You Can Get Pregnant Over 40 Naturally

You Can Get Pregnant Over 40 Naturally
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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

INCREASING PROGESTERONE NATURALLY

If you are trying to conceive or already pregnant, you probably know the importance of progesterone.  The name of this hormone literally means "pro gestation".  If you are worried about taking synthetic hormones, you would probably be interested to know that there are ways you can increase your progesterone naturally.  This article on my site explains some dietary changes you can make that will help balance your hormones by giving your body what it needs to make them on your own.  You may also want to consider Natural Progesterone Cream (here is a link to another article on my site - getpregnantover40.com about how it works)

Here is the link on how you can increase progesterone naturally through your diet and lifestyle (getpregnantover40.com)

Monday, August 29, 2016

CALCIUM & MAGNESIUM IN PREGNANCY

Calcium and Magnesium Needs for Pregnancy and Postpartum

Guest Post By Dr Dean Raffelock

As a nursing mom you need about 1200 milligrams of absorbable calcium per day. Calcium is a mineral that the body uses for many things: during pregnancy it helps form baby's bones and teeth along with helping make breast milk, regulate blood pressure, heartbeat, water balance in the cells and muscle contractions. There are many foods in addition to vitamin supplements which will help you increase your calcium.
During pregnancy and lactation your body uses calcium that is stored in your bones to build your baby's skeletal system and help form breast milk. So not only does baby need calcium, but you do too! If baby is taking stored calcium from your body during the nursing process, it makes sense to both take a calcium supplement and eat calcium rich foods. The bonuses for getting the right amount of calcium will mean stronger bones for you and helping you to avoid osteoporosis. There have been studies, which show that postpartum women getting sufficient calcium, more easily reclaim their pre-pregnancy weight.

SEE ALSO: FOODS FOR FERTILITY AND PREGNANCY AND HOW TO PREPARE THEM (Getpregnantover40.com) 

 

Taking the right kind of calcium is crucial. The majority of prenatal vitamins are very poor quality and contain a form of calcium called calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate is from stones and shells and very difficult for your body to digest and utilize. Blood tests that show how well calcium is absorbed into your cells reveal that a form of calcium called calcium citrate is the form of calcium best absorbed. 600 mg of calcium citrate is absorbed better than 1200 mg. of calcium carbonate. It is also very important that you take your calcium separately from iron because these two minerals compete with each other and can block the absorption of both. I recommend you take a morning high quality prenatal vitamin that contains iron and no calcium and that you take a calcium citrate (600 mg.) and magnesium citrate supplement (in a one to one ratio) at night. The nighttime calcium and magnesium supplement will often help you sleep better too.
The Recommended Daily Allowance
The Daily allowance for women is 1200 milligrams during pregnancy and lactation. Most prenatal vitamins do not contain enough, easy to absorb calcium.. Many doctors now tell new mothers to continue taking their prenatal vitamin for several months after pregnancy. So while nutritional support after pregnancy is a good idea, your prenatal, in most instances, will not supply you with sufficient calcium. Do not expect your prenatal vitamin to support your post pregnancy needs.
To take 1200 units of calcium as a supplement, you would need to take it more than once per day for the body to process and metabolize it. This creates a dilemma if you are taking a multiple vitamin that contains iron, as iron and calcium are best absorbed into the body separately.
We at Soundformula Recommend
That you get half of your calcium from vitamin supplementation and half from food sources. Take calcium at night away from your other nutrients and eat a diet in calcium rich foods. Here is a list of calcium rich foods:
Each food listed below is based upon milligrams per 100 grams of an edible portion = a 3 ounce serving size
Nutbutters such as almond, hazelnut and sunflowerhave around 60 to 70 milligrams of calcium.
Add vinegar or lemon juice when cooking dried beans or leafy greens. This aids in calcium availability and decreases gas formation.
Food Increased Calcium Intake
Kelp 1093
Swiss925
Cheddar Cheese750
Dulse 296
Collard Greens250
Turnip 246
Barbados Molasses 245
Almonds 234
Brewers Yeast 210
Corn Tortilla 200
Cooked Salmon 140
Cooked Soybeans 150
Water Cress 151
Goat Milk 129
Dried Figs 126
Sunflower Seeds 120
Whole Milk 118
Buttermilk 121
Cottage Cheese 94
Spinach 93
Cooked Lentils 25
*Each food listed above is based upon milligrams per 100 grams of an edible portion = or a 3 ounce serving size.
Research shows that the nutrient magnesium may play an important role in health. It may aid in regulating blood pressure, and may be of benefit for premenstrual disturbances and fatigue. And magnesium deficiencies may be far more common in the United States than doctors realize. The recommended daily intake of magnesium is around 300 milligrams per day. Add to that another 100 milligrams if you are pregnant or nursing.
Magnesium plays a role in the synthesis of proteins and this makes the mineral important for the health of tissues in the body. Like calcium, magnesium (about 60% of it) is found in the bones. The remaining 40% is found in muscle and soft tissue. In teeth, magnesium interacts with calcium to maintain tooth enamel. It may interact with calcium in other ways too as most calcium rich foods also supply a good source of magnesium. Like calcium, magnesium is a mineral that helps to promote relaxation.
Take calcium/magnesium vitamin supplements to promote restful sleep and provide you with nutrients your body needs and you need to be sure to eat calcium rich foods such as the ones listed.
__________
Dr. Dean Raffelock is the author of A Natural Guide to Pregnancy and Postpartum Health, Avery- 2003. He has been in practice since 1977 and has a holistic practice in Boulder, CO. He has earned four board certifications (clinical nutrition, acupuncture, applied kinesiology, chiropractic) in the holistic arts. He is the president of Sound Formulations a company that formulates and manufactures science-based nutritional products for numerous companies. He is also the Vice President of Research and Development for Sound Formulas ( http://www.soundformulas.com ) - a company dedicated to providing women health information and top tier nutritional supplements.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Dr_Dean_Raffelock/743767
http://EzineArticles.com/?Calcium-and-Magnesium-Needs-for-Pregnancy-and-Postpartum&id=5201762

