Organic Mattresses Massapequa Park NY
Housecalls—Natural Linens, Creamy Pain Relief, and the Downside of Protein Loading
Purifying the Bedroom
Q Are natural mattresses and pillows a better choice?
A Yes. Conventional bedding can be a source of potentially troublesome chemicals.
These include polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, which have long been used as fire retardants in polyurethane foam mattresses and pillows. Like PCBs, they can accumulate in human tissue, says Tom McDonald, a toxicologist at the California Environmental Protection Agency; animal studies suggest they could harm children’s developing brains and reproductive organs. The good news is that PBDE production will be phased out nationwide by the end of this year.
There are also other chemicals in conventional bedding—including bleach, dyes, and formaldehyde—that can trigger chemical sensitivity in some people.
You can keep such bothersome substances out of your bedroom is by investing in a mattress made from a material like organic cotton, which is grown without pesticides and is also more likely to be free of other chemicals. One place to find such natural bedding products is at Ecobedroom ( www.ecobedroom.com ). If you prefer a foam mattress, you might try Ikea, the Swedish furniture company, which has developed a fire-safe foam that contains no PBDEs.
Outside Help, Inside Pain
Q Can MSM or glucosamine creams ease achy joints?
A Probably not. While most researchers agree that glucosamine supplements can ease joint pain, they doubt that topical creams containing glucosamine or MSM pack the punch their makers claim.
With glucosamine, the problem is absorption, says Erin Arnold, a rheumatologist at the Illinois Bone and Joint Institute in Morton Grove, Illinois. “Glucosamine is a huge molecule, and it’s difficult to figure out how to get it in the cream so it’s absorbed,” she says. If the particles can’t penetrate deeply enough to reach the joint cartilage, they can’t help. One small Australian study recently found a benefit from cream-based glucosamine, but the effect can probably be credited to the camphor that was mixed with it, says Jason Theodosakis, author of The Arthritis Cure. As for MSM, there’s little evidence that it’s helpful in either oral or topical form.
Better bets for natural arthritis creams include those with menthol, camphor, or capsaicin, the ingredient responsible for the heat in hot peppers.
A Plethora of Protein
Q Should I worry about eating too much protein?
A If you’re not pumping up your intake, you don’t have much to worry about. The American Dietetic Association recommends 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. If you’re a 135-pound woman, that’s about 49 grams—what you’d get from a daily diet that includes a 4-ounce serving of salmon, 8 ounces of yogurt, and a handful of nuts.
However, if you’re following one of the ragingly popular low-carb, high-protein diets, you might have reason to worry. “People on these diets are easily getting twice as much protein as they need,” says Dave Grotto, director of nutrition educ...
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