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Odds and Ends

By Staff | Jul 2, 2009

I just finished reading a book written by a friend of mine called “Death By Supermarket; The Fattening, Dumbing Down, and Poisoning of American” by Nancy DeVille. I encourage you to read the book, although if you tend toward depression and despair, you might want to get those under control first because the author pulls no punches in describing why we are in the state we are in. Lest you think she just targets food quality in this country, she also goes after issues like popular weight loss programs, pharmaceutical development and marketing, and so on. It really is a disturbing book but should be required reading for parents, educators, medical professionals, and anyone who is interested in preserving life on this planet.

Does she overstate her case? I might think so, except for a new TV commercial I saw the other day for a new drug that grows eyelashes Yes, it’s true and I have wracked my brain trying to think of a good medical reason why this drug might be necessary. Although I am sure that side effects of some drugs may lead to general hair loss, as well as an illness or two, I cannot think of any reason to risk the expected side effects just to grow longer, more luscious lashes. Has our culture really come to the point that inadequate eyelashes are now a medical condition? I’m afraid we really have been dumbed down.

Several years ago I wrote a column on what was then a new sweetener on the market called sucralose (Splenda) and why I was concerned about it. Shortly after publication, I received a stern warning from their attorneys to stop saying bad things about their wonderful sweetener.

But just this week, I see an article published in the heavy-weight peer-reviewed journal called the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health (Part A: Current Issues, 1087-2620, Volume 71, Issue 21, 2008, pg 1415-1429) saying that “evidence indicates that a 12-wk administration of Splenda exerted numerous adverse effects, including (1) reduction in beneficial fecal microflora, (2) increased fecal pH, and (3) enhanced expression levels of P-gp, CYP3A4, and CYP2D1 which are known to limit the bioavailability of orally administered drugs. Carol is a certified lifestyle educator at the offices of Dr. Alan Gruning in Fort Myers. She owns the Island Nutrition Center on Sanibel.