KRON 4 | ★ Blue Star Moms ★

Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor those who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces, but today we thought we’d take the opportunity to remember those who are currently on active duty. KRON 4 Weekend Morning News anchor, Marty Gonzalez, and I report on much needed items that’ll help boost the morale of our sons and daughters serving overseas in the military.

About Blue Star Moms

BlueStarMoms.orgBlue Star Moms is a San Francisco Bay Area service organization located in Danville. They first came together shortly after the terrorist’s attacks on 9/11. Three moms turned to each for strength and support. Between the 3 of them, they had 4 sons in the U.S. Army. 

Since there were no support groups in Northern California, they reached out in their community and organized their first meeting in Nov. 2001 and 30 moms attended. Since that time, they’ve become an official chapter of the Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc., a national organization that formed during World War II.

 

Blue Star Moms★ The Blue Star Moms Mission ★

The main mission of Blue Star Moms is to send care packages oversees. They also support Veterans Outreach, Wounded Soldiers, and Gold Star Families.

Care Packages 

From a Blue Star Mom:  

“My son said that my care packages ‘saved his life’ when he was in Iraq last year, meaning that all the food I sent was so much better than the food they got in country.  Most people don’t realize that when troops are not at a large base, their supply chain is nonexistent. We try to send items they cannot get otherwise.”

Items they can really use:

  • Travel sized toiletries
  • Peanut butter-to-go
  • Flavor packets to add to water bottles (like Crystal Light)
  • Hand written notes to our troops!
  • Men’s crew socks (plain black or white)
  • Foot powder
  • Tuna
  • AA and AAA batteries
  • Protein bars (Clif Bars®)
  • Baby wipes
  • Decks of cards

Donation Wish List  

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Donation Drop-off  

Coldwell Banker at the Livery 
671 San Ramon Valley Blvd.
Danville, CA  94526
Mon – Fri, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Sat – Sun, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Other Bay Area Blue Star Mom chapters include Marin, Piedmont, and San Jose. For more information: http://BlueStarMoms.org

To find a Blue Star Mom chapter in your area go to BlueStarMothers.us

Shipping Out Soon!

The Blue Star Moms are working hard to collect and pack care packages now (Memorial Day) as they will be shipping them out in June in order to arrive by the 4th of July.

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Please consider sending “a little bit of home” to our troops overseas. From the letters the Blue Star Moms receive, these care packages mean so much to them.  

KRON 4 | The Link Between Gum Disease, Heart Attacks, and Alzheimer’s

Doctors and researchers have recently started to look at what dentists have been examining for years — your gums. They’re finding a relationship between the health of your gums and chronic disease.

Did You Know…

  • Per a study in Finland, subjects with gum disease were 30% more likely to have a heart attack compared to subjects without oral infections.
  • Per a six-year study of 44,119 men, those with tooth loss and gum disease were 70% more likely to have coronary artery disease.
  • Another study demonstrated patients infected with periodontal bacteria had the highest levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in their blood. CRP is an inflammatory marker and independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
  • Another study confirmed periodontal bacteria reaches the human brain suggesting an inflammatory role in Alzheimer’s disease. Additional studies link chronic inflammation with memory loss.
  • Pregnant women with moderate to severe periodontal disease are at greater risk of spontaneous pre-term birth.

Business Man in uniform having heart attack / heartburn. acult pain possible heart attack.

What is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?

Below are the key things to know about gum disease:

  • Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is one of the most common infections in humans. Fifty percent of the American population has gum disease.
  • It’s a chronic inflammatory disease that inflames your gums.
  • It starts with bacteria (called plaque) that develops on the surface of the tooth root (gum line) and causes inflammation (bleeding gums). 
  • Studies show that chronic systemic inflammation, also called persistent, low-grade inflammation, is associated with chronic disease.
  • Periodontitis is an advanced gum disease that destroys bone, resulting in tooth loss.

