Consumer Tips

January 19, 2009
Lactose intolerant? Consider adding the over-the-counter tablet-lactase. When taken with the first bite or sip of milk products, this enzyme product breaks down the sugars you don't digest so well.
Even lactose intolerant can drink milk

February 15, 2009
Peanut products are just the latest food victims of bacterial contamination. To stay "food safe" on an ongoing basis, 1) wash your hands well before handling foods and 2) keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot and out of the "danger zone."
How to keep bacteria off the menu

February 19, 2009
Have you ever wondered why some people really like flavors that you don’t like? It may be in your genes. Some people are “supertasters” of specific flavors in foods, especially bitter flavors.
Genetics determines how we taste

February 23, 2009
For lactose intolerant people, it’s the amount of milk that matters. Most lactose intolerant individuals can consume up to 8 ounces of milk or yogurt with a meal and not experience symptoms. Hard cheeses have little or no lactose.
Even lactose intolerant can drink milk

March 14, 2009
Are you a picky eater? It may be because you are a “supertaster” and more sensitive to the taste of bitter substances in foods. Just remember, you still need to meet your nutrient needs from a wide variety of foods or from dietary supplements.
Genetics determines how we taste

June 12, 2009
Food safety is a year-round concern, but the incidence of foodborne illness increases during the hot summer months. A good preventive measure is to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before preparing any foods.
How to keep bacteria off the menu

August 11, 2009
If lactose intolerance keeps you from enjoying foods that contain your favorite milk products, consider taking over-the-counter lactase tablets with the first bite. The enzyme contained in these products helps to digest milk sugar and prevent distress.
Even lactose intolerant can drink milk

January 19, 2010
Those with lactose intolerance are not destined to a diet devoid of high-calcium milk products. Hard cheeses, such as cheddar and Swiss contain only trace amounts of lactose.
Even lactose intolerant can drink milk

January 31, 2010
Tasty and decorative star fruit can be enjoyed by most of us as a good source of vitamin C. However, consuming just one fruit can cause kidney failure in people with impaired kidney function.
Kidney patients should avoid star fruit

February 15, 2010
Foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kim chee all contain friendly bacteria that make the foods more safe to eat. To avoid unfriendly bacteria, remember to stay out of the food “danger zone” by keeping cold foods cold and hot foods hot.
How to keep bacteria off the menu

February 20, 2010
MSG is one of the most extensively researched food additives in the world and has been declared not to represent a health hazard by multiple international organizations. For people who must watch their sodium intake, MSG contains only 12% sodium, whereas table salt is 40% sodium.
Some Facts about Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

May 31, 2010
Studies show that individuals with intolerance to the gluten in wheat often do not get adequate fiber from grains. Other grains that can be substituted, include rice, corn, quinoa, amaranth, and millet.
Gluten-Free Diets

June 20, 2010
Lactose intolerance is not the same thing as a milk allergy. Most hard cheeses and live culture yogurts contain little lactose and are well tolerated by those with lactose intolerance.
Even lactose intolerant can drink milk

August 12, 2010
When in doubt, throw it out. Foods contaminated with microorganisms make people extremely sick and can even kill.
How to keep bacteria off the menu

September 21, 2010
In a healthy person, intestinal bacteria help to protect the body against invasion by disease-causing bacteria. Eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains helps to support a beneficial bacterial ecology in the lower intestine.
Useful bacteria build intestine’s fortitude

October 29, 2010
Fresh produce that is consumed raw or lightly cooked can have a risk of foodborne illness. Like other types of produce, fresh sprouts, including organic sprouts, may become contaminated by pathogenic microorganisms. Individuals with compromised immune systems can still enjoy sprouts if they are cooked before eating.
Sprouts: What You Should Know

November 12, 2010
True food allergies can be life threatening, but it is important to know that in a controlled clinical setting, almost 90% of children previously diagnosed with food allergies actually were not allergic to the supposedly offending foods when tested with an oral food challenge test.
Study suggests over-diagnosis of food allergy in children

November 27, 2010
Gastroenteritis (inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract) caused by E. coli and campylobacter bacterial infections may have long-term effects. A recent study reported increased risk of hypertension, impaired kidney function, and cardiovascular disease in people who had previously suffered from these types of infections.
Gastroenteritis may be over in a few days, but the consequences can linger for years

December 8, 2010
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases released their first ever set of guidelines for diagnosis and management of food allergy. These standards have been much needed by clinicians. The guidelines should help to avoid depriving children and adults of foods that have been improperly identified as allergenic.
Food allergy guidelines urge doctors to be thorough

December 16, 2010
Home canned foods can be very special holiday gifts with that personal touch. Just remember that food canning is a science, not an art. Getting too creative could result in an unforgettable gift – not in a good way.
Homemade holiday food baskets may give gift of botulism

February 18, 2011
Infants are susceptible to having Clostridium botulinum bacteria thrive in their immature intestine, poisoning them from within. This is why infants should never be fed honey. This concentrated sugar food can harbor the dormant spore form of this bacteria. Fortunately, honey is safe for older children and adults.
Err on the side of caution when it comes to botulism

May 10, 2011
When a child has health problems that seem to be linked to food allergies, there is a tendency for parents to overly restrict the child's diet. This runs the risk of causing nutrient deficiencies that can make the problem even worse. Children should be fully evaluated by an allergist before instituting extreme dietary restrictions.
Food-Allergy Fears Drive Overly Restrictive Diets, Study Suggests

June 6, 2011
The current E. coli food poisoning cases in Germany now appear to be due to contaminated sprouts. The warm and humid conditions used to grow sprouts are ideal for the growth of a few types of pathogenic bacteria. Food safety experts consider sprouts to be one of the most risky sources of food-borne illness.
Deadly E. Coli Outbreak Linked to German Sprouts

June 20, 2011
Using reusable shopping bags is a great way to cut back on wasteful use of plastic bags. But, keep in mind that these bags can harbor disease-causing microorganisms and should be washed on a regular schedule.
Clean those reusable shopping bags

July 4, 2011
Food allergies are caused by an immune response to a normally harmless food protein. In some cases, cooking a food can change the chemical structure of the allergenic protein so that the cooked food does not cause an allergic response in an individual who is allergic to the raw food. Researchers have used cooked milk in foods to help children gradually decrease their milk allergy sensitivity.
Foods With Baked Milk May Help Build Tolerance in Children With Dairy Allergies, Study Suggests

August 10, 2011
For those with celiac disease and less severe forms of gluten sensitivity, avoidance of offending foods can be very challenging. A recent study confirmed that the grains tef and millet, along with amaranth and quinoa (not true grains) are gluten-free options.
Millet, Amaranth, and Quinoa deemed gluten free: Study

August 18, 2011
The protein called gluten is what gives bread its springy and chewy texture. To make gluten-free bread products for those with gluten allergies, food scientists are finding that egg white protein can be a good substitute for gluten in some baked products.
Egg whites show gluten-free product potential: Study

August 25, 2011
Recent research has shown that the oil from the herb Coriander may help to prevent food-borne illnesses and even treat antibiotic-resistant infections.
Coriander Oil Could Tackle Food Poisoning and Drug-Resistant Infections

September 11, 2011
"Timing is everything" can certainly apply to pregnant women. Research on a group of about 500 infants with likely milk or egg allergy found that the infants also were more likely to have signs of peanut allergy when their mothers had consumed peanuts during pregnancy.
Pregnant women who eat peanuts may put infants at increased risk for peanut allergy

September 12, 2011
How a woman eats during pregnancy may influence the risk of her infant developing food allergies. According to a study on pigs, when a mother's diet contains adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids such as those found in fish oils, the baby's gut develops better, making the baby less likely to suffer from allergies.
Mother's diet influences baby's allergies -- new research

