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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 &
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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 203 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 314 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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The silent and apparent neurological injury in transcatheter aortic valve implantation study (SANITY): concept, design and rationale
Study protocol Jonathon P Fanning, Allan J Wesley, Michael Seco, Eamonn M Eeles, Oystein Tronstad, David G Platts, Darren L Walters, Wendy Strugnell, Adrian G Barnett, Andrew J Clarke, Judith Bellapart, Michael P Vallely,
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Obesity, traumatic brain injury, childhood abuse, and suicide attempts in females at risk - Brewer-Smyth K.
Abstract PURPOSE: This study tested the hypothesis that obesity is related to history of traumatic brain injury (TBI), severity and frequency of childhood physical (CPA) and sexual abuse (CSA), and suicide attempts, adjusting
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Selfless schoolteacher saves pupil's life by giving her a kidney
Alya owes her life to her hero teacher Ray (R)[ARCHANT] When generous Ray Coe, 53, heard how Alya Ahmed Ali was seriously ill, he was keen to hear if he could help her. The 13-year-old, from Stratford, east London, suffers from
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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
Read More 6439 Hits 1 Rating
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.
Read More 6058 Hits 0 Ratings
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 6221 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
Read More 8069 Hits 0 Ratings
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
Read More 6972 Hits 0 Ratings
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
Read More 6745 Hits 0 Ratings
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”
Read More 7049 Hits 0 Ratings
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”
Read More 7075 Hits 0 Ratings
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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EPA’s Next Target -- American Dentists Who Are Mercury Polluters PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

Those silver mercury fillings whose vapors readily pass through cell membranes, across your blood-brain barrier, and into your central nervous system? The damage doesn't stop there.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently cited studies showing that approximately half of the mercury in the environment is there due to dental offices' amalgam (i.e. silver filling) waste.

In fact, dental clinics are the main source of mercury discharges to public water treatment centers, according to the EPA, which estimates there are about 160,000 dentists in the US who use or remove amalgam and virtually all of them discharge their wastewater to water treatment centers.

In all, dentists discharge about 4.4 tons of mercury a year to such centers. The problem, of course, is that the mercury then settles into sewer systems or the biosolids and sewage sludge that are generated during water treatment.

What happens to the sludge? Some of it ends up in landfills, while other portions are incinerated (thereby polluting the air) or applied as agricultural fertilizer (polluting your food), or seep into waterways (polluting fish and wildlife).

Unfortunately, mercury is persistent and bioaccumulative once it reaches the environment. And when it is exposed to certain microorganisms in water, it can change into highly toxic methylmercury – the type that now contaminates most seafood.

Most Americans don't realize that there is a simple solution that could drastically cut down on the environmental pollution caused by mercury waste, if only dentists would choose to use it.

EPA Proposes Rule Requiring Dentists to Use Amalgam Separators

The road to a federal rule mandating separators for American dentists has been long and circuitous.

The US is a federal system, so ideas generally start at the state level. A century ago, a distinguished Supreme Court Justice, Louis Brandeis, called the states "laboratories of democracy."

Fourteen years ago, Michael Bender of the Mercury Policy Project launched a campaign to persuade state and local governments to mandate separators. He enlisted state-based environmental groups, plus national groups like Clean Water Action and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The prototype for action was the city of Toronto, Canada, which cut the mercury in water by more than half by mandating separators. Over the decade of the 2000s, 12 states, most of them in the Northeast, mandated separators, as did many US cities, such as Duluth, Wichita, and San Francisco.

As pressure built for a national mandate, the EPA engaged first in political diversion, signing a document with the American Dental Association to do a voluntary system. As any economist or sensible citizen knows, voluntary environmental standards do not work, because it raises the cost of business only for the good guys.

Bender issued a report exposing the EPA plan. Because it was done in the final days of the second Bush Administration, he termed the report "The Midnight Deal." Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich convened an oversight hearing calling more attention to EPA's unwillingness to act.

In 2010, the EPA first announced it would create a rule requiring dentists who use dental amalgam to at least use best-management practices and install amalgam separators. An amalgam separator is a wastewater treatment device installed at the source, in the dental office, that can remove 95-99 percent of the mercury in the wastewater.

As originally proposed, EPA said the regulation would be finalized by 2012. But inaction continued, and it got worse in early 2014, when EPA staff were told the whole idea of a separator mandate would be put on the shelf. Conscientious staff objected to backing off addressing this major source of mercury pollution.

Bender, Charlie Brown of Consumers for Dental Choice, and major environmental groups launched a counterattack, Bender by making the case directly to the EPA (and to the media), while Brown launched a petition drive. This campaign was supported by Mercola.com, and many of our readers responded.

To its credit – and responding to the petition that over 13,000 of you signed– EPA decided to go forward with the rule. The rule's expected finalization date is September 2015.1 But we must leave nothing to chance! At the end of this article we ask you who have not yet signed that petition to do so!

By requiring dental offices to install amalgam separators, the EPA expects the amount of metals discharged into the environment to be cut by nine tons each year2 -- and at a very low cost to dentists.

The average annual cost of an amalgam separator for dental offices is $700, making it a "common sense solution to managing mercury that would otherwise be released to air, land, and water," the EPA noted.3

Unfortunately, dental offices that have already installed an amalgam separator will be allowed to keep it and be considered in compliance – even if it doesn't meet the proposed amalgam removal efficiency standards.

Still, aside from eliminating the use of dental mercury entirely… which is the ultimate goal we're working toward… this is a step in the right direction. About a dozen states already mandate the use of amalgam separators, but the EPA's rule will add a federal requirement.

Why Are So Many Dentists Still Using Mercury?

In order to protect human health and the environment, mercury should be phased out as soon, and as quickly, as possible. The international treaty, named the United Nations Minamata Convention on Mercury, requires the phasing out of many mercury-containing products, including thermometers, by 2020, and also calls for an end to all mercury mining within 15 years.

The treaty takes effect only after its ratification by 50 nations, which can take three or four years. Instead of working for the phase-down and ultimate phase-out of amalgam use, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Dental Association (ADA) are pushing stalling tactics.

They say that before phasing out amalgam we should go through a litany of diversions like (1) prevention of tooth decay, (2) research and mercury inventories, and (3) mercury waste management – none of which actually phase down amalgam use, as required by the Minamata Convention.

But no more research is needed before we take action – the many effective, affordable, and available mercury-free alternatives have already been researched for over half a century, and we certainly don't need any more research telling us that mercury is a problem.

And the realistic solution to waste management, of course, even beyond the amalgam separators, is to stop creating more mercury waste – i.e., stop using amalgam. Today, more than 50 percent of dentists in America have stopped using mercury filings.

That's major progress and Charlie Brown's Consumers for Dental Choice played a huge role in that change as when he first started his crusade only 3% of US dentists were mercury free. He helped prevent dental boards from prosecuting many of the early mercury free dentists.

But we still have a long way to go to end this archaic practice of putting mercury in people's teeth (and into the environment). Unfortunately, we seem to have stalled out at around 50 percent of dentists who still insist on using amalgam. Charlie Brown, leader of Consumers for Dental Choice, noted:

"We think the pro-mercury dentists have stabilized because they won't learn anything new and the profits are so easy. They are concealing from the patients that amalgam is a mercury filling.

The enabler of pro-mercury dentistry or of dental mercury is the FDA. The FDA says to dentists and says to the manufacturers, 'You may conceal the mercury from patients. You don't need to tell them,' and of course, therefore they don't."

A Poignant Reminder of Why Mercury Doesn't Belong in Dentistry

Dental amalgam is an antiquated tooth filling material that is 50 percent mercury—a potent neurotoxin—combined with silver, copper, and tin. Your health is at grave risk when you get mercury dental fillings, and the effects can be either acute or chronic. Children and pregnant women are at greatest risk.

A single dental amalgam filling may release as much as 15 micrograms of mercury per day. To put that into perspective, eating mercury-tainted seafood can expose you to about 2.3 micrograms per day -- and that alone was enough for scientists to call for a worldwide warning back in 2006!4

As noted in a 2010 extensive scientific review on mercury exposure and children's health, there is no known safe level of exposure for mercury!5 Ideally, exposure should be zero, so any dentist insisting that mercury exposure from amalgam is "minimal" or "inconsequential" is really doing their patients a reprehensible disservice.

Not only does mercury fuel the flames of inflammation, which is an underlying factor of most chronic disease, it also hampers your body's ability to detoxify itself, which further exacerbates matters. Mercury toxicity has been linked to Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and other neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis.

Earlier this year, Maria Indermuhle told her own harrowing story of getting mercury poisoning from her dental amalgams, which was actually misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis. She completely recovered after getting the amalgams removed. General symptoms of mercury poisoning include the following, which can easily be overlooked or misdiagnosed. If you have any of these, it may be a wise move to get a heavy metal screen test, to check for toxicity of mercury and other heavy metals:

Impairment of vision, hearing, or speech, including light sensitivity Lack of motor coordination Muscle twitching and/or tremors Headaches
Weakness Itching or burning Skin discoloration (red nose, cheeks, or lips) Profuse sweating
Elevated heart rate High blood pressure Mood swings, nervousness, anxiety, or irritability Insomnia

Important Information Regarding Amalgam Removal

For those of you who have mercury fillings, I recommend that you have them removed. However, it's very important to get it done right. Removing amalgam fillings can expose you to significant amounts of mercury vapors if the dentist doesn't know what he or she is doing. For this reason, it's important to find a qualified biological dentist, trained in the safe and proper removal of mercury fillings.

Biological dentistry views your teeth and gums as an integrated part of your entire body, and any medical treatments performed take this fact into account. Biological dentists are well aware of the dangers involved with toxic materials such as amalgams. Some of the things that need to be done to keep you (and your dentist) safe during amalgam removal include:

Providing you with an alternative air source and instructing you not to breathe through your mouth Putting a rubber dam in your mouth so you don't swallow or inhale any toxins, and using a high-volume evacuator near the tooth at all times to evacuate the mercury vapor
Using a cold-water spray to minimize mercury vapors Washing your mouth out immediately after the fillings have been removed (the dentist should also change gloves after the removal)
Immediately cleaning your protective wear and face once the fillings are removed Using room air purifiers

How to Find a Qualified Biological Dentist

Knowledgeable biological dentists can be hard to come by, so start your search by asking a friend, relative, neighbor, or inquire at your local health food store. The following links can also help you to find a mercury-free, biological dentist:

Take Action: Tell EPA You Support Its Mercury Amalgam Rule!

Why should we be forced to pay when irresponsible dentists who still use mercury could easily and relatively inexpensively install amalgam separators, which catch most of the mercury before it goes down the drain? Until the EPA's proposed rule is final, dentists are still getting away with environmental pollution, and it's high time for that to change. I urge you to take a stand with us and tell the EPA not to let polluting dentists off the hook: It's time to stop dental mercury dumping. Consumers for Dental Choice has created a petition demanding the EPA immediately stop this practice. I hope you will take a moment to sign this petition right now.

To learn more about dental mercury and its risks, as well as keep abreast of the latest news on the EPA's mercury rule, please see the following sources:

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Psyllium Dietary Fiber Could Cut Health Care Costs PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

The majority of health care expenditures (75 percent) in the US are spent on preventable diseases, while only 3 percent of such expenditures are invested in disease-prevention programs, according to a new report funded by the Council for Responsible Nutrition Foundation (CRNF).1

At the heart of such programs should be, undoubtedly, attention to proper nutrition. And when I say “proper,” I’m referring to whole foods, including not only plenty of vegetables but also healthy fats like organic free-range eggs, grass-fed raw butter, coconut oil, and high-quality, organic grass-fed meats.

You can find the details to this type of wholesome eating in my nutrition plan, but CRNF’s report took a slightly different angle in focusing on specific dietary supplements for disease prevention.

Certain supplements do have their place, and one, in particular, emerged as a standout for reducing health care costs for as little as 30 cents a day… psyllium dietary fiber.

Daily Psyllium Fiber Could Drastically Cut Health Care Costs

The report found that if US adults over the age of 55 with heart disease took psyllium dietary fiber daily, it could save nearly $4.4 billion a year – and more than $35 billion in cumulative health care costs between 2013 and 2020.

The reduction comes largely by reducing coronary heart disease-related medical events by 11.5 percent. One such event was estimated to cost over $13,000 in 2012, but despite the potential benefit only 8 percent of US adults over 55 use psyllium supplements.

The report estimated that it costs just 30 cents per day to take psyllium fiber at “preventive intake levels,” and noted that it helps support healthy cholesterol levels by inhibiting its absorption in your intestine.

Other supplements were also mentioned in the report as valuable for helping control health care costs, particularly in those diagnosed with or at risk of heart disease, diabetes-related heart disease, osteoporosis, or age-related eye disease. These include:

Chromium picolinate Omega-3s Magnesium
Calcium Vitamin D Lutein
Phytosterols Zeaxanthin B vitamins

;Dietary Fiber: What You Need to Know

The recommended daily amount of fiber is between 20 and 30 grams, but I believe about 32 grams per day is ideal. Unfortunately, most people get only half that or less. Your best source of dietary fiber comes from vegetables, and most people simply aren't eating enough veggies... There are basically two types of fiber:

  • Soluble fiber, found in cucumbers, blueberries, beans, and nuts, dissolves into a gel-like texture, helping to slow down your digestion. This helps you to feel full longer, which can help with weight control
  • Insoluble fiber, found in foods like dark green leafy vegetables, green beans, celery, and carrots, does not dissolve at all and helps add bulk to your stool. This helps food to move through your digestive tract more quickly for healthy elimination

Many whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables, naturally contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, both of which serve as excellent fodder for the microorganisms living in your gut. Psyllium also contains both types of dietary fiber.

