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Nitazoxanide: A first-in-class broad-spectrum antiviral agent
Nitazoxanide: A first-in-class broad-spectrum antiviral agent   JavaScript is disabled on your browser.Please enable JavaScript to use all the features on this page. JavaScript is disabled on your browser.
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Pre-clinical curriculum complaint corner. 26 December 2014, 02.49 Medical
Pre-clinical curriculum complaint corner.
RustedFox said: ↑ The "old guard" administrators will either embrace change or die. Eventually.When you say (copy/paste, sorry): "After all, if you could master the preclinical years via podcasts, why couldn't the system be
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Waveform capnography 26 December 2014, 02.49 Medical
Waveform capnography
We do waveform capnography on every patient that gets conscious sedation (Nasal cannula) and continuous monitoring on ALL intubated patients in the hospital. I am at a community/academic hospital on the south side of Chicago,
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Viagra and heart disease 19 October 2014, 22.24 Medical
Viagra and heart disease
October 20, 2014 Viagra could be used as an effective treatment in men with early stage heart failure and cardiac hypertrophy according to a new study. Italian researchers analysed data from 24 clinical trials to assess
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Distinguishing Bipolar Disorder From Other Psychiatric Disorders in Children
October 2014, 16:516 Date: 15 Oct 2014 Rent the article at a discount Rent now * Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT. Get Access Abstract Pediatric onset bipolar disorder (BD) is a challenging
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Tapping in Times Square 08 October 2014, 23.44 Medical
Tapping in Times Square
October 7, 2014, 5:03 AM|Nick Ortner, best-selling author of "The Tapping Solution," claims that tapping, also known as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), can help calm the body in times of stress or crisis. He teaches us
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Obama Considers Tighter Ebola Screening for Travelers From West Africa
Tighter Ebola Screening Considered for Travelers And calls on other nations to do more to help control the deadly epidemic WebMD News from HealthDay By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter MONDAY, Oct. 6, 2014 (HealthDay News)
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In Liberia and U.S., Precautions for Two Ebola Workers
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS September 27, 2014 MONROVIA, Liberia — Liberia’s chief medical officer is placing herself under quarantine for 21 days after her office assistant died of Ebola. Bernice Dahn, a deputy
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Future perspective of probiotics in dermatology: an old wine in new bottle.
Probiotics are live microbial food supplements that are beneficial to the host health when administered in adequate amounts. Probiotics do have an exciting concept in digestive functions, but these live microbes have wider
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Pump Up: Ablation Reverses Poor LV Function in Atrial FibPump Up: Ablation Reverses Poor LV Function in Atrial Fib
LAS VEGAS, NV — Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) climbed and symptoms vastly improved, on average, in patients initially with atrial fibrillation (AF) and LVEF
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Understanding Today’s Trends in Healthcare and the Clinical Laboratory and Pathology Testing Marketplace
Category: Coding, Billing, and Collections, Compliance, Legal, and Malpractice, Digital Pathology, Laboratory Management and Operations, Laboratory News, Laboratory Operations, Laboratory Pathology, Managed Care Contracts &
Read More 386 Hits 1 Rating
Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptors in the brain: controlling food intake and
          body weight
A subscription is required for you to read this article in full. If you are a subscriber, you may sign in to continue reading. Already have an account? Click here to sign into your account. Don't have an account? Click here
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The arcuate nucleus mediates GLP-1 receptor agonist liraglutide-dependent weight loss
Article tools Author information Related Video Need help? J Clin Invest. doi:10.1172/JCI75276. Copyright © 2014, The American Society for Clinical Investigation. Research Article Anna Secher1, Jacob Jelsing2,
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New gene mutations for Wilms tumor found 06 September 2014, 20.26 Medical
New gene mutations for Wilms tumor found
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center and the Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children's Medical Center, Dallas, have made significant progress in defining new genetic causes of Wilms tumor, a type of
Read More 418 Hits 0 Ratings
China Bribery Probe: GSK Manager Charged with Corruption; Concerned Pharma Executives May Leave China
The Chinese bribery allegations against GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have taken a scary turn for pharmaceutical executives working abroad. According to Chinese authorities, Glaxo's employees engaged in a bribery scheme with doctors
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7 Stunning Ways Life Was Different in the 1960s 06 September 2014, 20.26 Medical
7 Stunning Ways Life Was Different in the 1960s
The 1960s has great cachet. The decade earned it with sex, drugs, and rock and roll, and big-time advances in civil rights, women's rights, and more. But wow, did that decade begin in a dim place. Here are just a few of the
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Testosterone Treatment Lawsuit News: New Filing Alleges...
New York, New York (PRWEB) August 22, 2014 Testosterone treatment lawsuits (http://www.testosteronelawsuitclaims.com/) continue to be filed in U.S. courts on behalf of men who allegedly suffered serious cardiovascular events
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3D-printed vertebra used in spine surgery 22 August 2014, 19.28 Medical
3D-printed vertebra used in spine surgery
Surgeons in Beijing, China, have successfully implanted an artificial, 3D-printed vertebra replacement in a young boy with bone cancer. They say it is the first time such a procedure has ever been done. During a five-hour
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Not "depression":  Manic-depression and Robin Williams
Was it “depression” that killed Robin Williams, as most media reports say? Or depression mixed with alcohol and drugs.  But “depression” isn’t a diagnosis or a disease; like fever, it’s a set of symptoms that can
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A cross-sectional analysis of the relationship between uric acid and coronary atherosclerosis in patients with suspected coronary artery disease in China
Research article Yujiao Sun, Xin Yu, Ying Zhi, Song Geng, Hua Li, Ting Liu, Ke Xu, Ling Chen, Chunwei Wu and Guoxian Qi BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2014, 14:101  doi:10.1186/1471-2261-14-101 Published: 16 August
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GARFIELD-AF Off and Running in the United StatesGARFIELD-AF Off and Running in the United States
Editor's Note: This discussion was recorded in March 2014 at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Scientific Sessions in Washington, DC. Samuel Z. Goldhaber, MD: Hello. This is Dr. Sam Goldhaber, for the Clot Blog at
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Liberia president apologises for high toll for Ebola health workers
(Reuters) - Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf apologised on Saturday for the high death toll among the country's healthcare workers who have fought an Ebola outbreak, which has killed nearly 1,000 people in three
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From stem cells to cardiomyocytes: the role of forces in cardiac maturation, aging, and disease.
Stem cell differentiation into a variety of lineages is known to involve signaling from the extracellular niche, including from the physical properties of that environment. What regulates stem cell responses to these cues is
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A nationwide clinical quality improvement pilot: interventions to improve chlamydia screening
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Aspirin could dramatically cut cancer risk, according to biggest study yet
Doctors warn that before aspirin can be used to prevent cancer, there are questions over dosage and who is likely to have side-effects. Photograph: Tim Boyle/Getty An aspirin a day could
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How do sleep trackers work? 28 July 2014, 20.03 Medical
How do sleep trackers work?
The average adult needs at least seven hours of sleep each night, though unfortunately many get a lot less. Approximately 70 million Americans have a sleep disorder, which may be why there's tremendous interest in popular
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The lessons health care can learn from Steve Jobs
By Clement Bottino, MD, Fellow in General Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Boston’s Primary Care Center Steve Jobs Memorial outside an Apple store. Image flickr/Ron Cogswell Like many people across the country, I was sad
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Zoo In Argentina Says 'Sad Bear' Too Old To Go To Canada
hide captionArturo, the only polar bear in Argentina, lives in captivity at a zoo in Mendoza. The plight of the "sad bear" has spawned more than 400,000 signatures on a petition to get him moved to a "better life" in
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Sex Addiction May Function Like Drug Addiction In The Brain
A new study suggests that sex addiction may work a lot like drug addiction in the brain. There’s been a long debate about whether compulsive sexual behavior – including frequent thoughts about sex, having sex, or watching
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Hypertension and treatment outcomes in Palestine refugees in United Nations Relief and Works Agency primary health care clinics in Jordan
Original Article A. Khader1, L. Farajallah1, Y. Shahin1, M. Hababeh1, I. Abu-Zayed2, R. Zachariah3, A. Kochi4, A. Kapur5, A. D. Harries6,7,*, I. Shaikh1 and A. Seita1 Article first published online: 12 JUL
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The Problem with Perfectionism — How to Truly Succeed!
  Follow me on Twitter!   Are you a perfectionist? Many perfectionists are very hard on themselves when it comes to perceived imperfections, faults, and shortcomings. You may think that you’re not good enough in some
Read More 575 Hits 0 Ratings
NPR Listeners Show A Keen Ear For Temperature 06 July 2014, 22.30 Medical
NPR Listeners Show A Keen Ear For Temperature
1 min 20 secDownload NPR conducted an online poll asking listeners if they could hear the difference between cold and hot water simply by listening to the sound of the water being poured. Most listeners were
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Pediatric Pit Crew CPR 29 June 2014, 15.19 Medical
Pediatric Pit Crew CPR
A reader asks, “Does your Pit Crew CPR process work for pediatrics?”See also: Pit Crew CPR – The Explicit Details The answer is, “Yes!” with some minor modifications. We are developing a class for Pediatric Pit Crew
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ASD, ADHD, mental health conditions and psychopharmacology in neurogenetic syndromes: parent survey
Original Article C. Reilly1,2,*, J. Senior2 and L. Murtalgh2 Article first published online: 25 JUN 2014 DOI: 10.1111/jir.12147 © 2014 MENCAP and International Association of the Scientific Study of Intellectual and
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Depressed? It May Be Celiac Disease 27 June 2014, 16.43 Medical
Depressed? It May Be Celiac Disease
Melanie had been feeling out of sorts for years. No matter how well she slept, she was often fatigued. She had frequent headaches. She had diarrhea so often, she figured it was just how her body worked. She wryly said that she
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Survey: Nurses Harsh on Overweight Patients 27 June 2014, 16.43 Medical
Survey: Nurses Harsh on Overweight Patients
Meeting Coverage Published: Jun 21, 2014 By Ed Susman , Contributing Writer, MedPage Today NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Nurse practitioners responding to a survey indicated a critical attitude when dealing with overweight
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Consensus Guidelines -- Hepatitis C ManagementConsensus Guidelines -- Hepatitis C Management
Koff RS. Review article: the efficacy and safety of sofosbuvir, a novel, oral nucleotide NS5B polymerase inhibitor, in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus infection. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2014; 39:
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Prenatal and perinatal factors in eating disorders: A descriptive review
Review Anu Raevuori MD, PhD1,2,3,4,*, Milla S. Linna MD1 and Anna Keski-Rahkonen MD, PhD, MPH1 Article first published online: 19 JUN 2014 DOI: 10.1002/eat.22323 Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals,
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Psychological Distress Affects Tobacco Use Differently for Men and Women
Follow us on Facebook A new study in the American Journal of Health Behavior finds that women are more likely than men to use tobacco products after experiencing severe psychological distress. The researchers, led by Mary
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Dr. Oz scolded at Senate hearing on diet scams
Popular TV talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz is defending his claims of "miracle" weight-loss supplements amid criticism from members of Congress. Oz testified at a Senate hearing Tuesday on deceptive advertising for
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Fear of aging moderates post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms among older adults exposed to hurricane sandy.
[unable to retrieve full-text content]Authors: Palgi Y, Shrira A, Goodwin R, Hamama-Raz Y, Ben-Ezra M PMID: 24927879 [PubMed - in process] (Source: The American Journal of Geriatric
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Expression of SSEA-4 in GBM [Biochemistry] 15 June 2014, 20.23 Medical
Expression of SSEA-4 in GBM [Biochemistry]
Yi-Wei Loua,b, Pao-Yuan Wangb,c, Shih-Chi Yehb,d, Po-Kai Chuangb,e, Shiou-Ting Lib, Chung-Yi Wub, Kay-Hooi Khoof, Michael Hsiaob, Tsui-Ling Hsub, and Chi-Huey Wongb,1 aInstitute of Biochemical Sciences, National Taiwan
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Light Therapy Improves Sleep, Behavior in Alzheimer's PatientsLight Therapy Improves Sleep, Behavior in Alzheimer's Patients
MINNEAPOLIS — Light therapy tailored to increase circadian stimulation during the day has benefits for patients with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias living in long-term care facilities, a new study
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Practicing Mind-Body Exercises to Prevent or Control Smoking
At the national level, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), estimates that 42.1 million people, or 18.1% of all adults (aged 18 years or older) in the United States smoke cigarettes. Cigarette smoking is more
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Coke ad: It takes 23 minutes to burn off a soda
NEW YORK - Coca-Cola (KO) is taking on obesity, this time with an online video showing how fun it could be to burn off the 140 calories in a can of its soda. In the ad, the world's biggest beverage maker asks what would happen
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Victoza Accused of Causing Pancreatitis 08 June 2014, 22.37 Medical
Victoza Accused of Causing Pancreatitis
Endocrinology Published: Jun 6, 2014 The watchdog group Public Citizen has conducted its own analysis of FDA adverse event reports and concluded that the type 2 diabetes drug liraglutide (Victoza) likely causes
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"Godfather of ecstasy" dies at 88 05 June 2014, 15.48 Medical
"Godfather of ecstasy" dies at 88
Alexander ("Sasha") Shulgin, known as the "Godfather of ecstasy," died on Monday. The 88-year-old, who passed away after a long battle with liver cancer, is credited with inventing a number of psychedelic drugs. He is most
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Houttuynia cordata Attenuates Lipid Accumulation via Activation of AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Signaling Pathway in HepG2 Cells.
Houttuynia cordata (H. cordata) from the family Saururaceae is a perennial herb native to Southeast Asia. It possesses a range of medicinal properties to treat several disease symptoms including allergic inflammation and
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Acute Lipotoxicity Regulates Severity of Biliary Acute Pancreatitis without Affecting Its Initiation.
Obese patients have worse outcomes during acute pancreatitis (AP). Previous animal models of AP have found worse outcomes in obese rodents who may have a baseline proinflammatory state. Our aim was to study the role of acute
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Committee opinion no. 600: ethical issues in the care of the obese woman.
: Rates of obesity in the United States have increased rapidly over the past several decades, and physicians should be prepared to care for obese patients in a nonjudgmental manner, being cognizant of the medical, social, and
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We're more stressed at home than we are at work: Juggling household chores means a day at the office seems easier in comparison
Preparing meals and getting children ready for school is key stress culprit Levels of stress hormone cortisol in saliva soared in home environmentWomen are more affected by stress in the home than menThis is because they often
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Thousands of dogs, and 3 people, sickened by jerky pet treats
Rewarding your favorite canine with a tasty treat may pose health risks. The Food and Drug Administration released updated information on Friday about an ongoing investigation into illnesses and deaths caused by jerky pet
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Antioxidants 18 May 2014, 19.02 Medical
Antioxidants
May 12, 2014 Eating an antioxidant found in red wine, dark chocolate and berries does not help people live longer new research reveals. An Italian study of over 780 people has found eating a diet rich in the antioxidant
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The guide to perfect sleep - top experts share their best slumber tips and tricks
Getting a good night's sleep is crucial for your cognitive and physical health[GETTY - Pic Posed by Models] AVOID STIMULANTS AND KEEP YOUR ROOM DARK Paul Tierney is an ear, nose and throat consultant at the Spire Hospital
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CAC Scores Predict Aspirin Benefit in Primary PreventionCAC Scores Predict Aspirin Benefit in Primary Prevention
MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Predicted benefit from daily aspirin therapy for primary prevention exceeds risk when coronary artery calcium (CAC) imaging scores reach or exceed 100, whereas the risks surpass benefits at a CAC score of 0,
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WITHDRAWN: Low back pain across the lifecourse
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Energy requirements, protein-energy metabolism and balance, and carbohydrates in preterm infants.
Energy is necessary for all vital functions of the body at molecular, cellular, organ, and systemic levels. Preterm infants have minimum energy requirements for basal metabolism and growth, but also have requirements for unique
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I lost 4lb by joining the cult of kale says MARIANNE POWER
Marianne Power spent a week eating kale in different waysShe tried the vegetable in a smoothie, salad, facemask and even ice creamMarianne believes she feels healthier and has continued eating kaleBy Marianne Power
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Woman's wisdom teeth operation left her in agony for SIX YEARS
Without proper scans of teeth, there is a danger of permanent nerve damage Carol Russell, 46, from Birmingham, can't even kiss her children Her wisdom tooth was removed in 2008 but several operations couldn't stop the
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athenahealth Announces 2013 Meaningful Use Attestation Rate and Early Stage 2 Performance Data
WATERTOWN, Mass., April 22, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- athenahealth, Inc. (Nasdaq:ATHN), a leading provider of cloud-based services for electronic health record (EHR), practice management, and care coordination, today announced
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Can you afford to eat healthily? 26 April 2014, 22.11 Medical
Can you afford to eat healthily?
April 23, 2014 We’ve found out over a third of the UK are struggling to eat healthily. Our survey revealed two thirds of people in the UK wish they could eat more healthily, but 42% said they can't because it’s too
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Risk of completed suicide after bariatric surgery: a systematic review - Peterhänsel C, Petroff D, Klinitzke G, Kersting A, Wagner B.
Affiliation Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany; Leipzig University Medical Center, Integrated Research and Treatment Center (IFB) AdiposityDiseases Germany,
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Embryos with Genetic Disease Destroyed for Their Stem Cells, Cell Lines Added to NIH Registry
King's College in London is proud that they have provided 16 new embryonic stem cell lines to the United States' National Institutes of Health (NIH) registry of stem cell lines eligible for federal funding. On the King's
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TEMPORARY REMOVAL: Successful bipolar catheter ablation of ventricular premature complex from the posterior papillary muscle
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Major Drop in MI, Stroke, Amputation in Diabetes Since 1990Major Drop in MI, Stroke, Amputation in Diabetes Since 1990
Over the past 2 decades, the incidence of diabetes-related complications among Americans with diabetes has fallen substantially, a new study shows. Rates of MI and death from hyperglycemic crisis have each plummeted by
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Edwards Favored Over Medtronic In Recent Artificial Heart Valve Trials
By Ryan Brinks After back-to-back days of research announcements from makers of competing transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) devices, the Edwards Lifesciences Sapien XT recently gained an edge over the Medtronic
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Many New Parents Unaware of Safety Guidelines 14 April 2014, 18.58 Medical
Many New Parents Unaware of Safety Guidelines
A new parent’s health literacy, defined as their ability to obtain, interpret and understand basic health information, can affect their ability to follow recommendations to protect infants from injury, finds a new study in
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Weight Loss Efforts Start Well, But Lapse Over Time
Learning you have an obesity-related disease motivates many to start a weight loss program, but troubling health news is often not enough to sustain weight loss efforts, finds new research in the American Journal of Preventive
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Spiritual Life Reports

