VPF News

 

August 2021

VPF Publishes Comprehensive Newsletter

Recently, the VPF published the 51st issue of . On July 23 it was mailed to International members in Australia, Canada, Mexico, England, Norway, and Italy. On July 26 it was mailed to VPF members throughout the United States, including Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico.

“Cassava

51 features new laboratory testing for the oxalate content of over twenty foods and food products, including tigernut flour, macadamia milk, King's Hawaiian bread products, and Balance of Nature supplements. The new testing includes a revealing study of several varieties of potatoes.

In 51 the VPF continues to emphasize research into the soluble oxalate content of foods. According to Executive Director Joanne Yount, “Every VPF member who has reported eating foods high in total oxalate while low to medium in soluble oxalate has remained pain-free, or recovered.”

Through the VPF Oxalate Testing Program for Foods, Beverages & Dietary Supplements, the Foundation has been analyzing foods and food products for both total and soluble oxalate since 2006. The comprehensive results of food testing are published approximately twice a year in .

Quote

Issue 51 features delicious recipes for A Perfect Day on the Low Oxalate Diet. They include Shirred Eggs with Asparagus, Shrimp Salad Rolls, Pear Gorgonzola, Baked Chicken with Italian Seasoning, Cantaloupe Salsa, and Baked Pineapple. Calculations for both total and soluble oxalate per serving are included with each recipe.

For more information on soluble oxalate research, see , pages 350-359, and , Numbers 37, 38, and 50. To become a VPF member, receive 51 and discounts on other VPF publications, go to Memberships.



April 2021

Solomons Syndrome and COVID-19 Vaccines

Recently, the VP Foundation has received numerous inquiries about the COVID-19 vaccines.

Perhaps a dozen VPF members have reported taking the shots. Most reactions have run the gamut from almost no reaction, to sore arms, sleepiness, fatigue, and nausea - for varying lengths of time. So far, no vulvar pain flare-ups have been reported.

“propylene

Propylene Glycol

However, last year, during the regular virus season, a member in Tennessee had a severe flare-up after getting a seasonal flu shot. Information provided by the manufacturer of the vaccine revealed that it contained propylene glycol.

Sensitivity to propylene glycol, resulting in vulvar pain flare-ups, has been reported by Solomons Syndrome sufferers in the past. (See , Number 20, pages 10-11.)

Biochemically, propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol have similarities. They are used in the manufacture of many medicines and cosmetics. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines contain polyethylene glycol. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine does not contain either.

According to Joanne Yount, VPF Executive Director, “To our knowledge, no research studies on COVID-19 vaccines and Solomons Syndrome have been undertaken or reported. However, the Foundation continues to welcome feedback from members and others about their responses to the vaccines.”


October 2020

Low Soluble Oxalate Diet
To be Featured in Newsletter 50

, Number 50, is scheduled to be published in early November, and mailed to VPF members prior to Thanksgiving.

Featured in this issue is a Low Soluble Oxalate Diet, which includes foods that are high in total oxalate while low and medium in soluble oxalate. Total, soluble, and insoluble oxalate are technical terms related to dietary oxalate. Total oxalate consists of both water soluble and water insoluble oxalate.

“Black

Black Rice

Research studies suggest that soluble oxalate is absorbed more efficiently from the gastrointestinal tract into the bloodstream. A portion of this absorbed oxalate can then enter body tissues, where it can result in pain in susceptible individuals. Most insoluble oxalate appears not to be absorbed.

The bottom line is that identifying foods high in total oxalate while low and medium in soluble oxalate has the potential to expand choices for low oxalate dieters. For example, black rice is high in total oxalate while medium in soluble oxalate per serving. Low oxalate dieters have reported eating black rice without experiencing flare-ups in pain.

Current laboratory analysis of new foods and food products through the VPF’s Oxalate Testing Program for Foods, Beverages & Dietary Supplements will be published in By Groups and Numerical Table formats, as usual. They include Jimmy Dean Eggwiches (breakfast sandwiches), Miracle Noodle products, dried elderberries and elderberry products, beetroot supplements, and more.