September 19, 2011
A recent meta-analysis of studies on caffeine consumption during pregnancy concluded that caffeine intake during pregnancy is not associated with premature birth. However, due to potential links with lower birth weights, it is commonly recommended to keep caffeine intake below 300 mg per day from all sources combined (coffee, tea, sodas with caffeine, etc.).
Caffeine in Pregnancy

October 6, 2011
Since the usual sources of food contamination with listeria are deli meats and soft cheeses, the recent listeria food poisonings from cantaloupe are unusual. Before cutting a melon, it is good practice to scrub the surface with a clean produce brush, rinse well, and dry a clean cloth or paper towel.
Cantaloupe toll rises to 100 sick and 18 dead, CDC says

October 14, 2011
Peanut allergies can be life-threatening. A new technique to treat peanut allergies may be on the horizon. Researchers have found that attaching a peanut protein to blood cells and infusing them back into mice can eliminate the peanut allergy.
Scientists figure out how to switch off peanut allergy

October 20, 2011
Food allergies are associated with a compromised cell-lining structure of the small intestine. Recent research in a mouse model found that feeding the animals kefir-cultured milk or soymilk reduced their allergic responses to a known allergen. Kefir is made from a traditional culture composed of both bacteria and yeast.
Kefir ingredients could help food allergies

October 23, 2011
To maintain natural vitamin quality and food safety, appropriate food packaging is essential. Until now, it has been difficult to determine if a packaged food container remains airtight. Marta Lewander, physicist at Lund University in Sweden, has developed a new laser instrument to check for abnormal gas content.
Laser ensures food is fresh

October 29, 2011
Food safety is essential for nutrition and health. This is especially true when it comes to potentially deadly microorganisms such as Clostridium botulinum. Remember the simple food safety rule . . . when in doubt, throw it out.
Err on the side of caution when it comes to botulism

October 30, 2011
With Halloween approaching, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that eating too much black licorice candy at once can be life-threatening. The compound glycyrrhizin present in most licorice can cause a drop in potassium levels in some people, leading to abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, edema (swelling), lethargy, and even congestive heart failure.
Black Licorice Halloween Hazard! Don't Eat Too Much Warns FDA

December 1, 2011
Although caffeine has had some good press lately, it is good to remember that "it's the dose that makes the poison." During 2009, over 13,000 people in the U.S. visited hospital emergency departments for reasons related to caffeine overdose from energy-drink consumption.
And now some bad news about caffeine

December 13, 2011
Perhaps you have eaten raw cookie dough with no problem. However, it wasn't without risk. Even the store-bought, ready-to-bake cookie dough has caused food borne illness. To eliminate risk, enjoy the dough in its cookie form. That's why they are called cookies instead of doughies.
Beware of Raw Cookie Dough

December 15, 2011
We enjoy the flavors of various spices and herbs used in the right amounts to season foods. However, there is evidence that concentrated preparations such as extracts and oils from some common plant products (eg. basil, fennel, and sassafras) can contain excessively high levels of carcinogenic substances.
Some Plant-Based Food Supplements Contain High Levels of Cancer Causing Agents, Study Suggests

January 4, 2012
Most beer is made from barley that contains gluten. An analysis of the gluten content of a variety of beers found that beers labeled as low-gluten contained about the same amount of gluten as regular beers. However, beers labeled as gluten-free did not contain gluten.
Some 'Low-Gluten' Beer Contains High Levels of Gluten

February 18, 2012
Rice grains are known to take up arsenic present in soil. Consequently, rice can be a significant source of this toxic mineral. Samples of a popular natural sweetener called organic brown rice syrup were found to have high levels of arsenic.
Organic Food Sweetener May Be a Hidden Source of Dietary Arsenic

February 25, 2012
People who have impaired kidney function should not consume star fruit. The fruit's high oxalic acid levels are not a problem for those of us with normal kidney function. However, the consumption of one star fruit reportedly killed a person who had compromised kidney function.
Oxalic acid in star fruit can kill kidney patients

April 21, 2012
E. coli bacteria in drinking water can be greatly reduced by exposing clear plastic bottles of water to direct sunlight for at least 6 hours. Adding a twist of lime to the water reduced the needed sun exposure time to 30 minutes. This method, however, did not significantly reduce the levels of a murine norovirus.
Sunlight Plus Lime Juice Makes Drinking Water Safer

May 7, 2012
Many of our food preferences may be rooted in our genes. A recent Norwegian study reported that people with a specific gene variant were more likely to dislike the smell and taste of pork that contains a substance found naturally in male pigs.
Genetics may explain why some people hate meat, study says

May 10, 2012
Diallyl sulfide, a chemical found naturally in garlic, is proving to have substantial antimicrobial effects. It is likely to become a useful tool for food safety, but it does smell and taste like garlic.
Garlic Compound Fights Source of Food-Borne Illness Better Than Antibiotics

July 13, 2012
Breast milk is considered the ideal food for young infants, however, a new study indicates that children who were exclusively breast fed for the first 6 months of life are more likely to develop nut allergies than children who are not breast fed. Children who were both breast fed and given other foods before six months of age also were less likely to develop nut allergies.
Exclusive breastfeeding linked to nut allergies

July 16, 2012
Food safety focuses largely on how to keep harmful microorganisms from growing in foods. One way to do this is to promote the growth of specific friendly microorganisms that can prevent the growth of pathogenic organisms. Brewers yeast, for example, added to a pure solution of water and malt sugar, grows rapidly, prevents other microorganisms from growing and produces beer. Yogurt is another good example of a food made safer with the growth of domesticated microorganisms in the food.
Sake, Soy Sauce, and the Taming of the Microbes

July 27, 2012
It was previously thought that a woman's consumption of nuts during pregnancy could increase the risk of her child developing nut allergies. However, research continues to indicate that women should not decrease peanut and tree nut intake during pregnancy and that consumption of these nuts during pregnancy might even decrease the risk of allergy development in children.
Mom's nut consumption tied to less allergy in kids

July 29, 2012
The grain-like seed of the quinoa plant is considered safe for people intolerant to the gluten in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. However, an evaluation of 15 cultivars of quinoa found that two of the cultivars contained levels of "celiac toxic elements" sufficient to cause an allergic response in some people.
Some quinoa varieties may be unsuitable for strict gluten-free diets, study suggests

August 7, 2012
Oxalic acid contributes to the formation of kidney stones in susceptible people. Vegetables like spinach, parsley, amaranth, and chives are high in oxalic acid. Drinking extra fluid can reduce the risk of kidney stones. Iced-tea contains a significant amount of oxalic acid, so it would be prudent for oxalate stone formers to limit this beverage.
Iced Tea Can Contribute to Painful Kidney Stones

September 26, 2012
Lactose intolerance often is used as a reason to discourage milk consumption. However, a substantial amount of research indicates that those with lactose intolerance can tolerate up to a cup of milk or yogurt at a meal without symptoms. Milk products like hard cheeses have almost no lactose.
Milk and dairy consumption attacked by vegan group

October 30, 2012
Even if you are not living in a location affected by Hurricane Sandy, it is a good time to review how to safely handle food when electrical power goes down. With a little knowledge, good pre-planning and making smart food decisions can help to keep you and your family safe.
How to keep your food safe if Hurricane Sandy cuts electricity

November 14, 2012
Although spice allergies are not very common, they are very difficult to diagnose and control by avoidance of the allergen. Current U.S. food and cosmetic labeling laws do not require that each spice ingredient be listed individually.
Sugar and Spice and Everything Not So Nice: Spice Allergy Affects Foodies and Cosmetic Users Alike

