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Articles from 2000 In April

Supplement Scope - May 2000

Supplement Scope

Nutritional and exercise biochemist Anthony Almada reviews the research behind some of the latest products on the market. Do they stand up to their claims, is the product built on marketing rather than science, or is the jury still out?

Immune-Boosting Colostrum
The first fraction of mother's milk, called colostrum, is rich in immune-boosting antibodies, growth factors and protein hormones. Clinical studies have shown that specially produced bovine colostrum designed to contain high levels of antibodies is sometimes successful in treating infectious diarrhea and other gut infections. Animal studies suggest colostrum may reduce the GI damage associated with regular use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. And a recent human study hints at colostrum boosting memory, antioxidant function and immunity in the elderly. Furthermore, two studies on athletes point to anabolic hormone changes and increased performance. However, colostrum products vary widely in their composition and bioactivity, and large doses are required. Buyer beware: All colostrum products are not created equal.

Supreme Antioxidant Alpha-Lipoic Acid
Touted to be the supreme antioxidant, alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) can operate in concert with vitamins C (water soluble) and E (fat soluble). Much research has been dedicated to examining ALA's effects on diabetes, especially the nerve disease (neuropathy) accompanying the progression of diabetes. Although a lot of advertising and marketing has promoted the potential "insulin-boosting" action of ALA, very little evidence points to this effect in humans. Indeed, the minimum effective dose of ALA required to improve some aspects of diabetic symptoms is not cheap: 600 mg/day.

ALA is comprised of a pair of nearly identical molecules called isomers. New research indicates that the active half of ALA, the R isomer, may be far more effective than what is currently available. This super ALA loaded with R isomers may enable consumers to use a lower dose with potentially greater effects.

Rev up with Ribose
The carbohydrate D-Ribose is a sugar, but not of the super-sweet variety. A number of clinical studies have shown ribose to improve the efficiency of both heart muscle and skeletal muscle (such as biceps) in the presence of some diseases and/or genetic impairments. However, the recent excitement surrounding ribose has to do with the muscles we can see and feel during exercise.

To date, two studies using high doses of ribose (24-30 grams over a 24-hour period) hint at ribose revving up muscle performance. However, doses at this level are very expensive. No studies using "recommended doses" (1-5 grams/day) have yet been reported. A couple of "affordable dose" university studies are under way, with results expected this summer.

Human Growth Hormone
Human Growth Hormone (hGH) products have shot up in prominence over the last few years. The hope behind this hormone: the fountain of youth. Possibilities include increased leanness, strength and sleep as well as decreased body fat and lower cholesterol — without the side effects seen by injections of hGH (increased organ size, bone pain, diabetes-like changes in metabolism or even reduced resistance to infection). To date, however, the research to reinforce the claims is lacking. One homeopathic product has been subjected to a placebo-controlled clinical study, but the study itself was poorly designed, leaving the lingering question of efficacy unanswered. More studies on other hGH products are planned for this year.

Anthony Almada, M.Sc., is a nutritional and exercise biochemist who has collaborated on more than 45 university clinical trials. He is the co-founder of Experimental and Applied Sciences, Inc. (EAS) and founder and chief scientific officer of IMAGINutrition (

Delicious Living

May 1, 2000

Guide to Natural Cleaning Ingredients

Guide to Natural Cleaning Ingredients

Product Natural Ingredients To Look For What They Do Dishwashing liquid Vegetable-based surfactants, such as coconut oil and corn oil Renewable resources that don't irritate skin. Attract dirt and water to keep them from resettling on dishes. Scouring powder Sodium bicarbonate, feldspar Fancy names for baking soda and ground-up stone. Both are abrasive enough to remove caked-on dirt or grease. Glass and surface cleaner Acetic acid, lemon oil, orange oil Acetic acid is strong white vinegar, which helps break down dirt. Lemon and orange oils cut through grease because they contain d-limonene, a natural solvent. Oven cleaner Baking soda, salt, liquid soap Baking soda and salt scour. Soap loosens dirt. Tub and tile cleaner Sodium bicarbonate, sodium citrate, glycolic acid These sugar derivatives from plants break down dirt. Toilet cleaner Sodium citrate, vegetable-based surfactants A chelating ingredient that acts as a water softener by binding to heavy metals and rinsing them away. Laundry detergent Vegetable-based surfactants, zeolites Surfactants loosen dirt. Zeolites soften water and deodorize. Bleach Hydrogen peroxide, borax, sodium percarbonate Whiteners. Fabric softener Canola, soy or other vegetable-based oil Soften fibers. General purpose cleaner Vegetable-based surfactants, orange peel extract, grapefruit seed Orange peel cleans and deodorizes. Grapefruit seed controls mildew. Furniture polish Olive oil, lemon oil Seal wood and provide shine.