One of the regular features in is Helpful Products Recommended by VPF Members. In the fall issue, quite a few soothing (non-offensive) bath soaps are being recommended for the highly sensitive skin that is so characteristic of Solomons Syndrome.

An update on progress of will be reported in this issue as well. To receive 50 in a timely manner, go to Memberships and join the Foundation.


April 2020

VPF Is Working

During the past two months, in terms of daily operations, the VP Foundation has found itself in the midst of a national and international crisis.

According to Joanne Yount, Executive Director of the VPF, “When the coronavirus arrived in the United States, our publications team was hard at work on a new issue of .” Actually, since the beginning of the year, several on the team had already been hard hit by other types of flu.

Maple Syrup bottle

100% Pure Maple Syrup
Back Creek Farms
Monterey, Virginia
0.8 mg. oxalate per tablespoon

“We were having a particularly difficult time finishing the Basic Foods Low Oxalate Diet, to be published in 49.” The information on which it is based had been blended from 23 previously published Numerical Values Tables, including the historic table in .

Joanne emphasizes, “Checking and cross-checking so much data made me cross-eyed and dizzy, almost literally, and definitely brain-challenged.” At long last, however, this issue has been finished and sent to the printing company.

Working safely has been the order of the day. The VPF office, located on the second floor of the Graham Office Building, remains locked at all times. Director Yount explains, “Right now, I am the only working employee. We felt it was too risky for more than one person to be coming and going from the office.”

The usual administrative tasks are being completed, a bit more slowly, but they are getting done. Packages for new VPF members, orders for and back issues of the , renewal and contribution acknowledgments, and responses to communications are gradually being completed and sent.

Director Yount states, “I go to the Post Office two to three times a week, to pick up the VPF’s mail, and to drop off outgoing mail, at times when few, if any, other people are there. Also, I remain available to VPF Leaders. Every cloud has a silver lining. It’s a good time to call or email your Leader - because she is probably at home!

“On behalf of the Foundation, I thank you for your patience. Next week (April 20-24) I have arranged for safe pick-up of the . They will rest for a few days, untouched, and then I will get them out in the mail to members. Still, this process is going to be a lot slower than usual.”

Number 49 is a lovely issue, full of accurate and encouraging information. To receive it, go to Memberships and join the Foundation.


February 2020

Newsletter 49 to be Published

, Number 49, is scheduled to be published in late February.

It features a new Low Oxalate Diet by Groups for Whole Foods that incorporates all whole foods analyzed through the VPF’s Oxalate Testing Program for Foods, Beverages & Dietary Supplements since 2002. While the VPF’s definition of whole foods is not overly strict, it does indicate basic, natural foods with little or no commercial processing or additives. Think of apples, lettuce, corn, kale, squash, onions, strawberries, tomatoes, peaches, eggs, cheese, shrimp . . . from the local Farmers Market.

will also highlight popular regular features, including recent recovery letters from VPF members, the Winter 2020 Addendum to the Low Oxalate Diet (new food testing), A Perfect Day on the Low Oxalate Diet with oxalate mg. per serving for all recipes, Helpful (and Unhelpful) Products, and more. There are a few surprises in the new food testing. Bartlett Pears tested unexpectedly low, and Italian (baby) eggplants tested unexpectedly high in total oxalate content per serving.

Bartlett Pears

Bartlett Pears

According to Joanne Yount, Managing Editor, there is one hiccup. “The VPF office and our publication team have been hard-hit by the flu during January-February.” Everyone is fine now, but the recovery from one virus has been very slow; and those who have not actually contracted the flu have been working overtime for the others who are out. This has created a certain amount of delay.

Editor Yount is optimistic though. “Every few days now, we complete a few more pages. I am confident our editorial team will finish assembling this issue by the end of February; and it will be printed, mailed to, and received by members during March.”

To become a member and receive 49, go to VPF Memberships.


November 2019

Celebrate Thanksgiving On The Low Oxalate Diet!

