E-Mail Edition  Volume 6   Number 5

Originally published Nov-Dec, 2009

Published by Piccadilly Books, Ltd., www.piccadillybooks.com.

Bruce Fife, N.D., Publisher, www.coconutresearchcenter.org


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Contents

  • New Study Says Coconut Oil Reduces Risk of Diabetes

  • Is Coconut Oil Safe for Infants and Young Children?

  • Can Viruses Cause Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

  • Health News Briefs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Source: Wikipedia Commons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Study Says

Coconut Oil Reduces Risk of Diabetes

So why are anti-fat proponents pointing at this study as proof against the use of coconut oil?

 

Good news for those who are diabetic or overweight—a new study demonstrates that a diet rich in coconut oil protects against insulin resistance (an impaired ability of cells to respond to insulin) and excess body fat accumulation. The bad news is that anti-fat proponents are pointing to this study as proof that coconut oil is harmful and may cause liver disease.

Dr. Nigel Turner and colleagues from Sydney's Garvan Institute of Medical Research compared fat metabolism and insulin resistance in two groups of mice, one fed coconut oil (rich in medium chain fatty acids) and the other fed fats (consisting of long chain fatty acids) typical to those which are eaten in the Western world. The diets contained a total 45-60 percent fat. The mice receiving the coconut oil showed better insulin sensitivity and had less fat accumulation. Their findings are published in the international journal Diabetes.1

The beneficial effects of the coconut oil used in the study were attributed to the medium chain fatty acids. The results showed that medium chain fatty acids improve insulin action and can help prevent insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is the underlying cause of type 2 diabetes.

The study also provided evidence that obesity, which is a strong risk factor for diabetes, may also be lessened by the use of coconut oil. Rather than be stored into fat cells, medium chain fatty acids are used to produce energy. "The medium chain fatty acids, like those found in coconut oil, are interesting to us because they behave very differently to the fats normally found in our diets," said Dr. Turner. "Unlike the long chain fatty acids contained in animal fats, medium chain fatty acids are small enough to enter mitochondria—the cells' energy burning powerhouses—directly, where they can then be converted to energy." This process not only reduces the amount of fat packed away into storage as body fat, but improves insulin sensitivity.

This study offers strong support justifying the use of coconut oil as part of a healthy diet. However, while this study praises coconut oil on one hand, it criticizes it on the other. Despite showing an improvement in insulin sensitivity and reduced body fat accumulation, the coconut oil fed mice developed fatty deposits and insulin resistance in the liver. "Unfortunately," Turner cautions, "the downside to eating medium chain fatty acids is that they can lead to fat buildup in the liver, an important fact to be taken into consideration by anyone considering using them as a weight loss therapy."

Once this study became public, news stories began popping up everywhere. The stories highlighted the positive effects of coconut oil on insulin and body fat, but also cautioned against its use due to the risk of developing a fatty liver.

Coconut oil critics are quick to point out that excess fat buildup can lead to liver failure. No matter what benefits the oil might otherwise have, if it causes serious harm to the liver it is not good. Some people who were eating coconut oil are now having second thoughts.

This study appears to contradict itself. It seems strange that coconut oil would improve insulin sensitivity and reduce fat accumulation throughout the body, yet cause insulin resistance and excessive fat accumulation within the liver. Other studies, in addition to this one, have shown that medium chain fatty acids reduce body fat. Some have also shown that they lower fat deposits in the liver, 2-5 which is contrary to the findings in this study. Other studies have shown that medium chain fatty acids protect the liver when subjected to toxins that cause fatty liver.6-7 If all these other studies show that medium chain fatty acids protect the liver from fat buildup, why would this study show that they cause it? Something obviously doesn't add up.

When the livers of the coconut oil fed mice in this study were examined, the researchers discovered that 95 percent of the fats in the liver were long chain fatty acids, not medium chain. Where did these long chain fatty acids come from?

Medium and short chain fatty acids comprise about 64 percent of coconut oil. The remainder consists of long chain fatty acids, some of which are unsaturated. Here is where the problem lies. Although there is no mention of it in the news articles or even in the abstract of the study, the type of coconut oil the researchers used was not ordinary coconut oil. If you read the entire article, buried in the technical procedures of the article the authors state that they used hydrogenated coconut oil. Now it all makes sense.

