“Smile and say ‘CHEESE!’” How many times have photographers used the familiar phrase to coax smiles out of family members, co-workers, and friends? You’d have to be a crazy person to try and guess. Well, hold on to your wits, because now the cheese stands alone. A new phrase may take its place: Smile and say ‘STARCH!’
A highly disputed study sponsored by the National Laundry Council (NRC) suggests that common laundry starch, when used as part of a balanced diet, improves bone density and promotes healthy teeth.
NRC researcher Phyllis Argo and University of Phoenix osteopath, Dr. Felix Haney announced study results.
“It started because I’m lactose intolerant and worried about osteoporosis. I realized that if starch could make my clothes and linens stiffer and harder, why not my bones?” said Argo. “If you look at pictures of my mother and grandmother – all the older females in my family – they’ve all got ‘Dowager’s Hump.”
“Dowager’s Hump” is the informal name for kyphosis, a condition in which upper vertebrae compression causes a hump at the upper back. Osteoporosis, or “porous bones” is the leading cause.
Dr. Haney provided details of his starch study. “I experimented with a variety of substances mostly based on appearance and density to calcium and enamel, and my research pointed toward common laundry starch as the most digestible alternative.”
“I can’t tolerate dairy, and I didn’t like the side effects of those bone pills I saw on TV. The commercial with the actress who broke her leg on stage frightened me. I didn’t want to hobble around with a hunchback. I was initially scared to just eat the starch, so I just bathed in it. That seemed to help, just like it helps the linens. But it wasn’t enough.”
When questioned on the validity not only for this study, but also for another of the doctor’s ‘chalk and vinegar’ regimens, he excused himself to ‘go find [the research reports].’ Moments later, his receptionist explained that the doctor was ‘swamped’ with house calls, and had left the premises.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, himself under fire for promoting fad diet pills, addressed starch therapy during a recent studio taping of his medical entertainment show, Dr. Oz.
“There’s no medicinal value to ingesting laundry starch,” he said. “Usually people have cravings for nutrients that the body needs. My advice is to get yourself checked out by your doctor and follow recommended treatment. Laundry starch is for laundry, isn’t that right ladies?” He asked his audience, receiving a standing ovation.
“Well, I’m going to keep with the regimen,” said Argo. I think I feel better since I started, and I trust my doctor,” she added. “My posture’s improved, I think.”
Subsequent calls to Dr. Haney’s office were not returned, but a voice recording on his office answering machine reminded callers to always discuss new treatments with your physician prior to beginning any regimen, especially ones where you’re going to be literally ingesting poison, such as with the laundry starch addition to your diet.