December 4, 2012
Animal agriculture often is blamed for promoting antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Recent research found that bacterial antibiotic-resistant genes were present both in human-impacted agricultural areas and in pristine natural habitats. Measures to control exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria need to acknowledge that these bacterial genes may just be part of the natural environment.
Sources of E. Coli Are Not Always What They Seem

December 23, 2012
Gluten intolerance and celiac disease sufferers may have a solution other than a gluten-free diet if new research pans out. Scientists have developed an enzyme that completely digests gluten protein components and therefore has the potential to remove gluten's allergen potential.
Toward a Pill to Enable Celiac Patients to Eat Foods Containing Gluten

January 8, 2013
A study using over 2800 mice found that feeding pregnant mice diets containing bisphenol A (BPA) did not affect the offspring in ways suggested by previous studies. This large study did not find that BPA caused mice to have the yellow coat color linked to expression of the agouti gene that also is associated with increased susceptibility to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Previous Studies On Toxic Effects of BPA Couldn't Be Reproduced

January 10, 2013
A study in Sweden found that high levels of pollen exposure during late pregnancy were associated with an elevated risk of the infant being hospitalized for asthma within the first year of life. However, the potential mechanism involved in this association remains to be explored.
Pollen Exposure During Pregnancy Affects Child's Risk of Early Asthma, Study Finds

January 16, 2013
Food Safety is the first step to obtaining adequate nutrition. Research on food freshness shows that people are not as discriminating about consuming expired dated foods if it is in their refrigerators as compared with the same supermarket foods with expired dates.
What's A Little Mold? Why Consumers Have Different Freshness Standards At Home

February 14, 2013
Some have suggested that the increased incidence of celiac disease may be due to an increase in the gluten content of wheat. However, an evaluation of this proposal indicates that the gluten in wheat has changed little during the past 50 years. Other causes of celiac disease are more likely and remain to be identified.
No Clear Evidence More Gluten in New Wheat Is Responsible for Increase in Celiac Disease

March 8, 2013
A new report from the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology provides many answers to questions about reducing food allergy risks in infants and young children. Among their guidelines is the recommendation that infants can be gradually introduced to potentially allergenic foods as early as 4 to 6 months of age when they become physically ready to consume these foods.
Food Allergy Advice for Kids: Don't Delay Peanuts, Eggs

March 9, 2013
A new study on the association of bisphenol A (BPA) exposure with childhood asthma triggered a rather hard-hitting critique about problems with the study. See the Medical Progress Today blog from the Manhattan Institute below.
Maybe the worst paper ever?

March 28, 2013
Mice that are more susceptible to developing alcohol dependency have a behavioral response to alcohol consumption that can predict which mice will develop alcohol addiction. This may lead to behavioral assessment methods that can be used with people to evaluate a person's potential for developing alcoholism.
Research Provides Clues to Alcohol Addiction Vulnerability

April 12, 2013
People with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity must avoid grains like wheat, rye, and barley due to the presence of gluten protein. Corn and rice do not contain the offending protein. New detailed genome, biochemical, and immunochemical analysis of the grain sorghum indicates that it lacks the offending protein and is safe for people with celiac disease.
Verifying That Sorghum Is a New Safe Grain for People With Celiac Disease

May 12, 2013
Cinnamon is safely consumed in the amounts commonly used in foods. Excessive consumption of cinnamon, however, may be toxic to the liver. "True" or Ceylon cinnamon has less of the liver toxins than more commonly used varieties. Those taking cinnamon supplements should do so only with medical supervision and generally should select products based on Ceylon cinnamon.
Coumarin in Cinnamon and Cinnamon-Based Products and Risk of Liver Damage

July 4, 2013
The search for gluten-free grains for people with celiac disease has led researchers to evaluate a new variety of canary seed. The flour from this seed is gluten-free. Although the canary seed does not substitute very well for making bread, it can substitute for wheat flour in some types of foods.
New Canary Seed Is Ideal for Gluten-Free Diets in Celiac Disease

July 13, 2013
Many people are concerned about widespread antibiotic use in animal agriculture due to the potential risk of antibiotic resistant bacteria developing that may be dangerous to humans. Others point out that excessive antibiotic use in humans is much more risky. The antibiotics used in animal feeds do not target bacteria that are commonly pathogenic in humans.
Do Antibiotics in Animal Feed Pose a Serious Risk to Human Health?

July 31, 2013
When concerns about bisphenol A (BPA) arose, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) took it seriously and conducted a full evaluation that is now available in draft form. Fortunately, they found that the average exposure to BPA from the diet is less than 1% of the current Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) value for BPA intake. If BPA is high on your list of health concerns, this report may help you move it to the bottom of your list.
Food is main source of BPA for consumers, thermal paper also potentially significant

August 1, 2013
A cause of food allergies is thought to be a breakdown in the integrity of the intestinal lining that allows potentially allergenic proteins to enter the body and affect immune function. New research indicates that conditions like eczema that compromise skin integrity may represent another route of entry for allergens.
Eczema May Play a Key Role in the Development of Food Allergy in Infants, Study Suggests

August 2, 2013
You can find carcinogenic (cancer causing) substances in many foods. However, a healthy body detoxifies the usual amounts of these carcinogens. Cooking food at high temperatures, especially deep frying, produces more of these carcinogens than baking or steaming.
Oven-Baked Fish Fingers Have Fewer Furans Than When Fried

August 22, 2013
Most of us are aware of the potential for animal products to harbor disease-causing bacteria such as salmonella. However, it is important to be aware that vegetarian foods such as the cultured soy food tempeh have the potential to support bacterial growth and should be handled and prepared with the same precautions as meat, poultry, and fish.
A Salmonella Warning for Vegetarians

August 30, 2013
In response to an apparent increase in celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has published new labeling regulations for the use of "gluten-free" on food labels. This will increase gluten-free labeling by food manufacturers and be a great help for those who must avoid this protein from wheat and related grains.
Latest regulations make gluten-free eating easier

September 4, 2013
The perception that there is a peanut allergy "epidemic" appears to have been driven by a combination to factors that increased awareness of the seriousness of this allergy. Fortunately, however, deaths from peanut allergy are about as common as deaths from lightning strikes.
Researcher Digs Into the Contested Peanut-Allergy Epidemic

September 9, 2013
In response to recent concerns about arsenic in rice, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analyzed the arsenic content of more than 1300 samples of rice and rice products from a wide variety of locations. Products were considered to be within reasonable levels for foods that can be included in an overall healthful diet. However, a food like rice bran cereal, should likely be consumed in moderation because most arsenic is in the outer bran layer of whole grain rice.
FDA tests find very low levels of arsenic in rice

October 1, 2013
A study of over 4000 women found that seafood was a relatively minor contributor to mercury accumulation in the body. These results suggest that advice to limit eating fish during pregnancy may need to be revisited.
Fears over fish mercury 'unfounded'

December 6, 2013
A new evaluation of current scientific evidence by the Canadian Paediatric Society indicates that maternal avoidance of milk, egg, peanut or other potential allergens during pregnancy does not reduce the risk of allergy in a baby at high risk for allergy due to family history. The report also recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of the infant's life and to not delay the introduction of any specific solid food beyond six months of age. Later introduction of foods like peanut, fish or egg does not prevent, and may even increase, the risk of developing food allergy.
No need to delay introduction of food allergens to high-risk babies, paediatricians advise

December 17, 2013
The European Food Safety Authority completed the most extensive evaluation of aspartame safety to date. They concluded (again) that, ". . . Aspartame and its breakdown products are safe for human consumption at current levels of exposure."
EFSA completes full risk assessment on aspartame and concludes it is safe at current levels of exposure

December 28, 2013
In a study of over 8,000 women who did not have peanut or tree nut allergy, higher consumption of these nuts during pregnancy was associated with a lower risk of peanut or tree nut allergy in their offspring. This study supports the hypothesis that early allergen exposure increases tolerance and lowers risk of childhood food allergy.
Eating nuts during pregnancy 'may curb allergies'

December 29, 2013
The European Union has established limits on the amount of coumarin allowed in foods. This natural compound found in some types of cinnamon has been linked to liver damage in people sensitive to the substance. The most common cinnamon (cassia variety) can be high in coumarin. The less common and more expensive Ceylon cinnamon is low in coumarin.
Is this the end of the cinnamon roll?

