Archive | August, 2008

MAPLE LEAF Products Recalled

25 Aug
In one of the most massive recalls ever in Canada Maple Leaf has been plunged into a nightmare and I am sure will cost this company dearly for the harm  including deaths it has caused many of its customers.

It’s a wake up call for those of us who depend on ready cooked meals. This could happen to any product that is prepared in bulk for us. 

Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may cause listeriosis, a foodborne illness. Elderly, the very young, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk.
    This outbreak apparently started in June but the effects are now felt as more and more people are becoming ill with similar symptoms.
 The Company has initiated a voluntary recall of the under-mentioned products, and as a precautionary measure expanded the recall to include all products produced on the two manufacturing lines involved from June 2nd (the earliest affected production date) to present. The Company is also temporarily closing the plant in order to fully reassess all aspects of its food safety procedures at this facility, including supplementary sanitation of equipment and validation of our testing protocols.
Sure Slice Roast Beef and Sure Slice Corned Beef products were involved in a recall announced on Sunday, August 17. Additional products now being recalled include the following, and were largely distributed to foodservice institutions such as restaurants, hospitals and nursing homes and may also be sold at deli counters supplied by foodservice distributors. The retail products affected were distributed nationally.
The products being recalled all carry Establishment No. 97B and have a best before date up to and including those identified in the table below.
                                                                   Up to and
    Product                                          Package     Best Before
     Code     Description                               Size            Date
    26365     Sliced Cooked Turkey Breast              470 g           SE 30
    02106     Schneiders Bavarian Smokies               1 kg           OC 28
    02126     Schneiders Cheddar Smokies                1 kg           OC 28
    21333     Sure Slice Roast Beef                     1 kg           SE 30
    21388     Sure Slice Combo Pack                     1 kg           SE 30
    60243     Deli Gourmet Roast Beef slices            1 kg           SE 30
    02356     Seasoned Cooked Roast Beef               500 g           OC 07
    42706     Roast Beef, Seasoned and Cooked          500 g           OC 07
    21334     Sure Slice Turkey Breast Roast            1 kg           OC 14
    21444     Sure Slice Corned Beef                    1 kg           OC 14
    44938     Montreal Style Corned Beef               500 g           OC 14
    21440     Sure Slice Black Forest Style Ham         1 kg           OC 21
    21447     Sure Slice Salami                         1 kg           OC 21
    21331     Sure Slice Smoked Ham                     1 kg           OC 21
    48019     Schneiders Deli Shaved Corned Beef       200 g           OC 21
    48020     Schneiders Deli Shaved Smoked Meat       200 g           OC 21
    48016     Schneiders Deli Shaved Smoked Ham        200 g           OC 21
    48018     Schneiders Deli Shaved Smoked Turkey
               Breast                                  150 g           OC 21
    48017     Schneiders Deli Shaved Fully Cooked
               Smoked Honey Ham                        200 g           OC 21
    21360     Burns Bites Pepperoni                    500 g        09 JA 01
    99158     Turkey Breast Roast                       1 kg           SE 30
    71330     Roast Beef Cooked, Seasoned             2.5 kg           SE 30
    71331     Corned Beef, Smoked Meat                2.5 kg           SE 30

Recent Research interesting findings

12 Aug

1.  Running on a regular basis can slow the effects of ageing, a study by US researchers shows.

Elderly joggers were half as likely to die prematurely from conditions like cancer than non-runners. They also enjoyed a healthier life with fewer disabilities, the Stanford University Medical Center team found. Experts said the findings in Archives of Internal Medicine reinforced the importance that older people exercise regularly.


2. Could Scientist be Closer to finding the Fountain of Youth?

Cell change ‘keeps organs young’ 


Researchers may have found a way to halt the biological clock which slows down our bodies over the decades.


A US team thinks it may have found the genetic levers to help boost a system vital to cleaning up faulty proteins within our cells.


The journal Nature Medicine reported that the livers of genetically-altered older mice worked as well as those in younger animals.


They suggested it might one day help people with progressive brain diseases.


