DEAR DR. BLONZ: I keep receiving information about oxygenated water and wanted to know your thoughts on this. Could you send me the straight scoop? -- O.S., San Diego
DEAR O.S.: Hope this doesn't burst your bubble, but there is no evidence to support any belief that oxygenated water will deliver anything more than an expensive burp. We get our oxygen by breathing, not by swallowing.
Consider that oxygen is not that soluble in water, which means that there is not going to be much of it in a serving. Any oxygen forced into the water under pressure will tend to bubble away when the container is opened and the pressure is relieved.
Next, we have the fact that this product is swallowed, not inhaled. The small amount of oxygen that ends up in your digestive system is not going to have a measurable effect on the level of oxygen being delivered to your muscles or brain via the bloodstream. Without any support for the claims being made, and the lack of scientific logic working against it, "oxygenated water" does not look like a winning concept. That being said, a hefty marketing effort always tends to entice some to make a purchase.
DEAR DR. BLONZ: What are GMPs, and how do they apply to dietary supplements? -- R.S., El Cerrito, Calif.
DEAR R.S.: GMP stands for Good Manufacturing Practices. They have been making their way to the marketplace for years on foods, and now dietary supplements. They are a rather lengthy set of government regulations including specific rules about the identity, purity, quality, strength and composition of the ingredients, along with the manufacturing, packaging and storage of the product. GMPs are concerned with the way dietary supplements are manufactured; it is important to appreciate that they have no bearing on the actual safety and effectiveness of the supplements themselves. This being said, it is about time that we can at least be assured that what's on the label is actually in the bottle, and what is in the bottle is accurately described on the label.
We already have GMPs for foods, food additives, pharmaceuticals and even cosmetics, but there had never been any in place for dietary supplements. I consider this to be an important consumer protection measure. Go to tinyurl.com/kyyl5v9 to view the most recent set of dietary supplement GMPs.
DEAR DR. BLONZ: Is it true that cottage cheese consumed by the elderly will leach calcium from the bones? I heard this at a discussion and am concerned because I like to have cottage cheese and fruit for lunch. -- N.N., via email
DEAR N.N.: One half-cup of low-fat (1 percent) cottage cheese contains 14 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat, 3 grams of carbohydrates and 69 milligrams of calcium. It is not a good source of calcium like other dairy products, but there is no reason to believe that cottage cheese will leach calcium from the bones of individuals -- in any age group.
Send questions to: "On Nutrition," Ed Blonz, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO, 64106. Send email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.