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Health Questions & Answers #2 ~ [Issue 0300-4]  Wellness Weekly
 Mar 28, 2000 13:45 PST 

Question #1: I take a product called "Colodyne"
(http://www.aomega.com/ahs/c0188a.htm) to add bulk to my diet and
fight digestive system problems. Recently I read that products with
psyllium might block my body's absorption of essential minerals, such
as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Is that true?

Answer #1: Numerous studies in medical literature have shown that
regular, normal use of psyllium fiber (a primary ingredient in bulk
laxatives) does not interfere with absorption of vitamins and
minerals. A study published earlier this year in the Journal of the
American Geriatrics Society, for example, found that typical doses of
such products did not significantly alter calcium absorption in a
group of older women.

Question #2: I know that if you do not refrigerate meat within two
hours of cooking it, you are supposed to throw it out. But why can't
you just reheat the meat? Won't that kill all the harmful bacteria?

Answer #2: Reheating meat that has been left out might kill the
bacteria that grew on its surface, but it would not destroy
illness-causing toxins produced by certain bacterial strains allowed
to thrive at room temperature. Consider that the bacterium
staphylococcus - which resides in the nose and throat and can easily
make its way onto food - produces a toxin that can cause stomach
pain, diarrhea, nausea, chills, fever, and headache. Even making
foods piping hot will not destroy that toxin. That is why it is safer
to throw out cooked foods if they have been left unrefrigerated for
more than two hours.

Question #3: What are Phytonutrients?

Answer #3: "Phyto" is a term scientists use to refer to plants.
Nutrients are substances our bodies need to stay healthy. Therefore,
"phytonutrients" is a general term that refers to substances,
especially those present in micro quantities, that are obtained from
plants in our diets and in dietary supplements.

Question #4: My son takes Ritalin because he suffers from attention
deficit disorder. I'm afraid the Ritalin is going to stunt his
growth. Should I be worried?

Answer #4: Ritalin stunts growth only if it is taken every day. The
medical data clearly show that if a child only takes it in the
morning five days a week, Ritalin will not stunt his growth. But the
kids who take it for seven days a week could be headed for trouble.
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