  These results show it’s possible to correct this protein ‘logjam’ that occurs in our cells as we get older, thereby perhaps helping us to enjoy healthier lives well into old age

 The researchers, from Yeshiva University in New York, are focusing on a process which is central to the proper working of cells.


The fundamental chemicals of cells – proteins – often have very short working lives, and need to be cleared away and recycled as soon as possible.


The body has a system for doing just that, but it becomes progressively less efficient as we get older.


This leads to progressive falls in the function of major organs – the heart, liver and brain, some of which contribute to the diseases of old age.


3.  Fish is Good and getting better

Eating fish regularly could improve your mood according to recent studies.  Apparently the omega 3 in fish helps to produce this good feeling. Go ahead and fish for happiness. While the study suggested that omega-3s may promote structural improvement in areas of the brain related to mood and emotion regulation — the same areas where grey matter is reduced in people who have mood disorders such as major depressive disorder — more research is needed to determine whether fish consumption actually causes changes in the brain, researchers noted.


4. Regular eating time is encouraged for better health

Talking of eating and food, recent studies also  show that meals eaten at regular hours of the day reduces the risk of developing metabolic syndrome.

Those who are watching what they eat may want to shift their attention to the benefits of eating meals at regular hours.
According to researchers at the Karolinska Institute at the Swedish Medical University, people that eat at random hours of the day are more at risk for suffering from metabolic syndrome and developing glucose intolerance.
Metabolic syndrome is characterised by a waist size that is double than normal, arterial hypertension, hyperglycemia and a reduced level of HDL cholesterol. Basically, all the risk factors that lead to cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes are combined in one person.
To come to these conclusions, investigators observed 400 people over 60 years of age who were known to eat meals at irregular hours and skip their meals.
“Dietary advice is usually all about what kind of food we should eat,”  said Professor Mai-Lis Hellénius, who conducted the research. “But this study shows that the way in which we eat can also be an important health factor.”  

5. A new study shows a strong correlation between exercise and preventing dementia.

Health care professionals routinely encourage us to get out there and exercise. The benefits of an active lifestyle are legion — reduced weight, an efficient heart, healthy lungs and a general sense of well-being. New research is now suggesting that exercise during middle age may help stave off dementia, and may even be an important preventative measure against Alzheimer’s.


The study also noted that The study noted that those in middle age who exercised at least twice a week were 50 per cent less likely to develop dementia, and 60 per cent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those who did not exercise. These numbers show an astonishing distinction between physically active and sedentary individuals when it comes to brain health. And although more studies need to be conducted before this evidence becomes conclusive, there does seem to be a serious correlation between exercise and long-term brain health.



Chest pains and what they can mean

8 Aug

We all get chest pains every now and then. Because of the hyper vigilance and the information flow about symptoms of heart attack each pain should be taken seriously and watched closely to ensure you are not having a heart attack.

However, not all chest pains are heart attacks, some could be triggered by other conditions:  According to some information gleaned from Heart and Stroke Foundation of the US

Chest pain
As part of taking your medical history, the doctor will ask about chest pain in an effort to distinguish angina, the pain that occurs when the heart muscle is not getting enough blood through the coronary arteries, from a variety of other types of chest discomfort.

Angina usually has certain characteristics. Many people describe it as a pressure, heaviness, squeezing, or tightness in the chest. Others complain of burning or aching. Relatively few people describe the pain as sharp or stabbing. The symptom can be almost anywhere in the chest, but typically it feels like a deep central discomfort behind the breastbone. Many people with angina clench their fists in front of their chests when groping for words to describe their chest pain. People often report that the discomfort spreads to the shoulders, arms, neck, or jaw, and that it is accompanied by shortness of breath or sweating. Doctors call this pattern of pain “radiation.” 

Chest discomfort is unlikely to be angina if it is fleeting (comes and goes in a few seconds), sharp, or stabbing. Similarly, pain that’s limited to a small area (within a couple of inches) is probably not from the heart. For example, a pain that feels like a pencil being poked into the chest for an instant is likely to be a muscle spasm, not angina.

If the diagnosis is angina, the next step is to distinguish between stable and unstable angina.