When you are paralyzed into in-action 20 November 2012, 18.02 Spiritual
When you are paralyzed into in-action
How to put the dynamic of hope into action. You have the same DNA as Gandhi, Václav Havel and Goenawan Mohamad DAVID RICKEY — Hope is a great four-letter word, but it gets lost in the shuffle of our lives if it
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To die for 09 August 2012, 15.37 Spiritual
To die for
Will Baby Boomers choose to expire in hospitals and nursing homes? Or will they take matters into their own hands? BY DAVID RICKEY —  Would you prefer to die on purpose — or with purpose? Late, great writers like Arthur
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Meditation lite 23 May 2012, 18.50 Spiritual
Meditation lite
They say that meditation is sitting on a cushion and emptying your mind. But I do mine while I’m thinking BY DAVID RICKEY  — I know it doesn’t come as a surprise to say that meditation is important for spiritual growth.
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Can an ‘Easter moment’ cure loneliness and fear?
How would you survive the loss if your best friend, mentor or shrink were crucified? You’d have to awaken your own inner guru. DAVID RICKEY — His career was short and ended with his crucifixion. It looked like failure. What
Read More 6635 Hits 0 Ratings
Decoding codependence 20 March 2012, 01.46 Spiritual
Decoding codependence
If we are all co-dependents now, what is America’s turn-around? * BY DAVID RICKEY — Marriages, mortgages, and just-missed connections. In the annals of clinical psychology, the term “Co-Dependence” describes a
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Haiti, consciousness and charity 20 March 2012, 01.46 Spiritual
Haiti, consciousness and charity
A psychotherapist and Episcopal priest makes healing in Haiti a life – and spiritual – mission BY DAVID RICKEY – Haiti is a fascinating place in its own right, but for me it serves as a kind of microcosm of issues that
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What is codependence? 10 March 2012, 17.32 Spiritual
What is codependence?
If we are all co-dependents now, what is America’s turn-around? * BY DAVID RICKEY — Marriages, mortgages, and just-missed connections. In the annals of clinical psychology, the term “Co-Dependence” describes a
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Are we All codependents now? * 07 March 2012, 16.12 Spiritual
Are we All codependents now? *
If America is the most codependent culture on the planet, what is the turn-around? BY DAVID RICKEY — Marriages, mortgages, and just-missed connections. In the annals of clinical psychology, the term “Co-Dependence”
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We are All codependents now * 03 March 2012, 23.44 Spiritual
We are All codependents now *
If America is the most codependent culture on the planet, what is the turn-around? BY DAVID RICKEY — Marriages, mortgages, and just-missed connections. In the annals of clinical psychology, the term “Co-Dependence”
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On Ash Wednesday: Is your life filled by Ego, or Grace?
Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down. Ashes on your forehead can begin a reorientation of your heart. BY DAVID RICKEY — In the Judeo-Christian tradition, ashes are a symbol of penitence and mortality. In the Old
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Pine Nut Benefits: 5 Ways This Nutritious Seed Can Rejuvenate Your Body PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

Pine nuts have been enjoyed since ancient times. Roman soldiers ate them and they’ve been mentioned by Greek authors as early as 300 BC.1 Nutritionally speaking, pine nuts contain many of the same healthy nutrients as other nuts, including healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants… but pine nuts are not actually nuts at all.

Pine nuts are the seeds of pine trees. You’ll find them between the scales of pine cones, but while all pine trees yield pine nuts, only about 20 species have pine nuts large enough to be worth eating.

Once harvested from the cone, pine nuts must be shelled, and they should be consumed shortly after. Unshelled pine nuts are prone to rancidity due to their high oil content (so be sure to store them in your fridge).2

Pine nuts are considered a delicacy in many parts of the world, and in the US they’ve grown into a $100 million market (although about 80 percent of US pine nuts are imported).3 They’re commonly eaten raw or roasted, and their sweet nutty flavor and crunchy texture lends itself well to snacking, vegetable dishes and, of course, sauces like pesto.

5 Health Benefits of Pine Nuts

There are many additional reasons to eat pine nuts aside from the flavor, as they’re surprisingly good for your health.

1. Suppress Your Appetite

If you’re trying to lose weight, eating pine nuts may help. Research showed that fatty acids derived from pine nuts lead to the release of high amounts of cholecystokinin (CCK), an appetite-suppressing hormone.4

Women who consumed three grams of the fatty acid pinolenic acid prior to breakfast slowed the absorption of food in their gut and decreased their food intake by 37 percent. According to researchers:5

“Korean pine nut PUFAs [polyunsaturated fatty acids] suppress appetite and affect food intake.”

2. Boost Energy

Pine nuts contain nutrients that help boost energy, including monounsaturated fat, protein and iron. Pine nuts are also a good source of magnesium, low levels of which can lead to fatigue.

One-half cup of pine nuts provides nearly half of the daily recommended amount of magnesium, which is a benefit in itself since so many Americans are deficient.

3. Reduce Heart Disease Risk

Pine nuts contain a synergistic blend of compounds known to support heart health. This includes monounsaturated fat, magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin K and manganese.

Research suggests that the pinolenic acid in pine nuts supports healthy cholesterol levels and may have LDL-lowering properties by enhancing the liver’s LDL uptake.6

4. Anti-Aging Antioxidants

Pine nuts contain a wealth of antioxidants, including vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, and lutein. Antioxidants are crucial to your health as they are believed to help control how fast you age by combating free radicals, which are at the heart of age related deterioration.

Antioxidants are nature's way of defending your cells against attack by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Your body naturally circulates a variety of nutrients for their antioxidant properties and manufactures antioxidant enzymes in order to control destructive free-radical chain reactions.

5. Vision Health

Pine nuts contain lutein, a carotenoid that may help you ward off eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Your macula is a small area just two millimeters wide, located in the back of your eye, in the middle portion of your retina.

For reasons scientists have yet to pinpoint, parts of your retina and macula may become diseased. As AMD progresses, tiny, fragile blood vessels that leak blood and fluid begin to develop in your retina, causing further damage.

However, there is pigment in your macula that seems to act as a blue-light filter to protect your macular region against oxidation by light. In addition, this macular pigment can scavenge free radicals.

Lutein is one of the predominant pigments in this area, and numerous studies have found that consuming foods rich in these nutrients can significantly reduce your risk of AMD (and non-Hodgkin lymphoma).

Pine Nut Mouth Is Real…

If you’re a fan of pine nuts, you may have experienced “pine nut mouth” (or pine nut syndrome). It’s an intense bitter, metallic aftertaste that can persist in your mouth for a day up to two weeks.

So far, tests have failed to turn up any contaminants, bacteria, or chemicals in the nuts that could be responsible for the aftertaste, or the fact that not everyone who eats them gets it.7 According to one review, which summed up the many questions left to be answered regarding pine mouth syndrome (PMS):8

A clinically compatible case of PMS must include taste disturbance, usually characterized as bitter or metallic, following the ingestion of affected pine nuts by 1 to 3 days. Affected nuts would appear to include all, or some portion, of nuts harvested from species Pinus armandii (Chinese white pine), but could include nuts from other species.

The specific toxin that is apparently present in affected nuts has not yet been isolated, and the mechanism of toxicity and factors determining PMS susceptibility need to be further detailed. There are no proven therapies for PMS.”

One thing that is known about pine nut mouth is how to stop it… stop eating pine nuts and simply wait for the symptoms to disappear. If you experience a bothersome metallic aftertaste when eating pine nuts, you might want to consume other varieties of nuts and seeds instead.

Green Avocado Salad with Pine Nuts

If you’re looking for a simple way to incorporate pine nuts into your meals, try this crisp green salad recipe, which is from Healthy Recipes for Your Nutritional Type.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head red- or green-leaf lettuce, or Romaine
  • 1 whole avocado, chopped into chunks
  • 1 cup of sunflower seed sprouts
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped small
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts

Dressing:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Method:

  • Prepare the lettuce leaves and place in a large bowl.
  • Cut up the remaining vegetables and add them to the salad.
  • Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet on medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Whisk together the olive oil and vinegar, add the crushed garlic, pour over the salad, and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Visit Our Food Facts Library for Empowering Nutrition Information

If you want to learn even more about what's in the food you're eating, visit our Food Facts library. Most people are not aware of the wealth of nutrients available in healthful foods, particularly organic fruits and vegetables. By getting to know your food, you can make informed decisions about how to eat healthier and thereby boost your brain function, lower your risk of chronic disease, lose weight, and much more.
Food Facts is a directory of the most highly recommended health foods to add to your wholesome diet. Its purpose is to provide you with valuable information about various types of foods including recipes to help you maximize these benefits. You'll learn about nutrition facts, scientific studies, and even interesting trivia about each food in the Food Facts library. Remember, knowing what's in your food is the first step to choosing and preparing nutritious meals each and every day. So visit Mercola Food Facts today to get started.

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How Avocado Can Help Improve Your Cholesterol, Heart, and Brain Health PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

Avocados are an excellent source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat that is easily burned for energy, while being low in fructose. Not surprisingly, improved weight management1,2 is one of the health benefits of avocado consumption, and its high-fat, low-sugar content is likely a key factor contributing to this effect.

Research3 has also found that avocados are helpful for regulating your blood sugar levels. This is an important benefit for most people, considering that one in four American are either diabetic or pre-diabetic.

According to the California Avocado Commission, a medium Hass avocado contains about 22.5 grams of fat, two-thirds of which is monounsaturated. They also provide close to 20 essential health-boosting nutrients, including:

  • Fiber
  • Vitamin E
  • B-vitamins
  • Folic acid
  • Potassium (more than twice the amount found in a banana), which can help balance your  vitally important potassium to sodium ratio

Due to its beneficial raw fat content, avocado enables your body to more efficiently absorb fat-soluble nutrients (such as alpha- and beta-carotene and lutein) in other foods eaten in conjunction.

One 2005 study4 found that adding avocado to salad allowed the volunteers to absorb three to five times more carotenoids antioxidant molecules, which help protect your body against free radical damage.

An Avocado a Day May Help Lower Bad Cholesterol

Previous research has suggested that avocados might help improve lipid profiles, both in healthy individuals and in those with mild hypercholesterolemia (elevated cholesterol levels). 

In one such study,5 healthy individuals saw a 16 percent decrease of serum total cholesterol level following a one-week long diet high in monounsaturated fat from avocados.

In those with elevated cholesterol levels, the avocado diet resulted in a 17 percent decrease of serum total cholesterol, and a 22 percent decrease of both LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides, along with an 11 percent increase of the so-called “good” HDL cholesterol.

More recently, researchers at Pennsylvania State University tested three different cholesterol-reducing diets, to assess and compare their effectiveness.6,7,8 Forty-five overweight participants were enrolled in the study, and were assigned to follow one of the tree diets:

  1. Low-fat diet, where saturated fats were substituted for more carbohydrates, including plenty of fruit and whole grains
  2. Moderate-fat diet (without avocado), where saturated fats were substituted with monounsaturated fats in the form of canola and sunflower oil. About 34 percent of daily calories came from fat, but aside from that, it was very similar to the low-fat diet, which included poultry and low amounts of red meat
  3. Moderate-fat diet with avocado. Aside from including one whole Hass avocado per day, this diet was identical to the other moderate-fat diet, and the overall fat ratio was the same

The results, reported by the NPR,9 “surprised” the researchers:

“At the end of the study, the researchers found that the avocado diet led to significant reductions in LDL cholesterol, compared with the other two diets.

To put the difference in perspective, the avocado diet decreased LDL cholesterol about 14 milligrams per deciliter of blood. Compare that with a decrease of about 7 mg/dL for the low-fat diet, and about a 8 mg/dl drop from the moderate-fat diet.

"I was surprised to see the added benefit [of the avocado]," Penny Kris-Etherton, a nutrition scientist at Penn State and the lead author of the study, tells us." It's something in the avocado" other than just the fat composition, she says.”

All Fats Are Not Created Equal

It’s worth noting that canola and other vegetable oils (used in the moderate-fat diets in the featured study) are typically hydrogenated, which  means they contain trans fats, and trans fats wreak havoc on your heart and cardiovascular health. So I for one am not surprised at the results of this study.

Previous research10 has actually shown that replacing saturated fats with carbohydrates and omega-6 polyunsaturated fats (found in soybean, corn, and safflower oil) leads to increased small, high-density LDL particles, increased oxidized LDL, and reduced HDL.

Research has confirmed that large LDL particles do not contribute to heart disease. The small, dense LDL particles, however, do contribute to the build-up of plaque in your arteries, and trans fat increases small, dense LDL. (Saturated fat, on the other hand, increases large, fluffy—and benign—LDL.)

Research has also shown that small, dense LDL particles are increased by eating refined sugar and carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta, and most processed foods. Together, trans fats and refined carbs do far more harm than saturated fat ever possibly could. One tool designed to help you eliminate trans fats are the Naturally Savvy Get Healthy Challenges that I helped create.

A Note on the DASH Diet...

On a brief side note: In the CBS video above, they also make mention of the DASH diet, which has been found to lower blood pressure by as much as five points, rivaling the effects of blood pressure lowering medications.

The DASH diet is quite similar to the Mediterranean diet, promoting the consumption of vegetables, fruits, lean protein, whole grains, and low-fat dairy, and recommends avoiding sugars, red meat, and salt.

Many believe that the low-sodium is responsible for its success. However, there’s compelling evidence suggesting that the real reasons it works so well for both hypertension and weight loss is because it increases potassium and restricts your intake of fructose—as does the Mediterranean diet.

Fructose is actually a far more important factor than salt when it comes to hypertension. The connecting link between fructose consumption and hypertension lies in the uric acid produced. Uric acid is a byproduct of fructose metabolism, and increased uric acid levels drive up your blood pressure.

Now, when you reduce sugar in your diet (from sources such as added sugars, processed fructose, grains of all kinds, and processed foods), you need to increase the amount of healthy fat. And avocado is an excellent choice to bolster your fat consumption and overall nutrition.

I have been consuming an avocado daily for the last several years. On most days, I will add a whole avocado to my salad, which I eat for lunch. This increases my healthy fat and calorie intake without seriously increasing my protein or carbohydrate intake. You can also add about ¼ to 1/3 of an avocado as a healthy banana substitute when making smoothies or your protein shake.

Avocado Benefits Your Heart and Brain

Besides its beneficial influence on your cholesterol, avocados have also been found to provide other heart-healthy benefits. For example, one interesting 2012 study11 found that eating one-half of a fresh medium Hass avocado with a hamburger significantly inhibited the production of the inflammatory compound Interleukin-6 (IL-6), compared to eating a burger without fresh avocado.

Also, just like avocado does not raise your blood sugar levels, fresh avocado did not increase triglyceride levels beyond what was observed when eating the burger alone, despite the avocado supplying extra fat and calories. According to lead author David Heber, MD, PhD, the findings offer “promising clues” about avocado’s ability to benefit vascular function and heart health. Healthy fats are also vital for optimal brain function, and for the prevention of degenerative brain disorders like Alzheimer’s. As noted in a recent issue of Scientific American:12

“The brain thrives on a fat-rich, low carbohydrate diet, which unfortunately is relatively uncommon in human populations today,” reports David Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain. “Mayo Clinic researchers showed that individuals favoring carbohydrates in their diets had a remarkable 89 percent increased risk for developing dementia as contrasted to those whose diets contained the most fat.

Having the highest levels of fat consumption was actually found to be associated with an incredible 44 percent reduction in risk for developing dementia.” ...‘Good’ fats include monounsaturated fats, found abundantly in olive oil, peanut oil, hazelnuts, avocados and pumpkin seeds, and polyunsaturated fats (omega 3 and omega 6), which are found in flaxseed oil, chia seeds, marine algae oil and walnuts.”

To Maximize Benefits, Peel Your Avocado the Right Way

Interestingly, the manner in which you de-skin your avocado can affect how much of its valuable phytonutrients you get out of it. UCLA research has shown that the greatest concentration of beneficial carotenoids, for example, is located in the dark green fruit closest to the inside of the peel. In 2010, the California Avocado Commission issued guidelines for getting the most out of your avocado by peeling it the right way.13 To preserve the area with the greatest concentration of antioxidants, you’re best off peeling the avocado with your hands, as you would a banana:

  1. First, cut the avocado length-wise, around the seed
  2. Holding each half, twist them in the opposite directions to separate them from the seed
  3. Remove the seed
  4. Cut each half, lengthwise
  5. Next, using your thumb and index finger, simply peel the skin off each piece

How to Get More Avocado into Your Diet

While avocado is commonly eaten raw, on salad or alone, there are many other ways to include avocado in your diet. Its creamy, mild flavor tends to go well with many foods, making it a refreshing and nutritious addition to various recipes. For example, you can use avocado:

  • As a fat replacement in baking. Simply replace the fat called for (such as oil, butter, or shortening) with an equal amount of avocado
  • As a first food for babies, in lieu of processed baby food
  • In soups. For examples, see Lucy Lock’s Chilled Mediterranean Soup, or her Raw Creamy Carrot Soup
  • As a banana substitute in smoothies or your protein shake

The California Avocado Commission’s website14 contains hundreds of unique recipes that include avocado. All in all, avocado may be one of the most beneficial superfoods out there, and may be particularly valuable if you’re struggling with insulin and leptin resistance, diabetes, or any other risk factors for heart disease. Last but not least, avocados are also one of the safest fruits you can buy conventionally-grown, as their thick skin protects the inner fruit from pesticides.

On top of that, avocados have been rated as one of the safest commercial crops in terms of pesticide application,15 so there’s no real need to spend extra money on organic avocados. I’ve had my own team test avocados from a variety of growers in different countries, sold in several major grocery stores, and they all tested free and clear of harmful chemicals. For more fun and interesting avocado facts, check out the following infographic.

