Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Posts Tagged ‘FDA’

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Is Saying, “Too Much!”

Posted by terrepruitt on September 19, 2016

Have you heard that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned antibacterial soap?  Well, it doesn’t sound as if they are actually banning antibacterial soap and products, they are just banning most of the chemicals found in over-the-counter “consumer antiseptic wash products (including liquid, foam, gel hand soaps, bar soaps, and body washes).”  The FDA is stating that “there isn’t enough science to show that over-the-counter (OTC) antibacterial soaps are better at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water.”  There is nothing proving that there is any benefit to using them.  You may have heard the debate about antibacterial soap and products actually doing the opposite of helping us stay healthy.  Some say that they actually could be making us more sick because they could possibly lead to bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics.  Bacteria seems smart in that it gets strong when it comes up against something that is fighting it.  In addition to the conclusion that antibacterial soap is not better than washing with regular soap and water, the FDA is saying that the manufacturers of said products have not proven that the products are safe to use over the long term.  So, they have ruled that the chemicals used to create such products will be banned.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitMany medical professionals and scientists believe that just washing your hands with soap and water will help prevent the spread of germs.  Theresa M. Michele, MD, of the FDA’s Division of Nonprescription Drug Products is quoted on the website as saying:

“Following simple handwashing practices is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of many types of infection and illness at home, at school and elsewhere. We can’t advise this enough. It’s simple, and it works.”

Hand sanitizers and hand wipes, are not affected by this ban.  Neither is antibacterial soaps used in hospitals.

According to Wiki:

“Antibacterial soap is a type of cleaning product which contain chemical ingredients that purportedly assist in killing bacteria.  Such chemicals frequently include triclosan, triclocarban, and chloroxylenol.”

It looks as if one of the main concerns is a chemical called Triclosan.  This is the one that has been shown to affect hormones in animals.  Also, this is the one thought to help the bacteria get strong and become resistant to antibiotics.  This chemical is used in pesticides along with a host of consumer products.  So it seems as if we are being exposed to a lot of it — all the time.  So the FDA has decided to have it taken out of the soap.

In addition to Triclosan, there are eighteen other chemicals used in antibacterial soap that are being banned.  The documents states:

“SUMMARY: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA, we, or the Agency) is issuing this final rule establishing that certain active ingredients used in over-the-counter (OTC) consumer antiseptic products intended for use with water (referred to throughout this document as consumer antiseptic washes) are not generally recognized as safe and effective (GRAS/GRAE) and are misbranded.”

It appears as if the manufacturers of such products have about a year to comply.  But according to many things I have read on the internet many manufacturers are beginning to make the changes now.   Could be they are just changing the labels, I mean who really knows with this stuff, right?  Not every product is tested.  I imagine if making the product without these chemicals is less expensive then with, then yeah, they will change their recipes eventually, since consumers are now being told they are on the non-GRAS list.

So what do you think about this?  What do you think about antibacterial soap?


Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Things I Didn’t Know About E-cigarettes

Posted by terrepruitt on June 19, 2014

Recently while riding as a passenger I saw another driver smoking an e-cigarette.  I think it would be more accurate to say, sucking on an e-cigarette.  I mentioned it to my husband and he mentioned something about the manufacturers having issues because laws were being passed in many places that would require them to be treated like regular cigarettes.  I was excited to hear that because I feel that the manufacturers of them “target” young kids.  So I Googled e-cigarettes or something and an article came up “10 Little-known Facts About E-cigarettes” by Maria Trimarchi and Susan Cassidy.  This statement jumped out at me:  “Smoking cigarettes is known to cause damage to every organ in your body, and smoking-related illnesses are responsible for one out of every five deaths in the U.S.”  Holy Moly!  If you have time jump over and read that article or stay here and let me share with you some of the things I found interesting according to that article.

It states that one-fifth of smokers have tried e-cigarettes in attempt to quit smoking.  So basically trading one habit for another.  To me, not truly quitting.  The citation for that statement links to an article that states the e-cigarette helps give the smoker the same sense of smoking.  Well . . . not truly quitting.  So I am unsure as to why they consider an e-cigarette and “attempt to quit”.

I have always wondered what an e-cigarette was, ya know, what it did, this article cleared that up for me with “This is a tobacco-free product. E-cigs are actually vaporizers; instead of burning tobacco, the mechanism heats up a liquid. The liquid turns into vapor, which is then inhaled, or ‘vaped.'”