Supplements For Postpartum Complaints

Supplements For Postpartum Complaints

Giving birth can be both a joyous and stressful occasion. Elizabeth Burch, N.D., of the Eclectic Institute in Portland, Ore., offers the following suggestions to ease the transition into motherhood.

Afterpains — These are normal occurrences in the first few days following the birth as the uterus contracts to stop bleeding and return itself to a normal size and shape.

To ease afterpains, take calcium/magnesium supplements (1,000 mg of calcium, 500 mg of magnesium); crampbark or blackhaw tea — extract or capsules (follow label dosing instructions); valerian for sleeping problems.

Breast engorgement — Swollen, painful breasts the first 24 to 48 hours following birth are common as the body begins to produce breast milk.

Alleviate breast engorgement by nursing your baby every two to three hours during the first few days.

Milk flow problems — New mothers often struggle with breastfeeding initially, or they fear not being able to produce enough milk to meet their baby's needs.

To induce milk flow, relax and make yourself comfortable, drink plenty of noncaffeinated beverages, sip chamomile tea, continue taking prenatal vitamins and avoid excessive weight loss. Consult with a health care provider about the use of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecun), mother's milk tea or chaste tree berry (Vitex agnus castus).

Postpartum depression or "baby blues"— After birth, rapid changes in body chemistry can cause a woman to experience fatigue, crying, insomnia, anger or anxiety; typically resolves in two to three weeks.

Deal with depression by getting adequate rest and eating a healthy diet. Ask family members and friends for help; seek advice from your health care provider if not resolving.

Energy at any age

Diet, exercise and nutrition play an important role in energy levels, so be sure you're covering all your bases. This information is not meant as medical advice.

Energy SourceDaily IntakeAge Group
Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)100-200 milligrams (solid)all ages
B-vitamins500-1,000 milligramsall ages
Vitamin C500-1,000 milligrams (x3)all ages
Zinc25-50 milligramsall ages
Iron10-20 milligramspremenopausal women only
CoQ1050 to 100 milligrams50 and older
Grains6 to 11 servingsall ages
Vegetables3 to 5 servingsall ages
Fruit2 to 3 servingsall ages
Dairy products2 to 3 servingsall ages
Weight-resistance training3 days per week20-40+ as health allows
Exercise30 minutes a dayall age groups
Yogaonce per weekall ages
Reikionce per weekall ages

— Heather Graham

Sources: U.C. Center for Human Nutrition; Mayo Health Clinic; Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima) by Michael Murray, N.D. and Joseph Pizzorno, N.D.; The American Council on Exercise; The Herb Research Foundation.


Delicious Living

ARCHIVE: Crispy Baked Vegetables

Crispy Baked Vegetables
April, 2000

Serves 4 / When making this recipe, my girls helped with the dipping and shaking of their favorite veggies. Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 10 minutes

2 cups any fresh veggies (carrot, zucchini, red or green sweet pepper, broccoli or cauliflower)
1 egg
1/4 cup 2-percent low-fat milk
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Shake-it-Up Breading Mix
(Breading for 2 cups veggies or 1 pound chicken or fish fillets)
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking oil.
2. Cut carrot, zucchini and sweet pepper into 1/4-inch strips. Chop broccoli and cauliflower into florets.
3. Beat egg, milk and oil with a fork in a shallow dish. Combine breading mix ingredients in a bag; shake well and place in a separate dish.
4. Dip vegetables into egg mixture, then into breading mixture. Make sure to coat them well. Place on cookie sheet.
5. Repeat step 4 until all vegetables are coated. Bake 5 minutes.
6. Remove pan from oven and turn vegetables over with tongs or spatula. Return vegetables to oven and bake for another 5 minutes until vegetables are crisp and tender and the coating is golden brown. Remove and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Photography by Rita Maas

Calories 201,Fat 9,Perfat 38,Cholesterol 62,Carbo 22,Protein 9,Fiber N/A,Sodium N/A
Delicious Living

ARCHIVE: Sleeping Cannelloni

Sleeping Cannelloni
April, 2000

Serves 8 / This Italian classic adds a few decorative touches to give instant child appeal, and it cleverly disguises the spinach inside. Great for special occasions, as it does take a little longer to prepare and cook. Prep time: 35 minutes Cooking time: 45 minutes

1/2 pound frozen spinach
2 teaspoons butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, crushed
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon flour
1/3 cup low-fat milk
2 tablespoons evaporated skim milk
Salt and pepper to taste
8 cannelloni tubes

Cheese Sauce:
2 teaspoons butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups low-fat milk
1/2 cup part-skim cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