Embed this infographic on your website:

Click on the code area and press CTRL + C (for Windows) / CMD + C (for Macintosh) to copy the code.

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Magnesium: An Invisible Deficiency That Could Be Harming Your Health PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

Magnesium is a mineral used by every organ in your body, especially your heart, muscles, and kidneys.1 If you suffer from unexplained fatigue or weakness, abnormal heart rhythms or even muscle spasms and eye twitches, low levels of magnesium could be to blame.

If you’ve recently had a blood test, you might assume it would show a magnesium deficiency. But only 1 percent of magnesium in your body is distributed in your blood, making a simple sample of magnesium from a serum magnesium blood test not very useful.

Most magnesium is stored in your bones and organs, where it is used for many biological functions. Yet, it’s quite possible to be deficient and not know it, which is why magnesium deficiency has been dubbed the “invisible deficiency.”

By some estimates, up to 80 percent of Americans are not getting enough magnesium and may be deficient. Other research shows only about 25 percent of US adults are getting the recommended daily amount of 310 to 320 milligrams (mg) for women and 400 to 420 for men.2

Even more concerning, consuming even this amount is “just enough to ward off outright deficiency,” according to Dr. Carolyn Dean, a medical and naturopathic doctor.

Magnesium Deficiency May Trigger 22 Medical Conditions


Download Interview Transcript

Magnesium is often thought of primarily as a mineral for your heart and bones, but this is misleading. Researchers have now detected 3,751 magnesium-binding sites on human proteins, indicating that its role in human health and disease may have been vastly underestimated.3

Magnesium is also found in more than 300 different enzymes in your body and plays a role in your body's detoxification processes, making it important for helping to prevent damage from environmental chemicals, heavy metals, and other toxins. In addition, magnesium is necessary for:

  • Activating muscles and nerves
  • Creating energy in your body by activating adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
  • Helping digest proteins, carbohydrates, and fats
  • Serving as a building block for RNA and DNA synthesis
  • Acting as a precursor for neurotransmitters like serotonin

Dr. Dean has studied and written about magnesium for more than 15 years. The latest addition of her book, The Magnesium Miracle, came out in 2014 and in it you can learn about 22 medical areas that magnesium deficiency triggers or causes, all of which have all been scientifically proven. This includes:4

Anxiety and panic attacks Asthma Blood clots
Bowel diseases Cystitis Depression
Detoxification Diabetes Fatigue
Heart disease Hypertension Hypoglycemia
Insomnia Kidney disease Liver disease
Migraine Musculoskeletal conditions (fibromyalgia, cramps, chronic back pain, etc.) Nerve problems
Obstetrics and gynecology (PMS, infertility, and preeclampsia) Osteoporosis Raynaud’s syndrome
Tooth decay

Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, headache, nausea, fatigue, and weakness. An ongoing magnesium deficiency can lead to more serious symptoms, including:

Numbness and tingling Muscle contractions and cramps Seizures
Personality changes Abnormal heart rhythms Coronary spasms

The Role of Magnesium in Diabetes, Cancer, and More

Most people do not think about magnesium when they think about how to prevent chronic disease, but it plays an essential role. For instance, there have been several significant studies about magnesium's role in keeping your metabolism running efficiently—specifically in terms of insulin sensitivity, glucose regulation, and protection from type 2 diabetes.

Higher magnesium intake reduces risk of impaired glucose and insulin metabolism and slows progression from pre-diabetes to diabetes in middle-aged Americans.5 Researchers stated, "Magnesium intake may be particularly beneficial in offsetting your risk of developing diabetes, if you are high risk."

Multiple studies have also shown that higher magnesium intake is associated with a higher bone mineral density in both men and women,6 and research from Norway has even found an association between magnesium in drinking water and a lower risk of hip fractures.7

Magnesium may even help lower your risk of cancer, and a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that higher intakes of dietary magnesium were associated with a lower risk of colorectal tumors.8

Results from the meta-analysis indicated that for every 100-mg increase in magnesium intake, the risk of colorectal tumor decreased by 13 percent, while the risk of colorectal cancer was lowered by 12 percent. The researchers noted magnesium’s anti-cancer effects may be related to its ability to reduce insulin resistance, which may positively affect the development of tumors.

Surprising Factors That Influence Your Magnesium Levels

Seaweed and green leafy vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard can be excellent sources of magnesium, as are some beans, nuts, and seeds, like pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds. Avocados also contain magnesium. Juicing your vegetables is an excellent option to ensure you're getting enough of them in your diet.

However, most foods grown today are deficient in magnesium and other minerals, so getting enough isn’t simply a matter of eating magnesium-rich foods (although this is important too). According to Dr. Dean:

"Magnesium is farmed out of the soil much more than calcium… A hundred years ago, we would get maybe 500 milligrams of magnesium in an ordinary diet. Now we're lucky to get 200 milligrams.”

Herbicides, like glyphosate also act as chelators, effectively blocking the uptake and utilization of minerals in so many foods grown today. As a result, it can be quite difficult to find truly magnesium-rich foods. Cooking and processing further depletes magnesium.

Meanwhile, certain foods can actually influence your body’s absorption of magnesium. If you drink alcohol in excess, for instance, it may interfere with your body’s absorption of vitamin D, which in turn is helpful for magnesium absorption. If you eat a lot of sugar, this can also cause your body to excrete magnesium through your kidneys, “resulting in a net loss,” according to Dr. Danine Fruge, associate medical director at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Florida.9 The following factors are also associated with lower magnesium levels:10

  • Excessive intake of soda or caffeine
  • Menopause
  • Older age (older adults are more likely to be magnesium deficient because absorption decreases with age and the elderly are more likely to take medications that can interfere with absorption)
  • Certain medications, including diuretics, certain antibiotics (such as gentamicin and tobramycin), corticosteroids (prednisone or Deltasone), antacids, and insulin
  • An unhealthy digestive system, which impairs your body's ability to absorb magnesium (Crohn's disease, leaky gut, etc.)

Calcium, Vitamin K2, and Vitamin D Must Be Balanced with Magnesium

It may seem like you could remedy the risks of low magnesium simply by taking a supplement, but it’s not quite that simple. When you're taking magnesium, you need to consider calcium, vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 as well, since these all work synergistically with one another. Excessive amounts of calcium without the counterbalance of magnesium can lead to a heart attack and sudden death, for instance. Research on the Paleolithic or caveman diet has shown that the ratio of calcium to magnesium in the diet that our bodies evolved to eat is 1-to-1.11Americans in general tend to have a higher calcium-to-magnesium ratio in their diet, averaging about 3.5-to-1.

If you have too much calcium and not enough magnesium, your muscles will tend to go into spasm, and this has consequences for your heart in particular. "What happens is, the muscle and nerve function that magnesium is responsible for is diminished. If you don't have enough magnesium, your muscles go into spasm. Calcium causes muscle to contract. If you had a balance, the muscles would do their thing. They'd relax, contract, and create their activity," Dr. Dean explains.

When balancing calcium and magnesium, also keep in mind that vitamins K2 and D need to be considered. These four nutrients perform an intricate dance together, with one supporting the other. Lack of balance between these nutrients is one of the reasons why calcium supplements have become associated with increased risk of heart attacks and stroke, and why some people experience vitamin D toxicity. Part of the explanation for these adverse side effects is that vitamin K2 keeps calcium in its appropriate place. If you're K2 deficient, added calcium can cause more problems than it solves, by accumulating in the wrong places, like your soft tissue.

Similarly, if you opt for oral vitamin D, you need to also consume it in your food or take supplemental vitamin K2 and more magnesium. Taking mega doses of vitamin D supplements without sufficient amounts of K2 and magnesium can lead to vitamin D toxicity and magnesium deficiency symptoms, which include inappropriate calcification that may damage your heart.

Tips for Increasing Your Magnesium Levels

One way to really increase your magnesium, as well as many other important plant-based nutrients, is by juicing your greens. I typically drink one pint to one quart of fresh green vegetable juice every day, and this is one of my primary sources of magnesium. Organic foods may have more magnesium if grown in nutrient-rich soils but it is very difficult to make that determination. If you opt for a supplement, be aware that there are a wide variety of magnesium supplements on the market, because magnesium must be bound to another substance. There's simply no such thing as a 100 percent magnesium supplement.

The substance used in any given compound can affect the absorption and bioavailability of the magnesium, and may provide slightly different, or targeted, health benefits. The table that follows summarizes some of the differences between the various forms. Magnesium threonate and citrate are some of the best sources, as it seems to penetrate cell membranes, including your mitochondria, which results in higher energy levels. Additionally, it also penetrates your blood-brain barrier and seems to do wonders to treat and prevent dementia and improve memory. If you take a supplement, you can use the “bowel test” to determine if you’re taking too much magnesium. Dr. Dean explains:12

The best way to tell if you are getting enough magnesium is the “bowel test”. You know when you have too much magnesium when your stools become loose. This, in fact, may be a blessing for people with constipation… [which] is one of the many ways magnesium deficiency manifests.”

Besides taking a supplement, another way to improve your magnesium status is to take regular Epsom salt baths or foot baths. Epsom salt is a magnesium sulfate that can absorb into your body through your skin. Magnesium oil can also be used for topical application and absorption. Whatever supplement you choose, be sure to avoid any containing magnesium stearate, a common but potentially hazardous additive.

Magnesium glycinate is a chelated form of magnesium that tends to provide the highest levels of absorption and bioavailability and is typically considered ideal for those who are trying to correct a deficiency. Magnesium oxide is a non-chelated type of magnesium, bound to an organic acid or a fatty acid. Contains 60 percent magnesium, and has stool softening properties
Magnesium chloride/Magnesium lactate contain only 12 percent magnesium, but has better absorption than others, such as magnesium oxide, which contains five times more magnesium Magnesium sulfate/Magnesium hydroxide (milk of magnesia) are typically used as laxatives. Be aware that it's easy to overdose on these, so ONLY take as directed
Magnesium carbonate, which has antacid properties, contains 45 percent magnesium Magnesium taurate contains a combination of magnesium and taurine, an amino acid. Together, they tend to provide a calming effect on your body and mind
Magnesium citrate is magnesium with citric acid, which like most magnesium supplements has laxative properties but is well absorbed and cost effective Magnesium threonate is a newer, emerging type of magnesium supplement that appears promising, primarily due to its superior ability to penetrate the mitochondrial membrane, and may be the best magnesium supplement on the market
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The Forgotten History of Vaccinations You Need to Be Aware Of PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

Vaccines are one of the most controversial medical therapies, and it's impossible to make an informed decision unless you know both sides of the story. In the process of knowing both sides, the historical context is critical.

Dr. Suzanne Humphries, author of Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines, and the Forgotten History,1 is a nephrologist who has committed the latter part of her medical career to exposing the "lost history" of vaccinations.

Barbara Loe Fisher of NVIC commented that this is one of the rare books that conducted in-depth research documenting the medical history related to mass vaccination programs and infectious diseases.

I have read the book from cover to cover and would strongly recommend that you pick up a copy if you have even the remotest interest in this topic, especially if you believe in the safety and necessity of vaccines, as the comprehensive documentation will likely cause you to reevaluate your position.

It is an absolutely fascinating read, and in some ways demonstrates that enforcement of vaccine programs could be far worse today, when compared to historical standards when people were imprisoned and even killed when they refused to comply.

I will likely reread the book again so I can be well armed to articulately express my concerns on why one needs to have serious reservations on the validity of vaccines, based on historical precedents.

Why This Book Was Written

Dr. Humphries' interest in this area began in 2009, when several of her patients told her that they'd been perfectly healthy until they got one vaccine or another. Prior to this, she'd been, as she says, "agnostic" about vaccination.

"I had vaccinated my dialysis patients; I, myself, was vaccinated; and I pretty much believed what I was taught in medical school," she says.

Then she started noticing that her patients were being ordered to get vaccinated on their first day of admission into the hospital—often when they had serious diseases: inflammatory diseases, heart attacks, congestive heart failure, and one patient with cancer on chemotherapy.

"My patients were getting vaccinated on their first hospital day before I even saw them, and the order had my name on it," she says. "This alerted me that there was something going on that I had not approved of.

I complained to the hospital administration about it. It was from resistance that I was met with that, ironically, led me into this path."

Countering Vaccine Arguments Led to Startling Conclusions

The conventional paradigm states that vaccines are safe and effective, and can be given to virtually anybody regardless of how sick they are.

In order to address and counter the arguments she was given for this routine policy, she had to research vaccination, which led her to discover that there is absolutely nothing in the medical literature to support vaccinating an acutely ill person.

"At some point, they called in an expert to set me straight," she says. "The arguments that I got from the experts still were not lining up with science.

My patients were acutely ill, they had inflammatory diseases, and I didn't want them vaccinated. I was told that I was confusing the nursing staff by discontinuing vaccines in my patients. That was how it all started."

Arguments often used by vaccine advocates include the oft-parroted sound byte that ‘diseases like smallpox and polio were eradicated by vaccination.’ Hence vaccines rank among the greatest medical interventions known.

As a result, she ended up researching smallpox and polio—even though it really had nothing to do with what was happening to her patients. Alas, this was when Dr. Humphries started coming to some really startling conclusions.

"In my research, I was startled [to realize] that what I found was completely counter to what I have been told and taught my entire life. I now don't believe that smallpox vaccines eradicated smallpox. I now don't believe that polio vaccines eradicated polio.

The stories are very twisted, long, and complicated, and the vaccines have changed over time. It's really easy to kind of throw up smokescreens here and there and make whatever argument one might want to, because people are so ignorant and because the story is so complicated."

The Story Behind the Smallpox Vaccine

Every vaccine has a story behind it, Dr. Humphries says. The smallpox vaccine, for example, was actually developed long before the medical establishment knew anything about the human immune system. The revelations on smallpox alone are fascinating enough to purchase this book, and is far more detailed than the summary in this article.

The vaccine was actually developed based on a rumor circulating among dairy maids. The rumor was that when a dairy maid had been infected with cowpox—which is a common infection on the udder of the cow—she would no longer be susceptible to smallpox.

The rumor was a persistent one, as rumors can be, despite the fact that there were plenty of dairy maids who developed smallpox after having cowpox. But this rumor is what led Edward Jenner to develop the first smallpox vaccine.

"Basically, it was made by scraping pus off the belly of a cow," Dr. Humphries says. "Sometimes there was some goat genetic disease in there. There was horsepox mixed in there.

There was sometimes human pox mixed in and some glycerin. They would shake it up; they would take kind of a prong, and puncture the skin several times...

What I didn't realize was that there were many people who developed serious smallpox disease and died after they were vaccinated. The severity of disease was often worse in the vaccinated than the unvaccinated.

There are statistics that show that the death rate was higher in the vaccinated than the unvaccinated."

When the smallpox vaccine was developed, there was also no way to accurately diagnose the type of pox disease a person had. It may have been chickenpox, monkeypox, or smallpox, but back then, any kind of pox disease was considered smallpox—even though the vaccine didn't actually have the human smallpox virus in it. Animal pox virus was always used. According to Dr. Humphries, it was the most contaminated vaccine that's ever been on the market.

"If you look at a town like Leicester in England, that town was noticing that they had one of the highest vaccination rates in the vaccinated world and their smallpox breakout was higher than ever," Dr. Humphries says"The people in the town had a rally. The mayor and some of the health officials were there. They all agreed that they were going to stop vaccinating... The result was quite different from the predictions.

The predictions were that there was going to be a bonfire of disease set upon the planet and that these people in Leicester were risking the health of the world by not making vaccination mandatory. But once they stopped smallpox vaccines they had the lowest rate of smallpox infection and deaths.

What we show in our book – and we show the graphs of the disease rates and the death rates – was that both of them went down precipitously after the vaccinations were stopped. That story right there tells you that vaccines were not what made the disease go away; what made the disease go away was isolation and sanitation."

Smallpox Rate

Smallpox Deaths

Smallpox Vaccine

Antibody Is the Wrong Way to Ascertain Immunity

One of the major arguments against vaccine-induced immunity is that it primarily stimulates the humoral immune system and not the cellular immune system. Antibodies are produced by the humoral immune system and then routinely measured to determine "immunity." The problem with this approach is that you can have high antibody levels and still get the disease. It’s very difficult and expensive to measure the cellular immune response, and immunologists admit that they are still in the dark about a lot of the finer points of the overall immune response.

When you use antibody titers or blood levels  to check for immunity, all you’re doing is getting a picture of what happened (you had an immune response); it doesn’t tell you whether you’re going to be immune in the future, because antibodies are only one aspect of the immune response, and in some cases are not even necessary to easily combat the sickness and become immune.

For example, those with agammaglobulinemia—a disease where you cannot make antibodies — can get infected with measles, recover uneventfully, and still respond to subsequent challenges of the virus in a normal healthy fashion and not get sick. These individuals will have lifelong immunity to measles, the same as someone without agammaglobulinemia.

Traditionally, the way immunity is determined is to do a test that measures antibodies, which is the humoral immune system. But there’s no good way to assess the cellular immune system. It’s a really imprecise science at best. As Dr. Humphries notes:

"It's not only imprecise; sometimes it's downright inaccurate. You can have very high antibody levels, like numerous case reports of people who have hugely high antibody levels for tetanus, or normal antibodies, and have gotten some of the worst cases of tetanus. I have papers that show that people without antibody for polio have actually been able to respond to the virus as if they were already immune. The antibody really is a real wrong roadmap to look at to tell what's really going on. Sometimes there's correlation, but it's certainly not a given."

The Story Behind the Polio Vaccine

The other prime argument for the justification and support of today’s highly aggressive vaccination program is the alleged success of the polio vaccine. But here again, the historical perspective fails to support the vaccination paradigm.

"The story behind polio is absolutely fascinating when you look at the politics that went on researching the vaccine, and how scientists were fired if they disagreed with the program going on through the National Foundation of Infantile Paralysis (NFIP) in the late 1940s and early 1950s. That was the vaccine that Jonas Salk developed," Dr. Humphries says.

Before the Salk vaccine became available, if you were admitted to the hospital any doctor could diagnose you with polio based on two physical examinations within 24 hours, to check for paralysis in one or more muscle groups. We now know that a number of viruses can cause paralysis, but back then, all instances were thought to be due to polio virus. When the polio vaccine was developed, a problem emerged. Swedish scientists were trying to tell the US scientists that formaldehyde inactivation was not going to work as planned.