9 Impressive Health Benefits of Dietary Fiber

Once regarded simply as a way to help with regularity or to aid occasional constipation, more recent research shows that dietary fiber has many other important health benefits. Some of its top potential benefits include:

  • Blood sugar control: Soluble fiber may help to slow your body’s absorption of sugar, helping with blood sugar control. Research also shows that women with the highest soluble fiber intake had 42 percent less insulin resistance.2
  • Heart health: An inverse association has been found between fiber intake and heart attack, and research shows that those eating a high-fiber diet have a 40 percent lower risk of heart disease.3
  • Stroke: Researchers have found that for every seven-grams more fiber you consume on a daily basis, your stroke risk is decreased by 7 percent.4
  • Weight loss and management: Fiber supplements have been shown to enhance weight loss among obese people,5 likely because fiber increases feelings of fullness. However, there's more to it. When microbes in your gut digest fiber, a short-chain fatty acid called acetate is released. The acetate then travels from your gut to your hypothalamus, where it helps signal you to stop eating.
  • Skin health: Fiber, particularly psyllium husk, may help move yeast and fungus out of your body, preventing them from being excreted through your skin where they could trigger acne or rashes.6
  • Diverticulitis: Dietary fiber (especially insoluble) may reduce your risk of diverticulitis – an inflammation of your intestine – by 40 percent.7
  • Hemorrhoids: A high-fiber diet may lower your risk of hemorrhoids.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Fiber may provide some relief from IBS.
  • Gallstones and kidney stones: A high-fiber diet may reduce the risk of gallstones and kidney stones, likely because of its ability to help regulate blood sugar.

Think Veggies, Not Grains, for Increasing Your Fiber

If you're in need of more fiber, please resist the urge to fortify it with whole grains. While they certainly contain fiber, they will raise your insulin and leptin levels, which is a major driver of most chronic diseases.

Further, most whole-grain products on the market are highly processed, which further deteriorates their nutritional value. Instead, focus on eating more vegetables, nuts, and seeds… broccoli not bran muffins.

Grains are linked to numerous health conditions, not the least of which is Alzheimer’s disease. Substances in grains, including gliadin and lectins, may increase intestinal permeability or leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut can cause digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas, and abdominal cramps, as well as cause or contribute to many others symptoms such as fatigue, skin rashes, joint pain, allergies, psychological symptoms, autism, and more.

Ironically, people with leaky gut and other chronic digestive problems may be better served by eating a very low-fiber diet temporarily, until their digestive issues clear up. This is because if your bowel is predominantly dominated by pathogenic microbes, pathogenic microbes will feed on fiber and proliferate, making whatever health problems you have worse.

So eating grains, which may lead to digestive upset and provides the “fuel” for feeding pathogens in your gut is a bad combination. The following whole foods, on the other hand, contain high levels of soluble and insoluble fiber without the health risks of grains.

Psyllium seed husk, flax, and chia seeds BerriesVegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts
Root vegetables and tubers, including onions, sweet potatoes, and jicamaAlmondsPeas
Green beansCauliflowerBeans

Psyllium Helps You Get Close to the Recommended Daily Levels for Fiber

If you’re looking for a healthy way to supplement your fiber intake, organic whole husk psyllium is indeed a simple, cost-effective way to do it. Taking it three times a day could add as much as 18 grams of dietary fiber (soluble and insoluble) to your diet, which brings you quite close to the recommended minimum of 20 grams a day. Ideally, you'll want to get around 30-32 grams per day for optimal health, so you’ll want to use psyllium in addition to a healthy, veggie-rich diet.

Please keep in mind that psyllium is a heavily sprayed crop, which means many sources are contaminated with pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. For this reason, be sure to ONLY use organicpsyllium husk, and make sure it’s 100% pure. Many supplement brands use synthetic or semi-synthetic active ingredients that do not contain psyllium, such as methylcellulose and calcium polycarbophil. Some brands even add sweeteners and other additives, which you’re better off avoiding.

As an added bonus, soluble fibers such as psyllium are prebiotics that help nourish beneficial bacteria. These beneficial bacteria in turn assist with digestion and absorption of your food, and play a significant role in your immune function. So, if you’re not sure how much fiber you’re eating, take a minute to find out. Use a dietary fitness app or even WebMD’s Fiber-o-Meter,8 and if you come up short, consider adding in a serving or two of organic psyllium husk, and definitely start eating more whole vegetables.

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Turmeric Compound Boosts Regeneration of Brain Stem Cells, and More PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

Many spices have powerful medicinal properties, which is why they've been used to promote healing for thousands of years prior to the advent of patented synthetic drugs.

Some spices are clearly more useful than others, and one “star player” within Nature’s pharmacy is turmeric, a yellow-pigmented curry spice often used in Indian cuisine. Turmeric also has a long history of medicinal use in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda.

Curcumin—one of its most well-studied bioactive ingredients—exhibits over 150 potentially therapeutic activities, including potent anti-cancer properties. Curcumin is also capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier, which is one reason why it holds promise as a neuroprotective agent in a wide range of neurological disorders.

Researchers have previously investigated curcumin for its potential role in improving Parkinson's, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke damage. It can also promote brain health in general, courtesy of its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

One of the ways it works, which is similar to vitamin D, is by modulating large numbers of your genes. But unlike vitamin D that influences thousands of genes, curcumin has been shown to influence about 700 genes.

Previous research1 has also demonstrated that curcumin acts by inserting itself into your cells' membranes where it changes the physical properties of the membrane itself, making it more orderly.

Yet another part of the answer for turmeric’s multifaceted benefits lies in the herb’s ability to affect signaling molecules.2 For example, curcumin has been shown to directly interact with:

Inflammatory molecules Cell survival proteins Histone
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV1) integrase and protease DNA and RNA Various carrier proteins and metal ions

Turmeric Compound Boosts Regeneration of Brain Stem Cells

Recent animal research3, 4 suggests another bioactive compound in turmeric called aromatic-turmerone can increase neural stem cell growth in the brain by as much as 80 percent at certain concentrations. Neural stem cells differentiate into neurons and play an important role in self-repair.

The findings suggest aromatic-turmerone may help in the recovery of brain function in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and stroke—provided the effect also applies to humans. As reported by Time Magazine:5

“[T]he same research group found that rodent neural stem cells grew when they were bathed in a solution of aromatic-turmerone. The cells bathed in the turmeric compound also appeared to specialize into certain types of brain cells more rapidly.

‘It is interesting that it might be possible to boost the effectiveness of the stem cells with aromatic-turmerone,’ Maria Adele Rueger, a researcher on the team, told the BBC. 'And it is possible this in turn can help boost repair in the brain.'”

Previous research has also shown that curcumin may help inhibit the accumulation of destructive beta-amyloids in the brain of Alzheimer's patients, as well as break up existing plaques.

People with Alzheimer's tend to have higher levels of inflammation in their brains, and curcumin is perhaps most known for its potent anti-inflammatory properties.

The compound can inhibit both the activity and the inflammatory metabolic byproducts of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) and 5-lipooxygenase (5-LOX) enzymes, as well as other enzymes and hormones that modulate inflammation.

Turmeric May Be One of the Most Useful Herbs on the Planet

The effects of turmeric are not limited to brain health. As noted in a previous GreenMedInfo6 article on this subject, turmeric has been “empirically demonstrated to positively modulate over 160 different physiological pathways.”

A study published in the Natural Product Reports7 in 2011 describes curcumin as being therapeutic for a wide range of diseases, including:

Lung and liver diseases Neurological diseases Metabolic diseases
Autoimmune disorders Cardiovascular diseases Inflammatory diseases

For example, curcumin has been shown to benefit those with osteoarthritis. Research8 published in 2011 found that patients who added 200 mg of curcumin a day to their treatment plan had reduced pain and increased mobility, whereas the control group, which received no curcumin, had no significant improvements.

A 2006 study9 also found that a turmeric extract composed of curcuminoids (plant-based nutrients that contain powerful antioxidant properties) blocked inflammatory pathways, effectively preventing the launch of a protein that triggers swelling and pain.

Studies now numbering in the hundreds have shown that curcumin and other bioactive compounds in the spice may be helpful for a wide array of health problems. For example, research has shown turmeric can:

Support healthy cholesterol levels Prevent low-density lipoprotein oxidation Inhibit platelet aggregation
Suppress thrombosis and myocardial infarction Suppress symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes Suppress symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
Suppress symptoms of multiple sclerosis Protect against radiation-induced damage and heavy metal toxicity Inhibit HIV replication
Suppress tumor formation Enhance wound healing Protect against liver damage
Increase bile secretion Protect against cataracts Protect against pulmonary toxicity and fibrosis

Curcumin—A Potent Anti-Cancer Herb

Dr. William LaValley is one of the leading natural medicine cancer physicians. He has spent a considerable amount of time immersing himself in the science of curcumin, which has the most evidence-based literature10 supporting its use against cancer of any other nutrient. This includes vitamin D, which also has a robust base. Curcumin has been shown to be nontoxic and appears to be safe in the treatment of all cancers. Interestingly, it appears to be universally useful for just about every type of cancer, which is quite odd considering cancer consists of a wide variety of different molecular pathologies. You wouldn’t necessarily suspect that there would be one herb that would work for most of them.

As mentioned, curcumin has the ability to modulate genetic activity and expression, and in cancer, it can both destroy cancer cells and promote healthy cell function. It also promotes anti-angiogenesis, meaning it helps prevent the development of additional blood supply necessary for cancer cell growth, and affects more than 100 different molecular pathways once it gets into a cell.

As explained by Dr. LaValley, the curcumin molecule may cause either an increase in activity of a particular molecular target, or a decrease/inhibition of activity—either way, studies repeatedly show that the end result is a potent anti-cancer activity. This is why it appears to work for virtually all cancers. Furthermore, curcumin does not adversely affect healthy cells, suggesting it selectively targets cancer cells. Research has also shown that it works synergistically with certain chemotherapy drugs, enhancing the elimination of cancer cells.

How to Use Curcumin

For clinical results, it’s not enough to liberally add turmeric to your food. The turmeric root itself contains only about three percent curcumin concentration, and curcumin is poorly absorbed by your body to boot. Even in supplement form it’s unlikely to provide the results shown in various disease studies. Poor absorption is also the drawback that makes curcumin unsuitable for emergency treatment of stroke. When taken in its raw form, you’re only absorbing about one percent of the available curcumin.

It is easiest and far more convenient to find a high-quality turmeric extract that contains 100 percent certified organic ingredients, with at least 95 percent curcuminoids. The formula should be free of fillers, additives, and excipients (a substance added to the supplement as a processing or stability aid), and the manufacturer should use safe production practices at all stages: planting, cultivation, selective harvesting, and then producing and packaging the final product.

According to Dr. LaValley, typical anticancer doses are up to three grams of good bioavailable curcumin extract, three to four times daily. One work-around is to use raw curcumin powder and make a microemulsion by combining a tablespoon of the powder with 1-2 egg yolks and a teaspoon or two of melted coconut oil. Use a high speed hand blender to emulsify it. Just take precautions to avoid "yellow kitchen syndrome.” Curcumin is a very potent yellow pigment and can permanently discolor surfaces if you’re careless.

Another strategy that can help increase absorption is to put one tablespoon of the curcumin powder into a quart of boiling water. It must be boiling when you add the powder as it will not work as well if you first put it in room temperature water and then heat the water and curcumin. After boiling it for 10 minutes, you will have created a 12 percent solution that you can drink once cooled. It will have a woody taste. The curcumin will gradually fall out of solution, however. In about six hours, it will be down to a six percent solution, so it's best to drink the water within four hours. 

Because it’s a fat-loving or lipophilic molecule, many newer preparations now include some sort of oil or fat, which improves its absorbability and bioavailability. Such preparations typically have seven to eight times higher absorption than the raw, unprocessed 95-percent-concentration of dry powder. There are also newer sustained release preparations, which Dr. LaValley prefers and recommends.

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Juicing—One of the Best Tools for Improving Your Health PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

Vegetable juice is an enormously helpful tool for improving your health. Dr. Andrew Saul, who's been a guest here many times before, is a lifelong juicer.

His book, Vegetable Juicing for Everyone: How to Get Your Family Healthier and Happier, Faster!, is a fantastic resource, offering lots of practical tips for integrating juicing into your life, and having fun doing it.

"My father juiced and my children were raised on juice. By the way, that's what the book is about. The whole sordid story of what it's like to raise your kids with juicing when the neighbors think you're crazy and your relatives are sure," Dr. Saul says.

"In the 39 years that I've been working with folks and teaching in the natural health arena, the one thing that's helped more people more consistently is vegetable juicing."

Dr. Max Gerson was one of the pioneers of juicing. He suffered terrible migraine headaches, which he eventually resolved by drinking vegetable juice.

Once word spread, patients started coming in to be relieved of their migraines and ended up improving their health in other ways as well. Eventually, Dr. Gerson realized that vegetable juice is a metabolic therapy, capable of combating virtually any disease.

"The advantage of the juicer is, first of all, it reduces [large amounts of] vegetables into a few manageable glasses. That means you get a nice, easy-to-take, and quick food concentrate," Dr. Saul says.

"It has zero cholesterol, practically zero fat, lots of fiber, lots of minerals, and lots of vitamins...

The juicer also does a good job of making the nutrients available. [W]hen you juice, you break down the cell walls and you release these nutrients and liquid solution. When you drink that, you absorb it."

Juicing really is for everyone. Even people with irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and other kinds of gastrointestinal problems can usually handle vegetable juice, whereas they may not be able to eat a lot of raw food.

The Importance of High-Quality Produce

Using organic produce is very important when juicing. The price of organic produce can be a challenge for some. One alternative is to grow your own, making sure not to use synthetic pesticides and optimizing your soil by adding mulch or wood chips, which will promote beneficial soil microbes.

"Just say no to GMOs. Make sure that you grow as much as you can. If you really want to make an impact on this world, the answer is self-reliant production of your own food," Dr. Saul notes.

If the juice doesn't taste good, you're not going to want to drink it. Children are even more finicky than adults. But organic vegetables have a lot of flavor, and when picked straight from your own garden and juiced within minutes, the flavor is going to be at its peak. This is also true for the nutrient content.

Interestingly, one of the things I found in my own juicing experience is that some of the healthiest vegetables to juice are also some of the most bitter. This includes collards and mustard greens.

When using those, you'll want to add them in smaller quantities and balance the bitterness with other ingredients. My favorite is lime, but you can also use cranberries or occasionally an apple. 

"People say to me, 'What should I juice?' My answer is anything you can eat raw. Play around with it. Have some fun. Just try everything," Dr. Saul suggests.