Stable angina.
Chest pain that typically lasts 1 to 5 minutes and goes away quickly (within 15 minutes) when you rest or take medication is probably stable angina. This is a chronic condition and typically occurs in response to specific triggers, such as physical exertion, emotional stress, exposure to cold, or sexual activity. Stable angina is caused by plaque that partially obstructs blood flow. The condition requires medical treatment, but it is not a medical emergency.

Unstable angina. Chest pain that builds in intensity, lasts several minutes to hours, occurs or continues even while resting, and does not respond to medication may be unstable angina — a condition that is much more dangerous than stable angina. Both heart attacks and unstable angina occur when a plaque develops a tear or breaks, and both are classified as acute coronary syndromes, requiring immediate medical attention. (The difference between the two is one of degree: In unstable angina, the artery is partially blocked — although a full blockage could develop. In a heart attack, the artery is completely blocked.)

Other causes of chest pain.
Of course, the heart isn’t the only organ in the chest, and other medical problems can cause chest discomfort. For example, lung conditions such as pneumonia or blood clots in the vessels supplying the lungs tend to cause shortness of breath and sharp pains that intensify with a deep breath. Inflammation of the tissues around the heart (pericarditis) can cause a sharp pain that often worsens when you lie down. Arthritis and other injuries to the bones and tissues in the wall of the chest can mimic heart attacks.

Sometimes the problem originates in the gastrointestinal system. Chest discomfort can result when acid from the stomach flows up into the esophagus (such as occurs in reflux esophagitis) or when it causes damage to the stomach wall (as in the case of ulcer or gastritis). Gallstones can occasionally cause chest discomfort very similar to angina.


 Always take with an ounce of precaution. The information provided here is just to make people aware of their own health condition, not to diagnose yourself. See a doctor if you feel any kind of pain in your chest.  It is better to be safe than sorry.

Dieting? Fructose can be your biggest enemy

5 Aug


Limiting Fructose May Boost Weight Loss, Researcher Reports of the reasons people on low-carbohydrate diets may lose weight is that they reduce their intake of fructose, a type of sugar that can be made into body fat quickly. Fructose is perhaps best known for its presence in the sweetener called high-fructose corn syrup or HFCS, which is typically 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose, similar to the mix that can be found in fruits.

5 Aug

Extracted from Your Life in Your Hands, by Professor Jane Plant.
 I had no alternative but to die or to try to find a cure for myself. I am a scientist  surely there was a rational explanation for this cruel illness that affects one in 12women in the UK ?
 I had suffered the loss of one breast, and under gone radiotherapy. I was now receiving painful chemotherapy, and had been seen by some of the country’s most eminent specialists. But, deep down, I felt certain I was facing death. I had a loving husband, a beautiful home and two young children to care for. I  desperately wanted to live. Fortunately, this desire drove me to unearth the facts, some of which were known only to a handful of scientists at the time.
 Anyone who has come into contact with breast cancer will know that certain risk factors  such as increasing age, early onset of womanhood, late onset of menopause and a family history of breast cancer  are completely out of our control. But there are many risk factors, which we can control easily.