Joanne Yount

At this time of year, “A big thank-you goes to everyone who has supported the Foundation during the year,” according to Joanne Yount, Executive Director. “It is the gratitude and generosity of each person who has been helped by the Foundation that keeps us going.”

Traditionally, Thanksgiving is a celebration of the abundance of food grown by farmers, and an expression of gratitude to God for His generosity and grace in providing these life-sustaining crops. Low oxalate dieters can celebrate with genuine enthusiasm.

Many traditional Thanksgiving foods are low to medium in oxalate content. They include turkey, liver, oysters; all winter squashes, including pumpkin; Brussels sprouts, fennel, onions, garlic; sage, nutmeg, saffron; butterhead, Romaine, and leaf lettuces; apples, cranberries; sugar, maple syrup; rice, corn; apples, persimmons; feta cheese; chamomile, rooibos, and peppermint teas; bourbon and white wine. These are only some of the delicious low oxalate choices for a Thanksgiving table.

Squash

Left to right: Acorn, Butternut, Spaghetti, and Carnival Squash



Time-honored recipes for Thanksgiving in the Low Oxalate Cookbook - Book Two are:


Thanksgiving Recipes


August 2019

Newsletter 48 Is Published

, issue Number 48, originally scheduled for publication in late June, transitioned to a July issue, and will now be printed during the first week of August 2019.

Align

Managing Editor, Joanne Yount, reports, “The good news is that as a result of publication delays, the VP Foundation has been able to publish a review of emerging research on the relationship of antibiotics to intestinal bacteria that degrade oxalate.” The most well-known and frequently studied oxalate-degrading bacterium is Oxalobacter formigenes.

Michael Liebman, Ph.D., scientific advisor to the Foundation, is a scientist with extensive experience in oxalate research. In recent months, he conducted a thorough review of the scientific literature related to this subject and wrote an article specifically designed for VPF members.

In his article, Dr. Liebman explains the implications of antibiotics to which Oxalobacter is either sensitive or resistant, and points out shortcomings related to some of the new probiotics and other products coming on the market. However, one probiotic that appears to be promising for Solomons Syndrome sufferers is Align.

VPF members worldwide should expect to receive their personal copies of 48 during August. To become a member and receive 48, go to VPF Memberships.


May 2019

Newsletter 48 to be Published

, issue Number 48, is scheduled to be published in late June, according to managing editor Joanne Yount. An official financial report of the Annual Drawing and related fundraising campaign will be published, along with the personal recovery stories of several of the 26 prize winners.

The oxalate content of foods and food products tested recently through the VPF’s Oxalate Testing Program for Foods, Beverages & Dietary Supplements will also be reported in this issue. Included in the report are sun-dried tomatoes, savory, Shitake mushrooms, black rice, commercial panko bread crumbs, and more.

Other topics featured in issue 48 are a last call for recipes for The Low Oxalate Cookbook - Book Three and analysis of complex research issues related to Solomons Syndrome. According to Ms. Yount, “The ever popular sections of Letters to the Foundation and recommendations of Helpful Products from members, will round out this issue.”

To receive 48 as soon as it is published, become a member by going to Memberships.


January 2019

Twenty-Six Prizes Donated for VPF’s Annual Drawing

But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.

~ King David, on fundraising
in the 11th century, B.C.
1 Chronicles 29:14b (NIV)

Graham, NC - During 2018 several VPF members and friends donated twenty-six prizes for the Foundation’s Annual Drawing, one prize for every year the Foundation has been serving members and others. The total market value of all twenty-six prizes is over $5,000. The Drawing will be held on February 14, 2019.

Flatware

French Provincial Flatware by Towle Silver

Silver trays and bowls

Silver Trays and Bowls

Silverware

A long-time member in Colorado donated an extraordinarily elegant set of sterling silver flatware, along with five silver trays and bowls. She wants to make sure the VPF keeps savoring its Silver (25th) Anniversary, which occurred on October 9, 2017.

The lion’s share of value is in the large, 58-piece set of French Provincial Sterling flatware by Towle Silver (1948) that she donated. It is valued at $3,294. Wow! What a wonderful first prize!!

