Daily Archives: November 5, 2010

Anastasha’s Birth and Death – Wonderful Videos

Anastasha Kalil DeLisi, the daughter of Craig and Tonya DeLisi, was born with and died from anencephaly on her and her mother’s birthday: October 26, 2010. She is now living with Jesus and is perfect in every way.

The DeLisi family wanted all of us who have followed their story and been praying for the family to have access to these remembrances. Although all of these resources are remarkable, if you only have time to view one, view the first one, “Anastasha’s Birth and Life.” It’s remarkable — although I also love the “Preparation for Birth and Death” one:

“It is an awesome feeling to walk through the valley of my greatest fear and come through realizing that Jesus is enough.” Craig DeLisi, MD

In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family has requested contributions to Harvesters Reaching the Nations, a nonprofit ministry that serves orphans in Sudan. You can learn more about them here. This is a wonderful work of the Lord that the DeLisi family is blessed to be a part of. Click here to watch an endorsement by Franklin Graham. To donate to this ministry in Anastasha’s honor, you can go here and put Anastasha’s name at the bottom where it says “in honor of”. The money you give will be used not just to bless the DeLisi family, but to advance God’s kingdom in Sudan by caring for and blessing some very precious children, whom the DeLisi family loves.

Here’s the entire series of amazing stories:

POM, Vitamin Water, and SoBe Have Made Misleading Claims According to Experts

It has a sleek, curvy bottle, features the juice from an exotic fruit and has a catchy name, but according to both government and consumer agencies, POM Wonderful is a drink that’s not as wonderful as its manufacturer claims. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission recently issued a complaint against the makers of POM Wonderful 100 Percent Pomegranate Juice and POMx supplements, accusing the company of making “false and unsubstantiated claims” in its advertisements that these products will prevent or treat heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction. Here are the details from ABC News:

POM Wonderful is just the most recent drink to feature dubious nutritional claims, and experts say while these drinks may offer some health benefits, consumers should be wary of products that make promises that sound too good to be true.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit consumer group, praised the FTC’s actions and called out POM Wonderful’s makers for using shoddy science to back up the disease-fighting abilities of its products.

“We looked at the POM studies, and some don’t meet the criteria of a high school science fair,” said Bruce Silverglade, director of legal affairs at the center. “One study has no control group and another study involved 10 people.”

Silverglade said POM Wonderful does not adhere to guidelines set by the U.S. Food and Administration.

“The FDA has specific regulations since 1993 that require companies to get pre-market approval before making such claims,” he said. “Had POM’s research actually been credible, the company could have followed the law and petitioned the FDA for approval of the disease prevention claims.”

In response to the complaint, POM Wonderful called the FTC’s allegations “unwarranted” and said it stands by the research, which, it says, supports the benefits of its products.

“We do not make claims that our products act as drugs. What we do, rather, is communicate, through advertising, the promising science relating to pomegranates,” the company said on its website. “Consumers and their health providers have a right to know about this research and its results.”

Nutritionists say POM juice does offer health benefits, but not to the extent the company claims.

“It’s really good, high anti-oxidant juice,” said Keith Ayoob, associate professor of pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “It’s not easy to get pomegranates, so it’s a good source.”

But he added that when a product’s advertisements claims to have proof of some benefit, consumers should be wary of it.

“Proof is a loaded word and a difficult one to use when talking about scientific literature,” he said.

“There’s information out there on POM juice that’s promising, but no studies that confirm a cause-effect relationship,” said Stacey Nelson, manager of clinical nutrition at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Makers of Vitaminwater Sued for Misleading Claims

Vitaminwater, a flavored water made by Coca-Cola’s Glaceau subsidiary, also recently came under fire for its nutritional claims.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest filed a class-action lawsuit last year against Coca-Cola over Vitaminwater’s use of terms such as “defense,” “rescue,” “energy,” and “endurance” in its advertisements, as well as for saying the product can lower the risk of eye disease, boost immunity and improve joint health.

Silverglade said Vitaminwater’s claims are not as deceitful as POM’s, but they are still inaccurate.

“They make a number of health-related claims concerning certain vitamins and minerals in the product that are half-truths, and half-truths are misleading under the law,” Silverglade said.

Nelson said Vitaminwater does contain some vitamins and minerals, and these vitamins and minerals have health benefits, but that doesn’t mean drinking Vitaminwater will provide those benefits.

“They’re taking information about some of the ingredients that are there in tiny doses and running to the end zone and creating a whole claim,” Nelson said.

In fact, there’s a cheaper — and perhaps more effective — way to get the recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals.

“Is it any different than taking a multivitamin with water? No. A vitamin may even give you more nutrients,” said Ayoob.

Ayoob and Nelson both added that Vitaminwater, with the exception of Vitaminwater Zero, has a lot of sugar and calories.

The Coca-Cola company called the lawsuit “ludicrous.”

“Consumers can readily see the nutrition facts panels on every bottle of Glaceau Vitaminwater, which show what’s in our product and what’s not,” the company wrote in a statement. “The success of Glaceau Vitaminwater is due in large part to consumers looking for a product like this to help support their healthy, active and on-the-go lifestyle.”

Coca-Cola sought to have the lawsuit dismissed, saying “no consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking Vitaminwater was a healthy beverage.” A judge ruled against the beverage giant this past summer.