 My message is that even advanced breast cancer can be overcome because I have done it.
 The first clue to understanding what was promoting my breast cancer came when my husband Peter, who was also a scientist, arrived back from working in China while I was being  plugged in for a chemotherapy session.
 He had brought with him cards and letters, as well as some amazing herbal suppositories, sent by my friends and science colleagues in China .
 The suppositories were sent to me as a cure for breast cancer. Despite the awfulness of the situation, we both had a good belly laugh, and I remember saying that this was the treatment for breast cancer in China , then it was little wonder that Chinese women avoided getting the disease.
 Those words echoed in my mind. Why didn’t Chinese women in China get breast cancer? I had collaborated once with Chinese colleagues on a study of links between soil chemistry and disease, and I remembered some of the statistics.
 The disease was virtually nonexistent throughout the whole country. Only one in 10,000 women in China will die from it, compared to that terrible figure of one in 12 in  Britain and the even grimmer average of one in 10 across most Western countries. It is not just a matter of China being a more rural country, with less urban pollution. In highly urbanized Hong Kong , the rate rises to 34 women in every 10,000 but still puts the West to shame.
 The Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have similar rates. And remember, both cities were attacked with nuclear weapons, so in addition to the usual pollutionrelated cancers, one would also expect to find some radiationrelated cases, too.
 The conclusion we can draw from these statistics strikes you with some force. If a Western woman were to move to industrialized, irradiated Hiroshima , she would slash her risk of contracting breast cancer by half.
 Obviously this is absurd. It seemed obvious to me that some lifestyle factor not related to pollution, urbanization or the environment
 is seriously increasing the Western woman’s chance of contracting breast cancer.
 I then discovered that whatever causes the huge differences in breast cancer rates between oriental and Western countries, it isn’t genetic.
 Scientific research showed that when Chinese or Japanese people move to the West, within one or two generations their rates of breast cancer approach those of their host community.
 The same thing happens when oriental people adopt a completely Western lifestyle in Hong Kong . In fact, the slang name for breast cancer in China translates as ‘Rich Woman’s Disease’. This is because, in China , only the better off can afford to eat what is termed ‘ Hong Kong food’.
 The Chinese describe all Western food, including everything from ice cream and chocolate bars to spaghetti and feta cheese, as ‘Hong Kong food’, because of its availability in the  former British colony and its scarcity, in the past, in mainland China .
 So it made perfect sense to me that whatever was causing my breast cancer and the shockingly high incidence in this country generally, it was almost certainly something to do with our betteroff, middleclass, Western lifestyle. There is an important point for men here, too. I have observed in my research that much of the data about prostate cancer leads to similar conclusions.
 According to figures from the World Health Organization, the number of men contracting prostate cancer in rural China is negligible, only 0.5 men in every 100,000. In England , Scotland and Wales , however, this figure is 70 times higher. Like breast cancer, it is a middleclass disease that primarily attacks the wealthier and higher socioeconomic groups ¨C those that can afford to eat rich foods.
 I remember saying
 to my husband, ‘Come on Peter, you have just come back from China . What is it about the Chinese way of life that is so different?’
 Why don’t they get breast cancer?’
 We decided to utilize our joint scientific backgrounds and approach it logically.
 We examined scientific data that pointed us in the general direction of fats in diets. Researchers had discovered in the 1980s that only l4% of calories in the average Chinese diet were from fat, compared to almost 36% in the West.
 But the diet I had been living on for years before I contracted breast cancer was very low in fat and high in fiber. Besides, I knew as a scientist that fat intake in adults has not been shown to increase risk for breast cancer in most investigations that have followed large groups of women for up to a dozen years.
 Then one day something rather special happened. Peter and I have worked together so
 closely over the years that I am not sure which one of us first said: ‘The Chinese don’t eat dairy produce!’
 It is hard to explain to a nonscientist the sudden mental and emotional ‘buzz’ you get when you know you have had an important insight. It’s as if you have had a lot of pieces of a jigsaw in your mind, and suddenly, in a few seconds, they all fall into place and the whole picture is clear.
 Suddenly I recalled how many Chinese people were physically unable to tolerate milk, how the Chinese people I had worked with had always said that milk was only for babies, and how one of my close friends, who is of Chinese origin, always politely turned down the cheese course at dinner parties. I knew of no Chinese people who lived a traditional Chinese life who ever used cow or other dairy food to feed their babies. The tradition was to use a wet nurse but never,  ever, dairy products.