When unsaturated fats are hydrogenated, they become more saturated. In the process, artificial saturated fats known as trans fatty acids are created. These fats are not like natural saturated fats and cause a multitude of health problems, among which is insulin resistance and fatty liver. Hydrogenated oils have long been known to cause fatty liver.8-9 It doesn't matter if it is hydrogenated soybean, corn, or coconut oil. All hydrogenated oils cause fat buildup in the liver. It is the long chain trans fatty acids in the hydrogenated coconut oil that clogged the liver of these mice. Keep in mind, that the researchers were feeding the animals very large amounts of fat—45-60 percent of daily calories. So they were receiving a lot of harmful trans fatty acids in the experimental diet.

This is a good example of a study producing negative results because the researchers used hydrogenated coconut oil. The authors of the study seemed to ignore the fact that hydrogenated coconut oil could produce a different outcome from natural coconut oil.

It is very interesting that despite the fact that the coconut oil the researchers used was hydrogenated, the undamaged medium chain fatty acids in the coconut oil were still powerful enough to overcome the negative effects of the trans fatty acids and were still able to reduce body fat and preserve insulin sensitivity throughout the body. However, they apparently were not able to completely block the damage the trans fatty acids did to the liver.

Many researchers do not yet recognize or understand the difference between natural saturated fats and artificially produced saturated trans fatty acids. For this reason, hydrogenated coconut oil is often used in studies. Usually somewhere in the study the authors make mention they used hydrogenated oil. In many of the older studies, however, this fact is not mentioned.  So you must be careful about studies that report negative effects of coconut oil. Like the one here, you may need to read the entire article in order to discover this fact. Most people don't bother to track down the study and read it in detail. They prefer to rely on a reporter's interpretation, which probably came from a news release and not the actual study. Important facts, like using hydrogenated oils, are not often revealed in news releases unless they were an important aspect of the study. This is one of the ways the "myths" about the so-called harmful effects of coconut oil are started and perpetuated.

Since many news articles were written and circulated on the Internet about this study, no doubt the fatty liver issue will be broadcast loudly by anti-coconut proponents claiming more "proof" of the dangers of consuming coconut oil or saturated fat. You need not be troubled if you run across such reports because you now have the facts.

References

1. Turner, N., et al. Enhancement of muscle mitochondrial oxidative capacity and alterations in insulin action are lipid species dependent: potent tissue-specific effects of medium chain fatty acids. Diabetes 2009;58:2547-2554.

2. Lieber, C.S., et al Beneficial effects versus toxicity of medium-chain triacylglycerols in rats with NASH. J Hepatol 2008;48:318-326.

3. Baldermann, H., et al Changes of hepatic morphology during parenteralnutrition with lipid emulsions containing LCT or MCT/LCT quantified by ultrasound. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr 1991;15:601-603.

4. Nosaka, N., et al Effects of dietary medium-chain triacylglycerols on serum lipoproteins and biochemical parameters in healthy men. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 2002;66:1713-1718.

5. Romestaing, C., et al. Long term highly saturated fat diet does not induce NASH in Wistar rats. Nutr Metab 2007;4:4.

6. Mak, K.M., et al. Adipose differentiation-related protein is a reliable lipid droplet marker in alcoholic fatty liver of rats. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2008;32:683-689.

7. Lieber, C.S., et al. Difference in hepatic metabolism of long- and medium-chain fatty acids: the role of fatty acid chain length in the production of the alcoholic fatty liver. J Clin Invest 1967;46:1451-1460.

8. Degrace, P., et al. Association of liver steatosis with lipid oversecretion land hypotriglyceridaemia in C57BL/6j mice fed trans-10, cis-12-linoleic acid. FEBS Lett 2003:546:335-339.

9. Tetri, L.H. Severe NAFLD sith hepatic necroinflammatory changes in mice fed trans fat and a high-fructose corn syrup equivalent. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 2008;295;G987-995.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Coconut Oil Safe for Infants and Young Children?

 I am often asked if infants or young children can be given coconut oil. My answer is most definitely! There are many benefits to adding coconut oil into the diets of infants and young children.

