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September 2009 Feingold Email Newsletter
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Dear Feingold Association Members & Friends,

Pure Facts

Too fast, too slow; too loud, too quiet; too aggressive, too reserved -- how to tell if your child is suffering from Sensory Processing Disorder, and where you can find help.

The ally at your child's school -- there might be an adult in your child's life who can be a powerful influence in supporting his diet.

Looking for a Science Fair project? Would your child like to show the experts where they went wrong in their studies? Here's an interesting new approach (and it does not involve mice).

Halloween Candy -- it's not totally useless after all!

We are in the process of upgrading our eNews software, so your next one (hopefully) will include pictures, formatting, etc.

Probiotics - the microscopic good guys

Medscape August 12, 2009:

With all the hype about the upcoming flu epidemic, and the pros and cons of vaccination, how can we protect our children and ourselves?

According to the results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled study reported in the August issue of PEDIATRICS, probiotics may be useful to prevent cold and influenza-like symptoms in children.

Of 326 healthy children three to five years old, 104 were randomly assigned to receive placebo, 110 received _Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM_ and 112 received a combination of _L acidophilus NCFM_ and _Bifidobacterium animalis subsp lactis Bi-07_. The children were treated twice daily for 6 months.

Compared with the placebo group, the groups receiving single and combination probiotics fared significantly better in several ways.

The difference in rates of fever, coughing, etc. were compared with placebo:

Single probiotic:

Fever: 53% less
Coughing: 41.4% less
Rhinorrhea (runny nose): 28.2% less

Combination probiotics:

Fever: 72.7% less
Coughing: 62.1% less
Rhinorrhea: 58.8% less

Children who received the probiotic were sick for a shorter period of time - - 32% shorter with the single probiotic and 48% shorter with the combination.

Antibiotic use was 68.4% lower for the children who received the single probiotic and 84.2% lower for those getting the combination.

"Daily dietary probiotic supplementation for 6 months was a safe effective way to reduce fever, rhinorrhea, and cough incidence and duration and antibiotic prescription incidence, as well as the number of missed school days attributable to illness, for children 3 to 5 years of age," the study authors write. "No notable adverse events were attributed to study probiotic strains." Chicken crossing sea

We always recommend using fresh or frozen minimally processed chickens that have not been injected with additives or flavorings (often in the guise of "broth"). If you look carefully at some of the packaged chicken parts, you will see up to 15% injected water - even without other chemical additives, you are paying chicken prices for WATER. It just doesn't sound right. Another chemical you may see in the broth is phosphate. What is so interesting about phosphates is that they remove the calcium from your bones and could set you and your children up for increased risk of osteoporosis over time. As you read ingredient lists, you will find phosphates in an amazing amount of foods - including those you expect to be a good calcium source.

In researching this article I found a most interesting document giving information, history, and the actual opinions of the reviewers (page 14) during the decision-making discussion on permitting the use of phosphates.

chickens Meanwhile - back to the chickens. While melamine is not an additive we specifically eliminate, maybe it should be. It seems to be in an increasing number of foods, especially those imported from China. Some of its persistence in our food is secondary - as when it is found in the feed American animals eat. And then those animals are butchered and sold to us.

Remember the dog food recall? The dog food contained melamine and many dogs died terrible deaths. But why would anybody in their right mind add melamine to food? It's a plastic, right? True, but when food is tested to determine the protein content, the presence of melamine makes it appear to have more protein.

But what about the chickens? Oh yes, the chickens. It seems that Tyson and other large poultry processors want to begin to import the chickens that they sell us from China. Until the Chinese get a handle on their quality control .... and their melamine ... do we want Chinese chickens? If you vote no, you can tell Congress what you think here.


Now that school has started, and children are putting their heads together over their books, parents are beginning to get notes home about a dreaded pest - head lice. There are a number of treatments sold in stores for treatment of lice, and they all contain varying amounts of poisons intended to kill the little bugs. However, just the other day I met a gentleman who told me that his daughter had come home with lice. His wife treated her condition according to doctor's orders, including spraying the house with poisonous chemicals. As a result, his wife became so sick, she had to be admitted to the hospital.

