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June 2005 Feingold Email Newsletter
Dear Feingold Association Members & Friends,



According to the Natural Health Information Centre, the FDA is again furthering its policy of supporting the pharmaceutical industry by limiting our freedom of access to nutritional products.

While the Feingold Program does not require or promote the use of vitamins or supplements, we do maintain a list of those which meet our guidelines since we know that many of our members use them. And when you visit you will see that the research supports the use of these and other alternative treatments in addition to diet for relief of numerous chronic problems.

See more information with email links to write a letter to your congressman and senator, if you like.

Here is a peek at some of the articles that will be appearing in the June issue of PURE FACTS, the newsletter of the Feingold Association: If you have let your subscription lapse, renew it now at

  • New study links nutrition to behavior and learning
    British researchers have again shown that children who have a diet deficient in important fatty acids are more likely to have symptoms of various behavior and learning disorders.

  • Help! We're on Stage One ... and we're Italian!
    Life without tomatoes can be hard for many families, even if it's only for a few weeks. See this article for help.

  • The fight for your health dollars
    Information you need about what is no less than a war to determine who is in charge of our health.

  • Ear infections:
    Alarming new information about the vaccine Prevnar, and the commonly-used antibiotic Augmentin.

One of our members wrote asking if cigarettes may contain salicylate, as she was trying to unravel a problem her now-smoking son was having. This lead to some research on-line and some surprising discoveries.

The menthol in a menthol cigarette does not necessarily contain any salicylate, depending on whether it is made from real mint or in the lab as a petrochemical (cheaper and without any salicylate contaminant). As far as Feingold members are concerned, however, the type of salicylate compound in mint itself is not usually a problem (mint can be used on Stage One) while the petrochemical-related contaminants are more likely to be a problem.

However, the cigarette itself does contain several kinds of salicylate compounds. See this interesting web page called What is in a Cigarette? which was made by school children, or see the list on the BBC website listing all the additives used in cigarettes, but trying to make them appear harmless by listing also other places they can be found. Certainly one would not expect raisin extract to be harmful -- in a raisin -- but what happens when you burn it and inhale it? Find out more about the so-called "natural cigarette" also called a "bidi" which are becoming alarmingly popular with teens.

Back to salicylates, in the big list of chemicals used in cigarettes, you will find:

  • benzyl salicylate
  • ethyl salicylate
  • isobutyl salicylate
  • methyl salicylate
  • phenethyl salicylate
  • salicylaldehyde

Moreover, there are other salicylate-containing additives that may surprise you:

  • apple juice concentrate, extract, and skins
  • apricot extract and apricot juice concentrate
  • black currant buds absolute
  • cherry bark extract
  • grape juice concentrate
  • orange oil and extract
  • plum juice
  • prune juice concentrate
  • raisin juice concentrate
  • tea leaf extract
  • wine and wine sherry

For those who must avoid gluten, you should be aware that cigarettes may contain WHEAT extract and FLOUR.

Other flavoring additives used in cigarettes include chocolate, cinnamon, and rum. Again, while these are used often in foods, what does it do to your lungs when burned and inhaled? Apparently this question is not considered important by those who manufacture cigarettes.

If your child is exposed to second-hand smoke, it is possible that it may affect his ability to benefit from the Feingold Program. If you have had any such reaction that you would like to report, feel free to email me by return.

On the other hand, the nicotine in cigarettes -- while itself a potent poison -- has the advantage of first stimulating and then blocking the nicotinic nerves. For people with ADHD or other disorders of attention, who cannot easily block out background "noise," it seems to normalize their hearing, according to a textbook on "Drugs and Human Behavior." Heavy smoking, then, by people with ADHD may be a form of self-medicating. But surely there is a safer solution!

Somehow, it seems unlikely that all these additives were used by the American Indians in their Peace Pipes.

Using the Feingold Program probably won't make it easier to quit smoking, but it should help the underlying ADHD in such a case. Alternatively, cigarettes and second-hand smoke may block a response to the Program, depending on individual sensitivity.

BHA and BHT are two petroleum-based antioxidants used extensively in the food industry. The Feingold Program eliminates them (as well as TBHQ, one of the metabolites of BHT and also used itself as a preservative) because of behavior/learning problems. However, it is always interesting to learn more about the other effects of these chemicals.

An interesting article published in "Food Antioxidants: Technological, Toxicological, and Health Perspectives" gives us the following information:


  • Rats given BHA grew less well, with enlarged kidneys and livers, and changed enzyme levels.