Mother's milk supplies a rich source of fat necessary for the proper growth and development of the infant. A portion of this fat consists of a group of very special saturated fats known as medium chain triglycerides (triglycerides consist of three fatty acids joined together by a glycerol molecule). These fats are vital for the health of the developing baby. For this reason, they are considered conditionally essential fatty acids. Without them, the baby's health would be seriously compromised.

When coconut oil/medium chain triglycerides are included in infant formulas, they improve fat and protein absorption and produce faster weight gain, particularly in premature infants.1-2 For this reason, medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) are routinely added to commercial and hospital infant formulas. The source of these MCTs comes from coconut oil. Coconut oil is nature's richest source of these unique fatty acids.

The vast majority of fats and oils in the human diet are composed of long chain triglycerides (LCTs). One of the advantages of MCTs over the more typical long chain triglycerides (LCTs) is their speed and efficiency in digestion. MCTs digest very quickly, with minimal effort and stress placed on the body. LCTs require pancreatic digestive enzymes and bile in order to break them down into individual fatty acids. MCTs, on the other hand, break down so quickly that they do not need pancreatic digestive enzymes or bile, thus reducing stress and conserving the body's enzyme reserves. The digestive systems of young infants are still developing and LCTs put a great deal of strain on their bodies. Some of these nutrients are incompletely digested and, therefore, do not provide their full nutritional potential. Not so with MCTs. Consequently, MCTs provide a superior source of nutrition to infants than LCTs.

Because of the improved digestion and absorption of the MCTs, the assimilation of other nutrients is also enhanced. Studies show that MCTs improve the absorption of minerals such as calcium and magnesium, some of the B vitamins, the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K, beta-carotene), and some amino acids. Since it is easily digested and provides a quick and easy source of nutrition, coconut oil has been recommended as a means to fight malnutrition. Simply adding coconut oil into the normal diet can significantly enhance the availability of the nutrients already present in the foods.

 

This concept was successfully demon-strated by researchers in the Philippines.

Dr. Carmen Intengan and colleagues tested a structured lipid consisting of 75 parts coconut oil and 25 parts corn oil and compared that against soybean oil in the treatment of malnourished preschool-age children.

The study involved 95 children aged 10-44 months who were 1st to 3rd degree malnourished. The children were from a slum area in Manila. The children were regularly brought to the feeding center at specified times. They were given one full midday meal and an afternoon snack daily except Sundays for 16 weeks. The diets were identical in every respect except for the oil. Approximately two-thirds of the oil in their diet came from either the coconut oil/corn oil mix or soybean oil. The children were allocated to the two diets at random: 47 children received the coconut oil

 

Figure 1

 

diet and 48 children the soybean oil diet. The children were weighed every two weeks and examined by a pediatrician once a week. At the start of the study the ages, initial weight, and degrees of malnutrition of the two groups as a whole were essentially identical.

After the 16 weeks, results showed that the coconut oil diet produced significantly faster weight gain and improvement in nutritional status compared to the soybean oil diet. The weight gain was not simply due to fat accumulation, but to growth.

Figure 1 illustrates the weight gains of the children at monthly intervals on the two experimental diets. As can be seen, there was a significantly faster weight gain in the children on coconut oil over those on soybean oil. A mean gain of 2.08 kg (5.57 lb) after four months was recorded for the coconut oil group, almost twice as much as the weight gain of the soybean oil group of 1.22 kg (3.27 lb).3

MCTs are not only good for improving health of malnourished infants but also for those with digestive or nutrient absorption disorders. Numerous studies, some as far back as the 1960s, have shown that MCTs improve nutrient status, growth, and overall health of infants suffering from a number of malabsorption disorders ranging from cystic fibrosis to liver disease and obstructive jaundice.4-8

In addition to improving nutritional status, MCTs also protect infants from infections. During digestion MCTs are broken down into individual fatty acids. Medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) possess potent antimicrobial activity that deactivate or kill disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and fungi. A young infant's immune system is still developing and not yet capable of fighting off many infectious organisms. MCFAs along with the mother's antibodies in breast milk provide protection against these infections during their first few months of life.