"I have a Facebook site called The Megavitamin Man. People go on there, and they talk about the different things that they're juicing. I find it extremely entertaining because they're so creative...

Cabbage juice is fantastic for the gastrointestinal tract, and beet juice is a good blood builder. [B]eet juice... is remarkably sweet. Now, it looks awful but it tastes great." 

Juice Fasting for General Health 

Even if you don't juice every day, Dr. Saul recommends getting into the habit of doing a juice fast about once a month, where you drink nothing but vegetable juices for three to seven days. It's a great detox. Others have found new life by juicing every single day.  

Experts typically recommend drinking eight to 10 glasses of water each day. I believe the key is to drink enough fluids so that your urine is light yellow. If it's dark, you're not drinking enough. But when it comes to water, purity is really important. This is yet another benefit of vegetable juice.

It actually qualifies as water, and it is some of the absolute best water you can get. The reason is because it's structured water—essentially high-quality living water. It's actually different from regular water. It's not H₂O; it's H3O2. And vegetables make magnificent structured water; far better than drinking filtered tap water.

Different Types of Juicers

There are three basic types of juicers:

  • Centrifugal type juicers that separate the juice from the fiber through a spinning process. These are the least expensive and the most common
  • Auger or masticating types of juicers that chew up the vegetables and push them through a strainer. They work very well and tend to give you more juice than a centrifugal juicer. Dr. Saul estimates you could get 20-25 percent more juice from a masticating juicer, which makes it a sensible choice even if you're paying a little bit more for it. Over time, it'll save you money as you can get by with fewer vegetables. They're also quieter than other models, and tend to be easy to clean and assemble
  • Grind-and-press juicers that work like an apple cider mill. These are quite expensive and therefore generally not as popular  

There are also blenders, which are different from juicers. A powerful blender will give you juice along with all the fibrous material from the vegetables. This can work well for the elderly, or people who have trouble chewing for whatever reason. But it also has drawbacks. The “juice” doesn’t taste as good and remember if it doesn’t taste good you won’t drink it. The other downside of blending is that it limits the amount of vegetables you can eat. And while fiber is certainly good, the nutrients in the juice are more important.

"There's much to be said for that because nothing is lost, nothing is thrown away. And there is every value in having the complete food and just pulverizing it. The problem with that is not everybody likes it that way. It's kind of a thick, baby food-like consistency," Dr. Saul says.

Time Saving Tips, and a Warning About Storage

Provided you're using organic veggies, a great way to save time when juicing is to clean them with a brush rather than peeling them. One exception is beets, which have a rather foul tasting skin. If you're using non-organic vegetables, your best bet is to peel them, to avoid juicing pesticide residues. This is particularly important for fruits and vegetables that have been waxed, as this seals in pesticides.

Be aware that it can be difficult to discern if a vegetable has been waxed or not, because it can be applied in a very thin non-glossy layer. According to Dr. Saul, eggplant, turnips, cucumbers, and tomatoes are almost always waxed. Zucchini and squash are usually waxed but not always. Carrots are never waxed. Ideally, you'll want to drink the juice right away. The longer it sits, the more nutrients are destroyed through the contact with air, which oxidizes them. You also lose taste.

"Can you do all your juicing in the morning, take it with you to work, and drink juice all day? The answer is you can. But you will lose quality and you will lose taste. That's the number one reason I think people should have all their juice at once. But if you don't want to do that, you can certainly juice in advance. Generally speaking, the masticating juicer will introduce less air into the juice than the centrifugal. People have told me that they get longer storage when they use a masticating or chewing juicer and not the centrifugal type.

The next trick is to fill the container all the way to the top. Don't leave any airspace. My little trick is to add vitamin C as ascorbic acid at the top because it's an antioxidant. You cap it up, and you're good to go for a number of hours. You can take this with you."

A helpful device that can prolong the life of your juice is called the FoodSaver. It vacuums out air from plastic bags that you then seal. But it also has an attachment that will suck out the air from the top of a Ball jar, essentially creating a vacuum seal to further limits the problem of oxidation, which is what destroys nutrients. You still need to keep the juice refrigerated, and you'll want to drink it all that day. As noted by Dr. Saul:

"Whenever you have an oxygen low or oxygen-free atmosphere like that, there is a risk of botulism. We don't want that. The way to avoid that is to simply drink the juice that day. Don't think you can put it in your fridge all sealed up and leave it for two weeks. That's not going to work."

Storage of fresh juice also allows methanol to dissociate and increase over time, which is another reason to drink it as soon as possible. The human body is not adapted to detoxify methanol, which is why it can cause so many problems. For example, it can convert into formaldehyde that can then wind its way into your brain.

Methanol toxicity, which is primarily associated with the artificial sweetener aspartame, has been linked to Alzheimer's and other health problems. Methanol is not a problem in fresh produce because the methanol is bound to pectin, which allows it to safely pass through your system, but the processing and storing of it could allow it to build up. So make sure you discard any left-over juice the next day.

More Information

As stated by Dr. Saul, in order to get and stay healthy, we need to get back to basics. It's not very complicated when it really comes down to it, but if you listen to the pharmaceutical industry and the medical profession, they all seem to make their living complicating things.

"We have been taught that the simple is not scientific. It's not effective. It's really not a viable alternative," Dr. Saul says, "Yes, it is! The simple solution is usually the best one. When we're looking at our health, it's just amazing how many people ask me, 'What vitamin should I take?' They are eating a lousy diet, are overweight, don't exercise, and they eat a lot of junk. Now, it's good if they take the vitamins, but you still have to eat right. That means it's got to come out of the dirt. It's got to be good dirt, good seed, and you need a good quantity of it.

We need to get back to the land. It sounds kind of hippie-like, but the fact is, truth is truth. It's always been a good idea to follow nature. We're way off that. We need to turn around, look at the animal kingdom, and take the knowledge that we see in healthy animals. What can we do to improve our life? It's very simple... 'No junk.'"

If you’re looking for an entertaining book to get you juicing, whether you’re ready to try it out for the first time, or want to pick the habit back up, I highly recommend Dr. Saul’s book, Vegetable Juicing for Everyone, which he co-wrote with his daughter Helen Saul Case.

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Regenerative Agriculture Is the Answer to Many of the World’s Most Pressing Problems PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself.” That’s a quote from Franklin D. Roosevelt, who clearly knew something most people, including farmers, have since forgotten.

The truth is, to feed the world, we must feed the soil. One of the best ways to prevent global disaster, save our health, and build a sustainable economy is through regenerative agriculture. This isn’t a luxury we can put on the backburner. Changes must begin immediately.

A major part of the problem we now face is that our agricultural practices have removed massive amounts of valuable carbon from land, transferring it into air and water where it does more harm than good.

By paying greater attention to carbon management, we have the opportunity to make a dramatic difference in this area, which is having major negative consequences to our agriculture, and the pollution of our air and water.

But carbon management is but one aspect of cultivating healthy soil. We must also address the harm being done by agricultural chemicals, which have replaced natural methods of pest control and fertilization used since the beginning of agriculture.

Not only are agricultural chemicals decimating our soils, they’re also killing off bees, butterflies, and other flora and fauna. An estimated 60 percent of the world’s ecological systems are nearing collapse,1 yet industry continues to turn a blind eye to the destruction.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service2 (NRCS), which is part of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), is taking an active role in teaching farmers about the importance of soil health, as discussed in the featured video.

Grass fed and pastured products are high in demand these days.   Unfortunately, we are importing much of these goods from Australia due to USDA processing restrictions that have eliminated the ability to sell local meat products.

We subsidize the worst foods and crops produced by the largest companies and farms, while making it less affordable or restricting the abilities of smaller farmers to sell their higher quality products directly to consumers.

GE Crop Fields are Dead Fields...

There’s a big difference between living soil, capable of nourishing healthy plant growth, and chemically cultivated land that is quite literally devoid of life.

A couple of years ago, science writer Craig Childs decided to replicate a photo project by David Littschwager, who spent years traveling the world photographing anything and everything that entered the one-cubic-foot metal frames he dropped into gardens, streams, parks, forests, and oceans.

Around the world, Littschwager’s camera captured thousands of plants, animals, and insects within the cubes. Childs decided to replicate the photographic “critter census” in a corn field in Grundy County, Iowa.

The result was shocking. He found no signs of life with the exception of an isolated spider, a single red mite, and a couple grasshoppers among the genetically engineered corn stalks on the 600 acre farm. In an article documenting Childs adventure, Robert Krulwich writes:4

“It felt like another planet entirely,” Childs said. “I listened and heard nothing, no birds, no clicks from insects. There were no bees. The air, the ground, seemed vacant.

Yet, 100 years ago, these same fields, these prairies, were home to 300 species of plants, 60 mammals, 300 birds, hundreds and hundreds of insects.

This soil was the richest, the loamiest in the state. And now, in these patches, there is almost literally nothing but one kind of living thing. We’ve erased everything else.”

Chemical Agriculture Is Toxic Agriculture

More than one billion pounds of pesticides are used in the US each year, an amount that has quintupled since 1945. As with antibiotic overuse, the onslaught of pesticides and herbicide to combat pests has led to the development of weeds and bugs that are now resistant to the chemicals.

The answer to increasing resistance has been to apply greater amounts of chemicals just to keep up.

Now we’re also facing the next-generation of genetically engineered (GE) plants designed to withstand even more toxic chemicals, including 2,4-D (an Agent Orange ingredient), and dicamba.

Charles Benbrook, a research professor at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University, has found that rapidly increasing weed resistance is driving up the volume of herbicide needed by about 25 percent annually.

The approvals of 2,4-D and dicamba resistant GE crops could drive it up by another 50 percent, according to research published in Environmental Sciences Europe.5

That we cannot continue on this path should be self-evident, yet the chemical industry keeps the sham going. In a 2012 report6 by the Weed Science Society of America, the authors made the following opening remarks:

“It is clear to most weed scientists who are involved in herbicide research, and even those who are not, that the best way to reduce selection pressure for herbicide resistance is to minimize herbicide use.

However, the ‘solutions’ that have emerged in most recent meetings on herbicide resistance have usually involved more herbicide use...  

To an unbiased observer, it would appear that many weed emperors are wearing no clothes. Are we as a weed science discipline choosing to ignore true integrated solutions to the herbicide resistance problem?...

Surely, weed management diversity involves more than herbicide diversity. ‘Respect the rotation’ should mean more than the herbicide rotation.”

Chemical Technology Industry Survives by Deflecting the Problems They’ve Created

Indeed, junk food companies and pesticide producers have become quite good at deflecting issues to maintain their position in the marketplace. Chronic disease is rampant through our society, yet the food system takes little blame for these deadly offenses.

They’ve used the flawed calorie in/calorie out formula to guilt-trip Americans into believing it is solely a lack of exercise that has created this epidemic of chronic illness, not the junk food they’ve carefully formulated to be highly addictive, and which they market using some of the most insidious and potent marketing techniques ever devised.

In addition to being contaminated with toxic chemicals and foreign proteins, courtesy of genetic engineering, the nutrient content of foods has also dramatically declined as a result of deteriorating soils. For example, as explained by Dr. August Dunning, chief science officer and co-owner of Eco Organics, in order to receive the same amount of iron you used to get from one apple in 1950, by 1998 you had to eat 26 apples!

One of the primary reasons food doesn’t taste as good as it used to is also related to the deterioration of soil health. Soil minerals actually form the compounds that give the fruit or vegetable its flavor. All of these issues go back to the health of the soil in which the food is grown. Agricultural chemicals destroy the health of the soil by killing off its microbial inhabitants, which is one of the primary problems with modern farming, and the reason why the nutritional quality of conventionally-grown foods is deteriorating. Hence, more chemicals are NOT the answer, and never will be.

Food Production Now Threatens Human and Environmental Health...

Instead of being a cherished source of nutrition and an affirmation of life itself, our chemical-based agriculture system is destroying our soil, draining our aquifers for irrigation, contaminating our waters with fertilizers and pesticides, polluting our air, exterminating bees, butterflies, and other wildlife, and destroying beneficial microbes both in the soil and in our bodies... Yet the food and pesticide industries not only manage to avoid accountability, they also devise “solutions” that further increase their own profits while worsening the problem they created in the first place!

For example, while the pesticide industry insists that the answer to weed and pest resistance is a new, more lethal concoction of toxins, these toxins end up all over the place—in soil, water, and on your plate. What kind of solution is that? According to the latest USGS water quality survey, pesticide contamination is pervasive in streams nationwide.7 Streams are divided into agricultural, urban and mixed-use categories.

Half of mixed-use streams and nearly two-thirds of agricultural streams have pesticide concentrations exceeding the safety limit for aquatic life. A whopping 90 percent of urban streams now have pesticide concentrations exceeding aquatic life limits. This is an increase from 50 percent in the decade between 1992 and 2001. Furthermore, in the EPA’s 2000 National Water Quality Inventory,8 states across the nation reported that agricultural nonpoint source (NPS) pollution was the leading source of water quality impacts on surveyed rivers and lakes, and a major contributor to contamination of surveyed estuaries and ground water.

Over a billion people in the world have no access to safe drinking water, while 80 percent of the world’s fresh water supply is used for agriculture. Soil is also depleting 13 percent faster than it can be replaced, and we’ve lost 75 percent of the world's crop varieties in just the last 100 years. Overall, the situation is not sustainable for much longer. We simply must change the way we grow crops and raise livestock if we want to survive as a species.

Can the World Recover from the GMO Lie?

The chemical technology industry is quite skilled at turning lemons into lemonade. The extent of their creativity would be admirable if it wasn’t so devious and dangerous, and their effectiveness is well-tested. Across large parts of the globe, they’ve built monopolistic monocultures married with an ever-increasing need for more pesticides, claiming this is the only way to feed the world... Yet facts and figures keep revealing that such claims are overblown, if not outright false. As noted in a recent report by the USDA's Economic Research Service:9

“Over the first 15 years of commercial use, GE [genetically-engineered] seeds have not been shown to increase yield potentials of the varieties. In fact, the yields of herbicide-tolerant or insect-resistant seeds may be occasionally lower than the yields of conventional varieties.”