The silver trays, by Reed & Barton and International Silver, are valued at $44; and the Paul Revere bowls, by Oneida Silver, at $40. Our Colorado member also donated two lovely crystal and pottery trays. (See photographs.)

Jewelry Sets

Another long-time member in Illinois donated a dozen stunningly beautiful sets of matching necklaces and earrings. Eight sets are made of freshwater pearls in colors known as chocolate, black, white, and pink. Seven of the pearl necklaces are complemented by matching wire dangle earrings, and one by matching post earrings.

Two jewelry sets are made of semi-precious stone beads, mostly in the turquoise family. One set is a mixture of freshwater pearls and stone beads. The most unusual jewelry set consists of two large white freshwater pearls hanging from a silver-toned, mesh dangle necklace with matching dangle earrings. All of the necklaces have either magnetic rhinestone clasps or magnetic ball clasps.

Jewelry sets

Jewelry Sets of Freshwater Pearls and Semi-Precious Stones

The necklace and earring sets range in value from $50 to $150 per set, with a total value of $1,150.

Art, Pottery, and More

misc drawing items

VPF glass paper weight, Bob Timberlake mini print, Stangl and North Carolina pottery; and crystal and pottery trays.

A former VPF employee donated a Bob Timberlake studio mini print entitled Jonquils ($20). Joanne Yount, VPF Executive Director, donated several pieces of North Carolina pottery by Janet Resnick and others, as well as a Stangl china warmer stand in the Wild Rose pattern ($39). Skee Johnson, who designed the VPF’s logo (girl with the hat) donated a custom-made glass VP Foundation paper weight (priceless).

Drawing tickets are $4 each, or 6 for $20. According to Director Yount, “The full price you pay for VPF Drawing tickets is tax deductible as a charitable contribution in the United States - if you do not win a prize! If you win a prize, the total amount paid for tickets, less the value of the prize (if it is less than your donation), is tax deductible.”

A big thank-you goes to Replacements, Inc. of Greensboro (silver), Wade’s Jewelers of Gibsonville (jewelry sets), and The Bob Timberlake Gallery of Lexington (art), North Carolina, for their expertise in identifying, describing, and valuing prizes.


December 2018

Fall Newsletter Is Published

Graham, NC - , Number 47, is being published during December. It was originally scheduled for October. However, the assembly and production of this issue have weathered two hurricanes - Hurricane Florence in September, and Hurricane Michael in October, which was accompanied by an extended power outage - and record-breaking Winter Storm Diego on December 9-10.

The featured article, Overcoming Flare-Ups, is a comprehensive guide to troubleshooting the causes of flare-ups, and adjusting therapies proven to reassert recovery. The article includes advice and tips from VPF Leaders experienced in helping members overcome flare-ups.

According to Managing Editor, Joanne Yount, “For any one person, investigating the cause of a flare-up and identifying how to get over it does not seem overly difficult to VPF Leaders and me. However, with four powerful therapies, a host of saboteurs, and so many supportive measures to choose from, the general subject of overcoming flare-ups covers a lot of ground.”

Joanne in front of Biscuitville

In addition, 47 incorporates a report of the oxalate content of nearly two dozen products recently tested through the VPF Oxalate Testing Program for Foods, Beverages & Dietary Supplements. Made-from-scratch biscuits from four regional and national chain restaurants range in value from 8 to 10 mg. oxalate per biscuit, landing one biscuit squarely in the Medium Group for oxalate content.

47 was recently completed and sent to the printing company in Zebulon, North Carolina - just in time for a record-breaking Southern blizzard! Gratefully, everyone involved, as well as the printing facility, survived nearly a foot of snow and very cold temperatures. 47 is scheduled to be printed during what remains of the week of December 10-15.

It will be mailed to all current VPF members by Standard Mail the week before Christmas. Executive Director Yount states, “The staff and I are hopeful that VPF members will receive their by the end of December.” To become a member and receive 47, go to Memberships.