Coconut oil also provides an assortment of other health benefits including protection against cancer, liver disease, kidney disease, and heart disease; improvement of blood circulation; and stimulation of healing.9

For these reasons, infants and small children can greatly benefit from the addition of coconut oil into their diets. For infants that are still nursing, the best way to feed them coconut oil is by way of the mother's breast milk. When the mother eats coconut oil her milk will naturally become enriched with a high percentage of MCT. This way both the mother and child benefit from consuming the oil. If bottle feeding, to teaspoon of coconut oil can be added to the warm liquid.

For older children, the oil can be added to their food. As a general guideline, children weighing between 12-25 pounds can be given to 1 teaspoon of coconut oil daily. Children weighing between 25-50 pounds can be given 1-2 teaspoons and 50-100 pounds 2-3 teaspoons. You can give your children a little more or less without worry. Keep in mind that coconut oil is a food, so it is not toxic even in large doses; however, too much at any one time can produce runny stools.

 

References

 

1. Roy, CC, et al. Correction of the malabsorption of the preterm infant with a medium-chain triglyceride formula. J Pediatr 1975;86:446-450.

 

2. Tantibhedhyangkul, P. and Hashim, SA. Medium-chain triglyceride feeding in premature infants: effects on fat and nitrogen absorption. Pediatrics 1975;55:359-370.

 

3. Intengan, CL, Dayrit, CS, Pesigan JS, Cawaling T, and Zalamea IY. Structured lipid of coconut and corn oils vs. soybean oil in the rehabilitation of malnourished children—a field study. Phil. J. Internal Medicine. 1992;30:159-164.

 

4. Tantibhedhyangkul, P. and Hashim, S. A. Medium-chain triglyceride feeding in premature infants: effects on calcium and magnesium absorption. Pediatrics 1978;61(4):537.

 

5. McKenna, MC, et al. Linoleic acid absorption from lipid supplements in patients with cystic fibrosis with pancreatic insufficiency and in control subjects. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 1985;4:45-51.

 

6. Jensen, C. et al. Absorption of individual fatty acids from long chain or medium chain triglycerides in very small infants. Am J Clin Nutr 1986;43:745-751.

 

7. Leyland, F.C., et al. Use of medium-chain triglyceride diets in children with malabsorption. Arch Dis Childh 1969;44:170-179.

 

8. Tanchoco, CC, ea al. Diet supplemented with MTC oil in the management of childhood diarrhea. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2007;16:286-292

 

9. Fife, B. Coconut Cures: Preventing and Treating Common Health Problems with Coconut. Piccadilly Books, Ltd. 2005.

 

     
 

 

Can Viruses Cause Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

New research links chronic fatigue syndrome and some forms of cancer to a new AIDS-like virus.

 

 

A study published recently in the journal Science 1 suggests that a virus that has already been linked to some forms of cancer2 might be the underlying cause of chronic fatigue syndrome. The study reported that many patients who have the syndrome are infected with a recently discovered virus.

 

Chronic fatigue syndrome has long been a medical mystery and the subject of debate, sometimes bitter, among doctors, researchers, and patients. It affects at least one million Americans, causing extreme fatigue, muscle and joint pain, sleep problems, difficulty concentrating, and other symptoms. Its cause is unknown, symptoms can last for years, and there is no effective treatment. Researchers disagree about whether it is one disease or a collection of symptoms that may have different causes in different patients. It has sometimes been stigmatized as more mental than physical, with patients labeled neurotic, depressed or

learn more about The New Arthritis Cure here

 

 

 

 

 

hypochondriacal. Many patients find even the name of the disorder ("syndrome") offensive, a not-so-subtle hint that it is not a real disease.

But the new study is not conclusive, and a great deal of work remains to be done to find out whether the new virus really does play a role. Just detecting it in patients does not prove it is what made them sick; people with the syndrome may have some other underlying problem that makes them susceptible to the virus, which could be just a passenger in their cells.

Even so, thousands of patients have already contacted scientists, asking to be tested, said Dr. Judy Mikovits, the first author of the study and the research director at the Whittemore Peterson Institute in Reno, a research center created by the parents of a woman who has the syndrome. Dr. Mikovits said she expected a test to become available "within weeks."