There are indeed viable solutions to world hunger, but it involves neither genetic engineering nor chemicals. Indeed, genetic engineering doesn’t even fill a true need. For example, conventional plant breeding is turning out high-performance plants that are naturally more drought resistant,10 and this is done without the unnatural insertion of genes that have never existed in a plant before. We also need to stop senseless food waste that feeds landfills instead of people, animals, and soil. As reported by The Washington Post:11

“In 2012, the most recent year for which estimates are available, Americans threw out roughly 35 million tons of food, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That's almost 20 percent more food than the United States tossed out in 2000, 50 percent more than in 1990, and nearly three times what Americans discarded in 1960, when the country threw out a now seemingly paltry 12.2 million tons. In 1980, food waste accounted for less than 10 percent of total waste; today, it makes up well over a fifth of the country's garbage. Americans, as it is, now throw out more food than plastic, paper, metal, or glass—and by a long shot.”

Degenerative agriculture is the obvious problem; regenerative agriculture is the simple solution. We will be quite close to that goal once we reach a grass-fed milk and beef tipping point12--when enough people choose grass-fed animal products over the fare from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). The reason why I say that is because grazing livestock on pasture is part and parcel of sustainable, regenerative agriculture.

By mimicking the natural behavior of migratory herds of wild grazing animals—meaning allowing livestock to graze freely, and moving the herd around in specific patterns—farmers can support nature's efforts to regenerate and thrive. This kind of land management system promotes the reduction of atmospheric CO2 by sequestering it back into the soil where it can do a lot of good. Once in the earth, the CO2 can be safely stored for hundreds of years, and adds to the soil's fertility. Another major tipping point for change can occur once GE foods are labeled, so that all Americans have a better chance of making informed purchasing decisions.

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The Link Between Obesity and Cancer PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

Obesity is a frequently overlooked factor that can contribute to an increased cancer risk, yet less than 10 percent of Americans are aware of this link.1 According to the National Cancer Institute,2 an estimated 84,000 annual cancer cases are linked to obesity.

Obesity may also affect the efficacy of cancer treatments. 
With rising obesity rates among young children in particular, it's becoming really important to understand this link.

Childhood obesity has nearly tripled since 1980, and one in five kids is now overweight by age six; 17 percent of children and adolescents are now obese.3 Unfortunately, childhood obesity has become so prevalent that many parents fail to recognize that their children are in fact overweight.4

Research5 has confirmed this perceptual shift, concluding that overweight/obese children are now nearly 25 percent less likely to be perceived as overweight compared to the previous decade.

While body acceptance is a good thing, it can also be dangerous if potent risk factors for lethal disease are simply ignored as "normal" in the process.

As noted in a recent position statement on obesity and cancer by the American Society of Clinical Oncology6 (ASCO), obesity is "quickly overtaking tobacco as the leading preventable cause of cancer." To address this overlooked cause of cancer, ASCO has established a “multipronged initiative,” which includes:

  1. Education to raise awareness about the evidence linking obesity and cancer
  2. Tools and resources to help oncology providers address obesity with their patients
  3. Research
  4. Advocating for policy and systems change to address societal factors contributing to obesity and improve access to weight management services for patients with cancer

Processed Food Drives Obesity and Cancer Epidemics

The obesity epidemic is directly related to excessive sugar consumption (virtually every single processed food is now loaded with hidden sugar and fructose, including baby food and foods thought of as "health foods"), and this is also a major driving factor for the cancer epidemic.

The link between a high-sugar diet, obesity, and cancer can be summarized in two words: insulin resistance. Both obesity and cancer result when your body loses its ability to burn fat as fuel.

Sugar also causes chronic inflammation, which also raises the risk of cancer. And, as noted in the featured CNN article:7

"Fat tissue also produces hormones called adipokines, which can stimulate or inhibit cell growth8... If these hormones are out of balance, the body may not be able to properly fight cell damage."

One of the most effective ways to reverse insulin resistance is intermittent fasting, along with making some basic changes to your diet, which revolves around restricting your sugar and fructose intake, and replacing carbs with healthy fats.

Studies Showing Obesity-Cancer Link

A number of studies have linked obesity to an increased risk for about a dozen different cancers, including cancer of the colon, esophagus, kidney, breast, and pancreas, as well as a heightened risk of dying from the disease:

  • A 16-year long study9 published in 2003 that included more than 900,000 Americans found that obese participants were more likely to be diagnosed and die from cancer, compared to those of normal weight
  • According to the authors, obesity "could account for 14 percent of all deaths from cancer in men and 20 percent of those in women"

  • A recent report published in the journal Cancer Research10 projects cancer incidence and death from cancer in the US will continue to rise over the next decade and a half, in large part due to rising obesity rates
  • A recent study11 involving 80,000 breast cancer patients found that pre-menopausal women with a body mass index (BMI) over 30 had a 21.5 percent chance of death whereas women with average BMI had a 16.6 percent chance of dying from the disease

A recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA Internal Medicine12 found that most adults (just over 71 percent) get 10 percent or more of their daily calories from added sugar. Approximately 10 percent of American adults get 25 percent or more of their daily calories from added sugar!

On average, Americans consume about 350 calories a day from added sugar, which equates to about 22 teaspoons, and this is a sure-fire recipe for chronic poor health...

In the JAMA study just mentioned, those who consumed 21 percent or more of their daily calories in the form of sugar were twice as likely to die from heart disease compared to those who got seven percent or less or their daily calories from added sugar. The risk was nearly tripled among those who consumed 25 percent or more of their daily calories from added sugar.

But cancer is also fed by excess sugar, so while cancer risk was not assessed here, there's little doubt that your cancer risk will rise right along with your risk for heart disease...

Your Body Has Limited Ability to Process Sugar

The main problem with sugar, and processed fructose in particular, is the fact that your liver has a very limited capacity to metabolize it. According to Dr. Robert Lustig, you can safely use about six teaspoons of added sugar per day unless you are vigorously exercising. But the average American consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day.

All that excess sugar is metabolized into body fat, and leads to all of the chronic metabolic diseases we struggle with, including cancer.

Four grams of sugar is equivalent to about one teaspoon, and I strongly recommend limiting your daily fructose intake to 25 grams or less from all sources, including natural ones like fruit. That equates to just over six teaspoons of sugar a day.

If you're among the 80 percent majority who have insulin or leptin resistance (overweight, diabetic, high blood pressure, or taking a statin drug), you'd be wise to restrict your total fructose consumption to as little as 15 grams per day, until you've normalized your insulin and leptin levels.

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.

While lack of exercise certainly plays a role in rising obesity rates13 among both children and adults, it's important to understand that you cannot exercise your way out of a poor diet.

The food industry has responsibility here that it has, so far, failed to accept. It spends more than $1.8 billion marketing junk food to kids each year,14 while paying lip service to concerns about obesity by now and then promoting exercise.

These processed junk foods are also loaded with hormone-mimicking chemicals that further contribute to cancer and other health problems. In short, the current generation of children raised on a processed food diet has a much higher risk of devastating health problems than their parents, thanks to the processed food industry.

The risks are significant. In girls, obesity exposes them to higher estrogen levels because estrogen is both produced and stored in fat tissue. Girls carrying excess body fat therefore have more estrogen and leptin, which can lead to insulin resistance and the development of more fat tissue, which produces even more estrogen—it's a vicious cycle that can result in premature puberty, and raises the risk of estrogen-sensitive cancers such as breast cancer later on in life.

Understanding the Sugar-Cancer Connection

Cancer cells need glucose to thrive, and if you have insulin resistance, it doesn't matter if that glucose comes from added sugar, fructose, or grains. In order to starve the cancer cells, or prevent them from forming in the first place, you have to eliminate its primary food source, i.e. the sugars, which include all non-vegetable carbohydrates.

In 1934, Otto Warburg received a Nobel Prize for his research on cancer cell physiology, which clearly demonstrated cancer cells require more sugar to thrive. Unfortunately, many oncologists still have not fully grasped the importance of this knowledge, nor do they apply it when devising a cancer treatment plan. Not everyone is clueless, however. Lewis Cantley, director of the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School, has noted that as much as 80 percent of all cancers are "driven by either mutations or environmental factors that work to enhance or mimic the effect of insulin on the incipient tumor cells"15

Even in terms of treatment, cancer has been shown to respond to diet alone. A ketogenic diet, which is high in healthy fat and very low in sugar, especially for those who are insulin resistant, has been shown to reverse cancer in many cases, and research shows a lot of promise in this area. It can be very useful in addressing the underling insulin resistance. Once the insulin resistance resolves, a ketogenic diet is typically not required. Recent research16 has further added to the knowledge pool, showing that not only does sugar feed existing cancer; it also appears to initiate cancer growth. As reported by GreenMedInfo.com,17 this study:

"'...provide[s] evidence that increased glycolytic activation itself can be an oncogenic event...' That is to say, the activation of sugar-based metabolism in a cell – driven by both the presence of increased quantities of glucose and the increase glucose receptors on the cell membrane surface (i.e. 'overexpression of a glucose transporter') – drives cancer initiation. Moreover, the study found that 'Conversely, forced reduction of glucose uptake by breast cancer cells led to phenotypic reversion.' In other words, interfering with sugar availability and uptake to the cell causes the cancer cell to REVERSE towards its pre-cancer structure-function (phenotype).

To Address Insulin Resistance, You Must Cut Sugar Consumption

If you're overweight, step number one is to reduce your overall sugar and grain consumption. I recommend keeping your total sugar/fructose intake below 25 grams a day, or as little as 15 grams a day if you have any health problems related to insulin and leptin resistance, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease, until your insulin/leptin sensitivity has been restored. One of the easiest ways to dramatically cut down on your sugar and fructose consumption is by switching to a diet of whole, unprocessed foods, as most of the added sugar in your diet comes from processed fare. Ideally, aim to:

  1. Avoid processed sugar/fructose, grains, and processed foods
  2. Eat a healthful diet of whole foods, ideally organic, and replace the grain carbs with:
    • Large amounts of vegetables
    • Low-to-moderate amount of high-quality protein (think organically raised, pastured animals)
    • As much high-quality healthful fat as you want (saturated and monounsaturated from animal and tropical oil sources). Most people actually need upwards of 50-85 percent fats in their diet for optimal health—a far cry from the 10 percent currently recommended.

Other ways to cut down on your sugar consumption include:

  • Cutting back on the amount of sugar you personally add to your food and drink
  • Using Stevia or Luo Han instead of sugar and/or artificial sweeteners. You can learn more about the best and worst of sugar substitutes in my previous article, "Sugar Substitutes—What's Safe and What's Not"
  • Using fresh fruit in lieu of canned fruit or sugar for meals or recipes calling for a bit of sweetness
  • Using spices instead of sugar to add flavor to your meal

Intermittent Fasting—One of the Most Effective Ways to Reverse Insulin/Leptin Resistance

Once you've addressed your basic food choices, you can further boost your fat loss efforts by incorporating the principles of intermittent fasting. Exercising in a fasted state will bring it up yet another notch. A simple way to get started with intermittent fasting is to simply omit breakfast, making lunch the first meal of your day. I usually recommend this kind of eating schedule, but if you want to eat breakfast and skip dinner instead, that's okay too. The key is to limit your eating to a specific, narrow window of time each day (about 6-8 hours), rather than eating every two to three hours, all throughout the day.

Intermittent fasting is by far the most effective way I know of to shed unwanted fat, eliminate sugar cravings, and normalize your insulin/leptin sensitivity. Intermittent fasting helps reset your body to use fat as its primary fuel, and mounting evidence confirms that when your body becomes adapted to burning FAT instead of sugar as its primary fuel, you dramatically reduce your risk of chronic disease. Another mechanism that makes intermittent fasting so effective for weight loss is the fact that it provokes the secretion of HGH18—a fat-burning hormone that has many well-recognized "anti-aging" health and fitness benefits.

Daily intermittent fasting tends to have the highest compliance rate, and mounting evidence suggests intermittent fasting can provide many if not most of the same benefits as longer, more rigorous fasts. Again, when you fast daily, you restrict your eating to a specific window of time, such as an eight hour window or less. You do this every day until your insulin/leptin resistance improves (which means your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol ratios, or diabetes normalizes). After that, you just need to do it as often as you need to maintain your healthy state.

Bottom Line

If you want to reduce, and in many cases virtually eliminate your risk of cancer and other chronic diseases, I suggest you get serious about restricting your sugar/fructose consumption to 25 grams per day—or less if you're already struggling with insulin-related health issues—and give intermittent fasting a try.

Again, you don't need to continue intermittent fasting for the rest of your life (unless you really want to). I believe that most who are insulin/leptin resistant would benefit from doing it continuously until the resistance resolves. However, once your weight is ideal, and you have no high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol ratios, or diabetes, then you can resume eating more frequent meals until or unless the insulin/leptin resistance returns.

Remember, exercise will not compensate for a diet too high in sugar, and such a diet will destroy many of the benefits of exercise too boot. So you really need to address what and when you eat if you want to shed excess weight and lower your risk for cancer and other chronic disease. There's no magic bullet, but a healthy lifestyle may be as close as you'll ever get to one.

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Prescription Drugs Now Factor in Higher Percentage of Fatal Car Crashes Than Alcohol or Marijuana PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

Prescription drugs, marijuana, and multiple drug combinations are frequently found in the blood of drivers involved in fatal car crashes on US roads, according to a new study in Public Health Reports.1

Drivers today are more likely to test positive for drugs than drivers 20 years ago, and drugged drivers are now likely to be older than 50.

Gone are the days when drunk drivers were our only concern—alcohol is but one of MANY drugs that can make you dangerous behind the wheel. And now many people are on multiple drug cocktails, especially prescription drugs, which multiplies their impairment.

In 1993, about one in eight drivers were using more than one drug, but by 2010, it was closer to one in five. The number of drivers with three or more drugs in their system nearly doubled in this period, increasing from 11.5 to 21.5 percent. Study author Fernando Wilson of the University of Nebraska Medical Center adds:2

"Beyond that, we're also seeing more and more people using drugs and alcohol together. About 70 percent of drivers who tested positive for cocaine had also been consuming alcohol, and almost 55 percent of drivers who tested positive for cannabis [marijuana] also had alcohol in their systems."

