14 Jan 2015

Arab News - Our kids’ bodies contaminated with chemicals

1420941645025082900.jpgLast week, I wrote about the adverse effects of energy drinks that contain high caffeine, “hazardous” chemicals (glucuronolactone), and sugar. The latter was found to impede cell signalling, leading to metabolic syndrome, obesity, and diabetes, particularly in the big amounts young ones consume. I also spoke about monosodium glutamate (MSG), the neurotoxic and excitotoxic chemical flavor enhancer, which is added to flavorless instant soups and processed and canned foods. 
As I pursue the subject of toxicity in children, more research and studies of the hour arise, compelling me to revisit certain topics. One of them is fluoride toxicity. Governments add fluoride to drinking municipal tap water and in Saudi Arabia, it is also added to locally bottled water to prevent tooth decay.
I wrote about fluoride in Part 4, Nov. 19, 2014 and now I would like to revisit it, because I just found the following good news: The city of Prince George in British Columbia, Canada has decided to go fluoride-free from the 31st of December, 2014 after voting to end fluoridation of municipal water. It is the first time since its fluoridation sixty years ago in 1954 city water is free of fluoride. Hurray and good for them! Let us wish for the same.
I would like to clarify one point to skeptics (mostly dentists) who argue for fluoridation to protect teeth from cavities. It is not calcium fluoride that is found in well waters and seawater that I am talking about (even though too much of it causes dental fluorosis and weakens bone and dental mass). Calcium fluoride is not as toxic (to thyroids, fertility…) as sodium fluoride that is added to municipal tap water and bottled water in Saudi Arabia. Sodium fluoride is a synthetic industrial waste, the by-product of nuclear and aluminum waste and phosphate fertilizers. 
Scientists and doctors believe that sodium fluoride is a hazardous chemical that can cause calcification to parts of the brain (the hippocampus). Sodium fluoride should not be used as a drug to fit all and to be added to water “to save people” from cancer or a contagious disease. Too much of the chemical is not safe due to fluoride overload on the body. Remember, athletes, laborers exposed to the sun, and diabetics drink much more than office clerks and inactive individuals in air-conditioned or cool rooms. People who drink a lot of water due to hot climates are more exposed to fluoride toxicity. 
Yes, fluoride protects teeth by application on teeth or in toothpaste form more effectively than through ingestion. Most European countries do not fluoridate or stopped adding it to drinking water, yet they have as much of a decline in tooth decay as in the US where water has been fluoridated for over 60 years. Instead, awareness should be raised on dental hygiene in schools and everywhere else. 
After more than a decade of intensive research on fluoride, which accumulates in brain tissue of lab mice, researchers became convinced that fluoride has similar excitotoxic effect as MSG on the brain, making healthy cells destroy themselves. The scientific community considers inorganic fluoride (F) to be a toxic chemical, which is “recognized as a global problem.” Exposure to F can cause reproductive problems, cardiovascular and neurological disorders, and cancer. 
I hope the Saudi Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) or any other agency responsible for water fluoridation is aware of all that, to end adding the harmful chemical to tap and bottled drinking water in order to save children’s and citizens’ health. Please read and listen to the website in the references below to understand what I am calling for. I hope such warning calls about fluoride in our water supplies and in bottled drinking water do not go unheeded to by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and SFDA. Fluoride poisoning has become a public health issue. 
Before I continue with today’s topic, I would like to suggest ways to protect the brain from fluoride toxicity. Scientists brand fluoride as a neurotoxin. Since it is neurodegenerative, we need to address the brain and save it from damage. It is probable that fluoride crosses the blood brain barrier and leaves deposits on neurons.
A paper published recently in Pharmacognosy Magazine written by an Indian research team from Sukhadia University found that regular consumption of turmeric, the root that gives curry its yellow pigment, could help detoxify the brain. The spice’s powerful antioxidants with their anti-inflammatory characteristics have the ability to neutralize toxicity of sodium fluoride and free-radical damage in brain cells and can also protect the brain from future poisoning by stimulating the synthesis of the body’s glutathione, the “master antioxidant” and a potent protector against oxidative stress. 
Turmeric can even reverse possible damage. The root was used in combination with fluoride and without it in tests. Without the spice, the result showed an increase in malondialdehyde (MDA) in brain tissue, a marker of oxidative stress. The mice, which took turmeric, had a significant reduction in MDA, showing turmeric as a detoxifying agent to neurons and cells.
Let us proceed with our topic of the day, right away.
Around thirty years ago, fast food and soda drinks became the main food and beverage for children and adults in the US at home, schools, in the streets, on weekends, and everywhere. That was when cheap food was being shoved onto people by the food and beverage industry at the urge of the US government. 
Unawareness made people believe that fast foods and sodas were harmless, allowing their kids to not only eat and drink them freely outside the home, but also working mothers stopped home cooking and ordered dine-ins or replicated the same methods of cooking like fries, fried chicken, mass-produced frozen burgers, and doughnuts as well as drinking giant sodas and sugary soft drinks, densely-caloric shakes and ice-creams even at home. In consequence to that, Baby-Boomers got fatter and heavier and of course sicker. Obesity led them to diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, strokes, cancer and more. 
You should watch the 2004 American documentary film ‘Super Size Me’, directed by Morgan Spurlock and starring in it himself. In the documentary, he ate nothing but fast foods for a short period. He was alarmed when his blood count changed in consequence to his change of eating habits. The film was critical of fast foods, pointing to their bad health effects (high and empty calories, trans fats). My concern today is the correlation between physical and mental health and obesity and declined school performance, which is seen in children who consume fast food and sodas.
I will go through some of the “concealed toxins” included in the fast food children eat. You will find the information in the references below. 
The hamburger buns contain ammonium sulfate (used in fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, and fungicides). It is utilized as an acid regulator to make bread easier to be mass-produced. The chemical was banned in Pakistan and Afghanistan as the chemical was used to make explosives. 
Dimethylpolysiloxane, silicone oil, usually used in making contact lenses and other medical materials, is added to flavor chicken nuggets. 
Cysteine-L, a synthetic amino acid (extracted from human hair and duck feathers), is used to enhance the flavor of meat and soften bread. 
Propylene Glycol, the anti-freeze agent, is also included. 
Poultry destined to fast food are fed anti-depressants to make your meal a “happy” one.
I hope one day we will be happy, too, by having food that is free of chemicals.

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