  • BHA remains in humans longer than in rats, so that much lower doses were required to produce a given plasma level in humans.

  • On high dose BHA, almost all the rats developed cancer, and at a lower dose they had an abnormal increase in the number of cells of their forestomach. A different rodent, without a forestomach, did not develop cancer; they all died of hemorrhage of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. In similar tests on monkeys, dogs, and pigs, their livers enlarged, and there were changes in the cells of the esophagus.

  • BHA also increased the cancer-causing effects of other chemicals tested on the animals.

  • BHA also causes some behavior abnormalities in mice, such as increased activity, decreased sleeping, and slower learning. A decrease in serotonin levels is reported, and serotonin is an important neurotransmitter which is generally lower in children with ADHD.


BHT stays in the body longer than BHA, especially in the liver and body fat, taking many days to be completely eliminated. Again, tissue retention was greater in humans than in rats. Animals given BHT showed the following abnormalities:

  • increased cholesterol
  • lower growth rate
  • increased liver weight
  • changes in various enzymes and liver cells
  • bleeding in the lungs and other organs.

BHT caused damage to the lungs, especially if another "stresser" chemical was also present. This is important, because it is rare that chemicals are studied in combination, even though that is how we get them in the "real world."

Although earlier studies of rats given BHT did not show cancer, a two-generation study did. Both males and females of the second generation had significantly increased tumors. Interestingly, BHT protected against some types of cancer-causing chemicals, while promoting the carcinogenic effect of other chemicals.

A study released in May by Britain's Oxford University found that children whose diets are full of the wrong fats may be suffering educationally and physically. Here is an article published in the Gulf Daily News, an online news source from the Middle East. Diet-induced behavioral problems is a world-wide issue. See the whole article

We were recently distressed to have to announce that the Miss Roben's company had informed us that their Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix was found to contains artificial vanillin and had to be removed from your Foodlist & Shopping Guide. Miss Roben's has now changed suppliers and their chocolate chip cookies are again acceptable on the Feingold Program -- See these and other products at their website.

We recently had to send out a Product Alert to members that the Comet Sugar Cones are no longer acceptable because they now contain artificial flavor.

We have been asked by some members to provide a contact number you can call if you are distressed at losing this popular product, especially at the beginning of summertime ice cream season. When we had trouble getting Trader Joe's to fill out our forms, many of you called them and your calls really had clout! Now let's have a go at the big guys: The Comet ice cream cones are made by Nabisco, which is owned by Kraft, which is owned by Phillip-Morris Tobacco.

Here is the phone number:    (800) 323-0768

Saturday, August 27, 2005, The Great Plains Laboratory and New Beginnings Nutritionals will sponsor an all-day conference for the Atlanta area at the Simpsonwood Conference Center in Norcross, Georgia. It will be called "A Comprehensive Approach to Healing and Recovery ... Autism, PDD, and AD(H)D" and presented by physicians, top researchers, and parents. I will be there as a speaker as well as host of the Feingold Association's table for information.

See their brochure with all information, prices, etc.

Dr. Rachel West and the Great Plains Laboratory are planning an Outreach Clinic for August 28, 2005, in Atlanta, Georgia, for children with Autism, PDD, ADHD, and other behavior disorders. See more information.

Those of you lucky enough to live near a Whole Foods Market can buy an all-natural decorated cake for the holiday, but for those of you who plan to bake your own, you can buy food colors (including blue!) from the Squirrel's Nest or from Miss Roben's.

Or you can bake a sheet cake from your favorite recipe and frost with white frosting using your favorite frosting recipe including pure vanilla flavoring. Then decorate the top as an American flag, using sliced strawberries for the red stripes and fresh blueberries for the blue rectangle of stars. Because of the fruit decorations, this is a Stage Two cake; if you have Stage One people in your house, leave some white space to the right beyond the edge of the "flag" .... if you like, decorate that edge or perhaps all the sides of the cake with kiwi fruit slices (kiwi is OK on Stage One). Alternatively, you could make your red stripes with watermelon strips. Be creative. Or -- instead of reproducing the flag, just write "JULY 4" on the cake in chocolate frosting or pink frosting (using beet juice from canned beets in your frosting recipe), and surround with "fireworks" of Sunspire candies or Let's Do Organic Confetti sprinkles (both are Stage One and found in most health food stores).

Have a safe holiday,