Friday, February 26, 2010

Alar (daminozide)

A chemical formerly used to improve the color, yield, and storage qualities of APPLES. It is not a PESTICIDE. Until the late 1980s, Alar was used on an estimated 5 percent to 10 percent of the American apple crop. It was also used on CHERRIES and PEANUTS. Alar is a systemic pollutant, meaning it is distributed throughout the plant and cannot be washed off. Because alar has caused CANCER in experimental animals, experts worried
that because young children drink more apple juice for their body weight than do adults, they are more susceptible to the potential risk.
In 1989 Alar was withdrawn by the manufacturer, Uniroyal Chemical Company. The following year it was formally banned by the EPA. Alar is still sold abroad, however. About 50 percent of apple concentrates for apple juice comes from foreign countries where Alar is widely used, and imports may be contaminated by Alar.

Alanine (Ala, L-alanine)

One of the simplest AMINO ACIDS used to build PROTEINS. Alanine is readily formed in the body from PYRUVIC ACID, a direct product of GLUCOSE utilization; hence, it is classified as a non-dietary, essential amino acid. In addition to serving as a protein building block, alanine plays an important role in transporting the toxic waste product, AMMONIA, out of muscle. Ammonia is produced when muscle cells break down amino acids for energy. Cells couple ammonia with a simple acid called pyruvic acid to form alanine, which is then released into the bloodstream.
The LIVER next absorbs alanine and removes ammonia, which it rapidly converts to UREA, the ultimate nitrogenous waste of the body.
The liver converts pyruvic acid back to glucose, which is released into the bloodstream. Blood glucose is taken up by the muscle, where it is broken down to pyruvic acid, which is then ready to accept ammonia and thus completes the cycle.

Airline Meals and Nutrition

Over the years, airlines have revised the meals they serve in order to meet consumer expectations for more healthful choices. Changes include more chicken and less beef and fewer saturated fats, like coconut and palm oil.
On noncharter flights passengers can choose from up to a dozen special dietary meals. The requests must be made at least 18 hours ahead of the scheduled flight. Religious meals include kosher, Hindu, and Muslim. For medical conditions, bland, diabetic, GLUTEN-free, low-CALORIE, low-CARBOHYDRATE, low- CHOLESTEROL, low-fat, and low-SODIUM meals may be offered. Other options include a FRUIT plate, SEAFOOD, strict VEGETARIAN, ovolactovegetarian, and infant, toddler, and child meals. First-class meals follow the same nutritional standards.
Passengers on long flights, especially those who have been diagnosed as having phlebitis, inflammation of the VEINS in the leg, or who have a history of heart disease or stroke are considered at high risk of developing deep-vein thrombosis (DVT). A person suffering from deep-vein thrombosis has one or more blood clots in the body’s deep veins, often those in the legs. Because constant air circulation in planes promotes DEHYDRATION, and this, coupled with prolonged sitting, increases the risk of DVT in even healthy people, passengers should drink plenty of fluids, including water and JUICE, and avoid ALCOHOL, COFFEE, and TEA on long flights. About 4 percent to 5 percent of high-risk patients may suffer DVT on flights of 10 hours or more. A brown-bag, carry-on meal is always an option for those with special dietary needs or with food sensitivities.