health Risks

  • Along with peanuts and milk, soy allergies are one of the most common forms of food allergies. Although this is mostly a concern when undiagnosed in children, adults can go undiagnosed for decades, never aware that their favorite food is the cause of their chronic discomfort and malaise.
  • Soy contains a significant amount of estrogen. While this is not a health risk when soy is consumed in moderation, choosing soy as your chief protein source means constant exposure to powerful hormones. As with food allergies, this is even more of a concern with young children; always consult a doctor before making hormone-rich food a part of your child’s diet.
  • Excessive soy consumption could prove to be a cancer risk. The estrogens in these beans have been linked with tumor growth in women already at risk for breast cancer, and they have been hypothesized to increase risk for prostate cancer in men.

So long as you have no allergies and you are not predisposed to having a higher risk of contracting cancer, moderate soy consumption can be an important and beneficial part of your diet. However, if you find yourself consuming high amounts of soy-rich food, consider adding diversity to your diet with other nutritious staple food. Be mindful of the various foods that contain soy. It is easy to be consuming too much. Please refer to our article on Top 10 Soy Foods.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fluoride Health Risks

The Negative Side Effects of Fluoride

In low doses, fluoride has a well-earned reputation for strengthening tooth enamel and protecting against cavities. As of now, nearly every major city in the United States participates in a water fluoridation program, intended to use drinking water to ensure that children are regularly exposed to the chemical’s dental benefits. This process, however, has resulted in the fluoridation of natural water supplies and several incidences of over fluoridation. The public outcry against exposure to fluoride against their will and the EPA’s growing concern that fluoride levels are rising too high too quickly have called the practice into question.

Four Areas of Fluoride Health Risks

As with any chemical, overexposure can counterbalance the benefits of fluoride’s use and introduce new health risks.

  • Teeth and bones – Despite being universally recommended by dentists, a combination of fluoride-rich toothpaste and heavily fluoridated water can actually cause damage to the enamel, especially in children. Dental fluorosis causes white streaks and spots to mar the surface of the teeth. The same process can also weaken developing bones, making them more prone to breaking and compromising the joints.
  • The kidneys – Your body’s purification system is always strained when you ingest chemicals in excess. The kidneys can be compromised due to fluoride toxicity, resulting in difficulty concentrating urine, dehydration and renal dysfunction. As with other chemical concerns, the best way to protect yourself is through limiting your exposure through a strictly organic diet.
  • The thyroid – When you visit a physician, you are prescribed a specific type and dosage of medication to address your specific symptoms. By fluoridating water, however, the government attempts to deliver the same medication to a large group of patients with no control over the dosage levels. In extreme cases, the thyroid gland can be suppressed, compromising the entire immune system.
  • The brain – The area of greatest concern when it comes to the health risks associated with fluoride, however, is the danger it presents to the brain. Excess fluoride collects in the pineal gland, causing it to calcify and its walls to harden. This tiny gland is the brain’s means of regulating every hormone in your body. Researchers have reported lower IQ test results in countries that fluoridate their water supply, and there is a legitimate concern that it may cause hormonal imbalances in adolescents, causing the age of puberty to be pushed further and further back.