Their warning, however, fell on deaf ears. This was unfortunate, as they turned out to be correct. Live poliovirus, which was put in an injectable vaccine, would appear to be inactivated right after it was made, but sometimes it would "resurrect" in the vial... In essence, the formaldehyde did not kill off all the polioviruses in these vaccines, which led to live polio viruses being injected. As a result, more people developed paralysis from the vaccine in 1955 than would have developed it from a wild, normal natural poliovirus.

Something had to be done to make it appear as though the vaccine was working. So what they did was change the diagnostic criteria for polio. Sadly this is a very common practice in medicine. When the observations don’t fit your expectations, change or rig the system so that they do. With polio, the original criteria was two examinations within 24 hours. This was changed to two examinations within 60 days. This was helpful in cooking the books, because within 60 days, most people recover from their bout with poliomyelitis.

"All those people who were formerly called polio were no longer categorized as polio because they recovered from their paralysis within that time," Dr. Humphries explains.

Then there was the issue of testing. Prior to the vaccine, there was no testing done on blood or stool samples. After the vaccine came along, there was an epidemic in Michigan around 1958. About 2,000 people were diagnosed with polio. In disbelief over the outbreak, serological testing was done, and they discovered that the polio virus was found in only a small minority—about one-quarter of those who displayed symptoms of infection. Interestingly, in the remainder they discovered a different virus or no virus at all! And, subsequently, those patients were no longer "counted" as having polio.

"So simply by doing the diagnostic testing and changing the diagnostic criteria, the rates of polio plummeted, whether or not there was ever a vaccine. These were the kind of things that were going on back then," Dr. Humphries says.

Oral Polio Vaccine Propagates Transmission of Vaccine Virus

It’s important to realize that the injected polio vaccine does nothing to prevent transmission of the virus, and after an oral polio vaccine you become a reservoir of virus that can mutate or combine with other bowel viruses, creating new strains that are often more virulent to those around you. According to Dr. Humphries, the only thing the injectable vaccine theoretically does is give you some blood immunity, similar to tetanus. This means it is only going to be effective if your blood meets the virus before the virus meets your nervous system.

Once vaccine makers realized just how difficult it was to inactivate the polio virus, and many people ended up contracting polio from the vaccine, they decided to abandon the injectable polio vaccine and create an oral vaccine instead, which is more similar to the natural route of infection. Again, controversy ensued. The oral vaccine did interrupt transmission of the wild type virus, but it propagated transmission of the vaccine virus instead.

"The fact of the matter is that you can attenuate a virus all you want, which means that you pass it through different animals to make it mutate enough that it's not quite as lethal or virulent at some point. But once you put that vaccine or that virus back into its natural host, it mutates back to the way it was," Dr. Humphries explains.

"You can give a baby an oral polio vaccine and it can be attenuated. But even in the vial, before you give it to that baby, those viruses are starting to revert back to their former problematic state. And then once the baby swallows that, the baby will generate some immunity in the intestine. But what's going to come out of that baby is going to be mutated vaccine virus. Oftentimes this is problematic, especially in people who are immunosuppressed."

In the 1990s the US quit using the oral vaccine, and switched back to the injectable vaccine. To address the hazards of injecting improperly or inadequately inactivated polio virus, certain adjustments to the formulation were made. Modern polio vaccines are propagated and inactivated differently from earlier versions, and different countries also use different strains of the polio virus. Older polio viruses used to contain three strains of the virus. Today, some countries will only use one or two.

Polio Was 'Eradicated' NOT by the Vaccine But Through Redefinition

As noted by Dr. Humphries, it's very easy to defeat the polio vaccine argument, as most incidences of polio disappeared because the disease was redefined—not because there was an actual change in disease prevalence. In fact, it could be argued that the vaccine did more harm than good, since some versions caused polio, and others propagated new mutated strains of the virus. According to Dr. Humphries, at one point, the only polio cases in the US were vaccine-induced. Yet even though there are no cases of wild polio being discovered, the polio vaccine remains part of the US vaccine program...

"Even today, you can just go on to the CDC website and the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). You can see that cases of polio in this country by and large occur when people get the oral vaccine in another country and then come here. When they say that polio is only a plane ride away, the truth is that disease from polio vaccine is also a plane ride away... Like I said, the injected vaccines do not interrupt propagation of the virus. If somebody comes to this country who has recently had an oral polio vaccine and he's shedding a highly virulent strain, people in this country can start passing it around."

Polio Epidemic Historically Related to Increase in Sugar Consumption

Here's another interesting tidbit that no one ever talks about: In the past, it has sometimes been suggested that a large part of the polio epidemic was related to increases in sugar consumption. Dr. Benjamin Sandler wrote an entire book about this, and Dr. Humphries refers to his work in her book as well. She explains the connection as follows:

"Polio's an enterovirus [i.e. a virus that enters the body through the gastrointestinal tract and thrives there]. The integrity and the flora population in your bowel is extremely important when it comes to dealing with any kind of bowel infection. A diet that's high in sugar is going to 1) impair your cell-mediated immune system and 2) trash your gut flora... [It was] shown that in populations who cut back on their sugar intake, the rates of polio plummeted... But it was so unbelievable that nobody really listened to him.

It was the same as when Dr. Frederick Klenner tried to say that he cured 100 percent of patients with intravenous vitamin C and [it] just didn't register. The... low-sugar diet was very effective because of the effect it has on the immune system and on the bowel flora. The same with dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT); DDT really trashes the bowel, the intestinal walls, and the flora.... Not only can DDT give you all the symptoms of polio all by itself, it can also make the poliovirus much more virulent and active in the body for the same reason: it disturbs the normal function of the bowel."

DDT exposure has also been linked to Alzheimer's disease, and it's worth noting that the contemporary equivalent of DDT, glyphosate, according to Dr. Don Huber, professor emeritus at Purdue University, is far more toxic than DDT. It definitely has been shown to decimate your microbiome, and glyphosate preferentially kills bacteria known to be beneficial for human health.

'You Cannot Dabble in the Topic of Vaccination'

Dr. Humphries left a successful practice making $300,000 a year to be a poorly paid researcher. For her it was worth it, because her integrity wouldn't allow her to turn a blind eye to what she knew to be wrong.

"If you want to make these [vaccine] arguments, we have to have information and we have to have knowledge. We have to understand the history, the medical literature, the biology, the chemistry, the physiology, and the immunology. That is not easy. You cannot dabble in the topic of vaccination. If you do, you're likely going to be toppled by the pro-vaccine lobby because they're doing their homework.

I felt it was more important to do my homework and make these arguments that I wanted to make... I do lectures if people invite me. I have toured through Scandinavia. Our book has been translated into two different languages [Spanish and German]... Right now I'm really immersed in the topic of infant immunity because there is so much information that has just come out in the past few years that, in my opinion, turns the vaccine paradigm for infants completely on its head.

Instead of arguing about any particular vaccine, if you understand the way the infant immune system is designed, you can automatically see that if you were going to toss any kind of a vaccine in there, you might give them some short-term immunity, but you're also going to change their immune systems so that it can't function the way it was designed to function... The arguments against vaccines when you really understand the infant immune system I think are irrefutable."

Science of Epigenetics Changes Everything Yet Again...

Epigenetics is another field where biology is being turned on its head and all the old paradigms are being tossed out. Epigenetic science now tells us that our genes are NOT our destiny, and the problem is that once you start to epigenetically tinker with the infant immune system, you are basically depositing what Dr. Humphries refers to as "little cluster bombs" that will eventually "explode into a big problem." As an example, she cites a study by Nikolaj Orntoft, in which African girls were injected with a tetanus vaccine to see which genes might be upregulated or downregulated. What they found is that there's really no way to predict which genes will be affected.

So not only will each individual have a unique response to any given vaccine, based on their current health status, we're also epigenetically predisposed to respond differently in terms of the side effects we might develop. This means that having a vaccine compensation table for reimbursement for vaccine damage is nonsensical as we're bound to have different genes upregulated after vaccines are given.

"We can have cancer genes upregulated, or autoimmune diseases upregulated. This has been shown in modern literature that used these highly sophisticated gene techniques to actually watch what happens after the vaccine is injected. I think this is really powerful information to show that, when vaccines started, they knew nothing about the immune system. Then scientists knew something about the immune system, but now we know about the genetics of the immune system and the epigenetics of the immune system, and that's got to be taken into account..."

Most Doctors Are Completely Uninformed, Which Means You Cannot Make an Informed Choice

Dr. Humphries stresses the importance of "thinking long and hard" about how much information you've been given before your child is given a vaccine.

“[Vaccines] can have tumorigenic kidney cells of a cocker spaniel in it. It can have human fetal cells with retroviruses. [It can have] aluminum, which is one of the most horrible things to inject into any sort of life form, especially into a muscle... Parents really need to know that their doctors are not informed and therefore they cannot give informed consent, and that they really need to think about it because you cannot unvaccinate.

The fear of, “Oh, what if my child gets a disease”—that’s where knowing the history is really important because what we’re talking about is under which conditions people become susceptible . That’s really more important than transmission. Because, yes, measles transmits very rapidly through the population, but it actually has a lot of benefits to the immune system—so much so that they’re using it to treat cancer today.”

We really need to understand each disease – what the risk of it is, how it's transmitted, what the vaccine effectiveness is, and what the risks are. Dr. Humphries also notes that the human body is designed in such a perfect way that there is a system in place to handle just about anything that happens to it, provided we've treated our body properly.

"Babies who come into this world in a normal and natural way, who are breastfed for an appropriate amount of time, that's the best protection you could ever give to your baby's immune system or brain. Consider that when the fear starts to creep in. If you're breastfeeding your baby, you're already giving the most powerful thing on the planet that can be given to that baby," she says.

More Information

People have been scared into believing vaccines are the answer to prevent disease, but when you look at the historical evidence, the arguments used simply fall apart. There's just no question that improving your innate immune system—through reducing sugar and processed foods in your diet, improving your gut flora, leading a healthy lifestyle, and having adequate vitamin D levels, ideally through sensible sun exposure,—will provide a far more effective immune response and virtually eliminate any risk of developing a life threatening infection.

The key is to have the courage to trust in this truth—that your body is designed to maintain health. Its natural course and direction is to be healthy not sick. If you have a healthy lifestyle, exposure to nearly all of these infectious agents will ultimately make you healthy and stronger. This is similar to exercise, which actually tears your body down to make it stronger. Nature actually knows what it's doing, whereas putting chemicals into your body based on human theories (or rumors!) that are oftentimes completely wrong, is unlikely to produce better results. As noted by Dr. Humphries:

"We have a highly profitable, lucrative religion that involves the government, industry, and academia. That religion is vaccination. People believe in vaccines. They'll tell you, they believe in vaccines. But you ask them what they know about vaccines and it will be almost nothing. In fact the people who argue the loudest usually know the least when it comes to trying to convince you to take the vaccine. That's been my experience.

Medical schools are bereft of information on the history of vaccination, on the contents of them, and the potential problems. We have the go-to doctors, like Dr. Paul Offit, teaching doctors how to talk to vaccine-refusing parents. We have doctors like Dr. Robert Jacobson putting out PowerPoint presentations to give to doctors, literally telling them to persuade the parents rather than to inform them...

Doctors are really being systematically brainwashed. Not only that, but if doctors do start to see problems... wake up to it; do their own research, and buck the system, they risk being treated the way I was. I was well respected through the entire state of Maine. People were referring their patients to me. My colleagues would come to me with their medical problems... But once I started to argue against the practice of vaccination, I was automatically tossed into the category of a quack..."

To learn more, I couldn’t more highly recommend Dr. Humphries excellent book, Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines, and the Forgotten History, available in paper back and Kindle on Amazon. You can also find more information on the book’s website, dissolvingillusions.com.  I have read it cover to cover and plan on doing so again as there are loads of powerful information that helps combat the blindly foolish acceptance of nearly all media and professionals on the value of vaccinations.

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Chicken Soup with Lentils PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

There is perhaps no more comforting food than a warm bowl of chicken soup, but the benefits are not only to your psyche. Chicken soup has been used as a remedy for the common cold since at least the 12th century.1

The fluids it provides can help your body fight infection, while the steam might help ease your congestion. But beyond this, chicken soup contains beneficial compounds that might alleviate inflammation.2

When you’re sick with a cold, part of your body’s inflammatory response is to send white blood cells to your upper respiratory tract to help fend off the invaders. This, however, may stimulate many of the symptoms of the common cold, including mucous production, cough, and sneezing.3

One study showed that chicken soup helped to stop the migration of the cells, which could potentially help to stop some cold symptoms from developing. According to the study:4

Chicken soup significantly inhibited neutrophil migration and did so in a concentration-dependent manner... chicken soup may contain a number of substances with beneficial medicinal activity.

A mild anti-inflammatory effect could be one mechanism by which the soup could result in the mitigation of symptomatic upper respiratory tract infections.”

Chicken Soup: More Than a Placebo Effect?

Other studies looking into the health benefits of chicken soup also suggest it has more than just a “placebo effect.” As reported in the New York Times,5 one study found that eating hot chicken soup helped increase the movement of nasal mucus more than simply drinking hot water.6

Separate research also showed chicken soup improved the function of cilia, which are hair-like structures in your nose that help keep pathogens from entering your body.7 The New York Times reported:8

“None of the research is conclusive, and it’s not known whether the changes measured in the laboratory really have a meaningful effect on people with cold symptoms. However, at the very least, chicken soup with vegetables contains lots of healthy nutrients, increases hydration and tastes good, too.”

What Else Makes Chicken Soup So Healthy?

Beyond the potential anti-inflammatory activity, there’s good reason to eat chicken soup – it’s full of healthy vegetables and other nutritious ingredients.

Chicken

Chicken is an excellent source of protein, B vitamins, selenium, phosphorus, and choline. It provides all B vitamins along with a surprisingly varied number of additional nutrients.

Chicken also contains a natural amino acid called cysteine, which can thin the mucus in your lungs and make it less sticky so you can expel it more easily. As reported by the George Mateljan Foundation:9

Chicken is perhaps best known for its high protein content, but it is a food that actually provides broad nutrient support… Included… are plentiful amounts of sulfur-containing amino acids like cysteine and methionine, as well as branched chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) that are important for support of cardiac and skeletal muscle.

All B vitamins are present in chicken meat… In terms of minerals, chicken is richest in selenium… Zinc, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron are also provided by this food.”

Bone Broth

I encourage you to make your own homemade bone broth to use as a base for your chicken soup. Bone broth contains valuable minerals in a form your body can easily absorb and use, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur chondroitin, glucosamine, and a variety of trace minerals.

The gelatin found in bone broth is a hydrophilic colloid. It attracts and holds liquids, including digestive juices, thereby supporting proper digestion. You can find a recipe to make chicken bone broth here.

Cabbage

Cabbage, which is part of the chicken soup recipe below, contains powerful antioxidants like vitamins A and C and phytonutrients such as thiocyanates, lutein, zeaxanthin, isothiocyanates, and sulforaphane, which stimulate detoxifying enzymes and may protect against breast, colon, and prostate cancers.

Cabbage also contains a wealth of anti-inflammatory nutrients to help keep inflammation in check. Among them are anthocyanins, a type of polyphenol that’s particularly plentiful in red cabbage, although all types of cabbage contain anti-inflammatory polyphenols.

Garlic

Studies have demonstrated more than 150 beneficial health effects of garlic, including reducing your risk for heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, and various cancers such as brain, lung, and prostate cancer.

Garlic also has immune-boosting properties and is a triple threat against infections, offering antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.

A New Twist on Chicken Soup: Chicken Soup with Yellow Lentils

The recipe below comes from my Healthy Recipes for Your Nutritional Type cookbook. It’s simple to prepare and takes a new spin on ordinary chicken soup, with the addition of two varieties of vinegar, cabbage, and yellow lentils.

Chicken Soup with Yellow Lentils

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole organic pasture-raised chicken, cut up (marinate overnight in lemon juice if you have time)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 jar crushed tomatoes (or substitute fresh)
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup yellow lentils, soaked overnight
  • 4 cups chicken stock or bone broth
  • ½ head medium cabbage, chopped OR ½ pound spinach
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

Method:

  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Place chicken in pot and brown each side for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  2. Place onions in the pot and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and sauté for another 5-10 minutes. Add both vinegars, lentils, stock, and chicken. Simmer for 1 hour on low heat.
  3. Remove chicken and take off skin and bones. Then return the chicken to the pot.
  4. Add the cabbage and cook for 15 minutes. Add the garlic and spinach (if using). Cook for another 10 minutes.
  5. Serve with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.
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Documentary Film Explores the Enormous Price We Pay for Ignoring the Need for Sleep PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

According to the documentary, Sleepless in America, coproduced by the National Geographic Channel, 40 percent of Americans are sleep deprived. Many get less than five hours of sleep per night. Percentage-wise, adolescents are among the most sleep deprived.

The consequences are dire, not just for the individual who isn’t getting enough rest, but for those around them as well. While most people don’t give lack of sleep much thought, there are in fact life-threatening consequences.

Notably, “experts now believe that sleep deprivation may have played a role in the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the Staten Island ferry crash, and the Three-Mile Island nuclear meltdown,” the film states. Countless people have also lost their lives to tired drivers who simply dozed off behind the wheel.

It’s important to realize that getting less than six hours of sleep each night leaves you cognitively impaired. Sleep deprivation has also been linked to health effects such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s,1 and cancer. Depression and anxiety disorders are also adversely impacted by lack of sleep.

The Importance of Staying in Sync with Nature

Maintaining a natural rhythm of exposure to sunlight during the day and darkness at night is one crucial foundational component of sleeping well.

This was addressed in a previous interview with researcher Dan Pardi. In it, he explains how exposure to bright daylight serves as the major synchronizer of your master clock—a group of cells in your brain called the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN).

These nuclei synchronize to the light-dark cycle of your environment when light enters your eye. You also have other biological clocks throughout your body that are synchronized to your master clock.

One reason why so many people get so little sleep, and/or such poor sleep, can be traced back to a master clock disruption. In short, most people spend their days indoors, shielded from bright daylight, and then spend their evenings in too-bright artificial light.

As a result, their body clocks get out of sync with the natural rhythm of daylight and nighttime darkness, and when that happens, restorative sleep becomes elusive.

