Tuesday, June 24, 2008

12 Food Additives to Avoid

1. Sodium Nitrate (also called Sodium Nitrite)

This is a preservative, coloring, and flavoring commonly added to bacon, ham, hot dogs, luncheon meats, smoked fish, and corned beef. Studies have linked eating it to various types of cancer.

2. BHA and BHT

Butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydrozyttoluene are used to preserve common household foods. They are found in cereals, chewing gum, potato chips, and vegetable oils. They are oxidants, which form potentially cancer-causing reactive compounds in your body.

3. Propyl Gallate

Another preservative, often used in conjunction with BHA and BHT. It is sometimes found in meat products, chicken soup base, and chewing gum. Animals studies have suggested that it could be linked to cancer.

4. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

MSG is an amino acid used as a flavor enhancer in soups, salad dressings, chips, frozen entrees, and restaurant food. It can cause headaches and nausea, and animal studies link it to damaged nerve cells in the brains of infant mice.

5. Trans Fats

Trans fats are proven to cause heart disease. Restaurant food, especially fast food chains, often serve foods laden with trans fats.

6. Aspartame

Aspartame, also known by the brand names Nutrasweet and Equal, is a sweetener found in so-called diet foods such as low-calorie desserts, gelatins, drink mixes, and soft drinks. It may cause cancer or neurological problems, such as dizziness or hallucinations.

7. Acesulfame-K

This is a relatively new artificial sweetener found in baked goods, chewing gum, and gelatin desserts. There is a general concern that testing on this product has been scant, and some studies show the additive may cause cancer in rats.

8. Food Colorings: Blue 1, 2; Red 3; Green 3; Yellow 6

Five food colorings still on the market are linked with cancer in animal testing. Blue 1 and 2, found in beverages, candy, baked goods and pet food, have been linked to cancer in mice. Red 3, used to dye cherries, fruit cocktail, candy, and baked goods, has been shown to cause thyroid tumors in rats. Green 3, added to candy and beverages, has been linked to bladder cancer. The widely used yellow 6, added to beverages, sausage, gelatin, baked goods, and candy, has been linked to tumors of the adrenal gland and kidney.

9. Olestra

Olestra, a synthetic fat found in some potato chip brands, can cause severe diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and gas. Olestra also inhibits healthy vitamin absorption from fat-soluble carotenoids that are found in fruits and vegetables.

10. Potassium Bromate

Potassium bromate is used as an additive to increase volume in some white flour, breads, and rolls. It is known to cause cancer in animals, and even small amounts in bread can create a risk for humans.

11. White Sugar

Watch out for foods with added sugars, such as baked goods, cereals, crackers, sauces and many other processed foods. It is unsafe for your health, and promotes bad nutrition.

12. Sodium Chloride

A dash of sodium chloride, more commonly known as salt, can bring flavor to your meal. But too much salt can be dangerous for your health, leading to high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Definition of Beta-agonist

Definition of Beta-agonist

Beta-agonist: A bronchodilator medicine that opens the airways by relaxing the muscles around the airways that may tighten during an asthma attack or in COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Beta-agonists can be administered by inhalers or orally. They are called "agonists" because they activate the beta-2 receptor on the muscles surrounding the airways. Activation of beta-2 receptors relaxes the muscles surrounding the airways and opens the airways. Dilating airways helps to relieve the symptoms of dyspnea (shortness of breath). Beta-2 agonists have been shown to relieve dyspnea in many asthma and COPD patients. The action of beta-2 agonists starts within minutes after inhalation and lasts for about 4 hours. Because of their quick onset of action, beta-2 agonists are especially helpful for patients who are acutely short of breath but, because of their short duration of action, several doses of beta-agonists are often necessary each day. The side effects of beta-2 agonists include anxiety, tremor, palpitations or fast heart rate, and low blood potassium.

Examples of beta-2 agonists include albuterol (Ventolin, Proventil), metaproterenol (Alupent), pirbuterol (Maxair), terbutaline (Brethaire), isoetharine (Bronkosol), and Levalbuterol (Xopenex). Beta-2 agonists with a slower onset of action but a longer period of activity such as salmeterol xinafoate (Serevent) are now available. Salmeterol has a duration of action of twelve hours and need only be taken twice a day.

Side effects: Problems that occur when treatment goes beyond the desired effect. Or problems that occur in addition to the desired therapeutic effect.

Example --

A haemorrhage from the use of too much anticoagulant (such as heparin) is a side effect caused by treatment going beyond the desired effect.

Example --

The common side effects of cancer treatment including fatigue, nausea, vomiting, decreased blood cell counts, hair loss, and mouth sores are instances of side effects that occur in addition to the desired therapeutic effect.

Drug manufacturers are required to list all known side effects of their products. When side effects of necessary medication are severe, sometimes a second medication, lifestyle change, dietary change, or other measure may help to minimize them.