December 30, 2013
A compound called acrylamide is produced in carbohydrate foods during high temperature cooking procedures like frying and baking. Based primarily on animal studies, excessive intake may be neurotoxic and/or carcinogenic. Although acrylamide toxicity is relatively low and debatable, concerns for its potential toxicity provide one more reason to limit fried foods in your diet.
You Can Help Cut Acrylamide in Your Diet

January 3, 2014
Research shows that there are viruses that infect specific types of bacteria and have no effect on people. Spraying foods with a solution containing a bacteriophage (a bacterial virus) is a relatively new way to kill bacteria like salmonella in a way that is non-toxic for humans.
FDA approves SALMONELEX™ against Salmonella as new food processing aid

January 18, 2014
It can be difficult to put potential risks into perspective when the science is not so simple. The compound bisphenol A (BPA) can leach into foods and beverages from certain types of hard plastic. Some animal studies indicate we should be concerned. However, when the designs of the animal studies are put into proper perspective, the risk seems to be rather insignificant for humans.
Oh no, not again: BPA and cancer…in miceare

February 5, 2014
Don't try this at home, but there is hope for a treatment of children with peanut allergy. By very gradually increasing consumption of peanut flour (in children 7 to 16 years of age) from a very tiny amount to an amount equivalent to about 5 peanuts over a period of 26 weeks, researchers found that about 90 percent of the children were able to consume small amounts of peanuts without serious adverse effects.
Peanut desensitization can ease parents’ fears

February 18, 2014
Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a warning about Uncle Ben's infused rice products because some people were having negative reactions to them. Apparently, excessive amounts of the B vitamin, niacin were mistakenly added to the rice during the enrichment process. High dose niacin is known to cause symptoms similar to what was being experienced by those consuming the rice products.
FDA warns against eating Uncle Ben’s infused rice products served at schools, restaurants

February 27, 2014
Avoidance of milk products is associated with reduced bone density. Research indicates that most lactose intolerant people can consume up to 8 fluid ounces of milk without symptoms, especially when consumed with a meal. Don't like milk? Most cheeses contain little or no lactose and also are good sources of calcium.
Even lactose intolerant can drink milk

March 25, 2014
Many proponents of raw milk have claimed that it reduces the symptoms of lactose intolerance when compared to pasteurized milk. A researcher tested this in 16 lactose intolerant individuals and found no difference in symptoms and breath hydrogen levels (a measure of lactose maldigestion) between raw and pasteurized milk. Another urban myth goes down. The only well established difference is that pasteurized milk is safer to consume.
Claim that raw milk reduces lactose intolerance doesn't pass smell test, study finds

May 29, 2014
It seems that many people don't know that gluten is just a protein in wheat, barley, and rye. Some people have an allergy-like reaction to this protein that damages their intestinal lining (celiac disease) and may cause other problems as well. Gluten does not seem to cause any health problems in people that do not have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
Gluten: Friend or Foe?

June 22, 2014
In people with celiac disease, components of the gluten protein in wheat triggers a serious autoimmune reaction that damages intestinal cells. However, the effects of gluten are not limited to the intestinal tract. Many people with celiac disease experience other problems such as inflammatory skin reactions and even impaired mental function.
Gluten-free diet relieves 'brain fog' in patients with Celiac disease

July 4, 2014
To avoid foodborne illness during summer festivities, remember the basics of food safety: thaw frozen foods correctly, cook foods thoroughly, keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold, refrigerate leftovers within two hours of serving, and reheat cooked leftovers thoroughly when reserving them.
Food safety advice will help cooks spread joy, not germs

July 17, 2014
Food Allergy Treatment: There may be hope for treatment of certain types of food allergies (IgE-mediated). Although it is not ready for clinical application, gradually exposing those with a food allergy to slowing increasing amounts of the offending food (oral immunotherapy) shows promise for eliminating the allergic reaction. Working out the proper dose for exposure to various types of foods for people of varying ages and severity of reaction to the food is a complex process.
Researchers propose new treatment option for food allergy

August 2, 2014
Rice, Arsenic, Infants & Children: Due to its low potential for allergenicity, rice cereals often are used as an infant's first food. However, since rice can accumulate high levels of toxic arsenic in some growing environments, recommendations from researchers urge the monitoring of arsenic levels in rice products for infants and children along with the development of limits for arsenic levels.
Experts recommend avoiding rice drinks for infants and young children due to concerns over arsenic content

August 21, 2014
When in doubt, throw it out. Foods contaminated with microorganisms make people extremely sick and can even kill.
How to keep bacteria off the menu

August 27, 2014
Beta-carotene, found in many colorful fruits and vegetables, has antioxidant functions in the body and can be converted to active vitamin A. An excessive intake of this beneficial substance, however, appears to have negative effects on the functions of vitamin A in the body.
Potential 'dark side' to diets high in beta-carotene

October 6, 2014
Gluten and Infants: A study of over 700 infants with a family history of celiac disease found that the incidence of developing celiac disease was the same in infants given gluten-containing foods at six or twelve months of age. Unfortunately, the study did not account for the iron status of the infants. Iron deficiency can impair intestinal development which would be expected to increase the risk of developing celiac disease.
Infant's Early Diet Doesn't Change Celiac Disease Risk, Study Finds

October 8, 2014
Caffeine and Athletes: Young adult low-caffeine-consuming athletes experienced more nervousness and insomnia after consuming an energy drink with about 200 milligrams of caffeine (like two cups of coffee). This may not occur in athletes that commonly consume caffeine, however, this was not evaluated in this study.
Energy drinks cause insomnia and nervousness in athletes

October 19, 2014
Caffeine and Health: Caffeine does not affect everyone in the same way. According to new genetic research, specific gene variants are linked to specific physical and psychological effects of caffeine. This knowledge should help to determine who is most likely to benefit from caffeine and who might be better off avoiding it.
Coffee in the genes? New genetic variants associated with coffee drinking

October 22, 2014
Artificial Sweeteners: A recent study reported that the sweetener saccharin altered the composition of colonic bacteria in mice which adversely affected their blood glucose control. Four out of seven humans experienced similar changes in blood glucose control after consuming high levels of saccharin for a week. Sucralose and aspartame did not have the same effect in mice and were not tested on humans.
Get facts on sweeteners before ditching diet soda

October 24, 2014
Energy Drink Risks: Researchers from the World Health Organization reviewed the scientific literature on caffeine-containing energy drinks and expressed concern for potential risks to public health. Of major concern was the practice of mixing energy drinks with alcoholic beverages which tends to make people not realize how drunk they are.
Rising energy drink consumption may pose a threat to public health, says WHO

October 31, 2014
Arsenic in Gluten-free Foods: Many gluten-free food alternatives substitute rice for gluten-containing grains. Since some sources of rice are high in arsenic, those with celiac disease who rely on these foods may be consuming excessive amounts of arsenic. Since some sources of rice are low in arsenic, manufacturers of rice-based gluten-free products should seek rice ingredients with lower arsenic content.
Some rice-based foods for people with celiac disease contain relevant amounts of arsenic