An estimated 15 million Americans also work the night shift, and the adverse health effects of working nights are well documented. As just one example, three years of periodical night shift work can increase your risk for diabetes by 20 percent, and this risk continues to rise with time.

What Happens When You’re Sleep Deprived?

What makes sleep deprivation so detrimental is that it doesn’t just impact one aspect of your health… it impacts many. Among them are five major risks to your mental and physical well-being:

  1. Reaction time slows: When you’re sleep-deprived, you’re not going to react as quickly as you normally would, making driving or other potentially dangerous activities, like using power tools, risky. One study even found that sleepiness behind the wheel was nearly as dangerous as drinking and driving.2
  2. Your cognition suffers—both short- and long-term: A single night of sleeping only four to six hours can impact your ability to think clearly the next day. In one animal study,3 sleep deprived mice lost 25 percent of the neurons located in their locus coeruleus, a nucleus in the brainstem associated with cognitive processes.
  3. Hence, if you’re sleep-deprived you will have trouble processing information and making decisions. This is why it’s so important to get a good night’s sleep prior to important events at work or home.

    For example, research discussed in the film found that diagnostic mistakes shot up by 400 percent among doctors who had worked for 24 consecutive hours.

    Sleep deprived medical residents also reported a 73 percent increase in self-inflicted needle sticks and scalpel stabs, and when driving home from work, they had a 170 percent increased risk of having a serious motor vehicle accident.

    Research4 also suggests that people with chronic sleep problems may develop Alzheimer’s disease sooner than those who sleep well. One of the reasons for this is because sleep is critical for brain detoxification—a process during which harmful proteins linked to Alzheimer's are cleared out.

  4. Memory and learning declines: The process of brain growth, or neuroplasticity, is believed to underlie your brain's capacity to control behavior, including learning and memory. However, sleep and sleep loss modify the expression of several genes and gene products that may be important for synaptic plasticity.
  5. Furthermore, certain forms of long-term potentiation, a neural process associated with the laying down of learning and memory can be elicited in sleep, suggesting synaptic connections are strengthened while you slumber.

  6. Emotions are heightened: As your reaction time and cognition slows, your emotions will be kicked into high gear. This means that arguments with co-workers or your spouse are likely, and you’re probably going to be at fault for blowing things out of proportion.
  7. The amygdala controls basic emotions like fear and anger. As discussed in the film, another area of your brain called your frontal cortex, plays a key role in the regulation of emotions, and sleep is vital for its function.

    When you’re well rested, your frontal cortex is nicely connected to your amygdala—that deep emotional center—and works almost like “a break to your emotional gas pedal.”

    Sleep deprivation causes a disconnect between these two brain centers, allowing your emotions to run amok. Sleep deprivation also plays an important role in mental illness, and tends to result in more adverse psychiatric outcomes.

  8. Immune function and health deteriorates: Sleep deprivation has the same effect on your immune system as physical stress or illness,5 which may help explain why lack of sleep is tied to an increased risk of numerous chronic diseases.
  9. For example, research shows that sleeping less than six hours per night more than triples your risk of high blood pressure, and women who get less than four hours of shut-eye per night double their chances of dying from heart disease.6

You Need Around Eight Hours of Sleep Every Night

The studies are quite clear and most experts agree, you are seriously fooling yourself if you think you can do fine on less than eight hours of sleep. But eight hours of sleep is not eight hours in bed. If you go to bed at 10 pm and get out of bed at 6 am, you might say you’ve slept for eight hours. In reality, you probably spent at least 15-30 minutes falling asleep and may have woken during the night one or more times.

With the advent of fitness-tracking devices such as Jawbone’s UP, however, we now have access to actual sleep data (and more) from wristband users. The data is quite useful on a personal level and they helped me understand that I need to start getting to sleep around 9.30 PM if I hope to get a full eight hours of sleep, which I now typically do.

Newer devices, like Jawbone’s UP3 that should be released in early 2015, can even tell you what activities led to your best sleep and what factors resulted in poor sleep. It’s also fascinating on a larger scale, as the data reveal insights into sleep patterns from around the world.

The Glorification of Sleep Deprivation

According to the 2013 International Bedroom Poll by the National Sleep Foundation,7 25 percent of Americans report having to cut down on sleep due to long workdays. On average, Americans get only 6.5 hours of sleep on weeknights, but report needing 7.25 hours in order to function optimally. As noted in a previous article in The Atlantic:8

“For some, sleep loss is a badge of honor, a sign that they don’t require the eight-hour biological reset that the rest of us softies do. Others feel that keeping up with peers requires sacrifice at the personal level—and at least in the short-term, sleep is an invisible sacrifice.”

Modern man’s penchant for equating sleep with unproductiveness (if not outright laziness) can be traced back to the heyday of Thomas Edison, who was known for working around the clock. According to the featured article:9

“Edison spent considerable amounts of his own and his staff’s energy on in publicizing the idea that success depended in no small part in staying awake to stay ahead of the technological and economic competition.”  No one... did more to frame the issue as a simple choice between productive work and unproductive rest ...

Over time, children’s books and magazines began to promote this type of Edisonian asceticism... Edison encouraged all Americans to follow his lead, claiming that sleeping eight hours a night was a waste and even harmful. “There is really no reason why men should go to bed at all,” he said in 1914.”

This culture of sleep deprivation started with the invention of the light bulb, and has only gotten worse with the proliferation of light-emitting electronics, which disrupt your natural waking-sleeping cycle. The following infographic, created by BigBrandBeds.co.uk, illustrates how your electronic gadgets wreak havoc on your sleep when used before bedtime.10

The Importance of Addressing Sleep Apnea

As discussed in the film, sleep apnea is another common cause of sleep deprivation. Sleep apnea is the inability to breathe properly, or the limitation of breath or breathing, during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea consists of the frequent collapse of the airway during sleep, making it difficult to breathe for periods lasting as long as 10 seconds. Those with a severe form of the disorder have at least 30 disruptions per hour. Not only do these breathing disruptions interfere with sleep, leaving you unusually tired the next day, it also reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood, which can impair the function of internal organs and/or exacerbate other health conditions you may have.

The condition is closely linked to metabolic health problems such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, and according to research,11 even a modest weight reduction can halt the progression of obstructive sleep apnea. Shedding excess pounds might even cure it, according to one five-year long study.12 That said, you do not have to be obese to suffer from sleep apnea. As discussed by Dr. Arthur Strauss, a dental physician and a diplomat of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, factors such as the shape and size of your mouth, and the positioning of your tongue, can also play a significant role.

If your sleep apnea is related to your tongue or jaw position, specialty trained dentists can design a custom oral appliance to address the issue. These include mandibular repositioning devices, designed to shift your jaw forward, while others help hold your tongue forward without moving your jaw. Relief may also be found in the form of speech therapy treatment called oral myofunctional therapy, which helps to re-pattern your oral and facial muscles. For more information about this, please see my previous interview with Joy Moeller, who is a leading expert in this form of therapy in the US.

How to Support Your Circadian Rhythm and Sleep Better for Optimal Health

Making small adjustments to your daily routine and sleeping area can go a long way to ensure uninterrupted, restful sleep and, thereby, better health. I suggest you read through my full set of 33 healthy sleep guidelines for all of the details, but to start, consider implementing the following changes to ensure more shut-eye:

  • Avoid watching TV or using your computer in the evening, at least an hour or so before going to bed. These devices emit blue light, which tricks your brain into thinking it's still daytime. Normally, your brain starts secreting melatonin between 9 and 10 pm, and these devices emit light that may stifle that process. You can also download a free application called F.lux13 that automatically dims your monitor or screens in the evening, which can help lessen the adverse effects if you have to use them in the evening.
  • Get some sun in the morning, and at least 30 minutes of BRIGHT sun exposure mid-day. Your circadian system needs bright light to reset itself. Ten to 15 minutes of morning sunlight will send a strong message to your internal clock that day has arrived, making it less likely to be confused by weaker light signals during the night. Also, if you work indoors, make a point to get outdoors for at least a total of 30-60 minutes during the brightest portion of the day.
  • Sleep in a dark room. Even the slightest bit of light in your bedroom can disrupt your body’s clock and your pineal gland's melatonin production. I recommend covering your windows with drapes or blackout shades, or using an eye mask.
  • Install a low-wattage yellow, orange, or red light bulb if you need a source of light for navigation at night. Light in these bandwidths does not shut down melatonin production in the way that white and blue bandwidth light does. Salt lamps are handy for this purpose.
  • Keep the temperature in your bedroom below 70 degrees F. Many people keep their homes too warm (particularly their upstairs bedrooms). Studies show that the optimal room temperature for sleep is between 60 to 68 degrees F.
  • Take a hot bath 90 to 120 minutes before bedtime. This increases your core body temperature, and when you get out of the bath it abruptly drops, signaling your body that you are ready to sleep.
  • Avoid electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in your bedroom. EMFs can disrupt your pineal gland and its melatonin production, and may have other negative biological effects as well. A gauss meter is required if you want to measure EMF levels in various areas of your home. Ideally, you should turn off any wireless router while you are sleeping. You don’t need the Internet on while you’re asleep.
  • Use a fitness tracker to track your sleep. Chances are you’re not getting nearly as much sleep as you think, and using a fitness tracker that monitors your sleep can be a useful tool to help motivate you to get to bed earlier so you can get eight hours of sleep. When I first started using a fitness tracker, I was striving to get 8 hours of sleep, but my Jawbone UP typically recorded me at 7.5 to 7.75. Part of the equation too is going to bed earlier, as most of us have to get up at a preset time.
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Fat Beneath Skin May Ward Off Infections PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

When you get a cut or a scratch, what keeps invading bacteria from making you sick? Specialized immune-system cells called neutrophils and monocytes ultimately arrive at the scene, gobbling up pathogens.

In the meantime, in order to keep disease-causing microbes from multiplying out of control, other cell types in the area of the wound, including mast cells and leukocytes, provide a more immediate response against invaders.

It turns out, however, that these are not your body's only line of defense. Your body's dermal fat cells, or adipocytes – the ones just below your skin – may be the first responders against potential invaders.

Skin Fat Might Protect You from Infections

The fat underneath your skin is known to help insulate your body, protecting you from extreme temperatures. It also helps attach the dermis layer of your skin to your muscles and bones, the latter of which it also helps pad in the event of a fall.1

But fat cells do far more than control your body temperature and act as storage for energy… they also fight infections, according to a new study.2 Richard Gallo, MD, PhD, professor and chief of dermatology at UC San Diego School of Medicine, the study's lead researcher, said:3

"It was thought that once the skin barrier was broken, it was entirely the responsibility of circulating (white) blood cells like neutrophils and macrophages to protect us from getting sepsis," said Gallo, the study's principal investigator.

"But it takes time to recruit these cells (to the wound site). We now show that the fat stem cells are responsible for protecting us. That was totally unexpected. It was not known that adipocytes could produce antimicrobials, let alone that they make almost as much as a neutrophil."

Fat Cells Produce Germ-Fighting Antimicrobial Peptides

Previous research by Gallo and colleagues found that the pathogenic Staphylococcus aureus bacteria could be found in the fat layers of the skin,4 but they weren't sure if it played a role in infection.

The current study revealed fat layers in the skin of mice thickened after being introduced to the S. aureus bacteria. Mice that were incapable of forming new fat cells were more prone to infection. And, according to the study:5

"The differentiating fat cells secreted a small-molecule peptide called cathelicidin, specifically in response to the infection."

In other words, the fat cells produced high levels of an antimicrobial peptide (AMP) called cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide, or CAMP. AMPs are used by your body's innate immune response to kill invading pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and other pathogens.6

Further tests showed that human fat cells also produced CAMP, which suggests the animal findings will hold true in humans as well – and your fat may serve as an important germ-fighting barrier against infection.

Too Much CAMP Is Pro-Inflammatory

Antimicrobial peptides destroy the cell walls of bacteria, fungi, and viruses, making them very useful for fighting infections. You skin also produces AMPs,7 and having them in your fat layer would seem to provide another layer of protection to prevent microbes from establishing an infection.

What is noteworthy about cathelicidin, however, is that it has both antimicrobial and pro-inflammatory properties. Too much CAMP is associated with autoimmune and inflammatory disease, and the featured study found that obese mice had more CAMP in their blood than those of normal weight.

According to Gallo:8

"…in humans it is becoming increasingly clear that the presence of AMPs can be a double-edged sword, particularly for CAMP. Too little CAMP and people experience frequent infections.

…The best example is atopic eczema (a type of recurring, itchy skin disorder). These patients can experience frequent Staph and viral infections. But too much CAMP is also bad. Evidence suggests excess CAMP can drive autoimmune and other inflammatory diseases like lupus, psoriasis and rosacea."

Obesity and Insulin Resistance May Increase Your Susceptibility to Infection by Altering AMP Production

If fat cells produce antimicrobial peptides, you might assume that someone with more fat cells would get even more protection against infection. Yet, the opposite actually holds true, both for obesity and the related condition insulin resistance. Both of these can alter AMP production. Gallo explained:

"Defective AMP production by mature adipocytes can occur due to obesity or insulin resistance, resulting in greater susceptibility to infection, but too much cathelicidin may provoke an unhealthy inflammatory response."

This may be one reason why obesity is associated with inflammation and is also an established risk factor for numerous infections, including skin infections.9 There are still many unanswered questions about the role your fat cells play in immune response and disease.

Your body needs fat, but excess fat, such as in obesity, may alter your health in ways that have yet to be discovered. For now, the discovery that the fat beneath your skin may help ward off infection is a big one. As Gallo said:

"The key is that we now know this part of the immune response puzzle… these findings may help researchers understand disease associations with obesity and develop new strategies to optimize care."

Natural Ways to Boost Immune Function and Ward Off Infection

What happens to those pathogens that make it past the AMPs produced by your fat cells (or those that enter your body through your mouth, nose, ear, or eyes)? They can be easily defeated by a strong immune system, with the key word being strong.

You want to do everything you can to build and strengthen your immune system, which is your built-in defense against disease. There are quite a few ways to do this, including the natural steps outlined below:

  • Optimize your vitamin D levels. I firmly believe that optimizing your vitamin D levels is the single most important and least expensive action you can take to help strengthen immune function and protect against getting sick, especially during the flu season.
  • Vitamin D is an important player in overall healthy immune function, and it's also an effective antimicrobial agent in its own right, producing 200 to 300 different antimicrobial peptides in your body that kill bacteria, viruses and fungi. I strongly urge you to have your vitamin D level monitored to confirm your levels are optimized at 50-70 ng/ml year-round.

  • Eat fermented foods: Fermented vegetables are an excellent way to supply beneficial bacteria back into your gut. As an added bonus, they can also be a great source of vitamin K2 if you ferment your own using the proper starter culture like Kinetic Culture. This is important because about 80 percent of your immune system resides in your gut, where healthy microflora is essential for a strong immune response. Also there's a connection between certain types of pathogenic bacteria in your gut and body fat that produces a heightened inflammatory response and drives the inflammatory process – all the more reason to nourish the beneficial varieties.
  • Avoid sugar and grains: Excessive refined carbohydrates in the form of sugar and grains is very unbalancing for your gut flora. Sugar is "fertilizer" for pathogenic bacteria, yeast, and fungi that can set your immune system up for an easy assault by pathogens.
  • Exercise: Exercise improves the circulation of immune cells in your blood. The job of these cells is to neutralize pathogens throughout your body. The better these cells circulate, the more efficient your immune system is at locating and defending against viruses and other pathogens that may otherwise opportunistically overrun your body.
  • Manage your stress: When researchers from Carnegie Mellon University infected study participants with a common cold virus, those who had reported being under stress were twice as likely to get sick.10 Chronic stress also exerts a powerful negative influence on your epigenetic health, turning on and off the expression of genes that directly influence your likelihood of getting sick. Using techniques like energy psychology, you can correct the emotional short-circuiting that contributes to your chronic stress, which helps to optimize your genetic expression. My favorite technique for this is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), but there are many others, such as yoga, journaling, and prayer.
  • Use natural immune-boosters. Examples include oil of oregano and garlic, both of which offer effective protection against a broad spectrum of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa in your body. And unlike pharmaceutical antibiotics, they do not appear to lead to resistance and the development of "super germs."
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Documentary “Shots in the Dark” Delves into Catastrophic Vaccine Reactions PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

As a result of today's skyrocketing rates of chronic disease and disability among children, including autism, some scientists are questioning the safety of large-scale vaccination programs.

In spite of serious adverse effects among some particularly vulnerable people—many of whom are children—public health officials and many doctors giving vaccines continue to bury their heads in the sand, refusing to even acknowledge there's a problem.

The featured documentary, "Shots in the Dark: Silence on Vaccine," takes a hard look at vaccine toxicity and its impact on families. Although released in 2011, the concerns raised are still relevant today.

Current research casts a shadow of doubt about vaccines being as safe as people have been led to believe. Several concerned scientists and many vaccine safety critics are sounding the alarm in hopes of gaining the attention of a public that tends to believe, without question, what doctors and the media say—that vaccines are unquestionably safe for everyone.

Certainly the original intention behind mass vaccination programs was a noble one—to reduce the spread of dangerous infections and increase our children's odds of living long, healthy lives.

However, cases of severe, debilitating vaccine-triggered illnesses are becoming less of a rarity and lead to the logical conclusion that we may be trading artificial, temporary vaccine acquired immunity for life-long illness and disability.

Vaccine Safety Studies Severely Outdated – By Almost 100 Years!

There is increasing evidence that vaccines cause children to suffer more adverse reactions than any other pharmaceutical product.

Some of the recent research points to vaccines playing a key role in cases of autism, multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome and other major illnesses, particularly among individuals who are predisposed to react adversely to vaccine components.

Vaccines contain a variety of toxic compounds, including thimerosal (a mercury-containing preservative) and aluminum hydroxide, the most commonly used adjuvant which may be even more dangerous than mercury.

Vaccines are a $30 billion per year industry. Decades ago there used to be dozens of vaccine manufacturers, but today just five big drug corporations dominate the lucrative world vaccine market: Pfizer, Merck, Sanofi Pasteur, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline.

Vaccine manufacturers, government health officials, medical trade associations and the majority of physicians reject outright any suggestion of a cause-and-effect relationship between vaccines and serious illness, relying on poorly designed studies, some dating back to the late 1920s.