Friday, August 26, 2016

ENDOMETRIOSIS, MISCARRIAGE, INFERTILITY

Many women may have endometriosis and not even know it.  In some women it can be a cause of severe pain, but not always.  Endometriosis can wreak havoc on your reproductive system causing scarring and adhesions which sometime block fallopian tubes and hook together other pelvic structures.  Endometriosis can also be a cause of early miscarriage because it can send the wrong signals to your uterine lining causing it to shed too early.
 In my case when I saw a fertility doctor, he did a laparoscopy just to see what was going on.  He did find some endometriosis and removed it.  I don't know if this helped me to get pregnant naturally, but it did probably keep the condition from getting worse which would have eventually been more of a problem.  Read more about what endometriosis is and some natural ways to treat it:


SEE : ENDOMETRIOSIS, INFERTILITY AND HOW IT MAY CAUSE MISCARRIAGE (Getpregnantover40.com)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

MISCARRIAGE REMEMBRANCE JEWELRY

I recently started a line of fertility jewelry through my website, and I recently added a miscarriage memorial remembrance necklace.  I suffered six miscarriage before having my daughter and although that was a number of years ago now, I wish I had something to remember them by.  I did have a memorial service for each of my babies lost through miscarriage, and in retrospect it would have been nice to have something tangible to hold on to and wear in their honor.

Click here for more on the Miscarriage Memorial Rembrance Necklace click here for the miscarriage memorial necklace(getpregnantover40.com)

 

Miscarriage memorial remembrance necklace with angel wings and baby feet on an "until I see you again" heart


Sunday, August 21, 2016

THYROID DISORDERS AND MISCARRIAGE

 If you have a work up for infertility, most likely they will take a look at your thyroid.  However, if you do become pregnant, thyroid disorders can also lead to miscarriage and stillbirth. According to a study published by the Endocrine Society:

During pregnancy untreated, hypothyroidism is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, low birth weight, and other serious complications. Although previous research has suggested that women with moderate thyroid dysfunction, or subclinical hypothyroidism, also are more likely to suffer complications, the level of risk was uncertain.
In this study, investigators found that even mild thyroid dysfunction that did not meet the criteria for hypothyroidism greatly increased the risk of serious problems. Compared to pregnant women with normal thyroid function, the risk was:
• doubled for miscarriage (≤20 weeks of pregnancy), premature labor, and low birth weight
• seven times greater for still birth


 (from:  Endocrine Society. "Mild thyroid dysfunction in early pregnancy linked to serious complications." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 June 2012. .)

READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON THYROID DISORDERS, INFERTILITY AND MISCARRIAGE (getpregnantover40.com)

Friday, August 19, 2016

OVER THE COUNTER DRUGS AND MISCARRIAGE

In Pregnancy, Watch Out for Medications Like Ibuprofen

I frequently take Ibuprofen for those occasional menstrual cramps.

 The problem is, if you happen to be pregnant (and many symptoms of pregnancy can mimic PMS), those helpful over-the-counter medications can cause miscarriage. If you think you may be pregnant or if you're trying to get pregnant, be careful about taking anything. Talk to your doctor about what's safe and what isn't. Read more:

See also: www.getpregnantover40.com for more on miscarriage prevention and causes



Women who take aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, etc.), or naproxen (Alleve) during pregnancy or just before may have an 80 percent increased risk of miscarriage, according to a study in the August 16, 2003 British Medical Journal. The study was conducted at Kaiser Permanente in the San Francisco Bay Area. When women first had a positive pregnancy test, they were asked to list any and all medicines they had been taking since their last menstrual periods. Use of the above medicines was associated with more miscarriages even after adjusting for fever or other symptoms, the mothers' age, hot tub use, smoking, or previous miscarriages. Those who took the above medicines in the days right around conception had a markedly higher chance of problems (a 560 percent increased risk, or 35 percent miscarriages). Most women who took the medicines for longer than a week lost their babies (an 810 percent increased risk or 52 percent miscarriages). Acetaminophen (Tylenol) use did not appear to affect the miscarriage risk. Before my oldest son was born, my mother cautioned us against using any medications during pregnancy unless clearly necessary - even avoiding something as common as aspirin. Although more research is needed before we know with certainty about these medicines in pregnancy, the latest scientific research supports my mother's gentle wisdom. Women everywhere should know about the potential risk.
Alan Greene MD FAAP

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

WHAT IS A D&C LIKE AFTER MISCARRIAGE?