The new suspect is a xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus, or XMRV, which probably descended from a group of viruses that cause cancer in mice. How or when XMRV found its way into humans is unknown. But it has also been linked to cancer in people: it was first identified a few years ago, in prostate cancer, and later detected in about one-quarter of biopsies from men with that disease (and in only 6 percent of benign biopsies). It is a retrovirus, from the same notorious family that causes AIDS and leukemia in people.

Dr. Mikovits and researchers from the National Cancer Institute and Cleveland Clinic reported in Science that 68 of 101 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, or 67 percent, were infected with XMRV, compared with only 3.7 percent of 218 healthy control subjects. Further testing after the paper was written found the virus in nearly 98 percent of about 300 patients with the syndrome, Dr. Mikovits said.

She said she believed that the virus would eventually be found in every patient with chronic fatigue syndrome. XMRV affects the immune system, can probably cause a variety of illnesses, and may join forces with other viruses to bring on the syndrome, she said.

Dr. William C. Reeves, who directs public health research on the syndrome at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called the research exciting but preliminary. "We and others are looking at our own specimens and trying to confirm it," he said. He noted that there had been earlier studies suggesting an infectious involvement in chronic fatigue syndrome, including a study in the 1990s linking the syndrome to another retrovirus.3 Most likely, the syndrome is not caused by any one particular virus but any number of similar organisms. This may explain why the same virus is not found in all chronic fatigue patients.

Frustration with the lack of answers over the years has led Annette and Harvey Whittemore, whose 31-year-old daughter has had the syndrome for 20 years, to spend several million dollars to set up a research institute at the University of Nevada in Reno in 2004, and to hire Dr. Mikovits to direct it.

Mrs. Whittemore said she had long believed that the syndrome was an infectious disease, but that scientists had rejected the idea. She finally decided, she said, "If there was a place of our own where we could find the answers, we could do it more quickly."

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University, said that the notion of a lingering viral infection was plausible. He said that although some patients claiming to have the syndrome seemed more likely to have a psychological problem, others seemed to have a physical illness.

"There is a group who are young, healthy, active, and engaged, and all of a sudden they are laid low by something," Dr. Schaffner said. "Everyone tells the physicians these are people who are functional and productive, and this is totally out of character. They are frustrated and often quite disheartened. You feel that medical science hasn't caught up with their illness yet." Skip to next paragraph

The National Cancer Institute is taking XMRV very seriously, said Dr. Stuart Le Grice, head of its Center of Excellence in HIV/AIDS and Cancer Virology. He said health officials became especially concerned last spring when several research teams looking at prostate cancer reported finding XMRV in 3 percent to 4 percent of blood samples from healthy people in control groups. That could translate into 10 million Americans being infected with a newly discovered, poorly understood retrovirus that has already been linked to two diseases.

"Any virus at that level is obviously a cause for concern," Dr. Le Grice said, adding that it was important to find out if the virus was associated with any more diseases, and how closely.

He said that just carrying the virus did not necessarily mean a person was at high risk for disease, noting that people may harbor other viruses that will never harm them. The immune system probably keeps the viruses in check.

But he asked, "If it is a problem, how well can we diagnose it and how well can we treat it?" Even though antiretroviral drugs have already been developed to treat HIV infection, he said this virus was different and might need its own line of drugs. He said more studies were needed to find out how common the virus is and how it is being transmitted.

The new findings have intrigued scientists and are seen as vindication by some patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and inspired in them hope for a treatment. "I just feel like the whole future has changed for us," said Anne Ursu, 36, a writer living in Cleveland who has the syndrome.

While medical treatments may take time to develop, those suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome do not have to wait: they can start battling this disease right now, today. The medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil are known to kill retroviruses similar to HIV and XMRV. Many chronic fatigue sufferers have reported positive results by adding coconut oil into their diets. An added benefit with the coconut oil is that it also boosts energy levels, giving chronic fatigue sufferers a much-needed energy lift.

Unlike most medications, coconut oil doesn't have any harmful side effects and may do a lot of good. For those who want to learn more about treating infectious illnesses with coconut oil, I recommend The New Arthritis Cure: Eliminate Arthritis and Fibromyalgia Pain Permanently. Although this book focuses on arthritis and fibromyalgia, fibromyalgia is commonly associated with chronic fatigue and the techniques in this book are just as valuable to chronic fatigue sufferers.