With the scientific advancements over the past century, those studies are seriously dated. For example, in the 1920s we had no idea that certain compounds interact to produce toxic and mutating effects on human DNA.

There is no way to predict how vaccines may be causing new mutations and damaging you or your child's DNA because it simply hasn't been studied. There is much we didn't know then about how the brain and immune systems develop and function, and much we still don't know.

Today, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)1 recommends 69 doses of 16 vaccines for your child, starting on his or her day of birth and continuing through age 18—including 49 doses before the age of six. This is more than double the number of vaccines prescribed 30 years ago.

Such a regimen typically manipulates and deals a heavy blow to your child's developing immune system, raising his or her risk for development of brain dysfunction and autoimmune disorders.

Vaccine Adjuvants Linked to Dangerous Gene Mutations

The official line is that vaccines don't cause a type of brain and immune dysfunction that is labeled by doctors as "autism" or "autism spectrum disorder." However, rates of autism, along with many other chronic immunological and neurological diseases have exploded over exactly the same time period that our infants and children have been hit with increasing numbers of vaccines.

Autism rates are approximately 200 times higher than they were 30 years ago. In 1985, autism affected one child in 10,000 in America. In 2014, it was one in 50. Senior MIT Research Scientist Stephanie Seneff estimates that, based on current projections, half of all children will have autism by the year 2025! 2

Vaccine advocates claim that autism is a "genetic disease," but that's an outdated model. Emerging evidence suggests that autism is actually an epigenetic disease—meaning, autism is triggered by de novo mutations that change a child's genes.

But what's causing these mutations and DNA changes? They are likely caused by a number of coexisting factors, related to the toxic nature of our modern world. Environmental chemicals and other toxins can turn genes on that would ordinarily be dormant, and turn genes off that would normally protect you.

For example, some researchers have correlated elevated autism rates with the introduction of vaccines that use human fetal cell lines and retroviral contaminants. There is also scientific evidence that the mercury preservatives and aluminum adjuvants in vaccines are creating health problems.

Scientist Finds Direct Evidence of Mercury Overload in Autistic Children

Human exposures to mercury and aluminum have increased dramatically over the past 30 years. The human body isn't equipped to break down and eliminate these heavy metals, so they tend to accumulate in tissues over time. It's been a challenging task for scientists to tease out exactly what effect this increased mercury load has on long term health.

For example, researchers have found that some people have a more difficult time excreting mercury from the body than others potentially due to genetic or other biological differences. Accumulation of mercury in the human body can have devastating effects on health.

Dr. Robert Nataf, Director of the Philippe Auguste Laboratory in Paris, France, was tasked with exploring the biology of children diagnosed with autism. He found direct evidence of mercury toxicity in the children, who had elevated porphyrin levels. Porphyrins are essential compounds that help you fight toxins, and he found porphyrins specific to mercury elevated in autistic children, which suggests mercury overload.

Prior studies have shown that when a person has mercury poisoning, the body's cells cannot build the intercellular transport network (microtubules) necessary to get substances made by the cell to where they are needed. The result of this blockage can be chronic illness. In the documentary, Dr. Nataf uses this metaphor: "Mercury is like a highway accident. The result is a weakening of the cell's functioning. When a cell weakens, it starts making mistakes, creating malformations."

Aluminum Adjuvants May Cause Your Body to Attack Itself

Total Video Length: 41:58

Download Interview Transcript

In the video above, Dr. David Ayoub discusses how the aluminum in vaccines may be even more dangerous than mercury. Aluminum is to your brain and central nervous system as cigarette smoke is to your lungs, producing tremendous oxidative stress. When you review the signs and symptoms of aluminum toxicity, they are quite similar to the symptoms of autism, ADHD, Alzheimer's, ALS, Parkinson's and other neurological diseases.

Aluminum hydroxide is the oldest and most commonly used vaccine adjuvant and is considered "safe," in spite of scientific evidence to the contrary. An adjuvant's role is to hyper-stimulate the immune system to mount a strong antibody response to the lab altered virus or bacteria introduced into the body by a vaccine. It was once thought that the body eliminated aluminum hydroxide within a few days of an aluminum containing vaccine being injected into it, but scientists now know this isn't necessarily true.  For genetic or biological reasons that we don't yet understand, some people appear predisposed to poor aluminum detoxification, so it accumulates in their tissues and leads to myalgias, fatigue, cognitive deficiencies and other health problems.

Although somewhat rare, another illness that can result from injected aluminum hydroxide is macrophagic myofasciitis3 (MMF), marked by disabling pain in your muscles, skin and fascia. Muscle biopsies of those with MMF show dark fibrous structures in the cytoplasm of their macrophages, proven to be aluminum hydroxide. The macrophages in their muscle tissue form masses called granulomas, and the resulting inflammation causes widespread pain throughout their bodies.

The aluminum vaccine adjuvant is doing what it was designed to do, telling the immune system to mount a strong response, but when aluminum is lodged in your muscle, your body can attack itself and elicit a classic autoimmune reaction. Aluminum can travel around your body easily, unimpeded, piggybacking on your iron transport system. It crosses biological barriers that normally keep other types of toxins out, such as your blood-brain barrier. Over time, aluminum can accumulate in your brain and cause brain inflammation. Aluminum toxicity may be contributing to the Alzheimer's epidemic, as well as other neurological and immune disorders commonly seen today.

Vaccines May Contain Six Times More Aluminum Than Labels Say

If you go by the aluminum content on vaccine labels, the amount kids are getting is excessive, but if you add in the aluminum NOT listed on the labels—"accidental exposure" due to contamination—it's a much more serious problem. Dr. Ayoub cites one study that found five to six times more aluminum in vaccines than what was actually listed on the labels. Vaccines are not the only source of aluminum exposure—it's present in the air, water, food, beverages, cosmetics, anti-perspirants and other consumer products. Not surprisingly, as children's aluminum burden has increased, so has the prevalence of childhood neurological disorders.

Can Vaccines Cause Permanent Brain Damage?

Although there are a number of biological mechanisms that have been implicated in facilitating vaccine-induced brain inflammation and immune dysfunction, clues about the effects of heavy metal toxicity on your brain can be found in the relatively new field of neuroimmunology. The brain's immune system is comprised of cells called microglia, which function similarly to the macrophages found in other parts of the body. You have as many microglia in your brain as neurons—they cover nearly all of your brain tissue, and they are mobile, moving about in order to identify and destroy foreign particles that pose a threat to your neurons.

Playing a key role in your brain's immune response, microglia produce a number of inflammatory molecules. This inflammatory response is a two-edged sword. If inflammation does not resolve, it can damage cerebral tissue—damage that CAN be permanent. When microglia are confused, they sometimes become "hyperactive" and attack everything, which can lead to cognitive deficiencies, demyelination, permanent brain damage or even death.  This is how vaccine adjuvants may cause permanent brain damage, especially among infants and children with genetic susceptibilities and underlying neurological or immune system disorders that may or may not have been diagnosed.

If your child has a hypersensitive immune response pattern that's different from the norm, he or she may be at increased risk for suffering a vaccine reaction.  At the present time, it is well known that the large gaps in vaccine safety science mean that doctors have few ways to reliably predict which child is going to experience such a reaction. Parents are seldom warned of all vaccine risks, even when their child has had a previous vaccine reaction or has a known neurological or immune system disorder that has the potential to raise those risks!

Most Adverse Vaccine Reactions Are Never Connected

Proving causation is extremely difficult with vaccine reactions. Unless symptoms of a vaccine reaction are immediate and dramatic, parents and doctors may not connect a child's health deterioration to vaccinations a child received. When parents report a reaction to their child's physician, they are typically told the illness couldn't possibly be related to the vaccine – it is just a "coincidence" say most pediatricians. Only the most extreme, dramatic and life-threatening vaccine reactions end up in federal vaccine court—the ones where the "dots" are easily connected. Unfortunately, at that point the damage is already done, and all too often it's permanent.

The CDC's VAERS database (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System)4 lists 8,000 different adverse vaccine reactions, from localized swelling and anaphylactic shock to autism, coma and death.5 Because of the factors already discussed, the actual number of reactions is probably much higher than the database reports. The vast majority of adverse reactions are never reported.

Government's Best Kept Secret: The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program

Given the furor that erupts when anybody publicly questions vaccine safety, you would think that US government officials are certain that vaccines are safe for everyone. But in reality, they've known about serious vaccine risks for decades and they know that some people are more susceptible to having vaccine reactions that lead to permanent injuries and death.  

At the insistence of vaccine manufacturers pressing Congress for a shield from vaccine injury lawsuits, 30 years ago Congress established the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Vaccine injury cases are adjudicated in the US Court of Claims, also known as "Vaccine Court."6 The VICP is supposed to provide non-adversarial, expedited financial compensation for vaccine victims according to provisions in the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act,7 which absolved vaccine manufacturers, pediatricians and other vaccine providers of nearly all responsibility and liability for vaccine injuries and deaths.

Unfortunately, two out of three vaccine victims applying to the VICP are turned away empty-handed. Very few families ever see a dime from this program, or they have ridiculously long waits for their cases to be heard and settled. Many parents are unaware that the compensation program even exists and miss the short filing deadlines for filing a vaccine injury claim in the VICP (two years following a vaccine death and three years following the first symptom of a vaccine injury).

The families seeking compensation are in vaccine court not because they were opposed to vaccination but because of what happened when they DID vaccinate their children. In the documentary "Bought," vaccine safety activist Dawn Loughborough says this about VICP:

"We used to have this idea we were protecting children from infectious diseases. And we created the National Vaccine program with children in mind, but somewhere in time protecting the program became more important than what's happening to our children."

Do No Harm?

Another issue standing in the way of ensuring that pharmaceutical products licensed by the FDA are safe is ensuring that those who are involved in the licensing and safety monitoring process are free from conflicts of interest. For example, there is evidence that individuals with ties to the pharmaceutical industry occupy a significant number of seats on FDA advisory committees that review new prescription drug licensing applications.

Apparently, conflicts of interest are rampant with a recent published study8 revealing that on average, 13 percent of the members of FDA advisory committees in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) have a financial interest in the company whose drug is up for committee review. The Precautionary Principle—establish safety first—has been replaced with do whatever it takes to rush a drug to market.

Then, when it has been found to cause severe and sometimes fatal health outcomes, like Vioxx, health officials simply deal with the fallout later. And then there is the pharmaceutical lobby, arguably the most powerful lobby in Washington with more than 600 lobbyists doling out funds to political candidates of both parties—in exchange for their loyalty, of course. This is why getting anything done in Congress that the drug industry doesn't want done is next to impossible.

Please Share Your Story

It's about time we had some good science to accurately assess how many people are being injured by vaccines, and who is most at risk.  The vaccine injured cannot be swept under the rug like nothing more than "statistically acceptable collateral damage" from one-size-fits-all vaccination policies.

If you or a family member has suffered a serious vaccine reaction, injury, or death, please report it and talk about it. If we don't share information and experiences with one another, then everybody feels alone and afraid to speak up. If you have a different perspective on a vaccine story that appears in your local newspaper, write a letter to the editor. Make a call to a radio talk show that is only presenting one side of the story. We cannot allow the drug companies and medical trade associations funded by drug companies, or public health officials promoting vaccine mandates, to dominate the conversation.

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Health Tips from a Grizzly PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

Hibernation is a survival mechanism that keeps certain animals alive through the winter months. Even when temperatures become freezing and food and water are scarce, hibernating animals barely notice as they slumber in a sedentary state.

But far from simply sleeping, hibernation involves multiple, sometimes counterintuitive, physiological shifts that give the animals a survival advantage. For instance, prior to hibernation animals will gorge themselves on food, becoming obese and, essentially, diabetic. During hibernation, animals’ lungs resemble asthmatics,’ with a thick coating of mucus and collagen.

Even hibernators’ brains show signs of changes akin to early-stage Alzheimer’s, and some lose their memories, yet come spring the animals emerge, seemingly unfazed. According to BBC News:1

As their body temperature drops, hibernators also remove the lymphocytes (white blood cells) from their blood and store them in the lymph nodes. And within 90 minutes of awakening, these reappear.

This damping down of the immune system prevents a general inflammation in the body during rewarming – the very thing that would cause humans and other non-hibernators to suffer kidney damage.”

Scientists Study Hibernation to Improve Human Health

That hibernating animals are able to slow their metabolism almost to a point of suspended animation, and re-emerge after the inhospitable winter no worse for the wear, has peaked scientists’ interest. If a similar state was able to be induced in humans, it might have significant health ramifications, including for the following diseases.2

Stroke

When an arctic ground squirrel hibernates, the blood flow in its brain is just one-tenth of normal. The resulting oxygen deprivation would lead to a stroke in humans, but the squirrels survive because their metabolism also lowers to 2 percent of normal.

Thus, they require much less oxygen to survive. If we could lower metabolism similarly in humans having strokes, it might prevent brain damage from occurring. Rapidly cooling the body is one possibility for achieving this.

Diabetes

Grizzly bears gain 100-plus pounds prior to hibernation, yet, unlike humans their cells do not stop responding to insulin and they do not develop type 2 diabetes or other metabolic diseases. Research shows that bears’ fat cells actually change their response to insulin depending on the season.

They’re sensitive to insulin in the summer and fall, but during hibernation become insulin resistant (which is then reversed come spring).3 This insulin resistance helps them gain the fat they need to survive the winter.

Osteoporosis

When a black bear hibernates, its bone is recycled at 25 percent of its normal rate. This allows them to maintain their bone strength even after long periods of virtually no movement. Harnessing this ability in humans could have implications for those at risk of osteoporosis.

Heart Disease

Hibernating arctic ground squirrels prioritize the use of fat as fuel when they’re in low-oxygen conditions. This likely prevents the buildup of waste products, like lactic acid, which can be damaging to humans in an oxygen-deprived state (such as during heart surgery).

Researchers are looking into the artic squirrels’ ability to burn more fat than sugar during hibernation, as it could help reduce organ damage in humans undergoing surgery.

Hibernating Animals Give Clues to Turning on Your Fat Switch

I highly recommend reading Dr. Richard Johnson's book The Fat Switch. In it, he reviews groundbreaking new research showing that eating too much and exercising too little are NOT solely responsible for why you keep gaining weight or have trouble shedding those excess pounds.

His research shows that metabolic syndrome (characterized by central obesity or increased waist circumference, high blood pressure and insulin resistance) is actually a normal condition that animals undergo to store fat.

Animals' ability to gain "hibernation fat" appears to be regulated by a switch in the mitochondria that is turned on and off by a common food that no longer provides survival advantage to humans living in contemporary society, namely fructose.

Fructose-containing sugars cause weight gain not by the calories they contain, but by triggering this "fat switch," which tells your body it's time to store fat, just as if you were an animal preparing for hibernation. According to Dr. Johnson:

“...most animals have learned how to become fat and how to become thin. They do it in a tightly regulated way... Hibernating mammals will double their weight and fat in the fall in preparation for winter...

These animals develop all the features of metabolic syndrome that we do. They get fat. They’re visceral fat goes up. They get fatty liver. The triglycerides go up in their blood. They get insulin-resistant... It’s a normal process.

It’s not a disease. This is how animals store fat. It’s part of the fat storage syndrome. I’ve actually proposed (and it’s in press) that the metabolic syndrome really should be called the fat-storage condition, because it’s just fat storage.”

The question, of course, is how do animals do it? Through his earlier research, Dr. Johnson discovered the method that animals use to gain fat prior to times of food scarcity, which turned out to be a powerful adaptive benefit. His research showed that fructose activates a key enzyme, fructokinase, which in turn activates another enzyme that causes cells to accumulate fat.

When this enzyme is blocked, fat cannot be stored in the cell. Interestingly, this is the exact same “switch” animals use to fatten up in the fall and to burn fat during the winter. Fructose is the dietary ingredient that turns on this “switch,” causing cells to accumulate fat, both in animals and in humans!

Human Mutations May Explain Why We Get Fat from Eating Fructose… But Other Animals Don’t

Dr. Johnson has also explained why humans seem to be especially sensitive to the effects of fructose, often becoming obese when exposed in excess (but without the ability to “switch back” to being thin, like animals do):

“'The enzyme that makes you fat is turned on in obese people,' Dr. Johnson explains, 'and the enzyme that makes you lean is turned off.' This is why the book is called The Fat Switch, because basically there is a switch that turns on and off. It looks to me like it’s universal to all animals.

This book is a story of that... [O]nce we realized that there was this switch, we asked, 'Why are people becoming obese?' Now we realized it was related to the sugar intake.

...The last part was connecting in with the evolutionary aspects. There’s a very famous evolutionary biologist in London, in the Natural History Museum. His name is Peter Andrews. He trained with Richard Leakey. He’s like a world expert on human evolution. It turned out that there were certain mutations that occurred in our past. For example, we don’t make vitamin C. We also have higher uric acids than most other animals.

When we look at when these mutations occurred, we could see that they actually occurred during periods of human famine, and that these were probably mutations that allowed us to become fatter in response to fructose than other animals. We’re much more sensitive to sugar than most animals, and it’s because of these mutations.

Then I was able to work with a spectacular scientist who helped resurrect those extinct genes. We’re able to basically prove that when we lost these genes, we became more sensitive to sugar. Then out of it comes the discovery that this pathway is probably important not just in obesity, but in a lot of other diseases like celiac disease, food allergies, and kidney disease.”

Effective treatment of insulin resistance and secondary obesity therefore requires turning off your fat switch – by avoiding fructose, which is the trigger – and improving the function of your cells' mitochondria. As a standard recommendation, I strongly advise keeping your TOTAL fructose consumption below 25 grams per day.  However, for most people – especially if you struggle with high blood pressure and insulin resistance – it would be wise to limit your fructose to 15 grams or less, as it is virtually guaranteed that you will consume "hidden" sources of fructose from most beverages and just about any processed food you might eat.

Is Your Body Primed for Hibernation?