Dilatation and Curettage After Miscarriage

My treatments after my miscarriages varied by the situation.
 I did have a couple of D&C's since two of my miscarriages did not expel by themselves, but most of them just came out on their own as a heavy period.   One of my D&C's was done after fertility treatments left me with a twin pregnancy where one became ectopic (lodged in my fallopian tube) and one was in my uterus but was non-viable.  Talk about a big mess!  I was rushed into surgery to have a laparoscopic removal of my tube and a D&C in my uterus.So What is a D&C like?
First of all, D&C stands for "dilatation and curettage".  This procedure is usually done as an outpatient in  a hospital or other surgical center.
 Click Here To read the full article (getpregnantover40.com)

Monday, August 15, 2016

BLOODFLOW TO PLACENTA, ESSENTIALFOR PREGNANCY

Stillbirth From Reduced Placenta Bloodflow

I have frequently posted articles about how being overweight or obese can interfere with conception and pregnancy.
See: www.getpregnantover40.com for more on miscarriage, recurrent miscarriage and natural ways to prevent pregnancy loss
 This article talks about a study which measured placenta bloodflow. Although the study was not done on humans, it may give an explanation why stillbirths are more common in obese women especially if they have a high fat diet. 

From the article:

According to Evans, poor nutrition can probably damage the placenta, given that high-fat diets, regardless of subsequent obesity, lowered blood flow to the uterus in the monkeys. Subsequently, "maternal obesity and insulin resistance further exacerbates placental dysfunction" resulting in more stillbirths, she says.

David Ellwood, an obstetrician at the Australian National University in Canberra, agrees that "placental dysfunction is the most likely explanation" for the increased risk of stillbirths amongst obese mothers.

from: newscientist.com

Saturday, August 13, 2016

MISCARRIAGE WITH UTERINE DEFORMITY

Miscarriage and Septate Uterus

Some women have a septate uterus and don't even know it until they have a problem with their pregnancy.
The following explains the condition and what can be done about it:
From the article:

"In the female embryo, uterine development is usually complete by 22 weeks' gestation, with the two müllerian ducts fusing together to form a single uterus. In one of the final events of uterine formation, the wall where the ducts fused dissolves, forming a single endometrial cavity. It is the failure of this last process that produces a septate uterus with two endometrial canals, reflecting either a partial or complete failure of the duct walls to dissolve, depending on the extent of the septum. Although there is some evidence of a weak genetic factor at work, researchers still do not know the exact cause of the failure of a septum to resorb.\

See Also: Trying To Conceive With An Arcuate Uterus and Other Uterine Abnormalities (www.getpregnantover40.com)

While a septum is not thought to decrease fertility, it does seem to affect the course of a pregnancy, either through miscarriage or pregnancy complications. Early miscarriage is common within the septate uterus, because the blood-starved median septum is covered by a poorer grade of endometrium than that of the blood-rich sidewalls. An embryo implanting in the septum frequently fails to thrive because of lack of nourishment, and an early miscarriage is the result. Late miscarriage is also common, and its likelihood increases along with the extent of the septum. Some studies suggest that in a completely septate uterus, the prognosis of a live birth is as low as 10%. In a late miscarriage, the pregnancy outgrows available space and the cervix may give way, typically midway in the pregnancy, before the fetus is mature enough to survive. Other complications include premature labor, premature birth, intrauterine growth retardation, and fetal malpresentation at birth. One caveat to keep in mind is that women diagnosed with uterine septa tend to be the ones with the most problems conceiving or carrying to term; cases of septa that do not affect reproduction are probably under-reported"

from:  Congenital Uterine Anomolies (www.wegrokit.com)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

HOW TO HAVE A MEMORIAL FOR YOUR MISCARRIAGE

I suffered six miscarriages before I finally had my successful pregnancy with my daughter.  I carried a lot of anger and grief around with me because I felt like a failure and a social outcast because my body just couldn't hold on to a pregnancy.  I truly believe that the unresolved emotions acted as an obstacle to my having a successful conception and full term gestation.  I needed to deal with each miscarriage by having a memorial service and to finally say goodbye.  I know the term "closure" is thrown around and I don't know if anyone really really feels like a loss is ever resolved, but I will say that I did feel better once I finally gave each of my lost babies a proper "goodbye".  I said what I wanted to say to each of them before sending them off to their place in heaven.