Source: White House Report, Drug Testing and Drug-Involved Driving of Fatally Injured Drivers in the United States: 2005-2009 (PDF)

The Hidden Dangers of Pill-Popping

The study identified several drug use trends. Almost 60 percent of marijuana-only users were younger than 30, but 39 percent of prescription users were 50 or older.

This trend seems to be in line with the overall increased reliance on prescription medications, especially among lower income and older segments of the population. Ninety percent of people age 65 and up now use prescription medications.3

It is mind-boggling that the average person may have taken 14,000 prescription pills by age 70—and this doesn't include over-the-counter drugs! By the time you reach your 70s, you could be taking five or more pills every day, according to the documentary Pill Poppers. Virtually no drug is side effect-free, and drug side effects are often treated with even more drugs, perpetuating a vicious cycle.

Even drugs such as over-the-counter cold medications can make you sleepy and potentially dangerous behind the wheel. A 2013 CDC report estimated that up to 33 percent of all fatal car crashes involve a drowsy driver.4

Many people assume that the combination of drugs prescribed to them is safe to take while driving, because their doctor did not specifically warn them otherwise. The researchers suggest prescribers should take more care to warn patients about potential drugged driving impairment—a point also made by AAA in their 2009 report on this topic.5

Polypharmacy—using multiple drugs simultaneously—has numerous potentially adverse effects in your body, beyond impairing your operation of a motor vehicle, and typically a combination of drugs results in more impairment than any one single drug.

Even Small Amounts of Some Drugs Can Impair Your Driving

Use of a psychoactive (mind-altering) drug makes driving potentially unsafe—just like driving after drinking alcohol. The effects of specific drugs differ depending on how they act in your brain, but all can impair faculties necessary for the safe operation of a vehicle.

This includes motor skills, balance and coordination, spacial orientation, attention, reaction time, and judgment. According to National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA):6

"Even small amounts of some drugs can have a measurable effect on driving ability...

It is hard to measure the exact contribution of drug intoxication to driving accidents, because blood tests for drugs other than alcohol are inconsistently performed, and many drivers who cause accidents are found to have both drugs and alcohol in their system, making it hard to determine which substance had the greater effect."

Drugs commonly implicated in accidents include opiates (narcotics), amphetamines (stimulants), benzodiazepines (depressants), cannabinoids, and cocaine. Many people are still under the illusion that prescription drugs are somehow safer than street drugs, but it's important to realize that prescription medications like hydrocodone and oxycodone are opioids—very similar to heroin.

Many prescription drugs, including opioid pain relievers and benzodiazepines prescribed for anxiety or sleep disorders, come with warnings about the operation of machinery—including motor vehicles—for a specified period of time after use. When prescription drugs are abused (taken without medical supervision), impaired driving and other harmful reactions are even more likely.



Source: White House Report, Drug Testing and Drug-Involved Driving of Fatally Injured Drivers in the United States: 2005-2009 (PDF)

18 Percent of Fatally Injured Drivers Test Positive for Multiple Drugs

Eighteen states currently have zero tolerance laws for drugged drivers. However, recent studies suggest these laws may not be making our roads much safer. One of these studies is the 2007 National Roadside Survey, performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).7 The survey found that more than 16 percent of weekend, nighttime drivers tested positive for illegal, prescription, or over-the-counter drugs.

More than 11 percent tested positive for illicit drugs. In 2009, another NHTSA survey found that 18 percent of fatally injured drivers tested positive for at least one illicit, prescription, or over-the-counter drug (an increase from 13 percent in 2005).8 These statistics are clearly trending in the wrong direction. According to a government report,9 in 2009 narcotics and cannabinoids accounted for almost half of all fatally injured drivers testing positive for drugs. The report, which includes an impressive array of statistical graphs and charts, includes the following facts:

  • Fatally injured male drivers outnumbered fatally injured female drivers by approximately 3:1
  • The younger age groups (15 to 24 and 25 to 34) accounted for almost half of all fatally injured drivers (each group with 23 percent)
  • Cannabinoid-positive drivers were younger, peaking at age group 15 to 24, while narcotic-positive drivers peaked at age group 45 to 54
  • Alcohol was involved in about one-third (34 percent) of all fatal crashes, yet among drivers who tested positive for any drug, 48 percent also tested positive for alcohol
  • Driver inattentiveness was associated with 10 percent of all fatally injured drivers but was slightly more common among narcotic, depressant, and other drug-positive drivers; drug-positive drivers are also less likely to wear seatbelts

Prescriptions Can Be Fatal if Used While Driving

In the CDC's Public Health Reports study, prescription drugs were involved in fatal car crashes at three times the rate of marijuana. In half of the fatal crashes, alcohol was also a factor. This is not meant to be an argument that driving under the influence of marijuana is safe, but this latest study clearly shows that combining prescription drugs and alcohol is even MORE dangerous when you're on the road.10

People involved in car accidents are more likely to have taken psychotropic drugs for a period of days, weeks, or months, according to a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.11 Psychotropic drugs are those that alter your mental processes and are typically prescribed for anxiety, depression, insomnia, and other psychiatric disorders. Benzodiazepines, antidepressants, and insomnia drugs known as Z-drugs (including Sonata, Ambien, Imovane, and Lunesta) all have the potential to impair your driving.

Impaired driving is just one of the many risks of these drugs. Since 2009, deaths from properly prescribed drugs have outnumbered traffic fatalities in the US, largely from overdoses. Prescription medications are also killing more people than illegal drugs these days. Psychotropic drugs are associated with a variety of serious mental and physical problems, including but not limited to the following:

  • Benzodiazepines are associated with an increased risk of dementia, certain cancers, and premature death; hypnotics such as Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata ("sleeping pills") have been linked to certain forms of cancer and overall reduced lifespan
  • Opioid pain relievers (narcotics) are associated with an increased risk of depression; the use of these painkillers has quintupled in recent years, and addiction to painkillers has reached epidemic levels
  • Deaths from prescription painkillers increased five-fold among women between 1999 to 2010, largely as a result of overdoses; a 2011 CDC report stated that prescription painkiller overdoses now exceed the number of deaths from heroin and cocaine combined12
  • ADHD drugs (stimulants such as Ritalin, Adderall, and Strattera) have been linked to permanent brain damage, liver, heart and blood vessel damage, heart attack, stroke, sudden death, depression, suicide, and increased cancer risk; yet these psychotropic drugs are still being prescribed to children at alarming rates
  • Antidepressants such as Prozac and Paxil have been associated with a disproportionate number of violent acts, including assaults, suicides, and homicides

Alcohol Kills One in 10 Working-Age Adults

According to a recent CDC study, alcohol accounts for one in 10 deaths among working-age adults.13 In addition to alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents, the study also took into account deaths from homicides, falls, and chronic diseases, such as alcoholic liver disease, stroke, and breast cancer. The report emphasizes alcohol is the fourth-largest cause of preventable death, behind smoking, poor nutrition, and lack of exercise. The report also estimates that the ravages of alcohol cost the US $224 billion each year, or $1.90 per drink.14

Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana May Double Your Risk of an Accident

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the most psychoactive compound in marijuana) can also cause serious driving impairment, especially at higher blood levels. Studies in several localities have found that between four and 14 percent of drivers who sustained injury or died in traffic accidents tested positive for THC.15 A large study in the British Medical Journal found that marijuana nearly doubles your risk of having a vehicle collision.16

In the 2007 NHTSA survey, 8.7 percent of weekend nighttime drivers tested positive for marijuana—four times as many as had blood alcohol concentrations exceeding the legal limit.17 This should be a wake-up call, particularly now that marijuana has been legalized in some states. According to NIDA:18

"Considerable evidence from both real and simulated driving studies indicates that marijuana can negatively affect a driver's attentiveness, perception of time and speed, and ability to draw on information obtained from past experiences. Research shows that impairment increases significantly when marijuana use is combined with alcohol."

Cannabis and Alcohol Produce Different Types of Driving Impairment

Cannabis and alcohol acutely impair several driving-related skills in a dose-dependent fashion, but the effects of cannabis vary more between individuals than alcohol because of individual tolerance, varying methods of ingestion (smoking, eating, etc.), and differences in THC absorption and metabolism.19 Alcohol and THC produce different patterns of impairment. The detrimental effects of THC are more pronounced with your automatic driving functions (such as spatial location) than with more complex tasks that require your conscious control. With alcohol, the opposite is true.

Some scientists believe that moderate marijuana smokers tend to be more aware of their impairment than drinkers, so they tend to compensate more effectively while driving by utilizing a variety of behavioral strategies. Alcohol impairs reaction time and increases risk-taking behavior (driving faster, tailgating, and passing recklessly), whereas moderately stoned drivers tend to slow down and be more cautious. However, as THC levels rise, these compensation strategies fail. The differences in impairment between alcohol and cannabis are further elucidated by Slate:20

"Real-world data from auto accidents indicate that a drunk driver is approximately 10 times more likely to cause a fatal accident than a stoned driver. Pot makes drivers worse at mindless tasks like staying in a lane, while alcohol undermines behaviors that require more attention, like yielding to pedestrians or taking note of stop signs."

Epidemiological studies show that drivers with THC blood levels exceeding 10 ng/mL—equivalent to smoking about one-half of a joint—are far more likely than sober drivers to cause an accident.21 One study found that blood THC concentrations of only 2 to 5 ng/ml were associated with substantial driving impairment, particularly in occasional smokers.22, 23 The most consistent finding in driving studies is that marijuana and alcohol together pose a much greater risk than using either one alone, which is very concerning as the two drugs are frequently used together.24, 25

Some forms of cannabis have powerful medicinal effects due to their combination of cannabidiol (CBD), medicinal terpenes, and flavonoids. But THC is also present in medical cannabis in varying concentrations, so if you use it, please don't underestimate its psychoactive effects, and err on the side of caution—especially when it comes to operating a vehicle.

Lesson: Don't Get Behind the Wheel if You Are Taking Psychotropic Medication

The risk of driving impairment from prescription medications has likely been underestimated for many years. There is no way to know how many of the accidents attributed to "drunk driving" have really been a combination of alcohol AND prescription drugs. When you take combinations of drugs, even those prescribed by your doctor, the mental and physical effects can be complex and unpredictable. If you do choose to take psychoactive medications, exercise good judgment and avoid getting behind the wheel.

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Worry and Obsession Linked to Alzheimer's Risk PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

Are you often anxious, fearful, and moody? Do you worry often or have feelings of envy, jealousy, and loneliness? These are characteristics of neuroticism, a personality trait might increase your risk of Alzheimer’s disease significantly.

The association between neuroticism and Alzheimer’s later in life was so strong that researchers suggested people with such traits seek cognitive behavioral therapy to help reduce their risk.

It’s not that being neurotic directly causes Alzheimer’s. However, it certainly increases your stress levels and may drive you to engage in unhealthy behaviors, like smoking, which further increase your risk.

As cases of Alzheimer’s continue to rise, the finding is actually good news, because if you tend to worry excessively you can do something about it now rather than later.

Being Neurotic May Double Your Risk of Alzheimer’s

Women who scored highest on a test for neuroticism were twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s than women with the lowest scores, the new study found.1

Women who were extroverted, meanwhile, had a lower degree of long-term distress, and while this wasn’t directly applicable to Alzheimer’s, the research found women who were both the most neurotic and the least extroverted had the highest risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

The implication is that the distress associated with neuroticism is likely what’s driving its tie to Alzheimer’s, and this was shown in a previous study conducted by the same researchers last year.

That study found that women who faced common psychosocial stressors often experienced long-standing distress, and were more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, than those who did not.

The stressors included in the study were divorce, widowhood, work problems or illness in a relative… hurdles that many people must overcome in their lives.

Stress Is Well Known to Promote Dementia

The connection between neuroticism and Alzheimer’s isn’t surprising, because this type of personality is a harbinger for chronic stress. Studies have found links between acute and/or chronic stress and a wide variety of health issues, including your brain function.

Most recently, an animal study reveals that higher levels of stress hormones can speed up short-term memory loss in older adults.2 The findings indicate that how your body responds to stress may be a factor that influences how your brain ages over time. As reported by Business Standard:3

"[R]ats with high levels of the stress hormone corticosterone showed structural changes in the brain and short-term memory deficits… older animals with higher levels of stress hormones in their blood have 'older' frontal cortexes than animals with less stress hormones, thus, stress may act as a pacemaker of aging in this key brain region."

Previous research has also linked chronic stress with working memory impairment.4 Other recent research suggests that stress may even act as a trigger for or speed up the onset of Alzheimer's disease, which currently afflicts about 5.4 million Americans, including one in eight people aged 65 and over.5

Specifically, 72 percent—nearly three out of four—Alzheimer's patients have experienced severe emotional stress during the two years preceding their diagnosis.6 In the control group for the study, only 26 percent, or one in four, had undergone major stress or grief. Most of the stresses encountered by the Alzheimer's group involved:

  • Bereavement; death of a spouse, partner, or child
  • Violent experiences, such as assault or robbery
  • Car accidents
  • Financial problems, including "pension shock"
  • Diagnosis of a family member's severe illness

Normalizing Your Cortisol Levels Might Help Protect Your Brain

Elevated levels of cortisol, one of your body’s stress hormones, affect your memory by causing a gradual loss of synapses in your prefrontal cortex. This is the brain region associated with short-term memory.

Cortisol—a stress hormone—basically has a "corrosive" effect, over time wearing down the synapses responsible for memory storage and processing. According to researchers:7

"Short-term increases in cortisol are critical for survival. They promote coping and help us respond to life's challenges by making us more alert and able to think on our feet.

But abnormally high or prolonged spikes in cortisol—like what happens when we are dealing with long-term stress—can lead to negative consequences that numerous bodies of research have shown to include digestion problems, anxiety, weight gain, and high blood pressure."

The researchers suggest that you may be able to protect your future memory function by normalizing your cortisol levels. Such intervention would be particularly beneficial for those who are at high risk for elevated cortisol, such as those who show traits of neuroticism, are depressed or are dealing with long-term stress following a traumatic event.

For this, I highly recommend the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). It's an energy psychology tool that can help reprogram your body's reactions to everyday stress, thereby reducing your chances of developing adverse health effects.