Many people joke that they ‘hibernate’ through the winter. As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, you might find yourself craving (and eating) high-calorie comfort foods and wishing you could spend the day curled up on your couch. Is this coincidence… or are humans primed for hibernation like other animals? There are stories of humans hibernating. One such story was published in the British Medical Journal in 1900, and told of a group of Russian peasants who were in a state of chronic famine. When winter approached, they would stay indoors and wake just once a day to eat bread and drink water, and take turns watching the fire, before falling back into a deep slumber.4

Many animals, including mammals, birds, fish, insects and amphibians, have the ability to slow their metabolism and enter low-energy states for survival (this is known as torpor). This is how mice, hamsters and bats survive the winter; they have regular bouts of torpor. It’s also possible that humans might have some remnants of torpor. BBC News explained:5

“There are even hints that we humans might, to some extent, retain some of these abilities. For a long time, there was no evidence that primates could hibernate. But in 2004, a species of Madagascan lemur was shown to practice regular bouts of torpor. 'If you look at the lemur and look at us, we share about 98% of our genes,' says [professor Rob] Henning. 'It would be very strange if the tools of hibernation were all packed into that 2% difference.'”

There has even been suggestion that people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) (a type of depression that occurs during the winter) might have “hibernation-like physiology.” For instance, prior to hibernation, animals have a spike in their parasympathetic nervous system, which slows their heart and metabolic rate and lowers body temperature. Researchers have discovered a similar spike in people with SAD.6 Rather than hibernating through winter, however, as some animals do, humans may respond to their hibernation-like physiology by eating more, gaining weight and sleeping more than usual.

Do You Need Help Fighting Off Winter Hibernation?

If the short days and long nights of winter leave you feeling fatigued, craving sugary and starch foods, and like you’d rather just “hibernate” until spring, try getting exposure to sunlight as much as possible. Vitamin D deficiency has long been associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder, so spend time in the sun when possible or use a high-quality tanning bed. Blue light therapy and using full-spectrum lighting in your home and office can also help. You can further boost your mood naturally during the dark, cold winter by:

  1. Exercising. Regular physical activity works as well as antidepressant drugs to improve your mood. In fact, it’s one of the most powerful strategies you can take to prevent and treat depression and boost your mood.
  2. Going to sleep early. You were designed to go to sleep when the sun sets and wake up when the sun rises. If you stray too far from this biological pattern you will disrupt delicate hormonal cycles in your body. In the winter, this may mean that you’ll want to go to sleep a couple of hours earlier than in the summer.
  3. Avoiding sugar/fructose and increasing high quality animal-based omega-3 fats. Your brain consists of about 60 percent fat, DHA specifically, so you need a constant input of essential omega-3 fats like krill oil for your brain to work properly. In fact, one study showed that people with lower blood levels of omega-3s were more likely to have symptoms of depression and a more negative outlook while those with higher blood levels demonstrated the opposite emotional states. Sugar (including fructose) also has a seriously detrimental impact on your brain function and may turn on your body’s “fat switch.”
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The Year in Sleep PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

Considering how important sleep is for survival, very little is known about how much sleep humans actually get each night. There are surveys that have been done, of course, but most of these rely on self-reporting of sleep time, which can be notoriously inaccurate.

If you go to bed at 10 pm and get out of bed at 7 am, you might say you’ve slept for nine hours. In reality, you probably spent at least 15-30 minutes falling asleep and may have woken during the night once or more.

With the advent of fitness-tracking wristbands such as Jawbone’s UP24, however, we now have access to actual sleep data (and more) from wristband users. The data is quite useful on a personal level.

Newer devices, like Jawbone’s UP3 that should be released in early 2015, can even tell you what activities led to your best sleep and what factors resulted in poor sleep. However, it’s also fascinating on a larger scale, as the data reveal insights into sleep patterns from around the world.

What Influences Sleep Patterns Around the Globe?

Jawbone impressively collected data from 1 million UP users (I was one of them) in 2014, revealing a “year in sleep.” There were some differences by country, but three events seemed to influence sleep patterns the most in all countries tracked:

  • Sporting events
  • Time changes
  • Holidays

In the US, for instance, Americans tend to sleep longer on three-day weekends and holidays (like Thanksgiving weekend). Brian Wilt, principal data scientist at Jawbone, detailed 9 more fascinating facts about sleep habits from around the world:1

  1. United States: The practice of moving clocks ahead one hour for daylight saving time in the spring leads to the worst sleep of the year (with Americans losing about 13 minutes of sleep that night).
  2. Canada: Canadians woke up 39 minutes early and lost 30 minutes of sleep to watch hockey during the Winter Olympics hockey finals.
  3. Germany: Germans lost about an hour of sleep the night their team won the 2014 World Cup.
  4. Italy and France: Residents of these countries sleep in much later during the week in August, when most take vacation and businesses often shut down.
  5. Russia: Russia made a permanent switch to “winter time” in October 2014, allowing Russians to wake about a half-hour later each day.
  6. Japan: People in Japan lost sleep during the World Cup matches, as they had to get up very early to watch the games.
  7. Australia: Australians tend to have earlier bedtimes and later wake times in August, and the opposite during December.
  8. United Arab Emirates: During the holy month of Ramadan, people stay up close to two hours later because eating before sundown is forbidden.2
  9. United Kingdom: The worst night of sleep in the UK was June 14, the night of the England-Italy match during the World Cup. Residents lost an average of 23 minutes of sleep.

Fitness Tracker Data Reveal Most Sleep-Deprived Cities and More

What else can fitness tracker data reveal? Jawbone analyzed data for tens of thousands of Americans in 21 US cities to reveal the most sleep-deprived areas.

What they found was that sleep times were remarkably similar, ranging from a low of 6.82 hours in Houston, Texas to a high of 6.93 hours in Orlando, Florida. On average, that’s just over 6.8 hours of sleep a night.3 Beyond this, the data reveal how natural disasters impact your sleep.

During the South Napa earthquake that hit Northern California in 2014, 93 percent of wristband wearers near the epicenter suddenly woke up at 3:20 am, when the quake hit.4 Not surprisingly, most of them had a hard time going back to sleep afterward, and 45 percent of those near the epicenter did not go back to sleep for the rest of the night.

Also interesting, the data can reveal routines and characteristics about different cities. Wilt summed up data of sleep patterns among seven US cities, collected on March 31, 2014, which he described as a “typical night.”

“New Yorkers work hard and play hard, and they’re the first to bed and among the first to rise. Users in Tokyo are among some of the last to go to bed and the first to wake up, since they only average 5 hours and 46 min of night sleep. Dubai has the most leisurely sleep schedule, with 10% of users still asleep by 11am.

In Beijing, you can see workers taking their afternoon workplace naps. We can also see people in Madrid taking their afternoon sleep (although it’s much more common on weekends, with greater than 10% of UP wearers logging a siesta). Only a maximum of 95% of a city is asleep at any given time, since the early risers are awake before the last to sleep are in bed.”5

How Much Sleep Are YOU Getting?

You may be surprised at how little sleep you’re actually getting. When I first started using a fitness tracker, I was striving to get 8 hours of sleep, but my Jawbone UP typically recorded me at 7.5 to 7.75.

I have since increased my sleep time, not just time in bed, but total sleep time to over 8 hours per day, and the fitness tracker helped me realize that unless I am asleep, not just in bed, but asleep by 10 pm I won’t get my 8 hours. Gradually I have been able to get this down to 9:30 pm.

So even if you go to bed at a reasonable hour, you might still be lacking in sleep. Aside from using a fitness tracker, how can you tell if you’re getting enough? And how much do you actually need?

Dr. Rubin Naiman -- a clinical psychologist, author, teacher, and the leader in integrative medicine approaches to sleep and dreams – recommends to simply sleep "enough hours so that your energy is sustained through the day without artificial stimulation, with the exception of a daytime nap," which he believes you are biologically programmed for.

I agree with this functional description rather than trying to come up with a specific numeric range. I would add to that guideline, however, the suggestion to watch out for physical or biological symptoms.

For example, when I push myself and don't get high-quality sleep or enough sleep, I'm predisposed to postprandial hypoglycemia. In other words, I have low insulin resistance so when I sleep poorly, it doesn't take much sugar or carbs for it to be easily metabolized and drop my blood sugar—which also makes me really sleepy. When I get enough sleep, I'm far less susceptible to it.

Pay attention to clues your body may be giving you. For instance, if you need an alarm clock to wake up, and you wake up feeling tired and groggy, you probably need to go to sleep earlier (or get more restful sleep).  It’s also said that if you fall asleep within a few minutes of your head hitting the pillow, you’re probably sleep deprived. A well-rested person will take about 10-15 minutes to fall asleep at night.6

The Risks of ‘Just Getting By’ on Minimal Sleep

If you’re tired during the day, there’s a good chance you need to get more sleep. Even if you think can “get by” on five or six hours a night, you’re not fooling your body. Sleep deprivation has the same effect on your immune system as physical stress or illness,7 which may help explain why lack of sleep is tied to an increased risk of numerous chronic diseases. Sleeping less than six hours per night more than triples your risk of high blood pressure, and women who get less than four hours of shut-eye per night double their chances of dying from heart disease.8

According to research from Great Britain, poor or insufficient sleep is actually the strongest predictor for pain in adults over 50,9 and people with chronic sleep problems may develop Alzheimer's disease sooner than those who sleep well.10

Poor sleep can actually impact virtually every aspect of your health, and the reason for this is because your circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle) actually "drives" the rhythms of biological activity at the cellular level. Hence disruptions tend to cascade outward throughout your entire body. For example, besides making you more susceptible to physical aches and pains, interrupted or impaired sleep can also:

  • Increase your risk of cancer
  • Harm your brain by halting new neuron production. Sleep deprivation can increase levels of corticosterone (a stress hormone), resulting in fewer new brain cells being created in your hippocampus
  • Contribute to a pre-diabetic state, making you feel hungry even if you've already eaten, which can lead to weight gain
  • Contribute to premature aging by interfering with your growth hormone production, normally released by your pituitary gland during deep sleep (and during certain types of exercise, such as high-intensity interval training)
  • Increase your risk of dying from any cause

How to Get Truly Restorative Sleep


Download Interview Transcript

Last year I interviewed Dan Pardi on the topic of how to get restorative, health-promoting sleep. Pardi is a researcher who works with the Behavioral Sciences Department at Stanford University and the Departments of Neurology and Endocrinology at Leiden University in the Netherlands. According to Pardi, the following three factors are key to determining how restorative your sleep is:

  1. Duration— i.e. the number of hours you sleep. Sleep requirements are highly individual, and can change from one day to the next, depending on factors like stress, physical exertion, illness, and pregnancy, just to name a few. But, on average, most people need about eight hours of sleep per night.
  2. Timing—i.e. the habit of going to bed at approximately the same time each night. Even if the duration of sleep is the same, when the timing of your sleep is shifted, it's not going to be as restorative.
  3. Intensity—This has to do with the different stages that your brain and body goes through over the course of the night, the sequence of them, and how those stages are linked. Some medications will suppress certain phases of sleep, and certain conditions like sleep apnea will lead to fragmented sleep. With these scenarios, even if you're sleeping for an adequate duration and have consistent timing, your sleep will not be as restorative.

If you have these three areas covered and you’re still not sleeping well, maintaining a natural rhythm of exposure to sunlight during the day and darkness at night is one crucial foundational component to consider. The reason why light exposure during the daytime is so important is because it serves as the major synchronizer of your master body clock. To maintain healthy master clock timing, aim to adjust your light exposure to a more natural light rhythm, where you get bright light exposure during the day and limited blue light and bright light exposure once the sun sets.

Pardi recommends getting at least 30-60 minutes of outdoor light exposure during daylight hours in order to "anchor" your master clock rhythm. The ideal time to go outdoors is right around solar noon but any time during daylight hours is useful. Once the sun has set, the converse applies. After sunset you want to avoid light as much as possible in order for your body to secrete melatonin, which helps you feel sleepy.

Ready for the Best Night’s Sleep You’ve Had in a While?

Small adjustments to your daily routine and sleeping area can go a long way to ensure uninterrupted, restful sleep and, thereby, better health. I suggest you read through my full set of 33 healthy sleep guidelines for all of the details, but to start, consider implementing the following changes:

  • Avoid watching TV or using your computer in the evening, at least an hour or so before going to bed. These devices emit blue light, which tricks your brain into thinking it's still daytime. Normally, your brain starts secreting melatonin between 9 pm and 10 pm, and these devices emit light that may stifle that process. Even the American Medical Association now states:11
  • “…nighttime electric light can disrupt circadian rhythms in humans and documents the rapidly advancing understanding from basic science of how disruption of circadian rhythmicity affects aspects of physiology with direct links to human health, such as cell cycle regulation, DNA damage response, and metabolism.”

  • Make sure you get BRIGHT sun exposure regularly. Your pineal gland produces melatonin roughly in approximation to the contrast of bright sun exposure in the day and complete darkness at night. If you are in darkness all day long, it can't appreciate the difference and will not optimize your melatonin production.
  • Sleep in complete darkness, or as close to it as possible. The slightest bit of light in your bedroom can disrupt your body’s clock and your pineal gland's melatonin production. Even the tiniest glow from your clock radio could be interfering with your sleep, so cover your radio up at night or get rid of it altogether. Move all electrical devices at least three feet away from your bed. You may want to cover your windows with drapes or blackout shades. If this isn’t possible, wear an eye mask.
  • Install a low-wattage yellow, orange, or red light bulb if you need a source of light for navigation at night. Light in these bandwidths does not shut down melatonin production in the way that white and blue bandwidth light does. Salt lamps are handy for this purpose. You can also download a free application called F.lux that automatically dims your monitor or screens.12
  • Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Many people keep their homes too warm (particularly their upstairs bedrooms). Studies show that the optimal room temperature for sleep is between 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Take a hot bath 90 to 120 minutes before bedtime. This increases your core body temperature, and when you get out of the bath it abruptly drops, signaling your body that you are ready to sleep.
  • Avoid using loud alarm clocks. Being jolted awake each morning can be very stressful. If you are regularly getting enough sleep, you might not even need an alarm.
  • Get some sun in the morning, if possible. Your circadian system needs bright light to reset itself. Ten to 15 minutes of morning sunlight will send a strong message to your internal clock that day has arrived, making it less likely to be confused by weaker light signals during the night. More sunlight exposure is required as you age.
  • Be mindful of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in your bedroom. EMFs can disrupt your pineal gland and its melatonin production, and may have other negative biological effects as well. A gauss meter is required if you want to measure EMF levels in various areas of your home. Ideally, you should turn off any wireless router while you are sleeping. You don’t need the Internet on when you are asleep.
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Advances in Understanding of Depression Offers New Hope PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

Depression is thought to affect about one in 10 Americans.1 In 2010, antidepressants were the second most commonly prescribed type of medication in the US,2 hinting at the severity of the problem.

Contrary to popular belief, depression is not likely caused by unbalanced brain chemicals; however there are a number of other biological factors that appear to be highly significant. Chronic inflammation is one. As noted in the featured article:3

“George Slavich, a clinical psychologist at the University of California in Los Angeles, has spent years studying depression, and has come to the conclusion that it has as much to do with the body as the mind.

‘I don’t even talk about it as a psychiatric condition anymore,’ he says. ‘It does involve psychology, but it also involves equal parts of biology and physical health.’

The basis of this new view is blindingly obvious once it is pointed out: everyone feels miserable when they are ill. That feeling of being too tired, bored and fed up to move off the sofa and get on with life is known among psychologists as sickness behaviour.

It happens for a good reason, helping us avoid doing more damage or spreading an infection any further. It also looks a lot like depression.”

One researcher even goes so far as to suggest depression should be rebranded as an infectious but non-contagious disease,4 while the author of the featured article playfully compares depression with an allergic reaction—in this case “an allergy to modern life”—considering the many environmental factors that are known to cause inflammation, from diet to toxic exposures and stress.

Scientists have also found that your mental health can be adversely impacted by factors such as vitamin D deficiency and/or unbalanced gut flora—both of which, incidentally, play a role in keeping inflammation in check, which is really what the remedy to depression is all about.

Inflammation and Depression

As discussed in an article by Dr. Kelly Brogan, depressive symptoms can be viewed as downstream manifestations of inflammation.

“The source itself may be singularly or multiply-focused as stress, dietary and toxic exposures, and infection... [I]nflammation appears to be a highly relevant determinant of depressive symptoms such as flat mood, slowed thinking, avoidance, alterations in perception, and metabolic changes,5 she writes.

Certain biomarkers, such as cytokines in your blood and inflammatory messengers like CRP, IL-1, IL-6, and TNF-alpha, show promise as potential new diagnostic tools, as they’re “predictive6 and linearly7 correlative” with depression.

For example, researchers have found8 that melancholic depression, bipolar disorder, and postpartum depression, are associated with elevated levels of cytokines in combination with decreased cortisol sensitivity (cortisol is both a stress hormone and a buffer against inflammation). As explained by Dr. Brogan:

“Once triggered in the body, these inflammatory agents transfer information to the nervous system, typically through stimulation of major nerves such as the vagus, which connects9 the gut and brain. Specialized cells called microglia in the brain represent the brain’s immune hubs and are activated in inflammatory states.

In activated microglia, an enzyme called IDO (indoleamine 2 3-dioxygenase) has been shown10 to direct tryptophan away from the production of serotonin and melatonin and towards the production of an NMDA agonist called quinolinic acid that may be responsible for symptoms of anxiety and agitation.

These are just some of the changes that may conspire to let your brain in on what your body may know is wrong.”

Using Brain Scans to Help Choose Treatment Type

Speaking of biomarkers, research11 by Dr. Helen Mayberg, a professor of psychiatry at Emory University, may also pave the way toward a more refined and customized treatment plan. Her research is discussed in the video above.

Dr. Mayberg has identified a biomarker in the brain that can be used to predict whether a depressed patient is a good candidate for medication, or might be better off with psychotherapy. As noted by the New York Times:12

“Patients who had low activity in a brain region called the anterior insula measured before treatment responded quite well to cognitive behavior therapy (CBT} but poorly to Lexapro; conversely, those with high activity in this region had an excellent response to Lexapro, but did poorly with CBT....

[T]he insula is centrally involved in the capacity for emotional self-awareness, cognitive control and decision making, all of which are impaired by depression. Perhaps cognitive behavior therapy has a more powerful effect than an antidepressant in patients with an underactive insula because it teaches patients to control their emotionally disturbing thoughts in a way that an antidepressant cannot.”