Click here for how to have a memorial service for your lost baby through miscarriage (getpregnantover40.com)

Monday, August 08, 2016

ARE YOU MORE FERTILE AFTER A MISCARRIAGE?

I have been hearing for many years that women may be more fertile after a miscarriage and it may be easier to get pregnant after pregnancy loss.  Is it true?  Much of the literature out there confirms that there's no need to wait to conceive after a miscarriage (unless perhaps you had surgery or an infection), but does this actually increase your chance of another pregnancy?


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON WHETHER OR NOT WOMEN ARE MORE FERTILE AFTER A MISCARRIAGE (getpregnantover40.com)

Friday, August 05, 2016

IRON DEFICIENCY, THYROID AND MISCARRIAGE

Iron deficiency can be a problem in pregnancy and most prenatal vitamins will contain iron.  This article also associates iron deficiency in pregnancy with thyroid disorders.  Iron levels and Thyroid should be checked for optimal fetal and placenta development.  Read more:

 

SEE ALSO: THYROID, MISCARRIAGE, FERTILITY (getpregnantover40.com) 



According to lead author Dr. Kris Poppe - head of the Endocrine Clinic at Saint-Pierre University Hospital (ULB) in Brussels, Belgium - iron deficiency can be especially harmful for expectant mothers and their offspring; women need more iron during pregnancy in order to make the additional blood cells needed for fetal and placental growth.
Iron also aids the functioning of a protein called thyroid peroxidase (TPO), which is crucial for the production of thyroid hormone. Pregnant women need to produce enough thyroid hormone in order for their babies' brains to fully develop. This is particularly important in the first trimester of pregnancy, when the fetus has yet to develop its own thyroid gland...

The researchers found that 35 percent of the expectant mothers had iron deficiency, of whom 10 percent had thyroid autoimmunity. Among pregnant women without iron deficiency, 6 percent had thyroid autoimmunity.
What is more, measurements of TSH levels showed that 20 percent of the pregnant women with iron deficiency had subclinical hypothyroidism, where TSH levels are mildly elevated, compared with 16 percent of those without iron deficiency.
medicalnewstoday.com

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

HOW ABNORMAL SPERM CAN CAUSE MISCARRIAGE

Abnormalities In Sperm Can Contribute To Miscarriage

I think people frequently think miscarriage is a woman's problem since the baby grows inside of her.
Sperm are very susceptible to toxins and even environmental changes in the testicles (i.e. too much heat etc.).  That's probably why men make so many sperm in comparison to the limited number of eggs that women are born with.
This site given an explanation about how sperm damage can be an underlying cause of birth defects and learning disabilities. Read more:

See My Website For More Information On Detoxifying Your Environment (www.getpregnantover40.com)

From the article:

regnancies ending in miscarriage were found to have fathers whose sperm showed higher levels of defective sperm as well as lower sperm counts. This was the conclusion in a 1962 research project conducted by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Sabbatsberg Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden. Semen specimens were gathered from 201 men whose wives had experienced miscarriages in the second to third month of pregnancy or abortions in the fourth to fifth month of pregnancy. (The term "abortions" in this context was the term used in the early 1960’s to define miscarriages that occurred after the third month of pregnancy). In the research families, over half the families had experienced two or more abortions (late miscarriages). For comparison, a control group of 116 sperm samples were also checked from husbands who had visited the hospital but whose wives had produced living normal children within two years. To insure similar parameters among participants, sperm samples were acquired by masturbation after an abstinence period of five days. Results of the two groups showed that sperm counts for the abortion/late miscarriage group was 110.2 million per cubic centimeter, while the sperm counts for the control group was 138.7 million per cubic centimeter. The investigators classified this as "highly significant statistically." Of even more concern, it was found through microscopic examination of sperm samples that approximately 48% of the sperm were "abnormal" in the miscarriage group while only 4% of the sperm were "abnormal" in the control group who produced normal children. 
from: 

www.chem-tox.com

Monday, August 01, 2016

ALL ABOUT PLASTICS, PREGNANCY, MISCARRIAGE

More Plastic Than Plankton

Guest Post By Eric Bakker ND
I can remember growing up in the sixties in a world which was still relatively "plastic free". Do you remember when foods were actually packaged in glass, paper and cardboard? Do you also remember when the paper and cardboard was thicker back then? I can still remember as a boy looking at one of those "foam" cups made from polystyrene and crumbling it, it was in the late sixties, wondering what the heck it was made of! The one litre soda bottle was made from glass a long time ago, for which I got twenty cents for when I collected them from the side of the road and brought them into the corner store.
No foods were stored nor packaged in plastic, and the grocery store bags were a thick brown paper, not those flimsy plastic bags of today which you can just about "spit" through. The only toys I had as a boy which were made from plastic were those little green plastic soldiers from China, my Matchbox cars, my Triang tricycle and later on my Raleigh bicycle were all made from good solid British metal with minimal if any plastic parts. Back then, China was the word used for something you drank a cup of tea out of, not found on a sticker on just about everything you buy from a shop involving any type of plastic. Today, it is hard to find any toy which is not 100% plastic, amazing! And the scientists call it "better living through chemistry". I would like to believe that my great grandchildren will live in a world one day where chemistry will go green, and scientists may one day understand the serious health risks imposed on a population growing up in today's plastic world.
This article will focus on what a lot of people have been talking about - plastics in our foods, and in water - I take it you drink bottled water? There is no "best plastic" to contain food or drink. It is my hope that this article will clarify this viewpoint. By the time you've finished reading, you should be closer to forming your own evaluation of plastics, and hopefully you will try to reduce your exposure and use of plastics in your everyday living.


