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Tabloid research for the masses (27/01/22 09:54:32) Reply
    Leaching of toxins from food containers will always be a concern. History has some frightening examples, such as lead from soldered seams leaching into canned foods and causing toxicity

    https://www.bmj.com/content/339/bmj.b5038

    or cadmium eluted by fruit juices from the glacing of fancy handmade ceramic jugs or cups

    https://ifst.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jfpp.15750
    https://www.winchesterhospital.org/health-library/article?id=120796

    (Precautions: - focus on lead:
    https://ehs.princeton.edu/health-safety-the-campus-community/art-theater-safety/art-safety/ceramics)

    So leaching poisonous elements from food containers is a real hazard, now generally avoidable. The elimination mechanisms may be insufficient to clear completely a daily intake. So even low-grade exposure is a problem.I suppose nutrition is a point here: Plentiful availability of the amino acid cysteine - or methionine - will contribute to binding the metals in a safe place and may serve as a starting point for elimination through bile.

    OK - enough.

    These days focus is on plastics. To have an easily-published article one needs spectacular results. So you take food containers, or non-food containers and treat them harshly. Then you take what you get and put them into cell cultures of your target tissue.

    What you do not do, is
    1) measuring your substances in the actual foods in the containers. Most likely you will be able to find anything: (remember: those containers have been approved as food containers, so they are already considered safe enough.).
    2) measuring the substances in blood of test animals or humans given realistic amounts of the food in question.
    3) test the bioavailability of the substances you have found, to see how much - if anything - escapes the protection systems in the intestinal wall and the liver, and the distribution - to see how much reaches target tissues, and how much is sequestered innocuoously in non-sensitive organs such as muscle. And finally: Is there evidence of accumulation?

    In academic research, I venture, such things are never done. The methods are difficult, the levels are most likely below any detection limit, even with Orbitrap(R) instruments, and the results will be unpublishable because the findings will be zero.

    Any examples?
    https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.1c01103#
    https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.1c06316
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Re: Tabloid research for the masses (27/01/22 10:35:27) Reply
    This plastic container researh was published in posh journals, but also to the public. There was no solution, no advice - just the scare.

    But what to do? Replace all the plastic with glass? Go to the dairy with your own aluminium bucket for the yoghurt, or milk, or canned tomatoes? Go back to packing meats in paper and forget about indifferent atmosphere, protection against evaporation, or contamination from the outside?

    I have a personal history about academic research-based advice.

    I was the first-born of my parents. They were 100 percent inexperienced, so they bought how-to books. The easiest and thinnest one was from a local professor of pediatrics.

    https://boklibris.no/boklibris/7-fakta--dokumentar/895-alfred-sundal---mor-og-barn/

    He advised that weaning of a bottle child could be done by just skipping a meal - then self-regulation wiould take over if this guideline was strictly kept.

    It didn't. My parents resorted to Dr Spock, and I survived. This was 1952, just after food rationing had been abolished.
    Fast forward to 1967, when my uncle (my father's brother) defended his medical thesis. My mother had the author of the how-to book as her tablemate, so she confronted him with his useless (mildly spoken) advice.
    Ah, he said. But we amended that in the second edition.

    My mother was, and is, a mild lady. That story taught me about what I later have branded as academic irresponsibility. We see some of it still.
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Antioxidants (29/01/22 13:17:50) Reply
    There is a big market for antioxidants. Activated oxygen, from hydrogen peroxide through hypochlorite (!) to hydroxyl radicals, have potential for harming cellular substances. But it is all a question of quantity. If the quantity is low enough, the associated danger is nil. And different organisms have different mechanisms for protection. Some organisms have large capacity for their protection. Some have low capacity. And often it can be modulated by nutrition: not those fancy pills, but high-quality protein in sufficient amounts and a reasonable intake of vitamin C.

    So it is good to have a quiet Wikipedia session

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antioxidant
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