December 17, 2014
Raw Milk: Raw milk often is promoted as being more natural and healthful than pasteurized milk. Unfortunately, disease-causing bacteria like raw milk. With an increasing number of states allowing the sale of raw milk, the incidence of people becoming sick and hospitalized from these bacteria has increased accordingly.
New study shows increase in raw milk-associated outbreaks

January 2, 2015
Cadmium Exposure and Aging: Cadmium, like lead, is a toxic heavy metal. Exposure to cadmium is primarily from dietary sources and tobacco smoking. New research indicates that cadmium intake may contribute to aging by shortening the telomeres on chromosomes. The plant food content of cadmium is affected by the amount of cadmium in soil. Some types of seaweed and related products are very high in cadmium.
Human Exposure to Metal Cadmium May Accelerate Cellular Aging

January 27, 2015
Fish and Mercury Toxicity: Mercury is a toxic heavy metal that can accumulate in many types of fish. However, new research indicates that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish help to prevent the toxicity of mercury. The omega-3 fatty acids and selenium content of fish may together explain why high fish consumption is not associated with developmental problems in high fish-eating cultures like the Republic of Seychelles.
Fatty acids in fish may shield brain from mercury damage

February 24, 2015
Childhood Allergies: What is called the "hygiene hypothesis" proposes that environmental microbial exposure during early life reduces the risk of allergy development. A new Swedish study adds some support to this hypothesis. They found that children in families that wash dishes by hand had a significantly reduced risk of developing allergic diseases when compared to children in families using a dishwasher. The high heat in dishwashers makes the dishes more sterile.
Kids, Allergies and a Possible Downside to Squeaky Clean Dishes

March 7, 2015
Antibiotics in Milk: Maintaining the health of milk cows sometimes involves the use of antibiotics. However, antibiotics do not end up in the milk we consume when dairy farmers follow regulations for acceptable use of antibiotics and other drugs. An extensive study of almost 2,000 dairy farms, conducted by the Food and Drug Administration, found that less than one percent of the milk they analyzed contained illegal drug residues.
FDA study finds little evidence of antibiotics in milk

March 10, 2015
Food Poisoning: One out of six of us in the U.S. gets sick each year from bacterial contamination of food. Most of us are aware of some of the key foods most likely to make us sick, but some of the risky foods may surprise you. They include the usual culprits of meat, fish, poultry, and eggs, but also include leafy green vegetables, bean sprouts, seeded fruits and vegetables such as melons and tomatoes, and raw milk and cheeses made from raw milk.
The biggest culprits of foodborne illness

March 18, 2015
Milk Protein Type: Depending on breed, the milk from dairy cattle contains proteins called A1 beta-casein or A2 beta-casein (or sometimes both proteins). There is some evidence that the A2 milk is better for the gastrointestinal function of some people. Test marketing of A2 milk is planned to start in California in about a month.
California Consumers are About to Get a Taste of ‘A2 Milk’

April 17, 2015
Food Safety: Not sure if you should toss that meat or fish that has been in the fridge for a week. You probably should. Soon, however, there may be an inexpensive device available that can give you an objective measure of spoilage based on detection of amine compounds that form when these foods are spoiled.
New sensor detects spoiled meat

April 27, 2015
Food Borne Botulism: When not done carefully, home-canned meats, fish, and vegetables can support the growth of Clostridium botulinum bacteria that produce a toxin that causes botulism. Symptoms include double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and muscle weakness that can move throughout the body. Symptoms generally begin 18 to 36 hours after eating a contaminated food, but they can occur as early as 6 hours or as late as 10 days.
Why Botulism Is Found in Canned Foods and How to Keep Your Pantry Safe

May 18, 2015
Low Allergen Soybean: Soybeans are among the most common foods that cause allergic reactions in people. Using conventional plant breeding techniques, researchers have developed a variety of soybean that is very low in key known allergenic proteins and an anti-thiamin factor. This new soybean variety should provide benefits for both animal and human soy-based foods.
Low-allergen soybean could have high impact

May 21, 2015
Foodborne Illness: With the current drought causing a reduced produce supply from California, more produce will be coming from other parts of the world that may not have food safety regulations as strict as those in the U.S. Consequently, is becoming more important to observe good food safety practices.
Physicians can play key role in preventing foodborne illness

May 25, 2015
Livestock and Antibiotic Resistance: The use of antibiotics to treat a sick animal is very different from the widespread use of antibiotics in feed to promote animal growth. There is a substantial amount of evidence that this practice increases the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria that also affect humans.
Why did the chicken cross the road? So it could continue getting antibiotics.

May 29, 2015
Soy and Asthma: Some research has suggested that supplementation with soy isoflavone may help asthma patients. However, when soy isoflavone supplementation was put to the test of a 24-week double-blind placebo-controlled study, asthmatic adults and children aged 12 years or older did not experience improved lung function and had no change in their asthma symptoms.
Soy supplements don't improve asthma, study concludes

July 24, 2015
Arsenic in Rice: New research suggests cooking rice in your coffee percolator to remove arsenic. This cooking method removed about half of the arsenic in various types of rice. What the researchers did not report is how this cooking method affects the nutrient content of the rice. It most likely reduces the content of water-soluble vitamins and minerals.
How to cut worrying levels of arsenic in rice that is eaten all over the world

September 2, 2015
Itchy Fruits: Does your mouth develop an itchy feeling after you eat certain fruits? You may have Oral Allergy Syndrome - also called Pollen-Food Allergy Syndrome. It is thought that people who develop an allergic sensitivity to the proteins in pollen from the flowers of a fruit tree can also be sensitive to similar proteins in the fruit from the same type of tree. Cooking the fruit generally eliminates the reaction because it denatures the protein (alters the protein shape).
Does your mouth itch when you eat apples or other fruits?

September 4, 2015
Risks of Pure Caffeine: Pure powdered caffeine is readily available for purchase. Although caffeine is clearly a drug, it falls under the regulations of dietary supplements. One teaspoon of caffeine powder is equivalent to the amount of caffeine in about 25 cups of coffee. Consequently, overdosing is extremely easy to do. Last year, two young men in the U.S. died from caffeine overdose.
FDA Issues Warning Letters to Powdered Caffeine Distributors

September 9, 2015
Allergy Risk Reduction: It has been known that people who grow up on farms (especially dairy farms) are less likely to develop allergies. A new study showed that exposing young laboratory mice to farm dust reduced their risk of allergic reactions to the dust mite allergen.
More evidence that the key to allergy-free kids is giving them plenty of dirt — and cows

October 6, 2015
Arsenic in Wine: A new study reports that some varieties of American red wines contain more arsenic than the allowable levels in drinking water. Many types of foods are known to provide greater amounts of arsenic than moderate consumption of wine. However, this is one more reason to consume wine in moderation.
Arsenic found in many U.S. red wines, but health risks depend on total diet

October 19, 2015
Poisoning by Candied Apple: About a year ago about three dozen people were infected by listeria bacteria and seven people died. For most of these people, the source of the bacteria was found to be commercially produced, prepackaged caramel-coated apples. Since neither the caramel coating nor the apple provide the conditions for listeria growth, researchers sought to determine why these coated apples were contaminated with the bacteria. They found that the caramel apples supported significant listeria growth when the apple was penetrated with a stick and stored at room temperature. The stick allowed moisture leakage from the apple that created a small but adequate microenvironment between the apple skin and caramel coating to support listeria growth.
Danger of listeria in caramel apples

November 11, 2015
Energy Drinks: When young to middle-age adults consumed a 16 fluid ounce can of a Rockstar brand energy drink (containing caffeine and various herbal components), they experienced an increase in blood pressure and blood levels of stress hormones. Frequent and excessive consumption of these types of beverages could put some individuals at increased risk for potentially serious health problems.
Just One Energy Drink Sends Young Adults' Stress Hormone Levels Soaring