SEE ALSO: FERTILITY DETOXIFICATION OF YOUR BODY AND ENVIRONMENT (getpregnantover40.com) 



Unlike the sixties, plastic today is used in contact with nearly every single packaged food. Most cardboard drink and milk containers are now even coated with plastic rather than wax. In many countries, a type of liquid plastic compound is even sprayed on both commercial and organic produce to preserve its freshness. Yes, crazy as it may seem, but in many cases plastic is even used to irrigate, mulch, wrap, and transport organic foods. "Organic" bananas come from overseas South American wholesalers with a fungicide containing sticky plastic wrapping the cut stem to protect the bananas from a black mould. These so called organic bananas themselves are wrapped in a plastic as they grow to prevent fruit bats from getting to them. Did you know that whenever you eat or drink things that are stored in plastic, or if you taste it, smell it, wear it, sit on it, and so on, then that plastic actually becomes a part you?
In fact, when any food gets into plastic - the plastic gets into the food and eventually you. So, quite literally, you are what you eat.. drink... and breathe - plastic!
Is Plastic a Low-Dose Threat?
Plastic is everywhere in our lives because it is convenient and relatively inexpensive. It is widelt regarded and advertised as safe and that it even "saves lives". The problem with plastic is that its safety is based on an outdated science and flimsy regulations. And while it may saves lives in the short run, the record against plastic is looking quite different. Its convenience comes from being lightweight and it comes in an endless range of colors and finishes, is pliable, and is easily formed and molded. Most would say it's a perfect material, right? But - here's where the bad news begins. It is interesting when you consider that there between 87,000 to 100,000 chemicals in commercial production registered with the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) registry. Of all these chemicals, only about 200 have been tested on humans, and most never on pregnant women or children.
Consider this - If you want to market a new pharmaceutical drug, you will need to convince the authorities like Medsafe or the FDA, in multiple tests over the course of many years of clinical trials that it won't cause serious harm. If you want to sell a new sheep drench or pesticide, you will need to prove the same thing. The manufacturers have to prove the chemicals in these concoctions are "safe" and the government makes the final decision. But what if you want to market a brand new chemical, not a drug or a pesticide, just a chemical? And what if this chemical comes into contact with a young child or pregnant woman? I'm not sure about NZ, but I expect it's much the same as in America; it is up to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prove that it is unsafe, using whatever chemical data is supplied by the chemical manufacture, with little power to ask for more information. Chances are it was never really tested by the government at all. According to Richard Wiles, executive director of the non-profit Environmental Working Group in the USA: "It's completely backwards".
As bio-monitoring has improved, scientists can now detect human exposure levels of chemicals as small as one part per trillion, which is about a twentieth of a drop of water in an Olympic sized swimming pool. Scientists have also discovered that humans are carrying far more chemicals than previously thought. And because of this, for example, scientists have learned that some toxins are extremely toxic even at very low levels. Take a look at lead for example, the "safe" limit for lead (which can directly reduce a person's IQ) has been lowered from 60 micrograms per deciliter (100mls) of blood down to 10 mcg.
And that discovery was only made in 1970! Now imagine for one minute what kind of understanding we will have about heavy metals like mercury, cadmium, arsenic and lead, and not to mention all those zillions of chemicals like plastics in our blood forty years from now - in 2050. That's right, we will have a much better understanding and will wonder how chemical manufacturers actually got away with it all those years. Better living through corruption, lies and corporate greed? The next global crisis may not be in terms of dollars, but chemical toxicity as we drown in our own man made chemical concoctions. Why not become aware of your body's burden right now and undergo regular annual detoxification of your liver and kidneys? Try to reduce the amount of exposure you have to plastic and chemicals in your life today, I'll talk more about this later.
Bisphenol-A (BPA)
Do you drink water from those plastic water bottles? Water bottles are be made from various types of plastic - polycarbonate (PC), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), Polypropylene (PP), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl), and others. All these chemicals migrate throughout the body to some degree, let's just for now focus on just one chemical that migrates out of one plastic and that is used to make products with high use and sales profiles - BPA.
Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical used in the manufacturing of many types plastics. It does its job well, and an incredible 2.7 million kgs are produced every year. The BIG problem with BPA is that it has been found to be a known source of synthetic hormones like oestrogen, and that plastics containing it can break down easily, especially when they are washed, heated or stressed in any way, allowing the chemical to leach into the food or water it is in contact with allowing it to enter the human body. BPA has been found in the urine of 93% of People in America, and I suspect this figure to be the same in Australia and NZ. BPA can mimic hormones like adrenaline and testosterone as well as oestrogen and because minuscule amounts of these powerful hormones can cause major biological changes, imagine for one moment what your body does when it is bombarded with plastics containing BPA every day!
