Food Additives in Cold Stone Creamery
Chinese Herbs & Supplements, Self-Care

Animal Study: Food additives promote colitis, obesity and metabolic syndrome

Food Additives in Cold Stone Creamery

Article on Food Additives Research

Widely used food additives promotes colitis, obesity and metabolic syndrome, shows study of emulsifiers — ScienceDaily.

Study Cited

Dietary emulsifiers impact the mouse gut microbiota promoting colitis and metabolic syndrome

Key Points

• Carboxymethylcellulose and polysorbate-80 were found in mice to alter gut microbiota in such a way as to induce inflammatory bowel disease

• “emulsifiers induced low-grade or mild intestinal inflammation and metabolic syndrome, characterized by increased levels of food consumption, obesity, hyperglycemia and insulin resistance

What foods/products contain carboxymethylcellulose?

Carboxymethylcellulose is a food thickener, binder and stabilizer. It is also known as Cellulose Gum, Sodium Salt, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, and CMC. According to, this food additive can be found in:

• Food Items: ice cream, dressing, cheese, icing, toppings, gelatinous desserts, infant/baby formula, candy, cottage cheese, cream cheese spread.

• Non-Food Items: K-Y Jelly, toothpaste, laxatives (it’s also considered a type of fiber), hand cream, antacids, diet pills, water-based paints, detergents, various paper products, artificial tears and in laundry detergents.

What foods contain polysorbate-80?

Polysorbate-80 is an emulsifier that thickens food and prevents oil separation. It is also known as Polyoxythylene Sorbitan Mono-Oleate, or Tween 80.  It can be found in foods like whipped cream, ice cream, sherbet, mayonnaise, and salad dressing. (Yup, that includes Cold Stone Creamery.)

Alternatives and Treatment

As per usual, our greatest alternative is eating non-processed foods. Take a peek at the ingredient lists of what you’re eating – how many foods do you spot in a day with these ingredients? If you have inflammatory bowel disease and you’re looking to support your gut health, consider working with an herbalist. While studies remain limited and heterogenous, a 2013 systematic review on the efficacy of herbal therapy in inflammatory bowel disease concluded, “herbal therapy for the treatment of IBD show encouraging results.”

Healing Spices to Boost Health and Beat Disease
Book Review, Chinese Herbs & Supplements, Self-Care

Healing Spices: How to Use Spices to Boost Health and Beat Disease

Healing Spices to Boost Health and Beat Disease

Food is our first medicine

Ever wonder why they serve ginger with sushi? Not only does ginger warm the belly–a good balance for all that cold, raw fish about to go into the stomach–but it also helps prevent toxicity (in this case, seafood toxicity). Helpful, right? Knowing that before you head to the sushi restaurant might even be more helpful!

Healing spices

Spices are a universal gift to our health, as they taste great and are easy to obtain. Chinese medicine makes use of a number of them; meanwhile Western medicine continues to deepen their understanding of the vast benefits that come with choosing the right herb/spice for one’s constitution and condition.

A few years ago a book came out highlighting the hidden benefits of your spice rack, “Healing Spices: How to Use 50 Everyday and Exotic Spices to Boost Health and Beat Disease.” It’s quite beautiful and a nice addition to Paul Pitchford’s excellent book on nutrition and Chinese medicine, “Healing with Whole Foods.” Even better, the book is even available through the public library.

Get to know your herbs and spices

See below for a starter list of spices and their studied effects within Western medicine, as cited and published on Huffington Post. In Chinese medicine, we use a few of these regularly for additional health benefits; for these medicinals I’ve included the Chinese medicine name below the English.


As always, food is medicine; too much of one thing isn’t always a good thing. Before you start changing your diet, be sure to discuss your plan with a healthcare professional to avoid herb-drug interactions or other unwanted side effects.


Looks Like

Potential Health Benefits*


Healing Spices: Allspice
  • may help combat prostate cancer
Healing Spices: Cinnamon
  • lowers LDL (“bad”) cholesterol
  • reduces proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells
  • may help to alleviate tremors and poor mobility in Parkinson’s disease
Healing Spices: Nutmeg
  • relieves symptoms of depression


  • high in antioxidants
  • essential oil of oregano was found to kill drug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus

Pepper, Black

胡椒 (Hu Jiao)

  • manganese and copper content supports metabolism and maintain bone health
  • peperine was found to halt, and even reverse, fatty liver disease in mice


Healing Spices: Rosemary
  • carnosic acid content protects retinas from degeneration (may help to prevent or halt age-related macular degeneration)


Healing Spices: Sage
  • may increase cognitive performance in Alzheimer’s disease
Healing Spices: Turmeric
  • reduces tenderness and swelling in arthritic joints

* Studies cited on Huffington Post article, “8 Herbs And Spices That Fight Off Disease.” A reminder: The information presented on this web site is not intended to take the place of your personal physician’s advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

"Drugs Don't Work: How the Medical-Industrial Complex Systematically Suppresses Negative Studies"
Chinese Herbs & Supplements

“The Drugs Don’t Work”: How the Medical-Industrial Complex Systematically Suppresses Negative Studies (Book Excerpt)

In his book, Bad Pharma, author Ben Goldacre unpacks the phenomena of industry-funded (randomized controlled) trials producing more positive outcomes than those government-funded. He cites that in systematic review, industry-funded trials were overall almost four times as likely to produce positive outcomes.

Prescription medication being dispensedGoldacre addresses this concern, explaining (excerpt courtesy of “The Drugs Don’t Work”: How the Medical-Industrial Complex Systematically Suppresses Negative Studies”):

“Sometimes trials are flawed by design. You can compare your new drug with something you know to be rubbish – an existing drug at an inadequate dose, perhaps, or a placebo sugar pill that does almost nothing. You can choose your patients very carefully, so they are more likely to get better on your treatment. You can peek at the results halfway through, and stop your trial early if they look good. But after all these methodological quirks comes one very simple insult to the integrity of the data. Sometimes, drug companies conduct lots of trials, and when they see that the results are unflattering, they simply fail to publish them.”

I found the whole excerpt quite interesting, and not surprising. I am consistently surprised by patients concerned with safety who come in ready to take a prescription drug but unwilling to take herbs. The comment I often hear is, “I feel good about it, because the drug’s been around for awhile.” But, for as long as a drug has been around, how much longer have these herbs been in use? We’re looking at the difference between 100 and 2000 years! This is the difference between your parents’ or grandparents’ generation being the first to take the same drug as you, or your great-grandparents’ great-grandparents’ great-grandparents’ great-grandparents’ (and so!) taking the same medication as you. In short, it’s the difference between two generations and something like 28 generations.

This is not to say that herbs come without side effects or safety concerns; of course they do (see: Medicinal Herbs Not All The Same). I merely introduce this topic to introduce the idea that even science is not without bias. I believe drugs have their definite place in the scope of medicine. I also believe they should be a last resort.

Want to get a better idea of the drug you’re considering? Look up its side effects, data, and interactions on Rxisk, a free reporting system for patients, doctors and pharmacists. Want to learn more about herbal options? Talk to your herbalist.