G.E. Crops Taking a Toll on Livestock Health

Posted by: admin  /  Category: Food, Health

With the support of local prosecutors, Mr. Gloeckner, a German farmer who had 65 cows die after he fed them genetically modified Bt corn has filed criminal charges against the manufacturer, alleging that the company not only knew the corn could be lethal to livestock, but was covering up deaths that occurred during clinical trials.

According to a recent press release by GM Watch1, the lawsuit asserts that Swiss biotech Syngenta committed a grave criminal offense by deliberately withholding the results of a feeding trial in which four cows died in two days. The deaths prompted the company to halt the test. No health problems or deaths were reported in the control group, which was not fed the genetically engineered Bt 176 corn.

Syngenta is by law required to register the results of feeding studies with the appropriate authorities, which they never did. They testified before the court in an earlier lawsuit brought by Mr. Gloeckner, stating they knew of no risks related to their Bt 176 corn, which resulted in the case against them being dismissed. According to the featured press release2:

“As a consequence of the deliberate withholding of that critical information Gloeckner suffered financial damage well above €500000 (US$650,000) which he was prevented from regaining through the initial court process.”

Genetically Engineered Crops Taking a Toll on Livestock Health

As reported by Institute of Science in Society3, this is far from an isolated incident of mysterious deaths associated with genetically engineered feed, and it’s not just Syngenta’s Bt 176 corn either. Thousands of livestock deaths have been reported across India, as a result of grazing on genetically engineered crops and feed. The Philippines have also reported cases.

According to Dr. Don Huber, an expert on the toxicity of genetically engineered plants, a new organism linked to GE crops appears to be the cause of high reproductive failure in livestock. The organism was initially identified by veterinarians around 1998—about two years after the introduction of Roundup Ready soybeans, which is one of the staple feeds. The vets were puzzled by sudden rates of miscarriages. While sporadic at first, the phenomenon has continued to increase in severity.

In an interview last year, Dr. Huber stated:

“We [recently] received a call from a county extension educator, indicating that he has a dairy that has a 70 percent abortion rate. You put that on top of 10 to 15 percent of infertility to start with, and you’re not going to have a dairy very long. In fact, a lot of our veterinarians are now becoming very concerned about the prospects for being able to have replacement animals.”

One of the Best Chemical Companies in the World?

I can’t help but note the deep irony of Syngenta’s publicly recognized facade, and their corporate behavior, which leaves much to be desired for the everyday man and woman who depends on their products being safe.

In 2011, Syngenta was named among the top 10 employers in biotechnology by Science magazine4 for the second year in a row. (Granted, the annual poll is an evaluation of company performance by employees and peers only.) The company was also recognized by the 2011 Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI)5 as one of the best performing chemical companies worldwide for the sixth year in a row, based on economic, social and environmental governance performance.

Personally, I expect more from a company revered for its environmental- and social governance… Hiding clinical trial data that is of utmost significance in terms of health is a heinously shameful act that no morally upright company would ever associate itself with. But that’s not the only blotch on Syngenta’s corporate resume.

Far from it…

The company recently agreed to pay $105 million to settle a class-action lawsuit in which water utilities in the U.S. Midwest claimed Syngenta’s weed killer Atrazine had contaminated their drinking water6. Atrazine has been banned in the European Union—including Switzerland, where it’s manufactured—as well as several Wisconsin counties in the United States. Nearly 2,000 water utilities are part of the settlement. As part of the settlement agreement, Syngenta is allowed to plea “no liability.”

According to Market Watch7:

“Settling this case will remove the burden of litigation from Syngenta’s partners, customers, retailers, distributors, and others who have been inconvenienced by the lawsuit,” the company said in a statement. The herbicide is not used in Europe, and critics cite studies indicating it can disrupt sexual reproduction of frogs. Syngenta reiterated Friday that the product is safe, and that “no one ever has or ever could be exposed to enough Atrazine in water to affect their health.”


Never mind the “inconvenience” suffered by water utilities that had to filter the “gender-bending” chemicals out of the water, and the residents of those areas that potentially drank traces of the stuff for nearly a decade. As for the absolute, iron-clad guarantee of the total safety of their product, at least one of their own, now former, scientists publicly disagrees.

Former Syngenta Scientist Spills the Beans on Atrazine

Syngenta has been accused of attempting to block the publication of UC Berkeley Professor Tyrone Hayes’s work on Atrazine. Dr. Hayes, PhD. claims he resigned his contractor position with Syngenta after they refused to allow him to publish the results of studies they had funded. The research in question found that Atrazine causes hermaphroditism in frogs. After resigning, he obtained independent funding to repeat the research, which was subsequently published.

Since then, he’s built an educational web site dedicated to informing the public about Atrazine8. Dr. Hayes gives the following summary of the herbicide:

“Atrazine is the most common chemical contaminant of ground and surface water in the United States. It is a potent endocrine disruptor with ill effects in wildlife, laboratory animals and humans. Atrazine chemically castrates and feminizes wildlife and reduces immune function in both wildlife and laboratory rodents. Atrazine induces breast and prostate cancer, retards mammary development, and induces abortion in laboratory rodents. Studies in human populations and cell and tissue studies suggest that Atrazine poses similar threats to humans. The peer-reviewed scientific studies to support these statements are summarized and can be viewed as you navigate this website.”

… Despite the environmental and public health risks, Atrazine continues to be used in the US, for economic reasons. Atrazine may only increase corn yield by as little as 1.2 %, and not at all according to some studies. The agri-giant Syngenta, however, has a very powerful lobby and spent $250,000 lobbying in Minnesota alone in 2005 to keep Atrazine on the market there.”

“Top 10 Employer” Condemned for Human Rights Violations in Brazil

In another ironic twist, in May 2010, five months before it “earned” its place on the Top 10 Employers’ list of Science Magazine the first time around9, Syngenta was condemned by the Permanent People’s Tribunal (PPT) in Madrid for human rights violations in Brazil10, where, in October 2007, Valmir Mota de Oliveira, aka “Keno,” had been “killed execution-style by two shots to the chest” by armed security forces hired by Syngenta11.

The killing took place on a farm where Syngenta was illegally growing experimental genetically engineered crops. Keno was part of a group protest against the company’s violation of Brazilian environmental laws, which does not permit genetically engineered crops in the surrounding area of the Iguaçu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage area, where the farm was located. (The company had already been fined R$1 million –about US$500,000—in 2006 to Brazilian environmental authorities for their transgression. However, as of 2008, the company was still contesting the fine12.)

According to a report by the Movement of Landless Workers (MST)13, describing the attack:

“… [A] bus stopped in front of the entrance gate and an armed militia of approximately 40 heavily armed gunmen got out, firing at the people in the encampment. They broke down the gate, killed activist Keno with two shots to the chest, shot five other workers, and severely beat Isabel do Nascimento de Souza, who remains in serious condition at the hospital. The militia attacked the encampment in order to assassinate the leaders and recover the illegal firearms belonging to the NF Security company, which were taken by the workers…”

Syngenta denied having any knowledge about the security guards carrying arms, despite the fact that the company was well-known in the area for providing—you guessed it—armed guards14. An in-depth report titled, The Case of Syngenta: Human Rights Violations in Brazil 200815, details Syngenta’s role in this murder, and its role in the environmental destruction of Brazilian environment and agriculture. To learn more, please review the report in its entirety:

“The company claims that it has contributed to the development of agriculture, and that it benefits Brazilian society. However, the reality is that Syngenta has been violating human rights and disrespecting Brazilian laws. It is associated with lobbying groups, politicians, and large landowners who are opposed to agrarian reform and family farming. Despite portraying itself as an advocate of sustainable agriculture, it is clear that its activities are detrimental to both family farmers and to biodiversity.

Syngenta and half a dozen other transnational biotechnology companies lobbied the Brazilian government to approve commercialization of GM [genetically modified] corn, without conducting health and environmental tests. This greatly endangers the biodiversity that Brazilian communities have been protecting for centuries.” [Emphasis mine]

Syngenta along with five other biotech giants was condemned by the Permanent People’s Tribunal yet again this year16 for “gross, widespread and systematic violations of the right to health and life, economic, social and cultural rights, as well as of civil and political rights, and women and children’s rights.”

Overall, Syngenta, like so many other major corporations, behaves in ways totally unbecoming for a company intent on being a good steward of environmental- and human health.

So much for the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

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Healthy versus Unhealthy Meats

Posted by: admin  /  Category: Food, Health

At some point, “red meat” became taboo in the nutritional world. If you put good old-fashioned grass-fed, organically-raised meat in a nutrition analyzer, you’d find it’s one of the most nutritious foods you can eat.

Still, many people want to believe that all red meat is unhealthy. A new study out of Harvard once again attempts to demonize red meati.

And despite being profoundly flawed, the study was written up by a number of media outlets, such as The New York Times and CNN Health; their headlines warning that red meat will send you into an early grave.

Among many other problems, the nutrition data for the study was collected via food questionnaires, meaning people had to recall what they’d eaten in the past. Needless to say, this doesn’t make for great accuracy. The New York Times reported on the study, statingii:

“People who ate more red meat were less physically active and more likely to smoke and had a higher body mass index, researchers found.

Still, after controlling for those and other variables, they found that each daily increase of three ounces of red meat was associated with a 12 percent greater risk of dying over all, including a 16 percent greater risk of cardiovascular death and a 10 percent greater risk of cancer death.

The increased risks linked to processed meat, like bacon, were even greater: 20 percent over all, 21 percent for cardiovascular disease and 16 percent for cancer. If people in the study had eaten half as much meat, the researchers estimated, deaths in the group would have declined 9.3 percent in men and 7.6 percent in women.”

Where’s the Science?

Fortunately, many astute health experts have already issued rebuttals to the mass media versions of this shoddy study that has received far more media attention than it could ever possibly deserve. Chris Kressler, L.Ac. sums up the general agreement when he writesiii:

“In my fantasy world, researchers don’t make the most rookie mistake in the book (claiming that correlation is causation) and science reporters actually have a clue how to critically analyze a scientific study, rather than just parroting what they read on the AP newswire. Alas, reality is not so forthcoming.”

In my view, one of the best rebuttals I’ve seen is by investigative health reporter Gary Taubes. Zoe Harcombe also produced a more in-depth evaluation of the many problems in this studyiv. In his blog post titled, Science, Pseudoscience, Nutritional Epidemiology, and Meat, Gary Taubes writesv:

“Back in 2007 when I first published Good Calories, Bad Calories I also wrote a cover story in the New York Times Magazine on the problems with observational epidemiology. The article was called “Do We Really Know What Makes Us Healthy?vi” and I made the argument that even the better epidemiologists in the world consider this stuff closer to a pseudoscience than a real science.

… The article itself pointed out that every time in the past that these researchers had claimed that an association observed in their observational trials was a causal relationship, and that causal relationship had then been tested in experiment, the experiment had failed to confirm the causal interpretation — i.e., the folks from Harvard got it wrong. Not most times, but every time. No exception. Their batting average circa 2007, at least, was .000. Now it’s these very same Harvard researchers — Walter Willett and his colleagues — who have authored this new article claiming that red meat and processed meat consumption is deadly; that eating it regularly raises our risk of dying prematurely and contracting a host of chronic diseases.

… Science is ultimately about establishing cause and effect. It’s not about guessing. You come up with a hypothesis — force x causes observation y — and then you do your best to prove that it’s wrong. If you can’t, you tentatively accept the possibility that your hypothesis was right. Peter Medawar, the Nobel Laureate immunologist, described this proving-it’s-wrong step as “the critical or rectifying episode in scientific reasoning.”… The problem with observational studies like those run by Willett and his colleagues is that they do none of this. That’s why it’s so frustrating. The hard part of science is left out and they skip straight to the endpoint, insisting that their interpretation of the association is the correct one and we should all change our diets accordingly.” [Emphasis mine]

Confounding Factors

One of the major problems with using this study to make dietary recommendations or modifications is the fact that the association between disease and eating meat was actually quite small. According to Harcombe, a nutritionist, obesity researcher, and author of The Obesity Epidemic: What caused it? How can we stop it?vii:

“The overall risk of dying was not even one person in a hundred over a 28 year study. If the death rate is very small, a possible slightly higher death rate in certain circumstances is still very small. It does not warrant a scare-tactic, 13% greater risk of dying headline – this is ‘science’ at its worst.”

Again, it’s imperative to keep in mind that the observation of an association does not mean that one thing actually causes the other. It may, but in order to determine the truth you have to conduct studies to test your hypothesis. Here, we have multiple confounding variables at play; all of which could very well have skewed the results. For example, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, alcohol consumption, and higher calorie intake can clearly contribute to an early demise, and as meat consumption went up, so did these confounding factors…

Taubes brings up another excellent point in his article, namely the “compliance” or “adherer effect.” This is a confounding factor that is virtually impossible to account for, but it appears to be quite powerful.

In a nutshell, it describes the effect that occurs in groups of people who are simply consistently compliant with a certain recommendation. Interestingly enough, whether it’s taking a real medication or taking a placebo, in both cases, those who dutifully take it as prescribed fare better than those who do not. Taubes states that somehow, these people are simply “different,” but in what way, exactly, is still unknown. What is apparent, however, is that when you compare “adherers” with “non-adherers” you are comparing two types of people that are essentially incomparable because their mindset and overall dedication to their health is very different.

Most likely, this overall healthier, more dedicated mindset means they’re engaging in all sorts of other proactive, preventive behaviors as well that are not include or measured in the study.

According to Taubes:

“No amount of “correcting” for BMI and blood pressure, smoking status, etc. can correct for this compliance effect, which is the product of all these health conscious behaviors that can’t be measured, or just haven’t been measured. And we know this because they’re even present in randomized controlled trials. When the Harvard people insist they can “correct” for this, or that it’s not a factor, they’re fooling themselves. And we know they’re fooling themselves because the experimental trials keep confirming that.”

What experimental trials is Taubes referring to? While Willett et.al. may not have done the randomized-controlled trials necessary to investigate the association they claim to have found between premature death and higher meat consumption, such studies have been done by others.

“They’re the trials that compare Atkins-like diets to other more conventional weight loss diets,” Taubes writes. “These conventional weight loss diets tend to restrict meat consumption to different extents because they restrict fat and/or saturated fat consumption and meat has a lot of fat and saturated fat in it. Ornish’s diet is the extreme example.

And when these experiments have been done, the meat-rich, bacon-rich Atkins diet almost invariably comes out ahead, not just in weight loss but also in heart disease and diabetes risk factors… The Stanford A TO Z Study is a good example of these experimentsviii. Over the course of the experiment — two years in this case — the subjects randomized to the Atkins-like meat- and bacon-heavy diet were healthier. That’s what we want to know.”

Recent Study Finds Red Meat Associated with Improved Mental Health

Interestingly enough, another recently published Australian studyix concluded that women who avoid red meat appear to be at increased risk of clinical depression. Women consuming less than the recommended amount of red meat were twice as likely to have a diagnosed depressive or anxiety disorder as those consuming less than the recommended amount. Eating very high amounts of red meat was also associated with increased rates of depression.

The researchers suggest a moderate amount of lean red meat—about three to four 6-8 ounce servings per week—may actually be important for mental health. However, they also recommend being careful with the type of meat you choose. As reported by PsychCentral.comx:

“[Felice] Jacka [Ph.D., associate professor from Deakin’s Barwon Psychiatric Research Unit] also suggests sticking with grass-fed meats whenever possible. “We know that red meat in Australia is a healthy product as it contains high levels of nutrients, including the omega-3 fatty acids that are important to mental and physical health. This is because cattle and sheep in Australia are largely grass-fed. In many other countries, the cattle are kept in feedlots and fed grains, rather than grass. This results in a much less healthy meat with more saturated fat and fewer healthy fats.”

Healthy versus Unhealthy Meats

Many people are still in the dark about the vast differences between concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and organically-raised, grass-fed beef, both in terms of nutrient content and contamination with veterinary drugs, genetically modified organisms, and disease-causing pathogens. Most CAFO cows are fed grains (oftentimes genetically engineered grains, which make matters even worse), when their natural diet is plain grass. This difference in the animals’ diet creates vastly different end products.

Modern mass production of food has created a wide array of safety problems. In fact, once you delve into the world of the food industry, it becomes clear that eating much of it is like playing a game of Russian roulette with your health.

While I’m not going to address them all here, one problem in particular, which relates to the issue of meat, is the issue of contamination with hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides. As much as 70 percent of all antibiotics used in the U.S. are for animals, primarily to serve as growth enhancers. The excessive use of antibiotics in agriculture is the primary reason for the rampant increase in antibiotic-resistant disease in humans. As for pesticides, most people do not realize that conventionally-raised meat is actually one of the primary sources of pesticide exposure—not fruits and vegetables! This due to the fact that CAFO animals are raised on a diet consisting primarily of grains, which are of course sprayed with pesticides.

Decayed Meat Treated with Carbon Monoxide to Make it Look Fresh…

Additionally, many of the methods employed to make food “safer” actually deepen rather than solve them. Take so-called atmospheric packaging, for example. You might not be aware that more than 70 percent of all beef and chicken in the United States, Canada and other countries is treated with poisonous carbon monoxide gas, which can make seriously decayed meat look fresh for weeks!

Although carbon monoxide is a gas that can be fatal when inhaled, the meat industry insists that it is not harmful to human health when ingested via atmospheric packaging, which utilizes carbon monoxide gas to extend the shelf life and resist spoilage. Whatever the truth of that may be, eating spoiled meat is not going to do your health any favors…

According to Currentxi :

“C. perfringens bacteria, the third-most-common cause of food-borne illness, has been proven to grow on what is considered fresh meat … about half of the fresh meat products [tested for these bacteria] are positive despite them being within the expiry period. One hundred percent of … these cases come from packagers who adopted atmospheric packaging methods such as the use of carbon monoxide gas”.

Why I Only Recommend Eating Organic Grass-Fed Animals

The natural diet for ruminant animals, such as cattle, is grass. When left to feed on grass-only diets, levels of conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA are three to five times more than those fed grain-based diets. And that’s just for starters. A joint effort between the USDA and Clemson University researchers in 2009 determined a total of 10 key areas where grass-fed beef is better than grain-fed for human healthxii. In a side-by-side comparison, they determined that grass-fed beef was:

Lower in total fat

Higher in total omega-3s

Higher in beta-carotene

A healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids (1.65 vs 4.84)

Higher in vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)

Higher in CLA (cis-9 trans-11), a potential cancer fighter

Higher in the B-vitamins thiamin and riboflavin

Higher in vaccenic acid (which can be transformed into CLA)

Higher in the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium

Lower in the saturated fats linked with heart disease

Always Avoid Processed Meats

As for processed meat, I am firmly convinced they do increase risk of disease and should NEVER be consumed. That’s also the conclusion reached by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) after reviewing more than 7,000 clinical studies examining the connection between diet and cancer.

Processed meats are those preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or the addition of chemical preservatives. This includes bacon, ham, pastrami, salami, pepperoni, hot dogs, some sausages and hamburgers (if they have been preserved with salt or chemical additives) and more. Particularly problematic are the nitrates that are added to these meats as a preservative, coloring and flavoring. The nitrates found in processed meats are frequently converted into nitrosamines, which are clearly associated with an increased risk of certain cancers. The latest research from WCRF is only the most recent of a slew of evidence linking processed meats to cancer.

A 2007 analysis by WCRF found that eating just one sausage a day can significantly raise your risk of bowel cancer. Specifically, 1.8 ounces of processed meat daily — about one sausage or three pieces of bacon — raises the likelihood of the cancer by 20 percent. Other studies have also found that processed meats increase your risk of:
•Colon cancer by 50 percent
•Bladder cancer by 59 percent
•Stomach cancer by 38 percent
•Pancreatic cancer by 67 percent

Hot dogs, bacon, salami and other processed meats may also increase your risk of diabetes by 50 percent, and lower your lung function and increase your risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

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Are Sports Drinks Really Necessary?

Posted by: admin  /  Category: Health

By Dr. Mercola

In an effort to prevent dehydration, it’s common for many endurance athletes to guzzle down large amounts of fluids before, during and after competing.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) even encourages this approach, stating that “the goal of drinking during exercise is to prevent excessive (>2% body weight loss from water deficit) dehydration and excessive changes in electrolyte balance to avert compromised performance.”i

But is this really the right thing, or the healthiest thing, to do?

Exercise scientist (and experienced endurance athlete) Dr. Tim Noakes doesn’t believe so — in fact, he points out at least a dozen deaths that have occurred in endurance events due to drinking too much fluid.

Intrigued as to how this problem came about, Dr. Noakes studied the hydration fad over the last few decades, then wrote a book about it, “Waterlogged: The Serious Problem of Overhydration in Endurance Sports.”

The topic is particularly dear to him because 30 years ago he personally advised people to drink as much as they could―only to find out later that this advice could be deadly.

The Problem With Drinking Too Much During Exercise

According to a survey by Loyal University researchers, over 36 percent of runners drink according to a preset schedule or to maintain a certain body weight.ii Another 9 percent drink as much as they can during races. These runners are choosing to ignore their body’s thirst mechanism and instead use other methods to dictate their water consumption, which they believe, mistakenly, to be superior.

Many buy into this belief, and health agencies and sports drinks advertisers have been spouting the misinformation for years. But as the Loyola researchers noted:iii

“These beliefs are frequently based on misconceptions about basic exercise physiology.”

Overhydrating will actually worsen athletic performance, not improve it. As you begin to consume too much water, your cells will start to swell, leading to such symptoms as gastrointestinal upset, dizziness, soreness and others. In severe cases, the sodium levels in your blood may drop to dangerously low levels, causing hyponatremia — a condition in which your cells swell with too much water. While most of your body’s cells can handle this swelling, your brain cells cannot, and most of the symptoms are caused by brain swelling.

This condition is most common among athletes, although anyone can be affected by drinking excessive amounts of water. Dr. Noakes explained:iv

“The brain swells, and because it is in a rigid skull, it cannot swell very much. The more it swells, the more pressure, and that eventually squeezes the arteries supplying blood to the brain. Ultimately, there is less oxygen getting to the brain, and certain parts become damaged. Once it affects your breathing centers, then you’re in real trouble, because it stops breathing, and that is essentially irreversible.”

Your Body is Designed to Tell You When to Drink

According to Dr. Noakes, the first drinking guidelines put out by The American College of Sports Medicine said that runners should “drink regularly during exercise,” which is fair advice. But then an individual working for the U.S. military published a paper saying that U.S. soldiers should drink 64 ounces of water per hour in order to improve performance.

Though the paper was not based on concrete evidence, it was widely embraced by the military, and then filtered through to the American College of Sports Medicine’s guidelines for runners. Today ACSM still recommends drinking “ahead of thirst,” a move that Dr. Noakes says “impairs exercise performance.” He uses the example of African hunters who were able to chase down an antelope for four to six hours in mid-day heat, without a source of fluids until after the hunt ended (when they would drink the animal’s blood and intestinal water). He continues:v

“Dehydration is not a disease, and it only has one symptom, and that is thirst. If you start to exercise, and you don’t drink, after a period of time, you will become thirsty—that’s your body’s way of telling you to drink.

The idea that you should drink ahead of thirst is absolutely nonsensical… why should humans be different from every other creature on earth to be told when and how to drink? The reality is you don’t need to be told when and how much to drink.

We have a 300 million year developed system that tells you with exquisite accuracy how much you need to drink and when you need to drink. It’s called thirst. If you rely on thirst you won’t ever become dehydrated, and you won’t also ever become overhydrated.”

Are Sports Drinks Really Necessary?

Aside from the now disproven dogma that you need to chug lots of water during exercise, it’s also commonly said that you need to replace your electrolyte balance … and sports drinks are positioned as the ideal way to do so. But according to Dr. James Winger, author of the Loyola study:vi

“There is no need to replace minerals during exercise, because the loss of minerals has no deleterious effect on the body.”

The fact of the matter is, sports drinks represent a nearly $4-billion market in the United States.vii And because of their glitzy marketing campaigns, which often feature celebrity athletes, many people are under the impression that these drinks are healthy and essential during or after a workout, offering such benefits as improved athletic performance, increased energy and superior hydration during exercise.

The leading brands of sports drinks on the market typically contain as much as two-thirds the sugar of sodas and more sodium. They also often contain high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

Fructose is known to be highly toxic when consumed at levels beyond which glycogen stores are replenished. The excess either converts to triglycerides in the liver, which in turn raises your risk of heart disease and does nothing to satisfy the immediate glucose needs of your cells, or accumulates in the blood where it reacts with proteins through the Malliard reaction (glycation), essentially “gumming up the works” with destructive glycation byproducts that cause accelerated aging and diabetes complications, to name but a few of their adverse effects.

And if that’s not bad enough, crystalline fructose may be contaminated with arsenic, lead, chloride and heavy metals.

Many sports drinks also contain artificial sweeteners (they can lead to impaired kidney function, depression, headaches, infertility, brain tumors, and a long list of other serious health problems), artificial flavors and food coloring, which has been connected to a variety of health problems, including allergic reactions, hyperactivity, decreased IQ in children, and numerous forms of cancer.

Not to mention, sports drinks are up to 30 times more erosive to your teeth than water. And brushing your teeth won’t help because the citric acid in the sports drink will soften your tooth enamel so much it could be damaged by brushing.

It’s just not worth it, especially considering only a very small portion of exercisers work out hard enough that a sports drink might be necessary. They basically “work” because they contain high amounts of sodium (processed salt), which is meant to replenish the electrolytes you lose while sweating. But as Dr. Winger said, this isn’t even necessary during a marathon, let alone during most regular workouts:viii

““During a 26-mile marathon, there is no role during or after the race for oral supplementation of salt.”

And even then, if you did feel a beverage other than water was necessary, coconut water is a far better choice than virtually any commercial sports drink on the market.

So How Much Water is Healthy?

Even if you’re not an endurance athlete who is chugging 64 ounces of water an hour, you may still be stressing yourself unnecessarily regarding your water consumption. Scientific evidence to support the widely touted recommendation to drink eight glasses of water a day is also lacking, and has even been called “thoroughly debunked nonsense.”

Drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of pure water a day may not be likely to cause you harm; it’s just that the evidence is lacking on whether that is the magic number for everyone, and most likely it appears that it is not. The reality is that many people are dehydrated and would benefit from drinking more water each day, and from making water their primary source of fluids.

Your body will tell you when it’s time to replenish your water supply, because once your body has lost between one to two percent of its total water, your thirst mechanism lets you know that it’s time to drink some water!

The color of your urine will also help you determine whether or not you might need to drink more. As long as you are not taking riboflavin (vitamin B2, also found in most multi-vitamins), which fluoresces and turns your urine bright yellow, then your urine should be a very light-colored yellow. If it is a deep, dark yellow then you are likely not drinking enough water. If your urine is scant or if you haven’t urinated in many hours, that too is an indication that you’re not drinking enough. (Based on the results from a few different studies, a healthy person urinates on average about seven or eight times a day.)

But since your body is capable of telling you its needs, you needn’t worry about measuring your water intake or counting your glasses. Simply using thirst as a guide to how much water you need to drink is a simple way to help ensure your individual needs are met, day-by-day.

Of course, if it’s hot, exceptionally dry outside, or if you are engaged in exercise or other vigorous activity, you will require more water than normal. But again, if you drink as soon as you feel thirsty, you should be able to remain properly hydrated even in these cases.

If you like what you read, please consider donating to help support my blog, even as little as $5 will help.

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Nobel Prize Founder and Nitric Oxide..

Posted by: admin  /  Category: Health

Since 1901, a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded every year (with few exceptions) to brilliant men and women around the world.

Many recipients of this prestigious honor for outstanding achievement spent decades conducting complex laboratory and clinical research.

Over the years, Nobel Prizes for medical achievements have been awarded for extraordinary discoveries from…
Insulin (1923) to …
Vitamin K identification (1943) to…
Penicillin (1945) to…
Heart catherization (1956) to…
Magnetic Resonance Imagery (MRI) technology (2003)…

…Just to name a very few…

One of most significant, yet little understood discoveries ever awarded by the Nobel Assembly (Swedish awarding body), occurred in 1998.

The 1998 Nobel Prize in Medicine recognized a 3-man research team for their identification of “nitric oxide as a signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system.”

Doesn’t sound real significant… but I assure you it was.

To put into perspective the importance of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Medicine, we need to first take a closer look…

At the Heart of YOUR Matter

“For optimal health, the vital components of your cardiovascular system need to work together efficiently… your: heart, blood, arteries, veins, and capillaries.”

By far, one of the most important systems in your entire body is your cardiovascular system.

Every year, millions of people around the world experience less-than-optimal cardiovascular health… and this is by no means restricted just to the male population.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), many people across all age groups experience less-than-optimal cardiovascular health.

It pretty much goes without saying how important it is to keep your entire cardiovascular system working as efficiently as possible.

You probably know from your academic days studying biology, blood flow is key to your cardiovascular system… it’s the ‘nutritious oil’ that feeds all your vital organs and keeps everything running smoothly.

What happens if your blood flows less-than-optimally?

Well, it may keep your heart and other organs from functioning at their best.

But what helps keep blood flowing optimally… what keeps your blood vessels relaxed and elastic to best support your system?

Some of the answers to this directly correlate to the 1998 Nobel Prize in Medicine… and to an essential amino acid involved in multiple areas of human physiology and metabolism.


How an Air Pollutant Gas Helps Your Blood Vessels Relax

The 1998 Nobel Prize in Medicine recipients discovered a remarkable way your blood vessels do everything possible to stay dilated (open) for optimal blood flow.…

But no one really knew how extensive a role nitrogen played prior to the discoveries leading to the 1998 Nobel Prize.

The 1998 Nobel Prize winners discovered how endothelial cells produce nitric oxide to help blood vessels stay relaxed and open for blood flow.

What Furchgott, Murid, and Ignarro researched and discovered was how…
Vasodilating (vessel widening) compounds release a gas to help relax muscle cells in your veins
Endothelial cells lining your blood vessels produce this gas to help support healthy blood flow*
Nitric oxide is the gas released as a cellular signaling molecule to help promote healthy blood vessel flexibility and dilation*

What further made this discovery particularly surprising is nitric oxide is also a common air pollutant formed when nitrogen burns – like in automobile exhaust fumes.

The use of a gas, in this case nitric oxide for signaling between cells in your body, is an entirely new concept with far-reaching potential scientific and health benefits now and in the future.

Nitric oxide …
Enhances your blood flow when produced by blood vessel cells*
Helps support healthy blood pressure levels that are already within the normal range*
Is used as a signal molecule in your brain and immune system*

Coming up, I’ll get into more on what happens to this vital nitric oxide signaling process as you age… and the essential amino acid needed to produce it that you could be falling short in.

But first, let’s take a short trip back in time to learn how Alfred Nobel may have played an unknown role in this amazing discovery.

Nobel Prize Founder and Nitric Oxide

In addition to creating the Nobel Prizes, Alfred Nobel also invented dynamite – an explosive produced by a nitrogen-based compound and diatomaceous earth.

At one point in Nobel’s life, his doctor ironically suggested a compound that signals nitric oxide release in order to support his heart health. Nobel refused to take it.

Back in the late 1800s, there must have been an inkling of the value of products that trigger the release of nitric oxide gas.

But it would take close to 100 years until it was fully identified how such products act by releasing nitric oxide gas as a signal molecule… little did Alfred Nobel know at the time of his doctor’s recommendation.

What Happens to Your Blood Vessels as You Age?

As your efficiency to produce nitric oxide slows down with normal aging, your body could use some help to support optimal blood flow.

At this point, you should start to see the importance of the nitric oxide discovery.

But, what happens to nitric oxide production as you get older?

Quite simply, just like other bodily functions, nitric oxide signaling efficiency declines as a normal part of aging.

Remember, your endothelial cells produce nitric oxide to help your vessels stay relaxed and open for blood flow.

As your efficiency to produce nitric oxide slows down, your body could use some help to support optimal blood flow.*

Knowing how nitric oxide works and its effects on your blood vessel efficiency is critically important information for your health and science.

And remember how I mentioned earlier how millions of people around the world could likely benefit from taking a supplement to support cardiovascular health?

Certainly, the nitric oxide discovery could potentially play a significant role in helping provide this support.*

But how?

How Nitric Oxide is Efficiently Produced by Your Blood Vessels

Clinical research gives us a clue as to what’s needed to efficiently produce nitric oxide in your vessels.

A semi-essential amino acid called L-arginine appears to be at the heart of the matter.

L-arginine is…
A precursor to nitric oxide
Needed by the lining in your vessels (endothelium) to create nitric oxide *
The only known nutritional substrate in your vessel lining available to endothelial cells for nitric oxide production*

Here are just a few examples of the research conducted to evaluate L-arginine’s potential…
2005: Rainer H. Boger, MD, and Eval S. Ron, PhD

Purpose: Evaluated endothelial function and supportive affects of L-arginine
Conclusions/Results: Sustained-release L-arginine promotes improvement and helps support endothelial vascular function.*
2000: Alfonso Siani et al

Purpose: Evaluated blood pressure and metabolic changes during L-arginine supplementation in humans
Conclusions/Results: Found indication of a moderate increase in L-arginine could promote healthy blood pressure levels that are already within the normal range in healthy people.*
Journal of Nutrition American Society for Nutritional Sciences (2004) Heather L. Gornik and Mark A. Creager

Purpose: Evaluated and reviewed L-arginine applications in various research and clinical trials
Conclusions/Results: In many animal and human models, L-arginine improves endothelial function and promotes a healthy cardiovascular system.*

The take-away from the research is L-arginine is a key nutrient in promoting efficient blood flow and supporting your healthy cardiovascular system.*

Plus, recent research suggests that L-arginine can potentially support your immune system by promoting a healthy immune response.*

But what exactly is L-arginine and how do you ensure your body produces the optimal amounts?

How to Avoid L-arginine Deficiencies

As I mentioned above, L-arginine is an amino acid functioning as a building block of proteins.

Your body produces L-arginine and it plays a significant role in multiple areas of your physiology and metabolism because it…*
Significantly affects your cardiovascular system… in particular, your blood vessel vitality*
Plays a critical role in maintaining the natural, healthy functions of your vascular endothelium (vessel lining)*
Promotes blood vessel relaxation and flexibility from the nitric oxide created by your vascular endothelium*

Without enough L-arginine, your endothelial cells may not create enough nitric oxide to promote optimal blood flow and cardiovascular health.* And as far as your immune system, not having enough L-arginine could desensitize important white cell components called neutrophils… vital in a healthy immune system response.*

What could cause L-arginine deficiencies in your system?

Might not consume and digest enough protein
Could require more L-arginine in your system due to inherited genetics
May be prone to lower levels of antioxidants and excessive free radicals

Making sure you get enough protein in your system and eating the right natural foods to increase antioxidant nutrients can help.

But like most everything else, as a normal part of aging, your bodily functions just seem to slow down and become less efficient.

Since L-arginine is available as a supplement today, the answer seems quite simple on how to enhance your body supply… but unfortunately it is not.

Why Controlling Absorption Rate is Key

Just like other supplemental nutrients in the marketplace today, L-arginine formulas vary widely.

And one of the biggest challenges with L-arginine is its absorption rate.

Your body very rapidly absorbs and metabolizes L-arginine. This means you would likely have to take supplements frequently during the day in order to maintain increased levels of L-arginine in your body.

You can rest assured this is not an acceptable solution for me… and likely is not for you as well.

What I did discover is an L-arginine solution with a unique patented formula for what’s called ‘sustained-release.’

Sustained-release helps you maintain an optimal level of L-arginine in your system over a 24 hour period… reducing the need to frequently take capsules throughout the day.*

I’d like to introduce to you the only formula my team could find with this unique sustained-release solution –L-Arginine.

And I didn’t stop here… I wasn’t about to settle for just any manufacturer of L-arginine.


How You Can Avoid Synthetic L-arginine Formulas

As important as the sustained release formula was for my recommendation of L-Arginine, I also made sure the manufacturer used good manufacturing processes for pure natural production of L-arginine as well.

L-Arginine is unique because the chosen manufacturer…
Uses only natural, pure powdered ingredients in the L-arginine formula
Avoids artificial fillers and additives
Never uses fatty acid excipients to help process flow – avoids ingredients that I believe are risky such as magnesium stearate and steric acid
Delivers a hypoallergenic formula – great care taken in process and formulation to minimize potential allergens*
Blends in unique patented ingredient for sustained-release of L-arginine nutrient – no need to frequently take doses during the day to maintain optimal levels in your system*

This provides further evidence why I strongly recommend L-Arginine as your source of L-arginine with the added benefit of sustained-release.

And here’s a summary of the…

9 Reasons This Formula is at the Top of My List

Let me quickly summarize your potential benefits from L-Arginine*…
Helps blood vessels relax to promote optimal blood flow in your body*
Aids in helping to maintain healthy blood pressure levels that are already within the normal range*
Helps support healthy sexual function in men *
Promotes healthy breathing*
Provides vital support for your immune system*
Boosts skin health*
Enhances your exercise tolerance*
Supports healthy kidney function*
Promotes your overall cardiovascular system vitality*

These powerful benefits should leave you little doubt about the potential boost and protection to your cardiovascular system and overall health.

And when you add the fact I carefully selected a high-quality formula produced by a very reputable and health-conscious manufacturer… L-Arginine is an extraordinary winning combination.

Take this Message to Heart Today

Hopefully by now, you have a better understanding of the importance of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Medicine.

The discovery of how nitric oxide gas transmits signals within your cardiovascular system was truly remarkable.

And with research identifying how vital L-arginine can be in creating nitric oxide, it’s reassuring to know there’s a potential way for you to enhance nitric oxide production.*

Keep in mind that as you age, your vascular system’s ability to produce L-arginine for effective nitric oxide production naturally declines.

With L-Arginine and its sustained-release nutrient, your vessel lining can get the potential L-arginine boost you desire.*

Any way to efficiently enhance and maintain your healthy blood flow only helps promote the overall health of your cardiovascular system and other bodily functions as well.*

That’s why I strongly recommend L-Arginine.

So, give your cardiovascular system the boost and protection you desire and order L-Arginine today.* At $39.00 this is an extraordinary value to support your heart vitality.* Wouldn’t you agree?

Also please remember my 100% no-questions-asked lifetime guarantee (see details below). Order now to give your heart the attention it deserves.*

If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.

Label Snapshot for L-Arginine

Supplement Facts
Serving Size: 2 Capsules
Servings Per Container: 60

% Daily Value

Amt. Per Serving


1,000 mg


*Daily Value not established.

OTHER INGREDIENTS: High and low viscosity hydroxypropyl methyl-cellulose and Magnesium Citrate Laurate (Time-Sorb**), Hypromellose (derived from cellulose) capsule, Leucine, Silicon Dioxide.

**L-Arginine complexed with Time-Sorb®, a time-release matrix.

SUGGESTED USE: Take two (2) capsules twice daily, or as recommended by your health-care practiti

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The Truth About GM Soy?

Posted by: admin  /  Category: Food, Health

Factory Fed Fish: Monsanto’s and Cargill’s Plans for the Ocean The mass cultivation of genetically modified (GM) soybeans has a hugely detrimental environmental and health impact worldwide.

As it stands, soy is widely used in our diets, in processed foods and found in most meat, as soy is fed to animals on CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations).

The next “natural” step, at least according to two of the largest stakeholders in the soy industry, Monsanto (creator of GM soy) and food giant Cargill, is to make soy the feed of choice for factory-farmed fish around the world – a move they are misleadingly labeling as “sustainable.”

Fortunately, Food & Water Watch has released a report that reveals the truth: bringing soy to fish feed would be an environmental, and human health, disaster.

Why We Need to Keep Soy Out of the Sea

It’s estimated that about half of the world’s seafood comes from aquaculture, which is the term used to describe industrial fish farming. Like the land-based CAFOs, industrial fish farming has had problems from the start, including overcrowded conditions, pollution and unnatural diets.

Feed has been an area of controversy, as sometimes wild fish are used to prepare the fishmeal fed to farmed fish, depleting the natural fish supply in some areas.

In September 2011, the Illinois Soybean Association announced that soy feed could “revolutionize sustainable agriculture” on fish farms. They’re clamoring to get soy into fish feed as soon as possible, as doing so could earn them a reported $201 million a year, and that is a low estimate! But as Food & Water Watch points out, just as soy has been detrimental to land-based food lots, human health and the environment, it could be devastating to our oceans, and seafood supplies, as well:

” … while the soy industry stands to make large profits from the expansion of factory fish farming, there is no guarantee that soy-based aquaculture feed can consistently produce healthy fish or promote ecological responsibility . In fact, by causing fish to produce excess waste, soy could lead to an even more polluting fish farming industry.

By supporting factory fish farming, the soy industry could not only help to expand an industry that degrades marine environments, threatens wild fish populations and damages coastal communities, it could also extend its own negative impacts.

Already, industrial soy production has led to the prevalence of genetically modified crops on U.S. farmland and in consumer food products, caused massive deforestation in South America and displaced indigenous communities living in areas now used to grow soy. Rather than actually promoting sustainability in a developing industry, the involvement of soy associations in aquaculture could spur the growth of two industries that have extremely negative impacts on our land, our oceans and the communities that depend on them.”

4 Reasons Why Soy in Fish Feed Could be Devastating

What could happen if fish are fed soy – a food they would virtually never come into contact with in their natural environment?
•Increased pollution: Fish fed soy produce more waste than other fish, which means more pollution the ocean is not set up to handle. Also, GM soy is invariably contaminated with residues of potent glyphosate-based herbicide formulations (e.g. Roundup) used to produce them, which a growing body of research clearly shows is extremely toxic to aquatic life.1
•Contamination of the oceans (and your seafood) with genetically modified organisms (GMOs): About 94 percent of the soy grown in the United States is genetically modified. And when you feed farmed fish raised in an ocean environment, any feed that is not consumed flows directly out of the cage and into the ocean. As Food & Water Watch noted, feeding soy to farmed fish means GM food will enter the environment and diets of wild marine organisms, permanently contaminating our oceans with completely unknown consequences.
•Monsanto and Cargill will have control of seafood … and parts of the ocean: Monsanto, which has sponsored feed trials with GM soy and salmon, is already keen on spreading their GM seeds “from sea to shining sea” … Cargill, which has an aquaculture feed division, is another industrial food giant. By bringing soy into fish farming, their reach will now extend into issues concerning the very sustainability and future of marine life!
•Deforestation could increase: Large quantities of South American land are already being cleared to make way for soy farms. This could increase if even more soy is needed for aquaculture.

There are many reasons why I already advise avoiding factory-farmed fish, but the addition of GM soy as a staple to their diets is the icing on the cake. The soy industry, however, is showing no signs of stopping. Food & Water Watch reported:

“The American soy industry is powerful. It has been able to fund many studies on using soy for fish feed; it has built relationships in the aquaculture industry; and it has publicly supported federal policies in favor of offshore aquaculture.

… Soy does not have the full array of nutrients demanded by fish, however; nor is it a natural fish food or substance in the marine environment. In fact, using soy may cause some fish farms to pollute more by producing extra waste. Further, the negative ramifications of the soy industry on the environment and potentially on our health are reasons to resist the allure of soy as a “savior” of the aquaculture industry.

The cultivation of soy is associated with agricultural runoff that is contributing to the dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico, with deforestation in Latin America and with the displacement of many indigenous peoples from their homes and work.

As soy becomes increasingly ubiquitous in our diets — in processed foods and the meat from animals that have been raised on it — we must ask what health impacts this high level of soy consumption may have on us. Scientists are beginning to question claims about the benefits of eating soy and to suggest that the plant-based estrogens that occur naturally in soy, many of which are endocrine disruptors, could potentially have adverse impacts.

In light of these concerns and unanswered questions, it is troubling to know that much of our fish — one of our last wild foods — could be fattened on this crop.”

Do You Know the Truth About GM Soy?

Genetically modified soybeans are designed to be “Roundup ready.” This means they are chemically engineered to withstand heavy doses of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide without killing the plant! What does this mean for your health and the health of your unborn or yet-to-be-conceived children?

The long-term effects of the human consumption of genetically modified soy and soy-based products are staggering. In April 2010, researchers at Russia’s Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the National Association for Gene Security found that after feeding hamsters GM soy for two years over three generations, by the third generation, most lost the ability to have pups!2

A Brazilian study published in 2009 looked at the impact of soy on the reproductive system of female rats. Female rats fed GM soy for 15 months showed significant changes in their uterus and reproductive cycles, compared to rats fed organic soy or no soy.3

Extrapolating the findings to people, women who eat GM soy products may be more likely to experience severe hormonal disruptions, including an overabundance of estrogen and/or estrogenic activity, a hair-growth stimulating hormone, and damage to the pituitary gland. GM soy has also been linked to loss of libido and erectile dysfunction in men, and, disturbingly, the only published human feeding study on GM foods ever conducted verified that the gene inserted into GM soy transfers into the DNA of human gut bacteria and continues to function.

This means that years after you stop eating GM soy, you may still have a range of potentially allergenic proteins continuously being produced in your intestines. Not to mention, the intensive soy farming taking place in areas like Paraguay is subjecting residents to pesticide poisoning, and threatening biodiversity and access to locally grown produce.

There are Ways You Can Help

If you’re wondering what you can do, one step in the right direction is to avoid factory-farmed fish. By doing this, you’re withdrawing your support of an industry that is not in the best interest of human health and the environment, and you’re protecting your health, as nutritionally speaking farmed fish are among the worst type of seafood you can eat.

I do not recommend consuming seafood of any kind unless you know it is from pure waters, not contaminated with chemicals, and harvested by a sustainable fishery. Keep in mind that virtually all fish served in restaurants is from factory farms. On a larger scale, you can boycott not only farmed fish but also GM soy by following the tips below. It is time to shift our food paradigm toward one that is more focused on natural, organic and independent community farms, and this is true both on land and at sea.
1.Buy local products whenever possible. Otherwise, buy organic and fair-trade products.
2.Shop at your local farmers market, join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), or buy from local grocers and co-ops committed to selling local foods.
3.Support restaurants and food vendors that buy locally produced food.
4.Avoid genetically engineered (GM) foods. Buying certified organic ensures your food is non-GM.
5.Cook, can, ferment, dry and freeze. Return to the basics of cooking, and pass these skills on to your children.
6.Drink plenty of water, but avoid bottled water whenever possible, and do invest in a high-quality water filter to filter the water from your tap.
7.Grow your own garden, or volunteer at a community garden. Teach your children how to garden and where their food comes from.
8.Volunteer and/or financially support an organization committed to promoting a sustainable food system.
9.Get involved in your community. Influence what your child eats by engaging the school board. Effect city policies by learning about zoning and attending city council meetings. Learn about the federal policies that affect your food choice, and let your congressperson know what you think.
10.Spread the word! Share this article with your friends, family, and everyone else you know.

If you like what you read, please consider donating to help support my blog, even as little as $5 will help.

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Human Cloning Next?

Posted by: admin  /  Category: Health

By Dr. Mercola

Dozens of Genetically Modified Babies Already Born – How Will They Alter Human Species?

When I first read that genetically modified humans have already been born, I could hardly believe it. However, further research into this story featured in the UK’s Daily Mail1 proved it to be true. They’ve really done it… they’ve created humans that nature could never allow for, and it’s anyone’s guess as to what will happen next.

Even more shocking was the discovery that this is actually old news!

The Daily Mail article was not dated, and upon investigation, the experiments cited actually took place over a decade ago; the study announcing their successful birth was published in 20012.

While I typically comment on recent findings and health related news, in this case I will make an exception, because I think many of you may be as surprised by this information as I was. I do not propose to have any answers here as this is out of my scope of expertise.

At best, I hope I can stir you to ponder the implications of this type of genetic engineering, and I invite you to share your perspective in the vital votes’ comment section below. As reported in the featured article:

“The disclosure that 30 healthy babies were born after a series of experiments in the United States provoked another furious debate about ethics… Fifteen of the children were born… as a result of one experimental program at the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science of St Barnabas in New Jersey.

The babies were born to women who had problems conceiving. Extra genes from a female donor were inserted into their eggs before they were fertilized in an attempt to enable them to conceive.

Genetic fingerprint tests on two one-year- old children confirm that they have inherited DNA from three adults—two women and one man.”

Human Germline Now Altered… What Happens Next?

Today, these children are in their early teens, and while the original study claims that this was “the first case of human germline genetic modification resulting in normal healthy children,” later reports put such claims of absolute success in dispute. Still, back in 2001, the authors seemed to think they had it all under control, stating:

“These are the first reported cases of germline mtDNA genetic modification which have led to the inheritance of two mtDNA populations in the children resulting from ooplasmic transplantation. These mtDNA fingerprints demonstrate that the transferred mitochondria can be replicated and maintained in the offspring, therefore being a genetic modification without potentially altering mitochondrial function.”

It’s relevant to understand that these children have inherited extra genes—that of TWO women and one man—and will be able to pass this extra set of genetic traits to their own offspring. One of the most shocking considerations here is that this was done—repeatedly—even though no one knows what the ramifications of having the genetic traits of three parents might be for the individual, or for their subsequent offspring.

Based on what I’ve learned about the genetic engineering of plants, I’m inclined to say the ramifications could potentially be vast, dire, and completely unexpected.

As a general, broad-strokes rule, it seems few scientists fond of gene-tinkering have a well-rounded or holistic view of living organisms, opting instead to view the human body as a machine. And as demonstrated with the multi-varied problems that have arisen from genetically engineered foods—from the development of superweeds and superpests, to the creation of a never-before-seen organism now linked to miscarriage and infertility—such a view is bound to lead you to the wrong conclusions…

Surprise, Surprise… “Unpredictable Outcomes” Reported

As it turns out, this type of genetic modification, called cytoplasmic transfer, is actually a hot topic among geneticists, but it’s rarely published or discussed in the lay press, if at all—as evidenced by my own surprise when reading this decade-old piece of news.

Many follow-up reports continue to tout the high success of this method of treating infertility. But some, including a book put out by Cambridge Press, warns of the dangers and risks of this procedure. For example, the following excerpts from a report3 delivered during the 2003 World Congress on Controversies in Obstetrics, Gynecology & Infertility in Berlin raises questions about the less than thoughtful implementation of this technology, and some of the problems encountered:

“… Cytoplasmic control of preimplantation development is not a “new” concept, but ooplasm transfer have been amazingly rapidly applied in humans, with relative success, in the absence of extensive research to evaluate the efficacy and the potential risks of the method, resulting in some publications highlighting the potential dangers (Winston and Hardy 2002, DeRycke et al 2002, Templeton 2002), and unpredictable outcomes (Cummins 2001, 2002).

… A frank follow-up of ooplasmic transplantation pregnancies and infants reports that two out of 17 fetuses had an abnormal 45, XO karyotype. The authors assume the hypothesis of a link between chromosomal anomalies and oocytes manipulation, and reveal that one of the babies has been diagnosed at 18 months with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, a spectrum of autism-related diagnoses.” [Emphasis mine]

So it didn’t take long—less than two years, in fact—for reports of “unpredictable outcomes” to crop up. I for one am not surprised. It’s somewhat disconcerting that so much of this research is taking place without open discussion about the ethical questions associated with it.

The US FDA appears to have begun looking at the ethics of ooplasmic transplantation, and in one powerpoint4 it is pointed out that an 18-month-old child born from this procedure has been diagnosed with autism (PDD), and that the incidence of chromosomal anomalies is known to be higher in children born from the procedure than the rate of major congenital abnormalities observed in the natural population.

The document also states that lack of testing and long-term follow-up of the children born from the procedure so far is a significant shortcoming, making evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of the technique very difficult. The genetic modification of humans appears to have been running alongside the genetic engineering of plants, being just a few years behind in terms of the technology being unleashed, and the lack of proper evaluation of health effects is apparently on par as well, which is to say near non-existent…

Could They Create Patentable Humans? Perhaps…

Another horrific side effect that has nothing to do with health per se, is the potential that making this procedure widely available may trigger a “patent” war; meaning these genetically modified humans could become patentable property.

Sound crazy?

You bet! But it’s not outside the realm of possibility. The world is already embroiled in discussions about which genetically engineered life forms can and cannot be patented5, and biotech companies have secured patents on everything from genetically modified seeds to engineered animals of various kinds. Even human genes have already been patented!

As explained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)6:

“The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) grants patents on human genes, which means that the patent holders own the exclusive rights to those genetic sequences, their usage, and their chemical composition. Anyone who makes or uses a patented gene without permission of the patent holder – whether it be for commercial or noncommercial purposes – is committing patent infringement and can be sued by the patent holder for such infringement. Gene patents, like other patents, are granted for 20 years.

For example, Myriad Genetics, a private biotechnology company based in Utah, controls patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes [two genes associated with hereditary breast- and ovarian cancer]. Because of its patents, Myriad has the right to prevent anyone else from testing, studying, or even looking at these genes. It also holds the exclusive rights to any mutations along those genes. No one is allowed to do anything with the BRCA genes without Myriad’s permission.

A 2005 study found that 4,382 of the 23,688 human genes in the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s gene database are explicitly claimed as intellectual property. This means that nearly 20% of human genes are patented. In addition to the BRCA genes, genes associated with numerous diseases, both common and rare, are patented, including Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, some forms of colon cancer, Canavan disease, hemochromatosis, some forms of muscular dystrophy, Long QT Syndrome, and many others.”

If this sounds outrageous, illegal, and nonsensical, it’s because it’s all of those things. The ACLU claims to be engaged in a noble lawsuit against the US Patent and Trademark Office to stop the practice of issuing patents that are contrary to the law, which states only inventions can be patented—not naturally occurring parts of the human body. Still, the precedent has been clearly set. So what’s to stop a company from eventually claiming patent rights on an entire individual?

Human Cloning Next?

According to the featured article7, “altering the human germline—in effect tinkering with the very make-up of our species—is a technique shunned by the vast majority of the world’s scientists. Geneticists fear that one day this method could be used to create new races of humans with extra, desired characteristics such as strength or high intelligence.”

But that’s clearly not the end of the line in terms of where this technology might lead, if it hasn’t already:

“… Jacques Cohen is regarded as a brilliant but controversial scientist who has pushed the boundaries of assisted reproduction technologies,” Mail Online states8. “He developed a technique which allows infertile men to have their own children, by injecting sperm DNA straight into the egg in the lab. Prior to this, only infertile women were able to conceive using IVF.

Last year [2000], Professor Cohen said that his expertise would allow him to clone children—a prospect treated with horror by the mainstream scientific community. ‘It would be an afternoon’s work for one of my students,’ he said, adding that he had been approached by ‘at least three’ individuals wishing to create a cloned child, but had turned down their requests.”

That was then—12 years ago. One can only guess what might have transpired in laboratories such as that of Professor Cohen since then…

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Aspartame and MSG Can Make You Fat..

Posted by: admin  /  Category: Food, Health

How Diet Foods and Drinks Can Actually Cause, NOT Prevent Diabetes Many people equate eating sugar with the development of type 2 diabetes, and in an attempt to be healthier choose sugar-free diet products instead.

Imagine the irony if those diet products actually contained substances that cause an increase in fasting blood glucose levels and contribute to the onset of diabetes. Now stop imagining, because this isn’t just a fantasy … it’s the disturbing result of a newly published study.

Two Toxic Food Additives Common in Diet Foods May Cause Diabetes

A new study using mice as models showed that two additives often put in everyday foods to enhance flavor and reduce calories can actually cause an increase in fasting blood glucose levels, and contribute to the onset of diabetes. The toxins in this startling new study are aspartame and monosodium glutamate (MSG), and the evidence is stacked against them both.

The research showed that aspartame alone can cause an increase in fasting blood glucose levels and reduced insulin sensitivity. But when the two additives get together, they become partners in crime and cause an elevation in both weight and fasting glucose levels.

This is the first study ever to show the hyperglycemic effects of chronic exposure to a combination of these common food additives. Indeed, the consumer must exercise caution, as many mass-market foods contain both aspartame and hidden MSG – the perfect combination for diabetes development.

Researchers noted:

“Aspartame (ASP) and Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) are ubiquitous food additives with a common moiety: both contain acidic amino acids which can act as neurotransmitters, interacting with NMDA receptors concentrated in areas of the Central Nervous System regulating energy expenditure and conservation.”

What You Need to Know About Aspartame and MSG

Many conventional nutritionists will actually recommend artificial sweeteners like aspartame as a smart choice over sugar, especially for people with diabetes, but you should know that, as a result of its unnatural structure, your body processes the amino acids found in aspartame very differently from those in a steak or a piece of fish.

Largely due to the unnaturally high ratio of this amino acid resulting in relatively dangerous levels, the amino acids in aspartame literally attack your cells, even crossing the blood-brain barrier to attack your brain cells, creating a toxic cellular environment of overstimulation called excitotoxicity. MSG is also an excitotoxin, and works synergistically with aspartame to create even more damage to your brain cells.

This is one of the major reasons why I do not recommend taking isolated amino acid supplements.

But the damage does not stay confined to your brain, as food additives like artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and MSG can lead you down a path of food addiction, obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome, while increasing your risk for numerous chronic diseases.

Consider MSG, which is added to 80 percent of all flavored foods. MSG excites the part of your brain that’s in charge of your fat metabolism and storage, and has even been shown to scar the hypothalamus gland, inducing what is known as hypothalamic obesity.i So while MSG is most known for its excitotoxic properties, it’s also used to fatten up mice in scientific studies. Yes, MSG is the perfect obesity drug.

Aspartame and MSG Can Make You Fat

It’s speculated that the hormone leptin may be involved in weight gain, as those who consumed more MSG also produced more leptin.ii Researchers noted that MSG consumption may cause leptin resistance. The way your body stores fat is a highly regulated process that is controlled, primarily, by leptin. If you gain excess weight, the extra fat produces extra leptin that should alert your brain that your body is storing too much fat and needs to burn off the excess.

To do this, signals are sent to your brain to stop being hungry and to stop eating.

It is very important that your brain is able to accurately “hear” the messages leptin sends it, as otherwise you will continue to feel hungry and will likely continue to eat and store more fat. Leptin resistance occurs when your body is unable to properly respond to leptin’s signals, which means your body can no longer hear the messages telling it to stop eating and burn fat — so it remains hungry and stores more fat.

This will not only contribute to your weight gain, but also increase your risk of many chronic illnesses, as leptin resistance plays a significant, if not primary, role in heart disease, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases, reproductive disorders, and perhaps the rate of aging itself. How does this all happen? By overexposure to high levels of the hormone, which is triggered by the typical American diet full of sugar, refined grains, and processed foods — including those that contain MSG.

Animal studies have also shown that dietary MSG induces markers of insulin resistance,iii a direct cause of type 2 diabetes, while prior research by Ka He and colleagues found the additive may increase your likelihood of being overweight by three-fold.iv

Similarly, one reason for aspartame’s potential to cause weight gain is because phenylalanine and aspartic acid – the two amino acids that make up 90 percent of aspartame — are known to stimulate the rapid release of insulin and leptin, which are both intricately involved with satiety and fat storage. Insulin and leptin are also the primary hormones that regulate your metabolism. So even though you’re not eating calories in the form of sugar, aspartame can still raise your insulin and leptin levels. Elevated insulin and leptin levels, in turn, are two of the driving forces behind obesity, diabetes, and a number of our current chronic disease epidemics.

Why Our Food is Making Us Fat

It’s likely that the cumulative effects of food additives in a highly processed diet are in large part to blame for the rising rates of obesity in the United States and other developed countries. This includes not only MSG and aspartame, which the featured study showed work synergistically to cause even more health damage, but also other ubiquitous food additives like corn and sugar.

Indeed, corn’s weight-promoting property is highly prized in animal husbandry where it is used to fatten up cattle before slaughter. Corn oil is commonly used in fried foods, which are notorious for their ability to pack on the pounds. But corn’s main deleterious effects come from high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is used in so many processed foods that it’s now almost impossible to avoid thanks in large part to the collusion between the food industry and government that serves to provide lavish subsidies to grow corn, which manipulate normal market forces.

Ultimately, sugar in all forms (including fructose, date sugar, molasses, coconut sugar, agave syrup, HFCS, etc.) increases your insulin and leptin levels and decreases receptor sensitivity for both of these vital hormones, and this is another major factor in premature aging and age-related chronic degenerative diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, as well as a leading cause of the climbing rates of overweight and obesity in developed countries. So while MSG and aspartame in diet foods should certainly be avoided, the answer isn’t to simply swap them out for sugar-laden processed alternatives…

Number of Kids Hospitalized With High Blood Pressure Doubles in 10 Years

This startling statistic is another product of our increasingly nutrionally devoid, food-additive-laden processed diets. The number of kids treated in U.S. hopsitals for high blood pressure nearly doubled from over 12,660 in 1997 to more than 24,600 in 2006.v The researchers speculated that the biggest factor behind the massive increase is the corresponding rise in childhood obesity.

Unfortunately, children often mimic their parents, and without a positive role model for healthy diet and exercise, may fall into the same traps that many adults are finding themselves in. But the key to remember is that swapping out your child’s regular soda for diet soda is not the answer… swapping out most processed foods for pure, healthy, whole foods is.

Rising Diabetes Rates Worldwide May Have Unforseen Consequences…

Also an interesting study came out last month that showed rising rates of type 2 diabetes in Africa could actually encourage the spread of malaria. As diabetes rates rise, so do cases of hyperinsulinemia, or high levels of insulin in your blood. Insulin actually suppresses mosquito’s immune systems, which means that as more insulin enters the mosquito, their imune systems become less able to fight off the malaria infection, which means they are much more likely to spread malaria among humans.

Every year, malaria results in about 1 million deaths—which is half as many people as are killed by HIV/AIDS annually. It is such an enormous problem in Africa that each African child has, on average, between 1.6 and 5.4 episodes of malaria fever every year, so the fact that it could get even worse — because of the ill effects of eating a poor diet, which is increasing rates of type 2 diabetes — is an alarming prospect.

Did You Know Type 2 Diabetes is Nearly 100 Percent Preventable… and Reversible Without Drugs?

It’s important to understand that many of the conventional recommendations for treating diabetes are not only flawed but dead wrong, and I discussed the reasons why in this previous article. To reverse the disease, you need to recover your body’s insulin and leptin sensitivities – the ones that are so badly upset by eating a poor diet. So the ONLY way to accomplish this is through proper diet and exercise. There is NO drug that can correct leptin signaling and insulin resistance…

Adhering to the following guidelines can help you do at least three things that are essential for successfully treating, and reversing, diabetes: recover your insulin/leptin sensitivity, help normalize your weight, and normalize your blood pressure:
•Severely limit or eliminate sugar and grains in your diet, especially fructose, which is far more detrimental than any other type of sugar. Following my Nutrition Plan will help you do this without too much fuss.
•Exercise regularly. Exercise is an absolutely essential factor, and without it, you’re unlikely to get this devastating disease under control. It is one of the fastest and most powerful ways to lower your insulin and leptin resistance. I recommend reviewing my exercise program for tips and guidelines. It is also critical to work your way up to include some Peak Fitness exercises.
•Avoid trans fats.
•Get plenty of omega-3 fats from a high quality, animal-based source, such as krill oil.
•Optimize your vitamin D levels. Recent studies have revealed that getting enough vitamin D can have a powerful effect on normalizing your blood pressure.
•Optimize your gut flora. Your gut is a living ecosystem, full of both good bacteria and bad. Multiple studies have shown that obese people have different intestinal bacteria than lean people. The more good bacteria you have, the stronger your immune system will be and the better your body will function overall.

Fortunately, optimizing your gut flora is relatively easy. You can reseed your body with good bacteria by eating fermented foods (like natto, kefir, raw organic cheese, miso, and fermented vegetables) or by taking a high-quality probiotic supplement.
•Address any underlying emotional issues and/or stress. Non-invasive tools like the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) can be extremely helpful and effective.
•Get enough high-quality sleep every night.
•Monitor your fasting insulin level. This is every bit as important as your fasting blood sugar. You’ll want your fasting insulin level to be between 2 and 4. The higher your level, the worse your insulin sensitivity is.

If you like what you read, please consider donating to help support my blog, even as little as $5 will help.

My book “Dentistry and how it’s damaging your health” is available here for only $2.99

How Enzymes Might Help Treat Cancer

Posted by: admin  /  Category: Food, Health

One of the reasons why conventional cancer treatment is such a dismal failure in the United States is because it relies on chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy drugs are, by their very nature, extremely toxic and typically work against your body’s natural ability to fight cancer, e.g. destroying host immunity instead of supporting it.

One of the biggest drawbacks to chemotherapy is the fact that it destroys healthy cells throughout your body right along with cancer cells, a “side effect” that often leads to accelerated death, not healing.

Another devastating side effect of chemotherapy is the way it actually supports the more chemo resistant and malignant cell subpopulations within tumors (e.g. cancer stem cells), both killing the more benign cells and/or senescent cells within the tumor that keep it slow-growing, or even harmless.

As a result, this unleashes a more aggressive, treatment-resistant type of cancer to wreak havoc on the body.

A handful of natural compounds have been discovered, however, which exhibit an effect called “selective cytotoxicity.” This means they are able to kill cancer cells while leaving healthy cells and tissue unharmed.

This type of cancer treatment is intelligent, targeted and will not result in the death of the patient from “collateral damage” in what is increasingly a failed war not against the cancer being treated, but the patient’s own irreversibly devastated body.

Bromelain in Pineapples Kills Cancer Cells Without Harming You

One such compound is bromelain, an enzyme that can be extracted from pineapple stems. Research published in the journal Planta Medica found that bromelain was superior to the chemotherapy drug 5-fluorauracil in treating cancer in an animal study.i Researchers stated:

“This antitumoral effect [of bromelain] was superior to that of 5-FU [5-fluorouracil], whose survival index was approximately 263 %, relative to the untreated control.”

What makes this impact particularly impressive is that the bromelain worked without causing additional harm to the animals. The chemo drug 5-fluorauracil, on the other hand, has a relatively unsuccessful and dangerous track record despite being used for nearly 40 years.

As written by GreenMedInfo:

“As a highly toxic, fluoride-bound form of the nucleic acid uracil, a normal component of RNA, the drug is supposed to work by tricking more rapidly dividing cells — which include both cancer and healthy intestinal, hair follicle, and immune cells — into taking it up, thereby inhibiting (read: poisoning) RNA replication enzymes and RNA synthesis.…

When a person dies following conventional cancer treatment it is all too easy to “blame the victim” and simply write that patient’s cancer off as “chemo-resistant,” or “exceptionally aggressive,” when in fact the non-selective nature of the chemotoxic agent is what ultimately lead to their death.”

Selective cytotoxicity is indeed a property that is only found among natural compounds; no chemotherapy drug yet developed is capable of this effect. Aside from bromelain, other examples of natural compounds that have been found to kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells include:
•Vitamin C — Dr. Ronald Hunninghake carried out a 15-year research project called RECNAC (cancer spelled backwards). His groundbreaking research in cell cultures showed that vitamin C was selectively cytotoxic against cancer cells.
•Eggplant extract: Solasodine rhamnosyl glycosides (BEC), which is a fancy name for extracts from plants of the Solanaceae family, such as eggplant, tomato, potato, Bell peppers, and tobacco, also impact only cancerous cells leaving normal cells alone. Eggplant extract cream appears to be particularly useful in treating skin cancer. Dr. Bill E. Cham, a leading researcher in this area, explains:

“The mode of action of SRGs [glycoalkaloids solasodine rhamnosy glycosides (BEC)] is unlike any current antineoplastic [anti-tumor] agent. Specific receptors for the SRGs present only on cancer cells but not normal cells are the first step of events that lead to apoptosis in cancer cells only, and this may explain why during treatment the cancer cells were being eliminated and normal cells were replacing the killed cancer cells with no scar tissue being formed.”
•Turmeric (Curcumin Extract): Of all the natural cancer fighters out there, this spice has been the most intensely researched for exhibiting selective cytotoxicity.ii Remarkably, in a 2011 study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, rats administered curcumin, the primary polyphenol in turmeric, saw a decrease in experimentally-induced brain tumors in 9 out of 11 treated, while noting that the curcumin did not affect the viability of brain cells “suggesting that curcumin selectively targets the transformed [cancerous] cells.”

How Enzymes Might Help Treat Cancer

Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme (an enzyme that digests proteins). In the Planta Medica study, it was injected directly into the abdominal cavity. Getting enzymes from your digestive tract into your bloodstream isn’t as easy as it would seem, as enzymes are very susceptible to denaturing and must be helped to survive the highly acidic environment in your stomach. They are often given an “enteric coating” to help them survive the journey through your digestive tract.

And then, there is the matter of absorption. For nearly 100 years, medical dogma insisted that enzymes taken orally were too large to pass through the digestive tract wall.

However, there is now a good deal of research that they can indeed pass through your intestine intactiii and into your bloodstream and lymphatic system, where they can deliver their services to the rest of your body… one of the mysteries of medical science.

Now that we know this is possible, systemic oral enzymes have been used to treat problems ranging from sports injuries to arthritis to heart disease and cancer, particularly in European countries. But most of the research has been published in non-English language journals.

Is Cancer the Result of Diminished Pancreatic Enzymes?

This systemic use of enzymes is just now taking off in the United States, but the use of enzymes to treat cancer has its roots all the way back to 1911 with John Beard’s The Enzyme Treatment of Cancer and Its Scientific Basis. Beard believed cancer was a result of diminished pancreatic enzymes, impairing your immune response. A study in 1999iv suggests he may have been right on target.

Ten patients with inoperable pancreatic cancer were treated with large doses of oral pancreatic enzymes (along with detoxification and an organic diet), and their survival rates were 3 to 4 times higher than patients receiving conventional treatment. Proteolytic enzymes can be helpful in treating cancer because they help restore balance to your immune system. Dr. Nick Gonzalez in New York City, NY has also done a lot of work on enzymes in cancer treatment and has written a book on the subject.v

Some of the ways proteolytic enzymes can be helpful in the fight against cancer are:vi
•Boosting cytokines, particularly interferon and tumor necrosis factor, which are very important warriors in destroying cancer cells.
•Decreasing inflammation.
•Dissolving fibrin: Cancer cells hide under a cloak of fibrin to escape detection. Once the cancer cells are “uncloaked,” they can be spotted and attacked by your immune system. It is also thought that fibrin makes cancer cells “stick together,” which increases the chance for metastases.
•German studies have shown that systemic enzymes increase the potency of macrophages and killer cells 12-fold.

Fortunately, you get (or should be getting) many enzymes from the foods you consume—particularly, raw foods. These directly help with your digestive process. The more raw foods you eat, the lower the burden on your body to produce the enzymes it needs, not only for digestion, but for practically everything. Whatever enzymes are not used up in digestion are then available to help with other important physiological processes.

This is one of the reasons why it is so important to eat a diet rich in fresh, organic, raw foods. You may even want to try juicing some of your vegetables, and the core of your pineapple, as a way of getting more nutrients—and enzymes—into your body. In the event you use enzymes in supplement form, it is crucial that, in order for enzymes to be used systemically, they must be consumed on an empty stomach. Otherwise, your body will use them for digesting your food, instead of being absorbed into the blood and doing their work there.

Looking for an Alternative to Chemo for Cancer Treatment?

Dr. Gonzalez is on the front lines and actively engaged in helping people by coaching them with natural alternatives instead of toxic drugs and radiation for cancer. I would personally not hesitate to recommend him to a family member or a friend diagnosed with cancer. His website, www.dr-gonzalez.com, also contains information on how to become a patient, and everything a potential patient needs to know.

Another source for more information about alternative cancer treatments in general is Suzanne Somers’ book, Knockout. She reviews Dr. Gonzalez’ work in one chapter, and Dr. Gonzalez personally recommends the book as a well-researched resource for anyone interested in getting more information.

Additionally, Dr. Gonzalez has written a series of books, two of which have already been published and received five-star reviews: The Trophoblast and the Origins of Cancer and One Man Alone: An Investigation of Nutrition, Cancer, and William Donald Kelley. Three others are in the works, one of which will contain 100 of Dr. Gonzalez’ case reports of patients with advanced cancer who successfully recovered on his program.

If you like what you read, please consider donating to help support my blog, even as little as $5 will help.

My book “Dentistry and how it’s damaging your health” is available here for only $2.99

“Disgusting, Dishonorable” Way to Create Sales …

Posted by: admin  /  Category: Health

Mood swings, weight gain, joint pain, tummy problems―you name the ailment, there’s a pill for it. And you, the American consumer, are helping Big Pharma sell it. Don’t believe it? Well, its’ happening right before your eyes, and believe it or not, the United States is one of only two countries in the world that allows this to happen.

A “Disgusting, Dishonorable” Way to Create Sales … Legal in Only Two Countries

What I’m talking about is direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising, that barrage of ads you see on TV and in magazines and newspapers, or on the radio and Internet. They’re ads telling you to run right out and ask your doctor if this or that pill would be right for you.

Some drug companies have even taken to advertising highly specialized medical devices, like heart stents.

It’s a marketing bonanza that’s turned America into a medicated mass of people who’ve been brain-washed into thinking that taking pills will make everything better―even for ailments you might not have. But it’s a brilliant move for Big Pharma, who has now turned the consumer into their very own sales rep, and a persuasive one at that. Not only is there a correlation between the amount of money drug companies spend on DTC advertising and the brand of drug patients request from their physicians, but the data shows DTC advertising rapidly converts people into patients.

As mentioned in our featured article:

“It’s a disgusting, dishonorable way to generate sales–but it works. In 2008, the House Commerce Committee found that every $1,000 spent on drug ads produces 24 new patients,1 and a 2003 research report found that prescription rates for drugs promoted with DTC ads were nearly seven times greater than those without such promos.2 Ethics aside, these consumer hustles have proven to be profit bonanzas.”

As you might suspect, the use of DTC ads has grown rapidly since it was first approved in the U.S. in 1997. At that time, the ads could only be run along with lengthy consumer information warning of risks and side effects, so few companies used them. In 1997, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revised the rule so that rather than providing a full disclosure, companies only needed to meet an “adequate standard” when it came to describing risks to consumers. For those who are wondering, the only other country that has legalized DTC advertising is New Zealand (which did so in 1981).

As noted in the featured article:

“Such squishy words (slipped into regulations by industry lobbyists) are a corporate dream. Thanks to the adequacy loophole, fluffy-puffy, no-worries prescription drug ads quickly mushroomed. In 1997, spending on DTC ads was only $220 million; by 2002, it was $2.8 billion; and it has kept a steady pace of roughly $3 billion a year ever since.”

Do Drug Ads on TV Really Impact Consumers?

If they didn’t, the drug companies would have abandoned them long ago. They keep close tabs on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to their advertising dollars (an amount that’s roughly double what’s spent on research and development). But if you’re looking for more concrete data, the FDA conducted two consumer surveys of U.S. adults, asking them questions measuring the influence of DTC advertising on their attitudes toward prescription drugs, health-related behavior, and on aspects of the doctor-patient relationship.

The preliminary results were as follows:3
•Among respondents who had seen a doctor with the past three months and remembered seeing an ad for a prescription drug, approximately 40-50 percent said that an advertisement for a prescription drug had caused them to seek more information, for example, about the drug and their health.
•More than a quarter (27 percent) of survey respondents in the first survey and 18 percent in the second survey who had seen a doctor in the last three months said that an ad for a prescription drug had caused them to ask a doctor about a medical condition or illness that they had not talked to a doctor about before.
•Approximately 7 percent of respondents said they visited their doctor because of something they read or saw, or because of an ad for a prescription drug.
•Forty-two percent of respondents agreed strongly or somewhat agreed that DTC ads make it seem as though the drug will work for everyone.

Unfortunately, when a patient goes in to a doctor’s appointment with a prescription solution already in mind, doctors often feel pressured to oblige. An FDA survey of 500 U.S. physicians revealed:4
•About 75 percent believed that DTC ads caused patients to think the drug works better than it did, and many physicians felt some pressure to prescribe something when patients mentioned DTC ads.
•Only 40 percent of physicians believed that patients understood well the possible risks and negative effects of an advertised drug from the DTC ad alone.
•Eight percent of physicians felt very pressured and 20 percent felt somewhat pressured to prescribe the specific brand name drug when the patient asked the physician to do so.

This can have devastating consequences for consumers, who have bought the industry’s racket hook, line and sinker, then walk away with a drug they never needed, or which carries unacceptably high risks.

Take Vioxx, for example―Merck’s failed drug that caused 140,000 cardiac events, including more than 60,000 deaths, before it was pulled from the market. Merck admits that Vioxx was never intended for the general public. Yet Merck advertised it to the general public. People saw the ads and started demanding it from their doctors, and Merck sold 20 million prescriptions. Far too many people needlessly died before Merck pulled both the ads and the drug.

Vioxx became a blockbuster drug, primarily through the use of aggressive DTC advertising. And as a result, tens of thousands of unsuspecting people died or suffered heart attacks that would never have used the drug had they not been lured in by the glossy advertisements.

But Merck isn’t alone in this; direct-to-consumer marketing is a general practice by almost every drug company in America. The problem is that, like Vioxx, some of the drugs being advertised are not what they appear, meaning if you see it advertised, the old axiom, caveat emptor―let the buyer beware―is something to remember. This is to be expected when you consider the source, because pharmaceutical companies lead the pack when it comes to corporate crime.

Do You Really Want to Trust Your Health to Convicted Corporate Criminals?

Drug companies are master marketers, yes, but you’ve got to look beyond the empty promises of health and happiness that they tack on to just about every prescription and pill. Make no mistake – the leading pharmaceutical companies are also among the largest corporate criminals in the world, and they are little more than white-collar drug dealers.

Fraud, kickbacks, price-setting, bribery and illegal sales activities are all par for the course for big-name drug companies.

Two years ago, I set out to investigate some of the criminal activities that some of the largest pharmaceutical companies had been convicted of lately, and the amount of gross misconduct, fraud and deceit I found was so insidious, so massive, and so overwhelming that it shocked even me. In all, no less than 19 drug companies made AllBusiness.com’s Top 100 Corporate Criminals List for the 1990s! You can read the grim details in full here, but here’s a sampling of what the top drug companies are up to:
•Merck: With a long list of deaths to its credit and more than $5.5 billion in judgments and fines levied against it, it was five years before Merck made its $30-billion recall of the painkiller Vioxx that I had been warning my readers might be a real killer for some people.

After the drug was withdrawn, and 60,000 had already died, Merck picked up the pieces by getting a new drug fast-tracked and on the market. That drug, which you’ve probably seen numerous DTC ads for, is Gardasil, a vaccine that so far has been linked to thousands of adverse events, and at least 26 unexplained deaths in just ONE YEAR. It’s a situation that the FDA and CDC have repeatedly denied, keeping their heads buried in the sand as adverse reports continue to mount.

Meanwhile, over 90 percent of women infected with HPV clear the infection naturally within two years, at which point cervical cells go back to normal. Even more importantly, PAP smears can identify cervical changes, thereby preventing cervical cancer deaths far more effectively than the HPV vaccine ever will, because there’s a sufficient amount of time to find and treat any cervical abnormalities if you’re getting regular PAP smears.

Alas, as the HPV vaccine is gaining favor, health officials are beginning to argue against the routine use of PAP smears, despite the fact that no one has ever died from this test, while the HPV vaccine is now harming thousands each year.
•Baxter: Dozens of recalls of products that caused deaths and injuries, at least 11 different guilty pleas to fraud and illegal sales activity, more than 200 lawsuits – many of them stemming from selling AIDS-tainted blood to hemophiliacs – and more than $1.3 billion in criminal fines and civil penalties.
•Pfizer: In the largest health care fraud settlement in history, Pfizer was ordered to pay $2.3 billion to resolve criminal and civil allegations that the company illegally promoted uses of four of its drugs, including the painkiller Bextra, the antipsychotic Geodon, the antibiotic Zyvox, and the anti-epileptic Lyrica.

Optimal Health Does Not Come in Pill Form

On average, if you take one prescription drug you’ll be exposed to 70 potential side effects. Some of the more commonly prescribed drugs average around 100 side effects each — and some drugs even carry over 500! Despite this, many people and their physicians use drugs as the go-to treatment, even in cases where dietary changes, exercise and safer natural options like stress reduction and supplements exist.

There’s no doubt that the United States has been manipulated into becoming a “polypharmacy nation.” The word ‘polypharmacy’ simply means “many drugs,” but refers to instances where an individual is taking too many drugs — either because more drugs are prescribed than are clinically indicated, or when the sheer number of pills simply becomes a burden for the patient.

The problem is, top-selling drugs have nothing to do with preventive health care! The vast majority of them are sold to you based on their ability to lower or reduce isolated symptoms coming from an underlying imbalance in your body.

When you follow the conventional path it is far more likely you will have more symptoms, and the more symptoms the more drugs you need. Then there will be symptoms from the drugs themselves, for which you then may seek out even more drugs…

That’s what the drug companies have been selling Americans for the better part of two centuries, starting with the “patent medicines” formulations from yesteryear. It seems to me that the drug companies have now taken patent medicines to their ultimate pinnacle: a pill for every symptom needed every day.

Is this not a phenomenal business model?

The only thing they need to keep raking in their billions in profits is an endless supply of symptoms, which precludes allowing you to regain your optimal health, because that would drive you out of their customer base. An optimally healthy American does NOT fit in their business model. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you and your family can “opt out” of the pharmaceutical industry’s current “sick care” model and truly begin to Take Control of Your Health.

If you like what you read, please consider donating to help support my blog, even as little as $5 will help.

My book “Dentistry and how it’s damaging your health” is available here for only $2.99

How Your Gut Flora Influences Your Health

Posted by: admin  /  Category: Health

Three recent studies highlight the importance of maintaining a healthy gut to avoid disease and optimize your health. The first, published in the journal Celli, shows that “host-specific microbiota appears to be critical for a healthy immune system.”

According to Medical News Todayii:

“Human microbe-colonized mice have gut immune systems that look essentially identical to germ-free mice,” said Dennis Kasper of Harvard Medical School. “Even though they have the same number and diversity of bacteria, their immune systems don’t develop properly.

… The results might have implications for understanding the health consequences of our shifting diets, our excessive use of antibiotics, and our modern-day obsession with showers and antibacterial household cleansers, the researchers say.

“Because the intestinal microbiota can regulate immune responses outside the gut, the absence of the ‘right’ gut microbes may conceivably shift the balance toward disease in individuals genetically predisposed to autoimmune diseases,” they write, noting that our relationship with our gut microbiome today may be threatened by a combination of heavily processed foods, frequent treatment with antibiotics, and advances in hygiene.

… Although modern medicine and technology may offer alternative ways to fight disease, Kasper says, “the current prevalence of autoimmune diseases – such as asthma, multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory bowel disease – may be, at least in part, the consequence of the increasing vulnerability of the coevolved human-microbe relationship.”

For those of you who have been reading this newsletter for any length of time, this is not at all surprising. I’ve written extensively on how the bacteria in your gut influence your overall health—physical, mental, and emotional. What this research does tell us though, is how important it is to have the correct types of microbes in your gut. Not just any microbe will do…

Unfortunately, as noted above, common lifestyle factors such as processed foods, antibiotics (both those prescribed and those found in conventionally-raised meats), birth control pills,, and excessive cleansing and cleaning with antibacterial soaps and household cleaners all conspire to shift your intestinal microflora toward one that no longer supports your immune system.

Gut Microbes in Constant Combat with Viruses

You’ve probably heard that about 80 percent of your immune system resides in your gut, and the next study underscores this fact. It also provides yet another clue as to the kind of constant pressure your gut bacteria is under to keep your immune system humming.

The study, featured in Genome Researchiii, looked at a common set of viruses linked to gut bacteria in humans. These viruses, which feed off bacteria, are called phages, and they pose a constant threat to the health of the bacterial community living in your gut.

Phages can actually outnumber bacteria 10 to 1, which in itself is a testament to the power of your beneficial gut bacteria (and by extension your immune system) to keep disease at bay. But it also helps explain why just a few days of careless eating can sometimes make you feel a bit listless, or why chronic poor health is at such epidemic levels.

Between chemical assaults, inadequate nutrition, excessive sugar consumption and an overabundance of natural viral “co-hosts,” your microflora has one heck of a job to maintain order and balance… And as soon as that balance is thrown off kilter, it will begin to reflect in your immune function.

Here, the scientists wondered how they might identify viruses that target gut microbiota; whether these viral communities differ between individuals and global populations; and how this might relate to human health and disease.

As reported by Medical News Todayiv:

“Israeli researchers decided to use coded information from a bacterial immune system to get to the bottom of these questions. They discovered a process… to identify and evaluate phages in European individual’s gut microbiota, discovering that almost 80 percent of phages are shared between two or more individuals. They then compared their data to samples they took previously from American and Japanese individuals and to their surprise, they also discovered phages that exist in their European data set.

According to [senior author Rotem] Sorek, this means that people’s gut microbiota are repeatedly infected with hundreds of virus’ types. “These viruses can kill some of our gut bacteria. It is therefore likely that these viruses can influence human health,” he said. The researchers highlight that it is of key importance to gain a better understanding of the amount of pressure that is placed on the ‘good’ bacteria, which is crucial to maintain health…

Scientists are now able to investigate how phage functions in the gut change over time and what impact this may have on diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, as well as finding more effective methods to treat these diseases.” [Emphasis mine]

How Your Gut Flora Influences Your Health

An earlier study published in the April issue of Nutrition in Clinical Practicev also shows that microorganisms in the human gastrointestinal tract form a highly intricate, living fabric of natural controls that affect body weight, energy, and nutrition.

A couple of the key findings in this study were that each individual’s community of gut microbes is unique, and the groundwork for each person’s gut flora is laid from birth. In fact, the mode of delivery during the birthing process has been shown to affect an infant’s microbial profile. This is in part why it’s so important for pregnant women to become mindful of their gut health, as it will affect not just their own health, but also that of their child. It’s not a static thing, however. Your gut flora is highly susceptible to environmental changes, and can rapidly respond to alterations in diet for example.

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s research also demonstrates the dynamic interaction between your gut, your brain, and your immune system, starting from birth.

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She has developed what might be one of the most profoundly important treatment strategies for a wide range of neurological, psychological, and autoimmune disorders—all of which are heavily influenced by your gut health. I believe her Gut and Psychology Syndrome, and Gut and Physiology Syndrome (GAPS) Nutritional program is vitally important for MOST people, as the majority of people have such poor gut health due to poor diet and toxic exposures, but it’s particularly crucial for pregnant women and young children. Children born with severely damaged gut flora are more susceptible both to disease and to vaccine damage, which may help explain why some children develop symptoms of autism after receiving one or more childhood vaccinations, while others do not.

Previous research has also shown that your microflora has a significant impact on gene expression, such as the genes responsible for vitamin biosynthesis and metabolism. Probiotics have been found to influence the activity of hundreds of your genes, helping them to express in a positive, disease-fighting manner—some of which affect your body in a manner resembling the effects of certain medicines!

“Reseeding” Your Gut with Fermented Foods and Probiotics

Maintaining optimal gut flora, and ‘reseeding’ your gut with fermented foods and probiotics when you’re taking an antibiotic, may be one of the most important steps you can take to improve your health. If you aren’t eating fermented foods, you most likely need to supplement with a probiotic on a regular basis, especially if you’re eating a lot of processed foods. Poor diet in general, and each course of antibiotics extols a heavy price, as it tends to wipe out the beneficial bacteria in your gut, giving pathogens free rein to proliferate unchecked.

Historically, people used to get large quantities of beneficial bacteria, i.e. probiotics, straight from their diet in the form of fermented or cultured foods, which were invented long before the advent of refrigeration and other forms of food preservation. As a result, they didn’t suffer the same kinds of problems with their gut health as so many do today.

It’s worth noting that each mouthful of fermented food can provide trillions of beneficial bacteria—far more than you can get from a probiotics supplement, which will typically provide you with colony-forming units in the billions. I thought this would be a good analysis, so I tested fermented vegetables produced with our probiotic starter culture to determine their probiotic potency and was astounded to discover they had 10 trillion colony-forming units of bacteria. Literally, one serving of vegetables was equal to an entire bottle of a high potency probiotic!

Fermented foods also give you a wider variety of beneficial bacteria, so all in all, it’s a more cost effective alternative. Fermenting your own foods can provide even greater savings, and is actually easier than you might think. To learn more, please listen to my interview with Caroline Barringer, a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP) who has been involved with nutrition for about 20 years. She’s now one of Dr. Campbell-McBride’s chief training partners, helping people understand the food preparation process.

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