January 7, 2016
Arsenic in Plant Foods: Arsenic is toxic in excessive amounts. Recently, it was found that rice can accumulate high levels of arsenic, depending on the growing conditions. With a new understanding of the chemical mechanisms involved in arsenic uptake by plant seeds, developing new rice strains resistant to arsenic accumulation may be possible.
Scientists discover how arsenic builds up in plant seeds

January 26, 2016
Gluten Introduction to Infants: An updated and thorough review of research on when to introduce gluten-containing grains like wheat into the diets of infants concluded that early introduction of gluten into the infant diet (4 to 6 months of age) does not increase the risk of celiac disease. Their analysis, however, indicated that later introduction of gluten (after 6 months of age) was associated with increased risk of celiac disease.
New guidelines reverse previous recommendations on gluten introduction to prevent celiac disease

March 25, 2016
Star Fruit and Kidneys: Star fruit toxicity (due to high oxalic acid content) has been well documented in those with impaired kidney function. More recent research presents two cases of star fruit toxicity due to high star fruit consumption in people with apparently normal kidney function. Like everything, it's the dose that makes the poison. To reduce the toxicity of star fruit, you can decrease the absorption of the oxalic acid in star fruit by consuming it with a high calcium food like yogurt.
Oxalic acid in star fruit can kill kidney patients

March 29, 2016
Fresh Vegetable Virus Contamination: Frequently, there have been reports about various types of produce being contaminated with viruses that cause food borne illness. A recent study a rotavirus found that plant surfaces with more natural waxes are less likely to allow viral adhesion to the food. Washing the produce helps to reduce the virus, but does not eliminate it.
Microscopic structures of vegetable surfaces contribute to foodborne illness

April 5, 2016
Arsenic in Baby Food: Rice is a grain that can accumulate too much arsenic if it is grown in high arsenic soil and/or water. Consequently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set maximum allowable limits for the arsenic content of infant rice cereals.
Infant rice cereal has inorganic arsenic. The FDA wants to limit it.

May 23, 2016
Gluten-free for Kids: Gluten-free foods are very important for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. However, there is a trend to think that foods containing gluten are bad for you and some parents with good intentions feed their children a gluten-free diet. This can lead to a diet that is less nutritious unless nutritionally comparable foods fill in the gaps left by removing gluten-containing foods.
Is a gluten-free diet really good for children?

June 21, 2016
Food Safety: Detecting the presence of pathogenic microorganisms in foods is generally a complex and time-consuming process. However, new techniques in nano-technology have developed a molecule that can be used to detect the presence of a disease-causing strain of E. coli in food. This may lead to the development of a simple hand-held device to monitor food safety on the spot.
Food pathogen detection via handheld 'nanoflower' biosensor

June 25, 2016
Fresh Produce and Food Safety: All foods have the potential to cause foodborne illness. Even fresh produce needs to be handled, stored, and prepared safely to obtain essential nutrients with minimal risk of illness.
Reducing Risk of Getting a Foodborne Illness from Fresh Produce

July 17, 2016
Risks of Too Much Tea? Green tea is widely extolled for its beneficial content of polyphenols that are linked to reduced chronic disease risks. However, consuming too much tea (green or black) also can potentially supply excessive amounts of aluminum and fluoride.
The dark side of healthful 'superfoods'

August 4, 2016
Non-Celiac Wheat Sensitivity: Celiac disease and wheat allergy are well studied medical conditions that are caused by gluten and/or other components in grains like wheat, rye, or barley. However, many people have been found to react adversely to wheat even though they do not fit the diagnostic criteria for celiac disease or wheat allergy. Researchers are now finding new measures to diagnose non-celiac wheat sensitivity.
Is Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity Real?

August 8, 2016
Food Allergies in Siblings: Parents of children with food allergies often are concerned that the child's siblings also will develop allergies. A study of over 1100 children with food allergies found that their siblings were not at significantly increased risk for developing food allergies.
Most siblings of food allergic kids do not have food allergy

August 9, 2016
Energy Drinks and Heart Function: A new case study presented another case of high caffeine energy drink consumption triggering an overly rapid heart rate combined with an abnormal heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation). This and other case reports are increasingly suggestive that excessive energy drink consumption can adversely affect heart function in some people.
Cardiac complications from energy drinks? Case report adds new evidence

August 18, 2016
Raw Food & Hepatitis A: Raw fish and shellfish are popular ingredients in Asian/Pacific foods such as sushi. However, there are certain risks to consuming raw seafood. Recently, a hepatitis A outbreak in Honolulu was linked to consuming raw scallops as a sushi ingredient.
Hawaii authorities urge awareness of raw food risk

August 30, 2016
Shark and neurotoxins: Shark meat and fins from 10 shark species contained both mercury and a cyanobacterial toxin (BMAA) that are both linked to neurodegenerative diseases. In combination, these two neurotoxins are thought to be synergistic with the combination of them being more toxic than either alone.
Shark fins and meat contain high levels of neurotoxins linked to Alzheimer's disease

September 8, 2016
Gluten-free Diets: A new study indicates that although celiac disease has not increased during recent years, the number of people consuming gluten-free diets has increased substantially. This could be related to an increase in the proposed condition called non-celiac gluten sensitivity and/or simply due to gluten-free foods being considered to be more healthy but some people. At least the increased demand for gluten-free foods will make life a bit easier for those with true celiac disease.
Prevalence of celiac appears steady but followers of gluten-free diet increase

September 22, 2016
The Five-second Rule: Finally, a well designed study tested the popular 'five-second rule.' They found that the amount of bacteria picked up by the food dropped onto a surface did vary somewhat with the type of food. However, bacteria were transferred from the surface to the food virtually instantaneously in less than a second. Of course, how risky it is to consume dropped food depends on what types of bacteria are present on the floor.
Researchers debunk 'five-second rule': Eating food off the floor isn't safe. Sometimes bacteria transfer in less than a second

September 23, 2016
Allergenic Foods and Infants: Eggs and peanuts are among the foods that commonly trigger allergic reactions. A new systematic review of research on this topic indicates that early introduction of eggs (at 4 to 6 months of age) or peanuts (at 4 to 11 months of age) to the infant diet is associated with lower risk of developing allergies to these foods. Although these researchers were not ready to make strong recommendations, their results do not support the concept that there should be a delay in introducing these foods.
Feeding babies egg and peanut may prevent food allergy, study suggests

September 28, 2016
Peanut Allergy: A study conducted with mice found that peanut extracts from dry roasted peanuts triggered allergic reactions more than extracts from raw peanuts. The researchers think this may be due to compounds that form at the high temperatures used for dry roasting. They speculate that boiled or fried peanuts may not be as likely to trigger allergies.
Dry roasting could help trigger peanut allergy

October 5, 2016
Matcha Tea: Tea is promoted for a number of potentially associated health benefits. However, do not equate matcha tea (finely ground green tea leaf) with the usual brewed teas. Matcha teas are prepared so that the whole leaf is consumed, not just the liquid infusion of the tea leaves. This greatly increases the intake of aluminum and manganese that are both neuro-toxic when consumed at high levels.
Japan's matcha tea brews up in US

October 21, 2016
TMAO and Meat: The consumer article below and the spokesman commenting in the article for the American Heart Association are both scientifically off base. Due to associations observed between urinary levels of a compound called TMAO and cardiovascular disease, they recommend avoiding red meat. Although there may be reasons to not over-consume red meat, this is not one of them. To avoid confusion it is helpful to go back to original research articles like the one at the link below. It states, "Of 46 different foods investigated, only fish and other sea-products gave rise to significant increases in urinary trimethylamine and N-oxide (TMAO). Ingestion of fruits, vegetables, cereal and dairy produce, and meats had no measurable effects."
Digestive Byproduct Tied to Meat Raises Risks for Some Heart Patients

