Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Is Detergent in your toothpaste?

I had just finished preparing a really nice meal of baked chicken, delicious sweet potatoes, and green beans, with a fresh green salad.  My husband and I sat down to eat. Then I took the first bite......"Oh no, another spot!" This nice dinner was no longer going to be enjoyable for me as I dealt with the pain of yet another mouth ulcer. They seemed to be appearing much too often and lingered way too long.

Mouth ulcers can be caused by numerous culprits. They can also be a symptom of Crohn’s disease or Celiac disease. Another possible cause of those irritating sores is a detergent that is added to many brands of toothpaste. It’s called Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and is used in toothpaste as a foaming agent.  It's also used in shampoos and some skin care products. Many people may be sensitive to this ingredient.  SLS can actually cause damage and irritation to the membranes in your mouth. This in turn may trigger the formation of ulcers. 

In a study done by Herlofson and Barkvoll about this topic, (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7825393) the results revealed that there was a significant decrease in the number of ulcers when brushing with SLS-free toothpaste rather than one that contained SLS.

Several months ago I switched toothpastes to determine if SLS was the culprit of mouth ulcers that I seem to frequently develop. Previously, I could not figure out the cause. Since switching to a SLS-free toothpaste, I have not had anymore problems with mouth ulcers developing.

If you have frequent formation of mouth ulcers, it’s possible that you have a sensitivity to SLS, and it may be worth switching to a SLS-free toothpaste.

Some brands of SLS-free toothpastes are listed on this website: http://slsfree.net/sls-free-toothpaste/

Enjoy your summer!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Fascinating Facts to Chew on for Awhile

Remember that saying, “Be sure to chew your food 32 times” ?

Have you ever tried to do that?  We recently tried doing that in our house. The after dinner walk that my husband and I usually take has now become a walk in the moonlight.  At first it seemed to take way too much time to do this extra chewing, but here are some fascinating facts about our GI tracts, begging us to extend our time at the table.  With busy schedules that so many people have today, this can be a challenging task, but the benefits for increasing good health might be worth the efforts!

So here’s some fascinating morsels of info....
--Each time you chew, as you move your jaw, the parotid salivary gland (which is in front of the ear in the upper jaw) secretes enzymes to start breaking down food, but it also secretes a hormone called parotin.  

--The parotin stimulates the thymus gland to produce T-cells.

--And the T-cells are the wonderful cells that boost our immune system. So just by chewing those bites of food extra times, we strengthen our immune system!! Plus we send food down the hatch that is so much easier for our stomachs to digest since our teeth have well prepared it for the journey.

There is an amazing story about a man named Antonio Stanchich who was a prisoner in a concentration camp during WW II.  Many people died of starvation but he and 2 others out of a group of 32 men remained alive.  It is believed that they survived because they chewed their food so well!

You may find that eating raw vegetables offers the opportunity to chew many times!

Happy chewing!