And now think what happens to a young person whose body is still developing. Kids are particularly vulnerable to chemical BPA toxicity because their smaller bodies are developing rapidly, and because they eat and drink more foods containing BPA relative to their bodyweight than adults do. This is exactly what scientists have found, linking fetal BPA in rodents to everything from cancers, genital defects and even many and varied behavioural disorders. Could this be part of the cause of our rising epidemic of ADHD, autism, Asperger's syndrome and similar behavioural disorders? And it does not stop there. In 1998, Dr. Patricia Hunt, a geneticist in America, discovered that female mice dosed with BPA had serious reproductive disorders. According to Dr. Hunt, you disrupt three generations with one exposure to BPA. This is why BPA was consequently taken out of babies drinking bottles and banned in Sweden in 2008. President Obama has just called for a 30 million dollar study into BPA and human health. At last, at least somebody's got the brains to look beyond the plastic corporate greed. Are you still using plastic baby bottles, or heat the baby's plastic bottle in a microwave oven? You'd better not after reading this!
The list of products containing BPA is really long. In the medical industry, it is used for syringes, containers, lenses, and various dental products. The mind blowing thing about plastic is that it is regulated only if it is in contact with foods and not any of the other exposures a person might commonly experience every day at home, school, or the office. Because the government approves plastics for specific uses rather than for individual chemicals, BPA is therefore not regulated. I think that it is important to note that all exposures, no matter what origin, are cumulative. The body's natural defenses try to breakdown toxins such as BPA as they enter. These chemicals are what we call "metabolites" and can be significantly more toxic than the original chemical itself. Have they been tested? Yawn, not really.
In 2009, two German scientists looked at whether the migration of substances from plastic packaging material into foodstuffs contributes to human exposure to man-made hormones. They analysed 20 brands of water- including nine bottled in glass and nine bottled in plastic. The researchers took water samples from the bottles and carefully tested them for the presence of any estrogenic chemicals. They then carried out a reproduction test using New Zealand mud snails to determine the source and potency of the xeno-oestrogens (substances which resemble and act like estrogen in the body). They detected estrogen contamination in 60% of the samples (12 of the 20 brands) analysed. Specifically, 78% of the plastic bottled water showed significant hormonal activity.
By breeding the New Zealand mud snail in both plastic and glass water bottles, these researchers found more than double the number of embryos in plastic bottles compared with glass bottles. Taken together, these results demonstrate widespread contamination of water with potent man-made estrogens that partly originate from compounds leaching out of the plastic packaging material. The German authors conclude: "We have identified just the tip of the iceberg in that plastic packaging may be a major source of xeno-hormone (foreign hormone) contamination of many other edible foods. Our findings provide an insight into the potential exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals due to unexpected sources of contamination." Are you still thirsty for a "plastic" drink? Try drinking out of a glass or stainless steel container. It may save you from a nasty condition one day, particularly if you drink lots of bottled water.
In April 2003, a study was published about BPA accidentally killing mice that had been held in polycarbonate cages at a lab. It was found accidentally when it ruined a lab experiment that heated yeast in plastic flasks to find out if the yeast produced any estrogen-like compounds. It was discovered that BPA from the plastic flasks was the material that was estrogenic, and that it competed with the natural estrogen in a rat's body. When a well known researcher was asked why labs still use plastics considering what it has been known since 1993 that BPA migrates and is hormonally active. The response was, "What are we supposed to do, go back to glass?" This is the state of what is still amazingly called "science", and as is usual with all too many research scientists, the truth maybe sought, but the obvious is pretty well trampled over in the stampede to secure that all too familiar pot of gold - the lucrative funding.
The list of negative health effects associated in some way with exposure to BPA is disturbingly long. The most visible effect may be a chromosome abnormality called "aneuploid", found in more than 5% of pregnancies. Most aneuploid fetuses die in utero. About one-third of all miscarriages are aneuploid, making it the leading known cause of pregnancy loss. Exposure to BPA has been found in addition to increase risk of breast tumors. Being one of many known hormone disruptors, BPA affects development, intelligence, memory, learning, and behavior, skeleton, body size and shape, significant increase in prostate size, prostate cancer, reduced sperm count, and both physical and mental aspects of sexuality. It may have something to do with obesity, and so many more that a separate article is required to list them all. In other words, if the fetus lives, any one or many parts of its body can be permanently affected. The problems with BPA may become evident at any age, and to reiterate, there is no shortage of research published on the negative health effects of BPA. Do you still trust that plastic bottle?
Did you Know there is a Plastic Rating System?
All plastics are rated using a number system. Understanding what those numbers mean can help you do more than recycle, it can help them avoid dangerous chemicals involved with these plastics. Patients tell me often that they are concerned about plastic in their lives, particularly the plastics containing Bisphenol A. Fortunately there are codes on the bottom of all plastics which can help the health conscientious consumer stay informed. Here is what the codes mean and a guide to which plastics should be avoided due to potential toxicity. Make sure you look underneath your plastic drink bottle, that is if you are still game to drink from one after reading this article!