SoBe Beverages Settled Over False Claims in 2005

Five years ago, SoBe Beverages agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by the state of Connecticut. The state accused the company of falsely stating that its drinks protected consumers from colds and offered other healthy advantages.

SoBe, owned by PepsiCo, said it would no longer make the claims and agreed to pay more than $200,000 to the state.

Consumers Should Be Wary

“Always ask questions. Ask a doctor, ask a dietician,” said Nelson. “Go to the FDA site or go to a medically proven site to find out more about a claim.”

Experts stress that drinks like POM and Vitaminwater, like everything else, should be consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.

Perhaps most importantly, consumers should realize that they’re not going to improve their health by drinking a certain kind of juice.

“There are no ‘magic bullets’ out there,” said Ayoob. “Mother Nature doesn’t work like that.”

8 Tips for Eating Healthy During Menopause

Good news! Aging does not have to equal weight gain. Women do tend to put on a pound a year in their 40s and 50s, but it’s more likely due to a drop in activity rather than hormones. However, hormonal changes can shift your body composition, so any pounds you do gain tend to land in your middle. Here are some tips from Rachel Meltzer Warren, MS, RD, that were first published on Health.com:

Here are some ways to stay slim, reduce menopausal symptoms, and cut the health risks that can rise after menopause.

1) Go fish

Heart disease risk is likely to rise after menopause, so you should try to eat at least two servings of fish per week (preferably those with healthy fats like salmon or trout).

“Women may want to give [fish oil] supplements a try if having two servings of fish a week is problematic,” says JoAnn Manson, MD, chief of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston.

Preliminary research suggests that fish oil may also help prevent breast cancer.

Aim for two servings of fish a week—and talk to your doctor about whether or not you should try a supplement.

2) Slim down

If you’re overweight you can minimize menopausal symptoms and reduce the long-term risks of declining hormones by losing weight, says Mary Jane Minkin, MD, clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at Yale University School of Medicine, in New Haven, Conn.

Slimming down not only reduces the risks of heart disease and breast cancer, both of which go up after menopause, says Dr. Minkin, but new research shows that it may also help obese or overweight women cut down on hot flashes.

3) Bone up on calcium

Your calcium needs go up after age 50, from 1,000 milligrams per day to 1,200 mg. “With less estrogen on board, your bones don’t absorb calcium as well,” says Dr. Minkin.

If you have a cup of low-fat milk, one latte, and one 8-ounce yogurt, you’re getting around 1,100 mg calcium. This means you need to take only an additional 100 mg of supplements a day—less than one caplet’s worth—to make up the difference.

If you’re eating dairy, choose low-fat products. These have roughly the same amount of calcium as their full-fat counterparts, but with fewer calories.

4) Ease bloating

“About 100% of my patients going through menopause complain of bloating,” says Dr. Minkin. Although the reasons aren’t clear, fluctuating hormones during perimenopause may play a role.

Dr. Minkin recommends cutting the amount of salt and processed carbohydrates in your diet, as they can make you retain water. But don’t skimp on whole grains, which are rich in heart-healthy fiber, as well as fruits and vegetables.

If healthy food, such as apples and broccoli, make you feel bloated, Dr. Minkin suggests taking Mylanta or Gas-X to combat gas buildup.

5) Rethink that drink

Red wine gets a lot of press for its impact on heart health, but for menopausal women the drawbacks of alcohol might outweigh the benefits.

“One drink a day has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer,” says Dr. Manson. “So while it has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, it really is a trade-off for women.”

If you enjoy a glass of Pinot, try watering it down with seltzer to make a spritzer (you’ll cut calories too). Also keep in mind that red wine and other drinks may bring on hot flashes as a result of the increase in blood-vessel dilation caused by alcohol.

6) Say yes to soy

Soy contains plant estrogens, so many women think it can increase their breast cancer risk, says Dr. Minkin. However, there is little data to support this. The misconception likely comes from studies of high-dose soy supplements, which may stimulate the growth of estrogen-sensitive tumors.

Soy foods like tofu, soy nuts, and soy milk may offer relief from mild hot flashes and are not thought to increase breast cancer risk. “Women in Japan have the highest soy intake and the lowest risk of breast cancer, but Japanese women who move to the U.S. and eat less soy have a higher risk,” adds Dr. Minkin.

7) Try iced herbal tea

A warm cup of joe might be as much a part of your a.m. routine as brushing your teeth. Still, starting your day with a piping-hot drink may not be the best idea during menopause.

“In general, warm beverages seem to trigger hot flashes,” says Dr. Manson. “And the caffeine in coffee and tea could also be having an effect.”

Cover your bases by swapping your morning cup with something cool and decaffeinated—like a Tazo Shaken Iced Passion Tea at Starbucks or a decaf iced coffee.

8) Find a diet that fits

If you need to shed pounds, weight loss is no different during menopause than before it. “If you take in less calories than you burn for a long period of time, you’re going to lose weight,” says Dr. Minkin.

Any balanced diet that cuts calories—and that you can stick with in the long run—will do the job.

However, one study found that postmenopausal women who were on a diet that was low in fat and high in carbohydrates from vegetables, fruits, and grain were less likely to gain weight than women who ate more fat. Consider the new CarbLovers Diet which is rich in whole grains and other figure-friendly foods.