Currently viewing the tag: "toxicity"

Aw yeh…looks like vitamin D proponents might be right: higher blood concentrations of the sun-vitamin dramatically cut the risk of several major diseases, including breast cancer.  Booyah!  A recent study shows that adults need 4,000-8,000 IU per day to maintain blood levels of vitamin D metabolites in the range needed to reduce by about half the risk of several diseases–breast cancer, colon cancer, multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes.

Some in the scientific community had warned of toxicity related to increased levels of vitamin D in the blood, the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine (IOM) even noted there were preliminary signals that there might be some harms associated with consuming high levels of vitamin D daily, even at amounts under the recommended upper safe limit.  But the IOM since last year has deemed 4,000 IU a day safe, a much lower level than the 10,000 IUs they consider to be at the lowest level of potential risk.

The study looked at several thousand people who took supplements ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 IU per day.  The volunteers also underwent blood tests to determinevitamin D metabolite levels circulating in their blood.  Researchers were surprised by what they found, that the levels required to ward of illnesses like cancer were so much higher than the 400 IU a day needed to vanquish rickets in the 20th century.

Well I, of course, love these results because I’m a BIG proponent of vitamin D supplementation.  Studies have uncovered that many North Americans are deficient in this essential life-giving nutrient.  Chalk it up to our fear of melanoma–thanks dermatologists.  Either way, this study is good evidence that supplementing is safe and effective at warding off chronic illnesses.  Give the body what it needs and it will do what it’s supposed to do.  Guaranteed.

I want to touch on something many people probably don’t know: Chocolate and grapes are poisonous to dogs!  What?!?!  That’s right, and I’m certain most people aren’t aware of, since my vet has recommended grapes as snacks for our dogs.  But here it is, right here.  And raisins too.  OK, OK…just thought I should mention that.

First, chocolate is a toxin to canines.  Dark chocolate is worse than milk chocolate by a factor of eight.  In practical terms, one ounce of milk chocolate per pound of Fido’s body weight will kill him; whereas it would take only 1/8 oz of dark chocolate per pound of body weight to kill a pooch.  So keep your Cadbury hidden if you know what’s good for your pet.

Veterinarian Tina Wismer, senior director of veterinary outreach and education at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says, “Dogs love chocolate and they are gluttons. They won’t stop eating it.”

She goes on to say that over the past few years, there has been a slight increase in the number of chocolate-caused deaths and a larger increase in the number of dogs ingesting life-threatening doses of methylxanthine, which is found in chocolate

Then there are grapes.  Researchers have only found out about grape and raisin toxicity to dogs over the last four or five years.  Apparently the fruit can cause renal failure in canines, although it is currently unknown why.  Only three-quarters of a pound of grapes is necessary to cause very significant toxicity in a dog.  Both seedless and seeded grapes can cause problems, with symptoms including diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, not eating, increased drinking, and abdominal pain.  Undigested pieces of grapes or raisins may be found in the stool.  Acute renal failure develops within 48 hours of ingestion.

So, although this a blog about human health, with dog being man’s best friend, I thought many of you would appreciate hearing what kinds of household items can take out your beloved pooch.  Make note and poison-proof your house–you and Butch should be rollin’ for a few more years that way.

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