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Newsletter #8: Artificial Sweeteners and Sleep

June 2022

Medical News and Commentary

Should you try Balance of Nature? In a word- NO. It’s hard to watch TV these days without seeing a commercial for Balance of Nature. This is a dried fruit and vegetable product developed by a Chiropractor, Dr Douglas Howard in 1997. According to their website: “When you take the recommended daily serving of three Balance of Nature Fruits and three Veggies, your body receives the equivalent nutrition of the recommended servings of a variety of thirty-one different fruits and vegetables.”

I contacted the company personally and have several concerns:


(1)They don’t give any amounts for their nutritional information. How much of each ingredient  included in their blend is actually hidden from the customer. When I asked for this information, they said it was “proprietary” and would not share it. This means the majority of the product could be the cheapest ingredients with only miniscule amounts of more nutritionally potent ingredients.


(2)The numbers don’t add up. The ingredient label for the fruit product lists 2.4 grams(2400mg) per serving of total ingredients. To put this in perspective, lets use an apple as an example: A medium apple weighs 169 grams. ( Lets assume that 80% of the apple is water. That leaves 20% of 169 grams, which is 33.8 grams. This amount alone is over 14 TIMES THE WEIGHT LISTED FOR THE ENTIRE SERVING!!


(3)Research is non-existent. If you believe the testimonials, the product can cure everything from Alzheimer's disease to hemorrhoids.  When I asked about medical research, I was referred to their website.  Several studies are listed, all rat studies from the same facility in Russia (we know how reliable Russian information can be).  None of these studies are peer reviewed or published in reliable journals. None of the studies are double-blind/placebo controlled, which is the gold standard for medical research. In fact the last study listed does not even have an author or a date!


Balance of Nature- Bottom Line: Save the $70/month you would pay for this product, go to the fruit market to buy the real stuff!


Shooting for 10,000 steps per day? You may be an over-achiever. 

Research recently published in JAMA Network Open, followed 2,110 middle-aged adults who had worn a step-counting fitness device beginning in 2005/2006 for 11 years. The researchers determined, as expected, that getting more exercise is good. Six thousand steps beats 5,000 and 5,000 beats 4,000 for health outcomes. But they didn't find anything particularly special about 10,000 steps (except going much beyond it brought no additional health benefits at all). Instead 7,000 steps seemed to be an important inflection point. Taking that many steps reduced participants' chances of premature death by 50 to 70 percent.

"Seven thousand steps a day may be a great goal for many individuals who are currently not achieving this amount," study leader Amanda Paluch commented.

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