 Culturally, the Chinese find our Western preoccupation with milk and milk products very strange. I remember entertaining a large delegation of Chinese scientists shortly after the ending of the Cultural Revolution in the 1980s.
 On advice from the Foreign Office, we had asked the caterer to provide a pudding that contained a lot of ice cream. After inquiring what the pudding consisted of, all of the Chinese, including their interpreter, politely but firmly refused to eat it, and they could not be persuaded to change their minds.
 At the time we were all delighted and ate extra portions! Milk, I discovered, is one of the most common causes of food allergies . Over 70% of the world’s population are unable to digest the milk sugar, lactose, which has led nutritionists to believe that this is the normal condition for adults, not some sort of  deficiency.
 Perhaps nature is trying to tell us that we are eating the wrong food.
 Before I had breast cancer for the first time, I had eaten a lot of dairy produce, such as skimmed milk, lowfat cheese and yoghurt. I had used it as my main source of protein. I also ate cheap but lean minced beef, which I now realized was probably often groundup dairy cow.
 In order to cope with the chemotherapy I received for my fifth case of cancer, I had been eating organic yoghurts as a way of helping my digestive tract to recover and repopulate my gut with ‘good’ bacteria.
 Recently, I discovered that way back in 1989 yoghurt had been implicated in ovarian cancer . Dr Daniel Cramer of Harvard University studied hundreds of women with ovarian cancer, and had them record in detail what they normally ate. wish I’d been made aware of his findings when he had first discovered
 Following Peter’s and my insight into the Chinese diet, I decided to give up not just yoghurt but all dairy produce immediately. Cheese, butter, milk and yoghurt and anything else that contained dairy produce  it went down the sink or in the rubbish.
 It is surprising how many products, including commercial soups, biscuits and cakes, contain some form of dairy produce. Even many proprietary brands of margarine marketed as soya, sunflower or olive oil spreads can contain dairy produce. I therefore became an avid reader of the small print on food labels.
 Up to this point, I had been steadfastly measuring the progress of my fifth cancerous lump with calipers and plotting the results. Despite all the encouraging comments and positive feedback from my doctors and nurses, my own precise observations told me the bitter truth.
 My first chemotherapy sessions had  produced no effect the lump was still the same size.
 Then I eliminated dairy products. Within days, the lump started to shrink .
 About two weeks after my second chemotherapy session and one week after giving up dairy produce, the lump in my neck started to itch. Then it began to soften and to reduce in size. The line on the graph, which had shown no change, was now pointing downwards as the tumor got smaller and smaller.
 And, very significantly, I noted that instead of declining exponentially (a graceful curve) as cancer is meant to do, the tumor’s decrease in size was plotted on a straight line heading off the bottom of the graph, indicating a cure, not suppression (or remission) of the tumor.
 One Saturday afternoon after about six weeks of excluding all dairy produce from my diet, I practiced an hour of meditation then felt for what was left of the lump. I couldn’t
 find it. Yet I was very experienced at detecting cancerous lumps  I had discovered all five cancers on my own. I went downstairs and asked my husband to feel my neck. He could not find any trace of the lump either.
 On the following Thursday I was due to be seen by my cancer specialist at Charing Cross Hospital in London . He examined me thoroughly, especially my neck where the tumor had been. He was initially bemused and then delighted as he said, ‘I cannot find it.’
 None of my doctors, it appeared, had expected someone with my type and stage of cancer (which had clearly spread to the lymph system) to survive, let alone be so hale and hearty. My specialist was as overjoyed as I was. When I first discussed my ideas with him he was understandably skeptical. But I understand that he now uses maps showing cancer mortality in China in his lectures,  and recommends a nondairy diet to his cancer patients.
 I now believe that the link between dairy produce and breast cancer is similar to the link between smoking and lung cancer. I believe that identifying the link between breast cancer and dairy produce, and then developing a diet specifically targeted at maintaining the health of my breast and hormone system, cured me.
 It was difficult for me, as it may be for you, to accept that a substance as ‘natural’ as milk might have such ominous health implications. But I am a living proof that it works and, starting from tomorrow, I shall reveal the secrets of my revolutionary action plan.
 Extracted from Your Life in Your Hands, by Professor Jane Plant. Have A Great Day!
  Check out the website for more information.

As usual, the above is only sharing information. I always advise people to take what you need and leave the rest. Take everything with a grain of salt. But for those who are suffering from Breast Cancer and desperately trying to find ways to stay alive, it will not hurt you if you cut out dairy from your diet. There are other ways of getting calcium such as fish, vegetables and some nuts.
This information came in my email today and I thought it is good to share.

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