September 2018

VPF Headquarters Safe and Sound

Graham, North Carolina - For five days in mid-September, Hurricane Florence wreaked havoc throughout much of the state of North Carolina.

Hurricane Florence Map with Track

Path of Hurricane Florence

Especially hard hit was the region that North Carolinians affectionately call “Down East.” This area includes New Bern, Kinston, Wilmington, Burgaw, Fayetteville, Lumberton, Morehead City, Southport, and many other communities; not to mention Myrtle Beach and eastern South Carolina.

Headquarters of the VP Foundation are located in Graham, North Carolina, in the north central part of the state. Graham is midway between Greensboro and Durham, on the Interstate 85/40 corridor. Although Graham is nearly 200 miles from the coast, the storm was 500 miles wide.

The area received over 7 inches of rain, and winds that resulted in a lot of tree debris. However, the VPF office in downtown Graham was not damaged, and never lost power. Executive Director Joanne Yount said, “We dodged a bullet.” Or more accurately, “The bullet dodged us.”

The VP Foundation serves many members throughout areas devastated by Hurricane Florence. Director Yount asks members displaced by Florence to let the VPF office know their temporary changes of address, and other contact information.

 Director Yount asks members displaced by Florence to let the VPF office know their temporary changes of address, and other contact information.

Also, “The staff, volunteers, directors, and I would like to know if you need assistance. Please remember that one of our directors, Mike Causey, is the N.C. Commissioner of Insurance. This department is integrally involved in the recovery process.” (See www.ncdoi.com.)

When Florence hit, , Number 47, was in process. assembly and production have been slowed down by the storm and its aftermath, but only a bit. Most likely, this beloved publication will come out in October, rather than late September as originally planned.

On behalf of the Foundation, Director Yount said, “I appreciate all the solicitations from members, supporters, volunteers, and friends, expressing sorrow for North Carolina’s losses, and concern for our safety and wellbeing. We are grateful to still be standing, and serving.”

The VP Foundation, Post Office Box 755, Graham, NC 27253 (336) 226-0704


October 2017

VPF Celebrates 25 Years of Service
To the Solomons Syndrome Community

The VP Foundation was twenty-five years old on October 9, 2017. On that day in 1992, the VPF was incorporated as a North Carolina Nonprofit Corporation.

Dr. Solomons

Clive C. Solomons, Ph.D.

An old-fashioned mutual-help organization, the Foundation functioned primarily as a rescue mission in the early years. The VPF rescued people from pain and guided them to recovery with the help of biomedical scientist Clive C. Solomons, Ph.D., and a network of extraordinary volunteers who had recovered in his research study.

The VPF and its corps of volunteers still serve new members who need to be rescued. However, over time it has become an organization that also protects, restores, and sustains thousands of recoveries, year in and year out.

The VPF updates Dr. Solomons’ research by informing members of brand availability and replacement products in his successful treatment protocol; and by continuing to sponsor research into the oxalate content of new food products. It also informs members of supplements and prescription drugs that sabotage recovery.

The Foundation continues to network with the medical and research communities. For example, after publication of this past summer, Executive Director Joanne Yount sent a copy of it with a personal note to every health professional in the New York Times reprint.

The NYT article included with the analyzed the current controversy regarding vitamin D supplementation. By interfering with oxalate metabolism, Vitamin D frequently sabotages recovery from vulvar pain, interstitial cystitis, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel - in a word, Solomons Syndrome.

As a founding director of The VP Foundation, Ms. Yount said, “I am very proud of the motto on our website, Today you can choose Recovery. Twenty-six years ago, virtually no one in the world could do that.

“On our anniversary, I would ask everyone who has been helped by the Foundation and Dr. Solomons to honor your recovery by making a special contribution of $25 for 25 years to the VPF.” Increments of $25 ($50, $75, $250, $2,500) are also welcome.

To make a contribution, send a check or money order to The VP Foundation, Post Office Box 755, Graham, North Carolina 27253, USA. For a contribution form, go to My Contribution for a Firm Foundation.



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