Gum Disease_AdobeStock_96698416Your body is made up of a rich network of blood vessels which move blood and immune cells, bacteria, and pro- and anti-inflammatory proteins through your entire body. So bacteria in your mouth can move to other organs.   Continue reading “KRON 4 | The Link Between Gum Disease, Heart Attacks, and Alzheimer’s”

KRON 4 | Carcinogens to Plastics: There’s WHAT in My Water?!

KRON4_Contaminated Water

Did you know that drinking water increases your risk of cancer? Contaminants (from known carcinogens to plastic particles) found in public water systems could be the cause of cancer from drinking it over the course of a lifetime. Here’s what’s lurking in the water you drink…

The Research

Researchers from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), an environmental advocacy group, conducted a nationwide water contamination study and reviewed 30 million state water records. In California, they evaluated 2,737 different public water systems.

The researchers calculated cancer risk by evaluating the reported contaminant levels from 2010 to 2015. Then they analyzed the cumulative risk based on the yearly averages of all the contaminants and took into account co-occurring contaminants*. 

*NOTE: Interactions between chemical contaminants can overestimate or underestimate overall risk. More research is needed to understand the science behind these interactions.

The Three Key Contaminants Detected

Boy is drinking water in the morning.State regulators oversee the water providers which are regulated by the “Safe Drinking Water Act” and test for contaminants to ensure the water is safe to drink. EWG researchers found three key contaminants:

  1. Arsenic: Drinking water contaminated with arsenic attributed to most of the cancer risk, about 47% of estimated cancer cases. 
  2. Disinfection byproducts
  3. Chromium-6 (Hexavalent)

Small Water Systems Carry the Highest Risk

The smaller utility systems carried the higher risks because they don’t have the resources and economies to improve water quality. Even so, 43% of the larger utilities carried some of the higher cancer risks.

Warning sign with carcinogenic substancesClick here to find out what contaminants are in your water district. You’ll be asked to enter your zip code.

Check out EBMUD’s Water Testing Records…

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The East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) has historically been know as having the “best” drinking water in the San Francisco Bay Area, but the EWG researchers found two contaminants above health guidelines. According to third quarter 2018 (July to Sept), the tap water provided by EBMUD was in compliance with federal health-based drinking water standards.

The two contaminants that were detected ABOVE health guidelines were:

Warning sign with carcinogenic substances1. Chromium-6 (Hexavalent) — A carcinogen in drinking water due to industrial pollution or natural occurrences in mineral deposits and groundwater. Harm to the liver and reproductive system. Detected above the health guideline from 2013 to 2015.    Continue reading “KRON 4 | Carcinogens to Plastics: There’s WHAT in My Water?!”

KRON 4 | Chocolate 101

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Studies report that chocolate is good for your health, but how so and which ones? Cacao (pronounced “kuh-KOW”), cocoa, Dutch cocoa, and chocolate… what’s the difference? Here’s how it all breaks down along with the ones to eat and ones to avoid.

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Heart Benefits

Cocoa and cocoa-containing foods contain high levels of flavanols (“FLAY-va-nole”) — an antioxidant that reduces inflammation and dilates (widens) blood vessels. According to extensive research, eating chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, improves the markers of cardiovascular health. Consuming flavanols from chocolate is associated with a lower rate of:

  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Atrial fibrillation (10 to 20% lower)
  • Death from cardiovascular events

The cocoa may improve:

  • Endothelial function — The endothelium is the inner lining of your arteries. Its function declines with age and puts you at increased risk for heart disease.
  • Lipid levels Lipids include your total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides.
  • Blood pressure
  • Insulin resistance This is when your body does not respond properly to the insulin it makes which can lead to type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes puts you at risk for heart disease.
  • Decrease cardiac fibrosis (scar tissue formation) as well as electrical and structural changes of the heart.

The Cacao vs Cocoa   

Continue reading “KRON 4 | Chocolate 101”