In addition, coconut oil has shown to possess potent anticancer properties. This feature along with the fact that it can kill cancer-causing viruses makes it a potentially valuable preventative treatment against XMRV-induced prostate cancer.

 

 

References

1. Lombardi, V.C., et al. Detection of an infectious retrovirus, XMRV, in blood cells of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Science 2009;326:585-589.

2. Kean, S. Virology. Chronic fatigue and prostate cancer: a retroviral connection? Science 2009;326:215.

3. DeFreitas, E., et al. Retroviral sequences relate to human T-lymphotropic virus type II in patients with chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1991;88:2922-2926.

 

This article, in part, is adapted from The New York Times, "Is a Virus the Cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?" by Denise Grady.

 

 

     
   

 

Health News Briefs

 

Breastfeeding Best Way to Prevent Allergies

New research shows that breastfeeding for at least four months can prevent or delay the development of certain food allergies in children. A report published

 

in the journal Pediatrics says there is no convincing evidence that feeding babies soy-based formulas, avoiding certain foods like peanuts during pregnancy, or delaying the introduction of fish or eggs until a child is three will prevent future allergies. It is more important that infants are breast fed. The new findings replace a previous policy statement of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which recommended such practices.

 

 

 

     

 

 

Vitamin C Decreases Belly Fat

A recent study of 900 women aged 40 to 60 years shows that increasing the consumption of vitamin C, calcium, and dairy products may decrease abdominal weight. Women who did not consume enough vitamin C had a 131 percent increased probability of having excess abdominal fat. Low calcium increased the likelihood by an additional 30 percent. Other factors cited in the study that contribute to abdominal weight gain include menopausal state, smoking, and depression.

 

 

     
 

 

Garlic Protects Against Cancer

 

Researchers have known that garlic protects against cancer, but they didn't know why. A new study appears to shed light on this topic. Researchers at the University of Alabama discovered that adding garlic to human red blood cells immediately increased the production of hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide has been shown relax blood vessels and increase blood flow.  The amount of garlic recommended for this beneficial effect is a doable two medium-sized cloves of garlic per day. This amount can easily be met by adding the garlic to a variety of foods. For example, chopped garlic can be added to hummus, put on sandwiches, cooked with vege-

 

Photo Source: Wikipedia Commons

 

tables, baked in breads and crackers, and mixed into soups, sauces, and casseroles. You could also try sprinkling fresh garlic on your meals as you cook. Before adding crushed or chopped garlic to your food, let it sit for 15 minutes—this allows the enzymes to react and increases its benefits.

 

     
 

 

Cranberries Offer Protection

 

Cranberries pack a big punch healthwise. Tufts University researchers report that polyphenols in the American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) have

 

important cardiovascular benefits, helping prevent oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, inhibiting platelet aggregation, and reducing blood pressure. Flavonoids in cranberries also protect against Streptococcus mutans. The hippuric acid in cranberries can inhibit E. coli bacteria often linked to urinary tract infections (UTIs). Not surprisingly, a recent review of 10 studies shows that cranberry juice is effective for UTIs, particularly among women with recurrent infections. Since UTIs are common during pregnancy, it's a good idea to drink cranberry juice (either diluted or lightly sweetened) to prevent infections.

 

 

Photo Source: Wikipedia Commons

 

     
 

 

 

 

Organic Foods Reduce Pesticide Risk by 97 Percent

A Colorado-based organization, the Organic Center, which is dedicated to presenting scientific evidence on how organic products benefit human health and environmental quality, has released their official estimate of the health benefits of converting the near eight million acres of conventional farm land to organic and buying imported produce that is only organic.  The Organic Center suggests that America could decrease the harmful risks of current pesticides by 97 percent. These estimates are based on residual pesticide data supplied by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency. Dr. Charles Benbrook, the Organic Center's chief scientist, noted that recent USDA pesticide residue and food consumption surveys show that most people consume three to four residues daily just through fruits and vegetables. "Accounting for residues in conventional milk, tap water, and other foods, the average American exposes him or herself to 10 to 13 pesticide residues daily," Dr. Benbrook added.

 

 

     

 

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Copyright © 2009,  Bruce Fife. All rights reserved.