For a demonstration, please see the following video featuring EFT practitioner Julie Schiffman, in which she discusses EFT for stress relief. For serious or deep-seated emotional problems, I strongly recommend seeing an experienced EFT therapist, as there is a significant art to the process that requires a high level of sophistication if serious problems are to be successfully treated.

Did You Know a High-Carb Diet Increases Your Risk of Dementia by 89 Percent?

Stress certainly should be kept to a minimum to protect your health in all facets as you age. Yet, this is only one piece of a complex puzzle. Your diet also plays a very important role. In fact, neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter, MD insists that being very strict in limiting your consumption of sugar and non-vegetable carbs is one of THE most important steps you can take to prevent Alzheimer's disease. He cites research from the Mayo Clinic, which found that diets rich in carbohydrates are associated with an 89 percent increased risk for dementia. Meanwhile, high-fat diets are associated with a 44 percent reduced risk. According to Dr. Perlmutter:

"[Alzheimer's] is a preventable disease. It surprises me at my core that no one's talking about the fact that so many of these devastating neurological problems are, in fact, modifiable based upon lifestyle choices… What we've crystallized it down to now, in essence, is that diets that are high in sugar and carbohydrates, and similarly diets that are low in fat, are devastating to the brain.

When you have a diet that has carbohydrates in it, you are paving the way for Alzheimer's disease. I want to be super clear about that. Dietary carbohydrates lead to Alzheimer's disease. It's a pretty profound statement, but it's empowering nonetheless when we realize that we control our diet. We control our choices, whether to favor fat or carbohydrates."

His book, Grain Brain, reveals how and why sugars and carbohydrates destroy your brain, and how to eat for neurological health. The combination of very little sugar and carbs, along with higher amounts of healthy fats is KEY for addressing not only Alzheimer's, but diabetes and heart disease as well. All of these conditions are rooted in insulin and leptin resistance, and the dietary answer is identical for all of them.

If Your Blood Sugar Is Even a Little High, You’re at an Increased Risk of Dementia


Download Interview Transcript

The importance of a healthy diet cannot be overstated, as a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrated that even mild elevation of blood sugar—a level of around 105 or 110—was already dramatically associated with an elevated risk for developing dementia.8 Dr. Perlmutter believes it's very important for physicians to become cognizant of this link, and to stop downplaying the risks associated with even mildly elevated blood sugar.

If your fasting blood sugar is even mildly elevated (over 95 mg/dl), it's time to address your diet to lower it. Dr. Perlmutter makes a very important point here, noting that "normal" blood sugar really should not be the same as the average. It should be the optimal or ideal level. You do not want to be right smack in the middle "average" when the population sample is severely diseased! So what is an ideal fasting blood sugar level? Dr. Perlmutter suggests that anything over 92 or 93 is too high. He believes the ideal fasting blood sugar level is around 70-85, with 95 as the maximum. If you're fat adapted, there's no reason to shun even lower fasting blood sugar levels. According to Dr. Perlmutter:

"It really depends on whether you have adapted your body to burning fat. People who have been on a high-fat, low-carb diet are able to tap into body fat as an energy resource. They've undergone a change called keto-adaptation. It means they're burning fat and they can get by with much lower blood sugar because they're burning fat and don't need to worry about blood sugar as much.

This notion that your brain needs sugar is really old news as well. Fat, specifically ketones, which your body produces by metabolizing your fat, is now called a 'brain superfuel.' There is even a pharmaceutical product; a medical food that you can write as a prescription, which raises the level of ketones or fat in the bloodstream of patients, offered up now as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease. Who knew? The point is the brain loves to burn fat. That's what we have to shift it over to..."

One of the tools I've found particularly useful here is intermittent fasting, which can really help jumpstart your body into burning fat instead of carbs as its primary fuel. In his book, Grain Brain, Dr. Perlmutter also starts off the intervention section with a period of fasting, which can be viewed as pressing the Reset button. He's particularly aggressive about it in patients who are insulin/leptin resistant. 

So What’s the ‘Recipe’ for Healthy Brain Function?

According to Dr. Perlmutter, fat avoidance and carbohydrate overconsumption are at the heart of the Alzheimer's epidemic. To learn more about how you can protect your brain health by eliminating non-vegetable carbs from your diet, I highly recommend reading his book, Grain Brain. In order to reverse the Alzheimer's trend, we simply must relearn how to eat for optimal health. Processed "convenience foods" are quite literally killing us, inducing diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and dementia.

The beauty of following my optimized nutrition plan is that it helps prevent and treat virtually ALL chronic degenerative diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer's. Other lifestyle factors, particularly stress relief, sun exposure and exercise, are also potent allies against all forms of dementia. Ideally, you'll want to carefully review the suggested guidelines below and take steps to incorporate as many of them as you can into your daily lifestyle. The sooner you begin, the better.

Dietary Strategies to Help Prevent Alzheimer’s

  • Avoid sugar and refined fructose. Ideally, you'll want to keep your sugar levels to a minimum and your total fructose below 25 grams per day, or as low as 15 grams per day if you have insulin/leptin resistance or any related disorders.
  • Avoid gluten and casein (primarily wheat and pasteurized dairy, but not dairy fat, such as butter). Research shows that your blood-brain barrier is negatively affected by gluten. Gluten also makes your gut more permeable, which allows proteins to get into your bloodstream, where they don't belong. That then sensitizes your immune system and promotes inflammation and autoimmunity, both of which play a role in the development of Alzheimer's.
  • Optimize your gut flora by regularly eating fermented foods or taking a high-potency and high-quality probiotic supplement.
  • Increase consumption of all healthy fats, including animal-based omega-3. Sources of healthy fat include avocados, butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk, organic pastured egg yolks, coconuts and coconut oil, raw nuts, raw dairy, grass-fed meats, and pasture-raised poultry. Also make sure you're getting enough animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil. High intake of the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA help by preventing cell damage caused by Alzheimer's disease, thereby slowing down its progression, and lowering your risk of developing the disorder.
  • Reduce your overall calorie consumption, and/or intermittently fast. Ketones are mobilized when you replace carbs with coconut oil and other sources of healthy fats. As mentioned above intermittent fasting is a powerful tool to jumpstart your body into remembering how to burn fat and repair the inulin/leptin resistance that is also a primary contributing factor for Alzheimer's. To learn more, please see this previous article.
  • Improve your magnesium levels. There is some exciting preliminary research strongly suggesting a decrease in Alzheimer's symptoms with increased levels of magnesium in the brain. Unfortunately, most magnesium supplements do not pass the blood-brain barrier.
  • Eat a nutritious diet, rich in folate. Vegetables, without question, are your best form of folate, and we should all eat plenty of fresh raw veggies every day. Avoid supplements like folic acid, which is the inferior synthetic version of folate.

General Lifestyle Guidelines for Alzheimer's Prevention

Besides diet, there are a number of other lifestyle factors that can contribute to or hinder neurological health. The following strategies are therefore also important for any Alzheimer's prevention plan:

  • Exercise regularly. It's been suggested that exercise can trigger a change in the way the amyloid precursor protein is metabolized,9 thus, slowing down the onset and progression of Alzheimer's. Exercise also increases levels of the protein PGC-1alpha. Exercise also leads to hippocampus growth and memory improvement.10 I would strongly recommend reviewing the Peak Fitness Technique for my specific recommendations. Also, be sure to do regular walking. New studies suggest you need between 7,000-10,000 steps a day, in addition to your high-intensity exercise, to stay healthy.
  • Optimize your vitamin D levels with safe sun exposure. Strong links between low levels of vitamin D in Alzheimer's patients and poor outcomes on cognitive tests have been revealed. Researchers believe that optimal vitamin D levels may enhance the amount of important chemicals in your brain and protect brain cells by increasing the effectiveness of the glial cells in nursing damaged neurons back to health. Vitamin D may also exert some of its beneficial effects on Alzheimer's through its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Sufficient vitamin D (50-70 ng/ml) is imperative for proper functioning of your immune system to combat inflammation that is also associated with Alzheimer's.
  • Avoid and eliminate mercury from your body. Dental amalgam fillings, which are 50 percent mercury by weight, are one of the major sources of heavy metal toxicity, however you should be healthy prior to having them removed. Once you have adjusted to following the diet described in my optimized nutrition plan, you can follow the mercury detox protocol and then find a biological dentist to have your amalgams removed.
  • Avoid and eliminate aluminum from your body. Sources of aluminum include antiperspirants, non-stick cookware, vaccine adjuvants, etc. For tips on how to detox aluminum, please see my article, "First Case Study to Show Direct Link between Alzheimer's and Aluminum Toxicity."
  • Avoid flu vaccinations as most contain both mercury and aluminum, well-known neurotoxic and immunotoxic agents.
  • Avoid anticholinergics and statin drugs. Drugs that block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter, have been shown to increase your risk of dementia. These drugs include certain nighttime pain relievers, antihistamines, sleep aids, certain antidepressants, medications to control incontinence, and certain narcotic pain relievers. Statin drugs are particularly problematic because they suppress the synthesis of cholesterol, deplete your brain of coenzyme Q10 and neurotransmitter precursors, and prevent adequate delivery of essential fatty acids and fat-soluble antioxidants to your brain by inhibiting the production of the indispensable carrier biomolecule known as low-density lipoprotein.
  • Challenge your mind daily. Mental stimulation, especially learning something new, such as learning to play an instrument or a new language, is associated with a decreased risk of Alzheimer's. Researchers suspect that mental challenge helps to build up your brain, making it less susceptible to the lesions associated with Alzheimer's disease.
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Study Warns That Losing Your Sense of Smell May Mean You May Not Live Much Longer PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

Inside your nasal passages are two odor-detecting patches made up of about 6 million cells known as olfactory receptors. These allow you to detect thousands of different smells, and although other animals’ senses of smell are far more acute (a dog has 220 million olfactory receptors, for comparison), a human’s sense of smell is still remarkably sensitive.1

For instance, humans can detect certain substances in air even when they’re diluted to less than one part in several billion, according to the Social Issues Research Center’s (SIRC) Smell Report.2

Your sense of smell is intricately tied to your emotions, your ability to taste, and even sexual attraction… and it’s also intricately tied to your health.

According to some research, your sense of smell may peak at age 8 and start to decline in sensitivity by the age of 15. Other studies suggest smell sensitivity begins to deteriorate from your early 20s.3

That being said, healthy 80-year-olds have been found who have just as keen an ability to smell as much younger adults, which suggests that your sense of smell doesn’t just degrade as a matter of course, but rather may be dependent on your overall physical and mental health.4

New research, in fact, showed that smell is a powerful “canary in the coalmine” for predicting your future longevity, and if you lose yours, it’s a very bad sign…

Losing Your Sense of Smell May Predict Death Within Five Years

Olfaction, or sense of smell, is strongly linked to many diverse physiological processes, and so researchers from the University of Chicago set out to determine if it is a harbinger of five-year mortality.

Using data from a nationally representative sample of more than 3,000 older US adults, the study found those with an inability to perceive odor (known as anosmia) were more than four times as likely to die in five years, compared to those with a healthy sense of smell.5

Specifically, 39 percent of the participants who failed the first smell test (which consisted of identifying five common scents) died in the next five years, compared to 19 percent of those who had moderate smell loss and 10 percent of those with a healthy sense of smell.

Why Might Your Sense of Smell Serve as a Bellwether of Your Health?

A loss of the sense of smell was a remarkably strong indicator of approaching death, even more so than known leading causes of death, and independent of known risk factors like nutrition, cognitive function, mental health, smoking, alcohol abuse, or frailty.

Loss of sense of smell was a stronger predictor of death than even a diagnosis of cancer, heart failure, or lung disease.6 Loss of olfactory function is probably not a cause of death, but rather may “serve as a bellwether for slowed cellular regeneration or as a marker of cumulative toxic environmental exposure,” the researchers said.

As The Guardian reported:7

The tip of the olfactory nerve, which contains the smell receptors, is the only part of the human nervous system that is continuously regenerated by stem cells.

The production of new smell cells declines with age, and this is associated with a gradual reduction in our ability to detect and discriminate odors. Loss of smell may indicate that the body is entering a state of disrepair, and is no longer capable of repairing itself.

The olfactory nerve is also the only part of the nervous system that is exposed to the open air. As such, it offers poisons and pathogens a quick route into the brain, and so losing smell could be an early warning of something that will ultimately cause death.”

Check for Zinc Deficiency if You Are Losing Your Sense of Smell

Zinc, an essential trace mineral, is required to produce an enzyme called carbonic anhydrase (CA) VI, critical to taste and smell, which is why loss of sense of smell is one of the classic signs of chronic zinc deficiency. This might be yet another reason why a dwindling sense of smell is linked to impending death, as zinc is important for a number of life-sustaining functions, including:

  • Strong immunity
  • Important component of the enzymes involved in tissue remodeling and prevention of cancer
  • Maintenance of your mood, mental clarity, and restorative sleep
  • Prostate and intestinal health

Zinc is a constituent of at least 3,000 different proteins in your body and a component of more than 200 different enzymes. In fact, zinc is involved in more enzymatic reactions in your body than any other mineral.

Zinc increases your production of white blood cells and helps them fight infection more effectively. It also increases killer cells that combat cancer, helps your immune system release more antibodies, and supports wound healing.

Mild zinc deficiency is relatively common, especially in infants and children, pregnant or breast-feeding women, elderly, people with poor gastrointestinal absorption or bowel disease like Crohn's disease, and for those eating vegetarian or vegan diets. A number of factors contribute to the overall problem of zinc deficiency:

  1. Years of industrial farming practices, such as monocropping (planting large expanses of land with the same crop year after year) and tilling the soil, have left our soils deficient in natural minerals, like zinc.
  2. Certain drugs deplete your body of zinc, such as ACE inhibitors, thiazide diuretics, and acid-reducing drugs like Prilosec and Pepcid.
  3. Certain diets, such as vegetarian/vegan diets and high-grain diets, are low in bioavailable zinc and high in phytic acids, which impair zinc absorption.

If you are deficient in zinc, your body may become less able to repair genetic damage caused by oxidative stress. Having low levels of zinc has even been found to cause strands of DNA to break and studies have linked zinc deficiency to various types of cancer, infection, and autoimmune diseases.

Along with frequent infections, such as cold and flu, and a diminishing sense of smell, white spots on your fingernails can indicate you're not getting enough zinc.

What Are the Best Food Sources of Zinc?

For adults, the RDA for zinc is about 11 milligrams per day for adult men and 8 milligrams for women. If you are lactating or pregnant, you need about 3 mg more. For children, 4-8 year olds need about 5 mg, and 9-13 year olds need 8 mg, while infants need only about 3 mg. Good sources of dietary zinc include meats, oysters and wild-caught fish, raw milk, raw cheese, beans, and yogurt or kefir made from raw milk.

If you are healthy and you eat a well-balanced diet, you will rarely need supplements to complete your body's zinc needs, and you should strive to get zinc from dietary sources. Taking too much zinc in supplement form can be dangerous, as it can interfere with your body's ability to absorb other minerals, especially copper. If you decide to use a zinc supplement, chelated forms are better absorbed than inorganic forms, or zinc salts.

Tips to Improve Your Sense of Smell

About 3 million to 4 million Americans have been diagnosed with anosmia (a complete inability to smell) or hyposmia (a reduced ability to smell).8 If you notice your sense of smell slipping, and you know you’re not zinc deficient, there are steps you can take to improve it. First, I’d suggest reading through my nutrition plan for a comprehensive dietary plan that will support your health on multiple levels. Next, try these tips that are known to boost your sense of smell:9

  • Exercise: Research shows that the more you exercise, the less likely you are to develop problems with your sense of smell as you age. Exercising even one time a week was found to reduce the risk of losing your sense of smell.10
  • Become scent conscious: Make a point to smell your food before you eat it, and notice the scent of flowers, cut grass, or even rain. Doing this regularly will help increase your sense of smell.
  • Try “sniff therapy”: Choose three or four different scents, such as floral, fruity, and coffee. Sniff them four to six times a day, which will help the different receptors in your nose to work better.

How to Use Your Sense of Smell to Your Advantage

If your sense of smell is working fine, why not use it to your advantage? Through the use of aromatherapy, you can harness certain scents that trigger real physical and emotional responses. For instance, research shows:

  • A systematic review of 16 randomized controlled trials examining the anxiolytic (anxiety-inhibiting) effects of aromatherapy among people with anxiety symptoms showed that most of the studies indicated positive effects to quell anxiety (and no adverse events were reported).11
  • People exposed to bergamot essential oil aromatherapy prior to surgery had a greater reduction in pre-operative anxiety than those in control groups.12
  • Sweet orange oil has been found to have anxiety-inhibiting effects in humans, supporting its common use as a tranquilizer by aromatherapists.13
  • Ambient odors of orange and lavender reduced anxiety and improved mood in patients waiting for dental treatment.14
  • Compared to the controls, women who were exposed to orange odor in a dental office had a lower level of anxiety, a more positive mood, and a higher level of calmness. Researchers concluded, “exposure to ambient odor of orange has a relaxant effect.”15

Anxiety, of course, is only one use for aromatherapy. Other potential uses are varied and include the following:

  • Green apple scent for migraines: One study found that the scent significantly relieved migraine pain. This may also work with other scents that you enjoy so consulting with an aromatherapist might be beneficial.
  • Peppermint for memory: The aroma of peppermint has been shown to enhance memory and increase alertness.
  • Nausea and vomiting: A blend of peppermint, ginger, spearmint, and lavender essential oils has been found to help relieve post-operative nausea.16
  • Lavender for pain relief: Lavender aromatherapy has been shown to lessen pain following needle insertion.17
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New Report Reveals Which Yogurts Are Healthy, and Which Are Best Avoided PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Mark Kastel, co-founder of the Cornucopia Institute, about their long-awaited and much-needed Yogurt Report. The interview took place at the recent Heirloom Seed Festival in Santa Rosa, CA, where we both had the honor of speaking.

The idea for the Yogurt Report was seeded about two years ago. I was out of town and a friend requested yogurt, so I went out looking for some in a local grocery store. 

To my dismay, I couldn't find a single healthy yogurt... They were all junk food disguised as "health food." Previous to this experience, I was unaware of how truly degenerated most commercial yogurts had become.

I believe this is really a strong case of deception, so I turned to The Cornucopia Institute. It required two years of investigation, but they've now released their Yogurt Buyer's Guide and scorecard.1

If you're eating yogurt to help optimize your gut flora, you need to review this report. Chances are you're currently eating yogurt that has more similarities with candy than anything else...

Have You Been Deceived?

Most commercial yogurts are chockfull of artificial colors, flavors, additives, and sugar, typically as fructose (high fructose corn syrup), which actually nourishes disease-causing bacteria, yeast, and fungi in your gut. Since your gut has limited real estate, this smothers your beneficial bacteria and gets you sick.

Sugar also promotes insulin resistance, which is a driving factor of most chronic disease. Virtually all commercially available yogurts use pasteurized milk (heated high temperature) even before it is reheated to make the yogurt itself, and this has its own drawbacks.

The top-rated yogurts are generally VAT pasteurized at relatively low temperatures, and are made from raw milk rather than previously pasteurized milk. While not as advantageous as making yogurt from raw milk in your own home, it's certainly better than most commercial yogurt.

The report also took a look at the food industry's labeling campaign, Live and Active Cultures, which is supposed to help consumers select products with high levels of healthy probiotics.

To assess probiotic content, Cornucopia tested yogurt purchased directly from the grocery stores instead of following the industry's practice of testing levels at the factory. As it turns out, many of the brands bearing the Live and Active Cultures label contain LOWER levels of probiotics than the top-rated organic brands in Cornucopia's scorecard that are not part of the Live and Active campaign.

The report also includes a comparative cost analysis of commercial yogurt brands. The good news is that many organic yogurts are actually less expensive, on a price-per-ounce basis, than conventional, heavily-processed yogurts.

Cornucopia Files Complaint; Requests FDA Investigation

As noted in their press release:

“Based on its industry investigation, The Cornucopia Institute has filed a formal complaint with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asking them to investigate whether or not certain yogurt on the market, manufactured by such companies as Yoplait, Dannon, and many store brands including Walmart’s Great Value, violate the legal standard of identity for products labeled as yogurt.

The Cornucopia Institute requests that the legal definition of “yogurt” be enforced for product labeling, just as it is for products labeled “cheese.”

“The reason that Kraft has to call Velveeta® ‘processed cheese-food’ is that some of the ingredients used, like vegetable oil, cannot legally be in a product marketed as ‘cheese’,” Kastel added.

Cornucopia alleges that some of the ingredients that manufactures are using in yogurt, like milk protein concentrate (MPC), typically imported from countries like India, do not meet yogurt’s current legal standard of identity.“

Why You Need Probiotics

Your body contains about 100 trillion bacteria, mostly in your gut, which is more than 10 times the number of cells you have in your entire body. It's now quite clear that the type and quantity of micro-organisms in your gut interact with your body in ways that can either prevent or encourage the development of many diseases.

A healthy microbiome is not only important for optimal digestion of food and absorption of nutrients, these bacteria also help your body produce vitamins, absorb minerals, aid in the elimination of toxins, and are responsible for a good part of your immune system and mental health, including your ability to resist anxiety, stress, and depression.

One recent study2, 3 discovered that yogurt containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus can help protect children and pregnant women against heavy metal poisoning.

As shown in earlier research, certain microorganisms are particularly efficient at binding to certain toxins and/or chemicals, including pesticides. Here, they found that L. rhamnosus had a preference for binding (and eliminating) mercury and arsenic.

According to the authors: "Probiotic food produced locally represents a nutritious and affordable means for people in some developing countries to counter exposures to toxic metals." Probiotics also have dozens of other beneficial pharmacological actions,4 including:

Anti-bacterial Anti-allergenic Anti-viral Immunomodulatory
Anti-infective Antioxidant Antiproliferative Apoptopic (cellular self-destruction)
Antidepressive Antifungal Cardioprotective Gastroprotective
Radio- and chemo protective Upregulates glutathione and certain glycoproteins that help regulate immune responses, including interleukin-4, interleukin-10, and interleukin-12 Downregulates interleukin-6 (a cytokine involved in chronic inflammation and age-related diseases) Inhibits tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha inhibitor, NF-kappaB, epidermal growth factor receptor, and more

It's also important to realize that your gut bacteria are very vulnerable to lifestyle and environmental factors. Some of the top offenders known to decimate your microbiome include the following—all of which are best avoided:

Sugar/fructose Refined grains Processed foods Antibiotics (including antibiotics given to livestock for food production)
Chlorinated and fluoridated water Antibacterial soaps, etc. Agricultural chemicals and pesticides Pollution

Brain Health Is Strongly Tied to Gut Health

While many think of their brain as the organ in charge of their mental health, your gut may actually play a far more significant role. Mounting research indicates that problems in your gut can directly impact your mental health, leading to issues like anxiety and depression.5 For example:

  • One proof-of-concept study6, 7 conducted by researchers at UCLA found that yogurt containing several strains of probiotics thought to have a beneficial impact on intestinal health also had a beneficial impact on participants' brain function; decreasing activity in brain regions that control central processing of emotion and sensation such as anxiety.
  • The Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility8 reported the probiotic known as Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001 normalized anxiety-like behavior in mice with infectious colitis by modulating the vagal pathways within the gut-brain.
  • Other research9 found that the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus had a marked effect on GABA levels—an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is significantly involved in regulating many physiological and psychological processes—in certain brain regions and lowered the stress-induced hormone corticosterone, resulting in reduced anxiety- and depression-related behavior.

Previous studies have confirmed that what you eat can quickly alter the composition of your gut flora. Specifically, eating a high-vegetable, fiber-based diet produces a profoundly different composition of microbiota than a more typical Western diet high in carbs and processed fats.

This is part and parcel of the problem with most commercially available yogurts—they're widely promoted as healthy because they contain (added) probiotics, but then they're so loaded with ingredients that will counteract all the good that they're basically useless... The negative effects of the sugar far outweigh any marginal benefits of the minimal beneficial bacteria they have. Remember, the most important step in building healthy gut flora is avoiding sugar as that will cause disease-causing microbes to crowd out your beneficial flora.

Surprisingly, Mark Kastel notes that some of the organic brands of yogurt actually contained some of the highest amounts of sugar! It's important to realize that some yogurt can contain as much sugar as candy or cookies, which most responsible parents would not feed their children for breakfast. Artificial flavors are also commonly used.

Top Rated Yogurt Brands

That said, the good news is that there are healthy ready-made yogurts available. Listed below are five of the highest-scoring USDA 100% organic brands, according to the Cornucopia Institute's Yogurt Scorecard. For other high ranking brands, and/or to compare brands, please see Cornucopia's Yogurt Buyer's Guide and scorecard.10

  1. Traders Point Creamery
  2. Butterworks
  3. Cedar Summit Farm
  4. Maple Hill Creamery
  5. Seven Stars Farm

You Can Easily and Inexpensively Make Your Own Yogurt


Your absolute best bet, when it comes to yogurt, is to make your own using a starter culture and raw grass-fed milk. Raw organic milk from grass-fed cows not only contains beneficial bacteria that prime your immune system and can help reduce allergies, it's also an outstanding source of vitamins (especially vitamin A), zinc, enzymes, and healthy fats. Raw organic milk is not associated with any of the health problems of pasteurized milk such as rheumatoid arthritis, skin rashes, diarrhea, and cramps.

To find a local source of raw grass-fed milk, see RealMilk.com.

While delicious as is, you could add a natural sweetener to it. Mark suggests whole food sweeteners  such as raw organic honey or maple syrup, for example. You can also add flavor without sweetening it up by adding some vanilla extract, or a squirt of lime or lemon juice. Whole berries or fruits are another obvious alternative. Just be mindful not to overdo it, especially if you're insulin or leptin resistant—and about 80 percent of Americans are.

Nourish Your Microbiome with Organic Yogurt for Optimal Health

Cultured foods like yogurt are good sources of natural, healthy bacteria, provided they're traditionally fermented and unpasteurized. One of the best and least expensive ways to get healthy bacteria through your diet is to obtain raw milk and convert it to yogurt or kefir. It's really easy to make at home. All you need is some starter granules in a quart of raw milk, which you leave at room temperature overnight.

By the time you wake up in the morning you will likely have kefir. If it hasn't obtained the consistency of yogurt, you might want to set it out a bit longer and then store it in the fridge.

A quart of kefir has far more active bacteria than you'd obtain from a probiotic supplement, and it's very economical as you can reuse the kefir from the original quart of milk about 10 times before you need to start a new culture pack. Just one starter package of kefir granules can convert about 50 gallons of milk to kefir! Cultured foods should be a regular part of your diet, and if you eat enough of them you will keep your digestive tract well supplied with good bacteria.

There may still be times when a probiotic supplement is necessary, but for day-to-day gut health maintenance, yogurt and other traditionally cultured or fermented foods are truly ideal choices.

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5 Things You Didn't Know About Honey PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

Honey has been valued as a natural sweetener long before sugar became widely available in the 16th century. Honey production flourished in ancient Greece and Sicily, for instance, while animals other than humans – bears, badgers, and more – have long raided honeybee hives, risking stings for the sweet reward.1

Honey is truly a remarkable substance, made even more extraordinary by the process with which it is made. This blend of sugar, trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids is quite unlike any other sweetener on the planet.

And while honey is high in fructose, it has many health benefits when used in moderation (assuming you’re healthy). Before I delve into those, here’s a brief “lesson” on how honey is made...  

How Honey Is Made (Fascinating!)

It takes about 60,000 bees, collectively traveling up to 55,000 miles and visiting more than 2 million flowers, to gather enough nectar to make one pound of honey.2

Once the nectar is gathered, the bee stores it in its extra stomach where it mixes with enzymes, and then passes it (via regurgitation) to another bee’s mouth. This process is repeated until the nectar becomes partially digested and is then deposited into a honeycomb.

Once there, the honeybees fan the liquid nectar with their wings, helping the water to evaporate and create the thick substance you know as “honey.” This honeycomb is then sealed with a liquid secretion from the bee’s abdomen, which hardens into beeswax. As Live Science reported:3

Away from air and water, honey can be stored indefinitely, providing bees with the perfect food source for cold winter months.”

There are more than 300 kinds of honey in the US, each with a unique color and flavor that is dependent upon the nectar source. Lighter colored honeys, such as those made from orange blossoms, tend to be milder in flavor while darker-colored honeys, like those made from wildflowers, tend to have a more robust flavor.4

5 Honey Facts You Might Not Know

Honey, particularly in its raw form, offers unique health benefits that you might not be aware of. Among them…

1. Honey Makes Excellent Cough “Medicine”

The World Health Organization (WHO) lists honey as a demulcent, which is a substance that relieves irritation in your mouth or throat by forming a protective film.5

Research shows honey works as well as dextromethorphan, a common ingredient in over the counter cough medications, to soothe cough and related sleeping difficulties due to upper respiratory tract infections in children.6

2. Honey Can Treat Wounds

Honey was a conventional therapy in fighting infection up until the early 20th century, at which time its use slowly vanished with the advent of penicillin. Now the use of honey in wound care is regaining popularity, as researchers are determining exactly how honey can help fight serious skin infections.

Honey has antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidants activities that make it ideal for treating wounds. In the US, Derma Sciences uses Manuka honey for their Medihoney wound and burn dressings.

Manuka honey is made with pollen gathered from the flowers of the Manuka bush (a medicinal plant), and clinical trials have found this type of honey can effectively eradicate more than 250 clinical strains of bacteria, including resistant varieties such as:

  • MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)
  • MSSA (methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus)
  • VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococci)

Compared to other types of honey, Manuka has an extra ingredient with antimicrobial qualities, called the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). It is so called because no one has yet been able to discover the unique substance involved that gives it its extraordinary antibacterial activity.

Honey releases hydrogen peroxide through an enzymatic process, which explains its general antiseptic qualities, but active Manuka honey contains "something else" that makes it far superior to other types of honey when it comes to killing off bacteria.7

That being said, research shows that any type of unprocessed honey helped wounds and ulcers heal. In one study, 58 of 59 wounds showed “remarkable improvement following topical application of honey.”8

3. Honey Improves Your Scalp

Honey diluted with a bit of warm water was shown to significantly improve seborrheic dermatitis, which is a scalp condition that causes dandruff and itching. After applying the solution every other day for four weeks, “all of the patients responded markedly.” According to the researchers:9

Itching was relieved and scaling was disappeared within one week. Skin lesions were healed and disappeared completely within 2 weeks. In addition, patients showed subjective improvement in hair loss.”

4. Help Boost Your Energy

A healthy, whole-food diet and proper sleep is the best recipe for boundless energy, but if you’re looking for a quick energy boost, such as before or after a workout, honey can suffice. This is particularly true for athletes looking for a “time-released fuel” to provide energy over a longer duration.10

5. Reduce Allergy Symptoms

Locally produced honey, which will contain pollen spores picked up by the bees from local plants, introduces a small amount of allergen into your system. Theoretically, this can activate your immune system and over time can build up your natural immunity against it.

The typical recommendation is to take about a teaspoon-full of locally produced honey per day, starting a few months PRIOR to the pollen season, to allow your system to build up immunity. And the key here is local.

This approach only works because it has pollen of local plants you may be allergic to. Honey from other parts of the country simply won’t work. While research on this has yielded conflicting results, one study found that, during birch pollen season, compared to the control group, the patients using birch pollen honey experienced:11

  • 60 percent reduction in symptoms
  • Twice as many asymptomatic days
  • 70 percent fewer days with severe symptoms
  • 50 percent decrease in usage of antihistamines

Interestingly enough, there were few differences between the two honey groups (those who took regular honey, versus those who took honey that contained birch pollen.) However, the birch pollen honey group used less histamines than those who used regular honey. The authors concluded:

"Patients who pre-seasonally used birch pollen honey had significantly better control of their symptoms than did those on conventional medication only, and they had marginally better control compared to those on regular honey. The results should be regarded as preliminary, but they indicate that birch pollen honey could serve as a complementary therapy for birch pollen allergy."

Honey for Herpes

Good-quality honey offers several topical wound-care benefits that can explain some of its success as a remedy for herpes sores:

  • It draws fluid away from your wound
  • The high sugar content suppresses microorganism growth
  • Worker bees secrete an enzyme (glucose oxidase) into the nectar, which then releases low levels of hydrogen peroxide when the honey makes contact with your wound

In one study, 16 adult subjects with a history of recurrent labial and genital herpes attacks used honey to treat one attack, and a commonly prescribed antiviral drug, Acyclovir cream, during another. (It's important to realize that neither the drug nor the honey will actually cure genital herpes. They only treat the symptoms.)

Interestingly, honey provided significantly better treatment results. For labial herpes, the mean healing time was 43 percent better, and for genital herpes, 59 percent better than acyclovir. Pain and crusting was also significantly reduced with the honey, compared to the drug. Two cases of labial herpes and one case of genital herpes remitted completely with the honey treatment, whereas none remitted while using acyclovir.12

3 DIY Honey Home Remedies

Honey is a humectant, which means it attracts and retains moisture, making it an ideal addition to moisturizers, shampoos, and conditioners. Along with its antimicrobial properties, honey makes a wonderful addition to homemade personal care products. The National Honey Board has a few you can try out for yourself:13

  1. Honey Hair Conditioner: Mix ½ cup honey with ¼ cup olive oil. Work a small amount through your hair until coated. Cover your hair with a shower cap and let sit for 30 minutes. Shampoo as normal and rinse.
  2. Honey Body Moisturizer: Mix 5 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons rose oil, and 2 cups almond oil in a medium-sized bottle. Apply as needed onto wet skin.
  3. Honey Almond Scrub: Mix 3 teaspoons honey, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and 6 ½ tablespoons of finely crushed almonds. Rub the exfoliating scrub onto your face gently and rinse with warm water.

The Organic Consumers Association has also published this simple honey lemon cough syrup that’s useful to keep on hand during the winter months:14

Honey Lemon Cough Syrup

Lemon helps promote health by quickly alkalinizing your body, and honey will kill most bacteria while soothing your throat. This is a perfect choice for a quick cough remedy.

  • Put a pint of raw honey in a pan on the stove on VERY low heat (Do not boil honey as this changes its medicinal properties).
  • Take a whole lemon and boil in some water in a separate pan for 2-3 minutes to both soften the lemon and kill any bacteria that may be on the lemon skin.
  • Let the lemon cool enough to handle then cut it in slices and add it to the pint of honey on the stove.
  • Let mixture cook on warm heat for about an hour.
  • Then strain the lemon from the honey making sure all lemon seeds are removed.
  • Let cool, then bottle in a jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator.

This syrup will keep for 2 months in the refrigerator. To soothe a cough, take 1/2 teaspoon for a 25 lb. child and 1 teaspoon for a 50 lb. child, about 4 times a day, or as often as needed. Adults can take 1-tablespoon doses.

Is Honey a Healthy Natural Sweetener? How to Avoid Fake Honey

As far as natural sweeteners go, honey does have a place. The main thing to remember when it comes to honey is that not all honey is created equal. The antibacterial activity in some honeys is 100 times more potent than in others, while processed refined honey will lack many of these beneficial properties altogether. Your average domestic “Grade A” type honey found in the grocery store is likely highly processed.

It’s also been found that more than 75 percent of the honey on American supermarket shelves may be ultra-processed—to the point that all inherent medicinal properties are completely gone—and then smuggled into the country by the barrel drum. Nearly all of this “fake” honey is made in China. Some of these brokers will even create bogus country of origin papers. All 60 jars of "honey" tested by Food Safety News (FSN) came back negative for pollen, which is a clear sign of ultra-processing.15 According to FSN:

"The removal of these microscopic particles from deep within a flower would make the nectar flunk the quality standards set by most of the world's food safety agencies. The food safety divisions of the World Health Organization, the European Commission and dozens of others have also ruled that without pollen, there is no way to determine whether the honey came from legitimate and safe sources."

In their investigation, FSN discovered the following:

  • 76 percent of honey samples bought at grocery stores (such as TOP Food, Safeway, QFC, Kroger, Harris Teeter, etc.) were absent of pollen
  • 77 percent of the honey from big box stores (like Costco, Sam's Club, Walmart, and Target) were absent of pollen
  • 100 percent of the honey sampled from drug stores (like Walgreens, Rite-Aid, and CVS Pharmacy) were absent of pollen

The good news is all of the samples from farmers markets, co-ops, and natural stores like Trader Joe's had the full, proper compliment of pollen, as did organic brands from common grocery stores. When choosing honey, be sure it is raw, unfiltered, and 100% pure, from a trusted source.

Honey Should Be Consumed Only in Moderation

Honey has many healthy attributes, but it is also high in fructose, averaging around 53 percent. Each teaspoon of honey has nearly four grams of fructose, which means it can exacerbate pre-existing insulin resistance and wreak havoc on your body if consumed in excess. So when consuming honey, carefully add the total grams of fructose (including fruits) that you consume each day, and stay below 25 grams of total fructose per day.

Keep in mind, though, that if you have insulin resistance (i.e. if you are taking drugs for high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, or if you're overweight) you'd be better off avoiding all sweeteners, including honey, since any sweetener can decrease your insulin sensitivity and worsen your insulin resistance. If you’re healthy, however, eating raw honey in moderation could provide many of the benefits listed above.

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BBC celebrates the 'glory and wonder of nature' 08 October 2014, 23.44 Living
BBC celebrates the 'glory and wonder of nature'
New website pulls together award-winning video, photos and stories and kickstarts the conversation about a topic that never ceases to amaze: Earth. Known worldwide for its spectacular, award-winning nature documentaries like
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Why You’ll Fall In Love With The Green Architecture Trend
Collect this idea Sustainable architecture is becoming more and more accessible to the residential market. Image Via: Duket Architects Planners A few decades ago, the concept of sustainable architecture was reserved for
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Scandinavian Apartment Jazzed Up By Industrial Design Elements
Collect this idea We got used to Swedish homes displaying unassuming comfortable decors, with a cheerful vibe throughout. Comparing to what we usually publish, this Scandinavian apartment is downright “irreverent”. It
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New Wooden House Extending Living Outdoors Salutes Modern Family Life
Collect this idea A new wooden house can invoke the fascination of rural life while compacting all the necessities of a modern family life within a sequence of spaces. Living in the city often means dreaming about a
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Enchanting Farmhouse Design in the Heart of Texas by Magnolia Homes
Collect this idea Chip and Joanna from Magnolia Homes shared photos of their home with readers worldwide, which is how we found out about this enchanting farmhouse in Texas, United States. After moving from one dwelling to
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Luminous 3 Bedroom Apartment Flaunting Modern Scandinavian Style
Collect this idea How do you choose your 3 bedroom apartment design? Maybe you fell in love with the modern Scandinavian style and that’s exactly why this apartment will inspire you. Beautifully distributed, the interior
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3 Reasons You Should Eat More Spicy Food 29 September 2014, 19.15 Health
3 Reasons You Should Eat More Spicy Food
By Dr. Mercola I love spicy foods and typically enjoy 1-2 habanero peppers a day. If you like spicy food, there’s good reason to indulge your cravings, as the spicy chemical in peppers – capsaicin – and other
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Long-Term Use of Pills for Anxiety and Sleep Linked to Dementia
By Dr. Mercola Up to 43 percent of older adults use benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, Ativan, etc.) for anxiety and insomnia, often chronically, even though their long-term effectiveness and safety remain unproven.1
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Prediabetes Increases Your Cancer Risk by 15% 29 September 2014, 19.15 Health
Prediabetes Increases Your Cancer Risk by 15%
By Dr. Mercola More than one out of three Americans aged 20 and older has prediabetes,1 a condition in which your glucose, or blood sugar, levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as full-blown
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Conflicts of Interest Rampant Among FDA Advisors, Study Shows
By Dr. Mercola It should be obvious that patients need unbiased advice when it comes to making decisions that can impact their health. With that in mind, it stands to reason that physicians and scientists with
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Experimental GMO Drug-Making Crops Grown with Little Oversight
By Dr. Mercola From a regulatory perspective, GM crops are considered to be "substantially equivalent" to their non-GM counterparts. This means, that they are essentially the same, with no meaningful differences for your
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Two States Ready to Fight for GMO Labeling in November While Industry Pushes Bill to Remove State Rights
By Dr. Mercola The pesticide and junk food industries continue to cause harm, even deaths, while destroying our rights and indemnifying themselves from liability. That’s the take-home message from the September 8
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Study Links Potassium to Fewer Strokes in Women 29 September 2014, 19.15 Health
Study Links Potassium to Fewer Strokes in Women
By Dr. Mercola Potassium is a mineral and an electrolyte that conducts electricity in your body. It plays an important role in heart function, skeletal health, digestion, and muscular function, and is essential for the
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Can Water Go Bad? 29 September 2014, 19.15 Health
Can Water Go Bad?
By Dr. Mercola Water is essential for life, and we typically assume that water is "clean" or "good" provided you're not getting your water from a contaminated source. But can water ever "go bad"? If you have a water
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Fluoride Isn't the Answer, Sugar Is the Problem 29 September 2014, 19.15 Health
Fluoride Isn't the Answer, Sugar Is the Problem
By Dr. Mercola Dental caries are caused by demineralization of your teeth (enamel and dentin) by the acids formed during the bacterial fermentation of dietary sugars. Demineralization is countered by the deposit of
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Spirulina: A Luxury Health Food and a Possible Panacea for Malnutrition
By Dr. Mercola Spirulina, a type of blue-green algae, is an incredible superfood that provides a concentrated source of protein, vitamins, antioxidants, and other nutrients. As one of the oldest life forms on Earth, the use
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Full Fat Dairy May Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes and Other Health Problems
This is a Flash-based audio and may not be playable on mobile devices. By Dr. Mercola Most mainstream dietary advice recommends low-fat or non-fat dairy. But a growing number of experts argue that it’s far healthier
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Is Goat Cheese Good for You? 29 September 2014, 19.15 Health
Is Goat Cheese Good for You?
By Dr. Mercola High-quality cheese made from the raw milk of pastured animals is an excellent source of several important nutrients. Each cheese is unique in its nutritional attributes, however, with some being superior to
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FNN Home Health
English (United Kingdom)
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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