Plastic # 1- Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE) Found in many single-use plastic containers like as soft drinks bottles, mouthwashes (you don't buy this stuff, do you?), salad dressing containers and other similar items. It is lightweight, inexpensive and easy to recycle. Number one plastics are considered safe and are not known to leach chemicals, but they are not safe for reuse so never refill any container made from this plastic. Also, never heat foods in number one plastic containers either, never. By the way, NEVER leave a plastic drink bottle in the sun, this is a sure fire way to leach chemicals into your water.
Plastic # 2 - High density polyethylene (HDPE) This plastic is used for items like those flimsy plastic milk containers, rubbish bags, margarine tubs (yuk, buy butter) and general packaging products. It is cheap, versatile and durable. It is also easily recyclable. Number two plastic is considered safe and isn't known to leach chemicals. But, like most plastics, it's wise to never heat food or liquid products in them. And in addition, don't place foods in them and then freeze them, especially hot foods.
Plastic # 3 - Polyvinyl chloride (V or PVC) This plastic is used to make bottles for cleaning products, shower curtains, the heavier industry grade plastics and the cling wraps used to wrap your delicatessen meats and cheeses. It isn't generally recycled. Number three plastic is not safe due to a chemical used to keep it so flexible which can leach out into your food products. This plastic has di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate in it, which is a potential carcinogen. It also contains chlorine and will release dangerous toxins if burned. Do you still want to wrap meat and cheeses and fatty meats like chicken in cling-film? You may like to look at: http://www.envirocancer.cornell.edu/research/endocrine/videos/plastics.cfm By the way - NEVER buy those cooked chickens at the supermarket wrapped in cling film. You are guaranteed to be eating chicken laced with potential xeno-oestrogens (foreign chemicals mimicking oestrogen) or carcinogens. I know they taste nice and are what you like to grab after a busy day at the office, but the chicken skin is very fatty and will gladly soak up the poisons contained in the cling film. Your choice.
Plastic # 4 - Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) This plastic can be found in things like frozen food bags, squeezable bottles like those mayonnaise or tomato sauce containers, supermarket plastic bags and even in some clothing, carpeting and furniture upholstery. It is flexible, durable and has many applications in industry. Number four plastic isn't known to be dangerous or leach any chemicals into consumer products. These types of plastic are not widely recycled but are recyclable.
Plastic # 5 - Polypropylene (PP) This plastic can be found in items like tomato sauce bottles, plastic straws, pharmaceutical drug containers, some carpet and most plastic bottle caps. It has a high melting point so it is also used for containers that will hold hot liquid. Number five plastic is hazardous during production but once made, it isn't known to leach chemicals. It is typically used in items that aren't reused and has a high melting point, which might contribute to its sturdiness and reduced risk of leaching. Not every community can recycle number five plastic. Don't burn # 5 - cancer potential, yuk.
Plastic # 6 - Polystyrene (PS) This plastic is used for items that must be hard and retain their shape, like those coffee cups, opaque plastic utensils as found on your next airplane flight, some toys, take-away containers and compact disc cases. It is also used for foam insulation. Number six plastic isn't generally recycled and is not considered safe by most experts. Benzene, a known carcinogen, is used during its production and the final product contains stuff called butadiene and styrene, both suspected carcinogens. It takes a lot of energy to produce and should be avoided, so watch out for those take-away food containers made from it. Say no to styrene, use REAL plates and cups and avoid a potential cancer risk, better safe than sorry.
Plastic # 7 - Other Plastics Number seven is an open category for any number of plastics but often contains polycarbonate. It is often found in baby bottles, those large clear water jugs, microwave containers, and those plastic eating utensils. Very few recycling programs exist for this type of plastic. Number seven plastic is widely regarded as unsafe since it has bisphenol A, a hormone disruptor which mimics estrogen and is linked to breast cancer. This plastic is known to readily leach this chemical out into food. Infant formula and canned food has tested positive for biphenyl-A after being placed in metal cans lined with number seven plastic. It's a good idea try to always avoid number seven plastic.
Tips on Avoiding Plastic in your Life
While it's impossible to avoid all plastics in your life entirely, it is absolutely possible to rid your diet and life of this toxic material as much as possible.
� Do you really need all those flimsy plastic bags when you go shopping? There are so many reusable bag options today. Rather than reaching for several small plastic bags in the produce section, bring your own bags or a box. Reusable grocery bags are easier to carry and you can pack more into them than in regular plastic bags. I like a few study cardboard boxes, less to carry and easier to pack and unpack.
� Do you use cling film every day? Get real; your grandmother never had such an artificial "luxury".
� Do you use plastic throw away plates and cutlery, why not use "real" cutlery instead of plastic?
� Do you need to use plastic tablecloths and plastic aprons?
� Plastic shoes like cheap Crocs? Try real shoes, they'll last longer and you will look better!
