Friday, October 22, 2010

The Sipping Solution

Why use plastic straws when there is something healthier?
by Dr. Heather Manley, N.D.

If you are a friend, family member or patient of mine you will commonly hear me say, “The solution to pollution is dilution.” It’s a common phrase referring to the environmental industry - as the avid use of water and air is commonly used to dilute pollution (harmful chemicals) that is present on earth. But in my case, I refer it to our bodies. This is why:

Environmental pollution is not only a problem on our planet but it may pose many health issues. Many decades ago, diseases were mostly due to poor hygiene and now, our society has moved into a new generation of diseases that are chronic and long lasting - such as obesity, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, depression. We tend to overeat (mostly highly processed foods), barely exercise, work far too many hours, take too many pharmaceuticals, and rely a great deal on harmful household chemicals. There are many approaches to help prevent these and one being – hydration. One simple solution to helping our bodies avoid these chronic diseases is drinking water. Keeping our body’s cells fueled increases circulation, which in turn helps the body’s elimination pathways in flushing out toxins.

And we need to think about our kids. We want them to drink more fluids and one of the most enticing way to do that is with a straw. However, most straws are plastic which may contain BPA ( bisphenol A) a known toxic chemical. I am not a huge fan of plastic straws in general because...

a) you can not recycle them
b) washing them is pretty impossible

And with the possibility of the presence of BPA, well, we need to make a switch because BPA may be doing this in our bodies:

1. It plays havoc on our own hormones which may lead to some very unpleasant effects - especially on the thyroid gland.
2. May possibly effect the brain development in children.
3. With over exposure of BPA, obesity may increase.
4. There is a possible risk of an increase in cancer rates with BPA exposure.
5. Increased body levels of BPA are associated with diabetes and heart disease.

I am not indicating that BPA is the main cause of any of the above, but it definitely, I believe, is a contributor. And the best way to reduce any BPA in your daily life, if you are or your kids are straws users, is to make a switch to glass straws - especially the amazing GlassDharma Straw. My kids love them. I love how easy they are to clean and that they are natural.

Simple, Easy and Inexpensive.

Now doesn't that make you feel like having a nice cool refreshing glass of water?...with a GlassDharma Glass Straw!

PS If you are not a water drinker try to incorporate my Dr.Heather’s health tip:

• Infuse your purified water with lemons, oranges or cucumbers, or drink herbal teas. The golden rule is to drink half your body weight. If you weigh 100 pounds, then drinking 50 ounces of water can be quite beneficial.

Dr. Heather Manley, who in 2001 received her medical degree from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, is a practicing physician whose primary interest is preventative healthcare for families. She is the author of Human Body Detectives, her educational series of story-telling audiobooks and accompanying activity workbooks. She also promotes wellness and naturopathic healthcare on her website She lives on the Big Island of Hawaii with her husband and two daughters, and is currently at work on the next Human Body Detectives adventure.


  1. My family and I drink a lot of smoothies and end up using a ton of plastic straws. I reuse them for as long as possible but that only goes so far. Awesome product!

  2. I just love the idea of glass straws and have added them to my christmas wishlist.