October 22, 2016
Sprouts and Health: Like other types of produce, fresh sprouts, including organic sprouts, may become contaminated by pathogenic microorganisms. Individuals with compromised immune systems can still enjoy sprouts if they are cooked before eating.
Sprouts: What You Should Know

November 12, 2016
Food Allergies Misidentification: True food allergies can be life threatening, but it is important to know that in a controlled clinical setting, almost 90% of children previously diagnosed with food allergies actually were not allergic to the supposedly offending foods when tested with an oral food challenge test.
Study suggests over-diagnosis of food allergy in children

November 14, 2016
Licorice and Sex Hormones: A natural compound in licorice (called iso for isoliquiritigenin) has been shown to reduce estrogen production in female mice. Licorice root extract is a common ingredient in herbal supplements and purified iso supplements also are available. Women, especially, should be cautious about ongoing use of products containing these substances until appropriate human research can be conducted.
Licorice compound interferes with sex hormones in ovary

November 16, 2016
Food Safety: Cooking shows on television have the forum to model good food safety behavior. Unfortunately, a new study found that most shows frequently overlook basic food safety practices. This may put their viewers at risk of food illness and may put the show at a liability risk should viewers get sick from following the show's directions.
Television cooking shows overlook safe food handling practices

November 22, 2016
Salad Safety: Just like grinding up beef into hamburger increases the surface area for microbial contact and makes hamburger less safe than steak, a new study shows that the convenience of precut salad greens comes with some increase in risk of microbial contamination.
Precut salad may encourage growth of salmonella

January 9, 2017
Infant Peanut Introduction: Finally some good science supports reliable recommendations for when to introduce peanuts into an infant's diet. The new guidelines recommend not waiting too long and and introducing peanut-containing foods into the diets of babies as early as 4 to 6 months of age. However, children known to have other allergies, such as egg white allergy, should be evaluated by an allergy specialist before introducing peanuts.
New Guidelines Tell Parents When To Introduce Babies To Peanut Products

January 19, 2017
Fish Categories for Safer Consumption: Because of previous concerns about mercury in fish, many have decreased fish consumption. Now, a new guideline divides the fish into three categories based on mercury content: best, good, and avoid. This guideline does allow more informed choice flexibility, but it does not address which fish options are also good sources of the fatty acid DHA needed especially for brain and retinal health. In addition, the ranking does not consider other toxic minerals such as cadmium that often is high in shellfish like whole clams.
FDA Offers Guidance on Fish Intake for Kids, Pregnant Women

January 20, 2017
Food Allergy: A new 500-plus page document was published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine with the long title, Finding a path to safety in food allergy: Assessment of the global burden, causes, prevention, management, and public policy. The report stresses that there is much to learn about food allergies, but what we do know is not translated well into current practice for diagnosis, prevention, and management of the related conditions. For proper diagnosis, they stress that the gold standard diagnostic test is the oral food challenge under medical supervision and that health care professionals should abandon many unproven tests, such as applied kinesiology, immunoglobulin G panels, and electrodermal testing.
Public, doctors alike confused about food allergies

February 1, 2017
Lychee (Litchi) Fruit Toxin: A seasonal, sometimes fatal, disease in children has been occurring for decades in the Muzaffarpur district in north-eastern India. Finally, researchers have identified the cause - eating the seasonal fresh lychee fruit without an evening meal. The fresh lychee fruit contains two hypoglycemic compounds that can cause blood sugar to plummet to dangerously low levels.
Dangerous Fruit: Mystery of Deadly Outbreaks in India Is Solved

February 3, 2017
Hydrogen Peroxide Toxicity: Common household grade hydrogen peroxide is rather safe as it is typically used. However more concentrated versions consumed orally, as promoted by some alternative health practitioners, have been documented to produce oxygen bubbles in the blood and cause embolisms (blockage of blood flow) much the same as nitrogen gas does when deep sea divers get the bends. This has killed some people and permanently impaired others.
A swig of hydrogen peroxide — a supplement promoted by alternative-health devotees — can kill you

February 15, 2017
Gluten-free Risks and Benefits: Lately, gluten-free has become a marketing tool for many products and people often equate gluten-free with "healthy." However, the evidence for any benefit from a gluten-free diet applies only to those with celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and wheat allergy. When any major food type is removed from the diet, other foods must fill the gap. This can increase the risk of nutrient inadequacy and excess intake of toxic substances.
The gluten-free diet in children: Do the risks outweigh the benefits?

February 18, 2017
Honey Issues: Infants are susceptible to having Clostridium botulinum bacteria thrive in their immature intestine, poisoning them from within. This is why infants should never be fed honey. This concentrated sugar food can harbor the dormant spore form of this bacteria. Fortunately, honey is safe for older children and adults.
Err on the side of caution when it comes to botulism

March 25, 2017
Mercury and Fish Safety: A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that the levels of mercury consumed in fish do not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in adults. This was based on two major studies with a total of over 170,000 participants.
Study finds no association between mercury exposure and risk of cardiovascular disease

April 5, 2017
Recipe Books and Food Safety: Based on an evaluation of 1,497 recipes containing meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs, from 29 cookbooks that appeared on the New York Times best sellers list, don't expect to get food safety guidelines with these recipes. Only about five percent of the recipes contained positive food safety behavior messages.
Cookbooks give readers (mostly) bad advice on food safety

April 18, 2017
Nut Allergy: People who experience an allergic reaction to one type of nuts often are told that they are allergic to other types based on skin prick or blood tests (sensitivity tests). New research indicates that over half of the people with positive sensitivity tests are not allergic to other nuts when tested with oral consumption of the nuts. Oral food challenges with potentially allergenic foods should only be done under medical supervision.
Are tree nut allergies diagnosed too often?

April 26, 2017
Aflatoxin in Sunflower Seeds: The liver carcinogen aflatoxin is produced by a mold known to grow on crops like peanuts when the nuts do not get dried quickly enough. A new study conducted in Tanzania found that sunflower seeds also can carry high levels of aflatoxin.
Sunflower seeds traced as source of toxic mold, potent liver carcinogen

June 2, 2017
Food Allergy: Hospitalizations due to food allergy reactions have been on the rise in the U.S. during the past decade. Approximately four percent of Americans have a food allergy, with the most common food allergies being those due to shellfish, fruits or vegetables, dairy, and peanuts.
Nearly 4 Percent of Americans Suffer From Food Allergies

July 2, 2017
Cooked Food May Decrease Some Food Allergies: Food allergies are caused by an immune response to a normally harmless food protein. In some cases, cooking a food can change the chemical structure of the allergenic protein so that the cooked food does not cause an allergic response in an individual who is allergic to the raw food. Researchers have used cooked milk in foods to help children gradually decrease their milk allergy sensitivity.
Foods with baked milk may help build tolerance in children with dairy allergies, study suggests

July 5, 2017
Binge Drinking in Disabled College Students: Binge drinking is a relatively common risky behavior in college students. A survey of college students with disabilities found that they also commonly engage in binge drinking. Prevention programs need to include disabled students in their target population.
How serious is binge drinking among college students with disabilities?