� Plastic toys for your kids or the grandkids? - There are plenty of wooden options available.
� Plastic drink bottles? Try stainless steel or glass, easy. Avoid buying disposable plastic water bottles. Instead, use your own water bottle and refill it with filtered water or tap water. If you're concerned about using plastic bottles, opt for stainless steel or glass.
� Pack your sandwiches in wax paper or use Tupperware, which is a very safe food grade plastic, they make containers of many different sizes. These guys make the safest plastics around.
� Bring your lunch container with you when you go out next time to get your Thai take-away. This way you'll avoid using those unnecessary plastic Chinese containers, Styrofoam or plastic boxes. I do and the guy at the Thai restaurant does not mind at all.
� Plastic baby's drink bottle? - try glass.
� Use biodegradable alternatives to plastic. There are biodegradable dog poop bags for example, and some coffee shops and cafes use biodegradable cups, utensils and containers. Products made from corn and sugar cane are easy to compost and break down over time.
� Think about the other plastic items you use daily. Pens, toothbrushes, combs and other implements can come in earth-friendly forms. Next time you're ready to toss a plastic item and buy a similar item, ask yourself if there is a better, more durable and less plastic option.
There is a huge amount of data confirming the migration of plastics and additives in all steps of food manufacturing and processing. And in my opinion and that of many scientists, it is only a matter of time and money spent on new studies before the much more serious harm and more solid evidence is found. Because of the way of the corporate world, regulations resulting from studies may take many more decades yet to actually become law. Look how long it took the government to act with cigarette smoking; it took many decades and millions of avoidable deaths. One day smoking will be entirely banned in any public place, you will see, and I expect it to happen in our lifetime. Don't you think it important to protect the health of yourself and loved ones right now from these plastics of which we know little about, before the solid rock hard "evidence" is there?
There is no doubt, ample evidence of the negative health effects of plastics already exists in sufficient quantity to halt the use of it in contact with all foods. More importantly, I feel that the manufacture of plastic itself must be halted for a multitude of reasons. Besides causing an endless number of human deaths, disabilities, and diseases, plastic is clogging all habitats of the world and destroying the ecosystem. Apparently, there is now 6 times more plastic than plankton floating around in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The researcher who found this, Captain Charles Moore, Director of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, mentioned that the ratio of plastic to zooplankton is even higher in two so-called floating plastic "garbage patches" that are each bigger than the State of Texas in the ocean. Even more startling is seeing plastic bits incorporated into the flesh of the sea animals! So what are you going to do when you go shopping from now on? That's right, take your carry bags and say no to plastic.
Conclusion
You really don't need to be an Einstein to know that plastic shouldn't contact food. Plastics containers, bags and wraps, along with those "let's kill all those nasty germs" advertisements have become quite popular on TV. But just because they advertise these items on the TV, it does not justify their use or make them appear less harmful to the consumer.
People often ask me what the safest plastic is to microwave food in - sorry folks, plastic should never contact food, and especially the "soft" plastics with plasticizers like cling film. And in addition, you should never microwave food in general- it's worse than putting food in plastic because it creates free radicals in the food that damage cells in your body. Microwaves also heat the plastic and not just the food, thus increasing the rate of migration of the poisons into the food. However, glass, wood, metal, and ceramics are the real things, although not all suitable for microwave ovens. If saving trees is your aim, stop using so much paper, wooden and cardboard stuff. But in the mean time, don't further degrade the environment with more plastic and microwave radiation. Use a stove, like your grandma once did. Your use of plastic in terms of food and drinks will amaze you if you focus on how much plastic you really handle over the course of say a week. By being aware and making other choices you may well be avoiding many different potentially serious health related disorders in the future.
Mr. Eric Bakker is a registered Naturopath with a Bachelor Degree of Science majoring in Complementary Medicine as well as separate diploma qualifications in Naturopathy, Herbal Medicine and Classical Homeopathy. Eric is past Vice President of the New Zealand Natural Medicine Association with almost 20 years of clinical experience in natural medicine and has had extensive post graduate training in Australia, America, New Zealand and India.
Mr. Bakker lectures at natural medicine colleges and natural health conferences throughout Australia and NZ, writes for several journals and natural health publications and specialises in the clinical integration of natural and conventional medicine. Eric has practiced in conjunction with medical doctors for over 13 years in medical clinics in both NZ and Australia.
Mr. Bakker specialises in the clinical integration of natural forms of healing and conventional Western Medicine. Eric is the Clinical Director of The Naturopaths and has a clinical practice in the Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. Your best way to contact Eric is by way of email: eric@naturopath.co.nz His website is: http://www.naturopath.co.nz
Eric's NEW website will be coming very soon, his old one is being revamped right now!
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