Pesticides have evolved from the "nerve gasses" once used in warfare, and they are neurotoxic by their very nature. One of these chemicals used for lice treatment is called Lindane, a pesticide similar to the banned DDT. Lindane can be absorbed through the skin and cause damage to the nervous system, provoking seizures in sensitive people.

According to the September PURE FACTS, California has banned products with Lindane and the Los Angeles County Sanitation District says, "Lindane products such as shampoos and creams are rinsed off after use into the public sewers ... Lindane is toxic in the water in very small amounts. In fact, a single treatment of head lice or scabies with Lindane contains enough Lindane to pollute six million gallons of surface water ... the equivalent of 300 swimming pools." Lice R Gone

A safe, inexpensive alternative to Lindane is a shampoo called Lice R Gone. It uses enzymes to quickly get rid of both adult lice and nits (eggs). These enzymes are deadly to lice, but harmless to humans. You can find it at

One of our readers submitted some additional advice: She found that the application of olive oil & tea tree oil under a shower cap for a few hours (perhaps while watching a movie) or overnight is a great alternative treatment for head lice, and a lot less expensive than other treatments. She also suggests washing all the linens in the hottest possible water, adding a teaspoon or so of tea tree oil to the rinse water for good measure. The heat & soap are supposed to take care of the lice & nits.

Before using tea tree oil, it might be a good idea to apply a little bit on the inside of the elbow and wait several hours to test for sensitivity. Years ago I had bought some tea tree oil toothpaste and my daughter turned out to be allergic to it - the poor thing got a rash all around her mouth.

Apples and Honey

Here is some help for our new Jewish members experiencing their first Feingold (Stage One) Rosh Hashana holiday this year:

  • Honey is acceptable on Stage One

  • Instead of the sliced apples for dipping, use sliced hard pears. Pears that have red skins look even more like apples. If you slice them in advance, sprinkle a little lemon juice on them or dip them in an acidic solution to prevent discoloration. You can add some lemon juice to water or use some pineapple juice (Stage One).

  • Wine (Stage Two) is an important part of the holiday service, but children will be happy enough with anything bubbly in their glass. You might try diluting a little pomegranate juice with seltzer water. If that is hard to find (or if the bottled juice you find seems more brown than red) don't bother. If corn syrup is not a problem, you could use 7-Up. You can buy a similar soda without corn syrup at a Whole Foods Market if there is one in your area. Or you can mix your own drink with fruit juice and sparkling water. Lemonade with seltzer water will give a "white wine" effect.

  • Honey cake is traditional, but it seems to always require apple sauce or coffee in the recipes I have found. Personally, I never much liked it anyway, so our family always had banana bread instead. Most banana bread recipes would be acceptable on Stage One. If you are gluten-free, here is my recipe for sponge cake using potato flour.

    Round Challah

  • The Challah bread must be round, of course, to signify the circle of life and the circle of the year. You can ask your baker about the ingredients in the bread, the pan grease, and the glaze on top. Or you can bake your own, using any Challah bread recipe. You can also bake regular bread, just add some eggs instead of part of the liquid, using water instead of milk, and add extra sugar. But don't add raisins if you are on Stage One. If you really "must have" fruits in your bread, use cut up pieces of dates. Of course, you can make your challah as fancy as you like, but an easy way to make the basic round shape is to make a long snake and just curl it around on itself on the pan. Or just make a big ball and bake in a pie pan. Some egg yolk mixed with a bit of water can be brushed or spread (with fingers) over the top before baking for a pretty brown color. If you are gluten-free, you probably already use a recipe or a mix for gluten-free bread, so simply bake it in a round pan. I have never tried it but if you have, let me know how it works.

  • If you are having guests who may bring cookies or dessert items, here is a survival tip so you don't insult your guests or embarrass your child (or adult) on the Feingold diet: Select some special serving dishes in advance for guest offerings that are questionable, and let your family members know that anything put on "those" plates are not acceptable. The plates should be easily identified, such as a different color from other plates; the fancier the better, so your guests feel that their offerings are honored, but your sensitive family members know to keep their hands off.

  • If you have any other questions related to the holiday preparations, feel free to write me.