July 25, 2017
Backyard Chickens and Salmonella: Chickens that are apparently healthy and clean can carry Salmonella bacteria that can be transferred to humans. After handling chickens and chicks and working in their environment, it is important to wash hands well with soap and water. Also, minimize contact between chickens and children. Eggs from free-range or backyard chickens may be more likely to carry Salmonella, so cook them well.
Backyard Chickens Sicken Hundreds with Salmonella (CDC)

August 19, 2017
Gluten Substitutes in Bread: The protein called gluten is what gives bread its springy and chewy texture. To make gluten-free bread products for those with gluten allergies, food scientists are finding that egg white protein can be a good substitute for gluten in some baked products.
Egg whites show gluten-free product potential: Study

August 22, 2017
Peanut Allergy: Researchers conducted a follow-up study on a placebo-controlled trial that combined a probiotic supplement with traces of peanut in an oral supplement. They found that the desensitization benefits in those that responded to the therapy were still present four years after the treatment.
Scientists tout positive findings in peanut allergy pill study

August 23, 2017
Microbial Contamination of Sprouts: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration conducted a study to determine how commonly sprouts are contaminated with Salmonella, Listeria, or E. coli O157:H7. After testing 14 different types of sprouts, they found bacterial contamination in three varieties of sprouts. One percent of the alfalfa sprouts samples contained Salmonella. About two percent of mung bean sprouts and just under seven percent of soy bean sprouts harbored Listeria. None of the sprouts had E. coli.
FDA Concludes Major Sampling Study of Sprouts

August 26, 2017
Coriander and Food Safety: Research has shown that the oil from the herb Coriander may help to prevent food-borne illnesses and even treat antibiotic-resistant infections.
Coriander Oil Could Tackle Food Poisoning and Drug-Resistant Infections

August 29, 2017
Food Allergies: Food allergies are not limited to people. Veterinarians are finding what appears to be an increasing incidence of food allergies in common companion animals. Allergy and food intolerance symptoms in animals are similar to those observed in people. This similarity may enhance the understanding of how allergies work.
Comparing food allergies:Animals and humans may have more in common than you think

October 21, 2017
Probiotics and Food Allergies: Food allergies are associated with a compromised cell-lining structure of the small intestine. Recent research in a mouse model found that feeding the animals kefir-cultured milk or soymilk reduced their allergic responses to a known allergen. Kefir is made from a traditional culture composed of both bacteria and yeast.
Kefir ingredients could help food allergies

October 28, 2017
Licorice and Health: With Halloween approaching, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that eating too much black licorice candy at once can be life-threatening. The compound glycyrrhizin present in most licorice can cause a drop in potassium levels in some people, leading to abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, edema (swelling), lethargy, and even congestive heart failure.
Black Licorice Halloween Hazard! Don't Eat Too Much Warns FDA

October 29, 2017
Spice Safety: Curcumin, the compound in turmeric that gives curry its yellow color, is showing promise for use in the treatment of inflammatory conditions such as tendinitis. However, people with low iron status should not use curcumin because it is a strong binder of iron and has the potential to further aggravate iron status.
Curry Spice Could Offer Treatment Hope for Tendinitis

November 2, 2017
Licorice Risk: According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, "If you’re 40 or older, eating 2 ounces of black licorice a day for at least two weeks could land you in the hospital with an irregular heart rhythm or arrhythmia." Black licorice contains the compound glycyrrhizin that can cause potassium levels in the body to fall and trigger abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, edema (swelling), lethargy, and congestive heart failure.
Black Licorice: Trick or Treat?

November 15, 2017
Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity: Some people who clearly do not have celiac disease still experience adverse reactions to wheat consumption. New research on people diagnosed with Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity reports that the gluten in wheat does not appear to be the offending component. Rather, there are compounds called fructans in wheat (and many other foods) that are more likely causing the intestinal problems reported by people with Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity.
Your 'Gluten Sensitivity' Could Be Explained by Something Else Found in Wheat

November 27, 2017
E. coli in Flour: Generally, low-moisture foods like flour are unlikely to harbor pathogenic bacteria. However, some new research identified a strain of E. coli bacteria present in uncooked flour that sent several dozen people to the hospital. Although contamination of flour with this bacteria may not be common, it is safest to not consume uncooked or under-cooked foods made with flour.
Avoid an E. Coli Infection From Flour

December 1, 2017
Allergenic Foods During Pregnancy and Lactation: New research in mice supports recent guidance that women should not avoid allergenic foods while they are pregnant or breastfeeding. This research specifically studied the consumption of eggs and found that offspring were more likely to have egg allergies when their mothers did not consume eggs during pregnancy or lactation.
Proteins in breastmilk protect offspring against food allergy

December 10, 2017
Cookies vs Cookie Dough: Perhaps you have eaten raw cookie dough with no problem. However, it wasn't without risk. Even the store-bought, ready-to-bake cookie dough has caused food borne illness. To eliminate risk, enjoy the dough in its cookie form. That's why they are called cookies instead of doughies.
Beware of Raw Cookie Dough

December 21, 2017
Multiple Food Allergy Desensitization: When children have allergies to more than one food, it can be very difficult to provide a safe food environment. Treatment typically involves immunotherapy that exposes the allergic child to tiny amounts of the offending foods, gradually increasing the dose until the child can tolerate normal amounts of the food. A new study found that concurrent treatment with the asthma drug omalizumab (Xolair) appeared to speed up the desensitization process.
New Hope for Kids With Multiple Food Allergies

December 27, 2017
Food Poisoning and Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Epidemiology studies have linked repeated food poisoning to an increased risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Using a mouse model, researchers found that even repeated minor bacterial infections can add up with age to cause irreversible inflammatory disease that affects small intestinal function and leads to lower intestinal inflammation (colitis).
Gut reaction: Repeated mild food poisoning triggers chronic disease

February 13, 2018
Milk Allergy: New research indicates that a protein in milk known to trigger allergic responses in some people looses its allergenicity when it forms a complex with the retinoic acid form of vitamin A. It appears that this must be accomplished by feeding cows a diet with more beta-carotene - grass, alfalfa, etc.
Vitamin A in cattle fodder is potentially protecting against cow's milk allergy

March 15, 2018
Heavy Metal Removal from Water: Scientists have developed a new material and process that removes heavy metals like lead and mercury from water very efficiently and quickly. This new process is likely adaptable for in-home use on a small scale and for much larger scale use such as treating wastewater.
Removing Heavy Metals From Water

April 16, 2018
Food Allergy Prevention in Infants: New research indicates that multiple factors early in life contribute to increased risk of food allergies developing in children. The initial triggering of an allergic response is likely due to skin exposure to food substances (from the hands of care-givers) in genetically susceptible children. The risk of allergen penetration of the skin is further increased by the use of infant wipes that remove skin oils and leave a soap-like residue on the skin.
Food allergy linked to skin exposure and genetics, study finds

April 17, 2018
Chili Peppers and Headache: Most of the time, the effects of consuming chili peppers that are too hot is temporary pain and discomfort. However, a new case study describes severe, short duration, repetitive headaches (called thunderclap headaches) in a man who consumed one Carolina Reaper pepper in a hot pepper eating contest.
A Competitive Eater Suffered a Rare 'Thunderclap' Headache Brought on by the World's Hottest Chili Pepper

April 21, 2018
Increasing food safety: E. coli bacteria in drinking water can be greatly reduced by exposing clear plastic bottles of water to direct sunlight for at least 6 hours. Adding a twist of lime to the water reduced the needed sun exposure time to 30 minutes. This method, however, did not significantly reduce the levels of a murine norovirus.
Sunlight plus lime juice makes drinking water safer

June 16, 2018
B12 Myth: Claims have been made that a common form of vitamin B12 called cyanocobalamin can be toxic at high doses because cyanide is released from the molecule. This concern is an urban myth that was disproved long ago. Cyanide is released from the vitamin, but the amount is about 1000 times less than the amount that would be toxic.
Is the cyanocobalamin for of B-12 dangerous?