A recently concluded study published in the British Journal of Medicine compiled and evaluated 343 peer-reviewed studies that focus on the nutrient differences between organic and non-organic foods. The evaluation concluded that the organic food had a higher concentration of antioxidants, and lower levels of cadmium and pesticide residues. Antioxidants are known to play a part in reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, and cadmium, in high levels, is a potential neurotoxin. What this translates to for consumers is a possible protective health benefit. How familiar are your patients with Environmental Working Group Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen? How often do you discuss organic vs non-organic foods with them?
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A study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, has shown that dichlorophenol exposure is associated with an increased risk of food allergies. Dichorophenol is found in pesticides and is used to chlorinate water. Data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2006 was used in this study. Dichlorophenol levels were measured in the urine of 2,211 participants and about 400 participants were found to have a food allergy and around 1,000 participants had an environmental allergy. Individuals with the highest dichlorophenol levels were more likely to have an allergy compared to those with lower levels. What measures do you take to reduce exposure to pesticides in your life?