More info:

Instead of a lighter there is a battery which engages the e-cigarette to heat up and the liquid contained in the cartridge and it vaporizes.

Nothing is burning so there is no secondhand smoke, the “sucker” inhales vapor.

Just because they are tobacco free and don’t burn that doesn’t mean they are nicotine free.  And that is the addictive stuff.  The stuff that is very harmful.  In fact in its liquid form it can be fatal.  Not only through ingestion, but through your skin.  I know I have seen CSI do a story on that.  The article lists some numbers about how there was a significant rise in the calls received by poison control centers in regards to liquid nicotine poisoning.

“The liquid in e-cigarettes is typically a combination of nicotine, flavorings (such as bubble gum or watermelon).”  Oh, yeah, remember I mentioned I believe they are targeting kids . . . . what?  Why?  Because they have bubble gum or watermelon flavor?  Naawwww!

Some have the same amount of nicotine as regular cigarettes.

The article also alludes to the idea that some of the metals released during the vaping may be toxic.

Some tests done on the cartridges used in the e-cigarettes showed they contained an ingredient that is also found in antifreeze.

Some tests showed that the cartridges were not labeled correctly so the consumer was actually getting MORE nicotine than they thought.

Just this year regulations regarding e-cigarettes are starting to come into play.  But according to this article “Manufacturers, however, say the e-cigarette is simply recreational, and should not be subject to FDA regulation.”

There is a possibility for smokers to save money sucking on e-cigarettes instead of “real” or regular cigarettes.

Even though the e-cigarette does not burn the potential for secondhand nicotine exposure is present.  The exposure is less, but still with 2.5 million non-smokers having died from affects of secondhand smoke in a fifty year period, I would rather not be breathing that air . . . thank you.

I never thought they were a good idea, but I found it interesting to read these fact.  Do pop over and check out the entire article as I only highlighted the info to give you the “vaporized” version.

Well, what do YOU think about the e-cigs?  Better than regular cigarettes? 


Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Frozen Vs. Fresh

Posted by terrepruitt on June 3, 2010

Frozen vegetables can be just as nutritious, if not MORE nutritious, than the vegetables you buy in the produce section.  Yup. You read that the right.  It says that you might be getting more nutrients from frozen vegetables than “fresh” vegetables. IF you are able to buy your vegetables from a local farmers market, that is where you most likely will get the most nutrient rich vegetables.  But be aware.  In our area–in and around San Jose–we have farmers markets pretty much every day of the week during the summer and it depends on WHEN the farmer has come to the bay area and when they picked their veggies.

I know that we attended one local market (and we have not been back) that was on a Sunday.  And the farmers claimed to have been in the area since Friday, and we saw them at a market on Saturday, and to tell you honestly it showed.  They vegetables had to be picked before Friday for them to have come up to the Friday market (and they could have even come to the Thursday or Wednesday Farmers Market).  It was the warm season and without refrigeration, the produce was very tired and wilted by Sunday.  As I said, my hubby and I have not actually been back to that particular market because the produce was so unappealing.  The idea of a farmers market is that you are getting FRESH produce, but when some farmers attend all the markets in the area they might not be that fresh.  The items probably were picked at the proper time, but within days they start to lose nutrients and without refrigeration they start to rapidly decay.

With produce from the grocery stores it is often harvested before it even reaches its full nutrient potential, and then once it is picked it might ripen some more but it will not have the full nutrients as it would have had it been picked after it reached its peak.  By the time produce travels to the stores and is ready for purchase it has lost a lot of its nutrient value.

The popular length of time I am seeing articles state is two weeks.  Vegetables can be picked up to two weeks before it reaches the store.  Then . . . it MIGHT not get put out for purchase right away (lets be generous and say it only sits for a day), then often times we buy it and it sits in the fridge for (lets be generous and say it sits for only two days).  That is a long time in which the vegetable is losing nutrients.  It might still LOOK pretty, but it is not a pack full of goodness as we might hope.

With vegetables that get frozen they are pick at the proper ripeness and blanched, frozen, and/or flash frozen right away so their vitamins and minerals as sealed in.  The breakdown of enzymes is halted in the process.  Supposedly in 1998 the Federal Drug Administration found that frozen vegetables have basically the same nutrient as fresh.  I cannot find anything on a government page confirming that but I can find it on a slew of other pages.

So it is quite possible that the veggies in the grocery stores frozen section have more nutrients than the produce section. Read the labels to check if anything has been added like sugar and/or salt because those are not things you would find in “fresh” veggies so you probably want to avoid them in the frozen ones too.