To Garnish:
Ready-made tomato sauce
8 sautéed mushrooms
Handful of grated cheddar cheese
8 black olives
Tiny green pepper bows and squares
Red pepper strips

1. Place the spinach in a pot without water. Cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, or according to package instructions. Squeeze out any excess water.
2. Melt the butter in a skillet, add the onion and garlic, and sauté until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Add flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the cooked spinach, stir in the milk and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat, stir in the evaporated skim milk, and season to taste.
3. Lightly grease an 8x10 ovenproof dish. Use a teaspoon to fill the cannelloni tubes with the stuffing, then arrange them in the dish in a single layer.
4. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a pan over low heat, add the flour and stir to make a paste. Cook gently for 2 minutes, then whisk in the milk and cook, stirring, until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in the cheese until melted. Add the mustard and season to taste.
5. Pour the sauce over the cannelloni. Transfer to the oven and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.
6. To decorate, use the tomato sauce to make a turned-down sheet and arrange the olives as feet (see photo). Make slits in the mushrooms, push in green pepper eyes and red pepper mouths, and use the grated cheese as hair, adding the green pepper bows.
Photography by Rita Maas

Calories 220,Fat 5,Perfat 22,Cholesterol 19,Carbo 33,Protein 10,Fiber N/A,Sodium N/A
Delicious Living

ARCHIVE: Steamed Tofu with Shrimp Mousse

Steamed Tofu with Shrimp Mousse
April, 2000

Serves 4 Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 10 minutes

1 package (16 ounces) soft tofu, drained
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 green onion (including top), chopped

Shrimp Mousse:
1/4 pound raw medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon chopped cilantro
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper

1. Chop the shrimp in a food processor. Add the remaining mousse ingredients and process until the shrimp are finely diced. Remove the shrimp mousse to a bowl and mix rapidly to incorporate air into the mixture.
2. Cut the block of tofu in half horizontally; cut each piece in half lengthwise, then crosswise, to make 8 equal pieces. Lay the tofu pieces side by side in a 9-inch glass pie pan or other heat-proof dish. Evenly spread shrimp mousse over each piece.
3. Place a steaming rack in a wok or saucepan. Add water to just below the level of the rack and bring to a boil. Place the dish on the rack; cover and steam until the shrimp mousse turns pink, about 6 to 10 minutes. Remove the dish from the wok and carefully pour off the cooking juices. Drizzle soy sauce and sesame oil over the tofu, sprinkle with green onions and serve.

Photography by Rita Maas

Calories 154,Fat 7,Perfat 43,Cholesterol 96,Carbo 5,Protein 17,Fiber N/A,Sodium N/A
Delicious Living

ARCHIVE: Chilled Tofu with Bean Sprouts

Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 1 minute

1/2 pound fresh mung bean sprouts

3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon chile garlic sauce
2 teaspoons honey
1 package (16 ounces) soft tofu, drained
1 teaspoon toasted white sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon black sesame seeds
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts

1. Parboil mung bean sprouts in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Remove to a serving plate, cover and chill.
2. Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
3. Cut tofu into 1/2-inch cubes. Place over chilled mung bean sprouts. Drizzle dressing over tofu and garnish with sesame seeds and walnuts.

Photography by Rita Maas

Calories 127,Fat 8,Perfat 56,Cholesterol 0,Carbo 7,Protein 8,Fiber N/A,Sodium N/A


Delicious Living

Baked Fish Sticks or Chunky Chicken Bits

Serves 4 / This recipe is much more healthful than most commercially-made versions. I used fresh cod and free-range organic chicken, and my food critics loved 'em. Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 12-15 minutes

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound white fish fillets (flounder, cod, etc.) or 1 pound chicken breast fillets
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 egg
1 egg white
1/2 cup 2-percent low-fat milk

Shake-it-Up Breading Mix
(Breading for 2 cups veggies or 1 pound chicken or fish fillets)
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray baking dish with nonstick cooking oil, then coat with canola oil.
2. Rinse fish or chicken fillets. Pat dry with a paper towel. Lightly sprinkle salt on both sides of fillets.
3. For fish sticks, carefully cut fillets into long strips. For chicken bits, cut fillets into 1-inch squares.
4. Combine breading mix ingredients in a bag; shake well.
5. Place breading mix and grated lemon rind into a small paper bag. On a pie plate, combine egg, egg white and milk, then beat with a whisk or fork until well blended.
6. Dip fish or chicken pieces into the egg and milk mixture. Place fish or chicken pieces, a few at a time, into bag with breading mix and grated lemon rind, hold bag closed and shake well.
7. Place coated fish sticks or chicken bits on baking dish. Bake until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Calories 293,Fat 10,Perfat 29,Cholesterol 116,Carbo 20,Protein 30,Fiber N/A,Sodium N/A