The Links Between Gut and Mental Health

A number of studies have confirmed that gastrointestinal inflammation specifically can play a critical role in the development of depression, suggesting that beneficial bacteria (probiotics) may be an important part of treatment. For example, a Hungarian scientific review13 published in 2011 made the following observations:

  1. Depression is often found alongside gastrointestinal inflammations and autoimmune diseases as well as with cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, type 2 diabetes and also cancer, in which chronic low-grade inflammation is a significant contributing factor.  

    Thus researchers suggested “depression may be a neuropsychiatric manifestation of a chronic inflammatory syndrome.”

  2. An increasing number of clinical studies have shown that treating gastrointestinal inflammation with probiotics, vitamin B, vitamin D, may also improve depression symptoms and quality of life by attenuating pro-inflammatory stimuli to your brain.
  3. Research suggests the primary cause of inflammation may be dysfunction of the “gut-brain axis.”
  4. Your gut is literally your second brain -- created from the identical tissue as your brain during gestation -- and contains higher levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is associated with mood control.

    It's important to understand that your gut bacteria are an active and integrated part of serotonin regulation and actually produce more serotonin than your brain. Optimizing your gut flora is a key part of the equation to optimize your levels. If you consume loads of processed foods and sugars, your gut bacteria will be severely compromised because processed foods tend to decimate healthy microflora. This leaves a void that is filled by disease-causing bacteria and yeast and fungi that will promote inflammation and decrease the health of your second brain.

Low-Sugar Diet Is an Important Anti-Depressant Tool

Besides distorting your microflora, sugar also triggers a cascade of other chemical reactions in your body known to promote both chronic inflammation and depression. For starters, excessive sugar consumption leads to elevated insulin levels. That can have a detrimental impact on your mood and mental health by causing higher levels of glutamate to be secreted in your brain, which has been linked to agitation, depression, anger, anxiety, and panic attacks.

Sugar suppresses activity of a key growth hormone called BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) which promotes healthy brain neurons. BDNF levels are critically low in both depression and schizophrenia, which animal models suggest might actually be causative.

Cultured and fermented foods, on the other hand, help reseed your gut with a wide variety of healthy bacteria that promote mental and physical health as long as your keep your sugar and processed food intake low. For instance, one 2011 study14 found that the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus has a marked effect on GABA levels in certain brain regions and lowers the stress-induced hormone corticosterone, resulting in reduced anxiety- and depression-related behavior.  So the three-prong dietary answer for treating depression is to:

  1. Severely limit sugars, especially fructose, as well as grains, as all forms of sugar feed pathogenic bacteria in your gut. The easiest way to do this is to avoid processed foods, and start cooking from scratch using whole ingredients. As a standard recommendation, I suggest limiting your daily fructose consumption from all sources to 25 grams per day or less.
  2. Avoid foods with genetically engineered ingredients, as they too have been implicated in the destruction of gut flora, along with promoting chronic inflammation. Keep in mind that conventionally-grown foods may also be contaminated with glyphosate, which has been found to selectively destroy beneficial, health-promoting gut bacteria, so ideally, you’ll want to make sure as much of your food as possible is organically grown to avoid pesticide exposure.
  3. Introduce fermented foods into your diet to rebalance your gut flora.

Beware that your gut bacteria are also very sensitive to and can be harmed by the following, all of which should be avoided:

Antibiotics, unless absolutely necessary (and when you do, make sure to reseed your gut with fermented foods and/or a probiotic supplement) Conventionally-raised meats and other animal products, as CAFO animals are routinely fed low-dose antibiotics, plus genetically engineered grains
Chlorinated and/or fluoridated water Antibacterial soap

Vitamin D Deficiency Predisposes You to Depression

Vitamin D deficiency is another important biological factor that can play a significant role in mental health. In one 2006 study,15 seniors with vitamin D levels below 20 ng/ml were found to be 11 times more prone to be depressed than those with higher levels. It’s worth noting that the mean vitamin D level was just under 19 ng/ml, which is a severe deficiency state. In fact, 58 percent of the participants had levels below 20 ng/ml. A 2007 study16 suggested that vitamin D deficiency is responsible for symptoms of depression and anxiety in patients with fibromyalgia. Vitamin D deficiency is also a well-recognized cause in Seasonal Affective Disorder17 (SAD). A double-blind randomized trial18 published in 2008 also concluded that:

It appears to be a relation between serum levels of 25(OH)D and symptoms of depression. Supplementation with high doses of vitamin D seems to ameliorate these symptoms indicating a possible causal relationship.”

More recently, researchers19 found that seniors with depression had vitamin D levels that were 14 percent lower than those who were not depressed. Here, those with vitamin D levels below 20 ng/ml had an 85 percent increased risk of depression, compared to those with levels above 30 ng/ml. Yet another paper20 published in 2011 noted that:

Effective detection and treatment of inadequate vitamin D levels in persons with depression and other mental disorders may be an easy and cost-effective therapy which could improve patients’ long-term health outcomes as well as their quality of life.”

Based on the evaluation of healthy populations that get plenty of natural sun exposure, the optimal range for general physical and mental health appears to be somewhere between 50 and 70 ng/ml. So, if you’re depressed, you’d be well advised to get your vitamin D level checked, and to address any insufficiency or deficiency. The D*Action Project by GrassrootsHealth is one cost effective testing solution. As for optimizing your levels, sensible sun exposure is the ideal way. Alternatively, use a tanning bed with an electronic ballast, and/or an oral vitamin D3 supplement.  GrassrootsHealth has a helpful chart showing the average adult dose required to reach healthy vitamin D levels based upon your measured starting point. Keep in mind that if you opt for a vitamin D supplement, you also need to take vitamin K2 and magnesium, as these nutrients work in tandem.

vitamin d levels

There Are Many Alternatives to Drug Treatment

Antidepressant drugs come with a long laundry list of risks, and are therefore best left as a last resort, if all else fails. Medical journalist and Pulitzer Prize nominee Robert Whitaker has detailed the many drawbacks and benefits of various treatments in his two books: Mad in America, and Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America, noting that physical exercise actually comes out on top in most studies—even when compared against antidepressant drugs.

Exercise primarily works by helping to normalize your insulin levels while simultaneously boosting “feel good" hormones in your brain. But researchers have also discovered that exercise allows your body to eliminate kynurenine, a harmful protein associated with depression.21 And, again showing the link between inflammation and depression, your body metabolizes kynurenine in the first place via a process that is activated by stress and inflammatory factors... While I addressed several dietary factors to restore health to your gut, I also recommend supplementing your diet with a high quality animal-based omega-3 fat, such as krill oil. This may be the single most important nutrient for optimal brain function, thereby easing symptoms of depression. Vitamin B12 deficiency can also contribute to depression, and affects one in four people.

Last but not least, make sure you get enough sleep. The link between depression and lack of sleep is well established. Of the approximately 18 million Americans with depression, more than half of them struggle with insomnia. While it was long thought that insomnia was a symptom of depression, it now seems that insomnia may precede depression in some cases.22 Recent research also found that sleep therapy resulted in remarkable improvements in depressed patients. The take-home message here is that one or more lifestyle factors may be at the heart of your depression, so you’d be well advised to address the factors discussed in this article before resorting to drug treatment—which science has shown is no more effective than placebo, while being fraught with potentially dangerous side effects.

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By Dr. Mercola The most tweeted term in 2014 was "Ebola," a highly infectious and lethal disease that's been rapidly spreading in West Africa. In October, I interviewed Dr. Robert Rowen, a leading expert on oxidative
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Mom’s Best Fried Chicken Recipe 08 January 2015, 00.14 Health
Mom’s Best Fried Chicken Recipe
By Dr. Mercola Everybody loves good ‘ole fried chicken. But sadly, it’s almost impossible to enjoy a bucket of your favorite fried chicken guilt-free these days, with all the health concerns involving the trans-fats,
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Are You Trading Your Omega-3s for PCBs with Your Choice of Salmon?
By Dr. Mercola The omega-3 levels in farmed salmon seem to have entered a free fall. Today's farmed fillet may contain as little as half of the omega-3s as it did less than a decade ago, according to the International
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A Compelling Documentary About the Causes of Antibiotic Resistance, and How to Fix It
By Dr. Mercola Collectively, microorganisms outweigh the human population by 100 million times. They're all around you, and inside you. Your gastrointestinal tract alone houses some 100 trillion bacteria. The microorganisms
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Top 10 Articles of 2014 08 January 2015, 00.14 Health
Top 10 Articles of 2014
By Dr. Mercola Another year has passed and, for the 10th year in a row, Mercola.com remains the most visited natural health site on the Web. Ever since the inception of Mercola.com, I and my team have been committed
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Contradicting Previous Announcements That Obesity Among Kindergarteners Is Declining, New Research Shows Severe Obesity Is on the Rise
By Dr. Mercola As recently as February, a study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published in JAMA1 declared that obesity rates among two- to five-year olds declined by 43 percent in the past
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Obesity Now Causes Half a Million Cancers a Year, Worldwide
By Dr. Mercola Nearly 30 percent of the global population is overweight or obese, and this has a significant impact on cancer rates, experts say. According to one recent report,1, 2 obesity is responsible for an estimated
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Fast Food May Stunt Your Child’s Academic Performance
By Dr. Mercola Nutrients from quality foods are critical in helping your child reach his or her fullest potential. Unfortunately, many kids are not getting the nutrients they need, especially in the US where nearly 40
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Heavy Cell Phone Use Can Quadruple Your Risk of Deadly Brain Cancer
By Dr. Mercola No one wants to hear that something as “indispensable” as your cell phone might cause grave harm to your health, but that’s exactly what mounting evidence tells us we’re faced with. Wireless
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Setting the Record Straight on GMOs 08 January 2015, 00.14 Health
Setting the Record Straight on GMOs
By Vandana Shiva Michael Specter's story in The New Yorker about Dr. Vandana Shiva's work to protect public health from the effects of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) skewed the facts and fell short of the magazine's
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My Healthy Baking Secrets Revealed! 08 January 2015, 00.14 Health
My Healthy Baking Secrets Revealed!
By Dr. Mercola If you’re like many, the thought of baked goods hot out of the oven may represent some of your warmest memories. The aroma of chocolate chip cookies or cinnamon rolls baking may fill you with
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Could You Eat on .37 a Day? 08 January 2015, 00.14 Health
Could You Eat on $3.37 a Day?
By Dr. Mercola While food assistance varies from state to state, a typical family using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the official name for food stamps, will have about $3.37 per person, per day,
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7 Psychological Tips to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick
By Dr. Mercola If you made a New Year's resolution, the odds that you'll achieve it are not in your favor. While about 45 percent of Americans usually make a New Year's resolution, only 8 percent are successful in achieving
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Friendly Leaning Loop Multi-Purpose Organizer Helps Declutter Your Home
Collect this idea There is something charming about this Leaning Loop organizer envisioned by Jason van der Burg of Urbanworm Design. Inspired by “a small place with a messy problem”, the designer created a
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What French Interiors Can Teach Us About Decorating
Collect this idea There is always a touch of casual grace and eclecticism within French designs. Image Source: Suzann Kletzien It is common knowledge that the French have a special je ne sais quoi when it comes to
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Re-Framing Family Life in Updated Victorian Terrace House
Collect this idea When re-framing your lifestyle, a new architectural language soon follows. Sometimes it’s adding or subtracting furniture, other times it’s adding and altering the architecture of the home itself. In
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Elliptical-Shaped Residence in Spain with a Futuristic Character: Balint House
Collect this idea Fran Silvestre Arquitectos completed the design and development of Balint House, a modern elliptical-shaped residence in Valencia, Spain. The volume neighbors a golf course and is placed leaving as
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Most Expensive Residence in Beverly Hills Purchased by the Creator of Minecraft
Collect this idea Located on a promontory in the high-end Trousdale Estates neighborhood, this bewildering 23,000 square-foot residence is officially the most expensive residence in Beverly Hills. The “1181 N Hillcrest
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Baby hurricane forms over Lake Erie 08 January 2015, 00.13 Living
Baby hurricane forms over Lake Erie
A rare lake-effect storm eye, similar to the eye of a hurricane, was seen on radar over the Great Lake. Thu, Jan 08, 2015 at 04:14 AM The eye of the baby storm hovering over Lake Erie (Photo: NWS radar) People
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Albino bottlenose dolphin spotted off Florida coast
Albinism can cause problems for some animals as it increases their chances of sunburn, and their white skin can make it hard to camouflage themselves. The fin of an albino dolphin peaking out from the ocean's waves. (Photo:
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Do Mars rover photos show signs of fossilized life?
Various features on Mars bear a resemblance to features on Earth, but scientists would need soil samples to understand their origins. A careful study of images taken by the NASA rover Curiosity has revealed intriguing
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10 new laws for the new year 08 January 2015, 00.13 Living
10 new laws for the new year
From tiger selfies to garbage and recycling rules, here's the most interesting new legislation for 2015. It's a new year, which means all kinds of new laws have taken effect (or will take effect soon) across the county. Here's
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Off with their heads! Tiny flies decapitate ants for meals
Triggered by the pheromones of a dying ant, flies often arrive while mating and then the female fly will commence with removing the ant's head. A female fly pulling the head off an injured lock-jaw ant. (Photo: Wendy
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This rare bumble bee is a 'ghost in the making' 08 January 2015, 00.13 Living
This rare bumble bee is a 'ghost in the making'
"Most people don't even know it exists," says conservation photographer Clay Bolt as he searches for one of the rarest bees on the continent in this beautiful short documentary film. Thu, Jan 08, 2015 at 02:07
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Paper Mill Converted Into Contemporary Loft in Anduze, France
Collect this idea French architectural firm Planet Studio sent us photos and information of the Labahou project, a paper mill the architects converted into a contemporary loft on a budget of €100,000. The 1,830 square
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Narrow Manhattan Townhouse Parading Vertical Design
Collect this idea Surprising the eye with a contemporary approach to facade design, this eye-catching urban townhouse in New York re-imagines Manhattan’s  typically narrow infill plot. Designed by GLUCK Partners, the
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Panoramic Dream Home in Lichtenstein Gathering Thrilling Views
Collect this idea The impressive Schaan Residence by k_m architektur sits on a sloping site overlooking the Rhine Valley in Central Europe’s microstate Lichtenstein. “Wohnhaus Schaan” stretches over the hilly
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Striking Wellness&Bathroom Design Merger: New Spa Suite by Alberto Apostoli
Collect this idea The spa suite designed by Alberto Apostoli captured the attention of visitors to Equip’Hotel 2014, the international event for the hospitality industry in Paris. As ambassador to Italy for architecture,
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10 Ways To Create Your Own Meditation Room 26 December 2014, 02.50 Living
10 Ways To Create Your Own Meditation Room
Collect this idea Imagine having a room in your home that heals your mind, body and soul? A meditation room will give you a place to participate in daily yoga, chants, and meditation without interruption. Image Source:
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Are Children Medicated for Convenience, or Necessity?
By Dr. Mercola Millions of children are taking powerful mind-altering drugs, often before they're even old enough to attend school. The long-term effects of psychotropic drugs on children are largely unknown, while
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Diabetes Ages Your Brain Five Years Faster Than Normal
By Dr. Mercola In the United States, nearly 80 million people, or one in four, have diabetes or pre-diabetes. What’s worse, diabetes among children and teens has also skyrocketed. The most recent data1,2
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Strategies to Address and Reduce Holiday-Related Stress and Grief
By Dr. Mercola For many, November and December are a favorite time of year, with major holidays bringing family and friends together. But it can also be an incredibly stressful time, as party planning, extra cooking and
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Dangerous Loophole in Law Permits Food Companies to Market Novel Chemicals Without Safety Disclosures
By Dr. Mercola The fact that processed foods contain added ingredients that aren't necessarily food isn't secret knowledge. A simple read-through of just about any processed food label will tip you off to this fact with its
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What’s the Real Cause of Heart Attacks? 26 December 2014, 02.50 Health
What’s the Real Cause of Heart Attacks?
By Thomas S. Cowan, MD In a previous article in this journal ("What Causes Heart Attacks," Fall 2007), I presented the case that the spectrum of heart disease, which includes angina, unstable angina, and myocardial
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Systematic Review Finds No Grounds for Current Warnings Against Saturated Fat
By Dr. Mercola This is a Flash-based audio and may not be playable on mobile devices. For well over half a century, the media and a majority of health care officials have warned that saturated fats are bad for your
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Salmon Supreme Recipe 26 December 2014, 02.50 Health
Salmon Supreme Recipe
Ideally, you would receive all the omega-3s you need from fish, but the vast majority of the world’s fish supply is heavily contaminated with PCBs, mercury, agricultural toxins, and radioactive poisons. This is why I
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What You Need to Know About Grass-Fed Beef 26 December 2014, 02.50 Health
What You Need to Know About Grass-Fed Beef
By Dr. Mercola Most of us benefit from high-quality animal protein. But what constitutes "high quality"? One key factor that has a tremendous bearing on the quality of the meat is whether or not the cattle was raised on
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The Science of Pain Is Changing Rapidly 26 December 2014, 02.50 Health
The Science of Pain Is Changing Rapidly
By Dr. Mercola Pain is a widespread problem today, delivering serious blows to people's health, happiness, and productivity. The experience of pain is highly subjective—people feel pain differently. The pain process
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Vitamin D Deficiency Significantly Raises Your Risk of Cancer and All-Cause Mortality
By Dr. Mercola There are many reasons to be conscious of vitamin D. A reduced cancer risk is perhaps among the most notable, but compelling evidence also suggests optimizing your vitamin D can reduce your risk of death
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A Merry Christmas Message from Dr. Mercola to You 26 December 2014, 02.50 Health
A Merry Christmas Message from Dr. Mercola to You
By Dr. Mercola Christmas day is a time for family, friends, and others who have touched our lives deeply. On this day, I hope you are sharing in the joy of the season with those who matter most to you, and I want to let
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Phthalates and BPA Linked to IQ Reductions in Children, but FDA Reasserts the Chemical’s Safety
By Dr. Mercola A number of chemicals found in plastic products are known to act as endocrine disruptors. Being similar in structure to natural sex hormones, they interfere with the normal functioning of those
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Should You Go Vegetarian to Control Your Blood Pressure?:     According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), high blood pressure is "the second greatest public health threat" in the US, and about half of all with hyperten...
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