My plan consists of having fresh veggies, however fresh they are from the store or the local market, within the first two maybe three days of having purchased them.  I have frozen veggies in the freezer for when a trip to the store isn’t fitting into the schedule.  But it used to be that those frozen veggies would sit and get freezer burned because I thought they weren’t good enough.  But now I believe they are good, if not better, so I make sure to employ a rotation exercise, and we eat them in a reasonable amount of time.  Ya know when the schedule is tight and getting fresh ones isn’t quiet happening.  Then on the next trip to the store we get “fresh” and frozen vegetables to back into the fridge for when the schedule is tight again.  I would always rather have some sort of veggie than none at all.  And yes, that even means a canned vegetables.

Posted in Food, Vegetables | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »


Posted by terrepruitt on March 11, 2010

Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP) has come into the spotlight recently.  There was recall of the product from a large manufacturer of it.  One of my online friends wrote an article* regarding the recall and posted the link to it on FB.  (In summary, the company (Basic Food Flavors Inc) KNEW the product was contaminated with salmonella but kept shipping it.)  I read it, it upset me, so I reposted it.  This led to someone posting something on my wall that had me looking up HVP.

HVP contains monosodium glutamate (MSG).  I had not thought about that before.  Honestly I had not thought about hydrolyzed vegetable protein at all, but now I am thinking about it.   I know a handful of people that have bad reactions to MSG so they avoid food with it in it.  So I kind of think that they might know that HVP contains MSG and they can either avoid HVP or be — at least — mindful of it. But it is frustrating when man-made products that we don’t even know what they are contain other stuff that we are trying to be aware of.  If you know you have reactions to MSG you might know that HVP contains it.  But if you are having a reaction you might not know that it is due to the MSG in the HVP.

Most people don’t Google every ingredient in their food.  I don’t, do you?  Are we going to have to start?  Are we going to have to have an “alternate name list” on our fridge and right next to that a “recalled food” list?

As an individual, I can just not eat this stuff, but why as a group do we continue to allow so many chemicals to be put in our food.  When something is taken from it natural form and processed into another form can that really be good for our bodies?  Especially when it is in so many foods?

For those of you that are trying to avoid MSG, you might want to keep an eye out for HVP, if you aren’t already.

According to Wiki:

Acid-hydrolyzed vegetable protein, or HVP, is produced by boiling cereals or legumes, such as soy, corn, or wheat, in hydrochloric acid and then neutralizing the solution with sodium hydroxide.

Monosodium glutamate, also known as sodium glutamate and MSG, is a sodium salt of the naturally occurring non-essential amino acid glutamic acid.

*I had a link to the article my friend had posted but the link no longer works so I removed it.  Here is a link to a Washington Post article regarding Basic Food Flavors knowing they shipped a product containing salmonella: FDA says Basic Food Flavors knew plant was contaminated with salmonella March 10, 2010

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Dietary Supplements

Posted by terrepruitt on February 13, 2010

We have a certain expectation of things in the United States.  We have the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) that regulates Biologics, Cosmetics, Drugs, Foods (except meat and poultry), Medical Devices, and Veterinary Products so we expect a level of safety.  Did you know that supplements are NOT required to be tested and/or approved by the FDA?  There are NO “clinical trials” or safety inspection administered by the FDA that a supplement is required to pass.  Most supplements aren’t even required to be so much as registered.

An Act was signed into law back in 1984 by President Clinton, the Dietary Supplemental Health and Education Act (DSHEA) that makes the supplement manufacture responsible for self regulation.  The supplement manufacture is to make sure the product is safe and pure, with NO policing.  No one checks on them.  This is a $27 Billion business (it could be more that figure is the only one I could find and it is from 2007–three years old).

There are rules about the labeling and so they are “supposed” to be truthful in their labeling.  The FDA steps in where there is a problem (as in reported deaths or mass illnesses), but there is no testing done by the FDA to ensure anything about the supplement before it is marketed and used by the public.

I just find that so amazing.  I wanted to share it with you because even though I know this, I still forget.  I would think that if you are concerned enough about your health and wellness that you want to take a supplement, I would check with your doctor to see if you really even need to be taking a supplement.  They are expensive and you might be getting all the nutrition you need from your diet.  That is actually the best way, but I understand that it not always possible.  I would advise people to be careful.  I would suggest that one way to be careful would be to buy supplements that are manufactured by trusted companies.  I like to think that a well known, well trusted company is going to produce a safe quality product.

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »