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Medical News Reports

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
[unable to retrieve full-text content](Source: Heart
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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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The man against meaningful use 03 April 2014, 21.18 Medical
The man against meaningful use
Seeing as healthcare generally lags at least 10 years behind other industries in the realm of adopting technology, it takes a lot to say a health company is doing groundbreaking work. But NantHealth executives believe they've
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Peripheral neuromodulation: a review. 03 April 2014, 21.18 Medical
Peripheral neuromodulation: a review.
Peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) is likely the most diverse and rapidly expanding area of neuromodulation. Its expansion has become possible due to both technological and clinical advances in pain medicine. The first
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‘Bio-Bot’ That Swims Like Sperm Is An 'Exciting Advance’ In Self-Propelled Biological Robots
  The “bio-bot,” a microscopic biological machine, could be used to explore viscous environments.     Engineers are pioneering a new way to explore the viscous fluids of biological environments, like the inside
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Cardio Notes: Diet, Heart Rate Link Unclear 30 December 2013, 23.30 Medical
Cardio Notes: Diet, Heart Rate Link Unclear
Cardiovascular Published: Dec 29, 2013 By Todd Neale, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today The relationship between the Mediterranean diet and heart rate was murky in a randomized trial, and poor sleep spelled trouble
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8,000 people get tummy tucks on NHS 30 December 2013, 23.30 Medical
8,000 people get tummy tucks on NHS
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Baseline obesity status modifies effectiveness of adapted diabetes prevention program lifestyle interventions for weight management in primary care.
Objective. To examine whether baseline obesity severity modifies the effects of two different, primary care-based, technology-enhanced lifestyle interventions among overweight or obese adults with prediabetes and/or metabolic
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China investigates after vaccine suspected in seven deaths
(Reuters) - Chinese health authorities are investigating after seven infants died following inoculation with a hepatitis B vaccine, state media reported on Monday. China has been beset by a series of product safety scandals
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Combination of Umeclidinium Bromide and Vilanterol in COPDCombination of Umeclidinium Bromide and Vilanterol in COPD
Anzueto, A., Decramer, M., Kaelin, T., Richard, N., Taberrer, M., Harris, S. et al. (2013) The efficacy and safety of umeclidinium/vilanterol compared with tiotropium in COPD. In: American Thoracic SocietyCongress,
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Is disordered eating behavior more prevalent in adolescents with early‐onset type 1 diabetes than in their representative peers?
Empirical Article Christina Baechle M.Sc1,*, Katty Castillo Ph.D1, Klaus Straßburger Ph.D1, Anna Stahl-Pehe Ph.D1, Thomas Meissner M.D2, Reinhard W. Holl M.D3, Guido Giani Ph.D1, Joachim Rosenbauer M.D1, In Cooperation with
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Small Vessel Vasculitis and Mononeuropathies in DiabetesSmall Vessel Vasculitis and Mononeuropathies in Diabetes
A Case Report Sahar F Zafar, Jerry Clay Goodman, Eroboghene E Ubogu Disclosures J Med Case Reports. 2013;7(229)  Abstract and Introduction Abstract Introduction We report a rare case of fulminant vasculitic
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13-year-old brain dead after tonsil surgery 23 December 2013, 01.19 Medical
13-year-old brain dead after tonsil surgery
A routine tonsillectomy may have left a 13-year-old girl brain dead, according to her family members who are hoping for a miracle. Jahi McMath went to Children’s Hospital Oakland to get her tonsils removed last week,
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The Consumer: Should We Toss Our Vitamin Pills? 23 December 2013, 01.19 Medical
The Consumer: Should We Toss Our Vitamin Pills?
Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press, via Associated Press Demand for vitamin and mineral supplements has risen, with 2011 sales of $30 billion.One in two adults takes a daily vitamin pill, and Americans spend tens of billions of
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Cancer rates worldwide on the rise, fueled by breast cancer
GENEVA, Switzerland, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Worldwide, 14 million people developed cancer last year up from 12.7 million cases in 2008, the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Switzerland said. David Forman, bead of the
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Marker for inflammatory bowel disease linked to bipolar disorder
medwireNews: Researchers have found evidence that the gastrointestinal (GI) tract plays a role in the inflammatory pathology of bipolar disorder, suggesting the need to consider dietary modification and anti-inflammatory
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The Wolf in Wolf’s Clothing 19 December 2013, 22.57 Medical
The Wolf in Wolf’s Clothing
Notorious murderer Charles Manson is reportedly engaged. What? Yep, you heard right. The next obvious question is . . . to who? According to a story carried by the Huffington Post in November—would you believe—to a
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Weight Loss Surgery for Severely Obese Teens 14 December 2013, 20.33 Medical
Weight Loss Surgery for Severely Obese Teens
By Rita Rubin WebMD Health News Dec. 10, 2013 (Washington, D.C.) -- Fifteen-year-old Jacob Miller’s body mass index, or BMI, was off the charts. More than 6 feet tall, Jacob weighed 702 pounds at his heaviest. An online
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The relationship of plasma neuropeptide Y levels with coronary collateral development
JavaScript Error JavaScript has been disabled on your browser. You must enable it to continue. Here's how to enable JavaScript in the following browsers:Internet Explorer From the Tools menu, select Options Click the Content
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Alternative approach devised for cancer patients referred to palliative treatment
The Care Oncology Clinic's new approach uses everyday drugs to treat cancer [REX] EVERY year 150,000 cancer patients in the UK are told that they have reached the end of the conventional treatment line. For these patients and
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NHS to test genes of patients for heart defects 13 December 2013, 20.42 Medical
NHS to test genes of patients for heart defects
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Editorial Board 06 December 2013, 19.23 Medical
Editorial Board
European Online Customer ServiceThe BoulevardLangford Lane, KidlingtonOxford. OX5 1GBUKHours: Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 5:00pm (Greenwich Mean Time/British Summer Time)Tel: +44 (0) 1865-843177 (Within Europe)Fax: +44 (0)
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The link between stress and heart disease 02 December 2013, 23.14 Medical
The link between stress and heart disease
Ongoing stress, whether it's from a traffic-choked daily commute, unhappy marriage, or overbearing boss, has been linked to a wide range of harmful health effects. But can stress cause heart disease? The December 2013 issue of
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Africa: Malaria Net Suppliers Suspended Over Kickbacks
[unable to retrieve full-text content][GFO]Two suppliers responsible for nearly 50% of all long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) purchased by the Global Fund on behalf of malaria projects worldwide have been suspended
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Stockport woman survived malaria: Every organ in my body packed up apart from my heart
BITEN: Last year 1,378 Britions returned to the UK having contracted malaria [GETTY ] VICTORIA, 36, is a nurse from Stockport. She is married to hospital driver Jay, 40, and they have a nine-year-old daughter, Maddison. She
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Occupational differences, cardiovascular risk factors and lifestyle habits in South Eastern rural Australia
Research article Nathalie Davis-Lameloise, Benjamin Philpot, Edward D Janus, Vincent L Versace, Tiina Laatikainen, Erkki A Vartiainen and James A Dunbar BMC Public Health 2013, 13:1090 
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[Comment] Antibiotic resistance in Ghana 29 November 2013, 17.08 Medical
[Comment] Antibiotic resistance in Ghana
The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Volume 13, Issue 12, Pages 1006 - 1007, December 2013 Previous Article|Next Article> doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(13)70196-8Cite or Link Using DOI Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd All rights
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CV risk calculator; TACT; ENGAGE AF; CORAL; COAG; TOPCATCV risk calculator; TACT; ENGAGE AF; CORAL; COAG; TOPCAT
For the week ending November 22, 2013, we discuss the following top cardiology news from heartwire : •  How Good Is the New ACC/AHA Risk Calculator? •  'Extraordinary' Chelation Effects in Diabetes: TACT •  ENGAGE
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US Transcatheter Valve Outcomes in Line With RCTsUS Transcatheter Valve Outcomes in Line With RCTs
DALLAS, TX — It's been two years since the first transcatheter aortic valve was approved for use in the US, and in that time, more than 8000 patients have been treated with the Sapien (Edwards Lifesciences) device, according
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Well: Childhood Cancer Tied to Heart Risks 19 November 2013, 02.20 Medical
Well: Childhood Cancer Tied to Heart Risks
Children who undergo chemotherapy treatments for cancer have an increased risk of developing early heart disease, a new study suggests. Scientists have known for some time that survivors of childhood cancer are several times
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High expression of Notch ligand Jagged2 is associated with the metastasis and recurrence in urothelial carcinoma of bladder.
BACKGROUND: The Notch signaling pathway is closely related with human organ development and tumorgenisis. Jagged2 is among the most popular topic in Notch studies currently. Recent studies found its vital role in tumor
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Platelet Genetic Variation by Race: Treatment ImplicationsPlatelet Genetic Variation by Race: Treatment Implications
PHILADELPHIA, PA — Platelet expression of a protein that affects thrombin receptors is enhanced in blacks, compared with whites, and potentially explains some race-related variation in platelet activation and, by extension,
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Alzheimer's risk: Do you want to know? 10 November 2013, 00.34 Medical
Alzheimer's risk: Do you want to know?
[unable to retrieve full-text content]Is it useful or meaningful to know that you could be 15 years away from developing Alzheimer's disease? (Source: CNN.com -
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Bill Gates lauds India's accomplishment in polio campaign
(Microsoft Chairman Bill…) NEW YORK: Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has described India's accomplishment in eradicating polio as the "most impressive global health success" he has ever seen. In an essay titled 'What I
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Kids in Southern U.S. More Likely to Have Hay Fever: Study
Kids in Southern U.S. More Likely to Have Hay Fever: Study But escaping allergens isn't just a matter of moving, experts say WebMD News from HealthDay By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter FRIDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) --
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The New Paradigm of Hepatitis C TherapyThe New Paradigm of Hepatitis C Therapy
Kwo PY, Lawitz EJ, McCone J et al. Efficacy of boceprevir, an NS3 protease inhibitor, in combination with peginterferon alfa-2b and ribavirin in treatment-naive patients with genotype 1 hepatitis C infection (SPRINT-1): an
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How to Keep Your Liver Healthy 05 November 2013, 20.58 Medical
How to Keep Your Liver Healthy
How Not to Wreck Your Liver By Suz Redfearn WebMD Feature Your liver is a key player in your body’s digestive system. Everything you eat or drink, including medicine, passes through your liver.  “The liver is a vital
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US fund to take 24% in Medanta for Rs 950 crore 02 November 2013, 22.56 Medical
US fund to take 24% in Medanta for Rs 950 crore
(US-based private equity…) NEW DELHI: Being in the hospital business can be very healthy for the bottomline. US-based private equity fund Carlyle is set to buy a 24% stake in Medanta, the hospital founded by Naresh
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Brain Deaths Down, Ditto Organ Donations? (CME/CE) 02 November 2013, 22.56 Medical
Brain Deaths Down, Ditto Organ Donations? (CME/CE)
Neurology Published: Oct 28, 2013 | Updated: Oct 29, 2013 By John Gever, Deputy Managing Editor, MedPage Today Reviewed by Zalman S. Agus, MD; Emeritus Professor, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of
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Secrets of Happy Workers 02 November 2013, 22.56 Medical
Secrets of Happy Workers
[unable to retrieve full-text content]What's the key to loving your job? (Source: Psychology
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3-D Printed Medical Device Saves a Life for the First Time 27 October 2013, 14.40 Administrator Medical
 3-D Printed Medical Device Saves a Life for the First Time
Infant would have likely died without the device April and Bryan Gionfriddo's 6-month-old son, Kaiba, wasn't breathing, and the prognosis wasn't good. Kaiba had tracheobronchomalacia, a condition that caused his airways
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In Practice: White House to Tweak Tax-Penalty Deadline
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration said Wednesday that people who obtained health insurance by March 31 would not face any tax penalties for being uninsured in the first three months of 2014. Under President Obama’s
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Specialists See Weeks of Work on Health Site 22 October 2013, 15.32 Medical
Specialists See Weeks of Work on Health Site
Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune, via Associated Press Help navigating the federal online insurance exchange was available in Salt Lake City on Oct. 1. Federal contractors have identified most of
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UK first in heart failure operation 22 October 2013, 15.32 Medical
UK first in heart failure operation
By James Gallagher Health and science reporter, BBC News Sevket Gocer, right, was the first patient in the UK A pioneering operation to improve the function of failing hearts while they are still beating has taken place in the
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Poor school performance is associated with a larger gain in body mass index during puberty
Regular Article M Kark1,*, A Hjern2,3, F Rasmussen1,4 DOI: 10.1111/apa.12471 This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. Issue Additional Information Author Information 1Unit of Child and
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Bill Nye Returns To Science Entertainment 19 October 2013, 17.09 Medical
Bill Nye Returns To Science Entertainment
5 min 37 secDownload Bill Nye, who gained a cult following as the Science Guy, has a new web series, a collaboration with NASA Why with Nye. He joins host Rachel Martin to talk about the new series. Transcript Copyright ©
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Peanut butter used to confirm early-stage Alzheimer's disease
GAINESVILLE, Fla., Oct. 12 (UPI) -- A bit of peanut butter and a ruler may be an easy way confirm a diagnosis of early-stage Alzheimer's disease, U.S. researchers say. Jennifer Stamps, a graduate student at the University of
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UK health regulator withdraws certification of Wockhardt unit
(The impact of the same on…) NEW DELHI: In yet another setback to drug firm Wockhardt, UK's health regulator has withdrawn the good manufacturing certification of the company's Chikalthana facility in Maharashtra. "The
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Apollo Hospitals launches 'BP Clinics' 12 October 2013, 18.39 Medical
Apollo Hospitals launches 'BP Clinics'
(Apollo Hospitals Group…) HYDERABAD: Apollo Hospitals Group today announced the launch of 'BP Clinics' -a comprehensive institutional set-up to provide expert care to individuals affected by high blood pressure. "The
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Body fat tied to heart risks in normal-weight adults 30 September 2013, 15.18 Medical
Body fat tied to heart risks in normal-weight adults
By Kathleen Raven NEW YORK | Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:36pm EDT (Reuters Health) - New evidence suggests older adults with a healthy weight but high percentage of body fat are at
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Almost 22 hours: Cruz halts Obamacare attack 30 September 2013, 15.18 Medical
Almost 22 hours: Cruz halts Obamacare attack
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Shopping Doesn't Help in Face of Trauma, Researchers Say
Shopping Doesn't Help in Face of Trauma, Researchers Say Study of people continually faced with rocket attacks found compulsive spending made stress worse WebMD News from HealthDay By Robert Preidt HealthDay
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Successful negative inotropic treatment of acute left ventricular outflow tract obstruction by elongated mitral valve leaflet
Case Report Chadi Ayoub MBBS, Isuru Ranasinghe MBChB, MMed, John Yiannikas MBBS* Article first published online: 20 SEP 2013 DOI: 10.1002/jcu.22094 Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Issue Additional
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Health Highlights: Sept. 20, 2013 24 September 2013, 15.41 Medical
Health Highlights: Sept. 20, 2013
Chemotherapy Undertreatment in Obese Cancer Patients WebMD News from HealthDay Many obese cancer patients receive inadequate doses of chemotherapy and this is one reason why they have higher rates of cancer recurrence and
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Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channels: a clinical perspective
Review Article - Transient Receptor Potential (Trp) Channels Pharmacology Themed Issue Yosuke Kaneko1, Arpad Szallasi2 DOI: 10.1111/bph.12414 This article is protected by copyright. All rights
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Statins increase risk of cataracts, study finds 21 September 2013, 16.42 Medical
Statins increase risk of cataracts, study finds
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Alzheimer's: 'I know it's coming' 21 September 2013, 16.42 Medical
Alzheimer's: 'I know it's coming'
[unable to retrieve full-text content]More than 35 million people worldwide live with dementia. By 2050, that number is expected to more than triple to 115 million. (Source: CNN.com -
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The Guilt Trip 19 September 2013, 15.32 Medical
The Guilt Trip
by David B. Feldman, Ph.D. by Robert Evans Wilson, Jr. by F. Diane Barth, L.C.S.W. by Eileen Kennedy-Moore, Ph.D. by Emma M. Seppala, Ph.D. by Thomas G. Plante, Ph.D., ABPP by Preston Ni,
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A Day Without Pain 19 September 2013, 15.32 Medical
A Day Without Pain
[unable to retrieve full-text content]When you hurt all the time. By Toni Bernhard, J.D. (Source: Psychology
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Couples With Autistic Children 19 September 2013, 15.32 Medical
Couples With Autistic Children
Mental Health AddictionADHDAnxietyAsperger'sAutismBipolar DisorderDepressionEating DisordersInsomniaOCD Personality Passive AggressionPersonalityShyness Personal Growth HappinessGoal SettingPositive
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O.24 Loss of function of MGME1, a novel player in mitochondrial DNA replication, causes a distinct autosomal recessive mitochondrial disorder
European Online Customer ServiceThe BoulevardLangford Lane, KidlingtonOxford. OX5 1GBUKHours: Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 5:00pm (Greenwich Mean Time/British Summer Time)Tel: +44 (0) 1865-843177 (Within Europe)Fax: +44 (0)
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Spiritual Life Reports

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

By Dr. Mercola

Snacking on chocolate may be one delectable way to boost your health, provided you choose the right type of chocolate, that is. Certain types of chocolate, as well as cocoa powder and cacao, rank right up there among the most anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich foods known to mankind.

It’s the antioxidant flavanols that are responsible for much of the health benefits, and recent research set out to determine which flavanols, in particular, may prevent certain health conditions, including type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Which Chocolate Flavanols Best Protect Against Diabetes and Obesity?

Consuming high levels of flavanols found in foods like chocolate is linked to reduced insulin resistance and improved glucose regulation, which suggests it may be protective against type 2 diabetes.1

Past research has also found that the regular consumption of chocolate is associated with leanness in adults2 and lower levels of body fat in teens.3

Chocolate varies greatly in the different types of flavanols it contains, so researchers wanted to find out whether different cocoa flavanols were more beneficial than others.

For instance, both fermentation and processing of cocoa beans influences the final outcome of flavanols in the cocoa (cocoa refers to the powder made from roasted, husked, and ground cacao, or cocoa, seeds, from which most of the fat has been removed).

The researchers supplemented a high-fat diet for mice with monomeric, oligomeric, or polymeric procyandins (PCs), which are different types of flavanols. It turned out that oligomeric PCs were the most effective at both maintaining weight and improving glucose tolerance in the mice.4

Even more intriguing, the doses of flavanols used in the study were significantly lower than those used in past research, which suggests it may be more feasible to obtain health benefits from eating chocolate than was previously thought. The researchers noted:

The oligomer-rich fraction proved to be most effective in preventing weight gain, fat mass, impaired glucose tolerance, and insulin resistance in this model… Oligomeric PCs appear to possess the greatest antiobesity and antidiabetic bioactivities of the flavanols in cocoa, particularly at the low doses employed for the present study.”5

The Amazing Role Your Gut Microbes Play in Unlocking Chocolate’s Benefits

Research presented at the 247th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) revealed a unique connection between the microbes in your gut and the health benefits of chocolate. While cocoa powder is rich in antioxidants including catechin and epicatechin, along with a small amount of fiber, it was thought that these molecules were poorly digested and absorbed due to their large size.

The new study found, however, that your gut bacteria break down and ferment the components in dark chocolate, turning them into anti-inflammatory compounds that benefit your health. In particular, beneficial microbes including Bifidobacterium and lactic acid bacteria “feasted” on chocolate, according to the researchers.

The study, which involved three cocoa powders tested in a model digestive tract, may help explain why chocolate has been found to be so good for your heart, as the anti-inflammatory compounds may reduce inflammation of cardiovascular tissue. The study’s lead author explained:6

“In our study we found that the fiber is fermented and the large polyphenolic polymers are metabolized to smaller molecules, which are more easily absorbed. These smaller polymers exhibit anti-inflammatory activity… When these compounds are absorbed by the body, they lessen the inflammation of cardiovascular tissue, reducing the long-term risk of stroke.”

The researchers suggested that consuming cocoa along with prebiotics may be one way to encourage the conversion of polyphenols into highly absorbable anti-inflammatory compounds in your stomach.

Prebiotics are carbohydrates found in whole foods that you can’t digest… but which beneficial bacteria can, acting as “food” for them. Unprocessed whole foods, such as onions and garlic, are among the best prebiotics, so if you’re eating right, you should be getting plenty of prebiotics.

It would seem that taking steps to encourage healthful gut bacteria, in general, would also ensure that you have enough beneficial bacteria available to help break down and ferment the healthy substances in cocoa.

This includes avoiding sugar and grains, as well as eating naturally fermented foods and/or taking a high-quality probiotic supplement. One of the major results of eating a healthy diet like the one described in my nutrition plan is that you cause your beneficial gut bacteria to flourish, and they secondarily perform the real "magic" of restoring your health.

Interestingly, the researchers also suggested consuming dark chocolate with antioxidant-rich solid fruits, such as pomegranate or acai, as another way to boost its health potential.

Chocolate May Improve Your Health in Dozens of Ways

If the possibility that consuming chocolate may help you prevent diabetes and stay slim doesn’t excite you, perhaps the fact that accumulating scientific research has linked its consumption to over 40 distinct health benefits will.7

Among the most heavily researched is its link to heart health. For instance, when diabetic patients were given a special high-flavanol cocoa drink for one month, it brought their blood vessel function from severely impaired to normal. The improvement was actually as large as has been observed with exercise and many common diabetic medications.8

Small amounts of dark chocolate can also cut your risk of heart attack because, like aspirin, chocolate has a biochemical effect that reduces the clumping of platelets, which cause blood to clot.9 Platelet clumping can be fatal if a clot forms and blocks a blood vessel, causing a heart attack.

Another one of the ways chocolate may provide cardiovascular benefit is by assisting with nitric oxide metabolism.10 Nitric oxide protects your heart by relaxing your blood vessels and thereby lowering your blood pressure.

However, nitric oxide production produces adverse reactions and toxic metabolites, which must be neutralized by your body so they don't result in oxidative damage to your blood vessel lining (by peroxynitrite oxidation and nitration reactions). Cocoa polyphenols protect your body from these metabolites and help counter the typical age-related decline in nitric oxide production. The following table highlights even more benefits conferred by the cocoa bean.11

Anti-inflammatory Anti-carcinogenic Anti-thrombotic, including improving endothelial function Lowers Alzheimer's risk
Anti-diabetic and anti-obesity Reduction in C-reactive protein Cardioprotective, including lowering blood pressure, improving lipid profile, and helping prevent atrial fibrillation Improved liver function for those with cirrhosis
Neuroprotective Improves gastrointestinal flora Reduces stress hormones Reduces symptoms of glaucoma and cataracts
Slows progression of periodontitis Improves exercise endurance May help extend lifespan Protects against preeclampsia in pregnant women

Which Type of Chocolate Is Best for Your Health?

The term “chocolate” refers to the solid food or candy made from a preparation of cacao seeds (typically roasted). If the cacao seeds are not roasted, then you have "raw chocolate," which is also typically sweetened. It’s important to understand that consuming most commercially available milk chocolate candy is not going to give you the therapeutic benefits described above, as it contains both pasteurized milk and large quantities of sugar, which will significantly dampen its health benefits. White chocolate is also high in sugar and contains none of the phytonutrients, so it is not a good choice either.

The closer your cocoa is to its natural raw state, the higher its nutritional value. Ideally, your chocolate or cocoa should be consumed raw (cacao). When selecting chocolate, you can optimize its nutritional punch by looking for higher cacao and lower sugar content.

In general, the darker the chocolate, the higher the cacao. However, cacao is fairly bitter, so the higher the percentage cacao, the more bitter it is (the flavanols are what make the chocolate bitter, so manufacturers often remove them. But, it's those flavanols that are responsible for many of chocolate's health benefits). To counteract the bitterness, most chocolate is sweetened, so it's a matter of balancing nutritional benefit with palatability.

Although raw cacao is the most nutritious form, most of the health studies to date involve consumption of cocoa or chocolate, not raw cacao. And the results are STILL significantly positive. This fact suggests a good portion of the nutritional benefit of chocolate is retained after processing. Your goal then is to find a chocolate that's as minimally processed as possible, but still palatable. You don't want to eliminate too many of the health benefits by eating a product that contains a lot of sugar and chemicals. Choose chocolate with a cocoa/cacao percentage of about 70 or higher. If you can tolerate the flavor of raw cacao, however, then that's the absolute best option. Dark chocolate – as high in cacao and as bitter as you can stand -- is your best option.

Eat Chocolate Two to Three Times a Day for the Most Benefit

Download Interview Transcript

In the video above, Dr. Beatrice Golomb discusses how to identify a high-quality chocolate and how to determine your optimal chocolate “dose.” In general, it seems preferable to consume smaller amounts of chocolate at more frequent intervals, much like the principle of split dosing for supplements, in order to ensure a steadier stream of nutrients in your bloodstream.

According to Dr. Golomb, studies show daily chocolate consumption in divided doses (two to three times per day) is probably beneficial, as long as you aren't going overboard in quantity, and as long as you're eating high-quality chocolate.

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Black Garlic and Sprouted Garlic Have Enhanced Health Benefits PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

Of all the foods Mother Nature provides, few foods offer more of a “botanical bonanza” for your health than garlic. Garlic is a bulbous root closely related to the onion, mentioned in historical documents dating back 5,000 years—before its fame wafted into the rest of the known world.

Speaking of wafting, garlic’s nickname “stinking rose” is well-deserved due to its undeniably pungent aroma that some find objectionable, but others find intoxicating.

Numerous studies show garlic’s amazing health potential in nearly every area of your body, from clogged arteries to gangrene to preventing insect bites and ear infections. There is even evidence that garlic is able to help slow your aging process. When it comes to this magical bulb, what’s not to love?

Garlic Epitomizes a ‘Heart Healthy Food’

Like so many other complex plant foods, garlic contains a wide range of phytocompounds that act together to produce a wide variety of responses in your body. Garlic is rich in manganese, calcium, phosphorus, selenium, and vitamins B6 and C, so it’s beneficial for your bones as well as your thyroid.

Garlic also helps your body cleanse itself of heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic.1 Green Med Info has also assembled a list of studies demonstrating garlic's positive effects for more than 150 different diseases.2 In general, its benefits fall into four main categories:

  1. Reducing inflammation (reduces risk of osteoarthritis as mentioned in the video above)
  2. Boosting immune function (antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiparasitic properties)
  3. Improving cardiovascular health and circulation (protects against clotting, retards plaque, improves lipids, and reduces blood pressure)
  4. Toxic to 14 kinds of cancer cells (including brain, lung, breast, and pancreatic)

The fact that garlic is so effective in fighting multiple types of cancer is probably related to its potent antioxidant effects. Garlic contains the precursors to allicin—a compound I’ll be discussing in detail shortly. Allicin is one of the most potent antioxidants from the plant kingdom.

In fact, researchers have determined that sulfenic acid, produced during the rapid decomposition of allicin, reacts with and neutralizes free radicals faster than any other known compound—it’s almost instantaneous when the two molecules meet. And as an anti-infective, garlic has been demonstrated to kill everything from candida to herpes, MRSA, drug-resistant tuberculosis, and even HIV.

Garlic’s Secret Weapon: Allicin

Researchers have found that allicin is an effective natural "antibiotic" that can eradicate even antibiotic-resistant bugs. An added benefit is that the bacteria appear incapable of developing a resistance to the compound. However, the garlic must be fresh because the active agent is destroyed in less than an hour after smashing the garlic clove.

Garlic technically does not contain allicin, but rather, it contains two agents in separate compartments of the clove that react to form the sulfur-rich compound allicin when the plant needs it: alliin and an enzyme called allinase. So, what makes them react?

Garlic has a robust defense system to protect itself from insects and fungi. It enzymatically produces allicin within seconds when it is injured. The crushing of its tissues causes a chemical reaction between the alliin and the allinase, and allicin is produced—nature’s “insecticide.” This is what makes garlic such a potent anti-infective, as well as what produces that pungent aroma when you cut into it.

But allicin is short-lived, lasting less than an hour. Therefore, cooking, aging, crushing, and otherwise processing garlic causes allicin to immediately break down into other compounds, so it’s difficult to get allicin up to biologically active levels in your body.3

Plus, an Army of Sulfur-Rich Phytochemicals

More than 100 different compounds have been identified in garlic, some of which come from the rapid breakdown of allicin itself. The absorption, metabolism, and biological effects of all these compounds are only partially understood. So, although garlic is known to possess a wealth of health benefits, we still do not know exactly which benefits come from which compounds, what compounds get into which tissues, etc.

As powerful as allicin is as an anti-infective, it only makes sense that garlic’s other health effects come from the synergism of those many OTHER compounds. This is a complicated topic, and if you want to explore it further, the Oregon State’s Linus Pauling Institute has a comprehensive article in their online Micronutrient Information Center.4

What About Garlic Supplements?

Most commercial garlic supplements perform quite poorly when it comes to actually being able to form allicin in your body. Allinase is destroyed by the strong acids in your stomach, which is why most supplements are “enteric coated,” to keep them from dissolving until they enter your small intestine. But most supplements tested produce only minimal amounts of allicin under these tough digestive conditions. Many garlic supplements list “allicin potential” on the label, which refers to how much allicin could be formed when alliin is converted, not how much allicin is actually produced.

Claims of actual “allicin release” may be more reliable, but with digestive conditions being so individual and variable, I would be less than confident you’re getting what the label promises. Therefore, when it comes to garlic, I believe it is much better to eat the real food rather than rely on a supplement. And due to the fact that allicin won’t be formed unless the garlic clove is crushed, you have to crush it before swallowing to get the full benefit, or chew it up. If chewing up raw garlic is a bit too hardcore for you, then you may have cause for celebration: aged black garlic to the rescue!

Aged Black Garlic Has Arrived!

Developed in Korea, black garlic has been gaining popularity among Western foodies for several years now, but it has recently caught the eye of the health-minded due to studies revealing its impressive nutritional properties. Black garlic is produced by “fermenting” whole bulbs of fresh garlic in a humidity-controlled environment in temperatures of about 140 to 170 degrees F for 30 days. No additives, no preservatives... just pure garlic. Once out of the heat, the bulbs are then left to oxidize in a clean room for 45 days. This lengthy process causes the garlic cloves to turn black and develop a soft, chewy texture with flavors reminiscent of “balsamic vinegar” and “soy sauce,” with a sweet “prune-like” taste. Aficionados claim the flavor will impress even the most avid garlic-hater, as the pungency and spiciness is gone.5

Although the process is consistently described as “fermentation,” it really isn’t that in the strictest sense, as the transformation does not involve microbial processes—specifically, enzymatic breakdown and the Maillard Reaction are responsible for the caramelization of the sugars, dark color and deep, complex flavor profile.6  As the pearly white cloves slowly transition into their final black appearance, compounds in the fresh garlic transform into a whole new range of compounds. Compared to fresh garlic, black garlic is low in alliin but it is astonishingly high in other antioxidants!

Double the Antioxidants of Fresh Garlic

In a 2009 mouse study, Japanese researchers found that black garlic was more effective than fresh garlic in reducing the size of tumors. The study was published in the journal Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Science and Technology.7 In another study, black garlic was found to have twice the antioxidant levels as fresh—the aging/fermenting process appears to double the antioxidants. Black garlic is packed with high concentrations of sulfurous compounds, especially one in particular: s-allylcycteine (SAC).8 Science has shown a number of health benefits from SAC, including inhibition of cholesterol synthesis.9

Perhaps this is why Mandarin oil painter Choo Keng Kwang experienced a complete reversal of his psoriasis after just four days of eating half a bulb of black garlic a day—this, after trying countless medically prescribed skin creams that were all complete failures.

An advantage of SAC is that it is well-absorbed and much more stable than allicin and 100 percent bioavailable. Researchers are confident it plays a significant role in garlic’s overall health benefits.10 Be mindful, however, that black garlic’s benefits may be more effective than fresh garlic for some conditions but not others, given its allicin content is low. For example, I suspect it may not be as effective if you have an infection, as allicin is thought to be the primary anti-infective agent in garlic, and fresh garlic is higher in allicin than black.  According to Blue Fortune Farm (which admittedly sells black garlic), black garlic has the following favorable nutrient profile:11

  SAC (mg/g) Calcium (mg) Phosphorus (mg) Protein (g)
Black Garlic 5.84 36.66 80 12.5
Raw Garlic 0.32 5.0 40 2.2

Sprouted Garlic Is Fresh Garlic, Multiplied...

Do you toss your garlic into the compost pile when it begins sending up those bright green shoots? You might want to stop doing that after you read the most recent report about sprouted garlic. In an article published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,12 garlic sprouted for five days was found to have higher antioxidant activity than fresher, younger bulbs, and it had different metabolites, suggesting it also makes different substances.

Researchers concluded that sprouting your garlic might be a useful way to improve its antioxidant potential. Extracts from this garlic even protected cells in a laboratory dish from certain types of damage.13 This isn’t really surprising when you consider the nutritional changes that typically occur in plants when they sprout. When seedlings grow into green plants, they make many new compounds, including those that protect the young plant against pathogens. The same thing is likely happening when green shoots grow from old heads of garlic.

Sprouting—Intentionally!

Growing your own sprouts is a great way to boost your nutrition, especially if you have limited space for gardening. Sprouted seeds of various kinds can contain up to 30 times the nutrition of homegrown organic vegetables and allow your body to extract more vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fats from the foods you eat. If you want more information, please refer to our earlier article about sprouting. While you can sprout a variety of different beans, nuts, seeds, and grains, sprouts in general have the following beneficial attributes:

  1. Support for cell regeneration
  2. Powerful sources of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and enzymes that protect against free radical damage
  3. Alkalinizing effect on your body, which is thought to protect against disease, including cancer (as many tumors are acidic)
  4. Abundantly rich in oxygen, which can also help protect against abnormal cell growth, viruses, and bacteria that cannot survive in an oxygen-rich environment

Black Garlic or White, They're Both Good

Whether you choose to go raw or adventure into the black, you can’t go wrong with garlic. It gives new meaning to the term “heart healthy food”! And garlic goes with just about everything. You can smother your roasting chicken with it, sauté it with veggies, add it to your salad dressing, or run it right through your juicer along with the other veggies for a real immune-booster. Whatever form of garlic you prefer, you can have some fun experimenting as you widen your culinary repertoire, and build your health at the same time!

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Why and How to Say No to an Unnecessary Root Canal Procedure PDF Print E-mail


PLEASE NOTE   This is the first of a two part series.  Part two with comprehensive and specific options on what to do if you already have a root canal will be posted soon. These two articles are our effort to help save lives not teeth.

By Dr. Lina Garcia

One of the fundamental understandings that supports holistic, biological dentistry is that the dental procedures and materials used in them can affect your whole body, not just your teeth.

In the case of a root canal procedure, it can lead to a number of chronic health problems and even degenerative diseases. Unfortunately, it is very rare for someone in need of dental care to be aware of this.

Although you may be surprised to read this view of root canals, any time the procedure is done there is a real possibility it can endanger your overall health because of the infection and toxicity that can develop in your tooth after the root canal is performed.

The connection between a root canal treated tooth and disease in another area of your body is one the majority of health-care practitioners and their patients are simply unaware of.

The lack of awareness of this connection is puzzling when you consider that in conventional dentistry medicine there is an appreciation of research that has identified a connection between periodontal disease and other health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, respiratory diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis and difficulties during pregnancy.

Periodontal disease is the general label used to describe chronic infection and/or inflammation of the gums and the supporting structures of the teeth. The American Academy of Periodontology actively seeks to educate the public about research that supports what perceptive dentists inevitably recognize: "Infections in the mouth can play havoc elsewhere in the body."

Periodontal Disease: A Risk Factor for a Root Canal

Periodontal disease has been identified as a potential risk factor for many systemic diseases. However it is not well appreciated that microbes surrounding a periodontally involved tooth can invade it from the apex and damage or kill it.

When this happens, a conventional dentist will recommend a root canal procedure. Tragically, most conventional dental and medical establishments inexplicably disregard the connection between oral microbes associated with root canals and systemic disease.

So, every year, millions of Americans undergo at least one root canal procedure with no awareness of the risk involved to their overall health. The root canal procedure is typically done instead of extracting the diseased, dying or sometimes already dead tooth.

Root canals have been, and continue to be, a conventional, or "standard of care," procedure done by a dentist or an endodontist. (An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in doing a root canal procedure, which is also called endodontic therapy.)

The root canal procedure is endorsed by the dental establishment as the preferred alternative to extraction. It is a big part of the business of dentistry. Give people what they want — and who wants to lose a tooth? So conventional dentistry offers a procedure that allows patients to keep a problem tooth while conveying confidence there are no risks involved.

But, unfortunately, there are risks.And what all too many dental practitioners don't realize isthat a root canal treated tooth can be a direct cause of numerous degenerative diseases.

Many Diseases Can Be Related to Root-Canal-Treated Teeth

If you have at least one root canal treated tooth, acting upon the understanding that it can be damaging to your health may help you realize freedom from one of the diseases or ailments listed in the table below.

Arthritis Appendicitis Endocarditis, myocarditis (heart inflammation) Kidney, liver and gallbladder problems
Meningitis Anemia Hardening of the arteries Nervous system breakdowns
Pneumonia Heart lesions Eye infections Cancer

 

Many people suffer from diseases or ailments that modern medicine says are ofunknown cause. Well, the reality is that root canals are a seriously overlooked cause of many diseases.  

More and more holistic-minded dentists, physicians and other practitioners are beginning to realize that many previously "incurable" diseases and ailments, which have no conventionally recognized cause, can sometimes be radically improved or completely resolved by extracting a root-canal tooth (or teeth) and properly cleaning out the tooth socket(s).

A Root Canal Will Leave Dead Tissue in Your Body

On the surface, having a root canal procedure instead of extracting a tooth is very appealing. A tooth is obviously an important part of your body that you want to keep if at all possible. Butit's more important for you to see your health in a holistic way, so you can avoid losing much more than your tooth  It's silly for us to think of ourselves as a collection of body parts that function independently of each other.

Seeing your health in a holistic way leads to understanding that each and every, part of your body can have an influence on the whole. 
In cases of intense pain, it may be thought of as a "mercy killing," but having a root canal can definitely be an effective way to eliminate the pain — kill the tooth and you kill the pain.

The pain is gone because the nerves are gone.  
However, a much more accurate, no-nonsense way of describing the end result of a root canal is this: It doesn’t "save" the life of the tooth, but it does keep enough of the tooth’s structure intact so that the crowned chewing surface will be functional, and you keep the aesthetic value of the tooth.

So there you are — you are now left with a functional but dead tooth in your mouth that looks good when you smile. But think about this for a moment. Doesn't it seem unhealthy, and even strange, to leave a dead tooth in your mouth? If any another organ in your body, like your appendix, were dead, it would have to be removed or else very aggressive strains of microbes that nature uses to decompose dead tissue would set in and threaten your life! And something similar happens with a dead tooth, whether it is killed from infection, trauma or the root-canal procedure.

After a root canal is done, the dead tooth, not sometimes, but always becomes an environment conducive to harboring chronic infection and toxicity.Because there is no reliable way, practically speaking, to completely sterilize a root canal treated tooth, (while it is still in a patient’s mouth), it will be a source of infection for the whole bodyuntil it is extracted and the tooth socket is cleaned.

How to Avoid the Root Canal Procedure that You Might Not Even Need

One of my biggest challenges as a Biological Dentist is when a patient cries with regret for agreeing to have a root canal procedure done to a tooth or teeth – a procedure they neither needed nor understood from the perspective of whole body health. Like any part of the body, a tooth can be inflamed, painful, or simply sensitive. If you go to a dentist they will quite often advise you to have a root canal.

But not so fast! Let’s learn and make a wise decision.  The table below lists several reasons a tooth can be sensitive or painful but please understand that it there is not enough space in this article to more fully elaborate. The best way to evaluate your specific pain would be with a qualified dental professional.

Clenching or grinding Stress Poor hygiene Referred pain from your heart
Referred muscle pain from temporalis or masseter muscles Lack of sleep Trigeminal neuralgia Sinus headaches
Sugars or processed foods, even fruits Ill-fitting restorations Neuropathic pain Tumors or aneurisms
Hormone changes including perimenopause, menstrual cycles, and changes in testosterone levels Fractures Referral headaches from migraines or cluster headaches that change the blood vessels and nerves of the head Salivary dysfunction

 

Every single tooth is a little organ, and the same blood and lymphatic fluid that flows to and through your heart and all the other organs and systems in your body also flows to and through your teeth. Additionally, there is a complex system of nerves that connect your teeth to your brain, and every tooth is connected to one of the channels of life-force energy most commonly known as the acupuncture meridians. So, when you see the whole picture, you understand that your teeth are affected by what is going on throughout your body, and, of course, your entire body is affected by what is going on in your teeth.

Unfortunately, we usually do not learn about the oral/systemic health connection and the hidden risks of conventional dental practices until after we have developed at least one chronic health problem conventional practitioners do not know how to resolve. I understand it can be hard to believe that established dental practices that have been around for many decades can be obstacles to your good health because it was a challenge for me as well. All biological dental professionals were once traditionally trained. The move away from that training to encompass a wider view is never easy, but vital to our integrity.

Be Your Own Advocate and Become Educated

Changing things for the better begins with questioning the status quo. It ultimately requires that you make better-informed choices so you do not wind up supporting the dysfunctional aspects of the conventional dental and medical establishments. Every time you accept and pay for a treatment, you are in essence saying, "I support this.” So please, before paying for a root canal procedure, or for that matter, any other procedure, make sure the problem is not somewhere else and that the pain in your tooth will not subside if you properly address that issue.

The surest path to good health is to become educated (at least in a general way) about the different approaches to dentistry and medicine that are available to you before you actually have to make a choice for you or your children. With this in mind, I encourage you to seek out and create your own network of practitioners — family physician, dentist and nutritionist, for starters — who have a holistic understanding of health and appreciate the value of working together as a team to meet the health-care needs of you and your children. While finding and creating your own network of holistic practitioners will take some time, it will be time well spent.

My years of practice have taught me that the best way to prevent disease is to build your health. We all have a self-healing potential, which I refer to as "the Health." I'm devoted to helping people learn how dental practices caneither improve or damage their health. I want to help you make well-informed choices that support your health in body, mind and spirit. You certainly do have choices to make, especially avoiding unnecessary root canal procedures.

The holistic physician Dr. Thomas Rau, in his comprehensive book, Biological Medicine, says: "The disruptive fields which occur most frequently in the body, causing remote illnesses in other organs, are the teeth. So long as these disruptive factors are not eliminated, the physician will remain unsuccessful in many cases of chronic disease." Ultimately, the tragic consequence of not acknowledging the connection between our teeth, dental treatments and our overall health is no attention is given to the real cause of — and curative treatment for — many chronic health problems.

Powerful Strategies to Consider Before a Root Canal

When you have pain in your leg, arm, stomach, eyes or any body part, hopefully you are not advised to kill the nerves of the area to shut off the pain. While this is obvious for these body parts, this advice is not obvious, and certainly not routine in your mouth.  Most conventional practitioners have accepted the idea of killing a tooth even though it causes a poisonous environment that harbors pathologic bugs and disease.  If a tooth is sensitive or hurting, the following are some of my recommendations before agreeing and paying for a root canal procedure:

Ozone therapy Proper oral hygiene Stress management
Nutrition Oil pulling Local support for the tooth such as adjusting an ill-fitting restoration, a splint or mouth guard, decay and more
Digest enzymes Proper sleep Traditional Osteopathic Treatment and support

 

All the above can buy time for your immune system to recover allowing your tooth to heal. In trying to support and encourage my patients’ own healing capabilities, and based on my studies, I will tell you that, without a doubt, what you are eating and drinking every day has a huge influence on the health of your teeth and gums. Even more, it is essential for us to appreciate that good nutrition contributes to the structure and function of every cell in our bodies.

I want to do all I can to make sure my patients and readers of this article understand the importance of developing the right nutrition habits in order to prevent tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems. Nutrition can also support you while your tooth is healing from a metabolic, physical or emotional injury. In that respect I firmly agree with Dr. Mercola’s nutrition plan . If you haven’t had a chance to review it, please do as it is completely free and over 100 pages. It is divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced sections so you can easily customize it for yourself

There is absolutely no question that making a commitment to self-care practices to help to prevent tooth decay in the first place is an example of wisdom in action. Except for a tooth injured by some type of physical trauma, a tooth that has had a root canal procedure, also had some degree of decay.

Prevention is BEST Option for Avoiding Root Canals

To prevent the need for root canal treatments, you must eliminate tooth decay through proper oral hygiene and good nutrition. Proper oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings are preventative measures that help to remove the sticky plaque and calcified deposits that form on the surface of teeth and helps to minimize the impact of many individuals' nutritionally poor and sugar rich diets. I have learned, and so I teach, that faithfully practicing good nutritional habits is, without a doubt, the most important preventative measure, because tooth decay is a consequence of systemic metabolic disturbance.

As Dr. Weston Price wrote in his book, 'Nutrition and Physical Degeneration', "...when teeth are decaying, other things are going wrong in the body"! To achieve optimal oral and total body health, your teeth and the rest of your body needs you to choose high quality foods that are in harmony with your metabolism. It is also absolutely essential to eliminate all sources of refined and processed sugar, white flour products, soft drinks and all other 'junk' foods and beverages. The wisdom is actually very simple: give your body what it needs and avoid hurting yourself with what you are eating and drinking!

A wise but simple oral hygiene practice that can be very supportive in helping you to have healthy teeth and gums, is the practice of 'oil pulling'. This wonderful practice not only has preventive value, but also therapeutic value for teeth and gums. Choosing to keep a dead tooth in your mouth can put you at increased risk of a variety of health problems. So, if a dentist recommends a root canal procedure to "save" your tooth from being pulled, remember to ask yourself, "How will I be affected if I have a dead, chronically infected tooth in my mouth?" Or do I really need this root canal? Perhaps the tooth can heal without the unnecessary root canal procedure.

When I graduated from dental school, I took an oath that to this day encourages me. The oath said in part: "I will strive to advance my profession by seeking new knowledge and by re-examining the ideas and practices of the past." I hope that oath guides you, as well as me, on this journey toward making choices that will support your health. I hope it will encourage you, your family and the community to help forge a new dental and medical “Paradigm”.

Resources to Help You Find a Biological Dentist

If you are seriously considering any of the dental procedures discussed above it is best to have them performed by a biologic dentist. The following organizations can help you to find a mercury-free, biological dentist that would best serve your needs:

About the Author:

Dr. Lina Garcia is a Doctor of Medical Dentistry as well as a Doctor of Dental Surgery. She has been dedicated to the research and teaching of alternative solutions for conventional dentistry.  Dr. Garcia has published several articles and is soon releasing her first book, “Take Care of Your Teeth and Build Your Health”. She has trained around the world and is excited to be able to offer holistic services at her practice. She sees patients from all over the United States and worldwide, in her South Barrington, IL office

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The Aspartame End Game... And What’s Next PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

For the last 17 years, I've warned that artificial sweeteners can wreck your health. Aspartame is among the worst of the bunch, and in general, people who consume aspartame tend to be in poorer health. They also tend to develop more of a sweet tooth.

I found the evidence against artificial sweeteners to be so compelling, and the hazards so disconcerting, I wrote an entire book on the subject called Sweet Deception, published in 2006. Now, years later, the research I presented in that book has been confirmed many times over, and the tide is finally beginning to turn against this toxic food additive.

Soda consumption is now in "freefall," having dropped to its lowest point since 1995, according to Time Magazine,1 with diet sodas taking the greatest hit.   

Sales of carbonated beverages in general fell three percent in 2013, while diet Coke and diet Pepsi both dropped by nearly seven percent. Sales of Diet Mountain Dew also fell more sharply than regular Mountain Dew.2 As reported by Time Magazine:3

"One reason for the decline could be a growing awareness of the obesity epidemic in the US and growing health concerns surrounding sugar-sweetened beverages. According to Reuters, industry experts say the beverage industry is shrinking under the scrutiny. Even diet-branded drinks have suffered a loss of sales with concerns over artificial sweeteners."

It is very gratifying to see this turn of events, knowing we're making a difference. Also, quite frankly, I'm tired of writing about something this obviously harmful. I'll be happy to move on to other challenges that threaten your health.

Women Drinking Two Diet Sodas Per Day Are 50 Percent More Likely to Die from Heart-Related Disease

Most recently, one of the largest studies of its kind, which included nearly 60,000 post-menopausal women who were followed for about 10 years, found that drinking just two diet drinks a day can dramatically increase your risk of an early death from heart disease.4, 5 The findings were presented at the American College of Cardiology's 63rd Annual Scientific Session in Washington, DC.6 As reported by the University of Iowa:7

"...[C]ompared to women who never or only rarely consume diet drinks, those who consume two or more a day are 30 percent more likely to have a cardiovascular event [heart attack or stroke] and 50 percent more likely to die from related disease.

'This is one of the largest studies on this topic, and our findings are consistent with some previous data, especially those linking diet drinks to the metabolic syndrome,' says Dr. Ankur Vyas... the lead investigator of the study.

...The association persisted even after researchers adjusted the data to account for demographic characteristics and other cardiovascular risk factors, including body mass index, smoking, hormone therapy use, physical activity, energy intake, salt intake, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and sugar-sweetened beverage intake.

On average, women who consumed two or more diet drinks a day were younger, more likely to be smokers, and had a higher prevalence of diabetes, high blood pressure, and higher body mass index."

Granted, there are limitations to this study. The nutritional data was gathered using questionnaires, and people are notorious for not remembering exactly what they eat and drink each week. So while there's an association, the study cannot prove causation.

Still, other studies have come to the same conclusion, so these findings simply add to an already voluminous pile of evidence showing an association between artificial sweeteners and poor health outcomes.

According to Susie Swithers, a professor of psychological sciences at Purdue University who studies the effects of artificial sweeteners in animals, the featured findings are not at all surprising. Her animal research also shows that diet drinks promote heart problems, and that animals fed artificial sweeteners develop a disrupted metabolic response to real sugar. She recently told MedicineNet.com:8

"[Like diabetics], they become hyperglycemic. Their blood sugars go up higher than they should. They also make less of a heart-protective protein. If drinking diet soda interferes with this system, then over the long term you're taking something away that protects your cardiovascular health, and that could be what's contributing to these effects."

Regular soda drinking is also strongly associated with obesity and poor health. This link is easier to grasp however, since more people understand the health hazards of excessive sugar consumption nowadays.

The fact that low- or no-calorie sweeteners do as much harm (or more!) than sugar, on the other hand, has seemed, and still seems, counterintuitive to many. Fortunately, this confusion is beginning to lessen. In fact, we may finally have reached the tipping point where enough people understand the hazards, which means the end of aspartame and other artificial sweeteners is near.

Why Artificial Sweeteners Are NOT a Dieter's (or Diabetic's) Best Friend

Despite being promoted for weight loss, foods and beverages with artificial sweeteners have never actually been proven to help weight loss. On the contrary, studies that look at this actually find artificial sweeteners promote weight gain. Part of the reason why artificial sweeteners don't work as advertised (such as help you lose weight and manage your insulin) relates to the fact that your body is not fooled by sweet taste without accompanying calories.9

Scientific American10 previously ran an article explaining the science behind this phenomenon. In a nutshell, when you eat something sweet, your brain releases dopamine, which supplies you with a jolt of pleasure. Your brain's reward center is activated.

The appetite-regulating hormone leptin is also released, which eventually informs your brain that you are "full" once a certain amount of calories have been ingested. In contrast, when you consume something sweet but non-caloric (i.e. an artificial sweetener), your brain's pleasure pathway is still activated by the sweet taste, but there's nothing to deactivate it, since your body is still waiting for the calories. As a result, you may end up overeating.

Another recent report published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism11 found that diet soda drinkers suffer the same exact health problems as those who opt for regular soda, including excessive weight gain, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.12, 13 The sad fact is, Americans in particular are addicted to sweet flavors, which appears to trigger a complex set of biological systems, pathways, and mechanisms that in the end leads to excess weight gain—whether that flavor comes loaded with calories or not.

Artificial Sweeteners Actually INCREASE Weight Gain

The connection between sweet taste alone and increased hunger can be found in the medical literature going back at least two decades. These two studies, for example, dating back to the late 80s and early 90s, both showed this link between artificial sweeteners and increased hunger:

  • Physiology & Behavior, 198814 – In this study, they determined that intense (no- or low-calorie) sweeteners can produce significant changes in appetite. Of the three sweeteners tested, aspartame produced the most pronounced effects.
  • Physiology & Behavior, 199015 – Here, they again evaluated whether or not the mere taste of "sweet" increases hunger, by having human subjects chew gum for 15 minutes containing various levels of aspartame (0.05%, 0.3%, 0.5%, or 1.0%).

Interestingly, although those who chewed artificially sweetened gum reported increased hunger compared to the control group who were given nothing or unsweetened gum base to chew, the increase did not directly correlate with the aspartame concentration in the gum. 

Women experienced the greatest increase in hunger after chewing gum containing 0.3 percent aspartame (the second lowest concentration amount), while men were the hungriest after chewing on gum containing 0.5 percent aspartame. The authors stated:

"The highest aspartame concentrations had a time-dependent, biphasic effect on appetite, producing a transient decrease followed by a sustained increase in hunger ratings. Thus, the concentration of the sweetener, the sex of the subject, and the time after chewing, were all important determinants of whether 'sweetness' increased hunger."

How Aspartame Can Wreak Havoc with Your Health

Aspartame is primarily made up of aspartic acid and phenylalanine. The phenylalanine has been synthetically modified to carry a methyl group, which provides the majority of the sweetness. That phenylalanine methyl bond, called a methyl ester, is very weak, which allows the methyl group on the phenylalanine to easily break off and form methanol.

You may have heard the claim that aspartame is harmless because methanol is also found in fruits and vegetables. However, in fruits and vegetables, the methanol is firmly bonded to pectin, allowing it to be safely passed through your digestive tract. Not so with the methanol created by aspartame; there it's not bonded to anything that can help eliminate it from your body. That's problem number one.

Problem number two relates to the fact that humans are the only mammals who are NOT equipped with a protective biological mechanism that breaks down methanol into harmless formic acid. This is why animal testing of aspartame does not fully apply to humans. According to Dr. Woody Monte, a toxicology expert and professor emeritus at Arizona State University in food and chemistry:

"There is a major biochemical problem here. Methyl alcohol is known now, and has been known since 1940, to be metabolized differently by humans from every other animal."

As explained by Dr. Monte, in humans, the methanol ends up acting as a Trojan horse, and here's how. Both animals and humans have small structures called peroxisomes in each cell. There are a couple of hundred in every cell of your body, which are designed to detoxify a variety of chemicals. Peroxisome contains catalase, which help detoxify methanol. Other chemicals in the peroxisome convert the formaldehyde to formic acid, which is harmless, but, again, this last step occurs only in animals. Human peroxisomes cannot convert the toxic formaldehyde into harmless formic acid.

So to recap: in humans, the methyl alcohol travels through your blood vessels into sensitive areas, such as your brain, that are loaded with ADH, which converts methanol to formaldehyde. And since there's no catalase present, the formaldehyde is free to cause enormous damage in your tissues. Symptoms from methanol poisoning are many, and include headaches, ear buzzing, dizziness, nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances, weakness, vertigo, chills, memory lapses, numbness and shooting pains in the extremities, behavioral disturbances, and neuritis.

The most well known problems from methanol poisoning are vision problems including misty vision, progressive contraction of visual fields, blurring of vision, obscuration of vision, retinal damage, and blindness. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen that causes retinal damage, interferes with DNA replication and may cause birth defects. Not surprisingly, the most comprehensive and longest human study looking at aspartame toxicity found a clear association between aspartame consumption and non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and leukemia.

Beware of New Generation of Artificial Sweeteners

As consumers increasingly avoid artificial sweeteners like aspartame, Splenda, and others, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are trying to save their sinking business by developing the next generation of artificial sweeteners. In my opinion, it's doubtful that these newer sweeteners will be any safer than previous versions, but it may fool many, because these newer additives won't be listed on the label.

As reported by The Motley Fool,16 PepsiCo now has worldwide exclusive rights to use Sweetmyx (S617) in non-alcoholic beverages. The sweetener, developed by Senomyx—a biotech company that specializes in novel flavor modifiers and flavor enhancing food additives—was recently granted Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status,17, 18 which opens the door for commercial use. (Firmenich has lifetime rights to commercialize Sweetmyx for alcoholic beverages and food products.)

The crux here is that Sweetmyx is considered a flavor additive, which allows it to slip beneath the radar. It will simply be lumped together under the "artificial flavors" listing on the label, and doesn't have to go through the FDA approval process.

The reason for this is because it's not actually a sweetener per say. Rather, it is a flavor modifier; a chemical substance (protected as a trade secret) that tricks the taste receptors on your tongue to send the message to your brain that what you're tasting is sweeter than it really is. Hence, less fructose or sugar can be used in the product, while still providing the same sweet taste. But as discussed earlier, such tricks tend to backfire, and could create unsuspected metabolic havoc. At present, no one knows exactly what the ramifications might be.

Choose Your Beverages Wisely

Sweetened beverages, whether it's sweetened with sugar, HFCS, naturally-occurring fructose, or artificial sweeteners, are among the worst culprits causing obesity and related health problems, including diabetes and heart and liver disease, just to name a few. Remember that sweetened beverages also include flavored milk products, bottled teas, and "enhanced" water products. I'd be leery of anything listing "artificial flavors" as well—especially if the products boasts being low in sugar.

Ditching ALL of these types of beverages can go a long way toward reducing your risk for chronic health problems and weight gain. Your best, most cost effective choice of beverage is filtered tap water. I strongly recommend using a high-quality water filtration system unless you can verify the purity of your water. You can read more about water filtration in this previous article to help you make a decision about what type of water filtration system will suit you best. Since most water sources are now severely polluted, the issue of water filtration and purification couldn't be more important.

Besides purification, I also believe it's critical to drink living water. Last year, I interviewed Dr. Gerald Pollack about his book, The Fourth Phase of Water: Beyond Solid, Liquid, and Vapor. This fourth phase of water is referred to as "structured water" and is the type of water found in all of your cells. This water has healing properties, and is naturally created in a variety of ways.

Water from a deep spring is one excellent source of structured water, and there's a great website called FindaSpring.com19 where you can find a natural spring in your area. You can also promote structured water through vortexing, i.e. stirring your water, creating a vortex in the glass or pitcher.

Addicted to Sweets? There's Help!

If you're having a hard time giving up artificial sweeteners (they can be just as addictive as other sugars), I suggest trying the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). More than any traditional or alternative method I have used or researched, EFT works to overcome food cravings. If diet soda is the culprit for you, be sure to check out Turbo Tapping, which is an extremely effective and simple tool to get rid of your soda addiction in a short amount of time. If you still have cravings after trying EFT or Turbo Tapping, you may need to make additional changes to your diet. My free nutrition plan can help you do this in a step-by-step fashion. 

As for a safer sweetener option, you could use stevia or Luo Han, both of which are safe natural sweeteners. Remember, if you struggle with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or extra weight, then you have insulin sensitivity issues and would likely benefit from avoiding ALL sweeteners, including stevia and Luo Han.

Last but not least, if you experience side effects from aspartame or any other artificial sweetener, please report it to the FDA (if you live in the United States) without delay. It's easy to make a report — just go to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator page, find the phone number for your state, and make a call reporting your reaction. As Terri LaPoint writes in her Inquisitr article:20

"Ironically, the manufacturer of aspartame, Searle, started working on finding a drug to combat memory loss shortly after FDA approval for aspartame to be used in carbonated drinks.

Aspartame is a neurotoxin. Even ants have sense enough to avoid it. Yet, diet drinks add this neurotoxic chemical as its sweetener, and they promote it as a heath food to a public that naively puts its trust in the experts. Then the manufacturers stand ready to offer you drugs to help you with your symptoms that they don't tell you are directly related to your diet sodas. It's a win-win situation for them, with the consumer as the loser. You don't lose weight. You lose health. Drink water. Drink tea. Drink regular soda – anything but the diet sodas. You just might live longer."

I couldn't agree more.

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Evidence Is Mounting That Standard Nutritional Guidelines for Heart Health Are Wrong PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

Another nail has been driven into the coffin of the low-fat diet. Three articles have recently appeared in prominent medical journals elucidating the fallacy of the saturated fat myth.

For nearly four decades, you've been urged to replace your dietary saturated fats with carbohydrates and omega-6 polyunsaturated fats in order to improve your metabolic profile and lower your cardiovascular risk.

Yet scientific evidence clearly shows that this advice has raised your heart attack risk, as well as your chance of developing a number of other life-threatening chronic diseases.

Studies have consistently failed to support any significant association between saturated fat intake and cardiovascular risk. In fact, saturated fat has been found to be cardioprotective if you are consuming the right kind.

Still, the government continues its mission to vilify cholesterol, largely fueled by the pharmaceutical industry for which statins have been among the most profitable drugs ever made.

Never mind what the research actually says about what's beneficial for your health. The real culprit behind cardiovascular disease is not saturated fat, but rather excess dietary sugar, and omega-6 fats, mostly from vegetable oils.

British Cardiologists Do Some Saturated Fat Myth-Busting

Interventional Cardiology Specialist Registrar in London Aseem Malhotra wrote an excellent scientific review in the British Medical Journal about what is known to date about saturated fat intake and heart disease, explaining how recent studies have not supported any significant association between saturated fat and cardiovascular risk.1

Malhotra reports that two-thirds of people admitted to hospitals with acute myocardial infarction have completely normal cholesterol levels. He also mentions a recently published randomly controlled trial that was stopped early after it showed that, in high risk people, the Mediterranean diet achieved a 30 percent improvement over a low-fat diet in terms of cardiovascular events. He concludes:

"The greatest improvements in morbidity and mortality have been due not to personal responsibility but rather to public health. It is time to bust the myth of the role of saturated fat in heart disease and wind back the harms of dietary advice that have contributed to obesity."

These findings were further crystallized by an international research team headed by University of Cambridge, which analyzed data from 72 separate studies about heart risk and fatty acid intake. This massive meta-analysis included data from 600,000 participants in 18 different countries.

The team concluded that saturated fat is NOT linked to coronary disease risk.2 They pointedly state that the science does not support the common nutritional guidelines for heart health, the mantra heard far and wide—a diet rich in polyunsaturated fats but low in saturated fats will reduce your risk for heart disease. This is a myth—and a deadly one.

Replacing Your Saturated Fats with Carbohydrates and Vegetable Oils May Be a Death Sentence

In an excellent editorial in the journal Open Heart, research scientist and doctor of pharmacy James J. DiNicolantonio reviews the cardiometabolic consequences of replacing saturated fats with carbohydrates and omega-6 polyunsaturated fats.3 His points are summarized in the table below.

Potential Harms of Replacing Saturated Fat with Carbohydrates
Shift to overall atherogenic lipid profile (lower HDL, increased triglycerides and increased ApoB/ApoA-1 ratio) Increased small, high-density LDL particles
Increased oxidized LDL Reduced HDL
Impaired glucose tolerance, higher body fat, weight gain, obesity, and diabetes The potential harms associated with replacing saturated fat with omega-6 polyunsaturated fats, which include increased risk of coronary disease and death4
Increased inflammation Increased thrombogenic markers
Increased risk of coronary heart disease, cardiovascular events, and death from heart disease and increased overall mortality (all causes) Increased risk for cancer

Two Essential Fats That Must Be in Balance: Omega-3 and Omega-6

In January 2009, the American Heart Association (AHA) published a "scientific advisory" recommending that you consume more omega-6 fats (mostly refined vegetable oils) and fewer saturated fats, as part of the "heart healthy" low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. In spite of ALL scientific data to the contrary, this is the rubbish still being recommended.

The AHA and other health authorities continue to ignore the fact that the standard American diet is overloaded with omega-6 fats (and poor-quality ones at that), while being severely deficient in critical omega-3s.

One of the primary problems with all oils derived from vegetable seeds is that they are major sources of omega-6 fats. Omega-6 fats are pro-inflammatory and contribute to insulin, leptin, and resistance, altering your mood and impairing learning and cell repair.

The science is loud and clear: the correct balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fats is essential if you want to be the healthiest you can be. There are actually two problems related to how these fats are being consumed by most Westerners today.

Omega-3 fats are the ones that are present in fish and krill oil and some seeds like flax, chia, and hemp. These are the essential fats that have EPA, DHA, and ALA fats that are present in your brain and cell membranes. Omega-6s are oils are high in other plants like corn, soy, safflower, and sunflower oils. All of these oils are required to be healthy, but largely due to processed foods and the use of industrialized oils most of us are consuming far too many omega-6 fats compared to omega-3 fats. The ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats likely ranges from 1:1 to 1:5, but the typical Western diet is between 1:20 and 1:50.

Most of us consume far too many omega-6 fats — AND the wrong ratio of these fats. Both omega-3 and omega-6 fats are PUFAs and they are essential to your health, but when omega-6 is consumed in excess, it becomes problematic — and even more so if it's damaged through processing. One of the problems with PUFAs is that they are very chemically unstable, and highly susceptible to being altered and denatured by what's around them. When you eat too many PUFAs, they are increasingly incorporated into your cell membranes.

Because these fats are unstable, your cells become fragile and prone to oxidation, which leads to all sorts of health problems, such as atherosclerosis. I believe a lack of omega-3 combined with an excess of industrialized omega-6 oils is a profoundly important and simple shift in diet that you need to address. High omega-6:3 ratios have also been associated with an increase in cancers, like melanoma. Bear in mind that you need both plant-derived and animal-derived fats for optimal health. For a complete discussion of the differences between types of dietary fat, omega-3 versus omega-6, DHA, EPA, etc., please refer to our comprehensive fatty acids overview.

The Magic of the Omega-3s

The benefits of omega-3 fats are truly far-reaching. If you go to the omega-3 fat page on GreenMedInfo.com,5 you will see a long list of scientific studies supporting the benefits of omega-3 fats for hundreds of diseases, including drug-resistant cancer, bipolar disorder, autism, cystic fibrosis, hypertension, and atrial fibrillation—and those are just the tip of the iceberg. Omega-3 fats have powerful anti-inflammatory effects, proving extremely beneficial for inflammation-based disorders such as arthritis and bronchial asthma. Chronic inflammation is a major driver of so many of the diseases we see today, and omega-3 deficiency is a significant factor. Omega-3 deficiencies are associated with the following (which is far from an all-inclusive list):

  • Inflammatory conditions: arthritis, stiff or painful joints, asthma, etc.
  • Cognitive and emotional problems: depression, psychosis, learning disabilities, memory loss, poor concentration, etc.
  • Metabolic dysfunction: weight gain, obesity, diabetes, food cravings
  • Skin problems: allergies, acne, eczema, psoriasis, hives; dry, bumpy or flaky skin
  • Heart or kidney problems, high blood pressure, or immune dysregulation

The Worst of the Worst: Canola Oil

Of all the processed oils, canola has probably done the most damage to America's health. Canola consumption has skyrocketed over the past few decades, representing an enormous source of excess omega-6 fat. Unlike olive oil, which comes from olives, and avocado oil, which comes from avocados, canola doesn't come from the "canola plant"—there is no such thing. The word "canola" comes from "Canadian oil low acid," and is a genetically altered product of the rapeseed plant, part of the mustard family.

As discussed in a previous article by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, PhD, a genetic manipulation technique involving seed splitting was used to create this variety of rapeseed, which is low in erucic acid and high in oleic acid. This invention initially became known as LEAR oil, which stands for Low Erucic Acid Rapeseed.

Despite its GRAS status, no long term human safety studies have been done on canola oil. Meanwhile, animal studies on LEAR oil, "challenge not only the health claims made for canola oil, but also the theoretical underpinnings of the diet-heart hypothesis." In 1997, Canadian research showed that piglets fed milk replacement containing canola oil had signs of vitamin E deficiency, even though the milk replacement contained adequate amounts of vitamin E. Vitamin E protects cell membranes against free radical damage and is important for cardiovascular health.

A year later, the same research team found that piglets fed canola oil had decreased platelet count and an increase in platelet size. These results were reconfirmed in another study a year after that. Rats bred to have high blood pressure and being prone to stroke also had shortened life-spans when fed canola oil as the sole source of fat. Later research suggested the cause for this effect is the sterol compounds in the oil, which "make the cell membrane more rigid" and contribute to the shortened life-span of the animals. According to Fallon and Enig in "The Great Con-ola:"

"These studies all point in the same direction -- that canola oil is definitely not healthy for the cardiovascular system. Like rapeseed oil, its predecessor, canola oil is associated with fibrotic lesions of the heart. It also causes vitamin E deficiency, undesirable changes in the blood platelets and shortened life-span in stroke-prone rats when it was the only oil in the animals' diet. Furthermore, it seems to retard growth, which is why the FDA does not allow the use of canola oil in infant formula... Most interesting of all is the fact that many studies show that the problems with canola oil are not related to the content of erucic acid, but more with the high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and low levels of saturated fats...

There are indications that monounsaturated fats in excess and as the major type of fat can be a problem. Overabundance of oleic acid (the type of monounsaturated fatty acid in olive and canola oil) creates imbalances on the cellular level that can inhibit prostaglandin production. In one study, higher monounsaturated fat consumption was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

Even the dogma that monounsaturated fatty acids are good for the heart is at risk. According to a 1998 report, mice fed a diet containing monounsaturated fats were more likely to develop atherosclerosis than mice fed a diet containing saturated fat. In fact, the mice fed monounsaturated fats were even more prone to heart disease than those fed polyunsaturated fatty acids.

This means that the type of diet recommended in books like The Omega Diet -- low in protective saturates, bolstered with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and relying on monounsaturated fatty acids, whether from olive or canola oil, for the majority of fat calories -- may actually contribute to heart disease. Such diets have been presented with great marketing finesse, but we need to recognize them for what they are -- payola for the food companies and con-ola for the public."

The important point to remember about this is that the timing of the above events occurred BEFORE the widespread adoption of GMO canola oil. Now virtually all of the canola oil produced is glyphosate resistant and sprayed with one of the most toxic herbicides known to man. So now, not only do you have the concerns addressed above, but you have the additional health challenge of glyphosate residues to content with.

Best Food Sources of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fats

The best way to improve your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio and improve your heart health is to eat the following types of high-quality foods:

  • Unprocessed organic oils such as extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocados and avocado oil, and organic butter—or better yet, raw butter from grass-pastured cows.
  • Raw nuts and seeds, such as fresh organic flax seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and English walnuts, which are also high in omega-3s (ALA). Spirulina is an excellent source of GLA (gamma linolenic acid, a beneficial omega-6).6
  • Meat from animals that are free-ranging and/or grass-fed, which are higher in beneficial omega-6s, such as natural CLA. If you have access to them, game meats such as venison are also high in beneficial fats. The article "Better Beef," written by California rancher Dave Evans, gives a great in-depth view of the many benefits of grass-fed beef.
  • My favorite omega-3 fat supplement is krill oil. Egg yolks from pastured hens are also rich in beneficial omega-3s.
  • Coconut oil, while not an omega-3 or omega-6 fat, is an extremely beneficial dietary fat with an "embarrassment of riches" for your heart, metabolism, immune system, skin and thyroid. Coconut oil's health benefits derive from its special medium-chain fatty acids.
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Psychoneuroimmunology—How Inflammation Affects Your Mental Health PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Kelly Brogan

Psychoneuroimmunology. This is what I aim to practice. Medical terms of this length command our respect for the interconnectedness of different subspecialties, for the futile segmentation and compartmentalization of the body into different organ systems.

As discussed in this previous article I wrote for Dr. Mercola, deconstructing the serotonin model of depression, psychiatry is in a crisis. It can no longer stand on its own, throwing more and more medications at its perceived target. 

It seems, therefore, fitting that psychiatry would follow the investigative path of other lifestyle-triggered chronic diseases such as cancer, autoimmunity, and heart disease. There already exists a bidirectional relationship between all of the major chronic diseases and psychiatric diagnoses (patients who struggle with chronic diseases are more likely to be depressed and vice versa). 

The role of inflammation, across these disease states, is better elucidated each day. Let's deconstruct what is known as it applies to mental health.

Inflammation and Depression

In this model, depression is a non-specific fever that tells us little about what is actually causing the body to react and protect itself in this way. The body is "hot" and we need to understand why. Depressive symptoms are the manifestation of many downstream effects on hormones and neurotransmitters, but if we swim up to the source, we will find a river of inflammatory markers coursing by.

The source itself may be singularly or multiply-focused as stress, dietary, and toxic exposures, and infection, as we will discuss here. As explored in the medical literature,1 inflammation appears to be a highly relevant determinant of depressive symptoms such as flat mood, slowed thinking, avoidance, alterations in perception, and metabolic changes. We understand this relationship based on:

Biomarkers  

Psychiatrists have longed to be legitimized in their role as science-based physicians. Despite this, there are no diagnostic tests that are validated for the assessment of psychiatric pathology. In the practice of functional medicine, however, the diagnosis becomes secondary to the individual's personalized interplay of factors and the "biomarkers" that can light the way toward healing.

Cytokines in the blood, or inflammatory messengers, such as CRP, IL-1, IL-6, and TNF-alpha have taken the stage as predictive2 and linearly3 correlative with depression. 

Researchers have validated4 that, in melancholic depression, bipolar disorder, and postpartum depression, white blood cells called monocytes express pro-inflammatory genes leading to secretion of cytokines, while simultaneously leading to decreased cortisol sensitivity, the body's stress hormone and inflammatory buffer – a feedforward cycle.

Once triggered in the body, these inflammatory agents transfer information to the nervous system, typically through stimulation of major nerves such as the vagus, which connects5 the gut and brain. Specialized cells called microglia in the brain represent the brain's immune hubs and are activated in inflammatory states.

In activated microglia, an enzyme called IDO (indoleamine 2 3-dioxygenase) has been shown6 to direct tryptophan away from the production of serotonin and melatonin and towards the production of an NMDA agonist called quinolinic acid that may be responsible for symptoms of anxiety and agitation.

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

Animal Models

While an animal model of depression may seem like an absurd idea, currently, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), an endotoxin produced by gram-negative bacteria, is used to induce these clinical models in rodents.

Mice that lack IL1-B7 (a cytokine that mediates inflammatory response), however, are protected against these LPS-mediated "depressive symptoms" (i.e., as demonstrated by loss of interest in sugar water), supporting the critical role of inflammatory messengers in the depressogenic cascade.

Pharmacology

One of the most predictable side effects of interferon therapy for Hepatitis C is depression. In fact, 45 percent of patients develop depression8 with interferon treatment, which appears to be related to elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF.

A number of trials have examined the role of anti-inflammatory agents in the treatment of depression. In one recent trial,9 a subset of patients resistant to antidepressant treatment and identified by serum markers of inflammation, most notably C-reactive protein >3mg/L, were responsive to treatment with the TNF-alpha antagonist (anti-inflammatory) infliximab (Remicade).

The pain-killer celecoxib (Celebrex) has been found in randomized, placebo-controlled trials10 to be superior to placebo in antidepressant augmentation. In the setting of psoriasis treatment with etanercept (Enbrel), mood was improved11 independent of psoriatic relief.

There has even been suggestion that the mechanism of action of antidepressants is through an anti-inflammatory effect, particularly on IL6. However, these observational studies have been largely inconclusive.12

The Gut-Brain Dance

What is driving this inflammation? How does it get kicked off? And how does it induce depression? With the limited clinical applications and revelations that came with the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2002, we have begun to focus on where we have outsourced our physiologic functions.

The microbiome has become an important consideration, and particularly, the gut, which houses at least 10 times as many human cells as there are in our bodies, and 150 times as many genes as are in our genome. These microbes control many vital operations and are responsible for synthesis of neuroactive and nutritional compounds, for immune modulation, and for inflammatory signaling.

Our greatest interface with the environment is the 70+ percent of your immune system housed in your gut wall. Disturbances in gut microbiota, autoimmunity, head injury, childbirth, and infection can all trigger systemic inflammation. This immune activity takes the form of a TH1 dominant cellular response in which macrophages produce ILI, IL6, and TNFalpha, all of which have been shown to be elevated in the setting of depression.

The communication between our guts and brains appears to rely, in part, on the vagus nerve, and is bidirectional in nature as reported in this 12-year prospective study13 that looked at relationships between gut problems like irritable bowel disease, anxiety, and depression.  

The stage is set for the microbiome when we descend the vaginal canal and are breastfed. Unfortunately, the rate of cesarean sections doubled from 1990-2008, comprising one-third of US births. Maternal inflammatory states and diseases such as type 1 diabetes can increase risk of surgical birth, as can interventions such as ultrasound, 14 monitoring, and the epidural.15 Without vaginal transfer of mom's flora, the baby misses out on the most important inoculation.

A study16 of 24 Canadian babies at four months demonstrated that elective section resulted in the most diminished bacterial diversity. Surgically born babies had significantly less Bacteroides and Escherichia-Shigella species. In this cohort, formula-fed babies had overrepresentation of Clostridium difficile, Peptostreptococcaceae, and Verrucomicrobiaceae. Excitingly, research is being done on "vaginal swabs" for inoculation in the setting of C-section.17

The Importance of Breast Milk

In our nationwide departure from physiologic birth and breastfeeding, less than one-quarter of women can be expected to be nursing by 12 months postpartum. Breast milk18 contains unique nutrients for beneficial bacteria called oligosaccharides, but importantly, it is the vital follow up to the mother's vaginal flora, designed to support the baby's immune system during its infancy marked by an "anti-inflammatory" phenotype. During these first few months, the baby relies on the mother's breast milk to help inform its immune system of what is dangerous.

Over the course of lactation beginning with colostrum, the makeup of these bacteria and growth factors changes.19 A recent study20 confirms that mom's gut bacteria are vertically transferred through breast milk and that this "entero-mammary" connection is what helps to develop the baby's immune system. This is the beginning of natural immunity, which is so much more complex than vaccinologists would have you believe.

One of the many problems with formula is the glaring omission of these microbes leaving the baby susceptible to colonization by inappropriate strains, suboptimal diversity, and stimulation of the immune system by many of the toxic compounds in this synthetic food. In fact, infants fed breast milk had an anti-inflammatory cytokine milieu throughout infancy.21 Here22 is a stunning analysis of formula shortcomings.

Interestingly, this rat study23 demonstrated that the types of bacteria in the guts of these rat pups determined their response to stress on a physiologic level, and that it was more difficult to correct later in their rat-infancy. The gut bacteria influenced behavior and brain growth in these animals. I speak about some of the impediments to adequate milk supply here,24 but formula feeding25 in the hospital and "supplementation" is a major offender.

Gluten Promotes Depression

Often processed with genetically modified oils in high glycemic foods, gluten is a brain and body poison. Its havoc begins in the gut, where it promotes intestinal permeability by upregulating a compound called zonulin. Local gut inflammation (often lectin-induced) precedes more systemic inflammatory responses accompanied by antibodies to the different components of gluten (gliadin and glutenin), complexes with enzymes called transglutaminase, and to tissue in the brain, gut, and thyroid through a process called molecular mimicry.

The neurologic effects of gluten intolerance include depression, seizures, headaches, multiple sclerosis/demyelination, anxiety, ADHD, ataxia, neuropathy as discussed here and here. Independent of the brain effects already discussed, gliadin peptides may travel through the blood stream and can stimulate opiate receptors in the brain, resulting in their being termed gliadorphins, accounting for temporary withdrawal symptoms! Get the full scoop in my anti-gluten missive.

The Impact of Unnatural Foods: GMOs

In the past year, there has been an explosion of terrifying information on the impact of herbicides like Monsanto's Roundup (glyphosate) on our gut microbiome. As it turns out, this chemical is very active in slaughtering beneficial bugs in your intestines via its impact on the "shikimate pathway" previously assumed not to exist in humans.

By imbalancing this flora, pesticides/herbicides also disrupt the production of essential amino acids like tryptophan, a serotonin precursor, and promote production of p-cresol, a compound that interferes with metabolism of other "xenobiotics" or environmental chemicals, making the individual more vulnerable to their toxic effects. Even vitamin D3 activation in the liver may be negatively impacted by glyphosate's effect on liver enzymes, potentially explaining epidemic levels of deficiency.

We also have evidence26 that insecticidal toxins such as “Bt” are transferred into the blood of pregnant women and their fetuses, and that glyphosate herbicide transfers to breast milk. Delve27 into this fascinating analysis of what we are learning about these chemicals in our food supply. Genetic modification of foods, in addition to guaranteeing exposure to pest and herbicides, confer risks of gene transference to human gut bacteria, even after a singular exposure.

The Hazards of NSAIDs

Most people think of ibuprofen as an innocuous, over–the-counter comfort for aches and pains. Some are so lulled into a sense of safety and efficacy, that they keep these pills in their purses and nightstands for even daily use. In addition to other known risks, its effects on the small and large intestine may be best summarized by this statement:28

"The initial biochemical local sub-cellular damage is due to the entrance of the usually acidic NSAID into the cell via damage of the brush border cell membrane and disruption of the mitochondrial process of oxidative phosphorylation, with consequent ATP deficiency"

For anyone who recognizes the role of brush border integrity and energy production in health, this is quite a damning assertion. We need the gut lining to keep the gut contents away from the blood stream. Resulting increases in permeability allow for luminal factors (intestinal contents) to access the immune system and to set off autoimmune and inflammatory processes. More recent evidence29 suggests that unbalanced gut bacteria set the stage for NSAID-induced permeability through neutrophil stimulation. These changes occur within three to six months. There are no ways to mitigate these negative effects, which argues for getting to the root of why one is experiencing pain and resolving it through lifestyle change rather than suppressing it with medications that will whack-a-mole their way to new, chronic, and potentially more debilitating symptoms.

The Role of Stress

The monoamine hypothesis of depression has very little to say about brain/hormone interplay. The majority of studies30suggest that depression is associated with high cortisol states, and potentially from responses of this stress-system that were ingrained at birth or before. In the context of inflammation, however, cortisol, prolactin, and sex hormones are often dysregulated; in this model, depression is thought to represent a hypercortisolemic state which may result from elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines. 

Peripheral glucocorticoid resistance may exacerbate this elevation in cortisol (by interfering with feedback mechanisms) and immune response, simultaneously, which would also drive changes in sex hormones progesterone, insulin, and androgens31 ultimately affecting mood states. Sleep is often compromised in states of stress, and sleep difficulties can also beget stress. The inflammatory effects of insufficient sleep were quantified in a study32 that deprived participants of sleep (just under six hours) for one week resulting in expression of genes associated with oxidative stress and inflammation.

How to Resolve It—You Feel What You Eat

Restoring optimal gut flora requires a variety of interventions, but beginning with a grain- and dairy-free diet, eliminating sugar, and genetically modified foods is a good place to start. Remember the role of LPS in depression? How depressive patients are more likely to have intestinal permeability allowing for toxic intestinal agents to circulate in their bodies? A traditional/ancestral diet may be an important modulator, according to Selhub et al. who state:33

"Traditional dietary practices have completely divergent effects of blood LPS levels; significant reductions (38%) have been noted after a one-month adherence to a prudent (traditional) diet, while the Western diet provokes LPS elevations."

For some, a FODMAPs diet may be indicated, and for others, a GAPs or Specific Carbohydrate Diet. This dietary approach will also confer the insulin stabilizing benefits of a high-fat, slower burning metabolic shift which protects cortisol, thyroid, and sex hormones. Increasing natural fats may also serve to protect the 60 percent lipid content of the central nervous system, precursors to hormones, and cell membrane composition while stabilizing blood sugar. I discuss three changes to make here.34

Herbs and spices may also play a palliative role in depression through their anti-inflammatory effects. Curcumin, a polyphenol in the Indian spice turmeric with elaborate anti-inflammatory mechanisms was recently found to be as effective as Prozac in small a randomized study I discuss here.35 Fermented foods, a part of traditional cultural diets, would also play a beneficial role, in this paradigm of microbiome-oriented, diet-supported mental health in ways stated here:36

"'This could manifest, behaviorally, via magnified antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, reduction of intestinal permeability and the detrimental effects of LPS, improved glycemic control, positive influence on nutritional status (and therefore neurotransmission and neuropeptide production), direct production of GABA, and other bioactive chemicals, as well as a direct role in gut-to-brain communication via a beneficial shift in the intestinal microbiota itself.' In this way, we use bacteria to modify our own bacteria and subsequently dampen inflammatory signals."

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) offers an excellent guide to pesticide-free shopping,37 and a guide38 to avoiding genetically modified foods.

Psychobiotics

In a brilliant review entitled "Psychobiotics: A Novel Class of Psychotropic," Dinan et al tour us through the role of probiotics (therapeutic live organisms ingested as a supplement or as part of a fermented food) in mental health. Acknowledging the data for inflammatory cytokines influencing mood states, and the role of gut bacteria in triggering these cytokines, they review the available literature supporting antidepressant effects of probiotics. There is speculation that anti-inflammatory signaling through IL-10 may underpin probiotic efficacy.

For example, "germ-free" mice exposed to stress experienced normalization of their cortisol response after inoculation with Bifidus infantis. In a related experiment testing the stress of maternal separation, adult rodent behavior was normalized with this inoculation despite persistent cortisol changes. Lactobacilli, on the other hand, improved both parameters. In human adults with irritable bowel syndrome, depression and anxiety symptoms improved with administration of Bifidus, and in the setting of chronic fatigue, subjects experienced improvement in anxiety with Lactobacillus casei, relative to placebo. 

In a recent double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized study, subjects receiving B. longum and L. helveticus for 30 days experienced improvement on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, with decrease in urinary free cortisol. A probiotic-containing yogurt was also found to improve mood within 20 days in elderly volunteers. Intriguingly, a three-arm study39 looked at women consuming a fermented milk beverage three times a day vs milk vs nothing, found that those in the probiotic group had MRI-based changes related to midbrain emotional processing.

The Benefits of Meditation

Activating the relaxation nervous system – the one that allows us to "rest and digest" – is an effective means of easing symptoms and restoring an anti-inflammatory state. You can start with something as simple as listening to a guided meditation for several minutes a day and working up to 20 minutes twice a day for a therapeutic effect.

The interconnectedness of your gut, brain, immune, and hormonal systems is impossible to unwind. Until we begin to appreciate this complex relationship, we will not be able to prevent or intervene effectively in depression, slated to become the second-leading cause of disability in this country, within the decade. For true healing, and meaningful prevention, take steps every day toward sending your body the message that it is not being attacked, it is not in danger, and it is well nourished, well supported, and calm.

As a society, we can begin to think about protecting the microbiome by demedicalizing birth and infant nutrition, and as individuls, by avoiding antibiotics, NSAIDs, grains, genetically modified and non-organic food. Promising interventions for depression from a gut-brain perspective include probiotics, fermented foods as part of a high natural fat diet, and relaxation response for optimal digestion, anti-inflammatory and insulin sensitizing effects. No antidepressant medication required!

www.kellybroganmd.com

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The Aftermath of Daylight Saving Time PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

Daylight Saving Time (DST), the practice of moving clocks ahead one hour in the summer months and returning them back an hour in the winter, was first implemented by Germany during World War I, as a way to conserve electricity.

The idea, however, dates back to William Willett, an Englishman who campaigned for “summer time” in the early 1900s so that people would have more time to be out in the sunlight – though the British government was not interested.

It wasn’t until 1918 that Daylight Saving came to the US, although it was repealed a short time later, in 1919 (largely due to lobbying from the agricultural industry, whose schedules were unproductively disrupted). As reported by History:1

Rather than rural interests, it has been urban entities such as retail outlets and recreational businesses that have championed daylight saving over the decades.”

After the 1919 repeal, there was chaos in the US, with some cities and states continuing to shift their clocks while others did not. In 1966, the Uniform Time Act was passed, which put into place the DST standard used in the US today (although certain states, namely Hawaii and Arizona, opt out).

Since the beginning, DST has been surrounded by controversy, with many arguing against it even to this day. There is reason to believe that not only does DST not conserve energy, but it may actually be putting the health of modern-day humans at risk.

Daylight Saving Time Linked to Increased Risk of Heart Attacks

The first Monday after Daylight Saving Time begins each March is met with grumbles across the US, as most lose one precious hour of sleep. This might seem inconsequential, but research is mounting showing that even slight changes to your circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle) can be detrimental to your health… yes, even tweaking it by just one hour.

Recent research presented at the annual scientific sessions of the American College of Cardiology revealed that the risk of having a heart attack on the Monday following DST rose by 25 percent compared to other Mondays.

At the end of the summer, when clocks are turned back one hour so that people get an extra hour of sleep, the risk of heart attack fell by 21 percent.2 Past research has similarly shown that the disruption to sleep schedules triggered by DST may pose a risk to your heart:

  • Research published in the March 2013 edition of the American Journal of Cardiology showed a small rise in heart attack rates the Sunday following the shift to DST, along with a small tick downward the Sunday following the change back to standard time.3
  • A 2012 University of Alabama study found that heart attacks increased by 10 percent on the Monday and Tuesday following the time change to DST. Heart attacks again decreased by 10 percent on the first Monday and Tuesday after clocks are switched back in the fall.4
  • A 2008 Swedish study found your chances of having a heart attack increase in the first three weekdays after the switch to DST, and decrease after you set your clock back to standard time in the fall. Heart attacks increase by five percent the first Monday after the time change, and 10 percent on Tuesday.5

Traffic Accidents, Suicides, and Workplace Injuries Also Rise After DST

DST actually leads to a host of issues for health and personal safety. One Washington University neuroscientist told CBS News that adjusting clocks forward one hour corresponds with a significant increase in traffic accidents and heart attacks6 over the next two to three days.7

One study also found that the spring transition, which causes a phase advance, is particularly hard on the average person’s sleep-wake cycle,8 and while it’s generally thought that the loss of one hour of sleep on the night of the change is inconsequential, research suggests otherwise. According to a report in Sleep Medicine Reviews:9

“…data suggests that increased sleep fragmentation and sleep latency present a cumulative effect of sleep loss [following the spring transition], at least across the following week, perhaps longer.

The autumn transition is often popularized as a gain of 1 h[our] of sleep but there is little evidence of extra sleep on that night. The cumulative effect of five consecutive days of earlier rise times following the autumn change again suggests a net loss of sleep across the week.

Indirect evidence of an increase in traffic accident rates, and change in health and regulatory behaviors which may be related to sleep disruption suggest that adjustment to daylight saving time is neither immediate nor without consequence.”

Case in point, research also shows that daylight saving time leads to increases in workplace injuries (frequency and severity)10 as well as delays in reaction time that affect performance.11 Additionally:

  • Suicides: Suicide rates for males rise in the weeks following the start of DST.12
  • Automobile Accidents: Traffic accidents increase by eight percent on the Monday following the changeover to DST.13 And fatal alcohol-related traffic accidents increase for the first week after setting the clocks ahead.14 Workplace accidents and injuries increase by 5.7 percent, and 67.6 percent more workdays are lost as a result of injuries following the change to DST.15
  • Productivity and Quality of Life: People are less productive once DST is implemented. Till Roenneberg, a Russian chronobiologist, reports that most people show “drastically decreased productivity,” decreased quality of life, increased illness, and are “just plain tired” following the switch to DST.16

Is Tweaking Your Sleep-Wake Cycle by One Hour Really That Big of a Deal?

Disruptions to sleep tend to cascade outward throughout your entire body. There’s a lot we still don’t know, but increasingly more that we do – and one hour really does make a difference.

Research has shown, for instance, that when participants cut their sleep from 7.5 to 6.5 hours a night there were increases in the expression of genes associated with inflammation, immune excitability, diabetes, cancer risk, and stress.17 In other words, getting just one hour less sleep a night may raise your risk of multiple chronic diseases. Interrupted or impaired sleep can also:

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

Daylight Saving Time Isn’t Really ‘Saving’ Anything

 

The health risks might be worth it if you could prove that Daylight Saving Time was resulting in major gains elsewhere, such as energy conservation. But the truth is, the energy conservation touted when DST became a national standard likely no longer apply because, in the 21st century, most people are not spending that extra daylight hour outside in the sunshine – they’re spending it indoors where it’s cool.

The irony is that the air conditioner costs far more energy to run than do the lights…The fact is, Daylight Saving Time is not actually saving anything… more accurately, we are sacrificing our health and safety due to this outdated and impractical time change. As reported by History:18

“Dating back to Willett, daylight saving advocates have touted energy conservation as an economic benefit. A U.S. Department of Transportation study in the 1970s concluded that total electricity savings associated with daylight saving time amounted to about 1 percent in the spring and fall months.

As air conditioning has become more widespread, however, more recent studies have found that cost savings on lighting are more than offset by greater cooling expenses. University of California Santa Barbara economists calculated that Indiana’s move to statewide daylight saving time in 2006 led to a 1-percent rise in residential electricity use through additional demand for air conditioning on summer evenings and heating in early spring and late fall mornings. Some also argue that increased recreational activity during daylight saving results in greater gasoline consumption.”

How to Counteract the Effects of Daylight Saving Time (And Other Disruptions to Your Circadian Rhythm)

Small shifts in circadian timing occur all the time, not only due to Daylight Saving Time. In the 21st century, many people ignore their body's internal clocks, either by necessity (working the night shift or remotely with co-workers across the globe) or choice (staying up late surfing the Web or watching TV).

People are increasingly pushing the limits of their body clocks, getting up early and staying up late for a myriad of reasons. These reasons, it turns out, may not be worth it when it comes to your long-term health. Making small adjustments to your daily routine and sleeping area can go a long way to ensure uninterrupted, restful sleep and, thereby, better health. I suggest you read through my full set of 33 healthy sleep guidelines for all of the details, but to start, consider implementing the following changes:

  • Avoid watching TV or using your computer in the evening, at least an hour or so before going to bed. These devices emit blue light, which tricks your brain into thinking it's still daytime. Normally, your brain starts secreting melatonin between 9 and 10 pm, and these devices emit light that may stifle that process. Even the American Medical Association now states:19
  • Make sure you get BRIGHT sun exposure regularly. Your pineal gland produces melatonin roughly in approximation to the contrast of bright sun exposure in the day and complete darkness at night. If you are in darkness all day long, it can't appreciate the difference and will not optimize your melatonin production.
  • Sleep in complete darkness, or as close to it as possible. Even the slightest bit of light in your bedroom can disrupt your body’s clock and your pineal gland's melatonin production. Even the tiniest glow from your clock radio could be interfering with your sleep, so cover your radio up at night or get rid of it altogether. Move all electrical devices at least three feet away from your bed. You may want to cover your windows with drapes or blackout shades.
  • Install a low-wattage yellow, orange, or red light bulb if you need a source of light for navigation at night. Light in these bandwidths does not shut down melatonin production in the way that white and blue bandwidth light does. Salt lamps are handy for this purpose.
  • Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees F. Many people keep their homes too warm (particularly their upstairs bedrooms). Studies show that the optimal room temperature for sleep is between 60 to 68 degrees.
  • Take a hot bath 90 to 120 minutes before bedtime. This increases your core body temperature, and when you get out of the bath it abruptly drops, signaling your body that you are ready to sleep.
  • Avoid using loud alarm clocks. Being jolted awake each morning can be very stressful. If you are regularly getting enough sleep, you might not even need an alarm.
  • Get some sun in the morning, if possible. Your circadian system needs bright light to reset itself. Ten to 15 minutes of morning sunlight will send a strong message to your internal clock that day has arrived, making it less likely to be confused by weaker light signals during the night. More sunlight exposure is required as you age.
  • Be mindful of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in your bedroom. EMFs can disrupt your pineal gland and its melatonin production, and may have other negative biological effects as well. A gauss meter is required if you want to measure EMF levels in various areas of your home.

 

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Juicing: How Healthy Is It? PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

If you ever feel like it’s difficult to eat enough veggies, making a small investment in a high-quality juicer is one of the best steps you can take for your health. Raw juice can be likened to a "living broth," as it is teeming with micronutrients that many people are lacking.

When you drink fresh-made green juice, it is almost like receiving an intravenous infusion of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes because they go straight into your system without having to be broken down.

Drinking your juice first thing in the morning can give you a natural energy boost without resorting to stimulants like coffee. Since the juice is already in an easily digestible form, it can help revitalize your energy levels within as little as 20 minutes… and this is only the beginning of its benefits.

Three Reasons Why Juicing Is a Phenomenal Health Habit

There are three main reasons why you will want to consider incorporating vegetable juicing into your optimal health program:

  1. Juicing helps you absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. This is important because most of us have impaired digestion as a result of making less-than-optimal food choices over many years. This limits your body's ability to absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. Juicing will help to "pre-digest" them for you, so you will receive most of the nutrition, rather than having it go down the toilet.
  2. Juicing allows you to consume a healthier amount of vegetables in an efficient manner. Virtually every health authority recommends that we get six to eight servings of vegetables and fruits per day and very few of us actually get that. Juicing is an easy way to virtually guarantee that you will reach your daily target for vegetables.
  3. You can add a wider variety of vegetables in your diet. Many people eat the same vegetable salads or side dishes every day. This violates the principle of regular food rotation and increases your chance of developing an allergy to a certain food.
  4. Plus, it limits the number of different phytochemicals in your diet, as each vegetable will offer unique benefits. With juicing, you can juice a wide variety of vegetables that you may not normally enjoy eating whole.

Additionally, juicing can help:

  • Promote weight loss. In one study, adults who drank at least eight ounces of vegetable juice as part of a diet lost four pounds over 12 weeks, while those who followed the same diet but did not drink the juice lost only one pound. The vegetable juice drinkers also significantly increased their intake of vitamin C and potassium, while decreasing their overall carbohydrate intake.
  • Boost your immune system by supercharging it with concentrated phytochemicals. Raw juice also contains biophotonic light energy, which can help revitalize your body.
  • Increase your energy. When your body has an abundance of the nutrients it needs, and your pH is optimally balanced, you feel energized. Since it can be utilized by your body immediately, those who juice report feeling the "kick" of energy almost instantly.
  • Support your brain health. People who drank juices (fruit and vegetable) more than three times per week, compared to less than once a week, were 76 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease, according to the Kame Project.1

Juice Cleanses: Even Kids Are Doing Them

Juice cleanses are the latest health fad, with juice bars and prepackaged juice cleanses now widely available. There is certainly a case to be made for short (or even lengthier) juice fasts, in which you drink only fresh vegetable juice for a period of one to several days.

This is typically done for cleansing purposes or to treat certain health conditions, and should only be done under the guidance of a natural health care practitioner if you intend to go on a longer juice fast. Some people also drink green juices as part of their intermittent fasting regimens.

Time Magazine recently reported that even children are jumping on the juice cleanse bandwagon, and at least one company markets a cleanse specifically for children for about $100.2 Those geared toward adults can be even costlier – upwards of $600 for a five-day cleanse.

I am not opposed to juice cleanses under the right circumstances, but children are generally not the best candidates, as their bodies require healthy fats and proteins that are missing from fresh juices. Further, you needn’t spend hundreds of dollars on a fancy juice cleanse – it’s easy to make your own juice at home for a fraction of that cost, and it’s going to be fresher, too.

My philosophy regarding juicing is to view it as a regular part of your diet, not just a fad that you engage in once or twice a year. Drinking green juice every day is going to give you far more benefits than a sporadic three-day cleanse will. Kids, too, can enjoy vegetable juice on a daily basis, either as a beverage with a meal or as a snack (ideally along with a source of healthful fat to ensure all those fat-soluble nutrients get absorbed).

Focus on Green Juice, Not Fruit Juice

This is an important distinction to make because, if your juice contains too many fruits, it will be both higher in calories and sugar (fructose). You can add in an apple, a kiwi, or a handful of berries to give your juice flavor, but the bulk of it should come from organic, green veggies – spinach, celery, kale, Swiss chard, etc. Unfortunately, green juice has a stigma for tasting bad and many people avoid it simply because of its color. A recent survey by Jamba Juice even revealed that 28 percent of US adults “fear the look” of green juice and 32 percent said green juice is their least favorite type of juice.3 This negative reputation persisted despite the fact that 32 percent said they believe green juice is the healthiest option.

It may take some getting used to, but green juice actually has a very pleasant flavor, and you can tweak it to fit your taste. If you’re new to juicing, you can start with more mild-tasting veggies, like celery and cucumbers. From there you can work your way up to red leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, spinach, and escarole, along with parsley and cilantro. Greens like kale, collard, dandelion, and mustard greens are quite bitter, so you’ll want to start slowly and add just a few leaves at a time. If you would like to make your juice taste a bit more palatable, especially in the beginning, you can also add these elements:

  • Limes and lemons: You can add one half to a whole lime or lemon for every quart of juice. You can actually juice the skin if you want to avoid the hassle of peeling them. Limes work well to cut bitter flavors.
  • Cranberries: You can also add some cranberries if you enjoy them. Limit the cranberries to about four ounces per pint of juice.
  • Fresh ginger: This is an excellent addition if you enjoy the taste. It gives your juice a little "kick"!

What Type of Juicer Works Best?

High-speed blenders like Vita Mix are great for green smoothies, but they are not the best juicers. You have a world of options when it comes to actual juicers, starting below $100 on the low end. You start getting into better quality juicers around $150. There are a number of different types of juicers, from fast-spinning centrifugal juicers to slow-moving masticating juicers. The slower the juice is extracted, the more nutrients are preserved. If you are new to juicing, I recommend a mid-priced juicer. The cheap centrifugal juicers (like the Juiceman) break easily, produce low-quality juice, and are very loud, which may contribute to hearing loss.

They also don't last very long. My favorite are the single gear juicers, which are relatively fast, less expensive and easier to clean than more expensive juicers like twin gears or even the $2,000 Norwalk juicers. Here is my current favorite juicer. When looking at your options, remember to evaluate the cleanup required, as this could influence your willingness to use it every day. As the “juice lady” Cherie Calbom says, "In the end, the best juicer is the one you'll actually use."

Juicing Tips to Get You Started

Once you get into the habit of juicing, you’ll find that you’ll look forward to your green juice and even miss it if you skip a day. You can find a detailed guide to juicing here, but to get started, you need a good recipe -- something that tastes great, or else you'll likely quit before you've really gotten started.

"Add in some dark greens because that's so wonderful for your health," Cherie suggests. "I use coloreds and Swiss chard, kale, parsley. I combine that with cucumber and celery. But if you've never juiced before, then you want to add in some flavorful things; a little bit of carrot. Some lemon is wonderful. It really improves the taste. I add lemon to almost everything I make."

I strongly recommend using organic vegetables as much as possible, and drinking it shortly after you make it. Vegetable juice is highly perishable so it's best to drink all of your juice immediately. However, if you're careful, you can store it for up to 24 hours with only moderate nutritional decline. This is really helpful if you are bringing your juice to work with you so you can consume it during the day. To properly store your juice:

  • Put your juice in a glass jar with an airtight lid and fill it to the very top. There should be a minimum amount of air in the jar as the oxygen in air (air is about 20 percent oxygen) will "oxidize" and damage the juice.
  • For even better storage, consider purchasing a food vacuum pump like Food Saver with a Ball jar attachment. You can pour your juice into a mason jar and put the lid on and use the Food Saver to suck out the air in the jar to vacuum pack it. This will remove most of the oxygen that will damage the juice.
  • Immediately store it in the fridge and consume it when you are ready. It is best to drink it as soon as possible and in any case within 24 hours of juicing.

Most people juice in the morning, but if that does not work out well for your schedule, please feel free to choose whatever meal works best for your lifestyle.


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New Documentary “Ingredients” Looks at the Local Food Movement PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

The American food system is nearing a state of crisis. Ingredients is a documentary that explores the failings of the industrial food model, and how the local food movement is gaining momentum as a far better alternative. The film presents a refreshing look at food from the standpoint of sustainability, safety, flavor, nutrition, culture, and community.

This documentary takes us across the US from the urban food deserts of Harlem to the biodynamic farms of the Hudson River and Willamette Valleys, and into the kitchens of several celebrated chefs—culinary game-changers who are teaching us all how to eat better.

The current system, focused on cheap convenience foods, is costing Americans dearly. Most Westerners have lost their primal connection to food. Mealtimes used to be savored and shared with others.

Food preparation is now typically viewed as a chore that interferes with other "more important" activities. This detachment from food represents a cultural "disconnect" between humans and the earth, to the detriment of both. It's time for radical changes to our modern food paradigm, which is the subject of this uplifting documentary.

The Exorbitant Cost of 'Cheap Food'

Americans have become dependent on cheap convenience foods that can be "prepared" in five minutes or less—or without taking both hands off the steering wheel. More than 17,000 new processed food products are introduced each year. Bright, catchy packaging conceals foods laden with chemicals, unhealthful fats, and high fructose corn syrup, all of which contribute to today's skyrocketing rates of obesity and illness, especially among our youth.

Americans spend less on food than any other industrialized nation—an average of $151 per week, which amounts to less than seven percent of their income. How can such a low value be placed on something so important for your health and longevity?

The US beef industry has managed to cut its prices in half since 1960. Unfortunately, cheap food contains cheap and toxic ingredients... and you get what you pay for. Food imports have increased four-fold over the past decade, overwhelming the FDA with inspections. Of the 200,000 shipments from China in 2006, less than two percent were sampled for quality and safety.

"Cheap food" isn't cheap when you consider all of the hidden costs associated with it. You make your first payment at the grocery store—just consider this your down payment, because you may be paying for it FIVE more times!

  1. Subsidies: At tax time, you pay for "cheap food" a second time with your contribution to agricultural subsidies. Processed food is mostly corn, canola, soy, rice, wheat, and sugar. These products (along with cotton) account for 98 percent of subsidies.
  2. Foodborne Illnesses: You may pay for cheap food a third time if you visit your doctor as a result of foodborne illnesses. CDC estimates that foodborne illnesses such as E. coli and salmonella cause 5,200 deaths each year in the US. Mass scale operations are riddled with quality control problems, leading to outbreaks of illness and food recalls.
  3. Chronic Disease: You pay for it a fourth time if you return to your doctor later for a chronic illness—heart disease, obesity, diabetes, stroke, and cancer—consider these "foodborne" illnesses that just take a little longer to manifest. According to CDC, one in three children born in the year 2000 will develop type 2 diabetes.
  4. Environment: As soon as the factory farmer files for bankruptcy and leaves, you pay for your food a fifth time. This is what often happens when they are asked to clean up their land—a monumental expense that often results in bankruptcy, sticking the rest of us with the tab.
  5. Energy: The sixth time is when you pay your fuel bill. Processed foods and imported foods have an extremely large energy footprint. One-fifth of US fossil fuel consumption goes to the growing, packaging, and transporting of food.

CAFOs: Breeding Grounds for Disease

Central to the modern industrial food system are CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations) and monoculture. These massive food operations benefit no one and are devastating to land and animals.

Today, livestock and poultry are typically reared in cages in tightly cramped quarters, with their feed consisting of grains, primarily genetically engineered corn and soy, instead of biologically appropriate grasses.

These animals are literally imprisoned and often tortured by unhealthy, unsanitary, and unconscionably cruel conditions. To prevent the inevitable spread of disease from stress, overcrowding, and poor nutrition, animals are fed antibiotics and other veterinary drugs. CAFOs contribute more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere than the entire global transportation industry.

Meat products from CAFOs raise your risk for getting sick. Think about it—if you buy a pound of standard grocery store ground beef, you're buying a composite of thousands of cows. So, if any of those cows had an E. coli infection, then it's spread throughout an enormous batch of meat widely distributed across the country—or world. This is a problem of scale and density.

By contrast, many smaller scale farms naturally keep parasite levels minimal by having lower livestock density and increased diversity. Animals are much less likely to get sick as they rotate through grazing pastures.

Monoculture Destroys Soil and Invites GE Crops

Monoculture (or monocropping) refers to the agricultural practice of growing a single crop year after year on large expanses of land, without crop rotation. Corn, soybeans, wheat, and to some degree rice, are the most common crops grown with monocropping techniques.

Monocropping encourages the use of GE seeds, requires heavy pesticide and herbicide use, and is extremely destructive to the soil, as well as to biological diversity. GE crops and food products pose a threat to your health and ability to resist disease, soil strength, and the global food supply. The earth's soil is now depleting at more than 13 percent the rate it can be replaced due to our chemical-based agriculture system.

Today, 92.5 percent of US acreage is devoted to food animals or their feed, with only 7.5 percent devoted to food that goes directly to feeding human beings. Massive monoculture operations have led to the extinction of 75 percent of the world's crop varieties over the last century.

It is important to note that, just because a farm is "organic" does not mean it is necessarily environmentally friendly and sustainable. Some larger organic farms still employ monoculture, much like a conventional field. Many do not rotate crops and use insect sprays on a massive scale. Similarly, just because a farm is small and local does not imply that it necessarily uses sustainable agricultural practices. These are important distinctions, making it that much more important for you to get to know your farmers personally.

Farmers Markets and Produce Stands Are Sprouting Up Everywhere



Total Video Length: 48:03
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Given the above, you can certainly see how our existing food system is not only unhealthy, but unsustainable. But there IS a better way. We must shift our food sourcing away from multinational corporations and back to smaller local farms, which really amounts to returning to a pre-industrial food system. This does not mean our food system must be "low-tech."

Local farms employing sustainable and high-performance farming techniques, such as biological farming, offer a far superior option, bringing together the best of science and nature. High-tech (but still natural) farming increases soil's health and water-holding capacity, as well as improving the flavor and nutrient value of our food.

According to the Biodynamics Association, biodynamics1 is "a spiritual-ethical-ecological approach to agriculture, food production, and nutrition." Biodynamic farming works in balance with the cycles of nature. For example, crops are planted and harvested in accordance with phases of the moon that actually enhance crop quality and balance within the ecosystem.

The recent surge of farmer's markets and food co-ops is evidence of the growing movement in this overall direction—also known as the "local food movement." People are reestablishing their passion for food and connection with nature. Heirloom vegetables, normally missing from supermarkets, are being reintroduced. Seeds are being saved and cataloged. A new generation of young farmers is being supported, which reinvigorates local economies. According to Grist, the number of farmers' markets has steadily increased over the past 18 years, with the growth curve steepening since about 2008.2

Local Farmers Are Not Without Their Challenges

In order for local farms to grow in number, land must be available near cities. But land is disappearing at an alarming rate—about one million acres per year. Local farmers, and the people fighting on their behalf, find themselves butting up against laws governing urban growth boundaries, which desperately need revision. And these arguments between farmers and land developers will only intensify as our food crisis worsens.

One way you can help is to support CSAs in your area (Community Supported Agriculture programs). CSAs operate through the commitment of individuals who buy annual shares in advance of the growing season in exchange for regularly scheduled deliveries of fresh local produce. These pre-paid shares help cover farmers' operational costs and relieve some of the pressure on these smaller farms to market their produce during the busy growing season.

Real Food Is Slow Food

Slow Food USA3 has a few tips to help you slow down and build your relationship with real food, which I have summarized below. This is not much different from what I have been advocating for years—returning to a whole food diet and eliminating processed foods.

  • Buy, cook, and eat real food with whole ingredients. Avoid processed food with long ingredient lists and GE ingredients.
  • When selecting meat, dairy, and poultry, choose grass-fed and free-range.
  • Reconnect with your food. Whenever possible, learn the story behind it and meet the people who grow it. Familiarize yourself with your local or regional food history, cultural dishes, and seasonal specialties. Shop at a farmers' market, visit a farm, or buy into a CSA program.
  • Cook and eat with others—not just family and friends. Bring new people and perspectives to the table. Help your children build a relationship with and an appreciation for real food.
  • Grow some of your own food! Start in your backyard, community garden or windowsill. Or, join a community garden and grow food with others. Practice composting.

NOW: Find and Support Your Local Farmers!

I believe the movement toward local, sustainable food is vitally important, both in terms of human health and the environment, and for the success of future generations. By purchasing your food from smaller local farms practicing sustainable farming, you are pushing the system toward change—and as others join you, a tipping point will eventually be reached that will send big industrial food producers heading for the hills.

Joining the local food movement doesn't mean that every single food you eat must come from within a 100-mile radius—but the majority should. Remember, you vote with your pocketbook each and every day. The following is a partial list of resources to help you locate farms in your area. Please also see my sustainable agriculture resource list.

  • Slow Food – Founded to counter the rise of fast food and to "unite the pleasure of food with responsibility, sustainability, and harmony with nature"
  • Local Harvest -- This Web site will help you find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area
  • Farmers' Markets -- A national listing of farmers' markets on the USDA Web site
  • Eat Well Guide -- A free online directory of local, sustainable organic food
  • Food Routes Network -- "Buy Fresh Buy Local" (BFBL) chapters help you find locally produced foods
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Medical Marijuana Advocates Bash Dayton, Urge Him to Pass Law PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

Medical marijuana, or cannabis, is legal in 20 US states, where it is used for a variety of medical conditions such as mood disorders, pain disorders, multiple sclerosis, and even cancer.

Medical marijuana is not a miracle cure for everyone… but it has been known to prompt some pretty miraculous recoveries. Unfortunately, whether or not you have access to this potentially life-changing natural remedy depends on your zip code – a fact that is raising growing protest in the US.

Despite the fact that 85 percent to 95 percent of Americans are in favor of medical cannabis, and nearly 60 percent are in favor of legalizing marijuana, many people are still unable, legally or otherwise, to get ahold of this natural treatment.

This is perhaps never more upsetting than in the case of children, especially when their parents are desperate to find a safe remedy that might give their child a chance.

Minnesota Governor Dayton Refuses to Legalize Medical Marijuana, Despite Parents' Pleas

The issue recently came to a head in Minnesota, where parents of children with epilepsy met at a news conference to share their dismay that Governor Mark Dayton refuses to legalize medical marijuana.

Parents took turns describing the seizures their children are suffering, but instead of considering legalization the governor suggested the families consider a $2-million trial on the substance that would allow children to get the "relief they need as quickly as possible."

This response reminds me of a poignant comment made by Dr. Allan Frankel, a board-certified internist in California, who has treated patients with medical cannabis for the past seven years. When the government wants to get rid of all medical use of marijuana, or refuses to legalize it, it begs the question: Why?

According to Dr. Frankel, the answer is simple. "They want it. This is a huge market," he said. Medical cannabis is clearly competition to the pharmaceutical industry, but by keeping it restricted to a pharmaceutical trial, they can maintain control and profits.

It is a remarkable shame, especially for a condition like epilepsy, for which medical marijuana has shown such promise. Even the Epilepsy Foundation has called for increased medical marijuana access and research. Their president and CEO stated:

"Some individuals, specifically families of children with uncontrolled seizures, are using what is called cannabidiol oil, or CBD oil, and anecdotally a few are seeing remarkable results. This is truly spectacular -- anytime someone finds a treatment that stops seizures, there is cause for celebration because seizure freedom for one person means hope of seizure freedom for others.

…We are advocating for the rights of patients and families to determine with their doctor if this is an appropriate therapy for them, but we recognize the unknowns and the difficulty of this decision for an individual patient.

…As fathers, we know the pain of watching our children experience uncontrolled seizures. We know how epilepsy impacts development in children for whom no available current treatment has been successful. We know about the dangers that can occur when families are forced to leave medical systems and physicians they know to move to other states.

…We know the difference between having recurring seizures and not having seizures can mean the difference between life and death… If an epilepsy patient and their doctor feel that marijuana is their best treatment option then they need to have safe, legal access to medical marijuana and they need that access now."

Cannabidiol (CBD): The Medicinal Properties of Marijuana

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Marijuana was a popular botanical medicine in the 19th and 20th centuries, common in US pharmacies of the time. Yet, in 1970, the herb was declared a Schedule 1 controlled substance and labeled as a drug with a "high potential for abuse" and "no accepted medical use."

Three years later the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) was formed to enforce the newly created drug schedules, and the fight against marijuana use began. Even in states where medical marijuana use is legal, such as California, the DEA has raided medical marijuana suppliers and even arrested patients, because on a federal level, possessing or distributing marijuana is still considered a criminal offense.

As is often the case, the US government has not kept up with or, more likely, intentionally turned a blind eye on the potential role of marijuana for medicinal uses, at least until it can take on full control. The federal war on marijuana is indeed a strange one, considering the legality of cigarettes and alcohol -- products that have vastly greater potential to harm public health, without any of the medicinal benefits. Not to mention that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves drugs, prescribed by doctors every day, that kill over 100,000 Americans a year.

In order to really comprehend the movement behind medical marijuana, you must first understand that this herb truly does show outstanding promise as a medicinal plant, largely due to its cannabidiol (CBD) content. Cannabinoids interact with your body by way of naturally occurring cannabinoid receptors embedded in cell membranes throughout your body. There are cannabinoid receptors in your brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, immune system, and more. Both the therapeutic and psychoactive properties of marijuana occur when a cannabinoid activates a cannabinoid receptor.

In his medical practice, Dr. Frankel treats a wide variety of patients with medical cannabis, which has become his specialty. Occasionally, patients will experience very dramatic results. For example, he has seen tumors virtually disappear in some patients using no other therapy except taking 40 to 60 milligrams of cannabinoids a day. The most common thing he sees in cancer patients, however, are tumors shrinking, or a metastasis disappearing. Sometimes tumors will shrink or vanish, only to reemerge in other areas, months later, and then shrink or vanish again... Other common ailments being treated with cannabis include:

Mood disorders Pain disorders Degenerative neurological disorders such as dystonia
Multiple sclerosis Parkinson's disease Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Seizure disorders    

Medical Marijuana Has Been Extensively Studied, with Positive Results

Even a quick review of the data suggests that cannabis deserves more than a passing glance as a potential treatment for various diseases. There is a wealth of research linking marijuana with pain relief and improved sleep. In one study, just three puffs of marijuana a day for five days helped those with chronic nerve pain to relieve pain and sleep better.1 Americans for Safe Access also has links to research studies suggesting that cannabis may help in the treatment or prevention of Alzheimer's disease and cancer,2 noting:

"To date, more than 15,000 modern peer-reviewed scientific articles on the chemistry and pharmacology of cannabis and cannabinoids have been published, as well as more than 2,000 articles on the body's natural endocannabinoids. In recent years, more placebo-controlled human trials have also been conducted.

A 2009 review of clinical studies conducted over a 38-year period, found that 'nearly all of the 33 published controlled clinical trials conducted in the United States have shown significant and measurable benefits in subjects receiving the treatment.' The review's authors note that cannabinoids have the capacity for analgesia through neuromodulation in ascending and descending pain pathways, neuroprotection, and anti-inflammatory mechanisms—all of which indicates that the cannabinoids found in cannabis have applications in managing chronic pain, muscle spasticity, cachexia, and other debilitating conditions.

Currently, cannabis is most often recommended as complementary or adjunct medicine. But there is a substantial consensus among experts in the relevant disciplines, including the American College of Physicians, that cannabis and cannabis-based medicines have therapeutic properties that could potentially treat a variety of serious and chronic illness."

What is amazing is that your body is actually hard-wired to respond to cannabinoids through its unique cannabinoid receptor system. Research is still ongoing on just how extensive their impact is on our health, but to date it's known that cannabinoid receptors play an important role in many body processes, including metabolic regulation, cravings, pain, anxiety, bone growth, and immune function.3

A report by Dr. Manuel Guzman in the journal Nature Reviews suggests that these active components of cannabis and their derivatives are also potential anti-cancer agents:4 "…these compounds [cannabinoids] have been shown to inhibit the growth of tumor cells in culture and animal models by modulating key cell-signaling pathways. Cannabinoids are usually well tolerated, and do not produce the generalized toxic effects of conventional chemotherapies."

The Difference Between Cannabis and Hemp

There are two very distinct groups of marijuana strains. One is cannabis; the other is hemp. There's plenty of confusion about the similarities and differences between these two plants. While they are subspecies of the same plant species, they look very different, and are extremely different in ways that really matter when it comes to medicinal use.

The fact they have in common is that they both contain cannabidiol (CBD), which has medicinal properties. The amount of CBD, however, differs greatly between the two. Dosing, therefore, is dramatically different where you to try to use hemp in lieu of cannabis, as the latter, cannabis, is up to 100-fold more potent. Another difference that appears to matter in terms of its usefulness as medicine relates to differing terpene profiles. Hemp contains very little of these valuable medicinal compounds.

Lastly, there's the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. THC is the psychoactive component of marijuana; it's the molecule that makes you feel "stoned." (While CBD also has certain psychoactive properties, it does NOT produce a high.) By legal definition, hemp cannot have more than 0.3 percent THC in it. So to summarize:

  • Hemp has less value for medicinal uses, as it only contains about four percent CBD and lacks many of the medicinal terpenes and flavonoids. It also contains less than 0.3 percent THC, which means it cannot produce a high or get you stoned. However, for many disease processes, THC is very much indicated and required. So, for many disease processes, CBD alone has much less value.
  • Cannabis is potent medicine courtesy of high amounts (about 10-20 percent) of CBD, critical levels of medicinal terpenes and flavonoids, as well as THC in varying ratios for various diseases. The higher the THC, the more pronounced its psychoactive effects

During the '60s and '70s, growers were focused on increasing the THC content and, due to breeding out the all-important CBD, marijuana became known primarily as a plant that gets you high. Its original medicinal properties and uses largely fell by the wayside. Things are changing however, according to Dr. Frankel:

"Five years ago, California Physicians, and other groups around the world, didn't really know if we would find CBD-rich strains anymore, but we have. Now there's many different varieties of it. We keep bringing back new CBD rich strains every month or two.

The Healing Effects of Raw Cannabis

While the vast majority of marijuana use is through burning and inhalation, the video above features some of the top researchers on the healing effects of cannabis in its raw form. The leaves can be eaten in a salad or juiced. This is but one way to consume this medicinal plant. You can also find marijuana in oil form or consume it, as many medical marijuana patients do, by using a vaporizer. The device vaporizes marijuana without any of the combustion byproducts, allowing for a clean route of ingestion.

While individual states are still battling over whether to legalize medical marijuana, there are a number of states that have it on the ballot this November. This is one trend that's unlikely to slow down anytime soon. It's estimated that the legal marijuana market will grow to $2.34 billion in 2014, making it one of the fastest-growing industries (if not the fastest).5

Hopefully, as its use expands, more people will have access to another natural treatment to take control of their health. Keep in mind that, for now at least, even if you live in a state where medical marijuana is legal, the potency of cannabis varies greatly, as do its effects when ingested.

This is why experts like Dr. Frankel are very focused on trying to develop accurate dose-consistent medicine. The Patient Access Centers he consults with create a diverse collection of dose-consistent oral-buccal sprays. He also believes it's very important to open up and start talking about dosing—what works, what doesn't. It is his belief that some patients, in large part due to lack of education about the medicine, may be taking 10, or even 100 times, higher dosage than is really needed to treat their ailment. Unfortunately, many doctors in this still highly controversial field are afraid to recommend dosages, for fear of the repercussions.

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Toxic Combo of Roundup and Fertilizers Blamed for Tens of Thousands of Deaths PDF Print E-mail

By Dr. Mercola

The public's appreciation of the toxicity of glyphosate—the active ingredient in Monsanto's broad-spectrum herbicide Roundup—is still limited, despite highly damning research being published.

The fact that Monsanto marketed Roundup as "environmentally friendly" and "biodegradable" probably has a lot to do with this general lack of insight.

More people are apt to remember the Roundup commercial than recall the fact that Monsanto was twice found guilty of false advertising of this herbicide. In 2009, a French court again upheld these earlier convictions.

Mounting evidence shows that glyphosate is FAR more toxic than anyone previously suspected, both alone and in combination with other additives (as in the case of Roundup), or in combination with other agricultural chemicals and/or heavy metals.

Dr. Donald Huber, one of the premier plant pathologists in the US, views it far more toxic than DDT. They are spraying nearly ONE BILLION pounds every year on our food crops. That is enough glyphosate to fill 4,000 Olympic sized swimming pools.

Most recently, what's being referred to as "an epidemic" of chronic kidney disease—a mysterious form of toxic nephropathy—striking down farmers in Sri Lanka, India, and Central America's Pacific coastline (El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica), has now been traced back to Roundup in combination with contaminated fertilizer.

As reported by Lanka Business Online1: “Chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDu) first appeared in Sri Lanka's rice growing areas in the north central province in the 1990s and has been spreading into other areas including the South, with over 20,000 estimated deaths so far.” According to estimates by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), some 20,000 American farm workers are also being poisoned on the job each year2.

Lethal Kidney Disease Linked to Roundup and Phosphate Fertilizer Combo

According to a recent study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health,3 glyphosate may carry heavy metals and minerals, whether naturally-occurring or originating from agricultural chemicals, into your kidneys, courtesy of its chelating properties.

A unique feature of this kidney disease (chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology/CKDu) is that none of the commonly known risk factors apply, such as diabetes or hypertension, but there's a strong association between this mysterious kidney disease and consumption of hard water, i.e. water that contains higher amounts of calcium, magnesium, strontium, and iron.

Ninety-six percent of patients with chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology had consumed hard or very hard water for at least five years. Meanwhile, the disease is not found among those who get their drinking water straight from natural springs. Kidney toxicity is not known to be associated with hard water consumption, and this surprising finding added to the initial mystery. Furthermore, the disease seemed to have cropped out of nowhere. There were no reported cases of this kind of kidney disease in Sri Lanka prior to the 1990s.

The researchers note that the original use of glyphosate was as a de-scaling agent, used to clean out calcium and other mineral deposits in hot water systems. De-scaling agents attach to minerals such as calcium and magnesium, rendering them water soluble. According to the authors:

"[T]he totality of scientific evidence gathered so far has highlighted the fact that an unknown factor (Compound X) originating from agrochemicals, when combined with hardness/Ca/Mg can cause significant kidney damage; thus explaining many current observations including the unique geographical distribution of the disease.

If we assume that the 'Compound X' is derived from the agrochemicals and is easily bound to Ca/Mg/Sr/Fe to ultimately cause damage to the kidneys, then this hypothesis can explain the geographical distribution of chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDu) as well as the occurrence of the disease only after the 1990s...

Although glyphosate alone does not cause an epidemic of chronic kidney disease, it seems to have acquired the ability to destroy the renal tissues of thousands of farmers when it forms complexes with a localized geo-environmental factor (hardness) and nephrotoxic metals."

A 'Perfect Storm' of Environmental Factors and Chemical Contamination

Arsenic also plays a role. Previous research has shown victims of chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology have arsenic in their hair and nails, and arsenic along with heavy metals such as cadmium, chromium, nickel, and lead are also found in the triple-super-phosphate (TSP) fertilizer used by Sri Lankan farmers.

Triple superphosphate4 (TSP), also known as calcium dihydrogen phosphate and as monocalcium phosphate, became widely used in the 20th cen­tury. In Sri Lanka, it's applied within a couple of weeks of spraying the rice fields with glyphosate.

According to the featured study, Sri Lankan farmers do not use protective gear when applying agricultural chemicals, which would explain why glyphosate has been found in farmers' urine post-application. The matter may be further compounded by the fact that:

  • The affected farmers dissolve the glyphosate in hard water before spraying
  • They eat rice contaminated with glyphosate and heavy metals
  • Many chew locally grown tobacco, which has also been found to be contaminated with cadmium and arsenic

"The phosphorus atom in the phosphonic group in the glyphosate/AMPA molecule can possibly be replaced by As (Arsenic). Following dermal and respiratory absorption of glyphosate, it can form complexes with nephrotoxic metals and arsenic derived from rice, vegetables and tobacco within the circulation," the researchers say.

Chemical Agriculture Has Replaced Sustainable Agriculture Around the Globe

Chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology has also become commonplace among Central American sugarcane farmers. The two crops, rice and sugarcane, both require higher amounts of agricultural chemicals when grown on a large scale, and glyphosate is the most widely used pesticide in areas affected by this chronic kidney disease.

Shockingly, considering its majestic natural beauty, the island country of Sri Lanka has some of the highest use of agricultural chemicals in the world! According to the featured article:5

"The Island newspaper... quoted WHO/UN data which said Sri Lanka used 471 units of agro-chemicals, the highest in the world, made up of 187 Units of pesticides, which was also the highest in the world and 284 units of fertilizer, which was the 8th highest in the world.

Others were; Bangladesh (431U), Jamaica (397U), Dominican Republic (358U), Costa Rica (357U) and El Salvador (355U)... The state also subsidizes chemical fertilizer in an unprecedented scale."

The Many Health Hazards of Glyphosate

It seems quite clear that we've radically altered our farming methods, embracing the "marvels" of chemical agriculture, without having a clear understanding of what all of these products actually do, alone and in combination, beyond their obvious benefits of killing pests. It appears as though, long-term, certain chemicals such as glyphosate also have the ability to kill the human population, along with other portions of the natural world.

Glyphosate is actually, in many ways, similar to DDT, which is now known to cause reproductive problems and birth defects6 among other things. The most recent research into DDT effects found that exposure appears to increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, decades later.

This is undoubtedly unwelcome news to those who, in their youth, used to run out and frolic in the fumes from the DDT truck! Remember, DDT was advertised7 as completely harmless, and sold to an unsuspecting public with catchy slogans like "DDT is Good for Me-e-e!" Heck, they even sold DDT-laced wallpaper8 specifically designed for children's rooms! And it was "certified to be absolutely safe for home use."

Today, we have glyphosate which, just like DDT, has been falsely advertised, and falsely "certified" and "guaranteed" as safe. Besides being identified as a likely causative factor in fertility problems and birth defects, research also shows that glyphosate:

Decimates beneficial microorganisms in the soil essential for proper plant function and high quality nutrition Causes extreme disruption of your gut microbes' function and lifecycle; preferentially affecting beneficial bacteria, while promoting the growth of pathogens in your intestines
Chelates critical microminerals, preventing them from being utilized by the plant (leading to nutrient-deficient food) Inhibits enzymes that catalyze the oxidation of organic substances, which appears to be an overlooked component of glyphosate's toxicity to mammals. By limiting the ability of these enzymes to detoxify foreign chemical compounds, glyphosate enhances the damaging effects of those chemicals and environmental toxins you may be exposed to
Promotes the proliferation of disease-causing pathogens in soil Is toxic to water fleas at extraordinarily low levels, well within the levels expected to be found in the environment. These findings throw serious doubt on glyphosate's safety
Predisposes cattle to lethal botulism Is toxic to human DNA even when diluted to concentrations 450-fold lower than used in agricultural applications

Other Hidden Health Hazards Associated with Phosphate Fertilizers

Polonium-210 is a highly radioactive element9 that releases alpha particles as it decays. It's also chemically toxic.10 While alpha particles cannot penetrate deeply into your body, they can cause serious damage to cells they do come into contact with. While naturally present in small amounts in the environment, one of the primary sources of exposure is via calcium phosphate fertilizers, commonly used on tobacco fields and food crops.

Researchers have gone so far as to suggest that it's the radiation from these fertilizers that are the primary cause of cancer in smokers.11, 12, 13 According to a report in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research,14 radioactivity in tobacco comes from two sources: the atmosphere and uptake through soil rich in calcium phosphate fertilizer contaminated with polonium phosphates.

You can also consume polonium by drinking fluoridated water, courtesy of the fluorosilicic acid used. This chemical byproduct, created during the phosphate fertilizer manufacturing process, is what is typically used to fluoridate municipal water supplies. Uranium and radium are two known carcinogens found in fluorosilicic acid used for water fluoridation, and polonium-210 is one of two decay products of uranium. Furthermore, polonium decays into stable lead-206, which also has significant health risks—especially in children—and research has indeed shown that drinking fluoridated water increases lead absorption in your body.

Phosphate Fertilizers Also Used in GMO Agriculture

Phosphate fertilizers are also used on food crops. And while food-borne polonium may be absorbed and react differently in your body than being inhaled, you could potentially be exposed to greater levels of this (and other) radioactive elements than previously thought, through the aggressive use of phosphate fertilizers in food production. Besides the risk of radioactive contamination, research has shown that dietary calcium phosphate has a detrimental effect on your gut health—an effect shared by glyphosate, which also decimates your gut flora. According to a 2002 study in the Journal of Nutrition:15

"Most Gram-positive bacteria are susceptible to the bactericidal action of fatty acids and bile acids. Because dietary calcium phosphate (CaP(i)) lowers the intestinal concentration of these antimicrobial agents, high CaP(i) intake may enhance intestinal colonization of Gram-positive pathogens and the subsequent pathogenesis."

Taken together, modern agricultural methods may at first glance appear to be the most cost effective and efficient strategy, but it quickly becomes one of the most costly ways to produce food once you take into account the environmental and human health consequences.

Moreover, processed food manufacturers, represented by the Grocery Manufacturers Association of America (GMA), is working hand-in-hand with the chemical technology industry to force this food model on the world, with tax payers subsidizing the very food that will promotes disease and wreaks havoc on the environment. The GMA is spearheading the efforts of these industries to prevent you from knowing the truth about what you're really eating, and control the food system at virtually any cost, it seems.

Greatest Purveyors of Disease Fight to Maintain Control of the Food System

As you may recall, during last year's I-522 ballot campaign to label GMOs in Washington State, the GMA came up with an ingenious, and illegal, money laundering scheme to protect the identity of members who donated funds to the opposing campaign.16

This illegal move helped them defeat I-522 by a mere one percent margin. The scheme fell apart however, and the GMA was sued by Attorney General Bob Ferguson,17 who accused them of intentional money laundering and violating state campaign disclosure laws. As a result, the identities of the companies paying to defeat I-522 were released.18 Not surprisingly it contained the usual suspects: Pepsi, Coke, General Mills and Nestle – all primary purveyors of chronic disease.

But that's not the end of the story.

On January 13, the Washington State Office of the Attorney General announced that the GMA has countersued the state, challenging its campaign finance laws.19 Essentially, the Association is suing for the right to hide corporate campaign funds—a move that threatens the transparency of the state's elections on every issue! What's more, the GMA has also filed a civil rights complaint against the Attorney General himself, claiming that he acted unconstitutionally when he enforced the state's laws! It would be laughable if it wasn't so serious. This is bullying at its finest. As recently reported by TakePart.com:20

"If you don't live in Washington state and are wondering why you should care, A. Bryan Enders, associate professor of agricultural law at the University of Illinois, has food for thought. 'This is part of a larger narrative involving increased consumer awareness,' he says. 'The GMA countersuit can be viewed as not pro- or anti-consumer but about maintaining control over the messaging of our food system. As various states respond to consumer demand for heightened food labels, this shifts control away from GMA and its members and places it within the hands of diffuse consumer interests.'

The latest countersuit isn't GMA's only stick in the fire. According to Reuters, the trade group is working with a coalition including biotech crop developers and unnamed lawmakers to introduce federal GMO labeling legislation—legislation that would have the power to nullify individual state laws, a tactic public health lawyer Michele Simon spoke with us about in September. 'The devil is in the details,' Simon said. 'Industry will agree to federal labeling, but in exchange, they say, 'we want to preempt or stop any states from going further.'"

Biological Farming Is the Way Out of This Mess

Last year, I interviewed Dr. Elaine Ingham, an internationally recognized expert on the benefits of sustainable soil science. According to Dr. Ingham and other soil experts, a key component of successful agriculture lies in having the right helper organisms in the soil; beneficial species of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, beneficial nematodes (not the weedfeeders), microarthropods, and earthworms—all of which contribute to plant growth in a number of different ways.

Nutrient cycling is another major issue. Dr. Ingham believes the concept that your soil is deficient and needs added phosphorus or nitrogen, etc. in order to grow plants is seriously flawed, and largely orchestrated by the chemical companies, because it's based on looking at the soluble, inorganic nutrients that are partly present in your soil. The real nutrition plants require is actually derived from microorganisms in the soil. These organisms take the mineral material in the soil and convert it into a plant-available form. Without these bioorganisms, plants cannot get the nutrients they need.

So what you need is not more chemical soil additives, what you need is the proper balance of beneficial soil organisms. You can actually use a starter culture to boost the fermentation and generation of beneficial bacteria much in the same way you can boost the probiotics in your fermented vegetables.

For compost, this strategy is used if you want to compost very rapidly. In that case, you can use a starter to inoculate the specific sets of organisms for your garden's particular needs. Dr. Ingham has written several books on this topic, including The Field Guide for Actively Aerated Compost Tea, and The Compost Tea Brewing Manual. You can also greatly enhance the benefits of compost or compost tea by adding biochar, as it serves as residence where the bacteria can live and thrive; otherwise they tend to die out relatively rapidly after adding them to the soil.

Eat Well and Help Save Farmers by Supporting Sustainable Agriculture

With everything we now know about the benefits of organically grown foods, and the health and environmental hazards of chemical farming, there's no doubt that HOW your food is grown is of utmost importance to your health. This is why I encourage you to support small family farms, and to buy organic whenever possible.

Another alternative is to grow some of your own vegetables. Sprouts are an excellent choice if you're just getting started, or if you want to grow the most nutritious food for the least amount of time and money. Frequenting farmer's markets and joining a community-supported agriculture program are other options. Below are several resources to obtain wholesome food that supports not only you but also the environment and the farmers who grow your food.

  • Alternative Farming Systems Information Center, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
  • Farmers' Markets -- A national listing of farmers' markets.
  • Local Harvest -- This Web site will help you find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.
  • Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals -- The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, and hotels, and online outlets in the United States and Canada.
  • Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) -- CISA is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting the products of small farms.
  • FoodRoutes -- The FoodRoutes "Find Good Food" map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSAs, and markets near you.
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Health News Reports

World's longest cable car system to carry Bolivia's commuters
   Every day, close to 200,000 people commute between El Alto, Bolivia -- at more than 13,000 feet above sea level, the highest major metropolitan area in the world -- and La Paz, the nation's administrative capital. But
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Jet lag app gets you back in sync 20 April 2014, 19.44 Living
Jet lag app gets you back in sync
     We all have various tricks for coping with jet lag. Staying awake for days, melatonin tablets, or just good ol’ copious amounts of coffee. Now, a newly-released iPhone app called Entrain could help travelers
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Issue 16 20 April 2014, 19.44 Living
Issue 16
© CBS Interactive. All rights reserved.A ZDNet Web site | Visit other CBS Interactive sites: This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service — if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site,
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Complex Residence Encouraging Family Interaction: Casa 31_4 Room House
A fruitful collaboration between Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects and Caroline Di Costa led to the development of Casa 31_4 Room House, a complex residential project. According to the description provided by the architects,
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Constantly Satisfying a Cat’s Curiosity: CATable by Ruan Hao
The charming CATable was created by Ruan Hao from LYCS, an architecture firm based in Hangzhou and Hong Kong. Especially designed for cats to explore and sleep in, the project follows a worldwide trend: that of sharing your
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Striking Chicago Loft Artistically Displaying the Owner’s Guitar Collection
This striking Chicago loft is located in a famous building that once housed the National Biscuit Company in the West Loop neighborhood, now known as “Nabisco” . The impressive multi-unit crib is located on the upper floor
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Could Chocolate Help Prevent Diabetes and Obesity?
By Dr. Mercola Snacking on chocolate may be one delectable way to boost your health, provided you choose the right type of chocolate, that is. Certain types of chocolate, as well as cocoa powder and cacao, rank right
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Black Garlic and Sprouted Garlic Have Enhanced Health Benefits
By Dr. Mercola Of all the foods Mother Nature provides, few foods offer more of a “botanical bonanza” for your health than garlic. Garlic is a bulbous root closely related to the onion, mentioned in historical documents
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Why and How to Say No to an Unnecessary Root Canal Procedure
PLEASE NOTE   This is the first of a two part series.  Part two with comprehensive and specific options on what to do if you already have a root canal will be posted soon. These two articles are our effort to help
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Sharing is caring: Watch a horse feed a friend
Mon, Apr 21, 2014 at 12:24 PM Conneo and Cornyflake are best friends. How do we know? Because only best friends would share like this! Related on MNN: 10 things you didn't know about Przewalski's horses, the last
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Venomous hobo spider may not be so toxic after all
Researchers believe that spiders get a bad rap from people who assume that a spider bite is the source of many ills when new studies have shown that such attitudes are incorrect. Whether the bites of the hobo spider are toxic
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DARPA developing foldable space telescope 20 April 2014, 19.43 Living
DARPA developing foldable space telescope
In addition to being lighter than other space telescopes, the MOIRE telescope will diffract light instead of reflecting or refracting it. The Membrane Optical Imager for Real-Time Exploitation (MOIRE) is in Phase 2 of ground
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Want to help owl researchers? Watch these webcams
People across the world can watch nesting great horned owls and long-eared owls in Montana and even snap photos of the birds to aid scientists. Mon, Apr 21, 2014 at 01:28 PM Watch the great horned owl webcam
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5 signs that China can't grow unless it tackles smog
Skeptics question whether China can grow its economy and fight emissions. The truth is, the country has no choice. Photo: mckaysavage/flickr When Chinese Premier Li Kequiang declared "war on pollution" recently, skeptics
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Stunning new orchid species discovered 20 April 2014, 19.43 Living
Stunning new orchid species discovered
Discovering new orchid species is a rare thing as the flowers tend to grow in either inaccessible places or in regions where their habitats are being rapidly destroyed. Photo: Katia Silvera/UC Riverside A gorgeous species of
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The Aspartame End Game... And What’s Next 18 April 2014, 23.17 Health
The Aspartame End Game... And What’s Next
By Dr. Mercola For the last 17 years, I've warned that artificial sweeteners can wreck your health. Aspartame is among the worst of the bunch, and in general, people who consume aspartame tend to be in poorer health.
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Evidence Is Mounting That Standard Nutritional Guidelines for Heart Health Are Wrong
By Dr. Mercola Another nail has been driven into the coffin of the low-fat diet. Three articles have recently appeared in prominent medical journals elucidating the fallacy of the saturated fat myth. For nearly
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Psychoneuroimmunology—How Inflammation Affects Your Mental Health
By Dr. Kelly Brogan Psychoneuroimmunology. This is what I aim to practice. Medical terms of this length command our respect for the interconnectedness of different subspecialties, for the futile segmentation and
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The Aftermath of Daylight Saving Time 18 April 2014, 23.17 Health
The Aftermath of Daylight Saving Time
By Dr. Mercola Daylight Saving Time (DST), the practice of moving clocks ahead one hour in the summer months and returning them back an hour in the winter, was first implemented by Germany during World War I, as a way
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Juicing: How Healthy Is It? 18 April 2014, 23.17 Health
Juicing: How Healthy Is It?
By Dr. Mercola If you ever feel like it’s difficult to eat enough veggies, making a small investment in a high-quality juicer is one of the best steps you can take for your health. Raw juice can be likened to a "living
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New Documentary “Ingredients” Looks at the Local Food Movement
By Dr. Mercola The American food system is nearing a state of crisis. Ingredients is a documentary that explores the failings of the industrial food model, and how the local food movement is gaining momentum as a far better
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LIGO lasers could help reveal aftermath of black hole crashes
Analyzing the gravitational waves from cosmic collisions could help scientists better understand black holes themselves. A still frame from a computer animation shows two binary neutron stars coalescing into a black hole. Taken
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Vision of a Dream Home: Xalima Island House by Martin Ferrero Architecture
Everyone has an idea of how their perfect house would one day look like. Daniel Martin Ferrero, principal of Martin Ferrero Architecture took his vision to another level and planned Xalima Island House, as “as a poem to the
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Sturdy Coat Hook With a Distinctive Industrial Look: Battleship
Battleship is a sturdy coat hook with a distinctive industrial appearance. Developed by English designer David Cathro of aCathroDESIGN, this modern and sleek functional piece is made from laser cut steel with a high quality
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How Can Design Describe the Personality of the Owner
There are hundreds if not thousands of parameters shaping our design, parameters that from the first glance can describe the personality of the owner inhabiting the design line.  Our existence gravitates around an unique
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Glass Box in the Sky: French Riviera’s CView Modern Villa
Located in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, the French Riviera, CView Villa is an impressive multi-level modern residence symbolically dubbed the glass box in the sky. Welcoming and inviting, the high sophisticated
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Charming Small Home on Wheels Priced $33,000 [Video]
It is encouraging to see more and more creative small home designs, full proof that future home owners can dream despite financial borders. Andrew and Gabriella Morrison recently completed the hOMe project, an impressive
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The clean energy transition is unstoppable, so why fight it?
When I wrote my Feb. 28 post on the energy transition tipping point, it seemed a bold call to make because I hadn't heard anyone else say that the transition away from fossil fuels and toward renewables had become
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We have the ability to 'de-extinct' animals. Should we?
The pyrenean ibex, a type of mountain goat also called a bucardo, went extinct in 2000. But for the first time in history, the species’ tale didn’t end there. A couple years later, 57 mountain goats were implanted with
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The cybercafé is dead. Long live the 3D printing café?
BUENOS AIRES -- It’s 5pm in Buenos Aires and Ezequiel Mendoza, an industrial designer, is fabricating a prototype for a wearable GPS tracking device. For cows. But that’s not the weird part. The weird part is that he’s
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Is tribo-electric the new clean energy solution?
From eco-dancefloors to ocean waves: Wherever there is movement, there is energy. From energy-generating nightclubs to a T-shirt that charges your phone, there are many intriguing concepts for harnessing everyday movement, and
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Astronauts to grow lettuce in space with NASA 'Veggie' farm
The mini-farm isn't just for tasty food — the Veg-01 experiment will test how well lettuce and other large plants grow in orbit. By: Elizabeth Howell, SPACE.com Mon, Apr 14, 2014 at 09:00 AM A 28-day-old
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What to expect from the first lunar eclipse of 2014
The moon will go through 12 phases of an eclipse in a span of 3.5 hours, so have some coffee next to your telescope. No enthusiastic skywatcher misses a total eclipse of the moon, and if weather permits tonight, neither should
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SpaceX to attempt daring rocket test during launch today
The four-legged rocket recovery test is another step in SpaceX's plan to develop reusable rockets for space travel. A close-up look at the landing legs on a private SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force
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Arctic's ozone hole is looking good 14 April 2014, 20.39 Living
Arctic's ozone hole is looking good
Along with a reduction in chemicals that destroy the ozone, the Arctic's unique environment aided in its recovery. Arctic ozone levels in April 2014. The yellows and reds show where there is more ozone. (Image: NASA) With a
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Some monkeys are very monogamous 14 April 2014, 20.39 Living
Some monkeys are very monogamous
True genetic monogamy is in fact extremely rare, even among the most faithful of animals, but a few species can manage it. Photo: C. Valeggia/Owl Monkey Project, Formosa-Argentina Unlike many humans, some monkeys are
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Wi-Fi Amazon Dash Device: The Future of Home Shopping?
Under the slogan “Shopping Made Simple”, Amazon launches Amazon Dash, a small hi-tech wand that aims to make shopping more convenient. The new product is about the size of a remote control, and it features both a
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Modern and Fresh Furniture Piece by Gregoire de Lafforest
Designed to store all sorts of objects, Balka Console is a sleek and modern furniture piece that adds a sense of colour and freshness to any home entryway. With a peculiar design, a top made of oak and a crazy yellow bag
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30 Modern Bathroom Design Ideas For Your Private Heaven
Bathrooms are spaces that we use everyday, so their importance is far greater than we give it credit for. From bright and cheery to sophisticated and imposing, modern bathrooms have long gone beyond the limit of space.
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Eco-Tourism Merged With Sustainable Design: DROP XL by In-tenta [Video]
The DROP XL modules by Barcelona-based design studio In-tenta are part of the large emerging trend in the field of modular micro-architecture, suitable for being placed wherever the heart desires and the land permits. The aim
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Creative Approach to Modern Family Retreat in Mexico: Fatima House
Fatima House by Jorge Hernández de la Garza  is a modern family retreat located in Del Valle, one of the most traditional neighborhoods in Mexico City. The project started by studying the site conditions and designing a
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Medical Marijuana Advocates Bash Dayton, Urge Him to Pass Law
By Dr. Mercola Medical marijuana, or cannabis, is legal in 20 US states, where it is used for a variety of medical conditions such as mood disorders, pain disorders, multiple sclerosis, and even cancer. Medical
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Toxic Combo of Roundup and Fertilizers Blamed for Tens of Thousands of Deaths
By Dr. Mercola The public's appreciation of the toxicity of glyphosate—the active ingredient in Monsanto's broad-spectrum herbicide Roundup—is still limited, despite highly damning research being published. The fact
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One in 25 Patients End Up with Hospital-Acquired Infections, CDC Warns
By Dr. Mercola According to the 2011 Health Grades Hospital Quality in America Study,1 the incidence of medical harm occurring in the United States is estimated to be over 40,000 harmful and/or lethal errors each and every
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Low Libido? 11 Drugs That Affect Your Sex Drive
By Dr. Mercola It’s estimated that 30-40 percent of people around the globe experience a lack of interest in sex for at least several months in any given year.1 The reasons for low libido are complex and run the gamut
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America's Workers: Stressed Out, Overwhelmed, Totally Exhausted
By Dr. Mercola The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that stress costs American businesses $300 billion a year; and a Workplace Survey done by the American Psychological Association reported that many Americans
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Improving Your Sleep May Be Key for Preventing and Treating Metabolic Disorders
By Dr. Mercola A majority of Americans are not getting enough sleep, and modern technology is in large part to blame. According to the 2014 Sleep in America Poll,1 53 percent of respondents who turn electronics off while
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What's New and Beneficial About Onions 14 April 2014, 20.38 Health
What's New and Beneficial About Onions
By Dr. Mercola If you’ve been eating an apple a day to keep the doctor away, you would be wise to add an onion a day to that regimen. This humble vegetable is a member of the Allium genus, making it closely related to
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Shocking Truth: Obesity Now Threatens to Overtake Hunger as Global Health Concern Number One
By Dr. Mercola In 1950, the number of starving individuals on Earth was estimated to be around 700 million. At the time, obesity affected approximately 100 million people around the globe, primarily in rich countries. These
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The Importance of Vitamin D for Normalizing Your Cholesterol Levels
By Dr. Mercola The video above is a nice confirmation from the traditional media of the importance of vitamin D. However, they still get it wrong by stating that you can get the vitamin D you need from foods. Appropriate
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New Studies Show Optimizing Vitamin D Levels May Double Chances of Surviving Breast Cancer, Lower LDL Cholesterol, and Helps Prevent Autism
By Dr. Mercola For many of you, the hint of spring is on the horizon and the opportunity to finally expose your skin to healthy doses of sunshine is very close. Remember that this is a far better choice than using oral
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Gut-Wrenching New Studies Reveal the Insidious Effects of Glyphosate
By Dr. Mercola Increasing exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, may be at least partially to blame for rising rates of numerous chronic diseases in Westernized societies,
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Eating More Fruits and Vegetables Can Cut Your Risk of Dying in Half
By Dr. Mercola Despite the fact that vegetables have been proven to help lower your risk of chronic disease and support longevity, most Americans are not eating nearly enough of these natural, relatively inexpensive
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Will the FDA Adjust Recommendations For Pregnant Women Dangerously High?
By Dr. Mercola Fish has always been the best source for the animal-based omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. However, as the understanding of mercury's toxic effects has grown, it has become even more critical to
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Apple buys hydroelectric power project in United States
   Water from the Deschutes River will feed the project.   Apple is well-known for its plans to harness renewable energy sources and the acquisition of a hydroelectric power project in Central Oregon brings these plans
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Why is today's SpaceX mission so important? Reusable rockets
   UPDATE: About an hour before the scheduled launch, the launch was postponed due to a helium leak. Here's what SpaceX had to say: "Today’s launch has been scrubbed due to a Helium leak on Falcon 9’s first stage. A fix
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In Japan, 3D printers create artificial bones 14 April 2014, 20.37 Living
In Japan, 3D printers create artificial bones
 Japanese researchers have requested regulatory approval for a special 3D printer which only prints artificial bones. Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Tokyo University's RIKEN and
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Exuding a Playful Modern Character: Pi Chair by Christoph Steiger
Swiss designer Christoph Steiger envisioned the Pi chair during his studies at Bergen Academy of Art and Design. The unconventional dining chair stands out due to its elegant curves. The fusion between its back support and
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Reinventing Traditional Log Architecture: Arborwall Solid Cedar Homes
Arborwall combines traditional solid log construction with state-of-the-art precision manufacturing methods to produce homes that are solid, sustainable and exceptionally energy efficient. These homes retain all of the
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A Home to Dream of: Villa Chameleon in the Exotic Country of Spain
If you’re looking to purchase a home to dream of, with astounding sea views in an exquisite location, villa Chameleon might just be it. The property is currently for sale and you can check every house-related detail
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Recycled Paper Replicas of Iconic Warsaw Buildings by Zupagrafika
Blok Wschodni /Eastern Block is a collection of paper cut-out models representing various modernist buildings in Warsaw, Poland. The series has been created by Hispano-Polish graphic design studio Zupagrafika and is made up
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Google is the latest tech company to buy into drones
Google has purchased Titan Aerospace–the same solar-powered drone company Facebook was reportedly in talks to buy–for an undisclosed amount.  Project Loon was launched in June 2013 with an experimental pilot in New
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If 40% of us think we're in the top 5%, what do the actual top 5% think?
  A common misquote. What Thoreau really said in Walden is more nuanced: "“I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he
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Personal data theft skyrockets in past year 14 April 2014, 19.00 Living
Personal data theft skyrockets in past year
 As data breaches, cybercrime and hacking rates rise, it is no surprise that reports of personal data theft are also climbing. On Monday, the Pew Research Center released a new survey which states that 18 percent of U.S.
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500-million-year-old embryos hint at animal discovery
Researchers had to carefully remove the tiny spherical fossils, and then they had to use X-rays and thinly sliced samples for closer analysis. By: Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 10:57 AM A
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LIGO lasers could help reveal aftermath of black hole crashes
Analyzing the gravitational waves from cosmic collisions could help scientists better understand black holes themselves. A still frame from a computer animation shows two binary neutron stars coalescing into a black hole. Taken
Read More 5 Hits 0 Ratings
SpaceX delays cargo ship launch due to helium leak
The scrubbed mission follows two earlier delays that have already pushed the next Dragon launch by more than a month. SpaceX's fourth space station-bound Dragon uncrewed capsule is seen poised atop the company's Falcon 9 rocket
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Blood moon shines during total lunar eclipse in stunning photos
See the lunar eclipse up close with these amazing images. Photo: Brett Bonine The moon took on an eerie blood-red hue early Tuesday during the first total lunar eclipse of 2014, a celestial sight that wowed potentially
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Mysterious ancient Moroccan rock pile explained
Scientists managed to create a timeline of events by looking for the isotope beryllium-10 in the rock pile to gain insight into the 4,500-year-old geographical enigma. The village of Arroumd in the High Atlas, Morocco, is
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Should You Go Vegetarian to Control Your Blood Pressure?:     According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), high blood pressure is "the second greatest public health threat" in the US, and about half of all with hyperten...
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